"Budget" 351W Build

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by malta351, Nov 7, 2007.


  1. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    I've decided to put together my 1978 351W together on the cheap. I don't need 500hp (yet) so I'm putting together a motor I can run on the street while I work out the kinks in the rest of the car and save up for whatever motor I'm gonna build next. Plus... it's the first motor I've ever built so I really don't want to drop a bunch of money on a decent bottom end just to learn I made a simple mistake and took out a bunch of pricey parts and machine work.

    I'm just curious if anybody has had luck running a stock bottom end for any length of time. There's virtually zero bore wear (very low mileage) so I'm just putting fresh rings, bearings, oil pump, etc in. I picked up a set of freshly rebuilt D00E 351W heads (1.94/1.60s, screw in studs/guide plates) for cheap that I'm going to use. I have a Holley 750cfm 3310 carb that just got a Holley Renew kit and a Holley Street Dominator single plane intake.

    I've still got to buy a cam, lifters, and pushrods, but other than that I've scrounged everything else I need. I'll probably have spent $800 in total to get the motor built and in the car, so in the end it won't owe me much. I'm thinking if I stick to relatively low RPM's I should be fine... what do you guys think? Should I spend a little more money somewhere to help this motor last a little longer or just put it together and see what happens?
  2. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    Oh yeah... the motor is going into my 1967 Coupe in front of a C4 and 8". My exhaust consists of Hedman 1 5/8" x 3" headers, 2.5" duals with x-pipe and 40 series flowies.
  3. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    the stock bottom end on the small block fords is a solid and reliable one. go ahead and run it. i would upgrade some small things though, use arp fasteners for the rod and main caps for instance. DO NOT use a high volume oil pump or a high pressure oil pump though as you dont need them, and they will cause problems with the distributor gear. pick your parts carefully, and match them to what you want from your combination and you will make good power where you want it.
  4. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    I plan on running a standard volume oil pump.... well, i just bought one at least.

    Should I worry about upgrading to an ARP oil pump driveshaft?
  5. brianj5600

    brianj5600 Active Member

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    I would not worry about the main or rod bolts for a basic rebuild. 351 motors use 1/2" main bolts and 3/8" rod bolts. I would not even worry about the pump driveshaft, it too is larger than the 289/302 parts and should be plenty strong. If the ports on the heads have never seen a grinder, a basic clean up of the poor casting quality is worthwhile.
  6. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    It looks like the heads have been cleaned up a bit. Supposedly they were ported... how much and by who is another story. What kind of RPM limit should I be looking at? Keeping below 5500?


    This will be the happy recipiant of the new windsor.. after a year or so of building it, it was my driver for 5 years (high school/college). I wiped out at least one cam lobe and the student loan couldn't cover the costs. Sold the engine, tranny (T5), and wheels to pay for the rest of school and now after 5 years of sitting I finally have a little bit of cash to put it back together.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/malta351/008_8.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/malta351/014_14.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/malta351/015_15.jpg
  7. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    If the engine is low mileage enough to not need the cylinders bored, then why does it need a rebuild? I'm just curious because usually engines like that only need seals and gaskets, not bearing and rings. If it's already take apart, well, nevermind. :p

    Get a Ford Motorsport or ARP pump shaft even if you don't think you need it. It's cheap insurance. It's true that the stock shaft is larger diameter than a 302's, but it's also longer, so it has to be.
  8. Rusty67

    Rusty67 Well-Known Member

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the 78 351w motors have pistons in them that make for LOW compression ? I'm just wondering if an affordable set of pistons would be in order for a rebuild like this ?
  9. jasonn

    jasonn Founding Member

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    Sounds like my motor in my mach1. Stock bottom end except for arp rod bolts. Cheap stock compression hypereutectics. Stock heads that have 1.90, 1.60 valves and were ported by me when I was like 16 and didn't know what I was doing. Perf rpm intake, 1 5/8 headers, and a junk rusted 750 that I rebuilt and put a proform body on. Cheap smaller solid flat tappet from Ultradyne. Runs 12.50's @ 108. It has been running perfect for about 12 years now.
  10. brianj5600

    brianj5600 Active Member

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    I think they had larger combustion chambers too. He is swaping heads so that will help some. Sounds like this is a temporary motor. It will run fine.
  11. htwheelz67

    htwheelz67 Member

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    pistons were just about the same, the early heads had smaller chambers so your compression should be around 9.1 with a 60cc head
  12. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    It is as temporary as everything else that I'm doing to the car. Really I want overdrive, but a C4 is going in.... the 8" is fine for now, but beefing it up or putting a 9" in is definitely in the future. I know if i start spending money on the specific parts I won't have enough to finish the thing.

