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  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 11:30 PM
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Any Ford Ranger fans out there? Need general info on engines from that period (1981)

Helping a friend revive a 1981 Ford Ranger F-250... I found sludge in his oil and he says it overheated... I told him we should pull the heads before dropping a new engine.

Here's the confusation: the motor in there now (believed to be a "400") is not the original.

What motors came with this truck, what motors go into this truck, where can I get more info?
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2009, 11:39 PM
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If it's an F-250, it can't be a Ranger.

Gotta be one or the other.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2009, 11:49 PM
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I checked the side twice b/c I had no clue what was going on there... totally lost.

it has leaf springs on front and rear susp w/ an 8 ft bed and 4wheel drive. This thing is a monster.

V-8 carburetted


must be F-250 then??..I swear, both signs were on the door.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:55 PM
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F-250 = BIG

Ranger = small


www.ford-trucks.com is one source.

I'm sure there are others.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:52 AM
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ford did make an f250 ranger. i used to own one, but it was a 75. i belive they came with 302,351,360,390,and 460
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:29 AM
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thats good info, I really appreciate it. Thanks.

So, with Ford, those numbers are cubic inches... correct?
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:47 AM
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yes. eg. 360ci.

i would do several checks before even pulling the heads. start with a compression check, cooling system pressure check, oil pressure check and finally do a test to check for combustion gasses in the cooling system. i belive in 81 they were still iron heads.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:52 AM
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they are iron

I already found a slusdgey brown mess at the end of the dipstick. Pulling the heads doesn't look very challenging. Lots of space and some simple bolts holding them down.

I'm sure they are heavy though.


..oooh, and I don't have the equipment to perform these tests. and we can't get it to run yet.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2009, 02:52 AM
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autozone rents all of the tools i described. without these tests you are simply shooting in the dark.

usually when overheated, if the head gasket went the oil will be milky. kinda looks like chocolate moose. did your friend just buy this truck or is it one hes had sitting for a while?

an overheated engine with blown head gaskets and sludge should still run. just not very well
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmaysob View Post
ford did make an f250 ranger. i used to own one, but it was a 75. i belive they came with 302,351,360,390,and 460
Don't forget the 300 straight 6. Great engine!
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2009, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt20 View Post
Helping a friend revive a 1981 Ford Ranger F-250... I found sludge in his oil and he says it overheated... I told him we should pull the heads before dropping a new engine.

Here's the confusation: the motor in there now (believed to be a "400") is not the original.

What motors came with this truck, what motors go into this truck, where can I get more info?
If it still runs, run Rislone as per instructions. A vehicle overheating doesn't always mean a blown head...unless you have proof of it that you neglected to post.

The "sludge" spoken of could be nothing more than previous owners not getting regular oilchanges.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:05 AM
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You guys are just too young!
Ford introduced the small-sized Ranger in 1983 to replace the imported Courier.
"Ranger" had been the top model in the F Series since 1978.
The 400 cid was only available in the F 350, ( although your engine may have been changed somewhere in its life)
The standard engine was the 300 cid six with 302 and 351 optional.

IIRC the 351 was a derivation of the 302, both technically small blocks. Is your engine a small block, or a big block?
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
You guys are just too young!

The standard engine was the 300 cid six with 302 and 351 optional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
Don't forget the 300 straight 6. Great engine!
Watch it!

I've owned a 1979 F-250 4X4 since I bought if off my dad, in 1990. He acquired it new in '79 as a bonus from a customer he built a house for. It has the 300 mated to the 3sp with granny gear transmission. Best combo, IMO.

BTW...the truck has over 300,000 on it and still runs great, but still only gets 10 miles to the gallon. It's been driven all over the lower 48, and has never left me stranded.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2009, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
You guys are just too young!
Ford introduced the small-sized Ranger in 1983 to replace the imported Courier.
"Ranger" had been the top model in the F Series since 1978.
The 400 cid was only available in the F 350, ( although your engine may have been changed somewhere in its life)
The standard engine was the 300 cid six with 302 and 351 optional.

IIRC the 351 was a derivation of the 302, both technically small blocks. Is your engine a small block, or a big block?

Thats what I was looking for. A million and one thanks.

So when I order parts, I need to order them for an F350, right?

it is a V8 400 - we were told. He has owned the truck for many years, half of which it has been sitting. He said there was a 'knock' for a long time. One day he towed a large trailer out of the ordinary and then it overheated.

When I checked the engine, the coolant level was lower than the head... the brown sludge I found in the oil is quite obvious to me and I am hoping that the knocking was just poor detonation from all that coolant being sucked into the cylinder(s).

Sages, I thank you once again.
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2009, 02:03 PM
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This from wiki:
400

The big-block FE engine family was getting rather tired and outdated, and the 385 family could not meet the efficiency requirements of the time. At the same time, the small-block Windsor engines were too small and high-revving for Ford's fullsize car and truck applications. So the company went to work on a new small-block to meet the desired levels of economy while still providing the kind of big-block torque that was needed to move 2+ ton vehicles.

The Ford 400 engine was based on the 351 Cleveland but was produced with a taller deck height of 10.297 inches compared to the 351C's 9.206 inches. This allowed for a longer stroke and retain the 351c's Rod-Stroke ratio. These blocks also share the same oiling route in the block. The 400 also featured larger (Windsor sized 3.00 inch) main-bearing journals and had "square" proportions, with a 4.0 in (102 mm) bore and stroke; it therefore displaced 402 cu in (6.6 L), making it the largest small-block V8 made at that time. It was introduced in model year 1971 with a full half-inch (12.7 mm) longer stroke than the 351 Cleveland, making it the longest-stroke Ford pushrod V8 engine. A long-stroke engine has good low-end torque. This was a good compromise given Ford's requirement for an engine to power heavier mid-size and full-size cars and light trucks. The M-block, as it later became known, was the last pushrod V8 block designed by Ford. The M-block also shares some elements with the Windsor engine family: bore spacing, cylinder head bolt-patterns and crankshaft journal dimensions.[1]

The 400 was seen as a smaller and lighter replacement for the big Ford 385 engines, the 429 and 460, in Ford's big cars. Weighing just 80% of a similar big block, it was originally available in Ford's Custom, Galaxie and LTD lines, and in Mercury's Monterey, Marquis, and Brougham. Later, it would power the Ford Thunderbird, the Lincoln Continental, Mark V, mid-size Fords and Mercurys, and Ford light-duty trucks.

The vast majority of 400 blocks use the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the 385 family big-block to make it compatible with the higher torque-capacity C6 transmission used on the large cars and trucks. There were a small number of 400 block castings that use dual bellhousing patterns for mounting an FMX transmission. These castings are rare. The 400 was modified in 1975 to use unleaded gasoline.
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