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Discussion Starter #1
Engine is slated to swap into a 1989 F-150 2wd short bed base model with a C-6. 3.08 rear gears. No AC, hand crank windows, rubber floor mat, 1 small 12 gallon fuel tank--so, pretty light for a truck.
It has the 300/6 in it right now and gets pretty bad fuel mileage. I'm not a fan of 6 cylinders and I figure if I'm going to get bad mileage anyway, I might as well have an engine I like.
The truck is a daily driver, won't be used for towing or any heavy loads.
Would like to get as good of fuel mileage as possible with the combination at hand. Plans include to swap to a T-5 in the future as well as maybe a Fitech fuel injection set-up. It will be carbureted for the time being.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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Do you currently have the 5.0?

Since it's a truck, and if you don't, why not locate a 351 - there are still roller cam 351s out there with the ability to go carb'd.

This will give stump pulling torque with few mods
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you currently have the 5.0?

Since it's a truck, and if you don't, why not locate a 351 - there are still roller cam 351s out there with the ability to go carb'd.

This will give stump pulling torque with few mods
Thanks for the response, Top Heavy.
Yeah, I have the 5.0 engine but I'm certainly not against going with a 351 Windsor. In fact, I was looking for one on CL when I found this 5.0. It needs a complete rebuild as it has had water sitting in a few cylinders due to sitting outside exposed to the weather with no upper plenum. :frown2:
I only gave $60.00 for it so I wouldn't be out much if I could find a 351.
 

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I only gave $60.00 for it so I wouldn't be out much if I could find a 351.
Do you have a pick-n-pull type junkyard nearby? Any '94-up F150/F250 or van could have a hydraulic roller 351 setup for $300, though you won't know it's hydraulic for sure without pulling the intakes. Best case scenario you could find something and give it a little hone and maybe re-bearing and run it.
 

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The other thing to do is to clarify your goals. You said you want better gas mileage, but you also said you want an engine that you like. What is kind of implied by saying "I want better gas mileage" is actually "I want to save money."

If you spend $1000 swapping a new engine in and you go from 13mpg to 15mpg, at 10,000 miles a year and $4/gal for gas, it will take you 2.5 years to make up for the project cost. If you decide to get a new cam for better torque/mpg, you get some new injectors so they flow well, get a really good tune or a standalone to dial in the highway fueling and timing for better economy, you're probably spending $2000-3000, which means it will take 5-7 years to make your money back.

And that assume you get any mpg benefit at all. Your truck was rated at 13 city/15 highway. A '96 351W with the four speed auto was rated at 11 city/16 highway. Depending on your mix of city and highway driving, it might get worse.
 

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Do you have a pick-n-pull type junkyard nearby? Any '94-up F150/F250 or van could have a hydraulic roller 351 setup for $300, though you won't know it's hydraulic for sure without pulling the intakes.
Or look at the casting number. F4TE is a roller block. But even a non-roller engine can run link bar roller lifters and the roller cam of your choice.

I've never known a 351W to be especially "fuel efficient" in a truck (or car for that matter). And I would NEVER put a T5 in a full size pickup. Just not the right transmission for the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The other thing to do is to clarify your goals. You said you want better gas mileage, but you also said you want an engine that you like. What is kind of implied by saying "I want better gas mileage" is actually "I want to save money."

If you spend $1000 swapping a new engine in and you go from 13mpg to 15mpg, at 10,000 miles a year and $4/gal for gas, it will take you 2.5 years to make up for the project cost. If you decide to get a new cam for better torque/mpg, you get some new injectors so they flow well, get a really good tune or a standalone to dial in the highway fueling and timing for better economy, you're probably spending $2000-3000, which means it will take 5-7 years to make your money back.

And that assume you get any mpg benefit at all. Your truck was rated at 13 city/15 highway. A '96 351W with the four speed auto was rated at 11 city/16 highway. Depending on your mix of city and highway driving, it might get worse.
"An engine I like" referring to a V-8--I'm not a 6 cylinder guy.
I won't have much money invested as I'm going carbed for now. I'll do all the engine assembly, swap etc.
No pick n pulls anywhere around me, unfortunately.

Or look at the casting number. F4TE is a roller block. But even a non-roller engine can run link bar roller lifters and the roller cam of your choice.

I've never known a 351W to be especially "fuel efficient" in a truck (or car for that matter). And I would NEVER put a T5 in a full size pickup. Just not the right transmission for the job.
Have you ever built one to be fuel efficient, or known someone who has?

