"New" truck..thoughts

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by buck_1one, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for your thoughts on this truck. 1978 (no emissions) F-250 4x4. 1961 390 .40 over (397 cid) 9.5 to 1 compression, 4 speed granny with 33x11.5 8 ply load E mud tires. Standard cab with steel flat bed, 6' wide 8.5' long. Dana 44 front with daul piston calipers, dana 60 rear with 12x2.5 drums.

    It is not built yet, but in the process. Getting the last few big parts to start making the beast. It will have to work for a living and not just sit around. I have outgrown my 1976 F150 4x4 390 etc and hope the 250 will just about cover it.

    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

    Buck
     
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Should be spectacular on gas! I would just buy a decent 1 ton truck with a flatbed on it.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............That will be a very strong truck once built . A 390 will not boltup to a bell housing that was used for a 351m\400 which was the V8 choices in 1977-79 . Ford quit installing the 360\390 in 1976 I believe . One thing I would change is to lower the CPR to 9:1 or less so that I could run e85 or regular 87 octane to prevent pinging . If $ allows install SS valves and hardened valve seats for Unleaded gas regardless of engine choice . The fuel milage on that engine will be 8 mpg under load and maybe 10 to 12 just crusing . Have you considered a cummins 4 BTV like are used some delivery trucks ? I've read where they will get like 25-28 mpg and putout 400 ft. pounds of torque . Good luck with whatever you do . fordy... :cowboy:
     
  4. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    I don't know a heckuva lot about fords,but I agree about backing off the compression.With the right carb/camshaft,you aint gonna' be lacking in horsepower or torque.Any how,it sounds like a real asphault ripper you have in the works.My 81 GMC has a 383 stroker with lotsa' goodies.She is very fond of gasoline,but man,is it fun to romp down on the old girl.I'm an edelbrock man,but a few of my buddies have been running demon carbs,and they are sold on them.Against my better judgement,I tried out a holly for a while,but that thing just wouldn't hang onto an adjustment.
     
  5. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Anytime you're going to work a truck, especially every day, you should consider diesel. Yes, you can build a heavy duty gas unit... but you'll pay for it at the pumps. With the way fuel prices are rising, every mpg counts.

    cheers,
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If I could get my 2wd 78 F250 back I'd gladly keep the 400 in gas. More power than my FIL's 454 Chev and got twice the gas milage. I don't mind feeding a good horse, where's the savings in total if you're constantly fixing things? My current work horse is a Chev one ton with a 305 700R4. Its OK but I wish it had the 350. If gas costs too much, charge more to cover it. Any job that needs a big truck, needs a big truck regardless of the price of gas!
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    How about throwing a hydraulic scissors hoist under that flatbed, and a big honkin cowcatcher grillgaurd up front. Oh, and you'll need a Killer stereo.
     
  8. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    Fordy,

    You are correct, the last year for the FE line was in 76, much earlier in the cars. I have the proper bell housing and the trans is the same NP435 so there should be no problems with bolting it together. Thanks for the heads up.

    This truck will not be my money making work truck. It is my personal truck for doing work around here. So he will sit around a lot making the yard look pretty much like my 76 F150, but when he does get used he will be pulling a lot of weight. My up grade to this custom F250 is much more for the larger breaking system. My F150 has pulled and hauled everything I've ever wanted, almost 5000lbs in the bed (towing/trailer package, same springs as the 250 in the rear)and around 10,000lbs on the trailer. Stopping it is a whole different matter. :eek:

    Buck
     
  9. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    For those of you recomending a diesel, I say this, I'd rather have a bike with two flat tires. I hate diesels, they stink, they are noisey, dirty, a pain to fill up, hard to start at 0 dark thirty when it's blue butt cold outside. Filters are an arm and a leg. My dad had a large E350 cube van for his contracting company and I remember what a pain in the butt the whole diesel thing was. Every part is two or three times the cost of a gas engine. If something happens to my gas engine I have the tools and the knowledge to fix it, if something happens to a diesel...well it's off to the shop so I can get raped on labor and parts.

    Yes diesels have a place in this world.....any place but my place!

    Buck
     
  10. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to hear more on the compression thing. From what I've come up with 9.5:1 is the most you can have and run regular gas. The pistons I found said 9.3:1, I bumped it up to 9.5:1 due to the heads and deck being cleaned up will increase the compression a little. The only other piston I've found at this time was 8.2:1 and I felt that was too low. Remember this is my personal work truck so I don't want to go out and have custom made pistons costing me an arm and leg. Looking at stock pistons for the 390, the trucks had 8.2:1 and lower and the cars had 9.5:1 and up. Any ideas other then going through cc'n the combustion area and doing the math to come up with an exact measurement? Also I live in the sticks so there is no one close I can really talk to about such things, at least none that really know what they speek of! lol

    This will probley be the hardest part of this build, coming up with the proper piston compression combo.

