4x4s From The '60s And '70s: Everything Old Is Cool Again
"Everything old is new again" is a statement that's certainly off-road appropriate given today's high level of interest in trucks built during the '60s and '70s. The heavy focus on trucks 30 to 40 years old is quizzical - maybe it's just us old guys reliving our glory days or reminiscing about the trucks we grew up with, such as those trucks driven by our fathers, modified by our older brothers, or driven by local guys who cruised the streets and trails of our hometowns.
To be realistic, everything old isn't truly new again - it's still old stuff, which, for whatever reason, has generated renewed interest and has been given a second shot at life. Rather than try to analyze why the off-road community is so thoroughly smitten with American iron, which first saw trail use during the psychedelic, flower-power, peace-and-love years of the '60s and '70s, this story is a celebration of the trucks that made their mark back in the day.
Engine OverviewFord F-100 and F-250 4x4 trucks built during model-years 1959 and 1964 featured an inline-six engine as standard equipment. The powerplant displaced 223ci and pumped out approximately 140 hp at 4,200 rpm and 210 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm.
The optional engine for the '59-'64 F-series trucks was the 292ci displacement V-8, which typically produced 190 hp at 4,000 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm.
For 1965, Ford offered a new standard engine and two new optional engines for the F-100 and F-250 trucks. The standard I-6 engine was enlarged to 240ci andproduced more than 150 hp at 4,000 rpm and 235 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm.
The optional engines introduced in 1965 were a still-larger, 300ci displacement I-6, which was rated 170 hp at 3,600 rpm and 283 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm, and a 352ci V-8 that produced approximately 210 hp at 4,400 rpm and 315 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm.
1968 was the first year for the optional 360ci V-8, which replaced the 352ci engine. The new V-8 was rated 215 hp at 4,400 rpm and 330 lb-ft of torque at 2,600 rpm.
Ford continued to offer the aforementioned engines as either standard or optional until 1972, when F-250 models got the 300ci I-6 as standard equipment. F-100 trucks were available with the 240ci I-6 (standard) or the optional 300ci I-6 or 360ci V-8 engines. F-250s were also available with the V-8 powerplant.
The 240ci engine was offered in F-100 trucks until model-year 1976 when the 300ci I-6 became the base engine for the F-100 as well as the F-250 4x4s. For 1977, Ford introduced two new high-efficiency V-8s: a 351ci version and the larger-displacement 400ci model. For 1977, F-100 trucks became 2WD; the new 4x4s were all F-150s and shared the 300ci I-6 with the F-250 trucks. The optional engine for the F-series trucks was the 351ci V-8, which produced approximately 230 hp at 3,800 rpm and 340 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm. This engine became standard equipment in 1978 on F-150 and F-250 SuperCab models. The 400ci V-8 pumped out a claimed 235 hp at 3,600 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm.
Transmission, Transfer Case, and Axle SpecsFord used some pretty basic - but certainly heavy-duty - transmissions and transfer cases on F-100, F-150, and F-250 4x4s during the '60s and early '70s. The three-speed transmission was equipped with helical-cut gears, an 11-inch-diameter semi-centrifugal clutch, and a steering column-mounted shift lever. Optional features included a three-speed medium-duty gearbox and a four-speed heavy-duty transmission shifter with a floor-mounted lever.
All F-series trucks used the same transfer case during the early '60s: a two-speed, four-range model capable of operating in 2-Hi, 4-Hi, Neutral, and 4-Lo. The T-case gear multiplication was 1.86:1 (low) and 1.00:1 (high)
In 1966, Ford switched the light-duty F-100 4x4s to a single-speed T-case, which was used until '69. F-250 4x4s built during the mid-'60s were equipped with the new Spicer Model 24 T-case, which retained the gear ratios of the earlier transfer cases.
Three optional manual transmissions made their debut during the mid-'60s: In 1964, the Warner T98A four-speed with a floor shifter was introduced; 1966 was the initial year FoMoCo used the New Process 435 four-speed, which was an optional transmission on F-100s; the optional gearboxes on F-250s were the Warner T89F, a heavy-duty three-speed unit, or the four-speed New Process 435.
1971 was the final year of production for the three-speed manual transmission; 1972 was the initial year when the Blue Oval offered an automatic transmission on 4WD trucks. The SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic was an option on long-wheelbase F-100 and F-250 trucks equipped with the 360ci V-8 engine. F-100 4x4s equipped with the V-8 and built on the long-wheelbase chassis got the Dana 24 two-speed T-case - as did all F-250s - while short-wheelbase or I-6-powered F-100s made do with the single-speed transfer case.
