: A question for the Ford truck people... 351 v. 460. v 7.3L Diesel



I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-23-08, 05:22 PM
I'm helping a friend find a Ford F-Series. They want a 1987-96 F-150/250/350...they do not want the 4.9L I-6 or 5.0L V8, because of a lack of power, nor do they want the AOD...they want either the manual transmission with the small block or diesel or the C6 with the 460, due to the questionable reliability of the AOD.

I have a few questions....does the 460 offer enough additional power and better acceleration than the 351 to offset the extra fuel costs of the big block?

How does the 6.9 or 7.3L diesels stand up? Are they pretty tough? Any issues with those having problems with the glow-plugs? It's gonna be parked outside in the winter, so it's gonna have to start easily in some pretty cold temps.

Did the 460s and diesels get a heavier duty transmission or did they share the same AOD as the small blocks? I could have sworn they used the C6 up until the '90s at some point?

Night Wolf
11-23-08, 09:04 PM
What is it to be used for?

I can't speak for the 460 or diesel... but I will say the 351 is a total gas hog, especially for the (lack of) power it makes... and the stock 302 in the pickups really isn't anything special.

Honestly, unless you need the extra pulling power of the diesel, the 4.9 I6 will out pull a 302 and give a 351 a run for it's money... None of them are going to be fast.

really tho, 351 gas mileage will be like 8-10 town and 12ish highway... if even that.

I've always like the '92-'96 style F150, it would be nice to find an I6/5spd (4x4 has no use here :( ) that isn't total basic work truck, one with the chrome bumpers/trim and power options... that would be about one of the most solid reliable trucks out there.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-23-08, 09:28 PM
The truck is for daily driver usage...nothing too strenuous at all. We both agree that the 4.9L is a great engine, and a great puller, but it's SLOW....0-60 in 20 seconds, even with the five speed. It'll make a 307 or HT4100 Brougham seem like a Ferrari by comparison. The 351 isn't fast either...I found a Motorweek road test video on Youtube saying a 1991 F150 Extended Cab long box with the 351 does 0-60 in 11.2 seconds with the four speed automatic. And I've seen videos of a 1996 F350 with the 460 doing acceleration runs and it's doing 0-60 in about 8.8-9.5 seconds. So none (aside from the Lightning) were quick, but that 4.9L is so damn slow.

Night Wolf
11-23-08, 10:15 PM
If it's daily driver, then avoid diesel.... for some reason it's still alot more then gas... here regular today is $1.70 and diesel is $2.60.

If it's a daily driver a 460/C6 will be drinking gas as fast as you can put it in.

If he is dead set against the I6 and wants a V8.... the 302 would be a better choice over the 351.... from my experience both the 302 and 351 were just dogs in those F150's/Broncos...... if it's just a daily driver and no towing/hauling a diesel/460 would be out of the question.... unless he just wants a diesel to feel manly or something.

Not to mention 460's and diesels in that generation are hard to find... you'll trip over bare bones I6's (which is why I like the I6 XLT) and decent 5.0/5.8 V8's all day long. IIRC this is back when any engine was offered with a 5spd, which would be the only way I would go.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
11-23-08, 10:24 PM
The truck is for daily driver usage...nothing too strenuous at all. We both agree that the 4.9L is a great engine, and a great puller, but it's SLOW....0-60 in 20 seconds, even with the five speed.


The 351 will be slow as hell too. You remember me dragging the van right? And gas mileage is atrocious. That figure of 8-10 city and 12-14 highway is dead on. My grandfather had an '89 with the 7.3 diesel and it was a bear too. It was able to pull a 15,000 trailer but at the same time they did not have very good computers to control it so it bogged down in the mountains and in cold weather. My uncle now owns it and it takes about 1.5 minutes just to heat up the glow plugs and then you have to wait another 5 minutes or so to get the engine warm enough so you don't blow it up. It is so bad in the winter that he has all but about 10sq. in. of the radiator covered in an attempt to keep it at operating temperature.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-23-08, 11:19 PM
Honestly, the 460 appeals to me most. The 302 and 351 sound slow and extremely piggish (10/14 WTF???) and they don't sound like they offer enough of a fuel economy benefit to allow for their shitty acceleration. The 460 is probably gonna get 8/12 mpg, because it's just never stressed enough to have to really have to break a sweat. Plus, it's a big block, and that alone makes it much cooler in my book.

I've heard good things about this 7.3L turbo diesel, whether in IDI (indirect injection) or DI (direct injection) form. I've heard lots of good reviews on carsurvey.org, but it's a diesel, so it's not gonna feel or act like a gasoline engine, even the 460, and the maintenance will be more expensive (glow plugs seem to go on these), along with fuel being a LOT more money...but I've heard they can get 15-17mpg on the highway. People generally seem to say they're a superior engine when compared to GM's 6.5L turbo diesel.

dkozloski
11-23-08, 11:20 PM
I wouldn't trade my 2wd Ford Ranger with a 3L V6 and AOD for a train load of F150s.

