windsor or cleveland?

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by jlangholzj, Dec 2, 2007.


  1. jlangholzj

    jlangholzj Well-Known Member

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    help a young scrub out here and school me on the diferences between a 351C and a 351W.

    all i know is that the 351C has 4-blot mains and is more solid (so i've been told) and that it comes in a 2v and 4v, the latter having canted valves and larger more rounded intake and exhauset ports.

    give me some pro's and con's .

    although I'm more than happy with the 289, I hope someday to drop in a 351, a 5 spd auto and a 9" rear. So I want to keep my eye's out for some of this stuff when I'm out off to colege next year. ya never know when one will show up!:p
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  2. StangDreamin'

    StangDreamin' Founding Member

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    Okay, first a "Myth-Buster": Not all 351C's had 4-bolt mains; only the Boss 351 and 351 CJ had the 4-bolt caps. The good news is that the only difference are the specially machined caps and the extra to bolt-holes drilled/tapped into the block. Also, 4-bolt engines had forged rather than cast con-rods; and the cranks were tested for Brinnell hardness, harder ones were marked with there Brinnell number and harder ones were selected for the 4-bolt engines. Otherwise, the blocks were pretty much the same.

    Now, for the grreat "Windsor -vs- Cleveland" debate: If you're looking to build a seriously hot street motor with aftermarket parts -and you don't have anything (like an engine) to start with; the Windsor will be less expensive. If you have an old Cleveland lying around and you want to build on stock parts; you're gonna save money with a Cleveland over a Windsor.

    OBTW: If you're building a mostly street Cleveland; go with the 2V (2 barrel carb) version. The 4 barrel Cleveland (with it's GIANT intake ports) works much better at high RPM's than at standing start low RPM's. The low cc, high velocity 2V ports produce real torque on the low end; that the 4V heads/intake just can't match without serious work.
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  3. jcp123

    jcp123 New Member

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    The Cleveland has been described as a bastard block, intended to replace both the small-block architecture which included the 302, and the FE-series, which included the 390, 427, and 428. In other words, it was a big small-block or a small big-block. The 4v heads are derived from the Boss 302 heads, and as mentioned above, work best from 3500-6000rpm, giving it the best of the small-blocks. With port plates, you get a little better driveability, but it's by no means impressive down low. Still, when you hit the powerband, it's noticible even with a mild cam, and makes for a seriously quick engine. The 2v heads on the Cleveland actually produced one of the more impressively torquey engines of its size, giving these more of a big-block feel.

    The Windsor, on the other hand, is more or less the 260-289-302 block with a taller deck for a bigger stroke (with some other minor differences). A lot of parts are interchangeable with the 260-289-302's, and Windsor blocks and parts are way more common, and thus cheaper, than Clevelands.

    For me, it all comes down to preference. If you want best bang for the buck, build a 351W. If, like me, you like to be a little quirky, hit up a Cleveland.

    And if you want to get really confused, look up 351M's :D
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  4. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    to correct a few mistakes by stangdreamin;

    1: all small block connecting rods were vacuum forged.

    2: the only cranks that ford tested for hardness were the hipo 289 cranks. all 351c cranks were the same, and all could handle turning 10k rpm with the proper prep.

    as for heads, all 351c heads gad canted valves, and as indicated by stangdreamin, the 2v heads are great for a street engine. the 2v heads all had open combustion chambers meaning no quench area, where as early 4v heads had closed chambers(through the end if 1971 production). if i were building a solid, reliable, street/strip engine on a budget, i would choose the 351c 2v engine since i would not have to invest in after market heads to make power.

    if on the other hand i were building a strong street engine that also made decent fuel economy, i would choose the 351w.
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  5. ranger04

    ranger04 New Member

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    I'm not much on the rocket science, but am on experience. The 351 cleveland 4 barrel motor would run like a scolded dog stock. The boss 351 turned better 1/4 mile times in the heavier 71 stang than the 69 428 CJ stang. They were made to run. The 351 W is a work horse, a good solid power plant. With todays aftermarket and high flowing heads, they can be made to run as well and thats an under statement. They even have stroker kits that can take the motor up to a 427. There's alot of options for the windsor these days.
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  6. StangDreamin'

