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Technical Return to American, what's some good steel?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DumpsterDriver92, Jan 18, 2016.

?
  1. 260-302 Windsor

    5 vote(s)
    15.6%
  2. Stovebolt 6

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  3. Ford straight 6

    7 vote(s)
    21.9%
  4. Nailhead

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  5. 292 y-block

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  6. Nash/Rambler OHV inline 6

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Other? What's good?

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  8. Chev smallblock

    18 vote(s)
    56.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    Hello,

    I'm looking to get back into an American (less disaster prone) ride as a daily/ general work crummy. Leaning toward late 50's to mid/late 60's sedan or coupe and wanted a bit of advice. I've had good luck with the Windsor (mild build 302, comp cam, dual plane, big edelbrock, port'n'polish, junk tube headers and straight pipes, pic below) and the 300 inline (another beater work truck, no pictures available). Heard some good things about the small y-blocks mpg and parts-wise. Ford/Mercury, Pontiac, Buick, what should I be looking at as an all purpose beater and what should I avoid?

    Attached Photos: R.I.P. Stinky, you're dearly missed.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,282

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Sounds like you are a Ford guy, in that case a 60's F-100 with the 300 six. For myself it would have to be a 1/2 ton Chevy with a 283 and a wide ratio muncie 4 cog. I did have a 55 F-100 in times past, it had a 70 350 LT-1 with a 350 trans and stock Dana with 392 gears. Quick in a straight line, hard to keep between the fence posts in the curves!
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,522

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Of the engines you name the best by far is the Ford 302. Light weight, reasonably powerful, can be reliable and long lived, and will get 18MPG. The others will struggle to match it, either in MPG or power or both.
     
    czuch and DumpsterDriver92 like this.
  4. Well I am generally an SBC guy but looks like you are a Ford man and I agree with Rusty ^^^^ here you cannot beat a 302 for an all around good motor.
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.

  5. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    That makes things easy, thanks for the feedback. I'm still pretty new to the whole hot rod scene and all. That '65 was my first attempt at a rat rod/daily. Worked great but I ran out of money and I could never get the linkage on the hunk of junk toploader 3spd I had crammed in there to work for more than 50 or 60 shifts before if would jam up.
     
  6. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    I'm pretty open minded honestly, I just wound up with Fords for work trucks. Old Buicks and Packards have always caught my eye but I just havn't stumbled on to one that wound up in my garage.
     
  7. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    The white '65 in the pictures was a roller with a 302 short-block crate in the bed with a toploader 3spd and bell stuck to it. I bought it and stuck it togeather in my buddies back yard for whatever spare change and scavenged parts I could come up with or horse-trade for. No idea what happened to the original 6 can.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,522

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I don't like Fords, if anything I am a Chrysler fan but that should not blind you to the truth. The 302 is an excellent piece of design, light weight , powerful for its size, and efficient .

    Why is no one looking at newer and better designs like the 4.6 V8 used in Ford, Mercury and Lincoln? Is it because everyone is scared to death of fuel injection?
     
  9. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    And yeah, Stinky was a handful if there was even a suggestion of a corner, there was about 6 inches of slop either way you turned the wheel and the suspension was nothing to write home about. Not realy fast thanks to the transmission unfortunately even with 311 rear end I topped out at about 78.
     
  10. manicmachanic
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 367

    manicmachanic
    Member
    from Berwyn, IL

    Sounds like a budget project. Pick your vehicle, then decide on an engine. You may not want to go through the work to put a Ford in something else.
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  11. i think any of these "small" cubic inch v8' would suit your needs; any of the small block chevies, the 302 ford, and, not mentioned, 318 chrysler. arguably, in that order.
    in the six cylinder group; 300 ford would top my list with the 250/292 chevy right behind, but these are not "fuel milage" choices where as a ,again not mentioned, slant six would be better.
     
  12. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    I'm probably going to buy a running beater and slowly add stuff on as I go. After all the headaches from building a roller I'm not likely to try that again till after I get out of college and have some disposable.
     
  13. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    I totaly spaced out on the 318, my dad had a beater Duster he ran into the ground once upon a time. I might have to look into an old Valiant or something.
     
