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-   -   4.9L vs 5.0L discussion (

strokin'_tatsch 07-15-2011 06:12 PM

4.9L vs 5.0L discussion
I'm starting this thread for one reason. I see A LOT of people every single day on here trying to say the 4.9L is better than the 5.0L in a truck.. It keeps making me wonder why that is.. So let's have a discussion about it.

I should say before I start this out that I have nothing against the 4.9L. It's a good little engine and is reliable. The 5.0 is also very reliable. I've seen both engines go over 300k miles and still run good. So, lets get this DISCUSSION started shall we? Lets say that again... This is a DISCUSSION. Let's not get into any pi$$ing matches, just a fun discussion.

Here is my thoughts to start this off. Everyone keeps saying the 4.9L is better than a 5.0L b/c it has more low end torque. I want you guys to sit back, think, and answer this question to yourself and to us if you feel like it. What is it that torque is doing for you and how does that make it better than the 5.0L? Should be a simple question right? Just b/c the 5.0 likes to rev doesn't make it a bad engine for a truck. }>

Discuss... I'll be back later. :D

bigred1992 07-15-2011 06:24 PM

My 92 has a 5.0 in it, close to 200k miles. I think that they are both good engines with advantages and disadvantages. Around my neck of the woods you find a lot of 3/4 tons with the 4.9 because of the torque. That engine essentially is a miniature cummins 6 cyl. But of the other hand, it's still a 6 cyl. Personally, I feel that 8cyl are a lot smoother, especially in downshifts. What really grabs my goat is that people think that the 5.0 is not as heavy duty as the 4.9. You can do just as much with the 5.0 as long as you are careful. And on the highway I think the 5.0 would outdo the 4.9 on a long haul. At any rate, these are both good engines, and I think that they are just made for different driving habits.

lew52 07-15-2011 06:29 PM

I have had both , but i will take the 5.0 over the 4.9 any day of the week , like i said before , the 4.9 won't get out of its own way , ....Lew

KevinGnWV 07-15-2011 06:32 PM


I've owned a 4.9, 5.0 and currently own a 5.8, all with auto trans. Out of all 3, the 4.9/auto felt more "alive".

The 4.9s pistons run straight up and down rather than at an angle so theoretically you should have less cylinder wall wear. Provided you practice proper maintenance of course.

I like the fact that the 4.9 has timing gears rather than a chain, but not really a huge issue.

Basically, you have pros and cons to each engine, and any other engine for that matter and all have a place in these trucks. I don't think any one engine can be called better than the other because they all excel in some area that another won't so it all depends on the owners preference I suppose.

If you like your 302, good for you. If you don't like a 302, don't buy a truck with one in it. Now THAT seems simple enough.

rangergirl94 07-15-2011 08:46 PM

Ive owned both ,the 302 would out run and get better miliege but would not pull like the 300 but I use my 150 like a 1ton

BIGskinny 07-15-2011 08:54 PM

My buddy had an 86 f1 with a 300 granny 4 speed. We beat the living hell out of that truck. It was a daily driver mud truck work truck all the above. Had 33in tsl boggers around it. Never missed a beat. Road hard put up wet bout every day for two years almost the. He broke down and bout a 94 300 trans lost OD then he bought a chevy.

strokin'_tatsch 07-15-2011 08:59 PM

Well, this hasn't quite gone where I was hoping. Maybe someone will bite eventually. We've all had our experiences and our buddies experiences.. Heck I've pulled with a 302 and a 300 and the 302 would whip the 300 in ever situation we put it in, but the 302 was geared in it's power band, didn't have stock 3.08s in it. Those gears are fine for a 300, not for a 302. The 302 had 4.10's w/ 31" tires and had no problem pulling, but none of my experiences matter right now.