    Thanks again for your input
    Buck
     
  11. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    I have thought a lot about putting a dump on it, would make unloading manure, firewood, etc much easier. Problem is those things are not cheap. Maybe sometime down the line, after Mom wins the lotto. lol

    At some point in the future I'd like to put a winch (sp) on the front. So I would probley have to make a custom bumper/winch/push bar assembly for him then.

    As far as the stereo goes, I have a nice Kenwood that will put out more then I will ever need in that small of an area.

    Good suggestions so far, keep'em coming
    Buck
     
  12. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ................I'd use the 8.2's and a mild RV cam . Then I'd use an MSD 6A ignition box and Aluminum Billet distributor . The 6A box fires twice up to 3000 rpm with very hot spark . This is what I had on my 77 f250 and it is very easy to install and hookup . fordy... :clap:
     
  13. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    Would you really go that low on the compression?? That compression in the 76 390 4 bbl made a crappy 195 bhp @4000 rpm and 312 ft lbs torque @2400. The car engines at 9.5:1 made (1971 2bbl carb,last year in cars) 255@4400 & 376@2600. That seems to be a pretty large jump. I know the cams have a lot to do with it as well but, that's 60 hp and 64 ft lbs torque and those numbers go up from there depending on the year of the 390. Up to 275 hp & 405 ft lbs torque.

    Besides that what I have now(or had before a little piston pin clip broke and made a mess of a cylinder) is a 1966 390 10.5:1 4bbl, 315 hp@4600 & 427 ft lbs torque @2800. Grant it he pings even on the highest octain I can get, but I would really hate to take a nose dive on the power I had vs what I'll get out of the "new" built 390. I don't want this engine to be running on premium gas, cost too much to fill up these days.

    Please don't take this as being argumentative, it's not ment to be that way. I'm just wanting to look at things from all angles and get info from others that may know more then I or have thought of something I missed. All the engines I've built over the years were for hauling ----- in cars not hauling tons of weight in a truck.

    Thanks again
    Buck
     
  14. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    The F250 has a 400 in it, it needs rebuilt. Needed a timing chain guy thought engine went up took it apart then left it. If you want it you can have it for shipping. I guess that goes for anyone else as well. More then likley it will go to the dump this summer.

    Buck
     
  15. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

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    on a f250 you only need a correct hingepoint and a hydrolic ram to make that flatbed dump. I have used a dump "insert" for years in my 3/4 ton. The expense is worth it compared to the wear and tear on ones back! Diesel vs gas is a nmbers game. If you use the truck enough yes. I have run vw diesels for years in the cold and they were fine . A little prep and knowledge goes a long way in satisfaction in using a diesel.
     
  16. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    There is a machine shop not too ungodly far from the college. I think I'll have a stop in after class and get their input on things. It seems they are the only machine shop anywhere "near" me so I guess they will be doing the machine work anyway. This will give me a chance to see what they have and how nice and knowledgeable they are. The ad says been in business for 27 years, that puts them in business in the late 70's so I'm sure they have seen a couple of FE engines and may be able to recommend a piston that will work best? Can't hurt to ask questions.

    Fordy,
    I'd still be interested in your take on this to add to what the shop has to say.

    Buck
     
  17. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    The kit I've looked at to do this is about $1300. While I agree with the wear and tear on the back, at this time that money would better spent on something else. Not the I've got $1300 just sitting around right now. :D Just like the winch I'd like to get :happy: , that is something for the future. Getting the truck together and running before I die is a little more inportant.
     
  18. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I think one of your deciding factors on compression and pistons is what gas will you be able to buy for it next year. Talk to a reputable cam manufacturer before choosing pistons, your cam profile will change your dynamic compression.
     
  19. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    The 390 was an awsome engine. I think its a good choice. I dont know much about performance VS fuel consumtion, but I would ask an engine shop some questions about it, and keep the engine as stock as possible. I would also consider a 300 straight 6. Id also like to see a Dana 60 front end. The truck as you described it it a very good truck though. I like the 390/4 speed combination, and the 3/4 ton. Those year fords were very good trucks. Probably the best fords ever built. There will be some die hard chevy guys who wont ever have any use for any ford, but they are idiots. there were some very good chevys, and some very good fords. This truck you decribe was a very good ford.
     
  20. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............You might consider installing a 460 with 8:1 cpr , use APR studs on the rod caps , APR head bolts , and APR on crankshaft bolts . With a 460 use larger displacement and keep cpr low and still have excellent performance . 460 , 400 and 351m all have the same bolt pattern so the same bell housing will work for all three . You'll have to use different motor mounts but that isn't a big deal .
    ...............If , you were just going to cruise around in this truck then put all high performance parts in it . But , this will be a work truck so build the engine to run on lowest price gas otherwise it will get very expensive very quick . fordy... :cowboy: