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August 2000 Nuts & Bolts - Readers 4x4 Truck Tech Questions

Posted in How To on August 1, 2000
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Baffling Scout
I recently purchased a '67 International Scout 800 for $350. The body is in great shape and it still has the original four-cylinder, which runs great. It also has its original automatic tranny. I bought this as a project truck and am planning on turning it into a good all-around 4x4, yet I want to keep it fairly practical for on-the-road use. I'm thinking a small-block 351 or 350 would be perfect, but nothing real fancy. What V-8 drivetrain package would be the least trouble dropping in my Scout?Denver SaxtonNewalla, OK

We're at a little bit of a loss because (in theory) the four-cylinder was never offered with an automatic transmission. Our sources say the auto wasn't even available until the '71 and that was only with the 345 V-8. Regardless, the four-popper is essentially half of the V-8. The bellhousing bolt pattern on the eight and the four is the same. The auto trans is a 727 TorqueFlite but it has the International bolt pattern. Advance Adapters (Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 247, 4320 Aerotech Center Way, Paso Robles, CA 93447, 800/350-2223, 805/238-7000) offers a kit (PN 712572-A) that allows the Scout tranny to bolt to a Chevy engine. The kit includes an adapter plate, a crank bushing, and a flexplate. You will also need to install the proper motor mounts and radiator.

Tired Mopar
I have recently purchased an '85 Dodge W350 with a 360 V-8 engine. This powerplant is showing signs of fatigue and is a candidate for overhaul or replacement. I'm wondering what the interchange prospects are among the Chrysler-built line of engines. I think bigger is better and I would like to install a so-called big-block engine like a 440, if it will fit my bellhousing and engine mounts. I think the 360 is considered a small-block and is the largest small-block available. Your comments on the interchangeability of the Chrysler line of engines would be helpful and appreciated.Richard Hashby e-mail

We spoke to our resident Dodge and weird-stuff fanatic for this one. This is what he had to say.

You didn't mention what the emissions laws are like in your area. If you're planning to legally register and drive your vehicle on the street, you'll have to check with your local department of motor vehicles. You are in luck, however, in that your W350 has a monstrous GVWR that should limit the emissions equipment installed at the factory. You've got a number of options:

(1) Your 360 is definitely a candidate for a rebuild. If emissions are tough in your area, a stock-type rebuild including new rings, bearings, pistons (if needed), and a good three-angle valve job on the heads should bring the power back up. You can probably sneak in a Mopar Performance (Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 215020, Auburn Hills, MI 48321-5020, 248/969-1690, www.mopar.com) cam (PN 4452757) with 248/252 degrees of duration and 0.410/0.425-inch lift. Or you could go with an Edelbrock (Dept. 4WOR, 2700 California St., Torrance, CA 90503, 782-2900, www.edlebrock.com) Performer EGR manifold and Mopar cam (PN 4452759) with 260/268 degrees of duration and 0.430/0.450-inch lift for a little more punch.

(2) Forget the emissions and go for power. You can get 300 hp easily from a 360. The trick is getting the compression up from the pathetic 7.5:1 to 8.5:1 factory compression to about 9:1 to 9.5:1, and making the heads breathe. Here's how: bore the block 0.030 over and use Speed Pro (Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 1966, Detroit, MI 48235, 248/354-7000, www.federal-mogul.com) pistons (PN H116P-30) and Fel-Pro (same address as above) head gaskets (PN 1008). This should give you a 0.018-inch piston-to-deck height for an approximate 9:1 compression with your 72cc 360 heads. Decking the block 0.008 inch will bring this up, as will milling the heads, but be sure to check piston-to-valve clearances. Have a good three- or five-angle valve job done on the heads with some pocket porting and bowl work. You may also want to have the valves back-cut for improved flow. Add an Edelbrock RPM manifold, and an Edelbrock RPM cam or Mopar cam (PN 4120233) with 292/292 degrees of duration and 0.508/0.508-inch lift for max power, or a Mopar cam (PN 4452761) with 268/272 degrees of duration and 0.450/0.455-inch lift for torque. A good free-flowing exhaust with a 750-cfm carb or a rebuilt ThermoQuad should get you 300 hp easily.

