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Meet Gladys

Discussion in 'Other Ford Trucks' started by RustyRatRod, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Never really named a vehicle before, but I named this one. Meet Gladys. Gladys was Mama's first name. She didn't like it so she went by her middle name, Nan. I like Gladys, so as a memorial of sorts to Mama, here's Gladys.

    NEW GLADYS.jpg

    I bought Gladys nearbout a year ago now. Kitty and I were in a terrible wreck in February, 2014 and totaled my 2004 Ranger. After looking for a few months with no luck, I found Gladys locally one night on CL.

    We drive down to look at her and this is what I came home with. A 1975 F250 Camper Special. After doing some research, I began to realize that Gladys is special indeed. More on that in a minute. This is Gladys very shortly after I bought her.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  2. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    So, what makes Gladys special? First off, Gladys isn't really an F250. She is technically an F253. It is even stamped on her certicard as the first 4 digits of her VIN.

    What that means is, she is a very heavy duty 3/4 ton truck. Her GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is higher than a lot of F350s of the same era. She has a GVWR of 8100 pounds.

    She also came through with large heavy duty sway bars, front and rear from the factory. She has a Borg Warner T-18 four speed transmission with a double low first gear and a Dana 60 with 3.73 gears. She also came with the dual piston calipers and large diameter front rotors.

    She has power steering and power brakes. She is equipped with factory A/C and while it does not work right now, it is complete and I have everything to repair it. That will be one of my winter projects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  3. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    I have done a lot of work to Gladys since I bought her. The first thing I did was diagnose the dead skip she had. I knew she was skipping when I bought her, but the price was right so I bought her assuming the worse case scenario. I was pretty close to right. She had a burned exhaust valve in #5 cylinder. So, I removed driver's side head and sure enough, #5 exhaust valve was toast.

    351M BURNED VALVE.jpg
     
  4. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    I had "thought about" only repairing that one valve and moving on, but, no surprise all the rest of the valves were either sunk or the guides were loose, so, off the other head came. At least the rest of the engine looked great. Fresh .030" over bore and no ridge on the block at all. Someone had rebuilt the short block and just slapped the old heads back on it. Stupidness.

    351M TOP HALF OFF.jpg
     
  5. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    I took the heads to the machine shop I use. Reeve's RPM Performance in Warner Robins, Georgia. It's 62 miles from my doorstep, but they do great work. Steve, the owner called me a few days later and said that he could rebuild the heads, but for about 150 dollars less, he could order in some remanufactured heads. So that's what I did. About a week later, I had the new heads and Gladys was running great. Gas mileage however, was not so hot. With her Motorcraft two barrel, she wasn't as efficient as she could be, so I hawked Ebay and found this open box return on the cheap. A Weiand Action Plus for the 351M and 400.

    WEIAND.jpg
     
  6. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    With the new intake installed and a rebuilt used Holley 4175 spread bore, power certainly increased, but mileage still sucked. I know......complaining about mileage from a 3/4 ton truck is funny. But I figure there's nothing wrong with trying. So I started looking for things wrong. I quickly found one. The distributor. Upon removal and inspection, I found a lot of slop in the distributor shaft. So hawkin Ebay once again, I scored one of them Skip White/ Proform/ total chinkeseium GM HEI distributors made for the 351M and 400 along with a set of new Accel wires......for 75 dollars shipped. Once installed, I could tell a huge difference in acceleration. Mileage also went up. I was happy, but felt there was still room for improvement.
     
  7. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    I tweaked and tuned the next few weeks finally settling on 20* initial and 36* total timing. Gladys really likes the hot ignition curve. I tried a Holley 600 I had layin around and that went the other way, so I knew she liked the smaller primaries better. I scored a very early Edelbrock 625 AFB for a song and it looked so good, I tried it as is and she ran and has been running great ever since. I don't know exactly how good mileage is but I can fill up the 19 gallon tank and drive everyday and go for almost eight days. I feel like that has to be upper teens. That's pretty dang good for a heavy duty 3/4 ton truck. Here we are in a fairly recent picture.

    GLADYS N ME.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  8. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Of course as an old hot rodder, I cannot leave well enough alone. Always have to have more. lol So the search for a 400 was on. I knew I was climbing a big hill as not many are left. Most have been scrapped a long time ago. That's how the M block is. Either you love them or hate them. I have always been a fan. The 400 Ford was the first 400 small block engine. It was out before the Chevy 400. A lot of people confuse them with a big block because they share the bellhousing bolt pattern with the 460 but they are small blocks. They share all the same internal components as the 351M except crankshaft and pistons. Even the blocks are the same. I got lucky and scored this core. It ended up a LOT better than it looked in these pictures. I want to thank my buddy PanGasket too, because without his help I would not have it.

    400 5.jpg
     
  9. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Distinguishing a 351M or 400 from a 351 Cleveland is easy. The Cleveland is a low deck and the 351M and 400 are tall deck engines. However, since the 351M and 400 used the same casting numbers and exterior markings, there are only two ways to tell the difference between those. Either remove the oil pan and get the crankshaft casting number, or get a head off and measure the piston travel at BDC. Like this. Bingo! We have a 400. 4" bore and 4" stroke. Do the math though and you get 402. I guess Ford thought a 400 would market better.

    400 2.jpg
     
  10. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Once I got it home I began disassembly. I was pretty happy because all the pistons were looking very useable. Until the last one. It had a broken ring land. Dammit all. So, I started hawkin Ebay some more. lol I got lucky again. I found a set of NOS Badger pistons for 25 bucks Shipped. Good grief. Here is the block after a good clean up and top coat.

    400 BLOCK PREPPED.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  11. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    I was really surprised that the block cleaned up good enough to use at a standard bore, but it did. I like the idea of painting the intake valley to aid oil drain back. I don't like how much red glyptal costs. So through the years I have come up with my own version. It's cheap and it does not come off.

    BLOCK PREPPED1.jpg
     
  12. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    When I got ready to assemble the short block, Kitty told me to bring it in and do it in the livin room floor. She wanted to spend some time with me and it was cold out. Will yalls women let yall do this?

    SHORT BLOCK LIVIN ROOM.jpg

    SHORT BLOCK LIVIN ROOM1.jpg
     
  13. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Here is the finished short block. My heads are still in the shop getting done. No remans this time, as they are the early 351C two barrel castings. Much better for flow on the street. I also scored an NOS Crane Fireball 302 grind that I have since found out was a Canadian only grind. Go figure.

    SHORT BLOCK COMPLETE.jpg
     
  14. HALIFAXHOPS

    HALIFAXHOPSBeerening at its best!

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    Really nice, cannot wait until it is done.
     
  15. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRodHead Flunky In Charge

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    Thanks. There's room for it to be a LOT nicer. TMeyer offers some custom pistons to get compression up. I looked at those, but they are just not in the budget. It will be nice for an old truck motor though.
     
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