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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, new to the forum here but longtime viewer.

this weekend im looking to purchase a single cab, long bed, 1978 ford f-150, with a 460ci, 4x4, automatic, and i believe c6 tranny this weekend. it has a rebuilt engine, tranny, and aftermarket exhaust from a guy who sounds like he knows what hes doing.

are there any things i should be especially on the look out for? i know having something rebuilt means alot of it may not be stock, and i would have to take that on a case by case basis.

any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Look out for frame cracks around the steering gear, my 78 looked like a road map when I got it. Also, verify it is a 460. 460s didn't come in 4x4 trucks til the 80s. The 460 swap is pretty common but I've seen a few trucks for sale with a 460 advertised but actually had a 351m or 400.

On that note if you need engine parts you can tell them its a 460 but for anything else tell them its a 400. Had a friend go through this at O'Reilly auto. If you tell them its a 460 78 f1-350 the computer automatically lists only 2wd suspension parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sounds like ill be gettin under the truck like i thought to check it all out. good to know that it wasnt a stock 460, so ill need to check different engine specs for different parts, thanks for the info!

hes not asking alot mainly cuz it has $500 in dmv back fees, just trying to make sure he isnt using the back fees as a cover up to drop the price when he thinks something big will be needed soon.
 

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You live in California. Are you gonna be able to smog it?
 

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You live in California. Are you gonna be able to smog it?
short answer = doubtful

long answer = not without some work, luck, paperwork, a unicorn, waiting, a luncar eclipse and more luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
short answer = doubtful

long answer = not without some work, luck, paperwork, a unicorn, waiting, a luncar eclipse and more luck.

:lmao:ill keep that in mind when i talk to the seller tomorrow. thanks for all the tips! greatly appreciated. any info is always welcomed
 

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A 78 is emissions Era and from what I've read they can be hard enough to smog without an engine swap. Not sure on how closely they scrutinize stuff that old but I know from forums that a 78 in CA will need functioning egr and all the vacuum lines that go with it to be legal, and the first thing most people did was rip that shit off. I actually shipped some free emissions equipment I had to some enthusiasts on the west coast because I won't need it here. He couldn't pass smog without it.
 

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Another good place to check for frame cracks is around the radius arm brackets. I had one open up on my '76 a few years back, driver side, a few inches forward of the bracket.

I would check the floor pans, drip rails, and where the top of the windshield meets the cab for rust/shoddy repairs. The floor pans are pretty straight forward, but I've seen the drip rails and windshield area packed with body filler and painted over more times than I can remember.

For engine identification, 460s have flat-top valve covers from the factory with seven bolts per cover. 351m/400s have more rounded valve covers and head bolts per side.
 

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if it does have a 460 swapped in, don't bother. the reason it has back fees in the first place is most likely because it wouldn't smog and he was too lazy to non-op it. even if it has a stock engine, i'd still bet money on the "wouldn't smog" theory...

a 460 never came in that truck, period. and even if you found a referee lenient enough to let it slide with all the original parts, none of them are reproduced, so now you're junkyard diving hoping to find unmolested 40 year old parts that are hopefully hooked up right and still working (they barely worked 40 years ago). and just because you "know a guy" don't think that will solve it either. my buddy had to pull his J10 off the road and green sticker it, when he got pulled over for a simple expired tag stop, the CHP spotted long tubes on it and checked under the hood. turns out what was "stock" wasn't even close to what it ACTUALLY needed...that truck is now a trail only beater. it took me 3 tries to get my high GVW, federal spec 77 F350 with a STOCK 460 to pass, and it literally only needed PCV and a fuel tank vent to the carb/intake; no EGR, no cats nothing. it also runs clean as a whistle out the tailpipe. most decent shops will spot you coming a mile away and be very wary of it, as its either A. a dummy truck from the BAR to see who's passing illegal vehicles or B. too much of a liability to pass something they don't know anything about.

