Which engine do I want?


YungICY

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Hey guys, so in the next couple of months I’m gonna be in the market for a mid 90’s ish f150 but I’m not the most proficient on them. I’m gonna be looking for one to use as a daily and a tow pig. It won’t get a lot of miles annually, probably around the 8-10k mark. When I tow with it I plan on towing a gooseneck camper/flatbed with my ranger on it so maybe 7k at the most.

If I’m not mistaken the f1’s of that period came with three options, the 302, 351 and the straight six.

I can probably rule out the 302 as it will be the least powerful of them. I hear that the 300 i6 is a torque monster but I don’t know anything about those motors and any insight would be appreciated. I assume the 351 would do me fine and it will have plenty of on the shelf parts being a sbf.

Mostly I’m just looking for input between the i6 and the 351 for a truck that won’t see a lot of miles and will tow a few times a year.

This is the type of setup I plan on pulling around.



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You don't want the 300. Honestly, with a 500-lift cam the 302 would blow either of the others out of the water.

If you do want to go into the engine right away the 351 is the best for towing. It is a boat anchor though.
 

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Hey guys, so in the next couple of months I’m gonna be in the market for a mid 90’s ish f150 but I’m not the most proficient on them. I’m gonna be looking for one to use as a daily and a tow pig. It won’t get a lot of miles annually, probably around the 8-10k mark. When I tow with it I plan on towing a gooseneck camper/flatbed with my ranger on it so maybe 7k at the most.

If I’m not mistaken the f1’s of that period came with three options, the 302, 351 and the straight six.

I can probably rule out the 302 as it will be the least powerful of them. I hear that the 300 i6 is a torque monster but I don’t know anything about those motors and any insight would be appreciated. I assume the 351 would do me fine and it will have plenty of on the shelf parts being a sbf.

Mostly I’m just looking for input between the i6 and the 351 for a truck that won’t see a lot of miles and will tow a few times a year.

This is the type of setup I plan on pulling around.



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get an idi 250. an ats or banks would be ideal....


I don't know if I would want to tow that with a stock 150....any factory engine.....or kill myself.
 
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scotts90ranger

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That type of setup is a 9000lb MINIMUM, 3000lb trailer, 2000lb camper and 4000lb Ranger plus gear and gas...

That setup is basically what I want to do, but I got a 7.3L Powerstroke in a reconstructed title '97 crew cab F350... For now I put the camper in the truck (and unfortunately I ended up with a 11' camper, so have a 4' hitch extension...), 12' car trailer (yes the Ranger is 14' long, there's overhang on both ends...) and the 3 wheeler in the bed of the Ranger. That setup on the way home from camping/wheeling was just short of 18k pounds and that poor 7.3 was doing 38mph up the mountain pass both ways... I bet with an intercooler I could at least get to 4th gear...

I'm with Bobby though, an IDI with a turbo will outdo a early powerstroke like mine mileage wise and probably power wise, and be cheaper... The 7.3's were cheaper 5 years ago though...
 

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Thanks for your suggestions guys.

Adsm, so you’re saying a 302 with a cam or a stock 351? That makes sense.

Bobby and scott, I figure diesel is probably the better way to go but I’m looking to stay gasser for now. I’m a mechanic but I don’t know my way around a diesel engine yet.

Scott, I’m betting I can keep it under 7k. I’ve got a trailer I’m looking at that is pretty light itself and I’m keeping my eyes out for a small camper. And my ranger will be under 2.7k by the time it’s ready to go out. Gear and gas might put me over 7k but the initial setup should be under.


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Oh I'd got 302 all the way. I have a buddy who has been building small block Windsors engines for almost 30 years and won't have a 351. He throws a 500 cam in them and 1.8 rockers and says those blow the 351 out of the water for towing power and fuel economy all day long.
 

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I never would have thought. What makes them better over the 351? Aren’t they the same platform?


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I'm not a small block guy, and I don't have dyno sheets in front of me, so all this is kind of second hand, and a bit incomplete.

I know that in general, for performance builds, the 302 is preferred over the 351, despite them being basically the same engine. Most of the old engine builders I have talked to on the subject consider the 351 a boat anchor and would rather have a 302. The one time I did do some HD towing with a 351 I thought it did very nicely right up until the thrust bearing spun. Then it did less nicely, but did get us the 150 miles home, with our load.

