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Thread: 1981 5.8 ho

  1. #1

    Default 1981 5.8 ho

    Hi.
    New to the forums here.
    Was trying to find some information on the 5.8 "High Output" option for 1981 LTD. Just how rare is this? I don't think it was Police only as it was mentioned in the civilian literature.
    Was it one year only?
    Going to start scouting one soon, preferably a high optioned Coupe or Wagon.
    -Doug

  2. #2
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    It wasn't really a high output engine. It was a 2bbl 351, made something like 180 hp. It was police sedan option only as far as I know, but could be had through 1991. Possible it was a civilian option in Canada, but not the US. Not common, and frankly its not that impressive either from a performance standpoint.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    I think 81 was the last year of the civilian 351. Can’t say I’ve laid eyes on one though. 1979/80 are more common for the 351. I have seen quite a few 79’s with it. As Gadget says, they aren’t very exciting in terms of performance.

    The early era cars have lots of interesting differences that make them unique and more desirable in my opinion. I say search for a 1979-81.
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  4. #4
    I post a lot...
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    I had an 1980 CV with the 351M with the VV Carburetor and that was a royal Pain in my Ass to deal with and that was one of Fords failures.

  5. #5
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Haha as gadget said they really weren't really high output engines. And like Tigman said it basically went unchanged all the way to 1991. High[er] output by 1981 standards, No output by 1991 standards

    If you want to find a 351 HO, find the actual "HO" 351 engine from a 1985/86 F series truck. They were rated for something like 220 or 230 HP and sported a 4bbl. Now from what I've read though, when the 351 went EFI in '87 they were rated for the same HP as the carb'd HO version they replaced. Whether or not they sport the same heads, cam and pistons (flat vs dished) is a mystery to me.
    Last edited by DerekTheGreat; 11-29-2018 at 09:08 AM.
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  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The VV was it's own special demon. Apparently if you read the instruction manual and learn the correct steps to the voodoo dance and buy the special tool set from the Rotunda shaman you might get it to work correctly. I think a lot of people stuck 2bbl carbs on and just ran with it. They ran that thing through 1991 in the Vic. I really don't know why it never went EFI even if it was just for emissions reasons.

    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

  7. #7
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yeah "high-output" in 1981 is about the equivalent of Michael J. Fox on a bicycle as far as power's concerned. I wouldn't get terribly excited about it unless you just want the bigger engine to build on and make better. First step would be to ditch the shitty induction system.

    Personally i'd go full-retard and bore/stroke the 351, maybe to 408, put a healthy hydraulic roller cam it and efi. VV carbs are crap on a good day.

  8. #8
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    "H.O." is a marketing gimmick designed to get men to at least half-mast and then make half assed decisions...
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  9. #9

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    Ah. OK. I had some old civilian LTD literature from 1981 that indicated a "5.8 HO" engine option. I think it must be the regular old 351 VV engine with perhaps, a dual exhaust system. I had a 1980 LTD with that engine and it was absolutely awful. Too bad because the rest of the car was actually quite good. But that thing bucked, backfired, stalled and generally ran awful. Rather that search out some unicorn, it might be better to start with the best vehicle I can find and build from there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    It was police sedan option only as far as I know, but could be had through 1991. Possible it was a civilian option in Canada, but not the US. Not common, and frankly its not that impressive either from a performance standpoint.
    It was mentioned in civilian US literature. Hence my curiosity.
    It appears that it's not so "High Output." I might be better off building a decent 351.

  11. #11
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yeah the only real benefit to buying a 351 car is for the accessory bracketry on the motor so you can build a real 351.

  12. #12
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    There's no need though, a 302 will get you there, just ask 87GTVIC

    If you're asking me about boxes, 1987 and up is what you want. Early shit has early problems like nylon timing gears, common ground audio set-up, CFI (Although I like EEC-IV CFI, carpitators lower output. And the cool first year only stuff could be retrofitted with ease to your later car.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    There's no need though, a 302 will get you there, just ask 87GTVIC

    If you're asking me about boxes, 1987 and up is what you want.
    I'm not dead set on any particular year, but I would prefer a 2 door well optioned. I believe that the 2 door disappeared after 1987.

