Many of you are old Ford gearheads, so I thought I'd float this and see what I might learn.
My son is interested in getting a 1967-72 Ford F-100 or F-250 4X4. He prefers a "short" bed truck. There are no short bed F-250's to be found, 4X4 or not (I actually don't think Ford made a short bed F-250). There are plenty of short bed F-100's out there, but very few, if any, 4X4's.
The question is, how difficult would it be to convert a 2 wheel drive F-100 to 4 wheel drive? It seems to me that if he got a short bed F-100 and removed the entire drive train, then took the engine, transmission, transfer case and both axles from a 4x4 truck he could just bolt it up. The only custom machine work I can see is the drive shaft to the rear axle would probably need to be custom made shorter.
While we're at it, I'd also appreciate any comments you guys may have on engines. As I understand it, the choices are 360/390 c.i. V-8 or 240/300 c.i. in-line 6. Comments on strengths and weaknesses appreciated.
Thanks I advance!!
P.S. All mechanical components would be rebuilt and/or refurbished prior to installation.
The F100 4X2 will be Twin I Beam front suspension, while the F250 will be leaf spring in the front. You could convert it, but it won't look factory. The rear frame width is different between the F100 and F250 as well. The 360 is identical to the 390 except the stroke. The 390 is much more powerful.
Years ago i had two pick ups one two wheel drive F-150 with the 300 cu in 6 and a 4 wheel drive 1/2 ton chevy with the 400 v8. When i went to Isanti Min to buy a model A i thought the 6 would give better gas mileage.Big mistake!! At the big hill at ST Chroi Falls we made only 37 mph and a couple hills in northern Mi at 43 mph on the expressway!! Never again!! Bud.
I think that there would be quite a bit of modification required to convert a 4x2 front end to 4x4 configuration. The 4x2 used the twin I-beam front suspension with the necessary anchor points in the center of the frame. The 4x4 used a solid front Dana axle. Look at the two attached links, the second has the exploded diagrams for the front ends of both 4x4 and 4x2.
Hope this helps,
I think it would be easier to get a long bed 4X4 and shorten the frame to fit a shortbed box. Just watch the rear driveshaft angle.
"While we're at it, I'd also appreciate any comments you guys may have on engines. As I understand it, the choices are 360/390 c.i. V-8 or 240/300 c.i. in-line 6."
Another option is a 302 V-8, I had a '69 F-150 that I bought new, it had a 302 in it.
Kenneth W DeLong comments about the lack of power w/a 300 six cylinder. FWIW, I had a 1980 F-150 super cab, long wheelbase, 4X4, standard transmission, 300 six and it had lots of power, actually it had way more power than my current truck, a 2005 Dakota, quad cab, 4X4, standard transmission w/a 4.7 V-8, a gutless wonder.
Thanks for all of your comments. You have fortified my original thinking. IMHO modification of a truck to a configuration not originally offered presents too many obstacles to be practical.
We'll see what my son has to say. My $0.02 worth will be to find a truck he likes and restore it absent significant modification.
I would say it would be best to just buy a long bed 4x4 and enjoy.
Alot of modifying to get a short bed
I will say I would not dismiss there being any short box 4x4's as the forestry folks and some power line company's used them.
I can't remember the name,maby someone else here will, I think it was Marmon Harrington that made 4x4 conversions for Ford and chevy trucks Before the factory built them.
Both my Ford pickups have the 300 I6. The 91 is only 140 hp and when towing it does not like hills.
The 66, the engine has been bored 30 over and it has a rv cam and petronix ignition. It tows up hill with little issue. gas mileage is ok considering no truck payments and cheap property taxes and insurance.
1 more thing, if you will notice on a factory ford with 300 in the 90 ish range, there is no red line on the tach, doesn't need 1. It aint tearing up.
I'm not sure when Ford started building factory 4x4 trucks, but I have a '72 F-100 Ranger 4x4 long bed 360 2 barrel, 4 speed creeper first gear stick with a single speed transfer case, Ford air conditioning, power steering, power brakes. Weird combo, but you couldn't get an automatic 4x4 back then. It was a someday project fresh from California when I bought it 15 years ago. Putting it up for sale tomorrow.
The 300 six is a good powerful engine, but, they do drink a lot of gas. The 240 was very economical but lacks torque.
get a 3/4 ton 4x4 and shorten the sucker to fit the short bed.
better yet just get a 4x4 with the power you want and need and leave everything else alone.
If l was doing this,l would put the early body on a 90's vintage full size Bronco. They were 105" wheelbase. Without looking it up l think 115" was we of that era 67-72 shorted, so stretch everything that much. 5.0 v8 aka 302 with fuel injection and automatic would be the most common.l was a dealer in the 90's.Even then a shorted 4x4 was not commonly ordered. Just my. 02.
Henry, they are out there but you need to look in the right places for short box 4x4 trucks. My guess is you won't find many of those in CA. Look more in places where they are more likely to exist: places with nasty, snowy weather. A buddy of mine's son had his heart set on finding a newer crew cab F150 in used good condition down in ILL. He searched high and low only to find one higher priced than he wanted to pay and more miles. If he looked up here by me he would have found many of them and cheaper. Around this part of the planet they are far more plentiful and common. Here in the upper Midwest you have better chances of finding a short box 4x4 than many other places. But be advised, you may be dealing with rust issues. Look at Craigslist for them or Auto Trader from the areas where they are likely to exist.
I don't know if it is the same engine but we had a 1973 390 V8. It had a wrist pin go out at 47K. We fixed it and had another one starting to talk to us at 56K. We traded it off. That was our last modern Ford product.
I'll go along with Mark Cole's first sentence. It's a hell of a lot of work, and will end up a lot more expensive than it would be to just buy a 4 WD.
I meant Mack Cole. Sorry.