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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Recently I asked about making my current 351w bored .060 over into a 414 stroker, just as a theoretical/daydream question, and many people reacted as if I should have my stang stripped from my cold dead hands :ROFLMAO:,so I ask this, in terms of practicality, what would be the best next upgrade for my engine? New heads? Better crank or cam? or a better carb? (running an old edlebrock 1400 600cfm). - ANd on the topic of carburetors, what should I jet the carb to? it's still set up as of now for the old 302 it had in it, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I didn't see your other thread but I think the first question to always ask in these types of threads is: What are your goals for the car? You can easily make over 400 horsepower with a stock stroke 351 with good heads and it will still be quite streetable. However, if it needs to be rebuilt anyways it is not a lot more money to install a stroker crank with aftermarket rods and pistons. By going with the extra cubic inches you can easily make a streetable 450-500 horsepower. The inevitable dilemma is you then have to have enough transmission, brakes, rearend, suspension to handle aforementioned horsepower. One other factor that may have been mentioned is that your block is already bored to .060. If it would need to be further bored for a rebuild you would probably need another block. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't see your other thread but I think the first question to always ask in these types of threads is: What are your goals for the car? You can easily make over 400 horsepower with a stock stroke 351 with good heads and it will still be quite streetable. However, if it needs to be rebuilt anyways it is not a lot more money to install a stroker crank with aftermarket rods and pistons. By going with the extra cubic inches you can easily make a streetable 450-500 horsepower. The inevitable dilemma is you then have to have enough transmission, brakes, rearend, suspension to handle aforementioned horsepower. One other factor that may have been mentioned is that your block is already bored to .060. If it would need to be further bored for a rebuild you would probably need another block. Good luck.
Well it's technically my daily but I want it to just be a little more fun than it is. I've got the tranny brakes and suspension to be able to handle it, and I'm planning on doing a new diff soon. I just want to get a little more out of it as it seems right now it's a little... underwhelming from what I was expecting. It's a fresh build and doesn't need to be rebuilt, but I've heard the saying "there's no replacement for displacement" when it comes to HP and torque. I also hear lower end torque is good for a street cruiser/ town racer. I've also heard that's what good stroking an engine will do. I think I'm gonna rejet my carb and see what good that'll do for me, and if that's not enough excitement I'll go from there. I also don't see why it would need to be further bored? unless I'm missing something, it should have the clearance and bore for a stroker kit. Any good suggestions for better heads than stock? Thanks
 

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Well it's technically my daily but I want it to just be a little more fun than it is. I've got the tranny brakes and suspension to be able to handle it, and I'm planning on doing a new diff soon. I just want to get a little more out of it as it seems right now it's a little... underwhelming from what I was expecting. It's a fresh build and doesn't need to be rebuilt, but I've heard the saying "there's no replacement for displacement" when it comes to HP and torque. I also hear lower end torque is good for a street cruiser/ town racer. I've also heard that's what good stroking an engine will do. I think I'm gonna rejet my carb and see what good that'll do for me, and if that's not enough excitement I'll go from there. I also don't see why it would need to be further bored? unless I'm missing something, it should have the clearance and bore for a stroker kit. Any good suggestions for better heads than stock? Thanks
If you are starting with a fresh rebuild I would just work with what you have. With a good set of aluminum heads such as AFR 185s or TW 190rs and the appropriate camshaft you should be able to make enough power to make things much more interesting. For instance assuming you have 357 cubic inches (with a .060 overbore) X 1.25 (horsepower per cubic inch) you come out with almost 450 horsepower at the crank. With good heads this could be done with a very streetable combo. Really good heads and the right camshaft are the keys. You could make this power with a dual plane intake such as an edelbrock performer rpm. In fact Edelbrock is another option for a combination of heads, cam and intake. Look up their "Rolling Thunder" combination for 351 windsors.
 

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Cheapbastard did not suggest boring more, he was stating that it is already at its limit as far as bore goes.

Upgrading the crank itself (with the same stroke) has ZERO impact on power.

It should be easy to build a 351w to the point where power is not the problem, but rather traction is.

What is your current engine build specs and what rear end ratio are you running?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheapbastard did not suggest boring more, he was stating that it is already at its limit as far as bore goes.

