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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just looking to read peoples thoughts - you guys are more experienced than I am.

Wants - I am restomoding a 69 fastback, its going to be a mut, not worried about originality. It will be a 5 speed manual. Most likely a 3:50 gear. My driving habits - well I am not a racer by any means, but I want a good running and good handling car. I dont want a dog. I would guess around the 350hp min range, 400hp would be sweet! I will mostly just cruise in it, but I want it to move when I step into it.

All that being said, I have (2) 351C's that came with the car. Both are tore apart - one has pistons/crank out, other does not. I have (5) 351C 4V heads. I have a stock 351C 4V manifold. Everything needs gone thru and rebuilt! I hear 4v heads are not good for low rpm. I will be low rpm 95% of the time.

Money is an issue. Reliability is an issue. Originality is not. I hear horror stories about the cost to have a shop rebuild an engine. I dont have the experience to do it. I could probably get the machine work done and do some assembly myself tho.

I guess I am thinking I dont have to use my current parts just because I have them.

So to my question - what would you guys do?

rebuild a 351c 4V engine with all my parts?
rebuild a 351c and find 2v heads?
rebuild a 351W? (need to find one)
buy somebody else used engine? (risk)
buy a crate engine? (I dont know much about these)

Basically I want something that has a rumble, and some kick, and is fun to drive - and reliable, and wont break the bank. The 304cu 340hp crate for $3600 sound good for the $ - but I do have to fight off the "I wont be able to say I have a 351C" when I pop the hood feeling.
 

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I would get rid of the 351C and go with the 351W. You could find either a vintage block core (I found one for my Shelby Cobra for $150) or there are actually quite a few later 351W roller motors out there that ford used in trucks and econoline vans. They would be a better choice for a restomod engine, as a roller motor is better fit for making cheap HP and gives you good choices for heads, cam & intake choices.
 

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351C are great engines and can make a lot of power. But it sounds like you're looking for some low end torque and mild manners. In that case as Chriscade said, I would recommend a 351W. I think if you could find a late model 351W roller motor for a good price that it would be the way to go. I used to have a bone stock 1994 Bronco with a 351W roller motor and that thing made tons of low end torque.
 

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I'd rebuild the 351C. You already have the parts. Have a custom cam made for your application that has good street manners as a main requirement.

Have you checked for a recommended engine shop in your area? Go by and talk to them.

A well built 351W crate engine will cost you $6k plus. I'm spending $7k on a 347 stroker.
 

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Here's my opinion. Like it or not, but it's free. The 351 is a super engine. Since you are on a budget (nothing wrong with that) keep a block, cobble together the the best crank and rods. Sell all of the other remaining parts and buy a set of TW heads. After that, a good street cam. Then, go from there.
But, keep your eye on the ball! It sounds like you want a spirited street warrior. Build for that. This means big torque, low RPM. You'll feel it where it counts. Check your "seat-o-meter"! ...and go!
Happy Hunting!
 

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I won't ry to advise you. I'll just report my experience and costs.
I am doing a concours restoration but I put non Ford internal parts in the engine on the advice of my machinist. He says mfg. technology has advanced too much to use the obsolete NOS stuff I provided. Mine is a 289 but a 351 costs should be similar.
I have a HIGHLY EXPERIENCED friend who owns an auto machine shop. He REALLY knows his stuff and has a nicely equipped shop but not the expensive CNC stuff.
I gave him $600 to start. He ordered a new cam, cam bearings, hyd. lifters, pushrods, rockers, rocker pivots, nuts, 1 new valve guide, valve springs, keepers etc., brass freeze plugs, dual roller timing set, pistons, rings,pins, rods, rod bearings, all crank bearings and seals, and oil pump.

He magnafluxed everything. He did the valves and stock seats (not hardened) , lightly surfaced the heads and the exhaust flanges. He polished the OEM original crank (no turning needed), checked everything for spec', and sent out the crank/pistons/rods/harmonic bal/crank pulley/flexplate for dynamic balance.
He bored 0.030" over and crosshatched the bores.

I let him assemble the short block for me because I have only ever done 1 engine myself and he only charged me $250 for that. I put the heads and intake on with the rest of the gaskets in the kit he ordered.

