Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

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Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:27 am

I have a 79 F100 that I use for towing. I like it very much but it has shortcomings. I'm building out another truck to overcome those issues.

Issues:
  1. Economical Cruising Speed is too low.
    1. With a 2.75 final drive in the 9" rear end and a T-18 4-speed transmission, 1500rpm is 50mph. The engine is comfortable at this speed and gets its best fuel economy, a fairly steady 19mpg dipping occasionally (depending on wind, hills, ethanol fuel content, etc) to 15mpg and rising occasionally to 24mpg.
    2. I'm patient and don't mind 50mph, but the rest of the traffic is beginning to pose a threat to my safety at this speed, so I want to go faster.
  2. Gearing for towing heavy loads up hills is insufficient
    1. I can tow really surprisingly heavy loads with this truck, but because of the very wide gap between gears in the T-18, I'm often far slower than necessary up hills.
    2. The engine seems to produce its best comfortable power at 1800rpm, which in 4th (top) gear is 60mph, but in 3rd gear it is only 35mph. The result is that when I encounter a grade that is too steep or too long for me to hold 60mph on it, I have to slow to 35mph in order to get the engine in its good working range. At that speed, usually, it's just smoking cigarettes, it's not even challenged. But 4th is too far away to be useful.
  3. More Power, Please.
    1. The engine is an unmodified 300 six from 1979, with a Motorcraft single-barrel carb and transistorized ignition. If that carb isn't original, it's been on there since God invented dirt, because a surprisingly prodigeous quantity of ancient dirt is caked up all over it.
    2. Everybody would like more power, but I don't think I'd like to have it if I have to sacrifice economy. The 20mpg mark is pretty near my lowest tolerable level, I think. Once I have a gear that will let me pull grades at 45 or 50mph, I'll be happy even if I can't muster up any more power to stay in top gear longer.

The New to Me Truck:
  • 1969 3/4-ton camper special, also with a T-18 but originally with a 360 motor, which I pulled out and sold for scrap.
  • From a junk yard, a 300 six cylinder with a 1977 emissions sticker on the valve cover but no smog in the head. Just heard back from the machine shop, the no.1 cylinder (worst one) is 0.032 thousandths out so the block will have to be bored 0.040 over.
  • Engine Quest cast iron head with improved water jacketing and heart-shaped combustion chambers (EQ Part Number CH300A). This head has smog and they normally offer a non-smog head, but didn't have one available in the timeframe I needed it so I just got the smog head. This head ought to raise compression slightly and give a cleaner, more efficient burn to improve economy and power.
  • Cast iron exhaust manifold from an old 60s dump truck. Now that I have it in my hands, it really does look significantly bigger than the original. And I like the idea of using the original heat transfer design.
  • I'm still looking for an intake, I guess I'm going to use a factory log one if I can find it cheap because none of the aftermarket ones readily available please me.
  • Autolite 2100 2-barrel carburetor on the way, from Gotta Fish Carburetors, 1.14 venturi (300cfm) and #50 jets. I'm kinda hoping those will just work great but if not I'll get the jet kit and play around with it.
  • Isky Mile-a-mor cam on the way (Isky part number 331-MK) along with Isky's recommended Lifters, Pushrods, Valve Springs, Spring Shims and Retainers. I'll use the original rockers, unless somebody convinces me otherwise.
  • Spicer 3-speed auxiliary transmission (the seller referred to it as a "Watson" or "Brown-Lipe" box, said it came from a 50s or 60s Ford Dump Truck). This box's gears are: first-2.03 underdrive, second-1:1, thrid-0.75 overdrive. This box should give me the splitting capability I need for those long grades.

Well for the benefit of us all, I intend to post my progress on the truck here so we can all learn how this combination of stuff worked out.

In the mean time, please feel free to post your opinions on my choices so far.

I'm still on the fence about the rear end and the intake. The Offy C series intake got serious consideration, but its own advertisement promotes its commendable qualities in the 2500-7000rpm range which, frankly, makes me sick to think about ever turning 3k much less 7. Good Lord. Doesn't anybody make a nice, heavy, conservative cast iron intake that's just a little less aesthmatic than the original and with softer runner profiles?
The rear end is in question because the new truck has a Dana 60, which is unquestionably a great rear end, but it looks like the tallest gearset I can get for it is 3.54. Well, according to my precise and accurate calculations, a 3.54 together with my fancy new overdrive will put me at about 52mph at 1500rpm, which is where I already am with my 2.75 9-inch. I really do want to go faster, and I don't mind going up to 1800rpm if necessary to do it, but I kinda think that head and cam and so forth ought to improve my torque enough that I should be able to cruise at 65 or so at 1500rpm, if only I had tall enough gears. Any and all of your thoughts on this brain-buster are welcome here.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby bubba22349 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:06 am

I like where your going with your build! :nod: I used to have to a 65 F350 that in the rebuild used the Melling torque cam, used a propane type head, and built a free flowing exhaust rest of parts were a standard heavy duty rebuild. Also wanted to do some of those other mods you are thinking about. IE big truck single exhaust manifold and the Brown Lipe aux. trans (still have the Aux. Trans) and kept that last engine that I built for that 65, just need to find a good truck body to put it all in. The stock intake should be very good for a max type MPG build. What size rear tire are you going to run?

