Best small-ish 4x4 385 series chassis? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Best small-ish 4x4 385 series chassis?

Thinking about selling off the Ranchero and another vehicle and replacing both with one 385 series powered 4x4. At the moment the Ranchero hauls parts, and the 4x4 hauls the canoe and takes my wife and I into remote parts of our region.

The obvious choice is a 70-something F-150 or F-250, but those are really just too big for the trails in my part of the world.



Thinking about a Ranger with a 460 conversion. Maybe with a 370 industrial block and a 2bbl intake. My main concern is trans/T-case/axles. Are we talking full custom fab here, or does somebody make a 4x4 conversion kit?

Is there some other 4x4 chassis I haven't considered?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 07:44 PM
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Why even do a big block if you're gonna use a 370 with 2bbl intake? How 'bout a 351W instead? Smaller, lighter, make as much power. Stick one of those in an '85 or newer Ranger or BroncoII. The axles MIGHT hold up to it. I'd use an AOD trans with whatever matching T-case comes on it for the swap.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 07:44 PM
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Holly crap, you need a D-9 with that terrain. :shock:

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 08:30 PM
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how about an old style bronco not the big body but the little version . with a 460 of coarse brad
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 09:02 PM
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I like the idea of an early Bronco, 66-77, but it would be a ton of work to make a 460 fit. I put a 351C in my 72, and any more would have required serious firewall and floor surgery. The frames are stout enough, but of a tube design and too narrow for the stock 351 manifolds to clear, and even with full sized F150 axles the off the shelf fenderwell headers were too wide due to the engine sitting much lower than intended for a F150.

Why not use a ScoutII? You are familiar with them, the 460 would be similar in size and weight as a 345. It would need a 9"/Dana 60 as the rear Dana 44 wouldn't be happy long. Get an older one with a Dana 30 out front and a Ford high pinion Dana 44 could be swapped to the front to get the driveline on the right side and disc brakes. If you really wanted to do some changes, swap in the Ford radius arm and coil spring setup in the front from a donor early bronco with a D44, but it is a low pinion deal. That 2 bbl manifold would come in handy if you wanted to use projection or something similar... or you could always ship it to me and I would put it to good use

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 09:12 PM
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I would try to find a 1972 International Scout...Find one that the whole top comes off....if the view out my back door looked anything like the pictures above....I would have a 521 in a dune buggy going right up the side of those hills....

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ScottJackson
Why even do a big block if you're gonna use a 370 with 2bbl intake?
Ummmm, because I'm a BBF guy? I've been building them since I was 14 years old, and it's all I build for other people now. Call it an obsession. Why a 370? It's got a 7.5:1 compression 345 2bbl now and it has all the power I need, plus it gets 18-20 mpg cruising the blacktop in the mountains.

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how about an old style bronco not the big body but the little version . with a 460 of coarse brad
Not enough cargo room. I've half considered chopping one up and extending the wheelbase to add a real bed, but I just don't have the time. Not to mention, those little Broncos are bringing big $$$ these days.

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Why not use a ScoutII? You are familiar with them, the 460 would be similar in size and weight as a 345
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I would try to find a 1972 International Scout...Find one that the whole top comes off....if the view out my back door looked anything like the pictures above....I would have a 521 in a dune buggy going right up the side of those hills....
Well, it is a 78 Scout II, and the top does come off every spring, then it goes back on every fall. Part of the reason I like it......



460 into the Scout would require a driver side drop as far as I know (new trans, T-case, axles, etc.). A guy here in town did one. Ended up with a Scout body sitting on an F-250. Too wide, and too much work.

I really like the Scout. My problem is that it's not a Ford. It does use an FL-1A oil filter though!

I'd be willing to do an engine/trans/case swap, but I don't want to get into new axles and suspension.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, this thing has a 727 trans. Could I just get an adapter plate? I'd hate to lose the Tera-Low20 case I just built.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:18 PM
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Carl, finding an early bronco chassis or parts is fairly easy, and relatively cheap since so many of them are going to full width axles and Dana 60s. The 9" is about 1/2" wider, and the Dana 44 is within 1". The radius arm c-brackets can be cut off easily with cut-off wheels... I have done a few. On the rear, its nothing to move spring perches. If that is not an option for some reason besides budget... there is the Atlas transfer case which I believe can be clocked to to other side of a Ford trans.

I bet you could find a local axle builder that would be willing to cut down a full sized Dana 44 from an F150 to the dimensions of the Scout II housing so you could use the IH internal parts swapped side to side. This is usually done by cutting/removing the knuckles and cutting tubes to length, and replacing the knuckles at the same angle relative to the original angle. The problem with using the IH housing is that the spring mounts are made into the housing, as the fords are not. That is one of the reasons I mentioned using the Ford (early bronco) front suspension with the coil springs and radius arms.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsByCarl
Hmmm, this thing has a 727 trans. Could I just get an adapter plate? I'd hate to lose the Tera-Low20 case I just built.
The IH 727 case uses a different bellhousing pattern than a Chrysler case. The internals can be swapped to a Chrysler 727 case, and then an adapter could most likely be had to mate the BBF to a Chrysler 727.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, this thing has a 727 trans. Could I just get an adapter plate? I'd hate to lose the Tera-Low20 case I just built.
The IH 727 case uses a different bellhousing pattern than a Chrysler case. The internals can be swapped to a Chrysler 727 case, and then an adapter could most likely be had to mate the BBF to a Chrysler 727.
I happen to have the 727 from my old 74 Scout II that had a 258 straight six. Would that work with an adapter plate? Has the IH/Texas D20 flange on the back.

Only put 300 miles on the engine and trans after rebuilding them before I wrecked the damn thing. Saved the trans, sold the engine (4.0L head swap), sold the axles, etc. and then sold the body/frame to guy that wanted the title and vin plate.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsByCarl
I happen to have the 727 from my old 74 Scout II that had a 258 straight six. Would that work with an adapter plate? Has the IH/Texas D20 flange on the back.

Only put 300 miles on the engine and trans after rebuilding them before I wrecked the damn thing. Saved the trans, sold the engine (4.0L head swap), sold the axles, etc. and then sold the body/frame to guy that wanted the title and vin plate.
That, I do not know. I have not messed with any of the 258 IH stuff... my IH friends only have 304-392. Zephyrbob might know?

Tom
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 11:04 PM
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Why not run a 78/79 full size Bronco? They take a 460 real easy. Can go anywhere that a scout can go.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 11:16 PM
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The 78/79 Broncos are a good 5"+ wider... which makes for some interesting trail riding when you are looking on the down side of a mountain like Carl listed above. I agree, they would be a whole lot easier to make the 460 swap.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 11:40 PM
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I built my 4X4 using a 1967 Scout I installed Dana 44's from a Scout 11 I narrowed the rear 7" and the front 5" I did them myself & Moser did the respline for me on the axles. I used a ZF 5 speed and went with a left drop. I now will recut the front and use a Ford 44 for the left drop change over. I built a very low RPM high Torque 460 using F3 fuelie heads. I have big tires all inside the body lines. This rig will drive all day long with 3:54 gears and the big overdrive = very good MPG. I can go places a late Bronco never dreamed of. Best of all I did it on a very tight budget. Paul Kane has seen and drove it so it's now it's a historical artifact.
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