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Engines...how loyal are you?

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Poll Question: How Ford does your Ford have to be?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
1 [1.56%]
8 [12.50%]
38 [59.38%]
10 [15.63%]
7 [10.94%]
0 [0.00%]
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occupant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Engines...how loyal are you?
    Posted: 20-November-2014 at 2:52PM
The basis for this poll is some activity on some of the Facebook groups I'm a member of, specifically, people complaining about LS swaps in Ford products.

I'm of the opinion that if I'm able to get my hands on another 74-76 Gran Torino sedan or wagon, that I will not be interested in going through all the trouble of installing a 302/351 engine, adding fuel injection, finding an AOD that isn't shot, fabricating all the things to mount it, linkage up to it, and rewire everything, just to have an engine that is slightly better than what the car had stock. Ford dropped the ball in my opinion with the Modular engines. They're too wide to fit anything worth putting them into. They're not pushrod engines. They aren't nearly as efficient as some other engines.

I would be much more likely to install an EFI 318 Chrysler engine and 44RE automatic. Or more likely than that, the 4.8 or 5.3 liter Chevy LS engine and a 4L60E automatic. I've been quite impressed by the driving qualities of my Suburban (and my wife's Durango we had before it). Those engines in a lighter, lower, longer vehicle would provide better performance, better economy, and be easier to find parts for.

I'm not saying I don't like Ford engines. I was happy with the 351C in place of the 351M in my '76 sedan. I even liked the 351M for what it was, just not for its voracious fuel and oil appetite. The Cleveland sounded great, pulled good, and once I dealt with the starter and distributor issues, easy to start and run. I also like the EFI 302 and 351W engines for the same reasons, but also know they would be on the same level of difficulty swapping them as swapping in anything else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gpd294 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2014 at 3:19PM
In my humble opinion, theres nothing worse than looking under a hood of a FORD and not seeing FORD blue'
Carlos....1975 Gran Torino Squire Station Wagon restored to look like a 1973 Torino Station

Wagon my Dad bought new from McAnary Ford on June 6, 1973 in Gary,Indiana
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2014 at 3:25PM
To swap any engine into an older Ford that isn't bone stock, or plug and play, that will require similar amounts of wiring modifications, plus various amounts of non stock accessories and brackets, transmission issues etc.

So it should really come down to the potential of the engine/trans, and how true to a Ford or manufacturer you are.

I don't consider any non Ford engine worthy for any Ford of mine, period. The Cleveland engine design is the best ever made by anyone, to this day(except for variable cam timing technology). All NASCAR engines have Cleveland based heads, including the POS Toyotas which don't even sell a pushrod engine V8.

The latest modular Fords are finally competitive after 20+ years of redesigns and development. They finally make decent HP/liter for an OHC engine. If I had to pick a fully modern latest super efficient engine, it would be those new Ford engines. But I think that level of wiring and to include the needed sensors and components, it's too much for me to put in an older car. Thus even if I would consider the LS, it too would beg to have the latest versions, with the same new wiring etc, no thanks.

But I do love the Cleveland heads, and given the right match of head/intake/cam etc, they can be very sweet.

I will build a 302 based Clevor stroker, using CHI 185 or 215 3V heads, using a stock 96-98 Explorer operating system, PCM/wiring/trans, and the front accessories. Those parts are still readily available, and not expensive at all. Modifying the wiring to adapt to the old Ford will not be plug and play, but it will not be a big deal to alter the engine bay harness etc, or replace it completely(modified of course) with one from an Explorer. With EFI and 352 CI, I expect 500hp at under 6500rpm.

Other people will choose to build 408-427's for less money(stock Windsor block), and end up with closer to 600hp. I'm not thrilled with the idea of a big monster 460/512+ engine and carb, and have to deal with that weight, fuel mileage and the carb driveability. I'm sold on EFI, it's worth it when you get it done and right. Regards,


Edited by 72 RS 351 - 20-November-2014 at 3:31PM
Don

73 Ranchero with a 72 Sport front end, parked since 1990
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GTW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2014 at 3:28PM
I voted anything in anything, but I've been holding out for a 302 in the wagon. Got plenty of GM engines laying around we could toss in, though. If I didn't feel like cutting the shock towers out of the Maverick I wouldn't mind slapping something else in there too. The 2JZ Maverick is pure greatness.
Griffin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Regul8r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2014 at 3:36PM
FORD PERIOD!
 
Pop the hood on your Ford and I see a Chebby... I have NO DESIRE to even look at that car again!
 
At the Street Rod Nationals I see all the old Ford T-Buckets, Model A's etc... Then I see those damn side by side 2 center header pipes... no need to look at or investigate that sh*t any more, walk on by!
I'll actually tune out a guy who while talking says he has a Chebby in his Ford... Convo DONE, peace out, later!!!
 