You also might check out this build for some ideas
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=67967&p=520893#p520893
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

My fleet of Sixes: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Josh Jones » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:10 am

Have you looked into doing a zf transmission swap? I'm thinking about doing this swap, you lose the ultra low first but the gears are closer together and you get a overdrive.

here is one listed like Im talking about.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transmision-94- ... 59&vxp=mtr
If you could find a complete 94-96 f250 with a 4.9 and zf you could use a lot of parts i'm sure.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:25 am

I like all your ideas on build. think your spot on. I think an Offy C or a Clifford intake would work on your truck, IF you made a divider for it. in the middle of the plenum, all the way up close to carb. 2 or small 4 V carb. Have not done it on a 300 - 6, but did do it on a 4 cyl. Mercruiser boat. Really boosted the low end. i do like my Offy DP & Holley 390 4V. think that would work good for ya too. Our engine builds are close to same.
83 F 150 SB 4x4 300 six NP 4speed - 89 F 150 300 six Turbo (in works) - 1950 IHC L162 (1&1/2 ton?) - 87 & 88 T-Bird Turbo Coupes - 2000 Triumph Tiger , 76 Honda GL 1000 , & other toys and parts (& junk) - My Gal ? Shes gone... New rule, keep the old junk. Trade the women in as needed !!!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:18 am

Hey Bubba, how did you like that Melling torque cam?

I ended up going with the Offenhauser C series manifold. The Autolite 2100 carb I got from Gotta Fish carburetors turned out to be a piece of junk - real shiny, looked super & had mostly new components, but the throttle shaft was loose & leaky, and I couldn't get it to run consistently. So, I put a Holley Pro-Jection throttle body injection kit on there, with the O2 sensor and everything. It works great, perfect smooth fuel delivery, easy starting, very nice.

The Bad:
The engine doesn't make much power though, especially at the bottom end. My stock 79 will start from a stop in 2nd with no throttle, and will accelerate tolerably at any rpm, even significantly below idle, but this thing bogs down completely at anything under 1000 rpm. Even at 1000rpm it doesn't have any guts. It cruises nicely at 1500, very nicely at 1600, but doesn't have power for acceleration until over 2000, picking up steadily all the way up to 3000.

This is not what I wanted, I hate winding that motor up. So now since I did so much experimentation, I have to figure out the cause of this behavior from among my non-stock components: is it that Offenhauser intake, or the EngineQuest head, or the Mile-a-mor cam, or the Holley fuel injection?

The Good:
I ended up using a Dana 61 rear end from the 70s with 3.07 gears and limited slip. This is the tallest ratio in existence for a factory full-floater. Don't do this. That rear end is so rare, I couldn't get brake parts for it and ended up having to cobble together brakes by using backing plates from a 82 Ford, Drums from a 94 Dodge, and machining the hubs to mate with the drums. It was time-consuming and expensive, and if I had it all to do over again I would have Schreiner build me a full-floater from a 9-inch. They quoted me $3k for one with limited slip, 2.75 ratios and the 8-lug pattern, which is nearly what I ended up spending on the Dana 61 by the time I was done. But it is done, and it's good. With 32" tires I'm doing 1500 rpm at 50 mph in 4th and direct.

The brownie is awesome. Best idea ever. In overdrive I cruise at 65 doing 1600. I can get in behind a semi and slip stream while just purring along sipping fuel. I haven't yet made a trip long enough to get accurate fuel mileage figures, but that's coming up soon. Somebody in an earlier post suggested trying the Mazda 5-speed that was factory on these trucks in the 90s. If you can't find a brownie, ok... But that aluminum case Japanese thing still doesn't have enough gears and isn't nearly as tough as old iron. Plus, between my 2 transmissions I have 3 PTO ports. I feel some hydraulic winches in my future. Being able to split gears is really cool. The difference between my gears is now 400 rpm, so I can keep the engine at exactly the sweet spot from a stop all the way up to 70mph. It takes some getting used to and the brownie has no synchros, but I double-clutch it and I'm truckin'. Definitely recommend this to anybody who is thinking about it.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:11 pm

