PDA

View Full Version : Best Ford Falcon Engine Ever???


dank2882
08-24-2015, 10:54 PM
So I am starting with a 63 Ford Falcon base model with the 144 ci straight six and the (three on the tree) manual transmission. It would seem to me that starting to build the car the way you want you would start with the powertrain.

SIDE NOTE: Might I kindly suggest that some of the experienced and super wise people of the Falcon Forum start a "how to restore" section on the site. I think it would draw a lot of interest and input and I'm sure you have learned tons of stuff through the years that would help us new guys.

I would like to put a V8 in my car and it looks to me like the 260 cid is the largest they put in it originally. I have also heard you can put a 289, 302 and I think I saw someone in the forum with a 347 stroker! So whats the best or most reliable, powerful engine that will fit the standard mounts of the car?

(please forgive in advance any stupid or unlearned things I might have accidentally injected as I admit to being new)

Bring on the wisdom!

Hoping for lots of feed back/opinions,
Dan

Nathan289
08-25-2015, 10:33 AM
For ease of swapping a bigger six cylinder would be a good option. A 170 or a 200 drop right in and don't require much.

As for a v8.. a 260, 289, & a 302 all share similar size. A 351W is also a similar size just a little taller.. which gets a little wider at the top.
All 4 will bolt in with required parts..

A v8 swap also requires a transmission swap too. Along with a rear axle swap and would suggest steering and suspension upgrades.

Depending on your budget.. I'd keep it simple and go a well built 302 and t5 transmission and a 8 inch rear end from a 70s maverick..

Luva65wagon
08-25-2015, 11:15 AM
I can echo what Nathan says here too, but would include his suggestion of the steering upgrade to his last sentence as well.

Basically the Falcon, when supplied with a V8, had a lot of changes made over the 6-cylinder car. The Falcon, being a unit-body construction, depends on the structure of the car to resist twisting the car when you accelerate. A 6'r didn't (with the exception of those who build-up a 6) twist the car too much. Add a V8 and that changes. V8 cars got torque boxes added up front to strengthen the front frame-rail to tie them to the rockers. V8's got heavier steering components with bigger brakes and also went from 4-lug on a 6 to 5-lug on a V8.

What I did for my Ranchero was keep my eye out for a '65 V8 Falcon that was being parted out and finally found the entire front suspension and rear-end from the same car. Also got the mounts for the motor, which are currently re-popped, but pretty pricey. I was lucky and got the whole kit and kaboodle for $400, with wheels and zero-mile tires. Good luck getting that lucky. :rocker:

For the most part it isn't uncommon to see a Falcon stuffed with a V8 with some 6-cyl suspension still under it and not much in the way of frame mods. People argue it is just fine. The V8 is a heavier motor and you'll have a lot more 'go' with a lot less 'stop' if you maintain any 6-cylinder components. Frame/Body mods are hard to add, since you can't get replacement torque boxes to add them to a 6-cyl car, but you can add sub-frame connectors and belly and monte-carlo bars which will help a lot. And if you're not building anything but a mild V8 car, it's probably not going to twist too bad without them.

The 200-6 with a few mods will get you down the road pretty good too. If you want any modern transmissions you'll need a post-66 200 to give you small-block bell-housing adaptation, which will help with getting bigger clutch and such. These show up a lot as Falcon and Mustang owners upgrade to V8's. Though I have not done so yet it is the plan I have for my wagon, which has a 65 200 in it and the largest clutch I can get in it is 8.5" and not many options other than that. The Maverick rear-axle is the only 8" axle with 4-lug if you want to keep the same front suspension, but get a better rear-end.

To answer your bold-faced question... you can get a 351W in a Falcon, but it is very tight. Don't expect headers with shock-towers being kept. A 221, 255, 260, 289, 302, 331, and 347 (the last two are stroker motors of a 302 block and these 3 motors are easiest to find today) all fit with the same V8 mounts I got out of the 65. Headers are readily available. Tranny mounts are available. Front suspension parts from and for a 65 fit all 5 years (60-65) and are most-readily available. Rear-axles for a V8 car can be found in an 8" version, or made for you if you want to go with a 9" rear-end.

Lots more than you asked for, but that should mostly cover it.

dank2882
08-25-2015, 12:02 PM
The suggestions so far have been awesome! I felt I was on the right track but also felt I am so new to this type of car that I am missing some key details. Super huge thanks to Nathan & Roger for taking the time to impart wisdom and prevent a mess. Our greatest fear in this project is to put a bunch of time and effort into the car and not have what we want in the end.

