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sardonicus 08-04-2019 10:15 AM

Modding my 1979 Ford F150 - looking for some opinions
So I have recently started working on my truck, progress is slow because funding is limited and I work on a poultry farm my family owns and am coming up on that time of flock where I'll be without pay for a couple months so this is mostly just an information gathering exercise.

There are several things I want to do with this truck, but one thing I wont be doing is a total electric conversion. I like working with the gasoline engines so it'll be staying, but I do want to improve fuel economy while having a little fun experimenting with some things.

The first thing I want to do is add hydrogen, and lots of it. Being that this is an older vehicle there is oodles of space for me to work with and in the end I will likely be running multiple hho generators - to start with though one will have to do and I'll go from there. The engine in my truck is a carbureted 302 with a 2 barrel carburetor. If anyone has experience with hho and these engines I would be curious to know how thats worked out for you. How much hho have you been able to pump into it before detonation became a problem? Any suggestions on this line of modification are welcome.

The next thing I want to do is to add an electric assist motor - this is where things get tricky for me as I've never done anything like this before, but here is my plan. My truck is two wheel drive but I know that they made them 4 wheel drive I am on the hunt for a front differential that will bolt up to my truck - preferably with no or little modification to the frame and supports. Then I want to run a drive shaft from that differential directly to a motor - wherever I can weld up a mount for a motor. With all the space available under there I dont think that will be a problem. I am looking for motor suggestions here because I really dont know where to start. I definitely want regenerative braking so if my understanding of things is correct I will need an AC motor. My hope is that by supplying power to the front wheels via an electric motor it will be easier for the gas engine to supply power to the rear wheels and overall make things more efficient. Motor, controller, inverter advice is all welcome here as well anyone with thoughts on how effective my plan really will be. I'm open to any better ideas too.

On the more experimental side of things I intend to attempt to reclaim some of the wasted heat energy from the gas engine. They waste so much in the form of heat and I believe that I can harness some of that waste by using banks of thermoelectric generators. The challenge I think will be finding a way to keep the cool side cool enough for usable electricity generation to occur. If anyones dabbled with something like this I'd be curious to know what kind of results they had.

Taylor95 08-04-2019 10:31 AM

I don't think anyone here has added an electric assist motor to their car. That would be pretty complex. If you actually do it, I would be very interested in the details.

There are a lot of things you can do before you invest in an electric motor and batteries. Make sure your truck is in good working order. Making the switch to full synthetic fluids will be good. Some mods that increase horsepower will also increase efficiency too.

Improving aerodynamics is what most people here have done a lot with. You could get a lot of gains from a tonneau cover, wheel discs, a front air dam, and adding positive rake.

sardonicus 08-04-2019 10:38 AM

At the moment the truck has no bed - it was rusting out at the seams and it just wasnt worth it to me to salvage so I have a lot of options in that regard for improving aerodynamics. I hadn't actually considered much in the way of aerodynamics at all. The idea of a positive rake is interesting though I'm not sure how I'd go about doing it. Thats some food for thought for sure - I'll have to do some looking into it.

Taylor95 08-04-2019 01:06 PM

Any pictures?

I've never done this, but a boat-tail like back end would reduce drag on your vehicle the most. You certainly have this option since you do not have a bed, however, you would probably be sacrificing aesthetics in the name of economy in this case.

Do you do mostly highway driving? Aero mods will benefit you the most if you do a lot of highway driving.

There's also a page on here you can check out to improve your driving habits. I believe you could get up to a 30% improvement in mileage by improving your driving.

sardonicus 08-04-2019 01:13 PM

I don't do much driving at all really - short trips into town for groceries and such. Kind of live in the middle of nowhere. Mostly I am working on this truck as a tax deduction - officially the farm pays most of my expenses so come tax time I don't have many deductions. This is "officially" a work truck lol.

Taylor95 08-04-2019 01:21 PM

The amount of work for aero mods probably wouldn't benefit you a whole lot then. I would suggest just making sure the truck is in good mechanical shape. If you do end up doing something like electric assist, that would probably net you the most efficiency no matter your typical driving habits.

sardonicus 08-04-2019 02:19 PM

The engine is a recent rebuild, missing only a few small but important parts. Should be in perfect running order when I can finish collecting parts.

I also wonder what peoples thoughts are on electric vs mechanical water pumps.

Gasoline Fumes 08-04-2019 04:57 PM

For short trips, preheating the engine coolant and oil, trans and rear end with electric heat would help. And you could run it without the alternator and grid-charge the battery.

slowmover 08-04-2019 05:53 PM

TBI. Cutting the warmup to shortest worth more than the rest. (Highest cylinder pressure on today’s pump gas after rebuild with camshaft suited to ACTUAL WORKING USE. Very small quench and maybe 8.875 to 1 CR)

The V8-302 and the I6-300 weigh about the same. I’d prefer the six with a manual. 3+ 1 OD. Positive traction differential with 2WD.

Other than that, it’s tires.

A front air dam & side skirts depending on amount plus type of unpaved surfaces. An aerolid if it will work.

I wouldn’t go into other work.


sardonicus 08-04-2019 06:25 PM

Interesting information. I'm pretty 50/50 on paved roads and gravel roads. The price of living in the middle of nowhere I suppose.

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