I use this truck as a car that can haul things. That T-5 will work great for what I want.

Thanks for the responses, guys. :cool:
 

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Or look at the casting number. F4TE is a roller block. But even a non-roller engine can run link bar roller lifters and the roller cam of your choice.
Yeah, but I was assuming he's on a budget - as soon as you have to buy a sent of link bar lifters, you've more than doubled the cost of a $300 junkyard engine. A spider and dogbone set is $65, plus a set of cheap lifters is $120, 2/3 the cost of getting the right engine in the first place.

Of course, this triggers the argument about "doing it right," and what that means to different people.
 

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Have you ever built one to be fuel efficient, or known someone who has?

I use this truck as a car that can haul things. That T-5 will work great for what I want.

Thanks for the responses, guys. :cool:
Truck (Ford F-150) | Fuelly

That guy averages 17-18mpg on what he claims is a 300 with a 5 speed. Most 351s were 10-15mpg. Anyone can tell you that they got 31mpg on one trip one way for a 50 mile stretch, but looking at a bunch of full fillups over time is the only way to know what's actually reasonable to expect.

I'll say this - if you're serious about gas mileage, you can't run a carb. It just doesn't give you the fine control of fueling you need to squeeze power out of every last drop. And if you want good mileage, you want to run the smallest displacement engine that will barely meet your needs, or just avoid gas engines altogether and swap in a 4BT and get 24-27mpg with better torque than a 351.
 

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Have you ever built one to be fuel efficient, or known someone who has?
Nope. Every 351W I've known has not been built to be efficient. It's been built to make power. Which they are quite good at doing. I'll likely never build a 351W beause once you add up the costs to build let's say a 500-550hp 351W, you are spending as much money as it woudl take to buy and swap in a Coyote. The Gen3 Coyotes make around 500hp with just a tune. Plus they are silky smooth and can tune 7000rpm for days. And they will return better economy while doing it. Technology is a beeotch.

I use this truck as a car that can haul things. That T-5 will work great for what I want.
You can certainly do what you like. But the T5, while a good transmission, is iffy on mildly modified 3000lb Mustangs for durability. If you're heavy handed, durability goes down fast. Now put that same trans in a 4800lb truck. Now through 1000 pounds in the bed. T5 is a grenade with the pin pulled in a truck IMO. The much maligned M5OD-R2 would be a better transmission. At least they were deigned for trucks. Address the plastic plug on the shift tower issue and maintain as directed for a long life.
 

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Keep the I-6 and work on the V8 stuff later on as you can.

The 4.9 I6 is one of the best engines ever made. Not real powerful; but they do respond to light mods. They are torquey.

You can use the dual outlet exhaust manifold from the later 93-97 F150's, helps some. Also, if it's a manual transmission, you can get better fuel economy with it as opposed to the automatic (C6 eats up quite a bit of power, which=parasitic loss=drop in MPG). Dual outlet manifold is available at junkyards, and inexpensive. The trans can come from about any of the later F150's that had I6 engines, best to get everything (pedals, slave, master, lines, everything). I've had a couple of them and they are more desirable than the 5.0 V8 was in its' day. Got decent MPG too, as I recall I was seeing 21mpg on the highways with no load on it (reg cab short bed 5 speed w/3.55 8.8, 1995).

A 5.0 just doesn't make that much low end torque unless it's forced induction, it's just got 3" stroke. If you need torque, look into a 5.8 stroker but they aren't known for good MPG. Of course one could get crazy and drop in a 3.5 EB and have both, but that....ain't gonna be cheap.

I have had 4 or 5 of the OBS trucks, from 1980 through 1997. Most were stockers that I used for transportation (and they did great for that purpose). One was an 83 that I did a 460 swap into, then later after a problem went to a 514". Torque? No traction. Pulled great. MPG? Hahaha.....never bothered to check it. The 466 (original engine) had DOVE-C heads, 10:1, small cam, C6, 2.47 8.8 and it managed 16 mpg on average. One of the '95's was a 5 speed 5.0 and it honestly didn't have the torque as the 95 4.9 did, but it did get a little better fuel economy (19 vs 17). By comparison to the '83, both were SLUGS. 5.0 was a little better from 2500 RPM and up, but the big six outpulled it from idle to 3000-by far. By 3500 it was done and that's where the "mods" come in. You can open up the intake & exhaust a little and extend the power up to about 4200 or so, but you can't get crazy with RPM, it just doesn't need it.

