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 07-15-2003, 19:12 Post: 59567
DeTwang



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I think I might have found a stakebed to buy. It's a 1985 Ford F150 w/hydraulic liftgate. It has a 5.7L carburated V8.

I am planning to use this to tow a trailer that at times will have either my work van or a mini backhoe loaded on it. It also will be used to tow a lightweight skiboat (I;m sure it can handle this), and in the immediate future am planning to use it to haul belongings (moving) from southern CA. to the Redding Ca area. This means I will be going up over the grapvine in the middle of the summer.

1st question...

Is a 5.7L V8 up to this task? I don't want to be going 20 mph towing the trailer/van combo over the grapevine constantly watching the temp guage. I probably won't have much load in the stakebed itself when towing the van/hoe. I want to get the AC working and it would be nice if there's enough power left to run that too without overheating the thing. I definitely plan on putting a couple of aftermarket trans coolers on the truck

2nd question

Anyone ever converted a carburated truck to FI? I' could either get the FI stuff from a junk yard (and thus probably end up with TPI), or I could go for an after market plenum injector setup. Any experience/advice on this subject.






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 07-15-2003, 19:23 Post: 59568
DRankin



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Ford made a variable venturi carburetor that year and it was the worst carb on the market. Check to make sure you don't get stuck with that turkey.

A tranny cooler is an absolute must have for towing. Don't leave home without it.






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 07-15-2003, 19:33 Post: 59569
DeTwang



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I'm not afrid to change a carb, but I'd really prefer to have an injected system seeing as the trucks eventual home will be at my place in shingletown (redding, ca) at abouty 4,000 ft elev.).

What about towing power of the small block? With the gearing that most of these trucks (1 ton dually, 12' stakebed) has, is a small block up to the task. or am I going to be limping over the passes, and if I need to do any passing?






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 07-16-2003, 08:35 Post: 59594
Murf

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 2 truck questions

Are you sure it's a 150 and not a 250 or 350 ?

An F-150 is a half-ton, even with lots of help a stakebed is almost more weight than it could carry, let alone a load on top. As for towing, a 150 has pretty wimpy suspension and BRAKES for towing much, even on flat ground.

Best of luck.






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 07-16-2003, 08:46 Post: 59595
AC5ZO

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I have a K2500 GMC with the same size engine that I use to two my 45 HP tractor with backhoe. My engine is injected, but I do live at 5300 ft above sea level in the mountains.

Towing the tractor is certainly a load on the truck, but it handles it OK. Fuel economy goes into the toilet when pulling a trailer with the tractor at 70MPH, but it will do it even at this altitude.

I lived in CA years ago and I am familiar with the Grapevine, and I believe that I would have no problem with it. My truck does have a tranny cooler. I cannot say for sure that I could maintain full speed (70) on the steepest parts of the hill, but I would not expect 20MPH either.

When I moved from California to Albuquerque, I had to rent a 26 ft U-Haul to move the stuff that was too dangerous for the professional movers to handle. (You know stuff like paint, reloading supplies and the like) Now those things are very under-powered and I was still able to hold 35 MPH in the worst of the roads between Phoenix and Albuquerque. These roads are steeper and higher in altitude than the Grapevine, I believe.






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 07-16-2003, 08:52 Post: 59596
DeTwang



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Oops, I don't know how I wrote that. It's and F-350 (not F-150). I knew it was an F-350 and yet wrote 150. Sometimes these typos I make amaze me. I must be getting old.. Smile

It's an F-350 1 Ton dually with a 12' stakebed and hydraulic liftgate.






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 07-16-2003, 09:00 Post: 59597
DeTwang



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AC, how old is your truck? I'm just curious as this is an 85 and I'm wondering how much of a factor being old makes on the performance. The trucks engine blew up a year or two back (the guys son let it overheat and kept driving it), and they put aused engine in it. It all feels pretty strong, and worst comes to worst, used ford/chevy smallblocks are pretty cheap and plentiful (not to mention easy to rebuild if required), but I'd rather not deal with that. It's got front disc brakes, so tha helps too.

My main concerns for fuel injection are on those cold winter mornings in the mountains. FI engines seem to start much easier and run better when cold than carbed engines. I was curious about the aftermarket FI conversions.






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 07-16-2003, 10:36 Post: 59602
AC5ZO

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My truck is a 1992 GMC K2500 with original throttle body injection. I like it better than a carburator but it is not the best injection setup. It always starts on the first crank, even when cold. So, I can't complain. It has been properly maintained and I have only used Mobil 1 in it since it was broken in. It has about 80,000 miles on it, and it does not use any oil. It has even served as a crew truck on the Baja 1000, twice, so those 80,000 miles are not to the mailbox and back.

I have a Hummer H2 that I drive for everyday, and it has a 6.0L GMC Vortec gasoline engine in it. For an engine that is about the same size as my GMC 5.7 in the K2500, the H2 engine puts out a LOT more horsepower. When I tow the tractor behind the H2, I have a lot more accelleration left. Of course, some of that may because of the big hole in the air that the H2 leaves for the tractor to go through.






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 07-16-2003, 11:00 Post: 59605
DeTwang



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""When I tow the tractor behind the H2,""

How much better does it get than that? Now I'm Jealous!






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 07-16-2003, 12:34 Post: 59616
F350Lawman



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I have owned acouple of those 351W motors with the VV carb. I never had any carb problems but if you want to change it I think you need a new manifold as well. Ford had some sort of set up that you need to change both to bolt on aftermarket stuff, still not a big deal $$. Maybe someones now makes any easy replacement so you can keep the manifold?

The 85 motors only have around 200 HP or so I don't think it is going to have too much power but you can get by with it.






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