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Gas Mileage and engine's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by PapaG, May 4, 2005.

  1. My 56 f100 is in the planning stages and I am looking at engine and tranny combos. I have a 409 chevy that I could use, but I am sure the gas mileage would suck. FYI I live in rual south east Texas and the closest town is 20 miles away. Houston is a 1 1/2 hr drive. So I want something I can drive with out talking out a loan for a road trip. I have thought of a 300ci ford 6 cyl, a 215 olds or ???? Diesel (just kidding):D

    4 speed or 5 speed or ?

    Thanks folks

  2. BigDdy31
    Joined: Jul 31, 2002
    Posts: 1,003


    My friend, the last line of your post is the most important to your dilema. I promise that what will make all the difference in the world, no matter what engine you choose, it to use an overdrive tranny.

    I have become a huge OD convert over the last few years. I have identical trucks (don't ask how that happened, LOL) except one has a 3 spd auto and one has a 4 spd auto OD. The mileage in the OD truck is astoundingly better than the 3 spd truck, both running SB Mopar 318s. Just for reference, I can go to Dallas and back home to Houston (not towing) and use slightly less than two tanks of gas.

    I also have some experience with the Ford family of sixes, not bad engines, pretty tough, but they are more costly to hot rod than choosing something more mainstream.

    If it were me, I'd do a mild build on the 409, invest in making it more efficient to get power, not just bolt on goodies, and then back it with a built GM 4spd auto like the 700 or 200. R's not metrics.
  3. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,145

    from Burton, MI

    Dude, if your worried about mileage, go buy a new Chevy Aveo or Toyota. They get super awesome mileage. Paint it black with red wheels and you've got a retro new car!
  4. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    from Detroit

    305 Chevy with 700r4 overdrive auto, 3.08 rear axle and a lockup converter. Stock cam, small four barrel carb (vacuum cecondaries of course), HEI distributor with adjustable vacuum advance, and headers with duals.

    Oughtta get ya right around 20mpg easily.

  5. Scotch
    Joined: May 4, 2001
    Posts: 1,489


    The OD transmissions are key, but so is your camshaft. I'd go with a decent amount of cubic inches and a small cam to offer lots of torque. When it's in overdrive, the engine might only be turning 2,000 rpm or so. If you've got a big cam, it won't be happy there.

    For really suprising fuel economy, go with a mild V-8 (the 409 would be cool, but you really should sell it to me instead) and back it with a later OD trans. The 700R-4 and 200/4-R are two of the more popular choices because they don't require a computer to operate. The later GM 4L60 and 4L80 transmissions are awesome, but do require computer controls. There are excellent computers offered in the aftermarket to operate them (TCI's is the best), but it ain't cheap.

    If you go with a non-computer OD trans, I'd recommend working with a good shop like Bowtie Overdrives who can walk you through the throttle valve (TV) cable adjustment. It's critical this cable be adjusted properly, or you'll smoke the new trans. Done correctly, it's a great upgrade.

  6. If fuel milage was the only thing I was worried about, I would just drive the wife's VW Passat TDI. 45+mpg and over 700+ miles per tank would do it.

    No really, I don't know about folks that live in the big metro area's on the east coast and west coast, but Texas is big... and we do go places. I have some folks on the east coast, that live 30-45 miles away from each other and they only visit a few times a year. Hell when I first got married over 30+ years ago we would leave Houston on friday and go see her folks or mine or even both and drive 300+ miles. And this was in my 69 Dart 340, 747 tranny and 410 gears. But those days are gone for me.

    I have done the BBC, Fords, Pontiacs. Turning 4000+ RPM's to hit 70 on the highway doesn't cut it anymore for me. I am sure there are still people that do that, but they don't go far most of the time.

    just my 02 cents, you can keep the change:D
  7. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


    My ex roommate's '93 5.0 Mustang GT got 30 mpg on the freeway between Seattle and Portland, OR (went back and forth at least once a month). While the F100 won't get all that, a late 5.0 with injection, good exhaust, and the stock OD trans will make enough power to get you around nicely and deliver at least 20 mpg on the road, for a pretty low pricepoint. And you can buy a $200 wiring harness kit that installs that engine (with Ford EECIV computer) in an old car/truck with only a couple wires. Modern fuel injection and electronic engine management is the reason new performance cars are quick, clean, and pretty fuel efficient. No reason to be scared of it in an otherwise traditional older car/truck.