    StangDreamin' Founding Member

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    Only a few??? I knew I was pretty dead when a wrote that and was checking my references to EDIT: as necessary; when I fell asleep in my chair with my laptop in my lap! When I woke up (12:30AM), the battery was dead-er than My brain when I fell asleep!
    Yup, my bust. A couple of my references indicate that several batches of rods were supposedly Magnafluxed and the "better" ones were selected for BOSS duty. A couple of references say that that BOSS rods were also said to be shot-peened at the factory.... but they don't verify this.
    Late-Breaking Stuff: THIS REFERENCE is a little more assertive that they were shot-peened. It also addresses your next comment.
    I thought you had me on that one; but I did have one OLD REFERENCE that I wondered about. I double checked and found I had THIS ONE, which is from ebay (automatically I'd suspect it); but the first reference I linked (about the rods) gives the first two a little more creedence!

    My personal experience agrees with you. I "knew" there was a little more left in my Gran Torino (351C-2V; factory-stock except for the carb, intake, and timing set); but it would sound like there were 10-15 beer cans rattling around in the fan shroud if I played with the timing and/or air-fuel ratio too much). It had factory cast dished pistons; I'm not yet sure what the Cougar's gonna do with it's TRW 30-over flat-tops......
    With the proviso I just mentioned about timing, etc, I thought my Gran was pretty stout; and it regularly got equal or better mileage than Mrs StDr's 6-cyl Gremlin (regularly being defined as "Jimmy's not getting a wild hair and stalking IROC Crap-maro's").
    The '73 Grannie was our traveling vehicle of choice because it took much less gas running I-10/I-8 between Tucson and Yuma; the fact that we could still (back then) get leaded regular fuel for around $0.10/gallon less than unleaded (which her Gremlin required) made the Ford a cheaper drive!
    Besides, it was much more comfortable at speeds from 60-80MPH! :D
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  7. StangDreamin'

    StangDreamin' Founding Member

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    Yes, the Boss/CJ 351 could run like an SOB. In fact, one (I can't remember which) Mustang rag came out with an article in October or November '83 that showed it posting better 1/4 mile times than a Boss 429! But it's at high RPM's! Unless you're running it up and dumping the clutch (or "power-braking" an automatic) at the light; those big intake ports are gonna bog until you get it rolling a little. The 2V intake ports are smaller and pull air at a higher velocity - good thing for a torquey street-machine. :nice:

    I'm no rocket scientist either; just an old electronics geek. So I have to look this stuff up and learn a little bit if I want
    to get "good" at it.
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  8. jlangholzj

    jlangholzj Well-Known Member

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    so from what I've gathered here is that both are a very stong block.

    but the W will be eaisier to find parts for and bolt on stuff.

    however, the 2v intake on the C will provide more low-end umph b/c of the higher velocity of air. that makes sense.

    but how is the 2v-C compared to the W ? are they relatively the same? or would you need to get some aftermarket heads for the W to stand up to the C ?


    probally the easiest way for me to find one w/o breaking the bank would be find an old junker of a car w/one in it. then o-haul the engine.
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  9. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    actually the clevelands have notoriously thin cylinder walls and major problems with core shift. core shift refers to when the engine was cast the sand core used to cast the block tended to shift or not be aligned perfectly causing the cylinder walls to really thin on one side and much thicker on the other, also the core tended to grow over the years and the cylinder walls got even thinner. what this resulted in was the blocks tendancy to split the cylinder walls, i've personally had that happen to 2 clevelands. the thin walls also cause the clevleland to have a tendancy to run hot as well. the cleveland also has main bearing oiling problems because the oiling system sends all the oil to the top end of the motor starving the lower end at high rpms and a high volume oil pump compounds the problem even more, there is a fix for this, though.



    for the most part the windsor doesn't suffer from any of these issues or at least not as badly on the ones it does have issue with.


    stangdreamin mentioned that his torino got very good mileage and that was my experience with the 73 gran torino 351c-2v my buddy had in high school as well. when we graduated we set out on a road trip to San Diego which was a 3 day trip for us and that car averaged about 23-24mpg on the trip, the best i ever got of any of my windsors was about the same but that was with 10.75:1 compression, a "stock replacement" cam (actually smaller than stock) that was advanced 4 degrees with a carter afb and a purolator fuel pressure regulator turned down to 3 psi. my next windsor should get closer to 30 mpg on the highway but that will be with aluminum heads, high compression, EFI and an overdrive trans. i guess my point is that in stock form a 2v cleveland will get better mileage than a stock windsor
    #9
  10. StangDreamin'

    StangDreamin' Founding Member

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    I wonder how many C's have "core-shift problem"? I've been (uncharacterisitcally, for me) lucky so far, but the Coog hasn't been running since I got it; so I guess I'll find out when I get her back on the road.

