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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    6,253

    Default 400 build for a Truck

    Anybody here build up a truck 400 engine?

    I've had my truck 11 years, and I really only don't drive it much because of a lack of a/c, hard starts, and really really bad gas mileage (10-11 mpg). I figured with my Mustang almost done, I'll soon start working on the truck some more. Number one priority is an aftermarket a/c kit. I've been saying that for years, but this is the year. Next priority will be engine work. How much engine work remains to be seen, but I'm feeling out my options.

    I have a 351M in my 78 F-150. A few months back I bought headers and dual exhaust from Alex for it, and we discussed an alum intake and Holley 4-v for it.

    However, I'm thinking that may not be enough. I'm now thinking of either gutting the block and putting in a 400 crank and pistons and changing the cam too, or picking up a 400 off Craigslist and doing a complete rebuild.

    From what I've read, the 351M/400 had very low compression ratios, and I can get a big boost by using some pop-up pistons and/or closed chamber 351C or aussie heads. I'm trying to track down what's available in aftermarket alum heads.

    So I'm looking for suggestions for heads and cam. I do plan on buying from Alex when the time comes, but not sure about time frame so I don't want to burden him with tire kicking right now.

    Goal is to take advantage of the 400 cubic inches and letting it breath, while also having a good reliable street/towing/hauling truck.

    Transmission was recently rebuilt with a towing shift kit, transfer case rebuilt at same time, and rear end rebuilt some time ago but still solid.
    M&M Original Member #537
    68 Fastback, J-code 302 4-v, my baby, owned since Jan 1994

    Got a question about Mustang fold down seats or need some fold down seat parts?
    check out http://www.folddownseat.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    C-BURG,PA.
    Posts
    4,350

    Default

    A tech article that i had saved.Be especially advised about the cracked water jacket problem.Personally i like this series but the fuel mileage was poor and build accessories are expensive,but there are some fun things to do.
    There was a build in one of the magazines sometime back that i'll look up,i think they got over 500hp out of one of these?
    http://www.projectbronco.com/Technic...the_rumors.htm


    Found the build.
    http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/e...ild/index.html
    Of coase i'd talk it over with Alex.
    Phil
    Friends are like wedgies..They know your inner self..They're intimately close..And it feels great when you pick out a good one.
    RIP DAD 1/12/22-12/19/11

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Gilman, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,138

    Default

    A 460 should bolt right up, why not go with something a little bigger and just as cheap if not cheaper with more potential? I'm 99% sure a 385 series engine should bolt up to a original 351M or 400 tranny. Should still have the swap motor mounts from my Bronco if you want them. Also put one in a F250 highboy that had a 400 in it. More cubes make a 514
    Find 'em and Grind 'em!

    1965 Poppy Red / Ultra Orange Three Peddle Stang - Built Not Bought!
    2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle Stang - 12 valve
    Current CI Count - 82, got two back

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    La Porte IN, USA
    Posts
    39,087

    Default

    From a economics and power gain vs $ investment stand point I would suggest freshening and upgrading the 351.


    Alex Denysenko
    Co-Administrator

    NHRA/IHRA/NMCA member and licensed Superstock driver
    NHRA and IHRA SS/LA & SS/MA National Record Holder 99','00,'01,'02,'03,'04,'05 & '06
    First NHRA & IHRA 289 automatic Superstock Mustang in the TENS 06-99
    First SS/MA in the TENS 04-03
    5 time IHRA division 5 Superstock Champion
    Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28

    The Barry of BarrysGrrl

    Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
    Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
    Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
    Quote #4: "Go fast or go home!"
    Quote#5:" No Brag,Just Fact!"
    www.moneymakerracing.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,291

    Default

    > From what I've read, the 351M/400 had very low compression ratios

    Yes.

    > and I can get a big boost by using some pop-up pistons

    You don't need to pop up pistons to get decent compression ratios.
    TMeyer has a selection of pistons for the 351M/400. See:

    http://www.tmeyerinc.com/pistoncompare.html

    > closed chamber 351C or aussie heads.

    Closed chamber heads (Aussie 302C or any of the aftermarket aluminum 2V
    heads) will tolerate a higher compression ratio on the same octane fuel.

    > I'm trying to track down what's available in aftermarket alum heads.

    There is quite a selection these days in aluminum 2V port heads:

    Edelbrock
    TFS
    AFD
    CHI

    I'll make a post later on the details on these heads but let me say
    that the exchange rate has hurt the Australian made AFD and CHI heads.
    Currently, the best bang for the buck are the TFS 2V heads. They are
    available for $1053.98 per pair bare and from $1895.95 to 2095.95 per
    pair assembled (depending upon the spring package). TFS also do CNC
    ported versions that range from $2399.95 to $2749.95 per pair assembled.

