A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

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A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
When I joined this forum some weeks ago, I had just taken possession of my deceased father in laws 85 F150 XLT Lariat Explorer.  This truck has the VIN H 351 HO (what a joke!) 4V carb with a C6 trans and 3.50 gears.  Someone had done a real number on the 4180 that was on there so rather than trying to unpackage what some other lain-brain did, I just took out a new 1850 600 CFM carb and put it on there.  I made the necessary adjustments to maintain all of the OEM vacuum controlled emissions controls except, of course, the evaporative emissions hook up on the float bowels.  I also blocked down the EGR because I simply cannot find a suitable replacement EGR valve for a reasonable price anywhere.  Pretty much everything else is there and it all works!  

What is my point, you ask?  

I know this thing is a one and a half ton vehicle.  This being said, I do not expect it to get great fuel economy, HOWEVER, this thing is unquestionable the biggest fuel pig of ANY old F truck or Bronco I have EVER owned!  

It has less than 50K on the odometer and the WORST cylinder only has about 12% blow by and all with plenty of compression!  

It is certainly not over-carbureted, nor is it running rich by any stretch of the imagination!  The EGR deletion alone would not account for the mileage this thing is getting.  

What is the mileage?   A whopping 8 MPG.  

Ok, I get it!  a 3 speed, with 3.50 gears spinning 3K down the freeway in a 6K lb. truck is not going to get the mileage of a MINI Cooper, but I sure don't think double digit mileage is unreasonable to expect!  Or is it?

It has been so long since I owned one of these things.  I know the ethanol content makes anything use more fuel, but holy cow!  

Just want to get an idea what kind of fuel economy others with a SIMILAR POWERTRAIN are getting!  Personally, I know people with 460 equipped bullnose trucks that get better mileage, but of course, a 460 works a lot less to move a 6K lb. chunk of steel and cast iron!  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

85lebaront2
Administrator
This post was updated on .
Ok, a couple of items to look at, the distributor, it has two advance systems a mechanical (RPM operated) and a vacuum (ported or manifold source).

Mechanical - with the cap off the distributor, take the rotor and turn it counterclockwise, if it doesn't move, take the rotor off and put some penetrating oil down the hole in the advance mechanism. let it soak and continue until it moves and snaps back.

Vacuum - engine running, se if the line going to the distributor has vacuum, if not, increase the rpm until it does. If you cannot get a vacuum signal, find a source (on the manifold if necessary) and try connecting it, rpm should increase, if not, the vacuum advance may be bad.

Those are the two most likely issues, third would be, does it have a catalytic converter? If so is it possibly clogged?

Fuel economy, 1986 F350 6400lb crew cab dually, 3.55 gear and C6 got me a solid 10 mpg except towing a 35 ft 10K 5th wheel, then 8 was normal. Since converting to MAF/SEFI and E4OD, since I have very low compression using E7TE heads on a carbureted short block, max of 12.5 running 70-75 on interstates.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
A 150 would have come with a cat, Bill.
It's only 8,600 gvw and above that were exempt from converters.

But Jake seems to think that a 150 is a 1 1/2 ton payload vehicle. And that is definitely not the case.
150's are generally 1/2 ton trucks, 250's 3/4 ton rated and 350's rated at 1 ton.
Exceptions for the 250 HD's with eight lug axles.

Ron (Reamer) had a problem with his pickup being gutless a few years back and I suggested he disconnect the cat in the first few posts of that thread.
Fortunately he finally found it, but I think it caused him a lot of frustration.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

85lebaront2
Administrator
Jim, I knew it would have come with one, my question was is it there and if so could it be clogged. I was also of the impression that the 351 HO was in the F250s through 1987, then dropped. AllData is interesting, they show the 351 4 barrel in both light duty (with cats) and medium duty (no cats).

We are also talking about a 36 year old truck that who knows exactly what has been done to it over the years.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
The 351 HO was definitely available in the F-250 over 8,600 gvw for '87.
There were no carbs on pickups for the '88 model year.

