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which 351 block to get?

805 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 :-(
91 CRX Si... A.K.A. my go-kart with AC!
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IMO, the 351W from the Lightning truck is the way to go.

'66 A-code Fastback (therapy)
'89 Town Car (SWMBO D'driver)
'87 Caprice (as req'd by Hagerty)
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"

Hale Boppe comet shot off my roof. See you can use 100 iso at night with no flash!

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.....

Are the Lightning short blocks based on the Sportsman block?
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.

Mustang Lovers ---- A Box-O-Choclates !!!
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.

Mountain Dew & Donuts, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
'66 Coupe 289 2V done for son
'70 Coupe 351W 4V (She Bear), doing for me!
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