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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 4BD1 swap into my 1978 Ford f150 351M 2wd long wheel base pick up with the C-6 auto transmission. It has factory air conditioning/ heat along w power steering (tilt steering wheel) and power brakes. I don't know which rear end I have my ID tag is gone and I haven't 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. you may have seen my thread under the Cummins 4bt forum on this site but I need more info on the Isuzu.

Google is great but 98% of all the builds I find are for 4x4/ jeeps and if they don't start that way the end up there. I've joined about 6 forums for info, parts, and 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. Occasionally I may do some very minimal,and I mean minimal, light towing. I'm not interested in any gains other than fuel economy. It'll keep stock size tires or maybe go up one size if I find some rims I like better. I do commute via interstate to work an I may take the truck a couple times a week so I need it to be able to do a minimum of 75, 80 max. Weight wise I've removed the bed and am building a wooden flat bed so it'll be atleast a little lighter I think.

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 range of vehicles with the engine I want is 1986-91 Isuzu NPR and the Chevy w4500
  • 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.
  • I may need a vacuum pump for my brakes and power steering
  • Transmission adapter plates may be hard to come by for certain transmissions.


What I need to know is what modification needs to be done to the truck?? Will it work w my transmission? I'd prefer to keep it automatic but standard isn't a deal breaker. Thanks to anyone that has read this far and can help!!
 

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Okay ladies and gents as the title states I'm interested in doing a 4BD1 swap into my 1978 Ford f150 351M 2wd long wheel base pick up with the C-6 auto transmission. It has factory air conditioning/ heat along w power steering (tilt steering wheel) and power brakes. I don't know which rear end I have my ID tag is gone and I haven't 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. you may have seen my thread under the Cummins 4bt forum on this site but I need more info on the Isuzu.

Google is great but 98% of all the builds I find are for 4x4/ jeeps and if they don't start that way the end up there. I've joined about 6 forums for info, parts, and 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. Occasionally I may do some very minimal,and I mean minimal, light towing. I'm not interested in any gains other than fuel economy. It'll keep stock size tires or maybe go up one size if I find some rims I like better. I do commute via interstate to work an I may take the truck a couple times a week so I need it to be able to do a minimum of 75, 80 max. Weight wise I've removed the bed and am building a wooden flat bed so it'll be atleast a little lighter I think.

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 range of vehicles with the engine I want is 1986-91 Isuzu NPR and the Chevy w4500
  • 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.
  • I may need a vacuum pump for my brakes and power steering
  • Transmission adapter plates may be hard to come by for certain transmissions.


What I need to know is what modification needs to be done to the truck?? Will it work w my transmission? I'd prefer to keep it automatic but standard isn't a deal breaker. Thanks to anyone that has read this far and can help!!
I might be biased, but I would also consider the newer 4BD2T engines. I really like mine in my 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup. My build thread is on this site. Regarding trans adapters, you might be pretty limited. I'm not sure who is making them these days. A guy who goes by dieseltim used to-think they were limited to the NV4500 man trans. Since you have a 2wd and want an auto, you could use the Jatco auto trans in the Isuzu NPRs and then wouldn't need an adapter. They are a 4spd with OD. I think they are electronically controlled though, so you'd need the a truck computer also. I'm using the Isuzu 5spd manual in mine, mainly because there weren't many adapter options back in 2010 and I wanted a man trans. For the vac pump, the engines typically come with one mounted on the back of the alternator-seem to be pretty reliable. Hope that helps. Joe.
 

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1978 Ford F-150 2wd 351m c6 auto transmission
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jd50chevy
Thanks for responding, I've heard of the 4bd2, but they is a lot of talk about a weak head and they only st for about 150k miles before they blow even with good preventative maintenance. And they are roughly the same performance wise but weaker head. If I can find a combo unit with transmission, whichever kind of trans it has auto/manual will be what it is lol. That way I can circumvent the adapter struggle. I'll have to go check out your build still!!
 

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Had a NA 4bd1 in an E350 van of the the same vintage with a C6. Slow, but got an honest 30 mpg loaded with tools. Have had many Isuzu swaps since. Do not be afraid of a 4bd2, in my experience.
 

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Outfit in BC making 4bdX to ‘95 and up NV4500 adapters, Global Roamer Drive. Really nice piece IMHO


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Wood


OP you have another thread putting a 4bt in the same truck?
 

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Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior Auto part Gas


Motor vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive design Hood


Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Car Automotive design


if this is helpful here's my ford. 1974 f100, with a 1980 4BD1 NA motor with SAE3 bell housing that goes to an Advanced Adapters overdrive that connects it to a NP435 trans. I put the turbo on last year and it makes it much more driveable, don't have to downshift up hills anymore.

I get about 20mpg and while I can haul a few motorcycles in the bed no problem, I really did not have a good time towing a 16ft vintage heavy camper with it. I could probably turn up the power way more but worried about smoke and CA laws as well as hitting the torque limits of my overdrive. The pictures don't do a great job of showing but plenty of room in there.
 
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