I know the 351 has larger combutsion chambers and bigger diamater head bolts, so the reportedly "popular" 351 heads on a 302 tends to cause more problems than it solves.

I know that my buddy who builds these trucks has a 302 with his 500 lift cam and 1.8 rocker setup in his 83, and has a 96 that he bought for the body with a stock 351. He wants his 302 back bad but it needs rebuilt because his ex drove it around for a few days ignoring the little red light by the oil pressure gauge while running it dry.
 

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I would go 351W but towing that a 460 in an F-250 would probably get the same mileage. 351W is a 302 with 1/2" more stroke, much stronger block and the same craptacular head theory that chokes just about every Ford engine. Diesel FTW but they are not cheap to buy either.

Dad had a guy that worked for him that had an '89 4x4 F-150 with a 300. Dad traded a truck for a triple axle gooseneck trailer and the guy was all wound up to go pick it up with his '150 instead of dad's '350. Dad heard this weird noise coming up to the shop, it was the guys tailpipe dragging on the pavement and the front axle was all \--o-/. Truck really wasn't intended for gooseneck duty... and that was an empty (although overbuilt) trailer.
 
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YungICY

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Finding the right trailer and camper is going to be the hardest part of this all. The trailer I’m looking at is actually an old fifth wheel camper that is stripped down to frame. It’s really light but it might be too light to put the truck on. It probably only weighs 1500 five or take. And I’m looking for a small cab over or even a pop up trailer to stick on it and I figure I can stay under 1500 dry on that. Then the truck will be somewhere around the 25-2700 mark. Factor in gas and gear and some margin for error and it should be under my guesstimate. Even still I know it’ll tax an f1 but I don’t want diesel and I’d prefer not to go big block unless I find a killer deal on an f2.

I’m just keeping in mind that I might see 1200 towing miles a year and the rest is in town daily driving so I don’t want to go over kill on a truck that I won’t need.


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Oh I'd got 302 all the way. I have a buddy who has been building small block Windsors engines for almost 30 years and won't have a 351. He throws a 500 cam in them and 1.8 rockers and says those blow the 351 out of the water for towing power and fuel economy all day long.
I never would have thought. What makes them better over the 351? Aren’t they the same platform?


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I'm not a small block guy, and I don't have dyno sheets in front of me, so all this is kind of second hand, and a bit incomplete.

I know that in general, for performance builds, the 302 is preferred over the 351, despite them being basically the same engine. Most of the old engine builders I have talked to on the subject consider the 351 a boat anchor and would rather have a 302. The one time I did do some HD towing with a 351 I thought it did very nicely right up until the thrust bearing spun. Then it did less nicely, but did get us the 150 miles home, with our load.

I know the 351 has larger combutsion chambers and bigger diamater head bolts, so the reportedly "popular" 351 heads on a 302 tends to cause more problems than it solves.

I know that my buddy who builds these trucks has a 302 with his 500 lift cam and 1.8 rocker setup in his 83, and has a 96 that he bought for the body with a stock 351. He wants his 302 back bad but it needs rebuilt because his ex drove it around for a few days ignoring the little red light by the oil pressure gauge while running it dry.


well...you have another buddy that has been building windsors for over 30 years

302 has a place. 351 has a place. money dictates certain outcomes of course.


and towing.....not a place for a 302 unless you construct it to that end.

it is a case of using stock blocks or aftermarket blocks. this only determines whether the 302 predictably loses.... clearly as a waste of time.... or loses with honor. the costs are high.

but lets talk turn key off the street stock.



stock for stock sans towing.....a 351 can often simply be sensed as a 302 that uses more gas....its fair to say that.

a typical stock truck engine unladen... if swapped into a stang or ranger or pinto....the 302 has the edge. its dimensionally smaller and lighter and easy to get more power density per dollar to a certain point.


but for this point your at...



towing


the reason the 300 6 gets the nod for towing (towing painfully fawking slow) over the 302....is why a 302 will never match a 351.

ever.

its the stroke. and that stroke is where torque comes from.


towing.... you want torque.


so it stands. you want a turn key solution of that vintage??..??

you need a f250, 351 with zf5. better off with a 460 though.

but if your a mechanic....the idi is the easy button. they are stupid....if you live where its rarely 20 degrees out, the clear winner....easiest to work on.



