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1978 Ford F-150 2wd 351m c6 auto transmission
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay ladies and gents as the title states I'm interested in doing a 4BT swap into my 1978 Ford f150 351M 2wd long wheel base pick up with the C-6 auto transmission. I don't know which rear end I have my I'd tag is gone and I have gotten to measuring anything yet I have been scowering the internet for about 3-4months now. I have found a bunch of dead threads on here and other sites. Google is great but 98% of all the builds I find are for 4x4 and if they don't start that way the end up there. Ive joined about 6 forums for info and parts from Cummins to 4bt swaps ECT on Facebook and not much luck.

I'm not looking for a workhorse mountain climbers or mud digger just a weekend beater grocery getter. That being said I'd prefer to do the 4 not the 6 which is again where most of the threads I've found divide off to.

Now if I could get some hard facts I think I will finally be able to make up my mind on doing this conversation as apposed to getting my engine rebuilt (2100$) and converted to FI via the complete kit 460efiguys.com sales for 3200$ USD. Yes I know people like to keep it Simple and love their carbs I don't keep moving.

From what I've gathered:
*Engine will fit and suspension shouldn't be a problem (upgrade to the 250 front struts)
The oil pan on the 4BT can be flipped so no work needs to be done to the cross member or the frame. Accommodate new dipstick tube location That being said the fact the truck is rear steering shouldn't matter anymore.
* some firewall modification may be necessary to have the engine far enough back* No one has any pictures of my specific application to help visualize clearances or if they did it is again on a 13yr or older post and the links are dead.

What I need is will this work and with what modification? Will it work w my transmission is an automatic and I'd prefer to keep it that way but standard isn't a deal breaker. Thanks to anyone that has read this far and can help!!

also the engine that would be currently avavlible to me is a 4bt but it has the lucas CAV pump on it and gettign that road worthy is another monster, with little to no information on that swap besides changing it out for a VE
 

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OK. You have a base F150 2wd with a C6 and 351M. A 4bt should fit with no problem.. Stock radiator should be plenty big so no change there. You need to consider which 4bt and how much power you want. Base stock engine was 105 HP. Step ups were 120 HP and 130 HP. Anything over the base 105 HP will need an intercooler. Do you have air conditioning? Converting the 4bt to road use is not that big a deal but will cost you some money. All road models came with either the Bosch VE or P7100 injection pump. Do you know the serial number of the engine. I can look it up on Cummins and see what would be involved there. You'd want to do a good check out of the engine and replace gaskets, seals, bearings, rod bolts, and head bolts. Figure around $1000 for that. May be cheaper but I'd rather guess high. These engines are simple to work on. Depending on what it will take to replace the injection pump you're probably looking at around another $1000. Could go higher. That would be a VE pump. The P7100 would be expensive. May or may not need a different turbo. Depends on what the engine has now. You will need a different transmission. The C6 does not have overdrive and the 4bt is not a high revving engine. Likes to run in the 1600-2000 RPM range. If you want to stay automatic you have several possible routes. In Ford you could use the E4OD or the better one is the 4R100. Alternates would be a Dodge 46RH or 47RH or an Allison 1000. None of those will be real cheap but the Dodge units are probably the cheapest. Most swaps tend to go with a manual transmission. Cheaper and better fuel economy. Now you could use the C6 but you'd want a very high ratio rear gear. You'll need to decide what to do on brakes. Diesels don't have manifold vacuum so you'd need either a vacuum pump on the engine or switch to hydroboost brakes. You will need to add at least 2 gauges or maybe 3. You need a tach, boost gauge, and pyrometer. If you have a factory tach it can be adapted. There will be lots of small items to work out as well.
 

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1978 Ford F-150 2wd 351m c6 auto transmission
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hey thanks for responding, and with so much information to boot!! I'll see if I can post the link to the ad on Facebook marketplace of the engine I'm looking at Here! and I'll post some pictures of the conversation.
Product Purple Font Screenshot Technology

I'll have to look up some transmissions. And figure out my brake set up. I've messaged other people but they haven't gotten back with me on one with a VE pump. I've tried looking up VE pumps to swap out but all I see are the 6 cylinder ones. I don't need too much hp 105 should be more than enough. I know the inner cooler is great for efficiency but I don't want to stuff too much in there lol yes I do have Factory a/c and cruise control. Which model VE pump??
Font Number Screenshot

Also found this transmission what all would I need to replace if I keep it automatic?
Font Screenshot Advertising Landscape Soil
 

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You might have a 9” rear or D-44 rear axle, either would be marginal, depending on use. A D-60 would by fine, they are easily found for reasonable prices.