Ford made the New Process 203 T-case available in 1974 as an option on F-100 and F-250 4x4s powered by the V-8 engine and backed by the three-speed automatic transmission. The NP 203 had a 2.01:1 Low range and a 1.00:1 high range.
The axles Ford used on the F-100, F-150, and F-250 4x4s were many. From 1960 to 1964, the front axle on F-100s and F-250s was Spicer's full-floating 55-4F, although Ford made its Corporate axle available as an option on F-250s. The rear axle on F-100s was the Corporate; the F-250 got a Spicer unit.
From 1964-71, Ford used the Spicer 2559 front axle on both F-Series 4x4s; the stronger Spicer 2558 was optional. At the rear, Ford installed a semi-floating Corporate 3300 axle on the F-100; the F-250 was equipped with the full-floating Spicer 60.
A Dana full-floating axle was in the front of '72 F-100s; the F-250 used a Spicer 6CF full-floating front axle, and the optional F-250 front axle was Spicer's Model 2558. The rear axle on the F-100 was Ford's Corporate 3300, while the F-250 used a Spicer Model 60 axle.
Engine OverviewStandard Engine, '60-'61: Thriftmaster Six; Inline-Six With 235ci Displacement
Power: 135 Hp @ 4,000 Rpm; 217 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,000 Rpm
Optional Engine, '60-'61: Trademaster V-8; V-8 With 336ci Displacement
Power: 160 Hp @ 4,200 Rpm; 270 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,000 Rpm
Standard Engine, '62: High-Torque Six; Inline-Six With 261ci Displacement
Power: 150 Hp @ 4,000 Rpm; 235 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,000 Rpm
Optional Engine, '62: High-Torque 283 V-8;V-8 With 283ci Displacement
Power: 160 Hp @ 4,200 Rpm; 270 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,000 Rpm
Standard Engine, '63-'65: High-Torque 230 Six; Inline-Six With 230ci Displacement
Power: 140 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 220 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 1,600 Rpm
Optional Engine, '63-'65: High-Torque 292 Six; Inline-Six With 292ci Displacement
Power: 165 Hp @ 3,800 Rpm; 280 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 1,600 Rpm
Optional Engine, '63-'65: High-Torque 283 V-8; V-8 With 283ci Displacement
Power: 175 Hp @ 4.400 Rpm; 275 Lb-Ft Or Torque @ 2,400 Rpm
Standard Engine, '66: High-Torque 250 Six; Inline-Six With 250ci Displacement
Power: 155 Hp @ 4,200 Rpm; 235 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 1,600 Rpm
Optional Engines, '66: High-Torque 292 Six; High-Torque 283 V-8
Standard Engine, '67: 250 Six (Formerly The High-Torque 250 Six)
Optional Engines, '67: 292 Six (Formerly The High-Torque 292 Six), 283 V-8 (Formerly The High-Torque 283 V-8)
Optional Engine, '67: 327 V-8; V-8 With 327ci Displacement
Power: 220 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 320 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,800 Rpm
Standard Engine, '68: 250 Six
Standard Engine, '68: 307 V-8, V-8 With 307ci Displacement
Power: 200 Hp @ 4,600 Rpm; 300 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,400
Optional Engines: 292 Six; 327 V-8
Standard Engines, '69-'73: 250 Six; 307 V-8
Optional Engine, '69-'73: 292 Six
Optional Engine, '69-'73: 350 V-8; V-8 With 350ci Displacement
Power: 255 @ 4,600 Rpm; 355 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 3,000 Rpm
Standard Engine, '74: 250 Six
Optional Engines, '74: 292 Six; 350 V-8
Standard Engine, '75-'79: 250 Six
Optional Engines, '75-'79: 292 Six; 350 V-8
Optional Engine, '75-'79: 400 V-8; V-8 With 400ci Displacement
Power: 220 Hp @ 4,200 Rpm; 315 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,200 Rpm
Transmission, Transfer Case, And Axle SpecsGeneral Motors Used Several Different Combinations Of Transmissions And Transfer Cases On Its 4wd Trucks Built During The '60s And '70s. A Typical Early-'60s 1/2-Ton Setup Would Include A Front Semi-Floating Corporate Axle (3/4-Ton Trucks Got The Full-Floating Version Of The Gm Axle), A Timken Model T-221 Two-Speed Transfer Case With A Single Lever And 1.87:1 And 1.00:1 Gear Ratios, And A Manual Four-Speed Synchro-Mesh Transmission.
