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Old 12-23-2012, 10:01 PM
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Ford questions - 302 oil pump, camshaft and AOD trans

I own a 1987 Ford F-150 with a 302/AOD combo. Totally stock except for a K&N air filter, ford racing 9mm wires, and msd cap/rotor/coil.

Upon start up it knocks real loud until the oil pressure comes up (a second or two). Previous owner says the oil pump is weak. I figured its time to replace that pump and a bunch of seals and gaskets while i'm at it, maybe some bearings, as well as the timing set and probably a cam to increase torque since this truck is used for pulling a fairly heavy trailer. Probably a set of headers too.

First off the engine has 133,000 miles on it. Leaks oil (hence the gaskets and seals being replaced) but i don't ever see it smoke any so i assume it doesn't burn any oil. Thus I believe the engine to be fairly healthy. It does seem to have a slight misfire, not a major one like a dead hole, but perhaps a hole with low compression (maybe, haven't verified with a compression test yet).

Now on to what I've got on my mind. There are a few options on oil pumps. The standard pump. The high pressure pump. And the high volume pump. Which one should I use on this engine? Its not new anymore, so would it benefit any from a high volume or high pressure pump? Especially since I've drove it for a year with it knocking on start up? (bear in mind I may be replacing bearings while I have the engine out of the truck) At this point I am planning on using a standard Melling M68 oil pump.

Next is the timing set. Is a standard Cloyes C3004K timing set sufficient? They make a heavy duty set also which is double the price - is it worth it?

Now for the cam. I'm thinking its possible I could have a flat cam lobe causing the (possible) low compression on this engine, and whether that's the problem or not I am thinking of replacing the cam and using a Comp Cams 31-255-5.

The comp cams camquest software says i should be about 355 ft lb with this engine with that cam and the headers. Stock is 270 ft lb. Does this sound reasonable with a cam change and headers? Seems like a big jump to me.

Also, how well will the AOD hold up to the said 355ft lb?

Thanks in advance guys!

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Old 12-24-2012, 02:36 PM
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Typical worn rod bearing/crank journals. Rebuilt it, and grind the crank.
The slight miss can be a dirty injector, but do a compression test to be sure it isnt a low cylinder.
As far as a cam, no comment.I may have one later...after I look at the specs for what you posted.
A high volume pump will put all the oil up top in the engine ( at high RPM) and could cause a delivery problem, resulting in engine damage. A high pressure pump may wash the bearings out. When considering these choices for pumps, clearances need to be altered from stock and they need to be precise , like down to the 1/10,000 .
Keep it stock, run a RV type cam if your gonna tow, and use the 351W heads, as they are truck heads made for low speed and torque.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:56 PM
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I think your engine has a roller cam. If you run the 31-255-5 you will need different lifters and longer pushrods for a flat tappet setup.
Going from a roller to a flat tappet and vice versa will affect the ECM control and the driveability of the vehicle, and probably not in a good way.
Determine which setup you have , and just get an "enhanced" version of the roller or flat...depending on what you allready have.
You should be able to determine what your engine has in it by deciphering the Calibration code on the valve cover.
I would have to say , you probably have a roller cam in it.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:56 PM
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I think your engine has a roller cam. If you run the 31-255-5 you will need different lifters and longer pushrods for a flat tappet setup.
Going from a roller to a flat tappet and vice versa will affect the ECM control and the driveability of the vehicle, and probably not in a good way.
Determine which setup you have , and just get an "enhanced" version of the roller or flat...depending on what you allready have.
You should be able to determine what your engine has in it by deciphering the Calibration code on the valve cover.
I would have to say , you probably have a roller cam in it.
In 87 mustangs had just got roller cams. I do not think the trucks had them yet but i could be wrong i am not good with fords.

My 87 cougar was flat tappet and had a different firing order than mustangs. Also the aod is most likely toast at 130k with never having a rebuild you can buy a new one but they are not cheap. With 400ft lbs of tq it will come apart before too long in stock form even when they were new in 87. Best to plan a high performance rebuild for the trans as well.