I like a couple chebbys but NO CROSSBREEDING!!!
I don't even like Fords in Chebby!
 
As for putting an LS because it is better or easier... NOT!
same issues with an LS as upping to EFI.
Wiring, mounts, driveshafts, headers, exhaust etc...
The money and time you spend trying to put an LS/Tranny in a Ford, I could build a ford motor and everything bolts right up!
 
just my opinion, but hey, do whatever floats your boat!
Carl Corey (Moderator/Event Coordinator) Contact ANYTIME!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GTW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-November-2014 at 3:45PM
I'll go ahead and say that I'm also on the "LS all the things" boat. 

Who knows, I might have the first LS powered Gran Torino Embarrassed


Edited by GTW - 20-November-2014 at 3:46PM
Griffin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kychevyguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 12:35AM
As some of you know me well enough to know that I am not a hater of any one specific brand. (Well, maybe Nissan due to a past issue with a lemon and how corp handled the situation.) I like all brands and each have their place. The LS series of engines from GM  is a great engine to transplant into almost anything that General Motors makes. I think the engine mfr should match the car mfr though. I have never liked seeing a small block chevy in between the fenders of a FoMoCo product. This includes the iconic 32 Ford roadster. I am fully aware that the aftermarket had 5 times the parts available for the small block chevy versus ford. But I feel that a Ford vehicle should still have a Ford running gear (whether a newer version with AOD and FI, or an old flathead.) Keep a Ford in a Ford. Keep a Chevy in a Chevy. Keep a Mopar in a Mopar.

I'm saying this to my Ford buddies, just as I say it to my Chevy buddies; life is too short to be hatin on any one group of car. There are Ford haters, just as there are Chevy haters. 
JT, USAF Ret.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 3:00AM
Ah, the conundrum of it all.

As some on here know, I have had dismal luck with almost every Chevrolet I have ever owned. From my first car (a 1977 Vega) to the asinine '65 Malibu SS sitting under my carport. The only Chevrolet I've had good service out of was Stranger (my 1989 S10 with the Ranger Splash bed). I loved that truck and C and I were visibly upset when it drove away.

That being said, I have had issues with my classic Fords of late. Some from sitting idle, some from poor parts, some from just poor Ford engineering. I am not alone, as every meet we've had, someone has had issues with their car. I understand that we are dealing with 70's technology, but come on - none are original cars with all original parts. That points to an engineering or design issue. I am also not a fan of Big Block engines - too heavy, too thirsty, generate too much heat. A properly built small block with a power adder will suck the pistons out of a big block for the same coin. Argue if you want, but give me a budget of $4k to build either, install in identical vehicles and the small block will win.

I, too, won't look at an older Ford or Mopar with a 1st or 2nd gen Chevrolet engine. It is basically a travesty in my eyes. I do appreciate an old Olds, Buick, or Cadillac stuffed between the fenders of an old rod. Different and cool. I am also a fan of the Mopar engines (with the exception of the 4.7),and have owned many - from the 2.2's all the way to the 440's. A 318 (5.2 liter) and the Jeep 4.0 are as bulletproof and receptive to mods as any engine ever made. 400K miles on a Jeep 4.0 is not uncommon - that speaks for itself. That engine was initially designed by AMC, but vastly improved by Mopar.

The Modular Fords. I've seen them with 300K running well and 30K grenaded. Upkeep is key, but these earlier engines had horrific design flaws. Plug threads in heads not sufficient to hold a plug in? WTF? Head gasket issues? Really? Intake manifolds eating themselves? Ridiculous. I have an '03 CVPI (4.6) and an '01 F150 (5.4) - both over 200K, but maintained extremely well...and lucky, too. Did I mention their width? I know why Ford designed them this way, but their thinking was flawed. Coyote engines have great promise, but I'll wait to see one with 200K. Haven't yet. Ford AOD transmission? If it is stock, it is poorly designed and a ticking bomb. Modified and rebuilt, it is awesome.

The LS engines. Yes, a Chevrolet engine, but undeniably better designed than it's counterparts. The GM AOD's? Vastly better than Ford. From the initial 700R all the way to the current versions. You can buy a boneyard 5.3, clean it up, slap on a turbo or supercharger and watch 500+ horsepower on the dyno. Day in, day out and 20 mpg. Compactly designed, beautifully packaged, and cheap. Recipe for success and popularity.

Now, what are my preferences? Varied. My 4 speed will always have a Cleveland between it's fenders. My '76 will always have a Windsor between it's fenders. The red wagon..., well, I have the opportunity to cross-breed it with an LS drivetrain. Will I do it? I have not decided, but I will say that one of the wagons will have an LS drivetrain in it and the other will have a built 5.0 and a 5 speed.