My original question has yet to be answered.. lol

bigred1992 07-15-2011 09:48 PM

My 302 has the 3.55 and seems to do ok with it. Maybe someday if money and time permit I'll look into an upgrade

rangergirl94 07-15-2011 09:49 PM

For a all out work truck with the right gears the 300 hands down for dd pickup and light towing 302 that anwser

bigred1992 07-15-2011 09:54 PM

I tow some pretty heavy stuff with my 302. I agree that the 300 is more of a hoss for daily work, but on the highway I would prefer the V8. And by heavy I mean that with the extra heavy springs on the back I pull a lot of hay trailers and stock trailers that are probably meant for 3/4 ton trucks

flat4vw 07-15-2011 10:42 PM

Here is the answer you want to hear: The 4.9 is not NEARLY as incredible as the internet has made it out to be. It is a great engine. It is remarkably reliable. And it has a powerband very low in the rev range, which is a good compliment to the needs of an older generation pickup truck. But it is not a powerhouse. It is not more powerful than a 5.0, a 5.8, a big block, or a B-series Cummins, or any of the other outrageous claims people make about it.

It does not have more torque than a truck 5.0 of the same generation, although many will claim that. It does produce similar peak torque numbers, at a lower rev range, but that's about it.

The 4.9's reputation gets overblown because simple reliability isn't that exciting. So the engine's other characteristics get exploited and exaggerated. Also - the engine has cachet. Chevrolet nor Dodge have a competitive 6 cylinder. The 4.9 is a serious player in these older 1/2 & 3/4 ton trucks, unlike the wheezy Dodge slant six and later 3.9 V6, or the embarrassing 4.3 GM. Lastly, I think a lot of people like its uniqueness. It is somewhat more interesting, or at least a more intriguing, than your average, run-of-the-mill late model American pickup truck engine.

That's as honest as I can be. For what it's worth, I am a huge 4.9 fan. Bought my first one about 7 years ago and just bought another one for fun. I love it, but it is the slowest vehicle I have ever driven - thank god for good gearing, otherwise I don't think it would drive uphill.

SideWinder4.9l 07-15-2011 10:48 PM

After owning a 351w/AOD/2.73 gears, a 300/E4OD/3.08, 300/5 speed M5OD/3.08.......I like my 300/5 speed the best....

Dads truck, '92 F-150, 302/M5/3.55's....Well...Up to 35-40-ish MPH....I like my truck better....After I hit 4th...Mines a dog...

Dad's pulls like a SOB up until 5th....

But overall, given some fun engine work, a 3.55 or a 3.73 rear gear....Thats what would make a awesome all around truck....

And for the record, dad and I get EXACTLY the same mileage....

rangergirl94 07-15-2011 11:09 PM

The 4.9 does not make more torque than the 5.0 but at 2000 rpm it makes double the tq of the 5.0 at 3000 its the opposite

85e150six4mtod 07-15-2011 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by rangergirl94 (Post 10581304)
The 4.9 does not make more torque than the 5.0 but at 2000 rpm it makes double the tq of the 5.0 at 3000 its the opposite

No it doesn't.

260 @ 2000 for the 300; 265 @ 3000 for the 302.

I'm sorry to say, but your post is the kind of BS that flat4vw is talking about in the prior thread.

I had one for 18 years. I was driving from my SIL's house to my MIL's house once, with my SIL driving along side with her '86 Toyota 4 cylinder 5 speed. I floored the six and reved it to the max in 1st and 2nd. I was ahead of her for sure. When we got there, I told her I had run it as fast as it would go. She said she hadn't noticed....

As per prior posts, good engines both, drive what you like.

This topic has been beaten like a rented mule repeatedly, and it continues to be beaten on in the six forums.

Brettboat 07-15-2011 11:27 PM

4.9 makes a great work truck engine, that's about it. For a mud truck or rock truck, I'd rather have a 302 or 351. You can only do soo much to a 4.9. I think someone on here did alot of stuff to his 300... turbo, chip, long tube headers, exhaust, valves, etc. But still, a V8 design has alot more potential for "high performance" applications imo.

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