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Next step for more HP?

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dr johnny fever
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Next step for more HP?

Post #1 by dr johnny fever » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:57 pm

I’m trying to get some extra horsepower out of my 1986 4x4 F150 with automatic C6 transmission and 3.55 rear end on 31s. It’s main job in life is to look cool and make the wife and daughters squeal when I hit the gas. Sadly, right now there’s not a lot of squealing happening.

Image

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Stripped feedback carb, all the mission stuff, and the computer out. Upgraded to EFI exhaust, Clifford intake, Edelbrock 500 4bbl manual choke carb, and HEI dizzy. The upgrades have made a difference, but so far I’ve moved from “probably get its butt kicked by a Golf cart in the 1/4 mile” to “possibly spin the tires in the rain”.

Before:
Image

After:
Image

I don’t care at all about top speed, but I’d love to smoke the tires a little and stick the kids to the back of the seat someday. When I asked this question on another forum I got a lot of “swap the l6 for a V8”. I know, that’d probably be easier, but I really love this little 300 six and would rather stay with it.

Where should I go from here? Cam? Rear end? 240 head? Rockers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
1986 F150 4X4

pmuller9
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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #2 by pmuller9 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:15 am

You would need head modifications for more airflow and a cam.
The problem is the stock cast pistons break leaving parts of the piston skirt in the oil pan.
The project now includes reworking the bottom end.

Is that something you are willing to do?

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #3 by jason832 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:48 am

I agree with pmuller. Next steps are cam, head and valve work.

The stock pistons are glass, they should be changed out with any upgrades at all in my opinion and experience.... A set of budget hypereutectics are pretty cheap and will work perfect. The stock bottom end (crank, rods, main caps, rod bolts, main bolts) will all hold up with your upgrades plus some, and up to 5000rpm.

Of course pulling the engine, disassembling it, machining, reassembly and installation is a few days of work. I wouldn't put any more upgrades on the engine until it is done. With a cam, carb, intake and headers I broke rings and scratched cylinders on a low milage block in a few months.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #4 by guhfluh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:36 am

I'd keep the stock pistons for now if they're okay. Upgrade when needed. I spin my 85 bottom to 5k all the time. In a lighter truck and a better ratio 5spd, it'd be fun.

For now, if you're planning on staying carb, invest in a wideband and learn to tune the carb well. Invest in a vacuum gauge and hand pump and learn to recurve the distributor. Running premium, there is/was a large difference in power and torque getting the fuel curve and spark curve dialed in. You can then move to a cam, head porting, more compression, etc.

Turbo is the obvious answer though. Always. Lol ;)
1967 F-250 Crew Cab 2wd, 300 6cyl, T-170/RTS/TOD 4-speed overdrive
240 head, Offy C, EFI exhaust manifolds, Comp 268H, mandrel 2.5-3" exhaust, Edelbrock 500, Pertronix ignitor and coil, recurved dizzy. 200whp/300wtq

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #5 by pmuller9 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:15 pm

guhfluh wrote:I'd keep the stock pistons for now if they're okay. Upgrade when needed. I spin my 85 bottom to 5k all the time.

How would anyone know if the pistons are OK?
This piston was taken out of a good running 1983 300 six.

Image

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #6 by 88F15088 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:23 pm

dr johnny fever wrote:After:
Image


I don't want to hijack your thread, but what did you use to paint the valve cover and AC receiver/drier to get that shine?

Your truck and engine bay look awesome! Very nice job tidying up the wiring and hoses!

Good luck with your project!

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #7 by Harte3 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:32 pm

You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
'83 F150 300, 0.030 over, Offy DP, Holley 4160/1848-1 465 cfm, Comp Cam 260H. P/P head, EFI exhaust manifolds, Walker Y Pipe, Super Cat, Turbo muffler, Recurved DSII, Mallory HyFire 6a, ACCEL Super Stock Coil, Taylor 8mm Wires, EFI plugs.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #8 by jason832 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:50 pm

Here's what happened to my 85 engine, shortly after hopping it up. block never opened since my grandfather bought it factory. Had about 60k miles when I pulled it out. Never pulled the pistons but it had low compression on this cylinder and one more. I don't think stock pistons and rings are up to any more power than stock.

