Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: New guy with a old truck and motor
Nice looking truck. That Competition Blue is one of the best colors ever made.
I am a big proponent of the 400. And true one of the best ways to hop them (or any engine) up is to allow better breathing via better intake and exhaust. (Though I would recommend Dynomax Turbos and not Cherry Bombs.)
But if you engine seems tired, those bolt-ons might not be the "first thing" on your list. What I'm about to list is true of any engine, not just the 400.
First off you should do a compression test, or even better, a leak-down test. That will tell you how well the valves and rings are sealing. Secondly, pop off the distributor cap. Put a 15/16 socket on a breaker bar and rotate the engine clockwise via the crank pulley nut. Now rotate CCW while watching the rotor on the distributor. If the rotor lags instead of moving immediately as you change direction, then your timing chain is shot. Finally, how's your oil pressure? If it drops really low at idle, it's probably bearing time.
Getting the timing, sealing surfaces, and bearing surfaces up to snuff always takes precedence over bolt-on power adders. It might be time for a rebuild.
If your compression is down due to ring/cylinder/valve wear, it doesn't matter what you bolt onto the engine. It will always seem tired. Same goes for a sloppy old timing set. A new double roller timing set alone with a 4* advance keyway will snap some life into your engine. Ideally replace the cam along with the timing set since you're in there if you've got the cash. That would really make the intake/exhaust bolt-ons effective. But if you don't have the $200 for a cam/lifter set, still spend the $45 on a Comp Magnum timing set or equivalent. It allows you to correct the retard in the factory cam and gain a lot of torque.
As far as headers, they are made for late 70's trucks that came with the 400 as factory. Would they fit the 67-72 chassis? Never tried it. I do know that that chassis is a couple inches narrower than the 73-79. That might cause some fitment issues. But I'd say that the headers meant for the 73-79 frame would be your best bet as a start.
Hope this helps.
1964 Galaxie 500 4dr 289, 1967 Galaxie 500 fastback 460, 1968 Fairlane 500 302
1969 Montego MX 410, 1971 F100 400, 1979 F250 400
Last edited by Tex; 04-20-2010 at 09:07 AM.