After the great suggestions here is what we are thinking currently.

Engine - Go with the 302 - plenty of them, plenty of parts available, reliable, leaves some room under the hood (headers and dual exhaust please) but still has some punch.

Question: shopping online I have seen some rebuilt turn key 302s for around $3500 before shipping or installation. Any suggestions about how to go about getting a good engine and having it installed for under $5000?!

Transmission - We want to go with the T6 (great call Nathan)

Question: Does that mean we need to change the front bench seat out to bucket seats?

Question 2: I have to replace the front floor so is there a floor pan that will fit that transmission better and who should we buy from? (we love local if possible)

Question 3: Any local fab shops to are reasonable and do falcons well? I saw a couple on the resource page but was hoping for recommendations as well.

Rear end - Thank you we will take the Maverick suggestion as I suspected we would need to upgrade it but had no idea where to start.

Question: Do we need to upgrade the drive line as well? I feel it obvious to redo the U joints while we are in that department.

Question 2: Where would you look for that rear end a U pull junk yard? Is used ok or is there a good line on rebuilts?

Front Suspension/Brake & Steering Upgrades: - I was toying with the idea of doing a IFS on the car since I need to convert to disc and power steering anyway. I saw this company online (http://www.johnnylawmotors.com/), they are out of Portland, and offer this independent front suspension (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/151616802461?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82) for the Falcon.

When I called them they said you have to weld the main beam onto the car and then weld on your motor mounts but after that everything is standard front end work which I can do no problem. Just the installation I am not capable of doing.

My thinking is if we went this route we get the disk brakes and with the IFS we can pull the shock tower supports thus allowing for a power booster at the master cylinder and the IFS comes with a rack n pinion so I would just need the power steering pump on the new 302. (is that right? Have I lost it?)

Question: Is an IFS a good idea for this car with a 302 V8?

Question 2: Is there a better brand or cheaper approach I should be looking at? I am not trying to just dump money into the car but again I want to make the investment up front so it pays off in the end.

Question 3: Is a power booster the best way to support disk brakes?


General Thoughts: We are planning on keeping this car and we want to enjoy driving it so to me you have to put the money in up front to make that happen but if we do then we will have a car we can drive for years since most of the power train and suspension is new? right?

Last off if I am missing anything please let me know, I would rather have a hurt ego and a sweet car!

Nathan289
08-25-2015, 02:23 PM
If you go ifs you can go bigger, much bigger on the engine.
351w stroked to 428ci or a 351c..

The question is what are your final goals for the car?

If you want a great daily with reliability and some performance
And want to keep the budget low.

Id skip the IFS unless its a smoking deal.

Price out all the 65 falcon v8 steering parts and suspension parts.
Plus a nice disc brake kit..
If its close to the cost of the ifs go that route.. but unless you go tubular chrome plated the stock stuff should be less expensive.

Bench seats can be retained.. check out modern driveline for falcon swap info. There is a S10 tailshaft mod that moves the floor shifter forward..

Drive shaft can be made or modified to fit the new transmission and rear end..

Dont forget things like motor mounts, frame mounts, bigger radiator.. etc..etc..

It wont be an over night project unless you have really deep pockets

Nathan

Luva65wagon
08-25-2015, 03:28 PM
Engine - Go with the 302... shopping online I have seen some rebuilt turn key 302s for around $3500 before shipping or installation. Any suggestions about how to go about getting a good engine and having it installed for under $5000?!

$1500 to do even just the engine swap is not a lot of money to a shop. That works out to be only about 15-20 hours @ typical $80-$100 hourly shop rate. You may find someone willing to do it, but I'd be wary of their genuineness. I know someone who's done something like this far cheaper than this, and does a really good job, but I think he'd kill me if I gave him another project.

:rolleyes:

Transmission - We want to go with the T6 (great call Nathan)

That would be a T5. These come in many flavors and strengths. I would contact Modern Driveline and get it all from them to save you some grey hair. But expect a $2500 bill for the parts.

Question: Does that mean we need to change the front bench seat out to bucket seats?

Nathan is correct. With the correct tailshaft, bench seats work.

Question 2: I have to replace the front floor so is there a floor pan that will fit that transmission better and who should we buy from? (we love local if possible)

I just put a TKO 5 speed in a Mustang and it fit fine and is a bigger transmission. You should need minimal tunnel mods, if any, even in a Falcon.