You may want to go mass air and get the mustnag hi po motor before you get started. You can junk yard hunt one down and add in the mass air with new computer and some wirering. Then do a weekend swap with taking the truck off the road. Without heads dont expect a lot of hp out of the 302. A lot of rebuilds in the day replaced everything and only got 240hp out of the engine. So dont think your going big with stock heads and intake. Best to plan for close to stock rebuild with good parts.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:21 PM
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Ford retro-ed the block in 85 to accept roller lifters. The lifter bores were taller.
Not all cars were fitted with the roller setup, as the stock flat tappet cam would still fit and work correctly.
FHP mustangs had the roller in 85, as well as some other production vehicles. Trucks got them in 85 also, but mostly in California, then in 86+87 in the other 49 states as well.
An HO mustang uses a different firing order than a standard 5.0, and early (86) HO had sequential injection on pony cars, but trucks used batch fire injection. MAF setups were present by 1989 on all.
The AOD is a good trans and will hold up with most any streetable build that the small block can put out.
You will want to freshen it up, and replace the converter, so the OD/Lockup works good for plenty of miles to come.
The AOD is a spinoff of the FX and MX transmissions. The internals are the stronger MX rotating parts in a smaller FX type of case.
Are your Goals for a street truck or a tow rig ?
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:54 PM
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This is just a tow rig. To be honest id like to sell this extended cab truck and buy a diesel crew cab. I've had this truck on craigslist for probably 2 months now with no luck on selling it. Its a pretty nice looking truck, I am surprised it didn't sell fast. Doesn't seem like anything is selling very well right now tho. I've had my eye on several crew cabs in my price range on craigslist and they haven't sold either.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:01 PM
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Be patient and sell it . Just a few short weeks from now, Tax refunds will start rolling out, people will be buying low cost stuff.
It sounds like you need more of a tow rig than the F 150 can deliver. The F 150 is a good all around worker, but a F 250 with a diesel is a towmule all day long.
Price it to sell, have something lined up in the meanwhile.
Its a good looking truck, should be an easy sell.No rust?
Is that a pinto wagon next to it? LOL I thought they were all done.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:11 PM
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I have a pressure washing business that is still in its developing stage (hence why I am not in a newer truck). The equipment trailer probably weighs 6,000 or 7,000 pounds and is pulled frequently. This 5.0 pulls it pretty well, but of course anything I can do to make it better within reason I would like to do. I am sure that at some point it will sell but I don't know if i should go ahead and put the work and money into it (and possibly sell it for more) or keep trying to sell it as it is. Problem is that I drive it every day and have been since February with it knocking on start up and I suppose if i don't work on it the engine could go any time.

It would be nice to have a diesel tho. Ive got my eye on two 1990 F350 crew cab duallys both with auto trans and 7.3 diesels that id like to have if i can get rid of this truck in time. What would you say my truck is worth as is? Ive been trying to sell it for $1,700 hoping to get $1,500 out of it. I paid 1,500 for it a year ago and have put some money into it since then (all good parts, not cheapies).
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:19 PM
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Your price is right in line with its worth.
It should pull that trailer pretty well, especially since you dont really have any mountains like we do here in Pennsylvania.
Mybe you could find a decent core engine and build it a little at a time, then do a weekend swap on it. That way the truck isnt down for a long time.
Heck, you could buy an older clunker, like a big ol caddy or a crown vic and tow with that, while rebuilding the engine that is in it. That way you wouldnt be stuck dumping the old engine, just selling the beater car.
Lots of options here.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:37 PM
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I think I should just sell it and get the crew cab diesel I want as this 2dr extended cab is practically worthless to haul anyone in the back seat of. Its just getting someone to buy this truck while the trucks I found are still available. I don't have the money to buy them until this one sells.

I do have a 3/4 ton suburban i can use to pull the trailer when needed but i loaned it to my mom a year ago and haven't got it back yet lol! She said I can use it when I need it tho so I may tear this thing apart and work on it and use the suburban while the F150 is down. This time of year my business is especially slow so I may not even need a truck for a week or two anyways.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:44 PM
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Be patient and sell it . Just a few short weeks from now, Tax refunds will start rolling out, people will be buying low cost stuff.
It sounds like you need more of a tow rig than the F 150 can deliver. The F 150 is a good all around worker, but a F 250 with a diesel is a towmule all day long.
Price it to sell, have something lined up in the meanwhile.
Its a good looking truck, should be an easy sell.No rust?
Is that a pinto wagon next to it? LOL I thought they were all done.
Very little rust. The only rust is on the bottom of the extended cab portion of the truck on the drivers side. If you look closely you can see it. And yes the orange car beside it is a 1974 ford pinto stationwagon. I drive it sometimes just as kind of a toy. Its not good for much else. Its got a tired old carbureted 2.3 engine (for now ) and 4 speed non overdrive trans with 3.00 non locker 8" rear. My great grandma can walk faster than that thing can drive and shes 6 feet under. Only gets about 15mpg in town too. The F150 does almost as good with its V8 and 3.55 gears....