heres a good link to give you an idea of what you'd be getting yourself into:
Emissions and vacuum diagram for 1978 F350 - Ford Truck Fanatics

all i did was google 1978 F150 emissions diagram

that aside, they are sick trucks, i love mine and it puts a grin on my face every time i drive it. the obvious spots for cracking have been mentioned, also check rear spring hangers/shackles for rust, body/bed mounts for rust/popped rivets/broke bolts, everything rubber will be blown out if its not been replaced at least once, brake lines will probably be close to rusting out (mine burst the metal line immediately after i swapped on a new master cylinder and got some real pressure in the lines), if it had dual tanks someone probably monkey rigged the fuel system when the selector switch/valve stopped working, and there will probably lots of fun hill billy wiring to discover in there too. if it had AC the heater core is probably plugged and bypassed, and you damn near have to remove the whole dash to get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you all for the information guys. greatly appreciated. especially since its my first post on here!

unfortunately tho, he just let me know he sold it to someone else. sounds like it was for the better. i hate to make it seem like i wasted everyones time, but the next on the list should be picked up tomorrow.

the next one on the list is a 1991 F-150 4x4 v8 auto singlecab shortbed with 98k original miles. hopefully will be picking this up tomorrow and getting started turning her into a beauty
 

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I love 70's ford's but if I lived in cali I'd definitely be shopping hard for a 75 and earlier or whatever the smog cut off year is.
 

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*shrugs*
Some people like landslides, droughts, wild fires, and earthquakes.
 

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the next one on the list is a 1991 F-150 4x4 v8 auto singlecab shortbed with 98k original miles. hopefully will be picking this up tomorrow and getting started turning her into a beauty

I'd at least run a carfax on the '91 as that's an old vehicle to have less than 100k miles and the odometer only has five digits. Ford went to a digital odometer for 92-96.

My first truck, for a day, was a '90 F-150 4x4 shortbed that was advertised as having 89k miles. After getting it home on a Friday afternoon and after it began to run horribly, I went through the detailed service records to find contradictory mileage......for about two years. This was before Carfax and I was fortunate enough to get ahold of my bank's regional director who cancelled payment on my check, early on a Saturday morning. $25 is worth every penny when it may save your hind end.
 

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Yeah my friend bought an old Blazer with like 29k showing at auction. He figured it was 129k till I pointed at the oil change sticker I found in the visor that said next service due at 229k
 

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Thank you all for the information guys. greatly appreciated. especially since its my first post on here!

unfortunately tho, he just let me know he sold it to someone else. sounds like it was for the better. i hate to make it seem like i wasted everyones time, but the next on the list should be picked up tomorrow.

the next one on the list is a 1991 F-150 4x4 v8 auto singlecab shortbed with 98k original miles. hopefully will be picking this up tomorrow and getting started turning her into a beauty
So you're trading smog problems for auto trans problems huh :flipoff2:
 

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haha this is going to sound like the boy who cried wolf but the 91 ford had an insane amount of rust in the radiator and through both tubes. especially the one running into the block. it dumped about a third of a gallon of coolant on the ground when it started and someone jerry-rigged an aluminum catering serving tray to act as an extra heat shield under the truck. let that one slide too. the search continues
 

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haha this is going to sound like the boy who cried wolf but the 91 ford had an insane amount of rust in the radiator and through both tubes. especially the one running into the block. it dumped about a third of a gallon of coolant on the ground when it started and someone jerry-rigged an aluminum catering serving tray to act as an extra heat shield under the truck. let that one slide too. the search continues
Move your search to an F-350 if you're looking newer. Beefier frame and drivetrain.
 

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Move your search to an F-350 if you're looking newer. Beefier frame and drivetrain.
this man speaks the truth. i've seen brick nose, small block 4x4 F350's go for under $3k on the list pretty frequently.

whats your budget? if you're looking at anything under $1500 on craigslist, don't expect anything more than a wore out tweaker basket case.
 
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