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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:26 PM   #1
barry1me
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Default Ford F series 6th generation guru's need some insight

Looking to buy a 73-79 F series truck and am looking for some insight in things to look for when looking at used ones. I dont know much about these trucks at all. Im not sure whether I will get a 150, or 250. Looking for any and all insight from you guys. From a few people I have talked to the 351, 390, and 400 were the better engine choices to get.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:33 PM   #2
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I would look for a 250 which will get you a leafsprung front end and possible and dana 60 front if you're lucky. Leaf springs are cheaper and easier to lift due to less parts needing added/changed. Other than front suspension and axles the trucks are basically the same. As for years, go with a 76 or newer as 76 was the first year for front disc brakes(you will want these for sure) and the NP205 t-case also came in the ?75-79 trucks as a married unit.

For engines the 390 is used up to 76 and then either the 351 or 400 modified engines were used almost exclusively(a few had 302's). Both of the modified engines are slighlty undesireable due to low power/torque in stock form and there isn't a lot of aftermarket support for them. If you have to pick a mod motor try to find a 400. The best engine to look for would be the 302 SB or the 460 BB. 460's must be swapped in but so many have done this that there are some good deals on trucks that already have the BB in them.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:38 PM   #3
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I think you should skip looking at the used ones and just buy a new 79 250
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bigblockford79 View Post
I would look for a 250 which will get you a leafsprung front end and possible and dana 60 front if you're lucky. Leaf springs are cheaper and easier to lift due to less parts needing added/changed. Other than front suspension and axles the trucks are basically the same. As for years, go with a 76 or newer as 76 was the first year for front disc brakes(you will want these for sure) and the NP205 t-case also came in the ?75-79 trucks as a married unit.

For engines the 390 is used up to 76 and then either the 351 or 400 modified engines were used almost exclusively(a few had 302's). Both of the modified engines are slighlty undesireable due to low power/torque in stock form and there isn't a lot of aftermarket support for them. If you have to pick a mod motor try to find a 400. The best engine to look for would be the 302 SB or the 460 BB. 460's must be swapped in but so many have done this that there are some good deals on trucks that already have the BB in them.

Great info, thanks. I like the 73-76 grill better then the 77-79. I assume you can just swap out a grill though!? Do the 250's bring more money then the 150's? Regarding condition of the truck what are different things to look at on the truck that are important to look at? IE...I know with Jeeps you want to look at the spring perchs on the frame, and stuff like that.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 11:58 PM   #5
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I have a nice F159 shortbed 6" lift 460 & all the goodies $3500
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Old April 6th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #6
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Great info, thanks. I like the 73-76 grill better then the 77-79. I assume you can just swap out a grill though!? Do the 250's bring more money then the 150's? Regarding condition of the truck what are different things to look at on the truck that are important to look at? IE...I know with Jeeps you want to look at the spring perchs on the frame, and stuff like that.
Yes you can swap the grill out if you like the style with the vertical bar in the center. 150's and 250's will run you pretty much the same price if the 250 has the dana 44 or the person selling it doesn't know how much a dana 60 front adds to the price of the truck. I did run into a guy at the parts store the other day that picked up a running 77 F250 with a 460 and a dana 60 frt/ dana 70 rear for $50. Good deals are out there so don't neccessarily buy the first one you come across. A good way to find a great deal is watch the areas you drive through most for truck that never seem to move. This is how that guy got a sweet truck for basically nothing.

My advice to you is to look for one at the very least that already has disc brakes up front. The front axles with drum brakes were also the closed knuckle design and are getting very hard to find/afford parts to repair them. My friend has a 73 250 with front drums and his seals around the pivot ball are always going out because of mud and sand getting into them. The newer disc brake axles are much simpler and just about any parts store can get every part you could ever need for them at a good price.
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