Your low end power prob. is your Intake. You need to make a divider for your Offy C, that will gain you a bunch of lower speed torque. This will make it work with your other parts :nod:
83 F 150 SB 4x4 300 six NP 4speed - 89 F 150 300 six Turbo (in works) - 1950 IHC L162 (1&1/2 ton?) - 87 & 88 T-Bird Turbo Coupes - 2000 Triumph Tiger , 76 Honda GL 1000 , & other toys and parts (& junk) - My Gal ? Shes gone... New rule, keep the old junk. Trade the women in as needed !!!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jack orchard » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:50 pm

BIG 6 farmer wrote:Your low end power prob. is your Intake. You need to make a divider for your Offy C, that will gain you a bunch of lower speed torque. This will make it work with your other parts :nod:


BIG 6: I have 3 questions:
(1) Can you explain your divider for use on an open plenum intake?
(2) Do you mean to divide the intake into the front 3 cylinders from the back 3 cylinders?
(3) Is this forum turning into a ghost town?

Thanks, jack
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:08 pm

"2) Do you mean to divide the intake into the front 3 cylinders from the back 3 cylinders?"

That is the usual procedure.

It's summer time and folks have other things to do while the sun shines...thus the "ghost town" syndrome.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby bubba22349 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:27 pm

jjacallen wrote:Hey Bubba, how did you like that Melling cam?


I liked it a lot and worked great for my combo. Stock intake with Holley 1940 carb, stock exhaust manifold into 2 1/4 inch pipe and a turbo muffler dumped in front of passenger side rear tires, DuraSpark II ignition, NP435 4 speed trans, Dana 60 with about 5:12 gears, 16 inch wheels with 235 R70 16 tires (Dually). I worked that old truck hard never got around to doing the Brownie swap which would of really helped at freeway speeds. X2 on intake you might try a stock intake with a Carter YF carb see if that gives you back some bottom end. I still have my engine if I can find the big exhaust manifold like you did and maybe the intake that goes along with it would like to test them. The other intake I wanted to try was the Edelbrock SP2P is a 1V, or maybe cut up and reweld some stock intakes into a 2 X 1V intake to use a pair of Carter's.
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

My fleet of Sixes: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby country fried 6 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:37 pm

I would wonder if that EFI is giving you enough fuel down low, as it's probably not designed for an engine that makes any real power in the 500-1,500rpm range. can you tune it to add fuel in the low end?
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:18 pm

jack orchard wrote:
BIG 6 farmer wrote:Your low end power prob. is your Intake. You need to make a divider for your Offy C, that will gain you a bunch of lower speed torque. This will make it work with your other parts :nod:


BIG 6: I have 3 questions:
(1) Can you explain your divider for use on an open plenum intake?
(2) Do you mean to divide the intake into the front 3 cylinders from the back 3 cylinders?
(3) Is this forum turning into a ghost town?

Thanks, jack
Im sure most on here might be a little gun shy to post, then lose it to another Site Hack. I know ive lost a few of my hunt & peck posts. Yes its Summer time, i know im too busy chasing my tail :bang: As we all know the Offy C is closer to a Race Manifold than not. Thats why they make the Dual Port, by design it maintains a high mixture velocity @ low & upper midrange RPMs. The Offy C with its open Plenum & extra volume, cant give a good mixture speed at a lower Engine RPM. Which in turn affects the signal @ the Carb. booster venturi. :nod: Look at it this way... An Intake Valve opens to the whole Intake volume & 2 or 4 Carb. venturi,(depending on if its a 2 OR 4V Carb.). There is a minimum Engine speed for that to give a proper mixture speed for every thing to work. Now divide the Offy C ( or Clifford ) so ya have 3 cyl. on each side. Mount your Carb. or Throttle Body over divide, facing east or west. Now when Intake Valve opens, its exposed to only half the Intake volume. And half the Carb. throttles. Which will give you a much higher mixture velocity,& Carb. signal @ a lower Engine speed :D Thanks for bearing through this rattle, hope it helped.
83 F 150 SB 4x4 300 six NP 4speed - 89 F 150 300 six Turbo (in works) - 1950 IHC L162 (1&1/2 ton?) - 87 & 88 T-Bird Turbo Coupes - 2000 Triumph Tiger , 76 Honda GL 1000 , & other toys and parts (& junk) - My Gal ? Shes gone... New rule, keep the old junk. Trade the women in as needed !!!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:10 pm

What our friend from the "Big Red" state said. Some using the Offy C have used a 4-hole spacer to obtain some of the DP type performance at low engine speeds. I suspect the same thing can be done with a 2-hole spacer under a 2V carb. This provides a more columnar air flow through the carb and raises the base of the carb above and away from the cavernous space of the open plenum where turbulence at the carb base might adversely impact low speed operation.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:11 am

