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Thread: Van?

  1. #1
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    Default Van?

    Any of you guys ever own or work on a 80's vintage 351 econoline?

    Would it be impossible to do things like troubleshoot vacuum leaks, sensor/wire failures, etc?

    how about servicing intake/vc gaskets?

    How hard to address the standard 1980s sbf stuff that needs attention after 30+ years.

    also, carb vs injection... which would be more reliable and easier to work on/troubleshoot on a van?

    only interested in reliablity, i don't care about performance, i'm slow... just can't have roadside dramas... thanks for any help

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    It's been choochin' fantastic ever since.
    cruisin my old 88

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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    The doghouse comes out and makes working on top and sides of the engine reasonable. Intake and valve covers are okay. The front is still a pain. Timing chain, water pump, etc.

    I’d look for an EFI version for reliability/drivability. A carb’d one you could service without opening the hood though lol.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
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    Oh yeah the timing chain. the vans probably got those plastic gears too...? what year did that stop. can the timing chain be replaced without dropping the motor or front end? thans for the help

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    It's been choochin' fantastic ever since.
    cruisin my old 88

  4. #4
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    What he said. Anything on top is actually pretty simple since you can get to the back of it. Arguably easier than a car, though having to haul parts out through the interior kinda blows. Front of it, PITA.

    The plastic mostly stopped in the cars around 1986 with some random recurrences through the end of the 80s at least. Don't know about trucks.

    Shouldn't have to drop the motor, but you may have to pull the grille and radiator for access. The timing cover has to come off and you'll need to get access to all of that.

    Definitely EFI. Late carb stuff with the miles of vacuum hose and the computer controls are a nightmare. Other option would be early enough to be fully non-electronic with no emissions BS. We had a 1987 F250 where I used to work, that thing had so much bullshit on the engine it was just impossible. It was really messed up too, it shot fireballs out of the tailpipe and ran generally like garbage. I finally got tired of it not being useful and ripped all that crap off. Ran like a watch from that point on, but there was a box full of vacuum hoses and other nonsense that I pulled. It was a yard truck and it just needed to move boats around the property but its very difficult to make use of it when it stalls trying to pull things up the ramp.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  5. #5
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    I know you said it's a yard truck but... all the stuff you removed to make it run... would that kill the cruise control in a road going vehicle of the same vintage? thank u

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    It's been choochin' fantastic ever since.
    cruisin my old 88

  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Depends what you remove. I don't see why you couldn't keep the cruise, its one vacuum hose. I removed the two smog pumps, their plumbing, and the vacuum stuff associated with the pumps and the EGR. I left the climate control and brake booster lines, I don't honestly remember if that truck even had cruise. I wouldn't have removed it if I did. I know it ran a ton better. I actually had to drive it 45 minutes home the day I de-smogged it. Boss left while I was getting a shower and locked my keys in the shop. The yard truck was tagged and such, so it made it's first highway trip in who knows how long and it did a fine job of it. The last time I had driven that thing down the road it sounded like a bunch of hicks doing a drive-by with all the popping and banging that was going on. That was ~45 mph on a country road, I ran it home at 70 mph on the interstate. I tested the 4bbl a few times too, and it did work. Didn't pick up speed, but it made the right noises from under the hood.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Did someone convert that '87 F250 to a carpitator? Thought '87 and up was all EFI... Buuut GM did weird things the first two years of their redesign, you could get a carb if the truck was a certain GVWR or higher I think.
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Factory 4bbl, F250 HD. I think 87 was the end of the road for the carb, and it was only on the higher GVWR models. It didn't have cats either, but it had two smog pumps. NFC what the purpose of that was other than to make it run bad.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Wow.. When buying new, why would anyone want a carb over EFI?

    I'd bet the two smog pumpers was to dilute tailpipe emissions down to an acceptable level for that GVWR.. I remember that '88 GMC 454 we had had a 4bbl intake with a Rochester to TBI adaptor plate on it from the factory for a configuration similar to yours should a buyer want it..
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    EFI possibly wasn't an option on that particular engine/truck/GVWR combo. Dunno, I just had to deal with it for work purposes and I needed it running well enough to be useful.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #11
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Possibly not, although I can't see why. Which doesn't matter since that's my opinion and not fact.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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    I'm pretty sure all 351s were still carb'd in '87.

