1979 Ford F150 in blue, front quarter view

Engine specs for the 1979 Ford F150

The 1979 Ford F150 trucks marked the end of the sixth generation of the rugged F-Series pick up trucks, which spanned from 1973 to 1979. Characterized by its design and durability, the 1979 F150 came with a variety of engine options to suit different needs, from more fuel-efficient six-cylinders to powerful V8s.

Here's a breakdown of the engine specifications for all models of the 1979 Ford F150:

  • 4.9L Inline-6 (300 CID): This engine was the base option for many F-150s, known for its reliability and decent fuel efficiency for the time. It produced around 114 horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque.
  • 5.0L V8 (302 CID): A step up in terms of power, the 302 V8 offered a balance of performance and fuel economy, making around 140 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque.
  • 5.8L V8 (351 CID) Windsor: The 351 Windsor was another popular V8 option, known for its robustness and torque. It delivered approximately 150 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.
  • 5.8L V8 (351 CID) Modified (M): The 351M, often confused with the Cleveland, was a variant designed for torque more than outright power, with similar horsepower to the Windsor but different in technical specifications.
  • 6.6L V8 (400 CID): The 400 was essentially a 351M with a longer stroke, offering more torque at lower RPMs, making it ideal for towing and heavy-duty applications. It produced around 158 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.
  • 7.5L V8 (460 CID): Available in certain models and regions, this was the largest and most powerful engine option for the F-150 in 1979, used primarily for heavy towing and high-performance needs. It delivered around 245 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, though these numbers could vary slightly based on specific configurations and emissions controls.

These engines were paired with a variety of transmission options, including three-speed or four-speed manuals, and the C6 automatic transmission for higher torque engines. The choice of engine and transmission significantly influenced the truck's performance, fuel economy, and towing capacity.

Keep in mind, the specific output and performance can vary slightly based on factors like the truck's configuration, optional equipment, and condition. If you're looking into a specific model or have a particular use case in mind (like restoration or modification), it might be helpful to look into more detailed sources or forums dedicated to old Ford trucks, as they can offer a wealth of knowledge and specifics tailored to enthusiasts' needs.

The towing capacity of a 1979 Ford F150 can vary significantly depending on the engine size, transmission type, rear axle ratio, and whether the truck is equipped with optional towing packages. Unfortunately, detailed towing capacity specs for vehicles of this era are not as readily available or as standardized as they are for modern vehicles. However, I can provide you with some general estimates and considerations.

Engine Size and Power: Larger engines with more torque, such as the 6.6L V8 (400 CID) or the 7.5L V8 (460 CID), would naturally offer higher towing capacities due to their ability to generate more power and torque. These engines would be more suitable for heavier towing or hauling duties.

Transmission Type: Trucks equipped with automatic transmissions generally have a higher towing capacity than those with manual transmissions due to the automatic's ability to better manage engine power and torque delivery. Rear Axle Ratio: A higher rear axle ratio can also increase towing capacity, as it provides more torque to the wheels at lower speeds, although this can come at the expense of fuel efficiency.

Towing Packages: If the truck was equipped with a factory towing package, it would likely have included features such as a heavier-duty cooling system, stronger frame and suspension components, and possibly even a different rear axle ratio, all of which would contribute to an increased towing capacity.

As a rough estimate, the towing capacity for a 1979 Ford F150 could range from about 4,000 to 7,000 pounds, depending on the factors mentioned above. It's important to note that these are general estimates, and the actual towing capacity could vary. If you're planning to tow with such a vehicle, it's crucial to consider not just the maximum towing capacity but also the weight of the trailer, the distribution of weight on the trailer, and the condition of the vehicle's engine, transmission, brakes, and suspension.

For specific towing capacities and to ensure safe towing practices, it's recommended to consult a professional mechanic who is familiar with old Ford trucks or to refer to original Ford documentation or a reliable restoration guide.