In 1961, Gm Added A Three-Speed Synchro-Mesh Manual Transmission To Its Lineup And Beefed Up The Existing Four-Speed Transmission To Heavy-Duty Status. For 1962, The T-Case's Low Range Was Changed To A 1.94:1 Gear Ratio. The Front Axle On '68 Trucks Was A Spicer 44, Although Gm Stayed With The Corporate Rear Axles.
Two Significant Driveline Changes Were Made To Chevy And Gmc Trucks Built During 1970: A New Transfer Case - The New Process 205, A Two-Speed Box With A 1.96:1 Low Range - Made Its Debut, As Well As The General's First-Ever Use Of An Automatic Transmission In A 4x4 - The Turbo Hydra-Matic Three-Speed Slush Box.
In 1973, Gm Trucks Were Equipped With The Upgraded Spicer 44f Front Axle, And 1975 Was The Year That General Motors Introduced 'Wheelers To Its Full-Time 4wd System, Which Featured Locking Front Hubs. A New Transfer Case, The New Process 203, Sporting A 2.01:1 Low Range, Was Introduced In 1975 On V-8-Powered 4x4s; Inline-Six Engines Stayed With The Np 205 T-Case And Part-Time 4wd.
By 1976, All Gm 4x4s - Regardless Of Their Engine - Were Using The Full-Time 4wd System; 1977 Saw The General Starting To Make The Switch Away From Spicer Front Axles, Using An Increasing Number Of Its Corporate Front Axles On 4wd Trucks. By The Late-'70s, The Np 203 T-Case Was Used Exclusively Behind Automatic Transmissions, While The Np 205 Was Used Only With A Manual Transmission.
Engine OverviewStandard Engine, '60: Inline-Six; 230ciDisplacement; 120 Hp @ 3,600 Rpm; 202 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 1,600 Rpm
Optional Engine, '60: Power Giant 315; V-8; 315ci Displacement; 205 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 290 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,400 Rpm
Standard Engine, '61-'79:Inline-Six; 225ci Displacement; 140 Hp @ 3,900 Rpm; 215 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,000 Rpm
Optional Engine, '61-'65: V-8; 318ciDisplacement; 200 Hp @ 3,900 Rpm; 290 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,400 Rpm
Optional Engine, '66-'79: V-8; 318ciDisplacement; 210 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 320 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,800 Rpm
Optional Engine, '66-'71: V-8; 383ciDisplacement; 260 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 375 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,800 Rpm
Optional Engine, '72-'78: V-8; 360ci Displacement
Optional Engine, '75-'78 : V-8, 440ciDisplacement; 235 Hp @ 4,000 Rpm; 340 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,400 Rpm
Optional Engine, '77-'78: V-8; 400ciDisplacement; 165 Hp @ 4,400 Rpm; 290 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,400 Rpm
Optional Engine, '78-'79: Inline-Six/Diesel; 243ci Displacement; 103 Hp @ 3,700 Rpm; 168 Lb-Ft Of Torque @ 2,200 Rpm
Transmission, Transfer Case, And Axle SpecsStandard Transmission, '61-'70: Model A745 Three-Speed Manual
Optional Transmission, '61-'70: New Process 420 Synchro-Shift Four-Speed Manual
Standard Transmission, '71: Model A230 Three-Speed Manual
Standard Transmission, '72: Model A50 Three-Speed Manual (Inline-Six Cylinder Engines Only)
Optional Transmission, '71-'79: New Process 445, Close-Ratio Four-Speed Manual
Optional Transmission, '71-'79: New Process 435, Wide-Ratio Four-Speed Manual
Optional Transmission, '71-'79: Chrysler A-727, Three-Speed Automatic
From 1960 To 1979, Every Dodge 4x4 Was Equipped With A Two-Speed Transfer Case With A Low-Range Gear Ratio Of 1.96:1; Some T-Cases Were Shifted With A Pair Of Shift Levers; Other T-Cases Used A Single Shift Lever For Engagement Of Low Range. And Virtually Every Dodge Power Wagon Used Either A Semi- Or Full-Floating Corporate Solid Axle - Front And Rear, Of Course.