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  Does a 351-M "have enough" for tow truck use?

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Author Topic:   Does a 351-M "have enough" for tow truck use?
Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 2494
From: Stanton, Michigan 49707
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 10-31-2005 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke   Click Here to Email Ryan Wilke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm thinking about stepping into a solid '77 F250 4X4 to replace my current 390-equipped F100 tow truck. It'll be expected to pull an open trailer with a '69FB on it, and have tools/equipment loaded under the topper. The F250 is prettty solid, but I was hoping for a BB engine, not a 351-M engine. It also has a 4-speed behind the 351-M.

I've never owned a 351-M/400 engine, so I'm asking for opinions...... will it be enough, or will I be unhappy?

Thanks for any advice!
Ryan

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Rory McNeil
Gearhead

Posts: 1687
From: Surrey, B.C. Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 10-31-2005 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rory McNeil   Click Here to Email Rory McNeil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess a lot depends on the condtion of the engine, it IS almost 30 years old, you know.In stock form they were pretty weak, and had a tendancy to wear out the crank bearings prematurely, especially if not maintained well. A friend bought a brand new fully loaded F250 4x4 in 1979, with a 400&C6, it was quite a slug stock, but a Comp Cams 260H cam, Edelbrock Performer intake & 750 Carter AFB, along with headers and dual exhaust really woke it up. We towed his "Pro Street" 67 Fairlane (3600 lbs)on a open trailer, with a 8 foot camper over 1000 miles each way to Sacramento California for the 1983 Street Machine Nationals, and the truck towed just fine. Now, a smaller stock 351M, with almost 30 years under it`s belt would obviously be much weaker.

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78 Fairmont 428 4 speed [email protected] 1.32 60 foot
80 Fairmont 302 5 speed [email protected]
85 Mustang NHRA M/Stock 302 5speed. [email protected] 1.63 60 foot
59 Meteor (Canadian Ford) 2 dr sedan 332, auto
74 F350 ramp truck 390 4spd

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Dad Vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 1064
From: Moscow, Iowa, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 10-31-2005 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dad Vishus   Click Here to Email Dad Vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My brother in law bought a new F250 in 79 with a 400 and a granny 4 speed. He wanted to tow a 30 foot camper and it was a bit weak for that.

He put a cam and lifter set in it, not sure how big, a Holley 750 and Edelbrock intake on it. Exhaust was upgraded to duals.

It had a 4.10 gear and after the mods, it was a stump pullin fool.

I'd think a 351M would be a bit light for pulling anything very heavy. If the truck is solid, it would be a perfect candidate for a transplant. The engine bay is big enough for anything you want.

When we started racing we pulled a flat bed with a 77 E150 with a 351W. It needed more gear to work very well. It had a Holley 600, Edelbrock Performer intake and Performer cam. Headers and duals made it run pretty well. A 3.50 gear was about right for economy and power.

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63 Falcon 377 Cleveland stroker Flying Toilet alchohol injection. 6.19 @ 110 MPH 1/8 mile
2002 Ranger FX4 daily driver
2000 F350 PSD Crew cab dually - Like commuting in a B52!!
98 US Cargo Phantom II 28'

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MLariviere
Moderator

Posts: 4120
From: Biddeford,Me.USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-02-2005 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MLariviere   Click Here to Email MLariviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 351M has the big block bellhousing pattern if you wanted to step up.

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Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 2494
From: Stanton, Michigan 49707
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 11-03-2005 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke   Click Here to Email Ryan Wilke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the information and advice, Rory, DV and ML!

Ryan

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