I know in Racing ( Circle track, Drag) you see a lot of types of 4 hole Carb. spacers. Like you say, to cure or lessen turbulence in Intake Manifold. To increase Torque at a lower Engine speed, increase signal to Carb. I have a plastic Trans Dapt 4 hole, 1 in. spacer. With slots to promote swirl ?, on my Offy DP & Holley 390. It all works great. have not tested it without. Thinking a custom 4 hole spacer that extends down into open Intake Plenum abit, might have some interesting benefits ? Have seen this on some large open plenum Intake Manifolds for Drag Racing.
83 F 150 SB 4x4 300 six NP 4speed - 89 F 150 300 six Turbo (in works) - 1950 IHC L162 (1&1/2 ton?) - 87 & 88 T-Bird Turbo Coupes - 2000 Triumph Tiger , 76 Honda GL 1000 , & other toys and parts (& junk) - My Gal ? Shes gone... New rule, keep the old junk. Trade the women in as needed !!!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:19 pm

I think the idea of the 4-hole spacer (and extensions) is to move plenum turbulence away from the base of the carb when mounted on an open plenum manifold. I used a 4-hole spacer at one time on my DP but found no discernible difference with it or without. The DP has rather deep bores already and no large plenum to create the turbulence of an open plenum manifold.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:33 pm

So picking between the two intake designs,

We got the Offy DP that will run 1,000-4000 RPMs easy. Driving around with an educated foot around town will net some pretty decent fuel mileage and still be better over the stock log head. When you need to get on it however you still have the larger part of the plenum to get enough air flowing to the motor. But if I remember from an older post that I read while digging up older posts that regardless of what carburetor is on it, it can only pull enough CFM to run 4500 RPMs.

Then you take our Offy C/ Clifford open plenums, throw a dividing plate down its gullet, and mount carb with a 4/2 hole spacer pending on what carb your wanting to run. You get the improved signal to the carb by doing all these modifications to get your bottom end back but are able to now run high RPMs because your Plenum is still technically larger.

That sound about right to you guys?

Also, do you think these mods will make the Offy C perform better over the Offy DP in terms of torque figures? I don't suspect it would net you as good a fuel mileage as the Offy DP would though since your runners are still going to be bigger.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:51 am

I think your reasoning is spot on.

I have had good success using a "C" with a smallish carb and 4-hole spacer - even on 240 sized motors. I have yet to try dividing the intake as I like having lots of revability and don't much care about torque under 1000 RPMs (in my relatively light weight vehicles).

It would be interesting to me to see a build up with a "C", 390 cfm, 4-hole spacer, small cam, good exhaust manifolds and a three stage dyno test with- and without- a plenum divider and with- and without- a 4-hole spacer. As a matter of fact that might make a good street / strip package if the divider and spacer were to be made easily removeable - it could be the best of both worlds.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:05 am

My engine will run to 5000 rpm with the DP but starts to lay down between 4000 and 4500. It will pull to 4000 rpm just as easily as it does 2000 rpm or 3000 rpm.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62982&start=0&hilit=Does+it+pull%3F
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:24 pm

wondered where that topic went to, was actually looking for it not to long ago but couldnt remember the title.

I have no doubt that your trucks got lots of power all the way to 4500, specially with the long list of upgrades and work youve got with that motor to make it work even better in that rpm range. Your build is very similiar to the one im setting up for my truck. The only thing i havent decided on was an intake manifold yet.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:49 pm

The main reason i put a plastic 4 hole spacer on my Offy DP,was to keep the heat outa my 390 Holley. I agree that it prob. didnt need it. Maybe it lowered my torque peak? :hmmm: I think since you have the Offy C, a divider would make you happy. A slick way to do it, would be get an open Alum. Carb. spacer. Cut slots in it to slide a divider in. My guess is an Offy C with a divider, will perform as well as an Offy DP ? OR very close, depending on Carb. style/ size.
83 F 150 SB 4x4 300 six NP 4speed - 89 F 150 300 six Turbo (in works) - 1950 IHC L162 (1&1/2 ton?) - 87 & 88 T-Bird Turbo Coupes - 2000 Triumph Tiger , 76 Honda GL 1000 , & other toys and parts (& junk) - My Gal ? Shes gone... New rule, keep the old junk. Trade the women in as needed !!!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:52 pm

Either way there are only some degrees of difference between the C and DP but depending on what you want, those differences may be significant. I was shopping for a C or DP and for me, there wasn't enough difference to make a difference and I landed a DP when the opportunity showed itself and haven't looked back. There are options available with the C that are not available to the DP and that may be something to consider.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:43 pm

I certainly agree with you on that Harte3, One might ponder though if sizing your carburetor to the intake might have more to do with taking advantage of its design. What do you think would be a good sizing carburetor for the DP? I'd think anything between 400-500 CFM would probably be plenty big enough.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:13 pm