Stock bottom end and pistons
Clifford intake
Demon carb
Comp 268 cam
Headers
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old28racer
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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #9 by old28racer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:28 pm

Real nice looking truck and engine compartment. From past 300 engine tare downs, if you go to the trouble to pull a 300 motor you should change out the pistons to Hyper even if the old ones still look good. My machine shop maged my OEM pistons and found two of the six with cracks that you could not see with your eye.


At $80 for a set of six from Summit it is cheap insurance.
Bad Day Racing Is Better Than A Day In The Stands :mrgreen:

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dr johnny fever
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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #10 by dr johnny fever » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:45 pm

Ok so here's what I'm hearing so far from pmuller9 and jason832:

Pistons (Yes, I'm willing to do that), Cam, Head P&P.
Considering I'm looking to get off the line quick and maybe spin the tires a little and I never go over 65-70ish in this truck, what cam and pistons would you guys suggest?

guhfluh wrote: invest in a wideband and learn to tune the carb well. Invest in a vacuum gauge and hand pump and learn to recurve the distributor

No idea how to do either of those, guess I'll have to google that. I don't have timing marks so I did the timing for max vacuum them backed it off a smidge. Did the carb for max vacuum. I wouldn't be surprised if neither were dialed-in, but I'm learning as I go.

88F15088 wrote:I don't want to hijack your thread, but what did you use to paint the valve cover and AC receiver/drier to get that shine? Your truck and engine bay look awesome! Very nice job tidying up the wiring and hoses! Good luck with your project!

Thanks! I changed the entire AC system, so that was new but the valve cover was a lot of paint stripping followed by wire wheel on a drill. Paint is Dupli-Color 1601 Ford Blue Engine Spray Paint

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/en ... 01/4268528

Harte3 wrote:You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.
1986 F150 4X4

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #11 by bubba22349 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:51 pm

:beer: very nice it's a great looking truck!

On C6 mods there are many depending on use, but the tried and true TransGo shift kits are first on the list alone with adding an aux. transmission cooler. The shift kit will give you those tire barking quick shifts. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #12 by Max_Effort » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:22 pm

dr johnny fever wrote:Ok so here's what I'm hearing so far from pmuller9 and jason832:

Pistons (Yes, I'm willing to do that), Cam, Head P&P.
Considering I'm looking to get off the line quick and maybe spin the tires a little and I never go over 65-70ish in this truck, what cam and pistons would you guys suggest?

guhfluh wrote: invest in a wideband and learn to tune the carb well. Invest in a vacuum gauge and hand pump and learn to recurve the distributor

No idea how to do either of those, guess I'll have to google that. I don't have timing marks so I did the timing for max vacuum them backed it off a smidge. Did the carb for max vacuum. I wouldn't be surprised if neither were dialed-in, but I'm learning as I go.

88F15088 wrote:I don't want to hijack your thread, but what did you use to paint the valve cover and AC receiver/drier to get that shine? Your truck and engine bay look awesome! Very nice job tidying up the wiring and hoses! Good luck with your project!

Thanks! I changed the entire AC system, so that was new but the valve cover was a lot of paint stripping followed by wire wheel on a drill. Paint is Dupli-Color 1601 Ford Blue Engine Spray Paint

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/en ... 01/4268528

Harte3 wrote:You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.

A manual trans would make a big difference. I’d install an M5OD, Even the worn, stock, broken piston skirt 300 in my 83 F150 4x4 is snappy in first and second gear. (With an SROD manual trans) it gets off the line quick and will spin the tires. (Reality sets in when I shift to third though)

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #13 by pmuller9 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:57 pm

Max_Effort wrote: Even the worn, stock, broken piston skirt 300 in my 83 F150 4x4 is snappy in first and second gear.

That's Good, I like it. LOL
I think the pistons were designed to Self Lighten with Break-A-Way skirts if the engine was run at a performamce level.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #14 by Shorty » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:02 pm

Harte3 wrote:
You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.