 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

mat in tn
In reply to this post by 85lebaront2
there is a lot going on here. condition is part of it. tuning is part of it. driving style/ load demand is part of it.
 50k miles? that's extremely low for a 40 yo truck and very unlikely. five-digit odometers reset every 100k and can rollover numerous times. this has misled many in the past and many salesmen have misled buyers with it also. unknowingly, I'm sure.
I only bring this up because my experience leads me to change timing chains at 150k on average due to stretched chains allowing the valve timing to retard many degrees although seemingly running fine. this WILL cause a loss in power and therefore you will use more throttle and push it more to get the same work done. this involves all of the three things I mentioned at first.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
No, not 1.5 ton payload....it is a 6000 lb truck!  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by 85lebaront2
Both vacuum advance (12 degrees @14"hg) and mechanical 13 degrees at 1750) advance are working properly.  and With of initial set at 10, it has 35 degrees of total timing. No issues there.  

Cats have been hollowed out.  

I would be thrilled if this thing got 10mpg!  Just for the hell of it, I am going to rebuild that 4180.  I personally HATE those things, but hey, ya never know!  I always wondered if the 2 stage power valve from a 4180 would work properly in a 4160.  

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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by mat in tn
Just FYI, I am the 2nd owner and the mileage is 100% actual!  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Machspeed
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jake Papageorge
I have the same engine, trans, and gearing, though I think it's 3:55, not 3:50. My truck is also 4x4. I bought it new and at first it got "okay" fuel mileage....14-15 mpg. As time past, that fuel mileage went to 8 mpg. Fed up with the crappy fuel mileage and poor performance, I pulled all the emission garbage off of it and added an Edelbrock 600CFM carb and intake. Also put a set of headers on it with true dual exhaust. Not only was the fuel mileage markedly improved, so was the performance.
John

"Blackie" - 1986 F150 4x4 - Mildly warmed over 351W HO - Original owner
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jake Papageorge
Jake Papageorge wrote
What's my point, you ask?

I know this thing is a one and a half ton vehicle....
 Um, a ton is 2,000 lbs.  
One and a half tons would be 3,000 lbs.

I saw where you said the truck weighs 6,000 lbs. I'm a bit surprised by that, given its lighter running gear, but I guess it's possible?
John may know better as Blackie is comparable to your '85.

I'm sorry, I guess I don't have any better advice given that you seem to have done everything and it still can't get ten mpg.
Have you considered an LS swap?

 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jake Papageorge
I don't think Holley has produced a two stage power jet in decades, and If I found one I'd be concerned about the diaphragm compatibility with ethanol.
There isn't any reason why one wouldn't work in a 4160.
If you look at Holley's old calibration tables they were listed, but the Old School Hot Rodder usually has the better data.

I might suggest that you'd be better off with a heavier advance spring.
After messing with my curve I've found that my truck definitely pulls harder if it doesn't get full advance until around 3k.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

mat in tn
In reply to this post by Jake Papageorge
50k is truly a great find! that tells me all steel parts are most likely barely broken in. many miles to go before major service is needed. that said you are looking at soft parts given the age. degradable parts! but it sounds as if you are already working on that. I had a truck in last year which was comparable. the owner was concerned at how the 5.8 ho 4bbl had less power than he expected. " Hell, it won't even chirp the tires" he said. so, after I knew he had run a couple tanks through it and had gotten a few more miles on it I had him bring it back in for a carb check. I had rebuilt the carb and it was a replacement, Holley. I believe that it was an oem design if not an economizer. all tests came out great and the truck ran great. not a lot of off idle throttle response so I looked closely at the accel pump cam and it was at a very light setting. a simple cam swap and accel pump was advancing more aggressively and it really woke it up.  there are a few tweaks that can be done with a Holley that can make or break one's opinion of them. we cannot love the fords and call them stupid for choosing the 4180. the fact is that when they are right, they are great. and neglect is all too often the cause of them being wrong.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by Machspeed
It definitely has a 3.50 gear.  I literally just had to replace it, the carrier and all the bearings and axles on this thing last week.  LOL!!!  One of the very few ring and pinions that actually have to be indexed.  

