what is best engine?

Johnny Reb

New member
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
155
Age
70
Location
West Virginia
A '78 is an awful lot heavier than an '83, The general concensus is that a 300 is not a good swap for a '78, it has to work too hard and the mileage gains are lost. On the other hand, I've never tried it and you can build up a 300 quite nicely if you know how so I would be really interested to see how it works out.
T remember seeing in a hot rod magaine one time.About a guy had a falcon. He took a sic cylinder,took two v-5 heads cut the into--mated them up and was getting around 500hp. I do not remember whick v-8 heads.But I think it was a 351--I do not remember whether it was a windsor,cleveland or which. And the guy was a machinest ,so it took some knowledge in his field .

 

Krafty

New member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
1,063
Location
Ontario Canada
when it comes to the 429 or 460, it depends on what year it is for how much HP you can get out of it. my 69 429 thunderjet with just 4bbl and headers is dyno'd at 400 hp. my 429 is in my summer car which is in the process of 600hp drag car conversion.

No replacement for Displacement.

 
O

Old Ford fan

Guest
I had an old 78 custom ranger turned high boy basically.... six inch lift running 35inch tires.... It had a 429 in it.... It would roast tires anytime I let it.... So I would say 351m... Or 429.... Even 460 if ya wanted.... It basically just depends on how you build each motor.... All are good and will get anything turning.... Just depends on what you want ?

 

tony k

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3
I had the 400M in my 79' and it seemed to be an okay motor. Finally wore it out and switched to a 460, night and day. The best thing I ever did. I used an L&L kit for headers and motor mounts. Better fuel mileage, better performance, better selection parts. I gave the 400M to a friend who built it up like i wanted to and it ran well but nothing like the 460 and it eventually blew up, cracked the block. The 460 is a Great motor!!
 

johnnyreb

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
91
Location
West Virginia
A '78 is an awful lot heavier than an '83, The general concensus is that a 300 is not a good swap for a '78, it has to work too hard and the mileage gains are lost. On the other hand, I've never tried it and you can build up a 300 quite nicely if you know how so I would be really interested to see how it works out.
I just read where a 78 Bronco weighs 5,996 lbs. I couldn,t find the weight of a 83 bronco. No wonder they use so much gas,.Think I,ll take my back seat out.It is heavy-maybe 200 lbs their. hahaha
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
40
The last engine we replaced in my 79 was ordered through Summit Racing. Purchased a Crate 400hp 6.6. Very good money well spent. Plenty of power to turn these 35’s, smooth enough for daily driving.

One thing I did forget to mention. The drive train is designed around the stock horsepower, so when you boost power you should ensure you have a solid drive train. It can be hard on tired axles ujoints drive shafts third members transmissions, transfer cases.
 
Last edited:

Carnutt73

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Idaho
I am buying a 79 bronco. i have no idea what kind of engine to put in it. i want a good sound. i will be doing a bit of mud bogging and trail riding, but i will use it for an every day driver too. any suggestions??? p.s. i was lean towards a 351 windser. that was just a guess please help.

Edited to remove the font information so that this is easier to read. Seabronc
Both the 400 as well as the 460 respond very well to minor changes. Richard Holdener did a dyno test a few months back on the 400 and it was impressive. You can check out the video on you tube
. I have a lot of experience with both engines and can tell you either one is a good choice. I have a 400 that's bored .030 over with a comp cam, flat top pistons, single plane intake, 351c cobra jet heads that are ported in my 70 f250 and it's a screamer. I also have a 79 F150 that's a factory 460 truck with some minor mods done it like '030 over flat tops and a better cam and it breaks the tires loose at will. So its basically just a choice of which one you would want or can get your hands on. The 351w is a good engine it just cant match the low end torque of the 400 or 460.
 

johnnyreb

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
91
Location
West Virginia
Depends on how good you are working on motors. What you want it for a dependability. What kind of miles per gallon . The ruggedness of it.Price for parts and how hard they are to work on. The small block is hard to be .They are easy to work on. Parts won,t break the bank,dependapty and if you want it quick. Put a lower gear in it. How much money you have. Will you be doing your own work. The small block --having owned them and big blocks. If I was getting it for my own use. The small block any day. I ran a 289 for along time and it took more punishment then the 390,428 .Plus alot easier on gas and alot easier to work on and easier on your back lifting the intake or heads. Good luck. Good luck.
 

