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Discussion Starter #1
I have a stock 400 on a 78 Bronco (as far as I know anyway) and have been considering upgrading the retarded timing set to the old straight up configuration.

1) I don't want to accidentally replace the timing set with the same retarded camshaft timing set that I figure is on there now. Can anyone recommend a set to get me back to straight up timing?

2) How difficult is the timing gear swap? What all has to come out? Anything else I should do if I am going through the trouble?

Thanks
 

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I have a stock 400 on a 78 Bronco (as far as I know anyway) and have been considering upgrading the retarded timing set to the old straight up configuration.

1) I don't want to accidentally replace the timing set with the same retarded camshaft timing set that I figure is on there now. Can anyone recommend a set to get me back to straight up timing?

2) How difficult is the timing gear swap? What all has to come out? Anything else I should do if I am going through the trouble?

Thanks
I usually use one of the name brand, supposedly somewhat higher quality, double rollers that claim 3 way adjustment. See summit or jegs for the latest choices.

I would plan on doing oil pan gasket, pretty hard to get timing cover back on (with gaskets all in tact and not be prone to leaking) with front edge of pan in the way. I also would do water pump, unless that was recent change.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I came across this on the net relating to the history of the 400:

"As Ford planned a MY 1977 makeover for their light-duty truck line, they decided to replace the aging FE 360-390 engines with the M-block 351M and 400 engines. Before MY 1977, the M-block had only been available in cars, and only with an automatic transmission, so Ford redesigned the M-block for its truck debut.

Main bearing support webs were revised, particularly the #3 main (thrust) bearing support web, which was strengthened to withstand the force imparted by a clutch. This redesign for truck applications was the only major change in the M-block’s engine block design throughout its production life.

Several unique parts were developed for truck M-blocks, including flywheels for manual transmissions, harmonic balancers, and truck-specific intake and exhaust manifolds. The original “non-retarded” crankshaft timing gear was also re-introduced on truck engines."

I then came across a guy who was doing exactly what I am planning to do and he posted pics of the timing gear set he removed from his '78 400 and the new timing gear set he had just bought. They were exactly the same.

So does my '78 have retarded valve timing???
 

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A Cloyes Tru-Roller timing chain set wouldn't break the bank and would be a durable option.

If you're going that far you may as well replace the cam while you're at it!
 

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I've got a 70,000 mile Lincoln 400 I'm gonna swap into my bronco soon, probably going to go with a Cloyes. On the fence about changing cams though...
 

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I came across this on the net relating to the history of the 400:

"As Ford planned a MY 1977 makeover for their light-duty truck line, they decided to replace the aging FE 360-390 engines with the M-block 351M and 400 engines. Before MY 1977, the M-block had only been available in cars, and only with an automatic transmission, so Ford redesigned the M-block for its truck debut.

Main bearing support webs were revised, particularly the #3 main (thrust) bearing support web, which was strengthened to withstand the force imparted by a clutch. This redesign for truck applications was the only major change in the M-block’s engine block design throughout its production life.

Several unique parts were developed for truck M-blocks, including flywheels for manual transmissions, harmonic balancers, and truck-specific intake and exhaust manifolds. The original “non-retarded” crankshaft timing gear was also re-introduced on truck engines."

I then came across a guy who was doing exactly what I am planning to do and he posted pics of the timing gear set he removed from his '78 400 and the new timing gear set he had just bought. They were exactly the same.

So does my '78 have retarded valve timing???

That guy bought that truck new? Otherwise, who knows what timing set was in there to begin with
 

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I've got a 70,000 mile Lincoln 400 I'm gonna swap into my bronco soon, probably going to go with a Cloyes. On the fence about changing cams though...
I would reconsider changing the cam because I think the retardation in timing might be in two places: the timing chain set and the cam. I could be wrong.
 
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