Well, when originally looking for a carb I thought an AFB 9410s(?) which is about a 400 cfm carb would be the ticket for me but they are not plentiful and rather dear in price...so I ended up with Holleys. JMO, anything 400 cfm to 600 cfm in a vacuum secondary or air valve carb would do. I think the primary consideration is the size and flow of the primaries rather than the overall cfm of the carb since the big percentage of time one will be only running on the primaries. The secondaries won't come into play until the engine generally gets upwards of 2500 + rpm when properly adjusted. Trying to force-feed an engine with a 4V carb at low engine speeds just doesn't work.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:57 am

Wow guys, thanks for all the comments, some very useful information here. A couple of things seem clear:

1) The Offenhauser C series manifold is not suited for low-end applications. I run my engine between 1500 and 2000. My gearing puts me at 65mph at 1600rpm, and I shift around 2000 or 2100. My tachometer only registers 3000. I think I would be better off with the factory log intake. Anybody know where I can get a new one, or want to trade for my Offy C?

2) All of the after-market camshafts that I have found and that anybody has mentioned here are intended for higher RPMs than I run. Nobody talking about low-end torque seems to be thinking as low as me. One of the things I love about my old stock truck is that I can start out in first towing my camper without touching the throttle. When bumping a load to get it un-stuck from mud or ice, I just bump the clutch, I never have to think about stalling or work my engine very hard, that engine will do just about anything I need it to at idle. Reversing with a heavy trailer is a snap, I don't think I've ever stalled in reverse, I don't know if it's possible. I bet it would rip the tread off the tires before it would stall. I like that. With the Mile-A-Mor cam, the truck will stall if you even look at it funny without your foot in the throttle, or if you let it drop below 1000rpm with any kind of load. I was idling along in 2nd today on a dirt track at around 600rpm and when I hit a pothole, it stalled. Does anybody know of an after-market cam that truly improves torque way down in the bottom? So far, it looks like the stock cam is the best one.

3) Restrictive inductions are required for low-end torque, not detrimental to it. That Holley Pro-Jection is very tunable and it was super easy to get the truck running really nicely, but that 670cfm hole is too big. At half throttle manifold vacuum drops to zero and the engine bogs. I duct taped a 6-inch long piece of 1.5" PVC conduit to the air cleaner snoozle, and that improved my vacuum signal from idle all the way up through the rpm range. It also gave a noticeable improvement in torque and power across the band (still wants to stall below 1000 though with any load) and improved my highway fuel economy. I can now get 3/4 throttle before losing vacuum, and that helps with power too cuz the fuel injection relies on throttle angle to give more fuel. Does anybody know where to get a NEW factory replacement carburetor? I tried a reman Carter YF that was a piece of junk, and a reman Autolite 2100 - also a piece of junk, that's how I ended up with this EFI monstrosity. I have a brand new Weber 32/36 on the shelf in the shop, but what I really want is my stock performance back, and I can't find a new carburetor.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:18 am

BTW Bubba, thanks for the input on the Melling cam. I suspect though, with your 5:34 gears you were turning a lot more rpm than me, so that makes me suspicious of it for my application.

For those considering that dump trunk exhaust manifold - the one I got was an after-market new casting, cost about $300. I don't have any complaints right now about it, although until I get the power issues sorted out I can't speak out strongly in favor of it. I have it going into a 3" exhaust, turbo muffler, and the truck sounds absolutely beautiful. Several people have mistaken it for a diesel because of the exhaust tone. One thing to consider: the casting quality was really poor. We port matched it to the head and that was no small task because it didn't line up very well. We also had to do some machining on the mating surface where it bolts to the intake, it just wasn't the right angle machined into it from the manufacturer. I suspect any of the new ones out there are going to be a similar thing, probably cast from a defective mold rejected by Ford & sold to China. Anyway it works, but to avoid the headache I would try to find a genuine used Ford part.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby bubba22349 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:20 am

jjacallen, never had a tach on that truck, though your most likely right that it was turning more RPM's I never pushed it over 62 MPH as that was were the power peaked. The truck orginally had a 240 so rear gearing was a bit low for the better torque of that 300. Like you I do like them to pull from down low, almost never used granny gear unless loaded real heavy. It would take off in second gear at idle and loaf along no problem. Off hand I don't know were you can find a new intake maybe on eBay, I do have a couple of used stock intakes to trade you if want and a few carbs Holley 1940, Carter YF.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:54 am

jjacallen wrote:Wow guys, thanks for all the comments, some very useful information here. A couple of things seem clear:

I think I would be better off with the factory log intake. Anybody know where I can get a new one, or want to trade for my Offy C?