Put your emotions aside for a moment and hear me out:

The brown wagon has it's 429 and C6. Over half a ton of heat generating, emission-strangled, poorly-designed, inefficiently accessorized cast iron lard. Barely over 200 horsepower pulling a 2.5 ton automobile with a power-gobbling 3 speed automatic and a 4:10 rear end. If you looked at the specs on a sheet of paper, you'd think it was designed in a 3rd world country. Yank all that dead weight out, get a drivetrain that weighs two-thirds that amount with 400 horsepower, highly efficient overdrive transmission, better accessories and stupendously better reliability and economy. Paint it Blue, install fake valve covers over the coil packs and voila! Something you'll want to drive every day BECAUSE YOU CAN. Still the same Ford wagon with the ill-fitting panels, no-support seats, and cushy ride, but now 2X as powerful, better handling, unleaded/E85 fuel friendly, and 20 mpg+. Hit the loud pedal and you can torch the tires for far less than a build on that old 429. If it bothers you so much, just don't open the hood. In fact, you probably won't need to unless it is ready for an oil change.

Perhaps I am getting older. Perhaps I am getting smarter. I don't know. However, what I do know is that I love driving my old cars. Repeat, I love driving my old cars. I don't love seeing them sit in the driveway with a tow rope dangling beneath them. I don't love standing beside them on a highway in the heat or cold waiting on a ride. I don't love driving away from them sitting on that road - all alone and vulnerable. I don't love spending hours tracing down the reason why they only run when I'm alone and then take a big sh!t when I'm surrounded by people. If I can circumvent that by simply doing an drivetrain swap once and then enjoy that car for years and years without the mad scramble before a trip and piling tools/parts/fluids in the rear, I'm gonna do it.

Sorry to be so long, but heck, guys. Would we drive our Ford engines to a meet powering a box van? Nope. We drive our Torinos, Galaxies, Falcons, F100's, Mavericks, Pintos, Montegos, etc to shows and meets. It's the cars, boys, the cars.

**Let me clarify my opinion by stating that my wagons are not valuable vehicles - therefore originality is not a concern. However, on a collector car or a "required numbers-matching" vehicle to maintain it's monetary value, by all means, stay with the original type drivetrain **





Edited by unlovedford - 21-November-2014 at 9:14AM
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mkshelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 6:30AM
Here here Joe!
"Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually UNinventing the wheel"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 6:46AM
No love for Coyotes? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 7:26AM
I love the Coyotes. Just not sure of the durability. Installing a Coyote drivetrain in a Torino-based car would be horrifically expensive, though.
Joe
1972 GTSquire Wagon
1972 Torino Wagon
1976 Torino       
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1972 Torino 460
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 7:29AM
I've driven a lot of cars and like a little something about all of them.Not enough to cross swap manufacturers though. For me it's an identity issue.  
I'll always prefer Fords but my daily driver right now is a supercharged Buick. Far better than the old escort wagon I was using. Heated seats in the winter are too damned awesome. LOL 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 7:48AM
I love most all American car makers, especially classic and muscle cars.  I like imports too.  But, I can't stand to see a non-matching drivetrain.  It just don't seem right.
Jeff

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GTW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 10:01AM
Originally posted by lynchster lynchster wrote:

I've driven a lot of cars and like a little something about all of them.Not enough to cross swap manufacturers though. For me it's an identity issue.  
I'll always prefer Fords but my daily driver right now is a supercharged Buick. Far better than the old escort wagon I was using. Heated seats in the winter are too damned awesome. LOL 

3800? I wouldn't ever be worried about one breaking. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 12:39PM
Swapped a lot of engines, usually fords in fords, mopars in mopars, and GM in GM (alls fair in GM swaps, Buicks in chevys, caddys in buicks, pontiacs etc) but really, how is swapping a 302 into a Volvo any worse than pulling the Isuzu 4 out of a Chevette to put in an Iron Duke, or a G.M. 2.8?(or a small-block, a big-block,)
Once you decide to swap out the engine for something that wasn't offered (and doesn't fit anyway) then the car isn't original, If you will have to fabricate parts either way...what's the difference..
I will admit I'm bored with small-block chevys, but I saw a T-bucket with a slant 6, that was neat! Sometimes weird is fun!
In the end, it's your car, and YOU have to live with it. Do what makes YOU happy.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 1:43PM
Confused oh boy! this could turn into a hundred page thread! i own and like many different cars. i've probably worked on most of them and drove most of them some i like some i don't. i'll drive old cars till the day i die! love em, more style easy to work on simple (fix one on the side of the road and get going) these new cars with all this electronic sh*t??? try fixing that on the side of the road! hell it'll take you three days just to find the engine under all that crap!
 i'll agree with joe on the sb vs bb
JOHN
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-November-2014 at 2:48PM
Originally posted by unlovedford unlovedford wrote:

I love the Coyotes. Just not sure of the durability. Installing a Coyote drivetrain in a Torino-based car would be horrifically expensive, though.