Upgrading the crank itself (with the same stroke) has ZERO impact on power.

It should be easy to build a 351w to the point where power is not the problem, but rather traction is.

What is your current engine build specs and what rear end ratio are you running?
right now I’m on stock heads, edlebrock performer rpm intake, and edlebrock performer cam. I’m not sure on my rear end ratio I’m running is. I knew recently so I’ll just have to go back home and check. 290 something? sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you are starting with a fresh rebuild I would just work with what you have. With a good set of aluminum heads such as AFR 185s or TW 190rs and the appropriate camshaft you should be able to make enough power to make things much more interesting. For instance assuming you have 357 cubic inches (with a .060 overbore) X 1.25 (horsepower per cubic inch) you come out with almost 450 horsepower at the crank. With good heads this could be done with a very streetable combo. Really good heads and the right camshaft are the keys. You could make this power with a dual plane intake such as an edelbrock performer rpm. In fact Edelbrock is another option for a combination of heads, cam and intake. Look up their "Rolling Thunder" combination for 351 windsors.
Thanks for the insight! I'll have a look at the "Rolling Thunder". I have the Edelbrock performer rpm intake already on there, so I guess new heads is the next upgrade. I'll do some research on the combos.
 

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Yes going to 350s will make a world of difference especially if you have a 5 speed if you are doing a lot of freeway driving. THat said, you have a very common problem - a motor that is a bag o' parts. What you need to do first is establish what you plan to do with the car. For a street fun car, I would suggest ~400 hp with a flat torque curve, any time you punch it from 2500 to 6000 RPM it will launch - you can pass without downshifting and it will feel fast which for a street car is more important than being fast ;o) if your not racing someone. For a track car you want peaked HP which generally is quite a bit more max HP than a flat curve, but on the track you always keep the car way up in the revs with right gear to keep it on the peak.

On a street fun car, I suggest a flat torque/power curve, its easy to do with a matched system. Carb, Intake, Heads, Headers, tailpipe size, mufflers and Cam all matched to the type of the pistons installed. See the logic in the way I laid this out, from Carb to Tail pipe, everything is sized and matched to deliver HP and Torque where you want it to make the car do what you want to do. The Edelbrock Performer RPM system is a good cheap baseline that is made to bolt on a stock block. You can do better but this is a system that has been designed to deliver a flat torque curve and is a blast to drive, very streetable with a lumpy idle (cool factor) but the exhaust gasses that make it in the window in stopped freeway traffic can your eyes water, especially when the motor is cold. SO if you sit on freeways or idle a lot, you might want to drop down to the Performer SYSTEM. You can certainly do better than the Edelbrock system but it exemplifies my point of a matched system. I run one and its a no-brainer bolt on 400 HP for a couple grand, if you get a professional to design a SYSTEM for you with better parts you can certainly do better, but just throwing TW heads on without making a smart choice on chamber sizes matched to the pistons, cam and rest of the system is again a crap shoot.

What you have is a stockish carb with stock heads, with a mild cam mismatched to a higher RPM Intake, This system will starve a stroker kit and you will be unhappy still - again you are adding one more mismatched part to your bag o' parts. Your situation is EXTREMELY common, the point most folks miss is that you simply MUST think at a system level for the entire path of a molecule of air. Hope that helps and good luck. Do not fret about those that appear to want to rip your car from your cold dead hands, keep asking questions and learn - its fun to figure this stuff out - that's the hobby...
 

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I agree that gears will make more of a difference than anything. More gear (higher number numerically) allows the engine to be in it's powerband quicker. For the strip you gear it so that you are at or just past peak power in high gear. That's a little low for most folks on a street focused ride. For the street you want to look at gearing it so your cruising rpm is high enough to where the cam and intake are in their powerband. A good resoure is the Wallace calculators http://www.wallaceracing.com/calc-gear-tire-rpm-mph.php to take into consideration ideal cruising rpm, gearing and tire height.
 

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150 shot of N2O. The cheapest HP you can find.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes going to 350s will make a world of difference especially if you have a 5 speed if you are doing a lot of freeway driving. THat said, you have a very common problem - a motor that is a bag o' parts. What you need to do first is establish what you plan to do with the car. For a street fun car, I would suggest ~400 hp with a flat torque curve, any time you punch it from 2500 to 6000 RPM it will launch - you can pass without downshifting and it will feel fast which for a street car is more important than being fast ;o) if your not racing someone. For a track car you want peaked HP which generally is quite a bit more max HP than a flat curve, but on the track you always keep the car way up in the revs with right gear to keep it on the peak.