I can easily build a stroker 302/347(363 aftermarket block) that runs 105 to 115 percent volumetric efficiency. it will cost 6-9k and beat any stock anything while it lasts.....and tow like a motherfawker as long as the trailer your pulling.....is a trailer full of fuel.

then you move over to a stroker 351/408(427 aftermarket block)


which one will tow better?






scott....I think your psd is wounded.
 

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No doubt my 7.3L has seen better days... almost 350k on the odometer, apparently around 200k on the engine, it's due for injectors and other goodies, along with the intercooler parts I've had the parts for for over a year... it tows like a mule until it gets hot under the hood, it will keep up fine no matter what's behind it until then. On the particular mountain pass I travel you are driving up hill for 30 miles, then it gets steep... there's something about the combo that doesn't like that hill, too big of a jump between 3rd and 4th gear (2500rpm in 3rd or 1500rpm in 4th, 4.10's and 35's with a ZF5). I've had the 2500lb camper and a 1200lb trailer and made it at 50mph, but jump to towing 8000lb without the camper and it'll go 38mph like with the camper... Its getting harder to start so needs glow plugs now too... I'm gonna have to bite the near $2k bullet on parts soon...

Don't be intimidated by diesels, there isn't anything to them... the electric controlled powerstrokes and such can be intimidating, mine was down for almost 6 months due to a bad high pressure oil pump that is difficult to diagnose but the mechanical diesels like the IDI are stupid simple, it's a rotating assembly, an injection pump and 8 mechanical injectors that just do their thing. The only electrics are the starter, alternator and glow plug controller... throw a turbo on an IDI 7.3L and you'll get around 18mpg around town and probably 13mpg or thereabouts towing what you are planning, my powerstroke gets around 18mpg highway and 11ish towing the load I've been talking over the mountains... you won't see those numbers on a gasser...
 

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7.3's sell for stupid money with stupid miles on them around me. Just saw one last night with "only" 200k listed for $20k.

Dad paid $1k for a fairly straight/solid 200k '96 F-250 2wd with a 460 and a 5 speed a few years ago. The thing runs great, since it is basically a F-150 with a big block it is pretty fun to drive. Even with a whale of an engine changing spark plugs is still easy. I wish they made a new one just like it (but 4wd)

Dad didn't care about the 2wd, it is a tow pig for his gooseneck and he won't be hauling in a blizzard.

It is thirsty... but it was also cheap. No gas truck of that vintage was very fuel effiecent. I think a 5.0 F-150 was doing good to get in the mid teens.
 
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YungICY

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Turns out I have a buddy with a f2 with a 460. He told me come talk to him with 1500 whenever I’m ready.

Definitely beats the 20k hammered 7.3’s for sale around me.


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well...you have another buddy that has been building windsors for over 30 years

302 has a place. 351 has a place. money dictates certain outcomes of course.


and towing.....not a place for a 302 unless you construct it to that end.

it is a case of using stock blocks or aftermarket blocks. this only determines whether the 302 predictably loses.... clearly as a waste of time.... or loses with honor. the costs are high.

but lets talk turn key off the street stock.



stock for stock sans towing.....a 351 can often simply be sensed as a 302 that uses more gas....its fair to say that.

a typical stock truck engine unladen... if swapped into a stang or ranger or pinto....the 302 has the edge. its dimensionally smaller and lighter and easy to get more power density per dollar to a certain point.


but for this point your at...



towing


the reason the 300 6 gets the nod for towing (towing painfully fawking slow) over the 302....is why a 302 will never match a 351.

ever.

its the stroke. and that stroke is where torque comes from.


towing.... you want torque.


so it stands. you want a turn key solution of that vintage??..??

you need a f250, 351 with zf5. better off with a 460 though.

but if your a mechanic....the idi is the easy button. they are stupid....if you live where its rarely 20 degrees out, the clear winner....easiest to work on.



I can easily build a stroker 302/347(363 aftermarket block) that runs 105 to 115 percent volumetric efficiency. it will cost 6-9k and beat any stock anything while it lasts.....and tow like a motherfawker as long as the trailer your pulling.....is a trailer full of fuel.

then you move over to a stroker 351/408(427 aftermarket block)


which one will tow better?






scott....I think your psd is wounded.

Don't forget that the 300 has overlapping power strokes, so at least two cylinders are always on the power stroke.
 


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