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Cross Country with the 300 I6

 
Old 06-08-2019, 11:35 AM
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Question Cross Country with the 300 I6

Hey all, long story short I need my truck, which in Phoenix, AZ but unfortunately I am in Parris Island, SC right now. So to fix this dilemma I'm trying to gear up for a cross country trip in this speed machine but I have a concern. The truck itself is an 88 F-150, 130k miles, 4x4 long bed single cab, and a 4.9L I6 with the T-18 4spd. No mods outside of some 32" all terrains and some professionally-done body damage. So my worry here is how safe is it for the Ford 300 to turn at interstate speeds without overdrive?

Last year I took it about 200 miles at 75mph, including through some mountain ranges, and so long as I ignored the crippling depression that came with the cost of gas, the truck did great. But that was 200 miles and this is 2,100 miles. There's no tach but if you could translate a 4.9L's RPM noise into English, it was undoubtedly cussing me out every time I went above 65. So what are yall's thoughts? Are these straight 6's safe to hold those RPMs for that long or am I just being paranoid?
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:48 AM
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I've set the cruise on my non-OD (NP435) 3-ton Bronco with a wrecked/transplanted '95 4.9L above 100mph for over an hour. I've driven it non-stop (without so much as a nap) over 1100 miles more than once. It's now approaching a million miles without a rebuild, and it still runs like-new. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it to Alaska.


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But I maintain it pretty well. You didn't say anything about the truck's condition or maintenance. What's the rear axle ratio? With that & the tire size, you can calculate the engine RPM at a few speeds. I never run over 3500 RPM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:39 AM
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A million miles without a rebuild....God bless the 4.9. I honestly don't know the ratio, but even if it was as high as 4.10 that'd still be under 3500 @ 75mph I think. As far as maintenance it's kept up. Not babied, but the oil gets changed and the fluids checked regularly, so it should be pretty healthy.

Where I work I can get into serious legal trouble if I don't come back exactly wHen I said I would the so I just wanted to be sure before I committed to this
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:09 AM
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That 300 been around long time it wasn't built just to be driven in town there's millions of those engines out there in trucks and vans it's a tuff engine that if maintained will do that easy but they do suck some gas
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:25 AM
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The 300 would handle it with no problems. I would trust its durability over a V8 anyday.......As long as it is properly maintained. My 87 4.9 with the 4spd manual(O.D) and 3.55 rear end revs around 2800 on flat hwy doing 70. I get 16-18 MPG, not great but a cap doesn't help.I am not familiar with the T18 if it has OD or not.

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Old 06-09-2019, 10:52 AM
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No OD on the T18. Did some research to figure out my RPM at speed and found a chart on manual gear ratios. Every manual transmission until 1995, including the 5 speeds, all have a 1.0 for 4th, although there were a few NP435's and T19's that had a 1.1

Side story, my current daily driver is a 73 MG Midget with a 4spd non-OD. Redline is 5500 and she turns at 4800 at 75mph. Long story short, doing that for 500+ miles has led to some sketchy valve problems (which is why I need my truck now) that I worried might happen to the truck too, but y'all are convincing me I should be good. What's the redline for these 300s though? There seems to be a good amount of debate on the forums, I've seen answers everywhere from 2500 all the way up to 6000, both of which seem kind of extreme
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Your MG probably isn't suffering from high RPMs for a couple of hours - it was made for that. It's more likely suffering from unleaded gasahol. Both are BAD for antique engines - even the really-robust ones. If you're not going to keep E0 in it, you need to run a Lead-substitute &/or a top-end lube (like Marvel Mystery Oil) to keep the valves from sticking.


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The 300ci/4.9L's torque peaks around 3500 RPM, so there's not much point to revving higher. With a 4-sp, I wouldn't think you could even drive in traffic not going over 2000. And it certainly hasn't hurt either of my engines - the other one (in a '95 F150 identical to the Bronco's donor) is only around 180Kmi, but I drive it the same way. A few weeks ago, I ran up to Missouri to haul a spool of cable home. That was ~6hrs round trip ~90mph.


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Old 06-09-2019, 07:32 PM
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Like everybody else said, you should be fine on the drive. You can find your rear end ratio code on the vin sticker, and the owner's manual should tell you what it means. My 89 with the t18 and 4.9l sits at 3000 rpms at 65mph. with a 3.55 rear end. I have never been able to go past 80. and on the 8th gens, the spedo only goes up to 85. these truck were built when there were no speed limits above 55mph. But the big thing you should look as is the coolant temp, Driving at high rpms in hot weather can lead to a lot of heat under the hood. But even on the interstate, you really should have no need to be driving at triple digit speeds.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:17 PM
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If you’re running 75mph with 32” tires, you’re probably actually running closer to 80mph, depending on what diff ratio you have. But anyways... fill it up and run it. You’ll be fine. Back in the early 90’s, I had an ‘87 with the 300. First trip over 200 miles on it, was about 1200 miles and that was with an enclosed trailer, that weighed about 1800 pounds. I started out in Virginia, and was running west at the posted speed limit back then, I think it was like 65 (not 55 like someone earlier said) in most states I was in. If there was ever one Ford engine that I’d rely on to run any piece of equipment for days on end, like. A generator, saw mill, emergency pumps, anything... it’d be the Ford 300 I6. Probably one of the most durable, reliable engines Ford ever made.... including anything current. Not necessarily a hotrod engine, but very durable.

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Old 06-09-2019, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanna Ride View Post
If youre running 75mph with 32 tires, youre probably actually running closer to 80mph, depending on what diff ratio you have. But anyways... fill it up and run it. Youll be fine. Back in the early 90s, I had an 87 with the 300. First trip over 200 miles on it, was about 1200 miles and that was with an enclosed trailer, that weighed about 1800 pounds. I started out in Virginia, and was running west at the posted speed limit back then, I think it was like 65 (not 55 like someone earlier said) in most states I was in. If there was ever one Ford engine that Id rely on to run any piece of equipment for days on end, like. A generator, saw mill, emergency pumps, anything... itd be the Ford 300 I6. Probably one of the most durable, reliable engines Ford ever made.... including anything current. Not necessarily a hotrod engine, but very durable.
That's why I'm dragging a truck I bought for $700 across the country instead of buying a cheap V8 model over here haha. The Jeep 4.0 was always my favorite engine, but I have to say, once I bought my F150, that title might be going to the 300 now, especially with the T18 behind it. I guess I just wanted some reassurance for this trip though, I've never driven this far before and my work is pretty unforgiving when it comes to being late lol

Originally Posted by Steve83 View Post
Your MG probably isn't suffering from high RPMs for a couple of hours - it was made for that. It's more likely suffering from unleaded gasahol. Both are BAD for antique engines - even the really-robust ones. If you're not going to keep E0 in it, you need to run a Lead-substitute &/or a top-end lube (like Marvel Mystery Oil) to keep the valves from sticking.
I always run with lead substitute but I think that was just a little too much for the tired little 1275. I'm a film maker of sorts for work and they stuck me on documenting a multi-city event. Had to chase a bus all over SC and GA and forced me to keep the RPMs high, sometimes at redline, just to keep up. Started acting funny after that, plus my throwout bearing is going, so I figured if I have to pull the engine I might as well just rebuild it, hence the need for the truck.
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