On a street fun car, I suggest a flat torque/power curve, its easy to do with a matched system. Carb, Intake, Heads, Headers, tailpipe size, mufflers and Cam all matched to the type of the pistons installed. See the logic in the way I laid this out, from Carb to Tail pipe, everything is sized and matched to deliver HP and Torque where you want it to make the car do what you want to do. The Edelbrock Performer RPM system is a good cheap baseline that is made to bolt on a stock block. You can do better but this is a system that has been designed to deliver a flat torque curve and is a blast to drive, very streetable with a lumpy idle (cool factor) but the exhaust gasses that make it in the window in stopped freeway traffic can your eyes water, especially when the motor is cold. SO if you sit on freeways or idle a lot, you might want to drop down to the Performer SYSTEM. You can certainly do better than the Edelbrock system but it exemplifies my point of a matched system. I run one and its a no-brainer bolt on 400 HP for a couple grand, if you get a professional to design a SYSTEM for you with better parts you can certainly do better, but just throwing TW heads on without making a smart choice on chamber sizes matched to the pistons, cam and rest of the system is again a crap shoot.

What you have is a stockish carb with stock heads, with a mild cam mismatched to a higher RPM Intake, This system will starve a stroker kit and you will be unhappy still - again you are adding one more mismatched part to your bag o' parts. Your situation is EXTREMELY common, the point most folks miss is that you simply MUST think at a system level for the entire path of a molecule of air. Hope that helps and good luck. Do not fret about those that appear to want to rip your car from your cold dead hands, keep asking questions and learn - its fun to figure this stuff out - that's the hobby...
Man this was an awesome read and probably one of the most informative and supportive answers ive gotten on the site. Nice to see there are people who understand what situation I’m in, my engine knowledge level, and are willing to help answer questions rather than call me dumb for asking them. You've pretty much described what id love to have, a street car that even just FEELS fast, accelerating quickly at any given time, and not just being a drag strip racer. Just to clarify, by a system do you mean basically one of their bolt-on top ends? Heads, intake, and cam combo? ive taken a look at those and I’m not exactly sure which is better as it applies to my situation. I had bought my engine off craigslist so I don’t have a TON of the specs (the guy who built it did it a few years ago and doesnt remember all the parts used). I guess I’ll have to look into it more and then I’ll make a decision on the combo to use. Everyone saying the 3.50-3.70 range also sounds like something that could improve my impressions of the car. Either way, am I looking at a few grand? or is one way cheaper than the other? not saying i want to just cheap out and go with one route, but if one’s much cheaper and the difference between the improvement gained is negligible, it'd be good information. Thanks for everyone responding on the thread so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's an extremely poor gear ratio for performance. Before you do anything else you should improve the gears to something in the 3.50-3.70 range. That will immediately give your car a kick in the seat of the pants.
Thanks for the reply! I’m gonna have a look into it and see which option (changing to a higher gear ratio or a top end kit from someone like edlebrock) will make more sense for whatbim trying to get out of the car and economically for me right now
 

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Discussion Starter #14
150 shot of N2O. The cheapest HP you can find.
I’m hesitant to do NO2 for the thought I’ve heard its really rough on engines. especially being bored at .060 over, i don’t wanna put too much stress on the block. It’s also a limited supply of horsepower that if i use it as often as id like to, id go through very quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree that gears will make more of a difference than anything. More gear (higher number numerically) allows the engine to be in it's powerband quicker. For the strip you gear it so that you are at or just past peak power in high gear. That's a little low for most folks on a street focused ride. For the street you want to look at gearing it so your cruising rpm is high enough to where the cam and intake are in their powerband. A good resoure is the Wallace calculators http://www.wallaceracing.com/calc-gear-tire-rpm-mph.php to take into consideration ideal cruising rpm, gearing and tire height.
Thanks for including the link! I’ll have a look at it and see
 