Carnutt73

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Idaho
Depends on how good you are working on motors. What you want it for a dependability. What kind of miles per gallon . The ruggedness of it.Price for parts and how hard they are to work on. The small block is hard to be .They are easy to work on. Parts won,t break the bank,dependapty and if you want it quick. Put a lower gear in it. How much money you have. Will you be doing your own work. The small block --having owned them and big blocks. If I was getting it for my own use. The small block any day. I ran a 289 for along time and it took more punishment then the 390,428 .Plus alot easier on gas and alot easier to work on and easier on your back lifting the intake or heads. Good luck. Good luck.
While i do agree with most of what you said there are a couple of factors to also figure in and the biggest is weight followed by what is the intended use of the vehicle. This is a problem me and my friend are dealing with right now on his 86 F150 4X4. We built a 350hp 302 for it after he got it since it had a 302 to begin with. After running it for 2 years we are painfully aware of the weak points of having a small block in a heavy rig. When he got the truck we towed it back with my 79 F150 with the 460 through the mountains and the 460 never missed a beat and for the most part didn't seem to care that it was pulling around over 5000 pounds behind it. Just before winter we used the 86 to haul a 98 dodge intrepid to the scrap yard. the car weighed 3500 pounds on the scale and that 302 struggled to pull the weight. Yes we could put in different gears but then you would lose some drivability such as speed on the interstate. The cost of the gear swap plus the cost of a 5 speed trans to keep some highway speed is about the same as it is to put the 460 in it. Also my 460 which has more power gets 13 mpg his 302 is just getting 11 mpg and that is due to a power to weight ratio difference. Both trucks have the same gearing where the 79 is lighter being a 2wd. So we decided to build a 460 and put it in and the 302 will go to another project.
 

johnnyreb

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
91
Location
West Virginia
While i do agree with most of what you said there are a couple of factors to also figure in and the biggest is weight followed by what is the intended use of the vehicle. This is a problem me and my friend are dealing with right now on his 86 F150 4X4. We built a 350hp 302 for it after he got it since it had a 302 to begin with. After running it for 2 years we are painfully aware of the weak points of having a small block in a heavy rig. When he got the truck we towed it back with my 79 F150 with the 460 through the mountains and the 460 never missed a beat and for the most part didn't seem to care that it was pulling around over 5000 pounds behind it. Just before winter we used the 86 to haul a 98 dodge intrepid to the scrap yard. the car weighed 3500 pounds on the scale and that 302 struggled to pull the weight. Yes we could put in different gears but then you would lose some drivability such as speed on the interstate. The cost of the gear swap plus the cost of a 5 speed trans to keep some highway speed is about the same as it is to put the 460 in it. Also my 460 which has more power gets 13 mpg his 302 is just getting 11 mpg and that is due to a power to weight ratio difference. Both trucks have the same gearing where the 79 is lighter being a 2wd. So we decided to build a 460 and put it in and the 302 will go to another project. Plus the location where a person lives. You take flat land. A person don,t need alot of power or gas hog. .
No matter what engine a person will want. Their is always something you loose. I know a couple of guys who had 460 . Took care of them and they didn,t hold up. I know of 1 64 Ford with a 292 out pulled one of the 460 and he only had a 3 speed transmission and his load was bigger. I have about a half dozen 390,s a 429 and a couple of 289. I like them all They all have their draw backs and I don,t believe their is any perfect choice. The 300 -6 is another good motor that has proven its for along time and it can be built up for alot of power. The choice of working on one down in the truck also makes a big difference. .
 

