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Gonna have some fun.

Turbonick

Member
So a few years back my then girlfriend and now fiance decided I needed to have something to wrench on. So we went on Craigslist and found us an 89 f150 ext cab short bed. It's ugly. Old roller paint job and funky stripes. But it's tons of fun. It's got a 4.9 straight 6 with a 5speed m5r2 transmission I believe, don't hold me to that last part. I could be a liar. Fast forward a cross country move and a few years it's had a great evolution until this point when we went to start it and it's just making horrible noises. So we decided for my birthday it's time for an engine swap. So now that we live in south Florida and junkyards are nothing like California junkyards, hurricanes might have a factor in that, we turned to eBay and bought a 5.8 351w from a 93 Broncos for 600 shipped.

Fast forward a few days and it arrived on a very sketchy pallet. Almost fell off of the back of the truck. Literally. So we decided to test the engine and performed a cylinder leakage test after removing the intake manifold and valve covers and found a lot of blow by from the rings, 60%. And found 90% coming from the valves on cylinders 1 4 6 and 8. So we made the decision to rebuild it and also contacted the seller of the engine and they generously gave me most of my money back for the engine having issues.

So I did some research and keep in mind this 351w will be a daily driver and I wanted to make this as much of a bolt in swap as I could. So now for the good stuff, I picked up the following:

88 f250 5.8 speed density ecu should plug in with no check engine light.
89 f150 5.8 harness.
V8 engine tower brackets from lmc truck
5.8 alternator.
5.8 engine accessory brackets.
5.8 fan and pulley
5.8 radiator
5.8 flywheel.

Now for the fun parts:

Cheap long tube headers 3.0 inch collectors
Speed way motors bullet race mufflers 3.0inch bought in a pair.
4ft 3.0inch exhaust pipe.
Crane cams 444232 cam and lifters.
Mahle piston rings with plasma moly coating.
Clevite tm77 p series rod and main bearings tri metal.
Speed pro cast flat top with valve relief pistons.
Arp head bolts.
Fel pro gasket set
Msd cap, rotor, plug wires, coil, plugs.

So we measured the motor and everything is pretty close and not really needing any machine work. So the plan it to clean it up and hone the cylinders. Clean up the heads, lap the valves replace any damaged ones. Also clean up the head ports and bowls.

I'll keep posting updates until it runs. I'll have it built this week/weekend and have it installed the weekend after it's built.

Here is some teaser pics:



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AZFR8TRAIN

Well-Known Member
I'm looking forward to your progress. I know my motor will need some help soon so always looking for ideas. I have 5.8 now.


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Turbonick

Member
Thanks! Yea I have done a lot of searching between many forums and nobody really had any info on just a good strong rebuild for these trucks. It's either ls swap it or it's a mustang build. With the way I'm building this you should be able to pass smog in California and have a bit more power and efficiency to this motor. Should be a solid forerunner engine build and with the similarity between the 5.0 and the 5.8 most of it with translate to the 5.0.

Got some more teaser pics. Will have it fully stripped after work tonight.
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Turbonick

Member
Figured I would post another update on this, just did some more disassembly on the engine and further measurements. Measured the remaining bores and started checking condition of old rings and bearings. All look ok but the oil control rings have a build up on them and they are a bit locked up. Which explains the evidence of oil burning I saw when I pulled the intake.

Bores are square which tells me this thing probably hasn't been abused or had any serious problems.

As a bonus I thought I would post up the spec sheets I'm using for this build.

If any of you have any questions or any input I'm all ears.
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Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
I built one a 5.8 a few years back for a friend. Had a he'll of a time getting the speed density fuel management to work. Eventually used a Ford motorsport mass air conversion. Cam was relatively mild. Don't remember the specs. Pig rich at idle and dead lean mid to top end. Never did get it sorted out. Ended up putting a carb on it and taking the truck off the street. If I had to guess I would say that the mapping of the computer was way too lean to support the cam. I would strongly suggest finding a tuner that is familiar with the Ford computers before firing up the new engine. The mismatched tune washed out the rings and hammered a couple bearings. A refresh on the new engine was done and it made decent power with the carb. Hope my experience will help you save some money and heartache.
 

Turbonick

Member
Thanks for the input. I'll keep it in mind. I have a wideband I'm going to install and monitor it and see how it goes. I do know that the speed density setup doesn't like cams with less than a 114 degree lsa. Will cause vacuum and idle problems and having an unstable vacuum signal to the map sensor will cause alot of problems including what you mentioned. The cam I selected had a 114 lsa and isn't too crazy. So in theory it will work. But I'll find out in about a week. And I'll keep you guys posted.

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Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
I've also found that running more initial advance during the initial run in helps to keep engine temps down while breaking in the cam. Somewhere around 15 to 20 degrees. Sounds weird but it allows the exhaust valve to run cooler. Thus less heat input into the cooling system and reduced chances of hanging a valve open.
 