(3) Another option is to just slap on a set of 65cc Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum cylinder heads, rebuild the bottom end, and add a cam and intake. This will up the compression, but the aluminum will dissipate heat better to allow the use of pump gas with the higher compression. They come with 2.02-inch intake valves installed, so they may get you ahead of the game if you'll be doing all that cylinder head work to the stock iron units.

The benefits to retaining your 360 are that it's already in your vehicle, it bolts to your transmission, and all of your accessories won't have to be changed. Swapping to a 440 is a lot of work. You'll need new engine brackets, accessory brackets, oil pan, dipstick, bellhousing, and even a power brake booster (the stock one will hit the valve cover of the 440). You can obtain the brackets from an original big-block donor truck or through Bouchillon Performance (www.bouchillonperformance.com). The bellhousings are very scarce, but Lakewood (Dept. 4WOR, 8700 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland, OH 44129, 216/398-8300) has one (PN 15335) that will allow you to mount either your NP435 or an NV4500 to a 383-440 big-block. You'll also need a new distributor, radiator, headers (car manifolds don't work), and flywheel. However, if you do decide to take this on, then you have these options:

(1) A 440 from a donor truck should bolt in using all related bracketry and accessories. A car engine will need all of the above and probably more.

(2) A 450-500hp 440 can be assembled with the following: a block bored 0.030 over, factory forged crank and rods with ARP (Dept. 4WOR, 531 Spectrum Cir., Oxnard, CA 93030, 805/278-7223) bolts, KB Performance Pistons (Dept. 4WOR, 4909 Goni Rd., Carson City, NV 89706, 800/560-4814) pistons (PN 2068), a high-volume oil pump, a Mopar Performance windage tray, factory 452 or 906 heads with pocket porting, gasket matching, bowl work, 0.14-intake/1.81-exhaust valves installed, adjustable 1.6:1 roller rockers, a Hughes (Dept. 4WOR, 23334 Wiegand Ln., Washington, IL 61571, 309/745-9558) cam (PN 3844BL) with 238/244 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch lift and 0.536/0.540-inch lift, an Edelbrock RPM manifold, a Holley (Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 10360, Bowling Green, KY 42102-7360, 800/465-5391 to find the nearest dealer, www.holley.com) 750 double-pumper, a ThermoQuad, or a Q-jet carb.

Why or Why Not?
Could you please give me the pros and cons for "50 Low-Budgetland Tips" (Mar. 2000) tip number 43, More Travel?Name withheld

As with any modification it seems there is always a repercussion. The same is true in this case. Some will disagree, but removing the bolts or bending the clamps out of the way can allow more axlewrap. Complete removal of the clamps will lead to the individual leaves getting out of line (spreading right to left). This doesn't hurt anything and the leaves can only move until they hit the U-bolts. If custom, longer shock mounts are added to the suspension in conjunction with the clamp modification the leaves could bend from overextension. This could happen with the clamps in place as well. As for handling and such, you probably won't notice a difference with them on or off.

Auto-Lock-Disconnect
In "50 Low-Budgetland Tips" (Mar. 2000), you stated that a third member from a '95-'98 4Runner would work in an earlier pickup housing with slight mods. What exact mods are needed? Will the diff work front and rear? Do those come in high-pinion units? Also, in the theory of mild lift and big treads (I only want to lift my '82 Toyota 4 inches at the most) would it be hard to move the center pins forward an inch to help tire fitment? Will the company I buy the springs from do this and what will it take if not? Finally, do you know of a company that makes a torque-rod disconnect for off-road use?Scott McGuffieKalispell, MT

To fit the 4Runner diff you'll need to relocate a couple of the studs and clearance the housing a little for the shift fork as well as connect wires to an electrical switch for engagement. The 4Runner diff will only work in the rear of your truck. If you want to use one in the front you will have to use coils or coilovers because the passenger side leaf spring will be in the way of the shifting mechanism. You can get the Toyota locker in a high-pinion model. These can be found in the front of '93 and '94 FJ80s that came with front lockers. The cost? We were told a guy paid $1,200 just for one third member from a wrecking yard. Overpriced? Yes, but definitely cool and original.