    > So I'm looking for suggestions for heads and cam.
    > Goal is to take advantage of the 400 cubic inches and
    > letting it breath, while also having a good reliable
    > street/towing/hauling truck.

    What's the intended RPM range? What stall speed, final drive ratio and
    tire diameter?

    We recently finished dyno testing a 393C with closed chamber iron Aussie 2V
    heads with a variety of intake manifolds. The results should be applicable
    to your situation. The custom cam I designed for the 393C made around the
    same power as an earlier 408C with ported 4V heads (but an unoptimized cam),
    despite being down 100 CFM on the intake side. I'm still writing up the
    results of the testing but will post the results when I find the time.

    You will want a pair of decent headers (1 3/4 primary with 3" collectors
    with any of the aftermarket heads) and especially a pair of very good
    mufflers (3" inlet/outlet Magnaflows or similar).

    On the intake side, you have several options for 2V heads. You can run
    spacers and any of the 351C-2V intakes or can run one of the 351M/400
    aftermarket intakes:

    Edelbrock S.P.2.P. 400 (P/N 3370)
    - low rise (A=3.5", B=4.9") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-4000 rpm
    - no longer in production
    - low rpm type economy manifold with smaller than stock runners

    Edelbrock S.P.2.P. 400-2V (P/N 5171)
    - low rise (A=3.7", B=4.95") dual plane with Holley 2BBL carb bolt pattern
    - CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-4000 rpm
    - no longer in production
    - low rpm type economy manifold with smaller than stock runners

    Edelbrock Streetmaster (P/N 3190)
    - need info

    Edelbrock Performer 400 Non-EGR (P/N 2171)
    - low rise (A=3.6", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - not CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-5500
    - installation notes from Edelbrock catalog : choke block-off plate #8971
    included, recommended intake gasket: Fel-Pro #MS96020.

    Edelbrock Performer 400 EGR (P/N 3771)
    - low rise (A=3.6", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-5500
    - completely different casting from 400 non-EGR
    - can be used in three configurations:
    1. OEM 2V carb and EGR system with supplied 2V EGR spacer
    2. 4V EGR system with either an Edelbrock #8053 4V EGR spacer,
    or an Edelbrock #8017 and Ford #E4ZZ9A-589E 4V EGR spacer
    3. Non-EGR 4V system with an Edelbrock #8714 adapter.
    - installation notes from Edelbrock catalog: recommended intake gasket:
    Fel-Pro #MS96020.

    Holley Street Dominator 351M-400 (P/N 300-20 or is it 301-14?)
    - low rise, open plenum, single plane
    - Holley/Carter standard 4 BBL and *Motorcraft* 4300D spreadbore carb bolt pattern
    - advertised rpm range: idle-5500
    - CARB emissions approved

    Offenhauser Dual Port 400 (P/N 6033-DP)
    - low rise dual port with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - not CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-???
    - '71 later 400

    Offenhauser Dual Port 400 (6034-DP)
    - low rise dual port with spread bore carb bolt pattern
    - not CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-???

    Offenhauser Dual Port 351M (P/N 6141-DP)
    - low rise dual port with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - not CARB emissions approved
    - advertised RPM range: idle-???
    - '75 and later 351M

    Weiand Action Plus 351M/400 Series (P/N 8010)
    - low rise (A=3.75", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - not CARB emissions approved (no EGR)
    - advertised RPM range: idle-6000
    - renamed Stealth after Holley purchased Weiand
    - 24 lbs shipping weight
    - idle to 6000 rpm

    Weiand Stealth 351M/400 Series (P/N 8310)
    - same as 8010 but with EGR spacer plate
    - low rise (A=3.75", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
    - advertised RPM range: idle-6000
    - When Holley took over Weiand, they sold the Action Plus under this name for a while,
    not sure if it is still available

    Weiand 351C-2V intake manifold to 400 block spacers (P/N 8205)
    Price Motorsport Engineering (PME) also has spacers (for 2V and 4V)