Submariner409
11-23-08, 11:28 PM
Don't knock the 300 c.i. I-6. I had a '95 5-speed and it was dead nuts reliable, got great gas mileage, comfortable, quiet, and cheap on maintenance. You don't buy a DD pickup truck for blazing acceleration: you use it as a general purpose DD.

Cliff8928
11-24-08, 12:30 AM
I've heard good things about this 7.3L turbo diesel, whether in IDI (indirect injection) or DI (direct injection) form. I've heard lots of good reviews on carsurvey.org, but it's a diesel, so it's not gonna feel or act like a gasoline engine, even the 460, and the maintenance will be more expensive (glow plugs seem to go on these), along with fuel being a LOT more money...but I've heard they can get 15-17mpg on the highway. People generally seem to say they're a superior engine when compared to GM's 6.5L turbo diesel.

Well, If you've seen any medium duty International trucks that have "T444E" on the side right under the series number, that's basically the same engine as in the 1994.5 + F-Series.


Don't knock the 300 c.i. I-6. I had a '95 5-speed and it was dead nuts reliable, got great gas mileage, comfortable, quiet, and cheap on maintenance. You don't buy a DD pickup truck for blazing acceleration: you use it as a general purpose DD.

I remember my cousin touting that his 4.9 F150 had more torque than a (original) Ligtning back then.

Red_October_7000
11-24-08, 12:55 AM
Yeah, the 4.9 is a great motor. Largest I6 ever fitted to a regular production vehicle. Will generate enough torque to pull your house down, no questions asked. I've driven Fords with all three of the gas motors in question, and the 5.0 litre is shit. The Bronco it was in wouldn't get out of its own way, and was just all-around rubbish. The 5.8 is more satisfactory. The sad fact of the matter is, unless he gets the big-block and a stick, it is going to be slow, and even then it's not going to be balls-out fast. Ford trucks are just not fast. For a DD, the I6 can't be beat. It's tough as old boots and strong enough to power a 10,000-lbs. rated cargo truck (albeit coupled with a 3+L rock-crusher tranny that results in a 70 MPH top speed) while still returning ho-hum fuel econ (the best you can hope for a non-oil-burner Ford). A 4+OD trans will make all the difference in the world.

Night Wolf
11-24-08, 08:13 PM
Don't knock the 300 c.i. I-6. I had a '95 5-speed and it was dead nuts reliable, got great gas mileage, comfortable, quiet, and cheap on maintenance. You don't buy a DD pickup truck for blazing acceleration: you use it as a general purpose DD.

Man, that is nice... I6 and 5spd.... XLT? I spot the chrome trim. Personally I'd rather have a short bed, I know extended cabs in these things were somewhat uncommon.

At the airlines I last worked for, they had a few company pickups, the two we used most was an old Chevy dually with cattle racks and one of these old bare bones I6 F-150's. Both had over 200k and both were trashed... I still liked the F-150 tho.

I must say... it has sparked my interest in them again, it'd be neat to find one around here.

F150, I6, 5spd, 2wd or Ranger 3.0, 5spd, 2wd are just about the most basic, simple and reliable forms of transportation you can get today, not to mention all the utility of a pickemup.

If my Isuzu Amigo wasn't in as good shape as it is with as much new parts as it has, I would probably sell it and get an I6 F150, would be handy for around the house stuff and DD, but, for now the Isuzu does the job great and I've got the 5x8 trailer if I need to haul stuff... about the only drawback, that I would change, or that even an I6 F150 would offer, is that it dosen't have the power, or proper hitch to tow a dolly with another car... but maybe thats a good thing as it helps keep my car collection down...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-24-08, 10:17 PM
I went with my friend to test drive a 1996 F150 Supercab today.

It was a 4.9L I-6, five speed manual, with the Eddie Bauer package. It was a pretty nice truck all things considered...the seats were pretty soft and comfortable, and with the "convertible console" feature that was standard on the Eddie Bauers, you had available seating for six, or a full storage center if the center seat was down. The cool thing about the Eddie Bauer edition is it's like the Cadillac of F150s...you've got wood grain trim in the cabin, power mirrors, two tone paint, color keyed cab steps and forged aluminum deep dish wheels, among all the standard features in the XLT F-150....so you've got the most loaded F-150 you could have gotten in 1996.