  14. i am a chevy guy, but consider those engines, "bread and butter" engines.........i would go into battle with any of those choices.:cool:
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  15. Don't disagree with you at all, Rusty. Just not appropriate for this board. I love the 4.6 DOHC in my Lincoln Mark VIII. It'll probably end up in my '55 F-100, but not in here. The 5.7 Hemi in my '48 Plymouth knocks down 18 mpg in combined city / hwy driving (and the tuning is still off, I think it will do better), but again, not appropriate for this board.

    To get back to the op's original question, the 2 bbl. 283 powerglide combo (don't remember the rear gears, but it was either 3.08's or 3.36's) in my old '64 El Camino daily was right there at 17-18 mpg, and as a kid, I wasn't exactly trying to see how much mileage I could get out of it. On the other hand, as an adult, the best I could get out of my '72 El Camino SS (350, 4 bbl, 3.73 rear gears) was 14 mpg. So rear gears (and vehicle set up in general) will definitely make a difference. If you buy an old truck with 4.11's or 4.56's in it, you ain't gonna get 18 mpg!
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  16. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    Good to know, I've been learey of getting into something like a Nailhead Buick or a 359 Packard straight 8 because I didn't know what all parts cost and frequency of breakdowns would be. Lookin foreward to not panicking every time I hear a buzz or a rattle like I do with my VW.
     
  17. Chaz
    Joined: Feb 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,016

    Chaz
    Member Emeritus

    I kinda don't care for them, but you gotta admit.... Nothing is cheaper or easier to find parts for than a Chevy small block. That's reality.
     
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  18. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,907

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Back in the mid 80s I had a 76 Dodge dart with a 318 and automatic that would get a little over 20 miles to the gallon so do not overlook the small Mopar motors.
     
  19. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    Heh, I had an EFI 300 inline on my other work truck. That'll probably the first thing I swap out with whatever rig I wind up with. Cold starts in Idaho winters get old fast with carbs.
     
  20. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    That I could live with, were there any major changes in the transmission and engine between the '62 Valiant and the 70's darts?
     
  21. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    Heard and understood, does the VIN usualy have stock gears hidden in the code or do I have to go about figuring out my rear end ratio a different way? I know I had a 3.11:1 9 inch in my 65 but the trans was geared so low I got 12mpg on a good day.
     
  22. Not the VIN usually, but some manufactures use a tag on the rear end (usually on one of the bolts) and newer (60's) vehicles sometimes have other methods of listing it, but all of these assume no ones ever done a gear or rear end swap. The best way is just to manually count them, but that's kind of a pain when your checking out cars to buy (requires jacking it up) unless your doing a full pre-purchase inspection somewhere and have it up on a lift. If the vehicle has a tach, you could use that as a good indictor, you gonna want a cruise rpm around 1800-2000 rpm (my Plymouth is 1650 at 70 mph, and that's a little low, it lugs a little on acceleration till it downshifts).
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,684

    squirrel
    Member

    To get 18 mpg consistently in an old daily driver, you probably will want a smaller displacement engine, in a lighter car/truck, and it needs to be geared right. You can easily set up a 302 ford to get 10 to 15 mpg, and not so easily, 20 mpg.
     
  24. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    I found a '73 Comet with a 3.00 8.8 and a 302/?c4?(I don't know what year Ford switched to the Mazda auto) from a '93 foxbody, would that be in the 18mpg ballpark do you think?
     
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,684

    squirrel
    Member

    It could easily be.
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,522

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If you are looking for a daily driver on a budget there are millions of front drive cars and minivans for a few hundred dollars and up. I know it is not appropriate to this board but I wouldn't even think of buying a hobby car unless I had a later model runabout.
     
    belair likes this.
  27. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,522

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Should do a lot better than that. Low twenties at least.
     
    DumpsterDriver92 likes this.
  28. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    I'm one of those unfortunate fools that sticks to old junk, I went from a '77 Alfa Romeo Spider to an '84 Toyota Celica to a couple old Ford trucks to a '72 Bus. Figured the best way to learn about the cars I like is to drive the crap out of em and let YouTube teach me how to fix it.
     
  29. DumpsterDriver92
    Joined: Jan 18, 2016
    Posts: 16

    DumpsterDriver92
    Member
    from Idaho

    We'll see if the guy takes my offer then.
     
  30. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,140

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    better go read the rules. this is a forum with a 1965 year cut off.....
     

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