Question 3: Any local fab shops to are reasonable and do falcons well? I saw a couple on the resource page but was hoping for recommendations as well.

Be prepared to pay a lot. Way/way more than a Falcon will ever be worth. Average shop rates are ~$80-100 per hour. Your wish list is huge and expensive.

Rear end - Thank you we will take the Maverick suggestion as I suspected we would need to upgrade it but had no idea where to start.

Question 2: Where would you look for that rear end a U pull junk yard? Is used ok or is there a good line on rebuilts?

Only if keeping a 4-lug rear-end will you look for the Maverick rear-end. You have other options if going to 5-lug, which in a V8 you will be. Wait to decide if you keep leaf spring or go to 4-link or some other option - then decide whether 8in or 9in, and what final wheel sizing you want. All are contributing to this selection. Getting a core in the Pick-n-Pull would be a good place to look, but you need to know the direction you are going first.

Question: Do we need to upgrade the drive line as well? I feel it obvious to redo the U joints while we are in that department.

When everything is in and ready you can have a local driveline shop build it all for you. We all use Drivelines NW in the Seattle area. Fair priced and they have all the parts. Finding the exact size, length, yoke, etc., in a wrecking yard? Rare indeed. If you have a 6 cylinder driveline, the V8 driveline is going to be 100% different, so you may as well go with a new one.

Front Suspension/Brake & Steering Upgrades: - I was toying with the idea of doing a IFS on the car since I need to convert to disc and power steering anyway. I saw this company online (http://www.johnnylawmotors.com/), they are out of Portland, and offer this independent front suspension (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/151616802461?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82) for the Falcon.

When I called them they said you have to weld the main beam onto the car and then weld on your motor mounts but after that everything is standard front end work which I can do no problem. Just the installation I am not capable of doing.

My thinking is if we went this route we get the disk brakes and with the IFS we can pull the shock tower supports thus allowing for a power booster at the master cylinder and the IFS comes with a rack n pinion so I would just need the power steering pump on the new 302. (is that right? Have I lost it?)

Question: Is an IFS a good idea for this car with a 302 V8?

Question 2: Is there a better brand or cheaper approach I should be looking at? I am not trying to just dump money into the car but again I want to make the investment up front so it pays off in the end.

Question 3: Is a power booster the best way to support disk brakes

Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Just quickly, in my head, expect a good 100 hours from a shop to install all of these - correctly. I have some mostly decent/rebuildable '65 Falcon Power Steering parts. If you do stock spindles and aftermarket disc brakes, these will connect them all up. And mostly home-doable.

I know there is a power brake setup to fit between the firewall and shock tower. Doghows did it in his sedan delivery. Got it all from ABS Brake on-line - if I recall correctly.

I agree the shock-towers are a pain, but to make them go away and pay others to do it, will hurt far more.

General Thoughts: We are planning on keeping this car and we want to enjoy driving it so to me you have to put the money in up front to make that happen but if we do then we will have a car we can drive for years since most of the power train and suspension is new? right?

Last off if I am missing anything please let me know, I would rather have a hurt ego and a sweet car!

Not trying to hurt your ego, but am trying to help you count the cost. And the cost is great even when you do it yourself - I can't even imagine how I'd ever afford to pay me for the time I spend on these.

Nathan289
08-25-2015, 04:29 PM
Um, not all maverick rear ends are 4 lug.

They are also the next narrowest rear to stuff under a falcon, unless you can find a 63.5 v8 falcon.

Luva65wagon
08-25-2015, 04:35 PM
I realize this, I was just (poorly) saying it is only the Maverick 4-lug as an 8" replacement to the 7.25 4-lug, which a few of us have already upgraded to.

So, correction:

If you can find a Maverick V8 car, the rear-end is a pretty exact fit to a 60-65 Falcon.

Nathan289
08-25-2015, 04:50 PM
You can go goofy 4 lug 8 from a pinto if you want fox body mustang wheels..

My bad.. misunderstood what you were saying.

If you got deep pockets.. 8.8 rears from ford mustangs, rangers, explorers are the new thing.. require a lot of work to get them falcon ready.

ew1usnr
08-25-2015, 05:25 PM
On the other hand, .....

You could just leave the 144 in the car and drive it as is. That way you would not need to modify or upgrade anything and it would save you a vast amount of money and grief.

The 144 engine is not powerful, but the car is lightweight and you have a manual transmission and the 3.5 rear end. That will help make up for the low torque while starting out.