So tell me more!  I am intrigued by your carburetor choice Machspeed.  Did you retain the kickdown linkage or have to switch to a cable when using that Edelbrock carburetor.  I have a few of these laying around, but was reluctant to use one because the 4160 had the OEM style kickdown lever.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The 9" came in 3.50 gearing and the 8.8" in 3.55.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by mat in tn
Mat, didn't the 351 HO also come with a nylon cam gear and hy-vo chain?

While you say they can last 150,000 miles polyamide is subject to degradation in hydrocarbons like oil and gets brittle when it absorbs moisture from air.
Jake's chain could very well have skipped time, and that would make it sluggish and extremely thirsty.

I would definitely be checking for slop and confirming tdc #1 early in the troubleshooting process.

And I agree, the 4180 was a highly developed carb that returned good fuel mileage.
Breakaway choke screws and plugged idle adjusters are easy to get around.
The annular boosters and vacuum secondaries we're well matched to the Ford products they were tuned for.
Unfortunately the detailed Hot Rod article dealing with them, reprinted on flemworld.com, returns a 404
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with a Holley 80508 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by mat in tn
I am not a big fan of that 4180 at all!  One would think that it would be a great carb with the annular discharge boosters in the primaries and all the extra air bleeds and 4 corner idle mixture that this thing would be awesome!  When they work, and are set up right, they run fine! It is just that getting them there is a real hassle!  

It has been my experience over the years that the 4180 is favored by a lot of folks with stock or mildly modified engines because the primary boosters turn on so much more quickly and atomize fuel so much better(more evenly).  The annular booster coupled with the 2 stage power valve makes the main metering system a lot more responsive at low engine speeds.  The 4150 replacement has straight leg boosters which are about the worst for atomization and sensitivity.  

Just on a lark, I went up to my local O'Reilly and picked up a Standard Motor Parts rebuild kit.  My price was only 30 bucks, so I figured what the hell!  I might as well rebuild the OE carb and see if I can affect a mileage change.  Damn if it didn't have a 2 stage PV in there! I called my good friend up at Kirks Carburetor in Detroit ( I used to work there back in the eighties when I was in HS), and sure enough, Holley still makes that power valve!  I can get you a P/N if you want). He was telling me that when people bring those carbs in, they usually replace the PV with a single stage 6.5 (assuming it is a stock rebuild) and they don't get any complaints.  

Yea, I hear ya on the "stupid 4180" comment.  These things have so much extra baggage and wirdo one of a kind parts that I have always been annoyed having to work with them when an easy and cheap alternative is so radially available.  With the price of fuel now, however, I have been forced to re-evaluate my opinion on this carburetor, much to my chagrin!  LOL!!!! I used to have to repair these things when I worked at the dealership back in the day.  I just hated always having to wrestle around the base of the carb with a flexible Allen after knocking the caps off of the idle mixture screws!  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
Jumping time would have been apparent when checking the ignition timing.  None the less, after turning the crankshaft against rotation to take the slack out of the chain, it only took 6 degrees of engine rotation to make the rotor move. I don't think this thing has a timing chain problem.  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

mat in tn
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
the last few 5.8 ho engines that I have redone or replaced the timing sets in had steel gears. that does not certify what they should have left the factory with, only what I dealt with. that said only one of them seemed to have had the front cover off before. but none had what I would have called a replacement set. I normally put back a melling or cloyes at least and usually a double roller. even still it is a little disappointing to see how much play they acquire in a short time. but in order for it to have enough slack to jump time in 50k it seems to me that it would mean a total cam gear failure and 6 degrees of take up does not indicate that but composite over aluminum gears is not anything I would want. that is what was in my 86 4.9 and it now has steel. that engine I rebuilt 20 years ago.  
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Re: A Week Long Restoration turning into a Summer Time Adventure! 86 XLT Lariat Explorer

85lebaront2
Administrator
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
Jim, I would like to know where he got 6000 lbs. Darth weighed on a certified scale (not a truck stop one) with both tanks essentially empty, a maybe 100 lb aluminum cap and no one in him, 6400 lbs and that is after installing the E4OD and EFI top end. I am darn sure the 35" more cab, including a bench seat, two more doors with internals and two more 245/85R16 tires even on the Alcoas should easily add over 400 lbs.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

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