400 ford opinions

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400 ford opinions

Post  dirt_worker on July 6th 2013, 10:09 am

Anybody here ever put any effort into making the 400 ford run better?
I've always heard how big of a turd they were and never gave em a thought.
I recently bought a 77 f250 highboy that I wanna drive and occasionally tow w.

Gas mileage is important so I'm not sure I want or need a 460.
I see the 400 has a long stroke so id assume they're capable of decent torque...
I have a e4od that I was planning on using for another project but it might find its way into the highboy.
whats everybody opinion on the 400 and how well they CAN perform?

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  maverick on July 6th 2013, 10:33 am

The aftermarket never supported the 400 Ford much, so it pretty much remained a motor for land barges. Almost every other Ford V8 will respond better to hotrodding. Not saying it can't be made to perform, but dollar for dollar, you'll have a lot more fun with a Windsor or a 385.
As far as towing is comcerned, I doubt you'd see much better economy using the 400. I'd say that a wider selection of parts for the 460 will allow you to tailor an engine for your needs much better than the 400...which pretty much "is what it is".

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  maverick on July 6th 2013, 10:35 am

BTW, I don't think I know anyone (other than a dealership) who ever pulled a 400 out of a car or truck, and then put another one back in.Arrow


Last edited by maverick on July 6th 2013, 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  jpierce55 on July 6th 2013, 10:42 am

The 400 was not a great engine. I would do a 300 six before a 400. The 300 was not great mpg but great torque and can work on an e4od.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  Mark Miller on July 6th 2013, 11:53 pm

dirt_worker wrote:Anybody here ever put any effort into making the 400 ford run better?
I've always heard how big of a turd they were and never gave em a thought.
I recently bought a 77 f250 highboy  that I wanna drive and occasionally tow w.

Gas mileage is important so I'm not sure I want or need a 460.
I see the 400 has a long stroke so id assume they're capable of decent torque...
I have a e4od that I was planning on using for another project but it might find its way into the highboy.
whats everybody opinion on the 400 and how well they CAN perform?

John Kaase has won Engine Masters with them a couple times,they make big power with CHI Heads on them.

Later Mark.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  dfree383 on July 7th 2013, 12:13 am

a 400 can be made to run good, they just totally suck from the factory.

0 deck or proper pistons to get some quench, set of closed chamber heads (4V or Aussie), Camshaft suited for the use, and good intake and carb (Can use Cleveland stuff with Price adaptors)

400+ HP and some great torque is no Problem at all

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  Gregaust on July 7th 2013, 4:58 am

[quote="Mark Miller"]
dirt_worker wrote:
John Kaase has won Engine Masters with them a couple times,they make big power with CHI Heads on them.

Later Mark.

And a friend of mine here owns that motor that J.K won with . It is nice .
I've been involved with a couple 400's , they are like a stroker 351, similar mods and good heads they go well . Just watch the 4" stroke when calculating compression as it bumps it way more than similar mods to a 351

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  69F100 on July 7th 2013, 8:07 am

I know in stock form they now that great on gas/mpg I have own 2 of them gas sucked on both and bad on main bearings and we had a 79 pickup on the farm with a 460 that did better on gas than both my 400s. Not saying the 400 is not good to build I just wouldn't waste my time and money on one.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  dirt_worker on July 7th 2013, 9:40 am

Thanks for the opinions guys.
My thoughs:
because it has a long stroke I was hoping to get some decent towing torque wo killing the mileage w cubic inches.
I'm only interested cause I already have the complete engine...
not wanting to spent tons of $$ either on an engine swap or rebuild unless it makes sense.

How would you guys build one if you wanted around 350hp & 450 ft lbs. In a towing application w reasonable fuel mileage in mind?

I am I big block fan and I'm very aware that a stock bbf would get me to my goal easily, I'm just kinda curious about the 400 and how it might respond to some help.


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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  rmcomprandy on July 7th 2013, 11:42 am

dirt_worker wrote:Anybody here ever put any effort into making the 400 ford run better?
I've always heard how big of a turd they were and never gave em a thought.
I recently bought a 77 f250 highboy  that I wanna drive and occasionally tow w.

Gas mileage is important so I'm not sure I want or need a 460.
I see the 400 has a long stroke so id assume they're capable of decent torque...
I have a e4od that I was planning on using for another project but it might find its way into the highboy.
whats everybody opinion on the 400 and how well they CAN perform?

The biggest problem was that 400 Fords needed a good 4 barrel carburetor not a 2 barrel.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  bigblok2000ranger on July 7th 2013, 11:45 am

Few guys up this way run them in Small Block pulling classes with 4V Cleveland heads and do pretty good, one big thing these guys do to fix the crappy oiling is chuck them up on a Bridgeport and align and drill a 3/8" oil hole from the mains all the way to the cam journals. These guys are spinning them to 9500rpm's and staying together.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  dirt_worker on July 7th 2013, 12:15 pm

Randy,
Roughly how might a guy cam one for the application using improved intake and exhaust?

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  rmcomprandy on July 7th 2013, 3:31 pm

dirt_worker wrote:Randy,  
Roughly how might a guy cam one for the application using improved intake and exhaust?

It all depends upon the ENTIRE combination including the vehicle and how it is all to be used.

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  IDT-572 on July 7th 2013, 5:48 pm

Mike,

Find a set of Aussie 2v heads and an Edelbrock performer intake, and add dish pistons to get you to 9:1 compression. It's been a while since I fooled with one , but I think the stock pistons will get you there.

Add a cam in the 212 to 214 @ .050 with about 6-8 degrees of split on a 111-112 sep with as much lift as practical and it will make good power for towing.

The lack of quench is what kills these engines. As far as the main wear, most I saw come through the shop had signs of bad detonation. This I'm sure didn't help with bearing wear, that and most looked to have never had the oil changed.

JMHO...........

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Re: 400 ford opinions

Post  bbf-falcon on July 7th 2013, 9:28 pm

I have a good one from a 78 Ford f150 that I'm going to replace the 351m w/in my ole 52. I have a performer w/650 holley,headers,and still need a cam . They already have decent torque stock. I towed w/400 for quite a while in my ole 80 F250. Wasn't a bad ole engine imo.

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