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which 351 block to get?

763 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DPM
I'm trying to decide which 351W block I should be hunting for. One friend told me to get a 93 and later block because I can use a roller cam. Someone else told me to get a 69-74 block because they are stronger. A third person told me they're all the same. Any of you guys have some input? I'm planning on a rebuild and aftermarket heads so that is not a concern. Right now I just need the best block/crank/rods for the least money. Thanks.

65 Fastback 289 4spd in storage :-(
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Yes! My brother is still kicking himself for not picking the one up at Reading Ford show last summer for $300.00. They have exellent quality hyperuetectic pistons from the factory, better than the aftermarket.

You can do anything you want to......ONCE!
aka "my 66 coupe"

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I have a 95 Lightning 351W short block that I am VERY satisfied. The 351 Sportsman blocks are very strong with higher nickel content and thicker mains. Plus, you can't argue about the pluses with a roller equpped motor. I would STRONGLY suggest you look in that direction.....


There is a difference in the older 351Ws. The deck height (distance from the crank centerline to top of cylinders) on the 69-72 blocks is 9.480 while 73 and later is 9.503. The result is that most aftermarket pistons are designed for the older blocks and will cause a slightly lower CR when used in the later blocks. Just something to think about when matching and measuring your components.

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According to G. Reid's '98 book "High Performance Ford ......", the best 351W blocks were produced from 1969-71 because they have a higher nickel content. These blocks would be numbered C90E and D1AE.

I don't know about the new stuff others have mentioned.

There are significent 351W engine differences in the areas of cam lift, port size, and combustion-chamber volume but I won't address those since you are only looking for a block.

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