    And you can get a drivetrain out of a wrecked Mustang for well under a grand, and sell off the rest of the car to get much of that money back.
  8. Flathead Youngin'
    Joined: Jan 10, 2005
    Posts: 3,662

    Flathead Youngin'

    My tired old 77 1/2 ton, 305 got 11.5 last!

    I may need to consult Hack!
  9. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    I agree with Merc63. A 5.0 Ford with EEC-IV would be a great mileage/performance motor for your pickup. A tip: If you don't just have to have a 3 pedal, look for an '88-'92 Lincoln Mark VII. They have the same HO motor as the 'Stang and ragged out but good running examples can be bought for $500 or less. Jan
  10. burger
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 2,347

    from burbs


    Similar to BigBdy31's story about two similar trucks with and without overdrive, I have a story about two 80's Ford F-150's with and without V-8's.

    The 302/AOD in my '84 F-150 got the same terrible mileage (14-15 MPG) that my boss' '88 300/AOD nailed down. We both had painfully similar commutes along the same god-forsaken highway that is prone to traffic jams and stop-and-go driving more frequently than 75-mph cruising.

    Later F-150's with EFI really don't get that much better mileage. You'll still have a hard time getting 20MPG from a new full size truck.

    I would follow Scotch's advice, and build a mild 409 w/ OD. You wont get killer mileage out of that truck, even with an "economy" engine.

  11. Kev Nemo
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 2,453

    Kev Nemo

    Don't rule out an inline 6. With the proper gears, it'll provide the torque you need to haul and get decent mileage
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,666


    several years ago I put a 87 ford pickup 302/aod in a guy's 56 ford pickup, it got great mileage. Before that the truck had a 289/srod/3.00 gears and also got great mileage.

    my 55 gets good mileage....for a blown big block in an old car with low tech, that is. I pulled 12.0 mpg on our 4500 mile trip last summer, with 2.75 gears. No need for steep gears if you have too much torque.
  13. Silverado
    Joined: Feb 4, 2005
    Posts: 133


    Fook the automatics! What's everyone's love affair with 700R4s? They're garbage (mine is currently on the outs, so I'm a little perturbed).

    Get a manual overdrive class T-5, Borg Warner T-56, etc.
  14. skumbag
    Joined: Feb 16, 2005
    Posts: 688


    a buddy of mine has a 1953 1/2 ton chevy. he rebuilt the inline 6 left the 3speed tranny. i dont know if 3.08 gears are what came in it stock, but thats what he's got. he gets 20mpg all day long. thats seems like pretty good milage to me.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,758


    Do not ,I repeat, Do not build something that you don't want or wouldn't be happy with just to get better mileage.

    In your trips to the big city the savings will probably be less than $20 round trip.

    If you already have the 09 and you buy a late fuel injected AOD with the computer conversion you will spend 10 times more than you ever will save.

    In 1974 I saw people trade their muscle cars off for pintos and vegas and they hated them.

    The fuel prices don't worry me. I agreed a month ago to mow my neighbors yard every week and that $ will pay the extra fuel costs for the rest of the year.

    Build what you want ,you will hate the car if you compromise.

    Thats my opinion ,I could be wrong
  16. junkman104
    Joined: Mar 10, 2005
    Posts: 163


    My daily driver has 392,000 miles on the original 700r and still works perfect. Service it and dont tow in overdrive. 5.7 engine and 3.08 gears 21mpg.

    That 700r transmissions are junk is bullshit.
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,666


    yeah...if you use the tranny only as it was designed to be used. but what fun is that?
  18. Thanks for all the ideas guys...
  19. mikeyboy
    Joined: Aug 26, 2001
    Posts: 223


    later 88 up 302 w EFI, A9L computer, AOD & 3.50 gear, you will be well on your way to 20+ MPG...and you will keep your Ford ALL FORD :)D)
  20. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


    I agree with the "if you have it already, it'll cost less than changing" concept. But in this case, if he doesn't have the 409 already in the truck, you have to factor in the cost of adapting the 409 to the Ford truck, getting a trans, and driveshaft, etc. and making it run. Overall costs won't be that much less than selling the 409 and buying a late EFI 5.0 (if you get a complete car for $500, you can part out the rest). Total conversion cost could end up near zero with the parts sales factored in (which you don't have if you have to buy a trans and mounts, etc., for the 409).

    I'd have to agree that the 409 would simply be a cooler engine in the truck... :D
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,666


    personally, I think the 409 would look better in my 61 belair bubbletop....
  22. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,356


    So very true!


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