Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 1971 Mustang Coupe that currently has a 351 Cleveland in it. By the time I did all the upgrades I'd need to get the desired amount of power from it, I'd be better off just getting a new, more reliable crate engine. I don't really want to spend more than $6,000 and would like something that is fairly compatible. I've been looking at some 302's, some 351W's, and some 347 strokers but I just can't decide what's gonna be the best (power) bang for my buck.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
You already have a very good platform for power with the 351C. Even the base 2V heads are great street heads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,109 Posts
Yep, you already have the basis for strong motor and for less than $6k, especially if this is going to be a Dairy Queen, Cars N Coffee ride. However, I get the sense you just want to take the "easy street way" and dump a turnkey motor in the bay. This being the case, 'Blueprint" seems to have a lot of followers here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
Cheap Crate Engines are just that, Cheap Crate Engines. If you have a 351C and already have everything else that will work with it like: transmission, bellhousing, brackets, pulleys, etc.... I'd do a quality HP rebuild on the 351C. By the time you buy everything to make a cheap crate engine work, you might as well have done a quality build on what you already have.
 

·
Registered
Ford Mustang fastback GT390
Joined
·
124 Posts
I’m thinking of adding more hp to my 351c, Mine is pulling 260hp to the rear wheels, 9” 370 posi, 2800 stall converter, full MSD, long tube headers, twin 3” pipes front to back, hydraulic lifters, edelbrock AVS 2 650 carb, edelbrock 351 performer intake,
I’ll attach a couple of pics showing the engine build, cam ect. Tell me what you guys would do to gain more HP.
3E0EBCEC-27E3-4627-939C-57E16DB1B7CF.jpeg
DDE658B6-92FA-48A8-803C-CE35E23D6AAC.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,827 Posts
351Cs don't need a bunch of aftermarket parts to make good power on a budget. Rebuild the lower end with forged flat top pistons, have it balanced, use ARP rod bolts. Factory main bolts are fine for most builds. 2V heads are really good heads and normally only need a set of valves, along with springs and retainers to match your cam.

You could move into aluminum heads for about $2K for a top quality set (ie: Trick flow)

You didn't say what you're looking for in HP or typical use.
 

·
Registered
Ford Mustang fastback GT390
Joined
·
124 Posts
Thanks for the reply Hemikillet,
Just street use, they are 4v heads, more power is better then no power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
If I wanted to build it up to make a decent drag car, would you still stick with the 351C or do something different?
A big part of the problem is this is the beginning of emissions. All this was new area for engineers making engines not designed for emissions to run cleaner. As a result stop gap measures like lazy ignition timing, lean fuel mixtures and low compression. Raise the compression, better ignition and a modern cam.

Do yourself a favor. Get a custom ground cam from someone who specializes in Ford's. The problem is that Fords and Cleveland engines have totally different needs then a Chevy. Most off the shelf cam lobes are generally designed around Chevy engines. You're doing a serious disservice to yourself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,035 Posts
All of the 351C 2V heads and the '72 and later 4V heads had open chambers. Be sure that you use pistons that increase the compression ratio with the open chamber heads. Or get '70/'71 4V heads with closed chambers or Australian 302C 2V heads with closed chambers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,261 Posts
I'm running Aussie heads on my Cleveland and I think they're great. Lucky for me, they were already machined for screw-in, adjustable rockers. I went with a custom cam from Bullet Cams and it's also great.

You can deck the block and mill the 4V heads to boost the static compression. People will say you can't do with this with open chambered heads because they will ping/detonate. Well, that's true with wedge heads, but not Cleveland heads. Cleveland guys do it all the time.

The reason the '71 Clevelands tended to be anemic was due to low compression, a broomstick cam, retarded valve timing, retarded ignition timing and a lousy carburetor. All of these issues are easily resolved with a good rebuild.

FYI, a lot of people running Cleveland 4V heads have told me after many cams, they like best a hydraulic version of the Boss 351 Cam. Apparently, it's a great street cam profile for a Cleveland. Bullet Cams can machine one for you. The downside is you'd have to convert to an adjustable valve train. That can be expensive which leads people to just go with aluminum heads. But definitely look around. Since the aluminum Cleveland heads are now pretty popular, you can likely find a set of iron Cleveland heads already machined as I did. If you don't want to bother with converting the valve train, just run something like an Edelbrock Performer cam which works with the factory valve train; still WAY better than the factory '71 cam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,827 Posts
Thanks for the reply Hemikillet,
Just street use, they are 4v heads, more power is better then no power.
4V heads make great power and with the proper cam, make a well rounded engine. @Huskinhano's advice to get a custom ground cam is spot on.

So, the next question is, are they closed or open chamber heads?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huskinhano

·
Registered
Ford Mustang fastback GT390
Joined
·
124 Posts
Closed chamber heads I think, someone mentioned earlier about pistons for gaining more hp, don’t know if you can tell from the photo what pistons are in mine.
5D01D39C-F752-4E2E-8859-D6EBB13B9098.png
20635883-FF06-4820-8D39-0CB1F284593A.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Lots of good advice. You have about the best power making engine Ford ever made. With the right cam and compression you should be able to make close to 500 horsepower with otherwise factory parts. The Boss 351 made close to 400...stock.

Belky, 260 at the wheels with an automatic means you are already making about 325 at the flywheel. Who specced your camshaft? I would look for someone who specializes in Clevelands.

Stay Golden Pony Boy, I would just look at stroking what you already have. You can do an over 400 cubic inch stroker with stock heads and make as much horsepower as you want with the right cam and compression. It all depends on your goals. If you just want a cruiser with an easy pull the engine and swap in something else then yes a crate windsor might be easier. There are some stroker Cleveland shortblocks out there but it would probably be cheaper to rebuild what you have.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,827 Posts
OK, we have two threads going on here.

@belky you should start your own thread. FWIW, that 280H cam is garbage for a 351C-4V engine. I had one in a car I bought and couldn't wait to get rid of it. It's the perfect example of what others have said, a Chevy spec cam in a Cleveland. You need something with around a 10° duration split favoring the exhaust, with more lift and a wider LSA.

@StayGolden_Ponyboy what heads are on your engine?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
If you have some $ and want more hp which it sounds like you do, I'd do a rebuild with the block you have and stoke-might a well same price. Do aluminum heads and with what you got you will have near 500hp. That will be a huge difference from the 280 you have now and put a big smile on your face! I have around 400 to the wheels and it is very fun. Not too much though, I wouldn't mind 500.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top