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Just to clarify, by a system do you mean basically one of their bolt-on top ends? Heads, intake, and cam combo? ive taken a look at those and I’m not exactly sure which is better as it applies to my situation. I had bought my engine off craigslist so I don’t have a TON of the specs (the guy who built it did it a few years ago and doesn't remember all the parts used). I guess I’ll have to look into it more and then I’ll make a decision on the combo to use. Everyone saying the 3.50-3.70 range also sounds like something that could improve my impressions of the car. Either way, am I looking at a few grand? or is one way cheaper than the other?
Yes, I was talking about a combo but as I reread my response, I sort of spoke from the point of view of the motor/exhaust but part of this system is trans, rear end and suspension - the entire car needs to sing the same song. You should not have a motor singing rock and roll with a rear end that is singing classical, UNLESS you want to run Bonneville...

In your case, its eventually not either or, you match your motor choices to the rear end you want in the end. If you are running an automatic, then your torque converter needs to be matched to your cam so it keeps your transmission shifts in the right power range. decisions on manual gearing - close ratio vs wide ratio, high first gear vs low, .8 5th gear vs .64...

So a lot of us fun-street warriors run 350s with a 300-400+ HP and have a lot of fun. If you have a 290s, your car was designed as a highway good gas mileage domesticated car. Dropping to 350s will be a lot of fun without changing anything. Another angle is you will eventually want a limited slip rear end, most 290s are what are called open differentials. If you are able to do a burnout, say on a wet day, does one wheel spin or do both? If you jack the car up and turn one wheel, its open if the other turns backwards or for some reason doesn't turn, limited slip if the other turns the same direction. This is important to put power to the ground. Having big power is useless if you can't put it to the ground successfully. Sooo, do not just change gear ratio, get limited slip while you are there, if you don't have it. Its a game changer from the seat of your pants.

So plan your entire car to do what you want it to, the majority of folks on this site are building or have built the EXACT car you want so we can help plan your car, then execute a piece at a time. It took me 10 years to get my car somewhat sorted and 20 years to get it dialed in and I'm still working on it. NEVER worry about cheaping out, a lot of us have kids and serious budget constraints so we understand if that is an issue, others - not so much so we learn from their mistakes ;o) which they are very happy to share.

Finally, to do your motor right, when you are ready to buy/build your combo, pull the heads and see what Pistons you have, that will help with your decision. If they are dished or have valve clearance all of this matters in choosing the right system.
 

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I’m hesitant to do NO2 for the thought I’ve heard its really rough on engines. especially being bored at .060 over, i don’t wanna put too much stress on the block. It’s also a limited supply of horsepower that if i use it as often as id like to, id go through very quickly
Done correctly nitrous is fairly safe. The fact that you can make the same power at a lower rpm than someone without nitrous who has to spin their motor higher in the rpm range to get the same power. Since you have a 351 you have a strong block compared to the 302s so you would be pretty safe with a correctly set up 100-150 shot.

My problem with nitrous for a street car is it is only good for full throttle performance but does nothing for part throttle. If you street race or go to the strip a lot it is a good way to make easy horsepower but otherwise you aren't getting a benefit from it.

Another issue is it can be hard to find in some areas and can be expensive. Figure at least $5 per pound so a ten pound bottle is $50. As you noted by the time you go through a few bottles you could have bought a supercharger!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
. Dropping to 350s will be a lot of fun without changing anything. Another angle is you will eventually want a limited slip rear end, most 290s are what are called open differentials.
Yeah I have been wanting to convert to a limtied slip rear end for some time, this might be just the right time to do it. Also I was heavily suggested Caltracs for getting the power to the ground, do they really work? Are they worth the 300 bucks or so? Or are they just a silly waste of money? Also, you say without changing anything, would I not have to get the tranny tuned again after changing ratios?
 

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Yeah I have been wanting to convert to a limtied slip rear end for some time, this might be just the right time to do it. Also I was heavily suggested Caltracs for getting the power to the ground, do they really work? Are they worth the 300 bucks or so? Or are they just a silly waste of money? Also, you say without changing anything, would I not have to get the tranny tuned again after changing ratios?
Don't worry about Caltracs for now, get the basics done and see if you even need them. that is an entire thread or archive search in itself.
Good luck
 

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With the right springs you may not need them.
 
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