I will trade you a 1V factory intake for your "C" and pay the shipping both ways.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:35 pm

If your looking for a cam like that how about trying the stock cam and just advance it about 2-4 degrees. Thatll raise your torque up in the range your looking at.

Also if your wanting that bottom end grunt you can look at that DP set up as the runners for the primaries are gonna be smaller than the ones on a stock manifold.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:58 pm

Well guys, I just noticed I never posted fuel economy results with my disappointing setup... I just did a trip from Twin Falls, ID to SLC UT - about 250 miles with no stops, pulling a 1800-lbs load with 600 lbs in the back. I burned 32 gallons, which comes out to just under 8mpg. Now in my old truck with stock putt-putt I make the same trip with about the same load using 15 gallons, more than twice as good - but that's poking along at 50mph pegged the whole time right at 1500rpm, which it does with almost no throttle at all.

I think I'm going to get that camshaft out of there for starters, and see how that goes. Then if I still need better power and/or economy, I'll start addressing the intake. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm not going to be able to have any downtime on this rig for another few months, so I'm stuck with it as it is for the moment, I think.

BTW: so as to contribute to knowledge and reduce hearsay, I went digging for cam specs from the manufacturers. I've got PDFs from their websites, anybody wants 'em just PM me your email adress and I'll send 'em over.

Isky Mile-A-Mor (grind number 331-M)
    RPM Range: 1000-3800
    Valve Lift Intake: .415
    Valve Lift Exhaust: .415
    Valve Lash Hot (both intake & exhaust): .000
    Advertised Duration Intake: 248
    Advertised Duration Exhaust: 248
    .050 Duration Intake: 194
    .050 Duration Exhaust: 194
    Lobe Center: 108

Crane H-192 (grind number 2667-2S-12)
    RPM Range: 800-4200
    Gross Lift Intake: .429
    Gross Lift Exhaust: .458
    Valve Lash Hot (both intake & exhaust: .000
    Advertised Duration Intake: 248
    Advertised Duration Exhaust: 260
    .050 Duration Intake: 192
    .050 Duration Exhaust: 204
    Lobe Separation: 112

I haven't been able to find any "official" documentation for the factory setup, but FTF posted some pictures in another thread which somebody may or may not have been able to read... If anybody knows where to get that literature, let me know.

But my impression is this: The Mile-A-Mor cam has a little more aggressive profile than the stock cam. On both lobes, it slightly decreases overall duration and slightly increases .050 duration. This by itself might contribute to torque by reducing overlap and opening some flow, but it also has a tighter separation angle, which means more overlap, which means, less torque in the bottom end, quicker revving, and better performance higher up. It's hard to say, not apples to apples here, what were they trying to accomplish? Anyway, in my truck this cam seems about as good as stock over 2000rpm, and really a dog below that. To be fair about the "mileage," that 7mpg I cited above was between 1200 & 1600 with my foot on the floor in 4th & over. I drive back up with the same load this weekend, so I'll do it in 4th & direct, keep her between 1800 & 2200, and let you know how I fare. Of course I'm 600 lbs lighter now, but that shouldn't make too much of a difference.

Now that Crane Cam listed above seems to very clearly target low-end torque. It significantly reduces overlap while opening up the exhaust to better flow. It does this by reducing overall intake duration and increasing separation angle to make the intake valve close earlier - but it does this without sacrificing .050 duration on the intake (so your intake flows pretty much the same as stock), and it makes a considerable increase in .050 duration on the exhaust side without changing overall duration (so without affecting overlap). All of that, in my mind, points to a heck of a torquey setup all the way down in the granny-bottom. Only thing is, Crane says:

"7.75 - 8.75 compression ratio advised." Well, I'm running 9:1, nearly dead on the nose according to the machine shop who cc'd the chambers and decked the head. Anybody have any theories about the effects of running higher-than-recommended compression for a cam like that?
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:26 pm

BTW, Big 6 Farmer mentioned the divider for the Offy C. Man, I like that idea a lot but I don't think I can make it work with this Holley 2-barrel injection. It's oriented so the 2 injectors are side-to-side instead of front-to-back, if you know what I mean, and they're up at the front of the square bore. Even if I turn it 90 degrees, I feel sketchy about that...

Other thing is, how do you get it to follow the inside profile of the manifold to make a nice seal, or is that not really important?

I think I'd sooner take FTF up on that trade... Like I say, though, dunno when I'll be able to have downtime for the rig. But I might hit you up in a few months to see if you're still interested!
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:12 am

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=58096

is this the thread ya mean jjacllen?
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:39 am

Yeah hawkeye, that's the one. There was a lot of discussion in that thread, it's worth the read but maybe it's *too* much discussion to leave one with a high degree of confidence about the actual specs? I'd feel better with an actual document from Ford, but that's just how I roll - I'm a very empirical thinker.

