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Old 11-22-2004, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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better towing with a 76 f100

ok, I use a 76 ford F100 2wd to tow my race car and BII. it does ok, but I was wondering what I could do to make it a little better.....right now I run a 302/c4 combo. I'm not sure what the gear ratio is but I have a set of 3.50's laying around, also have a 4BBL aluminum intake, long tubes, and a holley 600 I can use. what do y'all recommend for suspension upgrades, gear ratios,...that kinda thing?

I would like to keep it as a DD so I don't what it to go too unreasonable.
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Trans cooler, if you don't have an aux trans cooler, get one and install it.

The 4BBL and long runner intake is more of a high RPM thing, you will probably tow better the way it is already.

Lower gears are great. Watch the top end though, calculate how high it's going to rev.

Keep stock size tires on it, they are easier to turn than 35's or something like that.

If the rear is sagging, airbags might help. I've seen air shocks help too.
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the intake is a dual plane that advertised gains from around 1500-????? I can't remember exactly what my friend said it was but it was lower RPM applications. he also suggested converting over to a roller HO cam. if I run the higher numerical gear ratio I will need to make the motor stronger in the higer RPM's right?

my rear springs look to be in good shape but they do squat a little more then I like them too. I had talked to a friend about the airbag option, I like what he had to say. I didn't know if they would be to forgiving without the trailer hooked up though. also if I go that rought would I need to work on the front suspension also to get ride height even?

deffinate list:
tranny cooler
gears = 3.50's?
airbags rear

anything else I need to think about?
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Brakes?

Honestly, if you are thinking of upgrading anything on a tow vehicle you should be looking at brakes and suspension. Having a motor that you can tow at 90 mph won't do you any good if you can't control the truck or stop it.

As everyone else always says in all the other threads about this sort of thing, power would be the least important thing in a tow rig. Yours and other people's safety should be first.

Now with that said, lets assume you have a safe and capable tow rig that needs more power. Gears are going to be one of the best things to do, but you limit your top speed if you go too low. I would do the basic carb, dual plane intake (lower RPM power), good exhaust and leave it. If you have the money and time I would think about a bigger motor that has more torque than the 302.
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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BTW, air bags are fine with no trailer attached. A good friend of mine added them to his lowered Suburban to firm up the ride so that the axle wouldn't hit the frame so much with a trailer attached. He just lets almost all of the air out of the bags when there isn't a trailer attached and it rides just like stock.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have addressed the break issue, I converted to power and have trailer breaks. that was the best thing I have done to the truck so far.

I think I will look into the air bags and start to plan some time for the bolt ons I have for the motor, gears, and go get a tranny cooler. thanks for the help!

one last question......is there any way to level out the front without buying a $600 lift kit for just the front end? I was thinking I might be able to run some F150 4x4 TTB springs? have any of you tried this?
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I honestly don't think that all your engine bolt-ons are going to gain you the kind of power you are looking for. They will probably be minimal unloaded and probably unperceivable loaded.

What engine do you have in there, an FE?
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry, I see now you did say 302. I don't know how you are going to get more umph out of that thing. I always considered them more of a car motor than a truck motor.
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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well, the motor came from a lincoln, so it's not the best 302 to play with either. but I do have the intake, carb, headers, and already have a better ehaust on it. my friend offered me an ho cam for free and I will probably do that to go roller and free up some more HP, just need some lifters and miss. junk to get that in there. I will probably do an ignition upgrade to help out some but I think that will be as far as I will go, I don't really want to break heads off unless I do some gasket matching and thats it. I was wanting to keep the reliability good because of the whole towing factor. I was hoping that all that with a nice gear it might do better for now, or untill I can go get a larger motor. I am planning to keep my eyes open to find a crammed power stroke truck and use the motor and tranny from it. but money is tight right now and I am just looking to gain enough to make it happier.
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Old 11-23-2004, 09:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHOPPEDBII
I am planning to keep my eyes open to find a crammed power stroke truck and use the motor and tranny from it. but money is tight right now and I am just looking to gain enough to make it happier.
You do realize that a psd weights probably about double to triple what you've got in there now, right? We've had this discussion numerous times over on the diesel board with people wanting to put 6.9's in an f-150, and the consensus is that it'd be a awful lot of work, and would result in a truck which is massivly overweight on the front end.

Have you considered the fact that an f-100 was designed as a light duty 1/2 ton, and it's probably not the best tow rig for anything heavier than a lawn mower. I used to have a 59 chevy 1/2 ton which was probably pretty close to the same rig, and it'd tow real nice, too. That is, untill the trailer brakes failed and we wound up jackkinfed acrost the road. Bottom line, I'd strongly suggest getting at least a light 3/4 ton, and then build that up.
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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well, the power stroke is a long term goal. but if you think about it, any truck with a power stroke is going to be nose heavy. they are huge.so the suspension will need to be addressed more at that time. but the reason I will go that rought is that I like to have things that are different, and if I have to do the work to make what I want then I will. honestly the differences in the 3/4 tons are axles/suspension, breaks, and motor size. the body and frames are the same I think and I can find that stuff as I go. don't get me wrong, I know what you are saying. I just have a truck that is in realy good shape, paid for, and I don't feel like getting rid of it, I would rather just make it what I want. the towing I have done so far is trips from louisville, KY to here about 2.5 hours and they seem ok....I just don't push it.
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Old 11-23-2004, 12:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The frame in a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton are not the same.

And your other items, bigger axles, suspension, brakes... you don't need those for towing, right?

I have a friend with a 1976 F150 with 3/4 ton axles. He towed with it until his 390 started letting go. It did OK, but that's a lot heavier duty truck than what you are trying to get by on.
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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well, I was going to do upgrades one at a time to slowly bring it up to speed. I have friends with old ford graveyards that will help me with parts. thanks for the info!
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