Anyways thats kind of off topic. I like this F150 but a diesel, 3/4 or 1 ton and especially a crew cab truck would really be better for me.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:59 PM
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The power stroke is a nice motor and the 250 will pull your 7000 pound trailer alot better. Better brakes and better power off the line for gently pulling away from lights without bouncing the trailer. I take it 5000 pounds is water? That is always a tuff load. Have you seen the heavy trailers for equipment that have brakes in the hitch. As the truck stops it applies the brakes with the pressurw from thw hitch more pressure more brakes. Works great for loads with lots of force against the truck.

250 and 350 usally have a little better range. Only stopping for gas once a day is nice or even every other day. Always sucks to take the trailer and crew into the gas station. Dual tanks can make it a once a week ordeal and also better access to deseil pumps than gas.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:25 PM
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The 7.3s I'm looking at are pre powerstroke 7.3 non turbos. Still 345ft lb @ 1,400 rpm verses 270 @ 2,400. Also my trailer holds about 2700# of water (330 gallons) and the rest is the trailer itself (1600#) plus the rest of the equipment. My trailer has electric brakes, not the hydraulic surge brakes you are in reference to. I dont know which one is better really but it seems to me that there are far more electric trailer brakes than hydraulic ones and the hydraulic ones are usually on lighter trailers like single axle boat trailers.

The 250 or 350 would definitely be a better truck. Better springs and better brakes for sure. This 150 does surprisingly well, but it could always be better with a diesel and better springs and brakes. Most older fords have dual tanks, including the 87 that I have now. I think it holds 32 or 33 gallons between the two tanks. With the trailer behind it I get maybe 10mpg on the highway. I think a diesel would benefit me in mileage as well although the fuel is higher.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:21 PM
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The 7.3s I'm looking at are pre powerstroke 7.3 non turbos. Still 345ft lb @ 1,400 rpm verses 270 @ 2,400. Also my trailer holds about 2700# of water (330 gallons) and the rest is the trailer itself (1600#) plus the rest of the equipment. My trailer has electric brakes, not the hydraulic surge brakes you are in reference to. I dont know which one is better really but it seems to me that there are far more electric trailer brakes than hydraulic ones and the hydraulic ones are usually on lighter trailers like single axle boat trailers.

The 250 or 350 would definitely be a better truck. Better springs and better brakes for sure. This 150 does surprisingly well, but it could always be better with a diesel and better springs and brakes. Most older fords have dual tanks, including the 87 that I have now. I think it holds 32 or 33 gallons between the two tanks. With the trailer behind it I get maybe 10mpg on the highway. I think a diesel would benefit me in mileage as well although the fuel is higher.
I see deseil is a lot more in the city but on the highway at the truck stops cheaper prices are not hard to find. Do you have any relation ship with local gas stations i worked for one that used to give discounts to all the local landscapers. Check with the local mom and pop shops that sell deseil they usally are willing to deal a little. But it was along time ago i worked at a gas station. LOL so might be out of date...

Hyd setup i used was for a large equipment trailer it was smoother than the electric but dont have any type of proper controller for the electric brakes. Made carring the backhoe alot easier with the lighter truck. It was rated at 15k pounds.

I thought the turbo was the way to go. I know if your thinking bio you want the newer power stroke. I think it gets a lot better milage and a bully dog programmer will give you plenty of power with nice smooth curve. I also think it has a wider power band. But im a big fan of turbos. I was thinking better trans cqme with the power stroke package. But i am not really sure abput the older models. Seems like the price is pretty reasonable either way with desiels you mostly pay for a service history more than the truck itself all things being equal. Proper service life is very important. Ppl dont like expensive oil changes and the motors dont like going with out it. Better to caugh up cash for one thats lived at the dealer on someone elses dime than to get someone else problems.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:53 AM
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I think that you you should keep on looking for a diesel i think that you will be better of & a lot happier.
Does it have to be a ford ? what about a dodge with a cummins, or a chevy ?
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