    Thanks for all the advice. It's nice to be part of a thread for once that didn't include "Stroker kits and AFR heads are cheap and the ONLY way to build a decent motor, why bother otherwise?"
  13. brianj5600

    brianj5600 Active Member

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    This is what made me think temporary.
  14. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    i have almost exactly the sam combo in my car right now. the engine was from my great grandmother's 73 galaxie 500 with around 70,00 miles. i pulled and had it vatted to clean it up so that required new cam bearings anyway so i went ahead and put all new rings and bearings in it anyway, just 'cause. stock pistons and rods with the all the stock fasteners, i wish i would have upgraded to ARP rod bolts but i didn't have the cash at the time. it's got a set of stock D0OE heads with stock valves and new stock replacement 69 valve springs with the damper. running a speed pro 224/236 @.050 .472/.496 lift cam, stock lifters and new stock pushrods. e'brock performer intake (need to upgrade to a stealth, really) 625 road demon carb and hedman shorty headers with 2 1/2" exhaust and dynomax turbo muffs. power is transferred through a stock FMX tranny with a shift kit and stock 9" with 3.25 open diff. ignition is a stock points dizzy with a mallory unilite conversion kit and accel 8mm wires, will be getting an MSD coil soon.

    this combo runs really good, idles great and has plenty of power, haven't had it to the track yet but it should turn low to mid 13's. compression is right at 9:1 or 9.5:1 never really sat down to figure it out exactly but the heads were shaved about .015 and it has the thinner fel-pro gaskets, .038 compressed i think.

    i'm running a stock oil pump and stock pump shaft too, i did buy a NEW stock replacement water pump and a carter street/strip mechanical fuel pump but i still have less than $1200 in the whole build.


    now for things i would have done differently. i would have added the ARP rod bolts mainly for piece of mind, the stockers are fine for up to 5500 rpm and i don't turn the motor any higher than that really. i would have used flat top hypereutectic pistons and weiand stealth but i had to use what i had as the budget wouldn't allow it, i'll upgrade to a stealth before long though. and the only other thing i would have done differently is to get coated headers because i hate rusty headers, i tried using VHT header paint but the stuff i got was actually manifold paint.... oh well, it probably would have happened with the header paint too. oh yeah, i would have gone with a 2.25" exhaust instead of the 2.5" just 'cause it's louder than i like but that's just me being nit-picky.
  15. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    Thanks for the post!

    I'm probably sticking with stock fasteners for now. If i end up being happy with the motor I may upgrade to ARP stuff next time or build another shortblock.

    Are you running the stock stall converter in the FMX?

    I've already got the headers... if it was a driver i would get them coated, but the black header paint seemed to last me at least a year when I was driving it previously.

    What's the difference between the Performer and Weiand Stealth?
  16. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    This was pretty much your perfect answer.

    I really like the combo you laid out and this response.

    I would go with ARP rod bolts.
    The stockers are 30 years old, and historically been the weak point in Ford engines. Also the ARPs are not expensive enough to dismiss.

    I also like the idea of a hardened oil pump shaft. Again, cheap insurance.

    The rest of the stuff you could take or leave.

    I like that you are bold enough to use the mild single plane intake.
    They are much maligned nowadays, but they are really good parts from my experience. It would be different if you were talking about a Victor intake or something aggressive like that.

    Nice combo...
    I agree with those figuring 9+:1 compression. The chambers were big in 78.
    Good luck
  17. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    We can change that!
    I am a big proponent of the 393w!
    :p
  18. malta351

    malta351 New Member

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    Yeah, i appreciated this answer as well!

    I ran this intake on the same engine actually, but with the stock 78 heads, cam, and 600 cfm carb. It made more seat of the pants power than the 2bbl and I definitely had no drivability issues.
  19. CraigMBA

    CraigMBA New Member

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    If you change the rod bolts you'll have to send the rods out and have them sized........
  20. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    the ARP rod bolts are definitely worth it if you can afford them, only about 45 bucks, at the time i couldn't and this was supposed to be a temporary motor as well, it didn't turn out that way though. still, overall i'm pretty happy with the combo. the stealth is a much better intake than the performer since the performer is basically an aluminum version of the stock 4v intake, the performer RPM is a good intake too.

    i think i'd have a bit better throttle response, better mileage and of course more power with the flat tops but i'd also have to run premium fuel.

    there is however a stock ford piston from a late 80's/early 90's 351w truck motor that has a smaller dish than the reverse dome pistons of the 73 351 so you'd get a compression ratio of around 9.5:1-9.8:1 or so with them and the 60cc heads you have. this would be a better bet if you can swing the extra money but definitely not necessary.

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