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Old 02-01-2010, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Troy, Pa.
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Pasta - '96 Volkswagen Passat TDi
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Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
The Ford Lightnings of that era had a nice front air damn. I am sure there are many fiberglass knockoffs to be had that'll give you the same benefit.

Also, does it have normal lockable hubs? If not, removing the automatic hubs and going to manuals will help ya some too.

The 300 is a BEAST of a motor, but I've never heard of it talked about positively for gas consumption. Best of wishes! I'm guessing you have the Ford 8.8 in the rear. You might be able to find some 3.23 gears (assuming it's 3.55) to better use the MOUNTAIN of torque that motor has.

You might look into getting some 16x7 wheels and 235/85R16s.
Nice and narrow yet still tall.
I was just thinking about adding a plain 'ole airdam under the bumper, or even just cutting the bottom flange off the bumper and mating some more steel to it... not that I want to increase the weight of the truck any.

I'm not sure if it's got lockables or automatic, TBH. Never even thought to check. I was pretty excited to get a halfway decent truck for $575. I'll check the next time I go out there and look at it, which might not be for a few days. If it turns out they're auto hubs, I'll swap a set of manual hubs from my Father's parts truck.

The 300 never gets talked about for much, because it was a low-HP motor akin to diesels more than most other gas engines. They make more torque than HP in most configurations, and most people want a vehicle that can accelerate quickly, not one that can accelerate normally pulling 14 tons of trailer. I was specifically looking for either a 300 I6 or a diesel if I was going to get a Ford pickup.

Back in the day, the 300 I6 was used in trucks with a GVWR up to 10,000 lbs. They had the torque to do the job, even though they accelerated like a freight train. It's a shame that not many people ever did much with them, they could have been some very efficient engines, IMO. I'm going to work with mine a bit to see what I can do on gas, but ultimately, I have another old 300 spare that I'm trying to convert to a compression-ignition diesel engine.

BTW - If I were to run those 16's, those tires would be entirely too tall. That'd be adding more than an inch to the diameter. I'd have to run something like 235/60/16 to make them the OE diameter. Still not sure what I'm going to do about tires, yet.

Is there an option for the higher gears in the front axle too? I'm thinking for now that I'd like to keep the 4wd intact.

There is an option to find a gear reduction unit and install it on the end of the transfer case, one that has a 1:1 and a 2:1 ratio. It already holds 60 MPH at less than 2,000 RPM in high gear, though.
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