That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/26/10 11:12 a.m.

So on my bucket list of cars there is the sixth generation Ford F100 (basically because my grandpa had one which we drove around the farm all the time). I figure they are nice and cheap and so it won't take to long to get the money to buy one. I mean a truck is always handy but will they be any good at towing?

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
12/26/10 11:34 a.m.

Depends upon, engine/trans combo, wheelbase, towing package, tires etc etc...

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
12/26/10 12:00 p.m.

Towing what? I once used one of these trucks, with a 300ci six and a four speed, to tow a 1961 Pontiac on a trailer a little over 100 miles. It worked okay but the truck was straining on hills. A 3/4 ton truck with a 460 V8 would be a better choice for heavy loads.

(as a help to others, 6th generation F series = 1973-1979.)

JohnGalt
JohnGalt Reader
12/26/10 1:20 p.m.

I have a 1979 Bronco Custom that is terrifying at anything close to normal road speeds. (for sale BTW) They are certainly heavy enough to tow with but i would be worried about stopping power with the brakes they put on these trucks. Also the 351M motor kinda sucks, and while it can be built into an OK motor not too many parts/knowledge/support out there. This of course can be fixed any number of ways, These trucks are quite nice with a 460.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo HalfDork
12/26/10 4:07 p.m.

We used to tow a lot with a truck named Holly. She was a real beast. Short cab, long box 1978 F250 Ranger, 4x4, 4 speed, cammed up FE 427 swapped in. Straight pipe stacks, rollbar, KC Daylighters, bush pusher, the works.

She would tow anything and get about 5 MPG doing it. I still remember ripping Holly up this big hill near the farm called Schoolhouse Hill. Foot to the boards loaded down with probably 15k lbs of baleage to take to my uncle's farm. 427 barking out of the stacks. Good times!

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter SuperDork
12/27/10 9:50 a.m.

My dad has a '77 F-150 he bought new off the lot. He used that to tow a ~30' travel trailer all up and down the West Coast for years. 4x4, shortbed, built 351M, F250 springs.

The M motors are a lot better than people give them credit for. People seem to forget that the M is the same engine series as the Cleveland, and many parts, most importantly the heads, interchange.

Probably my favorite trucks. Along with the '77, we also have a '79 Bronco with a 400M that's a snow-plowing beast.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/27/10 10:06 a.m.

I was figuring I would get a V8 with an automatic. Probably do a little modifying to the engine and put better brakes on it. I would use it to tow cars.

curtis73
curtis73 HalfDork
12/27/10 10:10 a.m.

The older trucks can use a healthy dose of suspension bushings, ball joints, and tie rod ends to keep it straight, but it should do fine with 5000 lbs. I would definitely upgrade to at least a 302 if it isn't already. The 300 I-6 is almost as much size, but the aftermarket parts available for the 302 make it a much cheaper/better alternative for making the torque you'll want. The only reason I would keep a 300 is if its in great shape and doesn't need reconditioning. Then I would spend $500 on parts to juice it up instead of $1000 on building a 302/351. The 300 is a GREAT engine that will probably outlast the truck by a factor of 3, its just that parts to make it have power are a bit harder to find and more expensive.

The F100 is the same frame and suspension as the F150, just a shorter wheelbase and softer springs. Some air bags would be helpful if you have a lot of sagging.

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