All Pro Off Road (Dept. 4WOR, 581 N. Palm Ave. Unit B3, Hemet, CA 92543, 909/658-7077) offers front lift springs with relocated pins for straight axle Toys. The pins are moved forward so the tires have more clearance at the body tub and rear portion of the front fenders. You can't drill into your leaf springs; they are made from spring steel. It's tough stuff so a special heating and cooling process is done and the holes are punched.

We haven't heard of a disconnecting torque-rod. Most people just remove it permanently and live with the pulling when the brakes are applied. However, Persson Off-Road Systems (Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 2527, Visalia, CA 93279, 888/4X4-TUFF) may be able to build one for you.

Ticking Toy
I'm looking to buy a 4Runner that I hope to someday build into my own off-road rig. I've looked at quite a few and many have light knocking noises in the engine (I've heard it's from using low-quality gas, but I'm not so sure). I just drove a prospective one (an '89) that had a brand-new 22RE motor installed 7,000 miles ago. The engine was making a similar sound, but it was more of a ticking than a knock. The sound got faster as I accelerated. The valves were just adjusted, so I don't think that's the problem. Could you give me any ideas as to what this could be? The truck has 161,000 miles on it, if that helps any.Sean Salsberyby e-mail

Only 161,000 miles? Most Toyota engines will usually last well into 200,000 if maintained properly.

Anyway, a Toy is a great platform for a buildup. The ticking you are hearing may not be a problem with the engine. The Toyota (and some other) EFI systems are a bit on the noisy side. The ticking is most likely the injectors opening and closing. This sounds very similar to a pencil tip tapping a table. If it's more of a knock then something could be awry in the block. A valve tick is a little louder than the injectors but not as loud as a rod knock. A mechanic's stethoscope can help you locate the noise.

The kind of noise caused by cheap fuel will usually only occur under load. This sound can be likened to marbles being shaken in a jar. Lugging the engine will produce the same noise, cheap fuel or not.

Factory Fit-up
I have a '94 Ford F-350 crew cab. I am currently running 255/85R16 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains. I am interested in lifting it about 2 or 3 inches, without compromising the ride of my factory suspension (it feels great right now). I want to fit 35s. Can I use a body lift?Gilberto FajardoEncinitas, CA

Body lifts are not advisable or available for 1-ton trucks. The leverage and weight involved make it a bad idea even though the 11/42-ton kits can be made to fit. Fortunately, the '92-'97 F-350s came from the factory with a pretty tall chassis. Your 255/85R16 tires are actually the equivalent of a 33x10 tire. We have seen and even installed 35s on '92-'97 F-250s without a lift. Minor trimming may be needed depending on how you use your F-350. If you want to add a small amount of lift to the front end of your F-350, Off Road Unlimited (Dept. 4WOR, 40 E. Palm St., Burbank, CA 91502, 818/563-3478, www.offroadunlimited.com) offers a shackle reversal kit that will lift the truck 2 inches. The kit is a complete bolt-on and is said to improve the ride by 40 percent and improve handling and steering.

Submission information: Questions should be as brief and concise as possible. We will answer as many letters as possible each month, but due to the large volume of mail, we cannot send personal replies. Letters are subject to editing for length, as space permits. Always check state regulations before modifying a vehicle with pollution controls or one that will be driven on the street. Write to: Nuts & Bolts, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, fax 323/782-2704, e-mail cappaj@emapUSA.com.

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