Do a google search on "swapping aod gears into a c6". gets you the lower first two gears without changing your top speed and cruise rpm. This is something I haven't done to mine but have considered as an option, I just happened across a zf 5spd and all the pedal brackets and bits to change to a five speed so that is the route I am going. Nice work on cleaning up the engine bay.
85 F150 on 78 bronco frame C6 np205 welded dana44 front, trussed posi nine inch rear. EFI exhaust manifolds into one 2 1/2" rolls on 35x12.5x15 Maxxis Trepador.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #15 by pmuller9 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:32 pm

Very good looking truck.
Nice engine compartment cleanup.
Last edited by pmuller9 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #16 by old28racer » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:46 am

For the street motor I am building I used Speed Pro H519P 4.030 over bore from Summit at $79.99. They have the same 22cc dish as OEM pistons. They are Hypereutecic Pistons.
Bad Day Racing Is Better Than A Day In The Stands :mrgreen:

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #17 by guhfluh » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:52 pm

Shorty wrote:Harte3 wrote:
You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.

Do a google search on "swapping aod gears into a c6". gets you the lower first two gears without changing your top speed and cruise rpm. This is something I haven't done to mine but have considered as an option, I just happened across a zf 5spd and all the pedal brackets and bits to change to a five speed so that is the route I am going. Nice work on cleaning up the engine bay.

I believe that should be E4OD gears, and not AOD. 4R70W gear swap into and AOD is common for the lower gear.
1967 F-250 Crew Cab 2wd, 300 6cyl, T-170/RTS/TOD 4-speed overdrive
240 head, Offy C, EFI exhaust manifolds, Comp 268H, mandrel 2.5-3" exhaust, Edelbrock 500, Pertronix ignitor and coil, recurved dizzy. 200whp/300wtq

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #18 by guhfluh » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Max_Effort wrote:
dr johnny fever wrote:Ok so here's what I'm hearing so far from pmuller9 and jason832:

Pistons (Yes, I'm willing to do that), Cam, Head P&P.
Considering I'm looking to get off the line quick and maybe spin the tires a little and I never go over 65-70ish in this truck, what cam and pistons would you guys suggest?

guhfluh wrote: invest in a wideband and learn to tune the carb well. Invest in a vacuum gauge and hand pump and learn to recurve the distributor

No idea how to do either of those, guess I'll have to google that. I don't have timing marks so I did the timing for max vacuum them backed it off a smidge. Did the carb for max vacuum. I wouldn't be surprised if neither were dialed-in, but I'm learning as I go.

88F15088 wrote:I don't want to hijack your thread, but what did you use to paint the valve cover and AC receiver/drier to get that shine? Your truck and engine bay look awesome! Very nice job tidying up the wiring and hoses! Good luck with your project!

Thanks! I changed the entire AC system, so that was new but the valve cover was a lot of paint stripping followed by wire wheel on a drill. Paint is Dupli-Color 1601 Ford Blue Engine Spray Paint

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b/en ... 01/4268528

Harte3 wrote:You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.

A manual trans would make a big difference. I’d install an M5OD, Even the worn, stock, broken piston skirt 300 in my 83 F150 4x4 is snappy in first and second gear. (With an SROD manual trans) it gets off the line quick and will spin the tires. (Reality sets in when I shift to third though)

Same thing happens with my TOD/RTS/T-170. It really needs a gear between 2 and 3.

Tuning an Edelbrock isn't an easy carb to tune, but it can be done. A wideband makes it infinitely easier than feel and sight. The tuning you have done so far is only for idle and very light throttle, slow cruise. The Edelbrock is normally fairly rich in cruise and wide open on the primaries, depending on which model. The secondary tuning is what is a real pain in the butt to get right.

The tuning you have done for spark timing is also only for idle. The rest of the RPM and throttle range may be way off from what the engine needs to pick up a decent amount of power. There are a few threads on this website I read through that give a real good explanation of how to tune the full curve and around what max timing these engines like.
1967 F-250 Crew Cab 2wd, 300 6cyl, T-170/RTS/TOD 4-speed overdrive
240 head, Offy C, EFI exhaust manifolds, Comp 268H, mandrel 2.5-3" exhaust, Edelbrock 500, Pertronix ignitor and coil, recurved dizzy. 200whp/300wtq

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #19 by pmuller9 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:09 pm

dr johnny fever wrote: Cam, Head P&P.
Considering I'm looking to get off the line quick and maybe spin the tires a little and I never go over 65-70ish in this truck, what cam and pistons would you guys suggest?

