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Old 03-13-2006, 11:07 AM
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351 to diesel

I have an 85 f-150 with a shot 351 engine. I want to replace it with a diesel engine but have a few questions. For starters, what size and type of diesel should I be looking for? I want power and reliability but I'm unfamiliar with ford systems. Can I buy a universal mount system that will work with a diesel. What diesel engines will work best for my truck? I could use some suggestions. I know that ford uses serveral diesels in their trucks, can someone tell me what they are? Lastly, did ford make seprate transmissions for their diesel applications or can I mix and match?

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Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 AM
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I promise you, you will be much better off if you drop in another gas W or 302. The frustration and $$$$$ to go diesel will make you need Prozac.

I wouldn't do it if the diesel engine and drivetrain was FREE.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:24 AM
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Diesels are great if you can service them yourself.
You will have lots of problems trying to put one in a gas, half ton truck.
You can get a newer F250 diesel XLT for cheap, so why not upgrade?
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:38 AM
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351 to diesel

I'm thinking y'all are are right. So how about a big block? Can I put in a big block with little problems? What blocks will mount to the equipted transmission. will I need to secure a trani too?
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:49 PM
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Why don't you just put in a rebuilt 351? By the time you buy all the parts, and factor in the time needed, a BBF swap would be twice the amount of $$$$. If you need more ooomf, you can do some work to the W and get some more HP, or go with a stroker, and it will be a direct swap.
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnerdog
I'm thinking y'all are are right. So how about a big block? Can I put in a big block with little problems? What blocks will mount to the equipted transmission. will I need to secure a trani too?
Dang dude, are you going to run away with that truck, get married to it and have babies with it?
A 21 year old truck up there must be all kinds of rusty. You must have some
big money tied up in it.
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Old 03-13-2006, 02:21 PM
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351 to diesel

No, I don't have any money in it yet, but the sentimental value is sufficient enough for me to make it my dream truck.(My dream truck needs drag bars and probably won't be street legal.) The diesel inquiry was because it would be special to my father.
P.s. what does 'bbf' mean?

Last edited by donnerdog; 03-13-2006 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnerdog
No, I don't have any money in it yet, but the sentimental value is sufficient enough for me to make it my dream truck.(My dream truck needs drag bars and probably won't be street legal.) The diesel inquiry was because it would be special to my father.
P.s. what does 'bbf' mean?
Big Block Ford

OK, you might as well tell us the story.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:56 PM
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351 to diesel

Well there isn't a fancy story to tell, really. My father has owned the truck for many years and he passed the truck down to me a couple years ago. He said," it isn't much but It is yours". Him being a truck driver hasn't allowed us to spend normal amounts of time together so I'm holding on to the time we do have. He's had many children and his time and money are severely dispersed. Knowing that I've wanted to start a truck project, he signed the truck over to me even though it left him without a vehicle for some time. I expect this project to extend over many years. Perhaps it's the thought that he is getting on in years and I feel an overwhelming need to show him how much he means to me. I guess it represents the father/son projects we have missed and the ones we continue to miss. He has always encouraged me to reach for my dreams, to not let anyone stop me. Do I need a big block? Probably not but this truck is more symbolic than practical. Some like to travel down the road of life, we like to rocket through it. Nothing like neck-breaking horsepower under your reign.
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Old 03-14-2006, 06:58 AM
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First, if you will notice, the frame on a diesel is reinforced, if not double framed in some applications because of the torque and vibration.

The origional 351W HO 4V (with a few upgrades) will be more than sufficient to impress the troops.
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Old 03-14-2006, 08:25 AM
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Well that sounds like a pretty good story to me!
A big block will make it feel heavy. The 351 will have plenty of power with a
good parts combo.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTCHEVY
Well that sounds like a pretty good story to me!
A big block will make it feel heavy. The 351 will have plenty of power with a
good parts combo.

It already seems really heavy to me. I've had to move it a couple of times and you'd think it was lined with lead. The engine has been overheated severely a couple of times when the pump-belt broke on my fathers vacation trips (he has a small fith-wheel camper). What are the chances the block is still road worthy? I managed to start it but it stumbles preaty bad and hardly develops any power. My father said that He lost a frost plug on one of the overheat occassions. The radiator is full of a rust-colored sludge, lots of it. I'd like to just tear into it and find out if the block is shot but I've been preoccupied with my pregnant fiancee and so at this stage have only been drumming up ideas. What is your opinion? Think there may be hope for an overbore? As far as I know the oil is uncontaminated, but the sludge in the radiator is oily in consistancy. Ps. What is intake matching? Is that a reference to the mating-surface openings between the intake manifold and the heads? If so, Why aren't they matched at the factory?

Last edited by donnerdog; 03-14-2006 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:25 AM
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I know 351 fords made some stupid power
back in the day, and I would replace the 21
year old radiator unless you can PROVE it is 100%.

Those old trucks were close to 4500 lbs.
Stroking Makes lots of torque, but I dont know
enough about stroking a Ford to be dangerous
other than you use the same block (or same style
block if that one turns out to have issues)
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:44 PM
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If it turns out after inspection that the 351W is damaged, then would be the time to consider a 7.5L upgrade. You will have to buy an engine either way.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:42 PM
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Just about any engine you find in a 1/2 ton Ford will work. Find a used wrecked low mileage truck, buy it and start swapping parts. This exercise will be cheap and teach you much about basics. When you get through with this, then you can think about strokers or twin turbos or whateveer.
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