As far as the power/acceleration went....let me put it this way. The truck was advertised on the internet as having the 5.0L V8....and after the test drive, including a WOT run from about 10mph, we believed it! It wasn't as god-forsakenly slow as I'd imagined it would be. I saw that one video of someone with a 4.9L I-6 F-150 doing a 0-60 run, and it was about 20-21 seconds, and this one was about 12-13 seconds...so about comparable to a 307 powered Brougham...roughly speaking. The midrange passing power (55mph WOT in 4th gear) was better than either of the HT4100 powered Cadillacs I drove (1984 Sedan deVille, 83 Eldorado Biarritz)...and I'd say from memory, it was quicker at those speeds than my brother's 1996 Sentra is. (sorry, it's one of the only really slow cars I've driven recently)

So yeah, not as slow as I'd anticipated... Still wouldn't hold a candle to a 460 powered Lincoln though.... :lildevil:

I have to say, I was pretty astonished when we popped the hood and saw it was only the 4.9L. The first thing I saw was the intake plenum, and I said "Boy, they must have changed that for 1996." And he looks at it for a bit and says "Chad, this is the inline six." LOL! I have to say, that is probably the best placed oil filter I've ever seen...so accessible...right on the bottom of the driver's side of the block...right out in the open...nice.

Red_October_7000
11-25-08, 01:55 AM
Yeah, the I6 is a dream to work on. Everything is right there! The F600 that I learned to love it in has so much room in the engine bay that you can sit IN it next to the motor to work on it! Just watch out for the oil-loaded air cleaner! Not sure if the pickups got them, or just the HD trucks...

Night Wolf
11-25-08, 04:15 PM
I went with my friend to test drive a 1996 F150 Supercab today.

It was a 4.9L I-6, five speed manual, with the Eddie Bauer package. It was a pretty nice truck all things considered...the seats were pretty soft and comfortable, and with the "convertible console" feature that was standard on the Eddie Bauers, you had available seating for six, or a full storage center if the center seat was down. The cool thing about the Eddie Bauer edition is it's like the Cadillac of F150s...you've got wood grain trim in the cabin, power mirrors, two tone paint, color keyed cab steps and forged aluminum deep dish wheels, among all the standard features in the XLT F-150....so you've got the most loaded F-150 you could have gotten in 1996.

As far as the power/acceleration went....let me put it this way. The truck was advertised on the internet as having the 5.0L V8....and after the test drive, including a WOT run from about 10mph, we believed it! It wasn't as god-forsakenly slow as I'd imagined it would be. I saw that one video of someone with a 4.9L I-6 F-150 doing a 0-60 run, and it was about 20-21 seconds, and this one was about 12-13 seconds...so about comparable to a 307 powered Brougham...roughly speaking. The midrange passing power (55mph WOT in 4th gear) was better than either of the HT4100 powered Cadillacs I drove (1984 Sedan deVille, 83 Eldorado Biarritz)...and I'd say from memory, it was quicker at those speeds than my brother's 1996 Sentra is. (sorry, it's one of the only really slow cars I've driven recently)

So yeah, not as slow as I'd anticipated... Still wouldn't hold a candle to a 460 powered Lincoln though.... :lildevil:

I have to say, I was pretty astonished when we popped the hood and saw it was only the 4.9L. The first thing I saw was the intake plenum, and I said "Boy, they must have changed that for 1996." And he looks at it for a bit and says "Chad, this is the inline six." LOL! I have to say, that is probably the best placed oil filter I've ever seen...so accessible...right on the bottom of the driver's side of the block...right out in the open...nice.

You just described my ideal F150.... a loaded I6 5spd.... if I saw one locally it would be darn tempting.

That old beatup F150 at my last job with over 200k had an automatic and power for it felt ok for normal pickup truck use.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-25-08, 04:25 PM
The insane thing about these 1992-95 full size Ford trucks is the amount of room in the cabin...it's so spacious! Tons of headroom, tons of legroom (well not so much in back lol) and it seems like the windshield is pretty far out there too..of course it helps that the dashboard doesn't take up much space and sits low, along with the shoulder line. So you feel like you're on top of the world in that car....it's different in a Chevy truck, because the dash sits a lot higher, and is physically bigger too..

If he buys it, he'll be my second friend with an I-6/5 speed truck...my friend Evan has that '01 Cherokee Sport with the 4.0L I-6 and Dodge-sourced five speed manual...and that'll make three of us with inline sixes.

Night Wolf
11-25-08, 08:13 PM
Heh... lotta "good" engines of the past, and recent past were I6's.... Ford 4.9, Jeep 4.0 etc....

I dunno, hard to explain... just something charming about the I6. When driving, sometimes you tend to forget what type of engine is under the hood, but it's nice to know it's in there. I like mine alot even tho she isn't running as good as she could be... I dunno, technically is the BMW I6 a slant 6?