First
What octane pump gas do you want to use?

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #20 by guhfluh » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:50 pm

jason832 wrote:Here's what happened to my 85 engine, shortly after hopping it up. block never opened since my grandfather bought it factory. Had about 60k miles when I pulled it out. Never pulled the pistons but it had low compression on this cylinder and one more. I don't think stock pistons and rings are up to any more power than stock.

Stock bottom end and pistons
Clifford intake
Demon carb
Comp 268 cam
Headers

You or someone else broke it from poor tuning. Rings, ringlands and pistons don't just break from "more power". It takes detonation to kill one in that fashion.
1967 F-250 Crew Cab 2wd, 300 6cyl, T-170/RTS/TOD 4-speed overdrive
240 head, Offy C, EFI exhaust manifolds, Comp 268H, mandrel 2.5-3" exhaust, Edelbrock 500, Pertronix ignitor and coil, recurved dizzy. 200whp/300wtq

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #21 by bubba22349 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:25 pm

guhfluh wrote:
jason832 wrote:Here's what happened to my 85 engine, shortly after hopping it up. block never opened since my grandfather bought it factory. Had about 60k miles when I pulled it out. Never pulled the pistons but it had low compression on this cylinder and one more. I don't think stock pistons and rings are up to any more power than stock.

Stock bottom end and pistons
Clifford intake
Demon carb
Comp 268 cam
Headers

You or someone else broke it from poor tuning. Rings, ringlands and pistons don't just break from "more power". It takes detonation to kill one in that fashion.


:shock: Well not only can it happen when adding more power, yes it happened also on my totally stock 300 that was perfectly tuned. Running great at 60 to 62 MPH on the old 99 in Calif. at the bottom of the ridge route it broke a piston skirt kicking the rod out the side of the block and sending about a 1/4 to 1/3 of camshaft flying accross the freeway to the center medium. I have never used the stock cast Ford Pistons during engine rebuilds for my trucks after that, problem solved. :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #22 by old28racer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:01 pm

X2 :mrgreen: :bang: Well said, price of a set of Hypereutecic pistons look cheap compaired to new block.
Bad Day Racing Is Better Than A Day In The Stands :mrgreen:

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #23 by broncr » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:21 pm

I have 3.55's & 31's too.

Having shoved almost everything imaginable into the engine & drivetrain, here's an alternative that hasn't been mentioned, 28's...

https://www.discounttire.com/fitmentres ... /275-60-15
'82 FSP Bronco. Just about every mod ever mentioned. ( Too much to list - or remember...)

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dr johnny fever
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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #24 by dr johnny fever » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:19 am

I had an issue with overheating and ended up having to put in a new radiator. Since I only work on this on the weekends and I’ve been busy at work I’m just now getting back on track.

pmuller9 wrote:First
What octane pump gas do you want to use?


Normally just use regular old (87?) since she’s getting 10MPG.

Also,pmuller9 I just saw the thread about the JR heads you’re doing and that’s got my attention!
1986 F150 4X4

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #25 by guhfluh » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:41 pm

bubba22349 wrote:
guhfluh wrote:
jason832 wrote:Here's what happened to my 85 engine, shortly after hopping it up. block never opened since my grandfather bought it factory. Had about 60k miles when I pulled it out. Never pulled the pistons but it had low compression on this cylinder and one more. I don't think stock pistons and rings are up to any more power than stock.

Stock bottom end and pistons
Clifford intake
Demon carb
Comp 268 cam
Headers

You or someone else broke it from poor tuning. Rings, ringlands and pistons don't just break from "more power". It takes detonation to kill one in that fashion.


:shock: Well not only can it happen when adding more power, yes it happened also on my totally stock 300 that was perfectly tuned. Running great at 60 to 62 MPH on the old 99 in Calif. at the bottom of the ridge route it broke a piston skirt kicking the rod out the side of the block and sending about a 1/4 to 1/3 of camshaft flying accross the freeway to the center medium. I have never used the stock cast Ford Pistons during engine rebuilds for my trucks after that, problem solved. :nod:
Broken skirts come from piston slap and side loading. Not the same as a broken ring or ringland. Ringlands do not just break from use or from "more power" at these measly levels. Same goes for rings. Ringlands break from detonation, same with rings. Rings and Pistons also break from high temp and ring butt. Hyper and forged pistons only tolerate more detonation from the same poor tuning before they die in the same fashion. Stock cast pistons are fragile, but claiming they break ringlands from a couple more horsepower without any other factors involved is false.
1967 F-250 Crew Cab 2wd, 300 6cyl, T-170/RTS/TOD 4-speed overdrive
240 head, Offy C, EFI exhaust manifolds, Comp 268H, mandrel 2.5-3" exhaust, Edelbrock 500, Pertronix ignitor and coil, recurved dizzy. 200whp/300wtq