30 and 35 years ago I had a Falcon sedan and station wagon, each with a 170 and two-speed automatic. I drove those cars all over and do not remember their lack of power ever being a problem. They left me with enough pleasant memories that 30 years later I bought a third Falcon.

BadBird
08-27-2015, 04:06 PM
I am glad to see you want to build a good street worthy Falcon and since I have accomplished about all you are wanting to do myself (help from all here, especially Roger) I will give my pointers.

What Roger is telling you is from vast years (old dude) of doing all of these tasks. There is no one with more experience anywhere around here. People from all over the country read this forum to get this knowledge.

The main concern that you must deal with is cost. I installed my own IFS system from Heidts. I had to buy a welder, and the system. I cut out the shock towers, welded the system in and it wasn't what I would call a hard job, but definitely takes some work.

I bought a very good high performance 302/347 short block on ebay that was built by DSS racing. I got it for less than half what DSS wanted. I added a lot of things to that engine and even doing it all myself it is above what your $5,000 listed cost is. I bought the T5Z transmission, bell housing, clutch, pressure plate, T10 short housing, cable clutch, etc from modern drivelines. It was around $3,500. I installed it myself.

I welded a rotisserie, did all my own body work, all my own paint, own electrical, built my own fiberglas parts, powder coated my parts, had my brother in Arizona get all my chroming done for less than a third of what they wanted around here.

Believe me, the list goes on and on and on. I just put my car up for sale on ebay a couple of weeks ago, it didn't sell. It got a final bid of $23,000 and that was $3,000 less than my reserve. Even at that $26,000 price I would still lose some money and that is when I did it all myself.
I would gather a guess that if I would have paid someone to do the level of work that my car is at, it would have cost me well over $50,000.

I am not trying to get you to not build this car. Just the opposite. But, bite off small pieces. Take the time to learn and do this yourself unless it's just impossible. Use the knowledge from these great folks.

If you decide to go ahead. I would suggest starting with the IFS and don't go with power rack and steering. I love mine, but most folks I talk to like the manual rack better. You can get the motor mounts with the kits usually. Spend a little bit more and go with a known company like Heidts or??

I would recommend the 302 engine because you can take it as far as you want in power and drive ability. Just make sure you don't want to stay with the 6 before you do anything.

Good luck, welcome and don't get discouraged. You can do this. Larry

dank2882
09-14-2015, 08:36 PM
I wanted to apologize for not saying anything recently. My Father in law and I found a 67 plymouth gtx that he has been wanting but it was back in Mooreville, N.C. so we decided to fly back there and drive the roughly 3000 miles back in the new car. Crazy adventure but it took some time.

I am still laying out plans for this project and after reading Rogers wisdom about the scope and cost of the project I contacted a few guys I know and started to cash in some favors. Currently I have a great mechanic who is going to rebuild a 302 and has a C6 trans for the car. I am still wanting IFS and a 4 link on the back with bigger axle.

I'll keep you posted and again thank you to every one for the wisdom and I promise I'll be back for more in the future.

Dan

Jeff W
09-15-2015, 07:20 PM
Post a picture of the Plymouth. We like them all.

dank2882
09-15-2015, 10:06 PM
Sure I have pics I would love so share. I think the best way to see them is this link CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS (http://dc-classic-cars.ebizautos.com/plugin-detail.aspx?iid=13460072)

I have no idea how long they will keep it up but I think they have like 50 pics. It has the 318 not the 426 Hemi :( but was an awesome ride regardless.

http://3-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-3-640.jpg

http://1-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-5-640.jpg


http://4-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-44-640.jpg

http://1-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-41-640.jpg

http://4-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-36-640.jpg

http://1-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-33-640.jpg

http://1-photos.ebizautos.com/used-1967-plymouth-satellite-twodoorht-10403-13460072-29-640.jpg

Well if you like Mopars then there is some eye candy for you.

Thanks for asking,
Dan

dank2882
09-15-2015, 10:18 PM
Couple of questions if I might

1. Badbird you mentioned, "I would suggest starting with the IFS and don't go with power rack and steering. I love mine, but most folks I talk to like the manual rack better." I was thinking I would get a tilt wheel and a smaller steering wheel for my wife and the power steering seemed like the way to go but it sounds like you think we should go with the manual steering. Any specific reason why?

2. Roger, I was hoping to do posi trac with the Maverick 8" rear end. Again admitting I know some simple basics but not sure where to start. I am thinking a junk yard for the Maverick 8"? Would really appreciate your thoughts and anyone else for that matter.