I like those charts because you can see exactly the points at which the valves are opening and closing, and so it's easy to make judgements about the effects of advancing or retarding the cam, and compare it to other grinds. I wish all manufacturers would provide those charts for their different grinds to take the guesswork out of picking the cam you want. The Isky Mile-A-Mor cam touts "maximum mileage and low rpm torque" but that's clearly a subjective assessment which I failed to question, was unable at the time to confirm or refute with actual data, and hence ended up in this mess by taking that at face value.

The Isky Cam I've been talking about doesn't show those, and the Crane Cam has some numbers that don't mean anything to me (maybe they mean something to somebody else?)

The Crane sheet for that grind I cited above shows:

Open/Close @ .050" Cam Lift
Int/Exh:

    (11) 23
    39 (15)

WTF?
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:59 pm

IO: 11* BTDC
IC: 23* ABDC
EO: 39* BBDC
EC: 15* ATDC
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:28 pm

Whoa. Thanks for that, FTF, makes total sense now. Ok well from the other thread, there are similar numbers of .006" lift, so not apples-to-apples here, but it looks to me like that Crane Cam is really targeting an early intake valve closure and reduction of overlap... the 2 things you need big for low-end torque and fuel economy. That cam is looking pretty good to me...
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:30 pm

I've been looking into the possible repercussions of operating outside the cam manufacturer's recommended compression ratios. I found a couple of really informative and good articles, too:

How Camshaft variables affect Compression
Explanation of Dynamic Compression Ratios
How to calculate Dynamic Compression Ratio

It seems to boil down to these fundamental principles:
  1. If Static Compression Ratio is the theoretical starting point, Dynamic Compression Ratio is the practical amount of compression that your engine will actually make
  2. Valve Overlap causes the Dynamic Compression Ratio to always be lower than the Static Compression Ratio
  3. On 91 Octane fuel, most engines produce the best power & efficiency with a Dynamic Compression Ratio of 7.5 to 8.5
  4. Dropping below this will result in less power, like a worn-out engine. Exceeding this will result in pre-detonation, which robs power and could damage the engine.

Chances of pre-detonation can be reduced by retarding the timing and reducing operating temperatures. Cylinder pressure can be reduced (reducing the dynamic compression ratio) with a given cam by retarding the cam.

All of this makes me wonder about the comments I've received to the effect of, "sounds like a diesel". Was it a mistake to raise my compression to 9:1? But then again, the Isky sheet shows 9.5:1 compression as the max for that Mile-A-Mor cam, so I should be fine.

Unfortunately, it appears that cranking pressure (what you read when you do a compression test) can be vastly different depending upon a lot of factors, so nobody can say definitively based on a compression test whether or not your Dynamic Compression Ratio is outside the optimal 7.5-8.5 range. That seems weird to me. I want to be able to pop a cam in there, do a compression test, and instantly know whether or not I'm in danger of having too high compression.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:15 pm

a quick and dirty way to get a round about compression ratio was to take the psi from your compression test and divide it by 15 and it would give you a value just a bit larger than what your actual static compression is. I dont remember what old mechanics book i found it in but we found it came close when we tested it out in High School
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Nashtooth » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:55 pm

Re FTF's comparison: I have those bits except the spare ride while swapping offy C manifolds, with and without dividers. Someone posted details on the "360" a while back; it appears that Offenhauser removed a divider in the plenum to create the "C". Having a third vehicle is a family tradition that I have failed to maintain, thanks to support from my spouse. Need to fix that.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:17 am

Hey guys, I made the trip back up from Salt Lake to Twin Falls, this time with my fancy duct-tape snoozle vacuum enhancer, and kept the engine between 1800 & 2200 the whole time, with a few exceptions. It did way better than on the way down, I only burned 20 gallons in 250 miles, that's around 12.5mpg with around 1800 lbs in tow. I was able to keep it pulling around 7.5 inches vacuum most of the time, dipping for some stretches as low as 6 when the headwind was strong and getting as high as 8 when it wasn't.

That was in 4th & Direct, which at 1900 rpm is about 60 mph. It's still more fuel than my stock motor, which as I said before would do the trip with 15 gallons (same load) but that was running 1500 rpm at 50 mph, so...

BTW, if you're wondering how your truck compares to all this but don't have a tachometer... Find out what RPM you're running using this hand-dandy chart. You need to know your tire diameter and final drive ratio. If your transmission isn't represented, PM me and I'll add it in for ya.

Jalil's super-simple Ratio calculator
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby MechRick » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:30 pm

Probably the only gains for you from here are EFI and 5 speed....