I don't know about the reliability of them, they are new though.


But I can point you to a place that very likely could provide the engine and all supporting pieces. I'm trying to find the time to drive back to the place near Madisonville, as they have the 99-04 Mustang wiring that I need to convert my Lincoln to OBDII.

I've seen them with super low mileage wrecked Mustangs, and finished to nearly finished one and two year old Mustangs, plus Lightning drivetrains stuck in a corner etc. I have no doubt they can get the drivetrain of choice for a late Ford. Pricing would be as expected for that kind of almost new hot engine etc, figure $6k and up.

The LS stuff is becoming cheaper for the same reason all Fox Mustang parts blew away all comparable Chevy parts back in those days. The newest Ford stuff is still new enough and rare, such that it will take a few years to bring the prices down. Chevy invested tons of millions of dollars into saving their pushrod engines, titanium rods and aluminum blocks being stock parts in some, that mass production is what brought the prices down.

Ford could have done that, and given how huge they made the modular engines versus the displacement, I would rather have kept the pushrods. The engines should be smaller outside, not bigger, and with more size potential.
Don

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-November-2014 at 10:15AM
The Chrysler 4.7 with the overhead cams is a LOT smaller than the ford 4.6, so it's not just the overhead cams. The mod motors are just large, godawful overcomplicated, and too much bother to swap into the torino chassis, for a motor that makes about the same HP as a 302, but has nowhere near the low RPM torque.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-November-2014 at 2:08AM
There are some Ford engine swaps I want to try.

I want to put a 2.3 Duratec and a T-5 manual into a Falcon/Fairlane sized car.

I want to put a 3.0 Vulcan V6 and A4LD into a 68-69 Ranchero.

I want to put a 5.0 Explorer V8 and 4R70W into a 74-76 Gran Torino wagon.

But if I'm going to build another 74-76 Gran Torino sedan, it's probably getting a 4.8 or 5.3 LS engine, 4L60E automatic, 3.00 or 3.08 gearing, and I can get a tailshaft to use a regular speedometer cable and not do custom gauges, yet still keep the VSS signal to keep the computer happy. The only custom wiring I'll need will be things like the temperature gauge and the fuel gauge, and then making the ignition switch work with the GM setup. A couple hundred bucks for a tuner and I can get the LS's computer reflashed to remove the security system, set rev and speed limits, move shift points to match the Torino's tire size, et cetera. Heck, I may be able to do most of it with the cable set I have now.

However, I'll probably do an LS swap into another GM vehicle first. Missed a chance to get a free '78 Caprice wagon so I'm looking for something similar. Would actually love an Olds 98 or Buick Park Avenue coupe from the early 80s to do it, but wouldn't turn down any B-body, 77-89. The knowledge and experience I gain from that should make doing it in a Ford product that much simpler.

Joe has the right idea. If you don't like it, don't open the hood and look. Besides, there are ways to make an LS motor look like anything else.

  • Remove the Vortec engine cover up top
  • Use a Ford airbox from say, a Crown Vic
  • Relocate the coil packs somewhere else under the hood
  • Use a Ford oil cap (they might fit?)
  • Put on an engine cover from a Crown Vic (98-02 or the newer style)
  • Relocate the alternator somewhere else rather than up top
  • Finned valve covers wouldn't look bad...


Anyway, the stock LS valve covers are just as generic as the modular motors. Powdercoat them whatever shade of Ford blue you want, there are two styles and both are easy enough to shave smooth and recolor:



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-November-2014 at 4:58AM
I was one of the people who voted "anything in anything" because there are some sweet builds out there with extremely knowledgeable owners who have perfectly legit reasons to mix it up a bit. To write off those builds purely because of the crossbreed setup would be ignorant. I'd be much quicker to loose interest in a build that has an owner who doesn't know the intricacies of the wiring harness, cam specs, gear ratios, or chassis setup. The muscle car world seems much less accepting of the manufacture mix-ups compared to the other genres of car enthusiasts. The driving factor of this seems to be the same thing that drives die-hard sports fans. I respect this kind of manufacturer competition and recognize that it has birthed things like the GT500, GT40, Hellcat, Viper, Z06, and Z28. I proudly take part in the Mustang vs. Camaro debate among my friends fueled by a nights supply of cold beers. I'm also proud to say those same debates usually evolve into radical build concepts involving crazy drive-train swaps between manufactures. I can't imagine how many of the same exciting conversations between the engineers at "company A" about "company B" led to the development of a new idea evolved from some of "company B's" technology. All internal engine concepts are just products of steady evolution from generation to generation between all manufactures. Because of my appreciation for this progression in technology I would never call myself a "Ford" or "Honda" guy, just simply a "car" guy.
-Billy Conturo
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