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Hot Rods Econoline Pickup swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bishop's toys, Jan 20, 2022.

  1. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,839

    indyjps
    Member

    I do like these trucks. Stock they drive pretty bad, sure you can get used to it over time. True daily driver it needs some changes.
    1) get it lower
    2) get the drivetrain pushed back in chassis to help prevent nose dive
    3) stock brakes are very small
    4) cooling upgrades and good shroud are needed if you go to v8 or non stock engine

    For a real daily driver. I'd say a moderate v8 with OD. Shove it back in the chassis as far as you can go and still reach the carb, maybe even mod the engine cover to shove engine back. Ford v8 with distributor in front will help. AOD trans. Whatever gear works with cam combo and trans for highway driving.
    Good brakes, upgraded drums or disc. Whatever suspension rebuild or mods are needed to get it low.
    Big radiator, pushed as far forward as possible, electric fans since engine is pushed back.
    Insulate the top and bottom of cab floor and engine cover, they are loud and hot when stock

    I daily drove a Dodge version for a month, my uncle had a clean low mileage truck and let me drive it for a while after I got the mechanicals sorted from being in storage. Friend had an econoline truck in high-school, spent a lot of time working on that one.
     
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  2. thebronc4019
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 224

    thebronc4019
    Member
    from New Jersey

    C4 for early Econoline direct bolt in
    upload_2022-1-21_8-7-44.jpeg tail shaft and top "
     
  3. My 64 had the small six and 400 gears.
    When I bought it I asked the guy how fast it would go as I had quite a drive ahead of me,
    he told me to pack a lunch!
    If a v8/auto swap is a consideration, moving into the box will allow you to remove
    the 150 pound ballast to offset the extra weight.
     
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  4. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,117

    stuart in mn
    Member

    According to the factory brochures, the 300ci six wasn't available in the Econoline vans.
     
    kevinrevin likes this.
  5. Bishop's toys
    Joined: Jan 20, 2022
    Posts: 4

    Bishop's toys

    completely open right now. looking for the best option. I think some missed the "if possible" part of my post. only looking to get the best mileage i can get so i will drive it more. I travel for work a lot. which requires renting cars also. one this i have found it the more "new" cars i drive the more i hate them. when i am home i want to bring it back down and relax in an old school ride.
     
  6. Bishop's toys
    Joined: Jan 20, 2022
    Posts: 4

    Bishop's toys

    that top mount unique to the econolines? haven't seen that before.
     
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  7. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,580

    Boneyard51
    Member

  8. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,580

    Boneyard51
    Member

    The reason I put a nine inch in , was I removed one from a later model Econoline, with the big six in it. So it was a direct bolt in. I got the springs and drive shaft . It was just easier for me. And the weight was not a real factor as I was hauling motorcycles and a lot of stuff in mine!
    An eight inch would be just fine.






    Bones
     
  9. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,135

    RmK57
    Member

    I had exactly the same year Bronco. Mine also had the 4.11's but 4.56 were the only other gears available. It really did need steep gearing to keep the 95 hp 170 up to speed on hills. I couldn't imagine 3.50 gears on it, you would never be able start on hills without putting it in low range!
     
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  10. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 4,181

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    ???????????
     
  11. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,775

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    Yes, and if you find one get all the linkage too!
    You can install other transmissions but you will have to buy or make a crossmember to go between the unibody frame rails.
     
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  12. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,775

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    I also don't think they offered the 300 in the 65-67 Econolines. The 240 yes.
     
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  13. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,775

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

  14. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,347

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    i swapped the almost-dead 170 in my econoline for a 250 (maverick) and was real happy with it. 20+ mpg is doable, and it's a long-stroke engine with lots of grunt!
     
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  15. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,347

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    they came with a fordomatic, but that's the trans mount!
     
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  16. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,307

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  17. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,505

    Hellfish
    Member

    I had a '65 van with a 170 and the small rear end. It ran just fine doing 70+ on the interstates around Chicago. It was light and got blown around a bit at those speeds though. I don't think I ever took it for longer than a 1 hour trip 1-way before swapping in a v8 and 9" rear (3.5:1 gears, and a different 3-speed manual) though. The 170 + 3 speed worked fine... not quick, but fine. I don't remember what MPG it got, but probably in the upper teens... and it badly needed a tune up. Having more gears would have helped, but very hard to do in an Econo without going to a boring auto.

    Depending on what year you have, you may have a 144, 170 or 240. The smaller ones all have the 7" rear end which won't take much abuse and I don't think you can easily change gears in them. The year will also greatly affect how difficult a swap will be.

    A 289/302 v8 or a 300 I6 will be just as easy/difficult and get similar MPG, so if you go that route, the versatility of the v8 is the better way. I don't know about a modern engine, but anything with computer controls and injection will get better MPG if that's all you're concerned about.
     