Another thought, a 5.0 but use gears to your advantage. With low 1st gear ratio you get the "feel" of torque. Say, 5:1 first gear or better (didn't some of the 4 speeds have a 5.90?).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, let's get this out of the way, I am NOT a 6 cylinder guy. I don't care if this 300 made 500 horsepower and got 30 miles to the gallon, it's not staying in my engine bay. lol.

My original questions were fuel economy and torque for the 5.0 I have now, that's what I'd like to concentrate on, or maybe a 351. It's staying carbureted for now.

I used to have a '79 F-100 that I drag raced and was my daily driver. I had a 460 with D0VE heads, Crane sft cam, C-6 with a 3000 stall and a 9 inch with 3.89 Detroit locker. Truck was a blast. Now THAT was less than stellar mileage. lol.
It weighed 3900 lbs full interior, all street trim.

I can't imagine this '89 weighing more than the '79.
I think the T-5 will be fine.

Anyhow I was hoping for maybe some tips on cam, heads, intake, exhaust for mileage and torque/throttle response.
Will the stock E7s be fine? Stock HO cam?

Thanks again.
 

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Buddy of mine had a '94 lightning back in '94. Empty it weight 4400 lbs.

How will you his pass CA smog with a carburetor? Factory was EFI in '89.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Buddy of mine had a '94 lightning back in '94. Empty it weight 4400 lbs.

How will you his pass CA smog with a carburetor? Factory was EFI in '89.
I'll bet your buddys Lightning had AC, power windows, power door locks and all the electrical and plumbing associated with it--that stuff adds up. My truck has none of that.
You're absolutely correct, the truck will not pass smog with a carb. Fortunately, we don't have annual or biannual checks where I'm at. The vehicle only needs to pass smog when changing ownership, so I'm good.
 

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I can't imagine this '89 weighing more than the '79.
I think the T-5 will be fine.

Anyhow I was hoping for maybe some tips on cam, heads, intake, exhaust for mileage and torque/throttle response.
Will the stock E7s be fine? Stock HO cam?

Thanks again.
I have a low mileage 89 GMC full size 1500 truck with a T5 and I have pulled plenty of weight with it and no issues, how you drive it makes the difference.

Get some GT40 heads for a 302 or 351, use a stock HO cam, a used dual plane intake, some HO headers and you should be happy for your goals
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a low mileage 89 GMC full size 1500 truck with a T5 and I have pulled plenty of weight with it and no issues, how you drive it makes the difference.

Get some GT40 heads for a 302 or 351, use a stock HO cam, a used dual plane intake, some HO headers and you should be happy for your goals
Thank you, Tom! This is exactly the type of information I was looking for! :smile2:

Bruce
 

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You mentioned the $60 302 needs a rebuild as it has rusted cylinders. That means bore and new pistons. Soooooo if you want tq and have to bore it anyway, I'd go with a 347 rotating assy. Summit has them pretty cheap and since you aren't looking for max hp and max rpm, the cast crank will be fine.
Yes you can use your E7 heads on a 347. It won't have power but will have tq. You really should put better heads on it though. Those old E7's are going to need to be gone through, new springs, valve job, mill or resurfaced - gets expensive fast. Look for some ready to use heads or some that have already be gone through. Guys here can suggest some cheap alternatives for ready to run heads.
A stock HO cam would be fine also. It is hard for guys here to realize not everyone that builds and engine wants or needs max power. Stock HO exhaust headers would also be fine - unless you "want" full length aftermarket headers and have the cash for them...
Carb dual plane intakes are pretty easy to find. You also mentioned in the future maybe getting a Fitech.
I recommend a Holley Sniper EFI system. I have one and am very happy with it. My car would get 18 mpg on freeway with a carb. It gets 21 with the Sniper :)
Yes as mentioned recuperating the cost for all of this with fuel mileage savings will take forever. That is your decision no one else's. If you want and You are paying for it, do what you want to do - it is your money not theirs.
Another option is find a running 331 , 347 or even 351 that someone is selling. You can always put in a small cam, don't have to run what cam they used. Run a carb intake and carb, drop in your truck and enjoy.
There are many ways you can go. All you can do is look at all the options, come up with a goal, make the game plan and carry it out. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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