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What are the advantages over one another....I6 vs V8

This is something I have been pondering about for quite some time now.:prod: 2 good friends of mine both have 83 Ford F150's with inline 6's and 4 speed manual trans. Both use them as daily drivers, and one claims it has over 300 thousand miles and not even rebuilt and runs strong with no leaks, smokes, knocks or anything bad, and another friend has one that was recently rebuilt for 1,200 dollars with a few perf. upgrades done, and he beats on his all the time but seems to never fail to start, and this one also has 4 wheel drive where as my other buddy doesn't. Now I have one with the 302 V8, and love it to death when it actually runs(lol), but it only has 143k miles on it, and it doesn't leak nor smoke that I can tell, but minor problems do keep happening on it to make it not wanna run.:headbang: The true question is though, which one really is the better engine, and what makes it so?[confused] This is probably right smack dab on the fence line for all, since I think most of us like(or love) both engines but I want to see what you all have to say about this matter.:beer: Because someday I am considering buying and inline 6 Ford truck, unless someone can truly talk me out of it otherwise.:slap: Anyone and everyone is encouraged to reply to this!YelloThumbUp


Staff member
The inline has good torque, and will last well. The 302 unfortunately is not as good in a truck application, but are generally a good motor as well, but lack in the torque dept. due to a short stroke, but if you wind them up and go, they do well. They are well suited as a car motor, not as well for trucks. The 351W does a bit better, is built a bit heavier, and has a longer stroke than the 302.
Ignition and fuel systems are not much different so the main trouble is the motor itself.


just growing older not up
Boring, Oregon
Good question. The 300 six is all torque- it'll pull like jack-the-bear, but not quickly. I had a 302 in the '93, and really liked the combination of power and fuel mileage. I also suspect the tranny lived 232,000 miles because it didn't have that much power. Disclaimer- it was used as a DD, occasional ski-bus, hunting rig, and some light towing. A Ranger would have probably worked for our purposes except for the smaller bed and cab size.

I'm not a big fan of the 351. Back in the 90's, it had a bit more power than the 302, used a lot more gas, and didn't seem to be as durable (that short stroke in the 302 was good for something). I see the same thing going on today with the 4.6 vs. the 5.4 in the mod motors. Wierd- GM's just the opposite- the 4.8 SBC is like the answer to the question no one asked: what engine would you order if you want the same gas mileage as a 5.3 V8, and the same power as a 4.3 V6?


Kansas Chapter member
Our head stable man has an F-250 with the I-6 and he uses to haul everything with. He swears it will outpull his 7.3L Diesel. He's had it for the last 8 years and I've seen it pull it with steam boiling out and he just fills up the radiator from the drinking trough and goes back to working it. It's overheated enough to destroy the paint on the hood!! I don't know why it keeps running, but it sure does.
It's overheated enough to destroy the paint on the hood!! I don't know why it keeps running, but it sure does.

Maybe cuz he doesn't install nitrometh/ladderbars/twin Turbos...
tourqe, more tourqe, and more I6 tourqe. other than that if you were to chooose a 302 over the 4.9 I6 you'd lose tourqe.


Rep whores make me sick
To me, the 300 I6 seems like a work horse, and the 302 seems to be more highway friendly. The 351w is a great way to combine the best features of the 300 and the 302. Good torque and decent HP.
I don't know much about the other engines, but I do know I love the gas mileage I get with my 302. I never woulda thought before owning one that a V8 could get that kind of gas mileage, I was very skeptical at first. Even my grandfather's 04 Mustang GT with the 4.6 doesn't get as good gas mileage as I do with the truck! And I have a few cubic inches on him as well![confused]


Real men are fanatics
I have had a couple 300's and one 351. I test drove a couple 302's when we were Bronco shopping, and I wasn't a fan.

The 300's advantages over the the 302:
more low-end torque
lasts longer
oil changes are the easiest

The 302's only real advantage is that it has more horsepower. But in a truck - unless you're racing it - who cares? The 302 is a car motor that Ford adapted to put in a truck.

The 351 will easily run circles around the 302. When comparing the 351 to the 300, they are virtually identical under 3000 rpm. The 300 actually has a bit more torque. Once you hit 3000, the 351 continues to pull, and the 300 is about done.


They call me Spuds
Middleton, ID
I've got both, and I have to say I wouldn't change either of them even though I've thought about it.

I've got my '93 F-150 with a 302 and a 4spd and it rocks, I've done a lot of hauling with it and its never let me down (44 bags of 80lb concrete, do the math). also pulled a 22ft enclosed trailer w/an '87 mustang during the '05 race season never hiccuped.

'84 Bronco, 300-6 NP435, just an awesome truck, I've recently gone with an offy intake and hooker header and it will flat grunt, when the fan bolts sheered on the '93 I towed it home with a tow dolly and didn't know it was back there till i had to stop. the great thing about the 4.9 is that it takes to bigger tires (up to 35s) and in my case (33s) it dropped the revs and bumped the MPG by three and this was before the intake and exhaust upgrade.