  18. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,356

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Holy cow!
    Unicorns exist. Thanks for the picture.
    [​IMG]
    This thing combined with Dan's suggestion of a 250 small six should bolt right in, as that engine is in the same family as the 144, 170 and 200.
    The 250 is taller than the smaller engines however, which may or may not be a problem.

    Perhaps that C4 could be rebuilt with C5 components, as that trans is based on the C4, but has a lock up torque convertor which would help a little with mileage.

    I guess a 9" rear end may be desirable just to help prevent the "nose dive", especially if it is a bolt in.
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,925

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Weight bias.

    These are dangerously tail light. The factory even put a weight in the tail.
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,925

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow. Quite the unicorn!

    Keep in mind that given the 3-bolt starter, it has the small ring gear common to the 144, 170, and only early 200.

    The 200 up to 1966 has both the small and large bell patterns on it (for manual it was 8-1/2" v. 9" clutches).

    1967-up has only the larger pattern. This can be easily determined from the donor having two starter to bell housing bolts, rather than three.
     
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  21. thebronc4019
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 224

    thebronc4019
    Member
    from New Jersey

    As far as I know yes, unique to Econolines
     
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  22. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,580

    Boneyard51
    Member

    When I took the 144 engine out of my van I just let it fall on the floor and jacked up the van and pulled it out! When I tried to put the new 200 inch Mustang engine in I couldn’t use any hoist that I had. So I removed the engine box, set the engine right behind the hole where the box was. I then put a towel on the dash, stuck my head on it, straddled the box hole, reached behind me under my legs and picked that engine up and set it in the mounts….by hand!

    That was near forty years ago……good to be young!






    Bones
     
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  23. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,925

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I hurt my back just reading that.
     
  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,487

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Damn, best example of "Young and dumb" I think I have ever read!
     
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  25. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,307

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca


    [​IMG]
     
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,853

    jnaki





    Hello,

    When Econoline vans were new, the ride around to various surf spots and long distance trips to Baja Mexico were cool. As teenagers, the ride was acceptable, except for going over dirt road bumps and odd pattern roads. The seating was directly over the wheels and we absorbed every little bump and action. Sometimes, our heads hit the inside roof. But, otherwise the ride was good. The interior was hot due to the motor being right there.

    The motor access, if anything was necessary, definitely became a plus. It was hard to get over the fact that the ride was so harsh, but that was how most vans of the time created a bumpy ride. But, one could not get over the fact of a great view of the road ahead.


    Today, if there is a choice of upgrading the motor and transmission, do it. Just don’t post build pictures if not an acceptable transition. Back in those early days, the Econoline stock power was there. Remember, it was a fairly new Econoline and then, it was a nicely running vehicle. Would we try to upgrade an Econoline today? With the modern upgrades available, then 100 mile a day road trips would be possible. But a change in the seating comfort and passenger well-being, would be mandatory for us.

    It would be a project that we would not want to do just because of sitting over the front tires and despite plenty of comfortable bucket seats, the ride will not always be the best for 100 miles jaunts anywhere…IOHO. If you need the truck bed for hauling short distances, that might be something to consider.

    But, comfort in the driving position is necessary for our modern daily drives and traffic conditions. Even the larger trucks are more comfortable, although, not as much as a nice sedan or station wagon with infinitely adjustable, bucket seats. YRMV


    Jnaki
    upload_2022-1-22_4-21-45.png

    Here is a nicely finished Econoline truck used for a local business. It looked well done and is probably used for short deliveries and upkeep on business contracts. But, 100 mile daily drives? Perhaps not… remember, comfort always wins for your body and especially your back’s seating angles for those long distances without any aches and pains.

    Yesterday, my wife and I took a 2 hour drive to the same So Cal coastal neighborhood where the above Econoline was located. Plus, we visited some places where we lived as 20 somethings. It is not a place where we would like to live, today.

    The quiet, early coastal highway went through some gargantuan buildings lining the street on one side and the ocean on the other. The once small quiet coastal homes are now, three story fat towers with no inclination to style or design. There was even a bridge to cross over the highway for tourists from the huge resorts, down the street.


    In addition, the long drive up/down the coast was fine in our modern sporty bucket seats. But in an old Econoline? That two hour drive would have sent us to the family doctor for a checkup on our old bodies or at least for mental health issues. YRMV
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  27. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,232

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Years ago I worked on one with a 240 and it seemed to do just fine and I also had a 240 on a full size p/u that did good,a 240 or 300 with decent gears would be all you would need.
     
  28. It sounds like you don't yet have an Econoline pickup. I'd be very concerned about safety, driving one.
     
  29. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,607

    sunbeam
    Member

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