When I picked it up, I paid him $1,100 more. for a total of $1,700. He asked to be here when I started it the first time and he'd supply a 36,000 P/L warranty!

I'm pretty happy.

Now I ran the bucks WAYYY up with a $300 alternator, $500 fuel pump, $300 water pump, $330 concours distributor refurb by Tim O'Connor, JettHott NOS exhaust manifolds, and a $450 Pony Carburetor rebuild.

I thought $1700 for the quality and attention to detail he gave me was a good deal. Perfect circle rings, clevite bearings, hypereutectic pistons, fel-pro gaskets and everything was U.S. made.
 

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Nice pragmatic post Bryan!
 

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you mentioned a budget, do you have a dollar amount in mind for the motor/machine work? i think it would help narrow the responses.
 

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Most important- Are you driving open road or city?
 

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I'd rebuild the 351C. You already have the parts. Have a custom cam made for your application that has good street manners as a main requirement.

Have you checked for a recommended engine shop in your area? Go by and talk to them.

A well built 351W crate engine will cost you $6k plus. I'm spending $7k on a 347 stroker.
Good advice here. I would do the same. Consult a custom cam grinder. 351C's rock. Ask the grinder for advice on carb, intake and headers. Choose all these before the cam is designed. Also, I wouldn't get too crazy with the gears. Discuss this with the designer too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good replies.....

Budget, well thats just a matter of time, more time goes by, more money...lol. I'd guess I'd like to have it done for 4k, plus extras (water pump, dist, carb). I can go higher but just not sure I want to.

Open or city - unfortunatly a mixture. I live in a rural area, drive 35 miles one way to work. I want to be able to drive it to regional stuff, even Gatlinburg (5 hrs away). But a lot of running around my hometown too. Rural roads, 2 lane highways, and expressways are all in a days work!
 

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I second the idea of building the 351C. My dad ran a 351C in is 71 mach for years and it was great for what your needs are. It's sometimes easier to use what you if the machine shop doesn't have to do too much. Plus you have some collateral to use as selling or even trade in on labor? Depending on what shop you go to or who you may have assemble the engine for you. Just an FYI, back about 4yrs ago I ran across a running 347 for about $3500. Keep your eyes open and ask around your local clubs, you may run across something ready to bolt in and you can sell what you have.
 

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yea your suspecions are right about taking it to a shop i payed way to much for mine. what u should do is. Find a engine builder and have him rebuild heads and buy parts and rebuild internals of engine. then tell him you will do the assembley (heads, intake, oil pump, dist, timing cover, all that stuff) that should take out some of the cost just tell him to build you a short block. make sure that he buys all parts for you gaskets etc. you can install the parts onto the shortblock and even rebeuild parts(like carb) good luck.
 

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Build the 351C that you have and sell of the extra parts to help pay for everything. Stick with the a dual plane intake manifold and 2V heads will have more low end torque. They are cheap. You can do this on a budget, but don't scrimp on bolts, bearings and cheap gaskets. Get with a local engine builder ask around from car guys... Were are you located ? I'm 41/2 hrs from Gatlinburg ? I know a couple engine builders around the knoxville and Bristol area ? Make sure to break it in properly... lots of post about that !
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I live by Cincinnati - but I would drive it to Gatlinburg for the annual rod run. Maybe drive it to Detroit if they still do Woodward dream cruise. It will be my toy car - not everyday driver, but I want to drive it a LOT in the summer - to work 2x-3x pa week.

I appreciate all the posts. It just seemed the $3600 340hp crate was a great deal, but I may regret that route - but I cant explain why.

I'd like to use pump gas too.
 

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Build the 351C with the stock 4V heads. Run a 3.91 rear gear. With the 5 speed trans you will still have an acceptable cruise rpm and with the deep gear you won't notice any "loss of torque". When you want to show off just hit the loud pedal and dump the clutch. Torque will be your last problem.
 

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I'd rebuild the Cleveland engine, because I like em. I know the current trend is to build the Windsor engines because of the availability of go fast parts specifically for that engine, but in my experience a Cleveland engine is considerably stronger than a Windsor.

edit: well, I'll qualify that. The 1970 351 Cleveland engines were stronger than the Windsor. I don't know about the later engines.
 
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