Busa10

New member
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location
80128
Personally I stroked a 460 into a 514. Had a single plane Edelbrock manifold machined for injectors, added a crank sensor and cam sensor for sequential injection and used a Big Stuff computer to manage it all. I added a large aluminum radiator, dual electric fans and Jet Hot coated headers. The L&L kit made the swap easy. It's a sleeper.
 

johnnyreb

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
91
Location
West Virginia
Personally I stroked a 460 into a 514. Had a single plane Edelbrock manifold machined for injectors, added a crank sensor and cam sensor for sequential injection and used a Big Stuff computer to manage it all. I added a large aluminum radiator, dual electric fans and Jet Hot coated headers. The L&L kit made the swap easy. It's a sleeper.
How much did all that work and parts set you back? When you start paying for engine work--the dollar signs start ringing. Alot of guys don,t have a big paying job to afford that.Plus they have a family they have to keep. Go with what you can afford for now. Then if you want a big powerful motor later on. You,ll have to think about speeding tickets or which wings should you buy. The long wide ones or medium size. Each and every engine size--will have to suit your budget and what are you gonna use it mainly for.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
40
What is your plan with the vehicle, mud racer, daily driver? High horsepower engines a can be a lot of fun, but those builds don’t stop on just the engine. Tell us what you want your bronco to be.
 

Busa10

New member
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location
80128
How much did all that work and parts set you back? When you start paying for engine work--the dollar signs start ringing. Alot of guys don,t have a big paying job to afford that.Plus they have a family they have to keep. Go with what you can afford for now. Then if you want a big powerful motor later on. You,ll have to think about speeding tickets or which wings should you buy. The long wide ones or medium size. Each and every engine size--will have to suit your budget and what are you gonna use it mainly for.

Well, besides the machining I do all my own work, so I saved there. But, that said I did things gradually over years so it was more of a hobby project that I never really felt the cost of. It's been a fun project.
I'm thinking of converting it to a street gasser now. I did build the C6 tranny, but I'd go manual for a gasser. Plus a straight axle front end and chopping the top. Being a '78 Bronco the strength of the frame and body make it a great candidate.
I'm not much for mudding (there's not much mud here in Colorado) or off road because I prefer smaller taller off road vehicles for our very rocky mountains. I do however like to pull "performance" vehicles on the street though.
 

twiltse65

New member
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
2
I am buying a 79 bronco. i have no idea what kind of engine to put in it. i want a good sound. i will be doing a bit of mud bogging and trail riding, but i will use it for an every day driver too. any suggestions??? p.s. i was lean towards a 351 windser. that was just a guess please help.

Edited to remove the font information so that this is easier to read. Seabronc
I think most of these people missed the point...DAILY DRIVER...302 built for low end torque... 15 mpg... closest you get for daily driver!
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
40
A stock 351, 400, or 460 are all great daily drivers for a 78 or 79. Plenty of power to turn bigger tires. Fun off road, and on. All of these for comparison are relatively reasonable builds, or can buy a Crate with lots of horse power.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
40
Well have it built or build it yourself. You can buy a reman engine from autozone for about $1500. Or you can buy a kit and all the parts, get a local shop to do all the machine work and after all said and done you have saved maybe $200 and no warranty. If you have the shop space , tools, and skills Pull your engine, tear it apart see if it’s workable, clean it up put a kit in new pistons rings, bearings seals, make sure there are no groves on the crank, rework the heads, plane them to ensure they are flat, lap the valves all new seats and seals. While your at it you may as well freshen up the transmission C6 are simple all new seal kit, new clutches, modulator valve. It’s all a lot of fun, only takes space time and skill and money. Some shops are much better equipped and specialized in engine builds
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
21,503
Messages
125,394
Members
23,331
Latest member
Ole
Top