Dan

Nathan289
09-16-2015, 06:44 PM
There is a guy down in the portland area that parts out mavericks and comets..

Search portland craigslist.

BadBird
09-17-2015, 11:34 AM
Dan, I went with the Ididit chromed tilt column with a smaller steering wheel that is chromed on the forward side and leather on the aft side. It has a banjo look to it. I don't know if the manual rack is better or not since I don't have that. But, from what I have heard I would probably go that way on hearing from others. Larry

dank2882
06-20-2016, 10:23 PM
Well its been a journey to say the least with the cars. We ended up purchasing a 63 nova for my wife and the ifs and 4 link rear are being installed in it.

I did find a very nicely built 302 with a borg warner t-5 transmission on craigslist and am going through it right now preparing to put it into the Falcon.

I know a few of you have done this type of install so is there any advice you can give?

I know badbird mentioned that he put in a t-10. Will mine fit with little modification?

Lots more questions but I will try and keep the thread specific and having said that I am hoping to get to the mini regional this Saturday. I'm sure there will be a ton of good ideas to see in person and take pics.

Dan

dank2882
06-21-2016, 09:49 PM
Thanks so much for the heads up and I know Roger had previously passed along some great advice as well. Thanks again and hopefully by the end of summer I'll have pics to post.

Dan

Luva65wagon
06-22-2016, 08:45 AM
I missed this thread continuing back in September because that's when I traveled on two back-to-back road trips for work. Sorry, but I see now you asked me a question I didn't answer regarding the finding of a rear end. I was fortunate to find a '65 Falcon V8 car I stripped of its entire front suspension, 8" rear-end, and wheels/tires (new white-walls with zero miles on them). All of that is now in my '63 Ranchero. I upgraded a little while back to a TractionLoc diff from a reputable eBay reseller I had heard about. All documented in my Crazy Ranchero thread. Where to find one now requires looking, looking, looking. They're out there.

As for a 302/T5 install, I've not done one. One I'd love to do to the Ranchero because I'm not a fan of the C4 I have in it now. It needs OD bad.

There is plenty of room for a T5 in your Falcon. I do know that on the T5 in a Falcon most everyone says to use the Chevy S10 tailshaft to move the shifter forward. Otherwise it sort of comes up between the seats on a Falcon, which would be an uncomfortable shift location. Also, we did a hydraulic clutch - and if I had it to do over I might have pushed for cable clutch instead. Getting the clutch master and slave (internal throw-out bearing style) setup was rightly a pain to do. Works well, but fluid seems to be leaving the reservoir on a regular basis, with no sign at all of where it's going... that we can see anyway. :confused:

Looking forward to signs of progress. Not many active projects here these days for us to drool over. :D

dank2882
06-22-2016, 11:27 PM
Again I want to thank everyone for all the help as we draw closer to all the work ahead on the Falcon.

Roger I really appreciated your last comment of, "Looking forward to signs of progress. Not many active projects here these days for us to drool over."

As someone who is not only new to the Rainier Falcons but also new to car restoration in general, you kind of feel like your annoying people with all your dumb questions and who cares about your project anyways so hearing that people actually like to hear about current projects was exciting.

You can see pics of the engine and tranny here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7pb5h97jy0vwlyy/AACatu0slIETTYwKcxm7fh5ga?dl=0

For anyone who wants to see pics of the whole project I will start doing a better job with updating my posts in Show off your Ride >> 63 Falcon Restoration under dank2882.

I found out when I opened the engine up that it was built by Honest Performance in Federal Way, which is by where I live so that was cool.

Thanks again for the help.
Dan

Luva65wagon
06-23-2016, 03:00 PM
Dan,

Though we have a lot of lurkers on the site (look-ee, but no post-ee), I think we all enjoy seeing one of these move from rusty and crusty to a driver again. Some happen pretty fast and some we watch for years. If we can find ways of helping, we often find that opportunity, as well, somewhere along the way.

In other words... Keep posting!

[AGREE]

dank2882
06-23-2016, 08:33 PM
So on posting, as you can see I put a link to all the photos in dropbox but I was wondering if along with the link if I should just put like four of the top pictures right in my post so people can get a feel if they even want to click the link to see more?

Dan

BadBird
06-23-2016, 09:41 PM
I didn't notice that you asked me about my car. Roger covered everything, I installed a T5Z in my car with the C10 tailshaft from Modern Drivelines. It fit very well and I absolutely love it over the C4 I had before. Larry