  14. #14
    fomoco panthers !
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    Quote Originally Posted by DouglasJRizzo View Post
    I'm not dead set on any particular year, but I would prefer a 2 door well optioned. I believe that the 2 door disappeared after 1987.
    I have a very well optioned 1983 2 door MGM 302 with TBI. low miles for sale. It is put away for the winter. Available in the spring. It lived in Brick NJ. I shipped it to Ca., then to Maine.
    Last edited by Mainemantom; 12-03-2018 at 01:14 AM.

  15. #15
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DouglasJRizzo View Post
    I'm not dead set on any particular year, but I would prefer a 2 door well optioned. I believe that the 2 door disappeared after 1987.
    Indeed, the two door was not available after 1987, the face & ass-lift of '88 killed it.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  16. #16
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    1981 would have been rated at 140HP actually. I know the police versions of the 351W "HO" would have gotten a different cam and valve springs, but I have no idea if they offered that package to civilians and labeled it High output VS a regular 351w without the cam and springs...

    I can tell you putting just a decent exhaust on it helps with power. I made 170HP/270Tq at the wheels
    -Phil



    +'82 Ford LTD-S Police Car. 351w, GT40 Heads, 2150 Carb, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Baumann Shift kit.
    +1975 Maverick- Fuel injected 302, Trickflow 170 heads, XE270 cam, explorer intakes, 24# injectors, custom tune. T5 transmission, 3.55 Yukon Trac-Lok rear.
    +1989 Mercury Colony Park "Large Marge" Lopo 302. 3.55L K-Code Tow package, Baumann Shift Kit, Big brake swap, rear discs, HO intake/TB, custom exhaust.

  17. #17
    fomoco panthers !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Muscle View Post
    1981 would have been rated at 140HP actually. I know the police versions of the 351W "HO" would have gotten a different cam and valve springs, but I have no idea if they offered that package to civilians and labeled it High output VS a regular 351w without the cam and springs...

    I can tell you putting just a decent exhaust on it helps with power. I made 170HP/270Tq at the wheels
    Yes it could be ordered on a civilian car at that time. I was seriously considering ordering my 82 Mercury GM with the complete police package. I don't think it was labeled as a "HO 351", just the police package 351. I hated the 351 of those years.
    If I had ordered the 2 dr. Merc as a full police package, It would be a very rare car now.

  18. #18
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    Interesting, they let you order fleet package cars back then?
    -Phil



    +'82 Ford LTD-S Police Car. 351w, GT40 Heads, 2150 Carb, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Baumann Shift kit.
    +1975 Maverick- Fuel injected 302, Trickflow 170 heads, XE270 cam, explorer intakes, 24# injectors, custom tune. T5 transmission, 3.55 Yukon Trac-Lok rear.
    +1989 Mercury Colony Park "Large Marge" Lopo 302. 3.55L K-Code Tow package, Baumann Shift Kit, Big brake swap, rear discs, HO intake/TB, custom exhaust.

  19. #19
    fomoco panthers !
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    In the 80s I special ordered my cars from a dealer in Minnesota. They were about $3,000 cheaper than CA. at that time. Now they are priced nationwide almost the same. Without researching, I dont remember what year Manufactures stopped allowing police package cars to be ordered, new by the public. I think it was 1990.
    I know in the 90s I could get a police package car special ordered. It had to be piggy backed with a state,county or city order. The timeline for delivery could be months. Mostly toward the end of the year end run.
    There is a way to buy a police package car "like new" Once in a while there will be a few damaged in shipment. Agencies will not take them damaged. In a round about way they are sold as used but they are fixed and like new. Depending upon the damage, they are a good deal. Hard to find though.

  20. #20
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    If you knew the fleet manager at a dealership, you could still get your order tacked onto another fleet order and the dealer would split the singleton off for you while delivering the rest to the public service agency. Sometimes the fleet manager could just work the chain and get a car for you. I know someone that did that as recently as 2008 or so. It was a fleet truck though. (XL with the big engine or payload package that wasn't available to the public unless they got an XLT or higher trim.)

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