    In our testing of the 2V headed 393C, the single planes like the
    Holley Street Dominator did better than the best of the dual planes,
    including the Performer RPM Air Gap. That was a bit of a surprise
    given how well the Air Gap did in previous testing on a 351C-4V
    and a 408C with CHI 4V heads. Upon reflection, with the 393C,
    the cylinder head intake ports were the limiting factor (220 CFM
    while the exhaust made 200 CFM) and, with the cubes, the dual
    plane plenum effect wasn't of any use so the less restrictive
    single planes were best. With less cam and a heavier vehicle like
    your truck, a dual plane or dual port intake might be best. If I
    had iron 2V heads and was after the best fuel economy and throttle
    response, I'd try the spreadbore version of the Offenhauser Dual
    Port with a Carter ThermoQuad or Quadrajet. However, the Offy
    Dual Port is quite restrictive at higher RPM so I can't see using
    it on an engine with better heads. One combo that might work
    surprisingly well would be the Holley Street Dominator single plane
    with a Predator variable venturi carb. A friend ran a similar combo
    on a stroked 351C (Predator on a Holly Strip Dominator) and it was
    better across the RPM band, even at low RPM, than standard intakes
    with a conventional Holley 4150. Previous dyno testing has shown
    that certain intakes can be quite sensitive to minor plenum work
    and carb spacers.

    > http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/e...ild/index.html

    Cutting a flat top piston with notches required for Cleveland
    canted valves can leave the pistons thin in spots and can be
    risky.

    Wish you were closer as I have a 400, along with Holley, Weiand and
    Edelbrock 351M/400 intakes and other bits that would be interesting
    to test on the dyno.

    More later,
    Dan Jones

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    6,253

    Default

    Wow Dan, 3 gold stars for informative post, that was awesome!

    I suspect my best bet is to just call Alex when I'm ready and get everything I need in one shot.
    M&M Original Member #537
    68 Fastback, J-code 302 4-v, my baby, owned since Jan 1994

    Got a question about Mustang fold down seats or need some fold down seat parts?
    check out http://www.folddownseat.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    La Porte IN, USA
    Posts
    39,087

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sigtauenus View Post
    Wow Dan, 3 gold stars for informative post, that was awesome!

    .

    Well, that's just Dan.


    Alex Denysenko
    Co-Administrator

    NHRA/IHRA/NMCA member and licensed Superstock driver
    NHRA and IHRA SS/LA & SS/MA National Record Holder 99','00,'01,'02,'03,'04,'05 & '06
    First NHRA & IHRA 289 automatic Superstock Mustang in the TENS 06-99
    First SS/MA in the TENS 04-03
    5 time IHRA division 5 Superstock Champion
    Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28

    The Barry of BarrysGrrl

    Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
    Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
    Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
    Quote #4: "Go fast or go home!"
    Quote#5:" No Brag,Just Fact!"
    www.moneymakerracing.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Saco, Maine
    Posts
    72,564

    Default

    I thought I knew Clevelands, until I met Dan...
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '05 Sable LS

    My Mach's restoration progress

    My Sprint's restoration progress

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Festus, Mo
    Posts
    334

    Default

    The 4 inch stroke of the 400 crank made a completely different truck out of my 77. Good change in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2

    Default New to group! Similar question on my 400

    Thanks for allowing my to join the group! I need some help, I've been struggling with my truck.
    My 78 F250 4x4 has a 400 in it, I just bought the truck about a month ago. The p.o. bought the truck from the one who had the motor rebuilt, supposedly the motor was rebuilt by the engine builder at Kinser racing shop. So I have no idea on the components used to build it. I checked compression and it's 120 in all cylinders except one at 110. My truck is an auto running 3.55 gears with 285R75/16 tires (32x10.5) and doesn't have any power. Struggles to pull a 1500lb trailer up a steep hill at 45-50 mph. The intake is a Holley Street Dominator with a Holley 83670 carb, the carb I just rebuilt and that helped a decent bit. I'm thinking about changing the intake to a Eldebrock S-P2-P 400 that I found for less than $100.00. However I am concerned that there maybe more of an issue causing the no power problem. The motor starts and idles PERFECT, sounds like it might have a mild cam.
    I bought the truck to pull some heavier trailers, but it doesn't look too promising. Your help is greatly appreciated!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Gilman, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,138

    Default

    Sounds like a much bigger problem than an intake.

    Couple places I would start first.

    Fuel delivery - pump mech or electric? filter plugged?
    Ignition - everything ok, plugs, wires, ect.

    Another thing I ran into muddin' was the carb itself.
    It would run great on flat ground or small grades but when the hills got steep it would fall on its face.
    Mine turned out to be a float problem but depending on the carb there are various fixes for them.

    Welcome to M&M!

    Is the truck a high boy?
    Find 'em and Grind 'em!