Turbonick

Member
Thanks for that advice. Speaking of valves. I took the heads apart last night and found a couple of burnt valves. The seats cleaned up nicely. But I need to get some valves. Summit will have a new set at my door before then end of the week atleast. Can't wait to stab this in the truck.

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Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Be careful if you grind the seats in the heads. The hardening doesn't go that deep. I believe having the heads machined for stellite seat inserts is money well spent. The burning is probably from a seat margin with poor geometry. It's not allowing the heat to transfer from the valve to the head and then on to the cooling system. Speaking of cooling systems I am a believer in using Shaw high flow fail safe thermostats where ever I can. Especially in an iron headed engine with a squish area that isnt all that great to begin with. A bullet proof cooling system and attention to squish area goes a long way towards controlling detonation. I also use an air/oil separator between the p.c.v. and intake to slow /stop oil contamination of the intake charge. Oil vapor can cause havoc when tuning. The vapor can cause pinging and you will chase your tail trying to find it.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
I use the separators that you can pick up at home depot and plumb them with hard line. Only use rubber sections to connect p.c.v. to hard line.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
I don't know if you are familiar with dynamic compression but there are calculators online to help guide you with your build. Using that formula you can optimize cam timing versus static compression ratio to match the components before assembly begins. This will allow you to have a better understanding of what to expect from the engine and what it's octane requirements are.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Look in the air tool section at home depot or your favorite hardware store. They are the ones with the sintered bronze element and glass bowl. I believe the last one I bought was the one from harbor freight with holes tapped for 3/8 n.p.t. I had to build a small bracket and mounted it to an unused hole on the front of the engine to make draining it easier.
 

Turbonick

Member
It's been a minute but I have an update. I was able to get everything built and assembled. Fiance had a birthday so it took some time away from the build. Did the compression ratio calculator and found out its 10.7 to 1. Hopefully I'll be ok with the 93 I get out here. If not i was thinking megasquirt and e85? Its readily available out here. Gas station by my house sells it.

Overall it's going great. I'll post part numbers when I have a minute if anybody wants to replicate the build.
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Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
My 422 f.e. is right at 10.9 to 1 static compression ratio. With about 300 degrees of cam duration and 110 degrees of lobe separation I end up at about 7.5 to 1 dynamic compression ratio. Static compression ratio is only about half of the equation when talking about fuel requirements. Dynamic compression ratio is the number that needs to be focused on for octane requirements ,spark timing , and detonation resistance. Grab your cam card and the measurements already used to get your static compression ratio and punch all those numbers into a static compression ratio calculator. The number you get there will tell you if you need to advance or retard the cam and what fuel requirements will be. It will make tuning much easier for you if you have a good idea of what the engine wants before you fire it up. A dynamic number above about 8 to 1 gets you out of the pump gas range but this number can be manipulated by changing cam timing or cam shafts. Probably is a non-issue though as most people tend to over cam/ under compress an engine.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Just looked up the cam specs for the cam you listed. Retard that cam. With 10.7 to 1 and a cam that short that engine will ping and the computer will not be able to adjust for it. And keep that thing cool. with iron heads your engine will be prone to detonation at moderate loads. It will sound like its coming apart at full load. Dont want to scare you . I want to pass on my own experience so that you can go together once. Tried a similar cam in a 408 Windsor for a friends truck with about the same static compression ratio and it rattled like a coffee can full of rocks. A cam like that is for stock to stockings static compression ratios.
 

Turbonick

Member
Thanks. I have been looking into finding out more. What numbers did you get for the cam card? I can't seem to find mine right now. The lunati timing set I have in it can advance or retard 3 degrees and also has a 0 option. I currently have it set for 0. Would retarding the timing help a bit? Also I'm in Florida where I can get 93 and some stations near me sell higher. Could it survive on 93? Or should I start looking into a cam swap. Comp has a cam that would bring my dynamic to about 9:1 which sounds reasonable.

I did install a high volume water pump and a 160 thermostat to aid in keeping it cool. I had suspected the higher compression would add a lot of heat so I went as low as I could on the thermostat.

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Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
There is a lot of information out there about dynamic compression ratio and octane requirements. Remember that e85 requires a complete fuel system designed to support it. Fuel economy suffers with alcohol based fuels most engines want about 30-60 percent more fuel when running alcohol. Also alcohol is corrosive to most fuel hoses and can cause pitting in aluminum surfaces. This is probably fine for an engine that receives regular tear down and inspection. I would assume that this isn't in the cards for you as this is a budget build.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Move that cam to the retarded position. Most cam grinders build some advance into their cams. Get a degree wheel and a dial indicator. Degreeing a cam isn't too difficult. Record your numbers and it will all make sense.
 
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