    On an EFI 351 in a van, the #1 spark plug can't be accessed without dismantling something. I was told to remove an engine mount and lower the engine slightly for clearance, but I have to imagine there's a less crappy way to do it than that. I never got around to changing it before the van got sold.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

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    Yeah the alternator needs to be unbolted or you can go in through the wheel well with several extensions. Sucks either way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stocker View Post
    I'm pretty sure all 351s were still carb'd in '87...
    The advertisements and sales literature I've seen says otherwise. For '87, Ford boasted that (at least for F-Series trucks) that all engines were EFI and reiterated throughout the engine choice pages stuff like "gone are the days of hard starts when cold or hot." or "Advanced engine management technology keeps your engine running like new for longer" type propaganda. This isn't to dispute that perhaps above a certain GVWR that you couldn't get a carb, as I know they were available on early GM's. But I have seen GM sales literature which confirmed the availability of those along with HP/TQ ratings.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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    The '87 brochure I found touts EFI for the 300 and 302, and a "big free-breathing 4-barrel Holley carburetor" on the 351:
    http://paintref.com/cgi-bin/brochure...age=13&scan=19

    Maybe it was a mid-year change then... the specs table in that brochure says nothing about 5-speed manual transmissions, but I recall my grandfather's '87 diesel having a 5-speed.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    "That's just fuckin' weird!" (Boondock Saints reference)

    OldCarBrochures.com is down so I can't check the one brochure I'm thinking of. Maybe I read an '88 brochure but I'm almost positive it was an '87. I've never seen one in the wild, I wonder how many people had to deal with that..
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  17. #17

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    In my early mechanic-ing days (early 90s) the old timers generally thought of EFI as a plaything to be given to the ignorant masses.
    "You can't work on those EFI things without computers and special tools and parts and it's all the dealers screwing good honest mechanics out of their work" sort of thoughts.
    And with the OBD-I era stuff and the crappy CFI/Feedback Carbs/Variable Venturi Carbs, they weren't entirely wrong.

    But, of course--who looks back at mechanical breaker points and says, "I wish they'd never come out with electronic ignition, I could fix my car with a matchbook and a crescent wrench on the side of the road in the rain!" anymore? I mean, sure, I do sometimes. But I had a Triumph GT6 back in high school, and I could fix it on a street corner with a screwdriver and a toothpick. But I also HAD to fix it about every other street corner, and I HAD to have a toothpick and a screwdriver on me every day.

    So I think on the professional level commercial vehicles, there was a wink and a nod to the dinosaur mechanics that kept the heavy machinery going, with carburetors and all the old stuff being bumped off the production line.

    But with OBD2, and a generation of us that grew up with EFI and more modern designs, fuel injection just isn't scary anymore. Even timing belts and overhead camshafts are no longer subject to the cries and moans of a generation of crusty old mechanics at the diner by the shop.

    Life goes on. Our Fords keep on running.

  18. #18
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    whats funny, old EFI is now scary demon juju again, much as it was in the 80s when it was new. Modern diagnostics have gotten so complete that dealing with EEC-IV is just about impossible to explain now.

    I did my first timing belt not long ago. Other than the fact it needs a special cam holding tool it wasn't a big deal. Luckily I got a screaming deal on a copy of the genuine article. The proper tool was listed for more than I paid for the car. My copy doesn't have the cool hold-down bolts but functionally it gets the job done. Honestly getting the valve cover back on was almost as difficult as anything else, but thats just because there is other shit in the way. Adjusting the valves on that thing is a PITA too, but its a BMW engine so I suppose it has to have at least one needlessly frustrating aspect. Besides of course the fact it even needs to have the valves lashed manually on an engine developed in the 80s.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Yeah, I was going to say that. Really to me it is much simpler compared to modern stuff with CAN-BUS and the 20+ modules which connect to it and yadda yadda. Eric O. uses some sort of PICO thingamabobber, allows you to see the wave forms of stuff and since he has pretty good examples of what those look like one could extrapolate from his videos to troubleshoot our stuff.

    Even modern stuff can't be easily fixed. Ashley's parents had a 2010 Malibooty or something like that which went to the dealer several thousand times (why they never did lemon law I'll never know) and it even went to the GM tech center. They couldn't figure out why the thing just randomly quit going around corners. What a POS. All GM offered them was a sliver of a deal on a newer vehicle. Assholes, I love how it takes getting someone to be obligated through a court order to do something "kind" for people. Short of that, all you get for your trouble is something akin to "I'm sorry." which really only makes the other person feel better, does nothing to alleviate the problem.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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    I love my DragVan...EFI 5.0 with some goodies, N/A...8.94@75 best in the 1/8th lol

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    Rodney Tolleson, me at the track.....future drag box racer!

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