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Old 10-17-2010, 09:38 AM
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Truck good buy? Fit goals?

I was wondering if I made a good purchase, I am feeling a little bit of buyers remorse...

Truck is a 1981 ford F-350 108,000mi
2wd with a C6 trans
Dually Standard cab with 8' box

I have been told that it is a 400ci engine (is this a M or a FE block?) that has been machined and rebuilt with 460 heads 750 edelbrock carb, comp cam that is rated 1500-5500rpm, 10:1 compression ratio (don't know if that was because of a machined block or different pistons) (also has some lifters that take away engine lope at idle but puts it back when the engine oil pressure higher when the RPMs are higher) High flow oil pump

Has a brake man in the truck with a pretty good hitch on the back

Why such a built engine in the truck? the guy used the truck to tow his race car. He was a shop machinest and built the block to put into the truck.

So why did I buy it?- I was looking for a landscaping truck that I can haul landscaping tear out and other heavy stuff and pull trailers. Currently I own a 1998 F150 truck and works for most stuff but 1/2 ton just doesn't get the job done sometimes. I thought this would help out and fill the void.

Why am I feeling a little bit buyers remorse? After I bought the truck I was told by someone else that these trucks just sucks fuel and when driving on highway doing 65-70mph I am not going to see the fuel economy that other trucks are seeing. Plus it is an old truck that would possibly brake down, engine isn't evolved as new trucks, It is geared wrong for the highway. Just got me thinking twice about the truck.

So the question is would this truck fit my goals or should I resell it and find something newer and with a dump box already? Just to let you know it is not going to be used for plowing snow.

I think the cam in the truck is a little too radical, Should I change it to a towing cam? The people who owned it before loved that it was a race engine and thought the power at 3000rpm was wonderful told me to keep it. But for towing around trailers, hauling heavy loads I am thinking that a normal, stock or towing cam would be better (possibly better MPG?)


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Old 10-17-2010, 10:47 AM
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it will get between 10 and 15 mpg most likely, not the best if that's what your worried about.. it will be reliable tho, and if anything goes wrong, it will be an easy/ cheap fix.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:23 AM
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That is what I am kind of worried about, I would be happy with 10-15. Thats about what my 1998 F150 5.4L gets
As long as it is kind of comparable with a Newer Ford V10
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:00 PM
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Instead of beating yourself up about this truck, try using it for a while, stop listening to other people there just guessing, use it and know for sure.
Good luck,
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:23 PM
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It would be a 400 M . 460 heads dont fit it either. They were not known for fuel economy. As long as it runs good ,drive it a while like the others said. Looks pretty decent shape for 1200 bucks.
Did you do a compression test before you bought it?
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:48 PM
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I don't really want or need a 1-ton dually. I already have an 80's half ton. I'd much prefer a king or crew cab. Though 400M's are pretty competent engines, I've never really liked them or wanted one. That said, had I been there I would have knocked you down to get my $1200 to the man first.
It's looks pretty good in the rust department. A 400M is actually a good choice for a mid-sized engine for towing and hauling. An "RV/economy" type cam generally makes them even better. If you have need for such a truck, it looks to be a deal.
460's and 400's are completely incompatible. The only engine vaguely related to the 351/400M's is the 351 Cleveland. It may be that he meant he put Cleveland heads on it? That should be interesting. if so then too moderate of a cam wouldn't be the best thing to do.
Son in law is shopping for another truck. Near as we can tell, a truck like you just bought doesn't exist around here for twice that much money.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:54 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the money spent, it looks like a great deal. $1,200 for a truck that's in good shape with newer rebuilt motor is a steal. I don't know much about ford engines, but I do not see why at least 14 mpg would not be possible. My old chevy with a 454, no overdrive, turning 3,000 rpm on the highway at 60 mph sees no worse than 12 mpg.
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