Crash, got a question for you!
I just recently bought my '98 F150 SC Lariat 4.6 4x2 5-speed (is that a hard combo to find?). Anyway, I wanted to comment on some of the remarks I've read in this post. I know I'm no straight-shifting expert by any means, but I thought I was as good as most. This truck seems a lot harder to launch smooth and get moving rapidly than other sticks I've driven. To me 1st gear is almost too low, and there is a huge gap from 1st to 2nd (3.90 to 2.25). First runs out of steam quickly, but by the time I get a smooth shift into 2nd I've lost all my momentum and rpm. There go all the automatics right past me. In the cases where I am trying to move quickly, I shift to 2nd at 3000 to 3250 rpm. It's wrapped up fairly tight. That still doesn't seem to give me enough "shove" to make my 1-to-2 shift without losing my momentum. I don't feel like revving it up any higher will do the trick; that just tells everybody around that you're struggling to keep up with them. I know, as someone else said, that these are not speed-shifting demons, but how do you drive it in a semi-sane manner and not get left far behind?
Once upon a time I had a '95 Silverado extended cab 1500 4x2 (I know, I know) with a 350 5-speed. The main reason I traded it was because it just didn't "pull" in any gear, no matter how you revved it. I blamed it on the 3.08's it came with, and promised myself that I would never buy another truck without looking at the rear end ratio first. Well, my '98 4.6 Lariat 5-speed has a 3.55 rear end and it kinda gives me the same feeling. It just seems to "flatten" out, like I'm missing a lot of those ponies under the hood. It is still bone stock with 60k miles. I wonder if it could possibly be geared too low, if that's possible. Like I said earlier, 1st is very low, and 5th (OD) is pretty low for an OD gear (0.80). Everyone talks about wanting to gear their trucks down, to 3.73 or 4.10. On an automatic, that's probably one of the best things you could do. But has anybody put 4.10's in one of these 5-speeds? I can't imagine how many rpm you're turning at a good highway speed, and 1st is probably through by 10 mph. I think if I did any re-gearing to this truck, I'd go a little higher, to maybe a 3.31. I actually had bought a set of 4.10's to go in my '97 automatic 4.6, but since that truck's for sale, I had to sell the gearset, 'cause I sure wasn't putting them in the 5-speed.
Crash, I remember seeing that you had and intended to keep the 3.08's your truck came with. Is putting my Powerdyne from my '97 onto the '98 5-speed a way to help this "problem" I described above? It just seems to be lacking something. I appreciate your or anybody else's comments/suggestions on these comments. Thanks a lot.