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #26 by pmuller9 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:31 pm

dr johnny fever wrote:Also,pmuller9 I just saw the thread about the JR heads you’re doing and that’s got my attention!


The JR head with 7/16" screw in studs and Harland Sharp roller rockers.
You will need to measure for the correct pushrod length.
I can supply you with pushrod guide plates.
Crower 284HDP (19205) camshaft and lifters

Speed-Pro H519 or Silv-O-Lite 1186H pistons.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #27 by sandboxer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:32 am

How’s the Crower with a turbo?

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #28 by pmuller9 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:54 am

sandboxer wrote:How’s the Crower with a turbo?

Depends on what you use for an exhaust manifold and rpm operating range.
A wider LSA than 110* is preferred in most cases.

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #29 by sandboxer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:45 am

Operating range is exactly as the cam’s Specs indicate:
2500-6500rpm

I am building two headers:
- 1 1/2”
- 1 5/8” (for the SR head)

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Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #30 by BigBlue94 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:46 am

guhfluh wrote:
Shorty wrote:Harte3 wrote:
You might consider beefing up the C6 transmission with some modifications for improved performance to get the most out of the mods in engine performance.
Don't know anything about transmissions, what would you suggest? I was thinking about swapping to an AOD at some point, but that's a little farther down on the list right now.

Do a google search on "swapping aod gears into a c6". gets you the lower first two gears without changing your top speed and cruise rpm. This is something I haven't done to mine but have considered as an option, I just happened across a zf 5spd and all the pedal brackets and bits to change to a five speed so that is the route I am going. Nice work on cleaning up the engine bay.

I believe that should be E4OD gears, and not AOD. 4R70W gear swap into and AOD is common for the lower gear.


Yes, e4od gears swap into the c6. For C6 performance, there is only one place to call: Broader Performance. They are the best and sell the best.

An AOD is weaker than a c6. The e4od is essentially a computer controlled c6 with an overdrive, slapped in a new case. The C6 is a very parasitic transmission in stock form however.

Swapping to 4.10 gears would wake that sucker up. Probably moreso than bolt on engine mods.

Is it a 9" or 8.8" in the rear? Nines were pretty well phased out, but they showed up on occasion through 89.

For the front diff, you can simply find a 4.10 D44, D44HD, or D50 third member and swap it in directly. No setup needed.
1985 Bronco. 300-6, NP435, 4.56 gears, Detroit locker and tru-trac, 4" lift, and 37" swamper tires. 300 has a 4bbl and headers.

pmuller9
Registered User
Posts: 3024
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:33 am
Location: Columbus, Indiana

Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #31 by pmuller9 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:29 pm

sandboxer wrote:Operating range is exactly as the cam’s Specs indicate:
2500-6500rpm

I am building two headers:
- 1 1/2”
- 1 5/8” (for the SR head)

Despite what the written specs say the Crower 284HDP (19205) has a real life power band from 1000 to 5000 with a ported head.
If you truly want a turbo charged 300 to pull to 6500 rpm you will need the .050" cam specs in the 240* duration range on a 114* LSA.
It will need to be a solid lifter cam.

Please start a new thread in the "Turbo, Supercharger and Nitrous" section and share your header build with us.
Sounds like a great project.

Phase3
Registered User
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Pittsburgh pa

Re: Next step for more HP?

Post #32 by Phase3 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:17 pm

1996 300 motors come with hyper pistons that dont seem to break the skirts. Junk yards will often charge the same for all 300s and could save you from tearing into the shortblock. Look for the mass air and and obd2 plug on these trucks.
1996 f150 turbo 4.9 OBD2 M5OD 4x4 12 lbs on 93
1997 f350 351w cclb

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