Ed in CO
 

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A little info for you. The 4R100 was only used in a few applications. Mainly on the 7.3 diesels and a very limited number of 5.4 gas trucks. I'm guessing the one you found is from a 7.3. Now, to attach it to a Cummins you will need an adapter plate and custom flex plate. A company named Destroked has those parts. You will also need the diesel torque converter which the ad didn't mention. $600 is little more than a core price. Rebuilt units run in the $2000-5000 range depending on how much they've been modified. The minimum you'd probably want to do to a used one is replace the electronic solenoid pack in the transmission. You'll also need a control unit since the 4bt is strictly manual. You'll be looking a spending a bit of cash. The adapter plate is $795, the flex plate is $625, a torque converter will run around $300 or a bit more (you want one with a stall speed of around 1300 RPM), and the solenoid pack is in the $300-400 area. The transmission controller will likely be in the $300 and up range. You'll probably need some sensors mounted on the engine as well. So you're looking at around $2500 minimum on top of the transmission to adapt it. That inj ection pump you had there is for a generator and you don't want that. They operate at 1800 RPM. Road engine VE pumps ran up to 2500 RPM and most install a 3200 RPM governor to help will gear shifts. That engine you are looking at may not be a 4bt. That one may be a 4b which is a non turbo version. Can be converted to turbo but you're talking a lot of money Would want to see pictures before I went for that one. $2650 would be cheap if it is a turbo model even though you need a different injection pump.
 

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I’ll admit I am not up on 4bt engine and part pricing, but at $2650 + $1000 for VE setup + $1000 adapter + $??? for miscellaneous parts puts you over $5000. Assuming you don't need to refresh the motor. Seems to me at that amount there should be a drop in ready engine out there.
 

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Most guys figure on around $10,000 for a swap depending on the transmission. Used to be cheaper but those days are past. Manual transmissions generally are much cheaper to adapt. In general, most figure on a partial tear down of an engine to be sure of condition. Replacing things like bearings, gaskets, seals, rod bolts, and head bolts. That can usually be done for under $1000 unless you run into other issues. Used engines are always and unknown factor. May be perfectly fine or may be about ready to die. Wise to have the injectors checked for proper operation. That is usually a very cheap procedure. On a non road engine you'll have to get a power steering pump and maybe a vacuum pump depending on what brake booster you decide to use. By nature, diesels are never cheap. The fact that they can last darn near forever if treated properly is their saving grace. If you had specs on that cheap engine it might be possibly to avoid buying the expensive adapter setup. If it has an SAE adapter plate that can be fitted to various transmissions with a second adapter.
 

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1978 Ford F-150 2wd 351m c6 auto transmission
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys!! Sorry I didn't see if your replies earlier. I've decided to wait on the engine I mentioned earlier and I'm glade I did! Dodged a proverbial bullet. I've been trying to see if anyone has a road worthy 4bt and so far no dice just scammers. I have found a place with 4BD1 the Isuzu diesel 4cyclinder and that was the 2# option for most people to swap. If I need to make a new thread post I will.

What would be the difficulty of these engines? They seem to be as available as a 4BT and still have OEM parts easily sourced. I may have to break down and swap to a manual transmission since they seem to handle the torque of a diesel better. Nv4500 is one I've seen mentioned and the zf5 still seems to come up in conversation as well.

I know it's going to be a $$$ cow for the first little bit but isn't any good project a money pit?!! Lol I'll nickel and dime it as long as I know I am getting the right things and they will all work together. This is ty daily driver (yet) so if it takes months or more to build what I want I'll wait. I have a shop it fits in and I can do some other repairs to the body while I wait.

I really do thank you all for answering my questions so thoroughly!!
 

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We've had a good number of Isuzu swaps and there is a whole section for them. Common issue is finding an adapter for the transmission. Another issue can be the oil pan. The Isuzu oil pump is in the pan so any mod to get clearance is limited. Also, not near as many power mods for those engines. There is just so much stuff out there for a Cummins but the 4bts are getting more scarce. At one time Ford had a dealer installed kit for a Deutz 5 cylinder. Have only ever seen one of those for sale so they are about as common as hens teeth.
 

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1978 Ford F-150 2wd 351m c6 auto transmission
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello out there!! I have potentially found someone with a useable 4bt woo hoo!! Good news he is only about 4hrs away and it's already mated to a transmission. Plus it has all the numbers on it! Bad news he isn't sure what pump is on it.
Temperature Wood Measuring instrument Household thermometer Gas

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wood Gas Machine


Any help would be great! This one is a 4bta
 
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