I just finished a 1000 mile trip to the Bay area pulling an empty car hauler on the way up and a loaded (3000 lb car) one on the way back. Went 508 miles on two full tanks, nonstop (~36 gallons) unloaded, and 480 miles nonstop loaded. That's roughly 13 mpg at a combined weight of 9800 lbs. Pretty tickled with that, but the numbers don't tell the whole story. Came up out of Bakersfield through Tehachapi Pass never dropping below 45 mph. Surprised quite a few diesels. Averaged 60-65 mph. The ZF really helps in the hills as it gives you 3 freeway gear options (3rd at 45-50 mph, 4th at 65-70 and a relaxed 5th). The EFI just works better with changing altitude and temperature. I think the stock cam helps with efficiency because of the late intake closing event of ~70 degrees ABDC. Think Atkinson cycle...

But still haven't broken 18 mpg empty, but that's because I tend to cruise 70 mph plus to keep up with traffic here...
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby country fried 6 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:26 pm

did I read that right? you made a plenum divider out of duct tape?

did you check to see that it actualy lived through the trip?
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby blmhawkeye » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:01 pm

I get 19.5 mpg driving around 65mph the 110 miles from phoenix to the army base in tuscon. Granted this is all flat level ground for 100 miles of the trip. inline 240 with autolite 1v carb, petronix ignition and 3.00 rear end with a c4 trani, 252 comp cam
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:55 pm

Haha, not a plenum divider. I duct taped a 6-inch long piece of 1.5" PVC conduit to the inlet on the air cleaner housing to improve the vacuum signal. With that giant Holley throttle body on there, my vacuum was dropping to zero when the throttle was hardly open. It helps...

Regarding MPG: I know this is lousy, it's cuz I don't have any torque. 7.5" vacuum on flat ground at 1900rpm is ridiculous for that motor, I should be pulling more like 12-14 at the least. Shouldn't require any throttle, but it does. Like I said, I'll get the stock cam back in it, see how it improves, and then maybe look at getting the stock intake back on with a decent carburetor, and get rid of that Holley EFI.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby jjacallen » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:04 pm

BTW, speaking of cams, I found another sheet on the Mile-A-Mor that gives the opening and closing points etc:

http://www.iskycams.com/Wca6c09c1e9e45.htm
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby motzingg » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:15 am

I was thinking about this thread on my drive home last night... seems like a lot of discussion about the cam being the culprit for lack of power and poor fuel economy...

you are running the EFI conversion and a offy intake manifold as well? Any chance that your EFI is just completely mis-tuned?

I'd like to know what happens if you swap intake back to stock, with carb, and isolate the cam as the only change... seems like it is a lot easier to swap the intake before digging into the internals and pulling the cam. My mechanic mentor always said to fix the easy things first.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby J.R. » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:32 am

Ak Miller (RIP) mentioned that his dyno tests showed (in pre-EFI days) that all the factory stock 300 engines hit their actual torque peak at 1800rpm, in spite of what the FoMoCo marketing guys stated for any particular year. He also said that just swapping in the Isky Mile-a-More cam gave the otherwise-stock 300 more torque, even "right off idle", but moved the engine's torque peak to 1650rpm, and made revving beyond 4000rpm fairly non-productive (assuming a higher trans gear was still available).

From that, I’d bet your rig's lack of low end grunt is not the cam’s fault. My first suspect would be a big open plenum, possibly connected to runners larger than optimum for low rpm work.


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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Harte3 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:36 am

"My first suspect would be a big open plenum, possibly connected to runners larger than optimum for low rpm work."

X2 on that. Plus "...giant Holley throttle body..."

JMO, I don't think the cam is part of the problem at all.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby BIG 6 farmer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:55 am

X3 on that ! :nod: AK Miller prob. did more early good builds on Ford 240/300 sixes than any body. He sold a Turbo kit also. He was one of the great minds, like Smokey Yunick, Barney Navarro, Isky & others. I run an Elgin Cam that is very close to the Mile-a -More specs. But with an Offy DP, Holley 390, lotta Manifold heat, hot air to Carb. Truck runs/pulls like a strong Gas Tractor, All done by 4000 rpm. :nod: Your on the right track to sort it out. Yes swap back to stock Intake & Carb. to see how she goes. An EFI Throttle Body (smallish) with an adapter should work very well. Thats what the IHC guys like on their stuff. Look on Binder Planet Forums.
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Re: Ford 300 Build-up for towing & highway cruising

Postby Lazy JW » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:46 pm

jjacallen wrote:... with around 1800 lbs in tow. I was able to keep it pulling around 7.5 inches vacuum most of the time, dipping for some stretches as low as 6 when the headwind was strong and getting as high as 8 when it wasn't...


That sounds about right to me.
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