Question about 1982 Ford F 150

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Hi. I have an '82 F-150 with a 351 c.i. engine, the extended cab version with the full-length bed, 4WD, with only 20,000 miles on it. When I'm driving about 70 mph, the tachometer reads 3000 rpm, which seems high to me. My '06 Jeep Commander, for example, runs at only about 2200 rpm at that speed. Is my pickup normal? Thanks, Mike Nelson (using my wife's e-mail, since I don't have any)

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  • ChuckAndOdie Jun 04, 2010

    Do you know what transmission is in it? If it is a regular C-6 3 speed, then 3000 at 70mph seems about right, especially if you have tall gears in the differentials. If it is an Auto with Overdrive, then there is a possibility that your converter is not locking up. An easy test for this is when you are at a steady speed, say 50 mph, keep steady pressure on the accelerator with your right foot and with your left foot, very lightly apply the brakes. You should see a slight increase in RPM on the Tachometer, or if you don't have a Tach, listen for a slight RPM increase. No increase in RPM suggests that the Converter is not locking up at higher speeds. A common cause is a stuck open thermostat. If your motor is running cold, then the converter will not lock up.

  • barbie_an13 Jun 04, 2010

    Hi. Thanks for responding so fast! I recently inherited this truck from my dad, so I don't know much about it yet. BUT it's an automatic PRND21 type, with an extra "wheel shift" stick on the hump that gives you these options: 2H,4H,N,4L. I don't know if it also has overdrive. Sorry.



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It does look like you have a 3 speed C6, if the PRND21 description is correct. If you do have overdrive, the "D" will be printed in a white oval.

Sounds like it is OK. My Mustang has a 351C with a C6 trans, and 3000 rpm is about right at 70mph.

The defining factor on the rpm will be the Differential gears, which in a truck, might very well be taller gears instead of highway gears, as the taller gears provide more power output at the axles than the highway gears do.

if you had 3.0 to 1 gears (Highway), that means that the driveshaft will turn 3 times for every complete revolution of the rear wheels(Axle)

If you had 4.0 to 1 gears, then the driveshaft would turn 4 times for every revolution if the axle. Lots of torque for pulling stumps, but on the highway. the engine will have to turn more rpm's to maintain 70 mph vs a 3 to 1.

with the 3 to 1, you will turn less rpm's on the highway, but will have less available low speed power (Torque) at the wheels.

Sounds like the truck is doing fine.

Posted on Jun 04, 2010


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