    1965 Poppy Red / Ultra Orange Three Peddle Stang - Built Not Bought!
    2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle Stang - 12 valve
    Current CI Count - 82, got two back

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    C-BURG,PA.
    Posts
    4,350

    Default

    Automatic, 32" tires, 4x4 and a 400? Not to many horses in that to pull a trailer, sorry to say. Numbers on attached web site seem low to me but, i remember a lot of people complaining of power. I'd go with a gear change, 4.11's

    http://grantorinosport.org/bubbaf250/specs/specs02.html
    Phil
    Friends are like wedgies..They know your inner self..They're intimately close..And it feels great when you pick out a good one.
    RIP DAD 1/12/22-12/19/11

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Stanton, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    5,907

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OLE_FORD_TECH View Post
    Automatic, 32" tires, 4x4 and a 400? Not to many horses in that to pull a trailer, sorry to say. Numbers on attached web site seem low to me but, i remember a lot of people complaining of power. I'd go with a gear change, 4.11's

    http://grantorinosport.org/bubbaf250/specs/specs02.html
    I agree with your recommendation of a gear set change, Phil.
    Whenever taller tires are used, a numerically-higher gear set is usually necessary to keep the power band in the same range as what the engine is making. I've seen this problem with numerous mud-bogger machines; the builder has a hot engine, really tall 44" tires, and then wonders why he can't seem to make it pull through the mud worth a snot...... it's all about proper gear multiplication.

    Regarding power - if Sig went through the engine according to the HOT ROD article you posted earlier, where they made over 500HP, I'm thinking that would be enough to pull his trailer....... As many of us are familiar with, builds are simply a matter of cubic $$$, how much do you have to put into it? Just remember that the power made by the engine needs to get to the ground, which brings us back to properly matched gearing - from the transmission, transfer case, differential gear sets, to the size of the tires.

    Sig,
    The use of flat-top pistons will up the compression and result in more power, for sure. But be careful of what you ask for. Example: I assisted my son rebuild a $%^ truck engine for his mud bogger. When we were pricing pistons, I told him he'd realize more HP with flat-top pistons. He asked how much more do they cost? I told him the cost was the same as dished pistons. A no-brainer he said. I told him he would end up with a 10.7:1 compression & that he'd HAVE TO RUN PREMIUM FUEL. He responded with "That's no biggie!" Well,,,,,,, two years later & now he regrets the build, because he doesn't like having to find and then pay the higher cost for premium fuel.......

    Ryan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the advice guys! I have a 1976 460 out of a Lincoln that I thought about building for the truck, and change gears. This is my daily driver so I am a little concerned about fuel!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Stanton, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    5,907

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rookiebuilt68 View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys! I have a 1976 460 out of a Lincoln that I thought about building for the truck, and change gears. This is my daily driver so I am a little concerned about fuel!
    RB68,

    Based on what you've said earlier, your 400 has good compression and has recently been gone through / freshened. So, I wouldn't be so quick to pull it & go to a tired '76 460 engine.

    The Holley Street Dominator (HSD) intake is a single plane design (designed for idle to 5500 rpm range) - you may see some benefit from a dual plane design, like the SP2P intake (designed for idle to 4000 rpm range) or the Wieand Action Plus #8010 intake, but according to Dan's info posted earlier, we read that his HSD intake tested well. So since you have it already - use it for now.

    I'd say that your freshly rebuilt 670 cfm carb, is a bit on the large size. I'd bet you'd see benefits by changing to a fresh 600 CFM carb with vac 2ndarys; such as a #0-1850-C. Yes, Dan's info states that the HSD intake recommends a Motorcraft 4300D carb , which is rated at 715 CFM, so..... maybe since you already have the fresh 670 you should stick with it for now.

    Since you don't know what cam is in it, I'd suggest you give Kinser Racing Shop a call and ask if they have any records on your engine build - many shops keep past build records for a while. If they do, get a copy or write down ALL of the info they have. You may not need some of the info today, but it may come in handy later. If they don't have any records, you could pull the cam and simply measure its profile or maybe get lucky and remove the timing cover/gear set and get the grind # off the end of the cam and do the research to determine the manufacturer & its profile. OR, you could simply change the cam to a known camshaft profile, like the Summit cam & lifter kit package #SUM-K5200. MAKE SURE the valve springs are up to the change, so you don't have coil bind issues.

    What is the condition of the distributor? I'd make sure all of the ignition (sparkplugs, sparkplug wires, coil wire, coil, etc.) are at least up to stock performance levels.

    What is the story with the automatic transmission - have you changed the ATF since you've owned it?

    It's a tough juggling act to build a strong, torque-minded, towing truck and also expect it to be a good mileage daily driver.

    Ryan

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