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Old 12-19-2005, 12:50 PM
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Need new engine and trans.

Hi and thanks in advance for any advise. I have a 1986 Chev 3+3 crew cab with a350 v8 and 700r trans , both are shot. I am considering an inline 6 and new auto trans.for milage purposes. The truck has a 4:10 rearend. Will I have enough power?

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Old 12-19-2005, 02:07 PM
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What do you think?
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:36 PM
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what is the biggest inline 6 they make these days? its hard to imagine that you can find one big enough to fit the bill....a v6 may marginally fit the bill. i think another 350 would be a good choice, and if you want better gas mileage lose that rear end and get a smaller truck.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:54 PM
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A good tight trans and sound engine of the 350 size is right in that truck..use a quadrajet carb for the small primaries and a torque cam that pulls hard in the 2000-3500 range and you will get as good as that thing will give you..

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:59 PM
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A six won't get any better will have to work much harder to do the same work....go with the 350/OD trans.
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:48 AM
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I have to agree. A large vehicle with a small engine doesn't necessarily get better mileage. The 4.10 gears don't help -- sounds like it's got a tow package. Stick with the 350, and EFI will help if it's a carb engine. Otherwise as atated before, a small 4V (no more than 600 cfm) will help with mileage and low end torque, which is what you need for a truck. A larger carb will improve high rpm hp, but at the expense of low end torque. You can't have everything! But how often will you be revving up the truck for a street race?? More likely towing the race car! So the small carb (smaller primaries make more torque at low speeds) and an "RV" grind cam will help with the mileage, and if you're not towing heavy loads, 3.73 gears would help a little. Don't go any higher though. The engine would have to work harder to get the truck moving, with say a 3.55, so you'd lose out in city driving though you'd gain a couple mpg on the highway. With no load 3.73 should gain you a little, but unless you drive a lot the cost might not be worth it. About $500 for gears and to have someone set them up -- you pull the axle and take to them if they can't do it in vehicle (many will). So it woud take a couple years of driving to get the pay back. You might consider a smaller truck. Gas may be $3 a gallon at the start of the summer, and will surely be more (maybe as much as $4) by the end.
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:17 AM
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Go Back V8

in 91 I ordered a Ford F150 long box super cab 2x4 EFI straight 6 with a 5 speed tranny (the 6 had a lota torq outa the hole). butt the mileage sucked, I sold it ! and ordered a 93 Ford F150 long box, super cab 4x4 with a 351 (5.8) V8 an a auto tranny, [I]the 4x4 with a V8 had more power and did about 4 to 6mpg better than the 6 cylinder 4x2. I tried this with a 88 4 cylinder Ford Ranger p/u mileage on it sucked too. when I get a work/tow or hard used vehicle now, I get the biggest V8 I can.

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Old 12-22-2005, 12:48 AM
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If you want an inline six and good mileage, you're talking about a 12v Cummins. Killer power, 25+ mpg, and 300k-mile reliability. Can't say the same about the Dodge auto tranny you'd most likely put behind it

The 12v would be a super easy swap since it has no electronics. Just install, give it fuel, adapt the wiring for the starter and fuel solenoid and go. There are aftermarket companies that make swap mounts for Chevy trucks, and even adapters that would let you put pretty much any tranny behind it. You could also take advantage of the fact that the Cummins is cast with an SAE#3 bolt pattern, opening up an entire world of commercial Eaton, Allison, Dana, and Spicer transmissions in anywhere from two to six forward ratios, optional PTO outputs for hydraulics, winches, air compressors, generators, and welders.
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