    It's not so much the stock 2v intake as it is the intake ports in the 2V heads. My Gran had an old Edlebrock "A-351" 4 bbl intake that was cast with "2V Head-sized" intake ports. Got the same version for the Cougar; now it's called a "Performer 2750". Lots of people will tell you that this intake does nothing performance-wise other than give you a decent base for a square-bore 4bbl carb; but that's exactly what I'm looking for! Anything with fatter runners/ports is going to slow down port velocity - which is what I personally don't want in a street car.

    My 351W experience has been decidedly "low-perfomance oriented"; limited as it is to:
    1.)A '73 LTD I bought from my Dad when he (at age 75) took himself out of "driver status" because of his eyesight and reflexes
    2.) A 1989 Econoline 350 "company truck" that was built up from two wasted E350's and made into my work DD.
    Needless to say, I can't comment as to W performance mods - maybe someday when the Cougar is done and I can come across a project Mustang. From what I've heard/read though; stock Cleveland 2V heads are miles beyond the W heads.
    ONE ITEM OF NOTE: Stock 2V heads (don't know about the 4V heads) came equipped with 2-piece valves! :eek: Right now, I'm gonna keep them in the Cougar (staying low-po for my younger daughter to drive for a while); but that will change when it's time to get serious with the car. I'm also gonna pull the engine apart and have it sonic-tested at that time as well as grab a new crank. The original crank journals had to be ground 10-under to clean them up; the earth-shattering THUMP! THUMP! was the reason why I campaigned the PO to take the motor down and rebuild it. At the same time, I'm also gonna do the "oil-crossover" mod - running a pressure line from a high-pressure oil port by the fuel pump to a port on the back of the block. Want to get better oil flow to the rear mains :nice: That's part of the oil-flow issues Bryan mentioned.
    #10
  11. jlangholzj

    jlangholzj Well-Known Member

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    intersting. so would it be possible to put the 351C-2v heads on a W block and get the best of both worlds. or would that be pretty much the same as getting some aftermarkets for the W??
    after some re-eval, I'm guessing for a warmed up street aplication (mild cam and 600cfm carb) that it would be easier to go with a W ? b/c of the availability of parts and a more consistent block?

    Edit: lets also get a running list of vehicles with 351's in them, this could be a good resource

    also on a side note,

    pops told me that it was about 2k to get an engine balanced and blueprinted :jaw: back when he was my age (72-is). anyone know the going rate currently??
    #11
  12. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    yes you can put 351c heads on a 351w block, but by the time you did the machine work needed, and bought the needed intake, or intake adapters, and headers, and modified them to fit, you could have bought a pair of nice afr aluminum heads and bolted them on. will the 351c heads give you a power boost, yes. is the effort worth it? these days no.
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  13. bnickel

    bnickel Founding Member

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    i guess it all depends on the heads you use. a nice set of CHI, E'brock or even 2v aussie heads on a 302 or 351 windsor block still makes a killer combo, granted it's not as big a difference as used it to be before the availability of aftermarket windsor heads but they stull rock. i still want to build a 331 or 347 stroker with some e'brock aluminum heads for something. i'm toying with the idea of getting a 68-69 ranchero as a DD and getting rid my towncar or using it as a parts car for the ranchero, EFI 5.0, aod and a bunch of cushy power goodies could make their way into the 'chero. and yes i know the TC 5.0 is not an HO motor but it doesn't really matter it's a DD not a toy.
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  14. jlangholzj

    jlangholzj Well-Known Member

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    ok, so what about balance and blueprinting, or is that just something no-one does anymore?
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  15. ranger04

    ranger04 New Member

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    Yeah, it's still done on the older engines. The new engines have very good tolerances right from the factory compared to the older motors. My experience with the 351C was in my 1970 mercury cyclone, it was a 4 barrel with a C-6. I thought it had a good power band, sure it came on strong in the upper range, but the lowend wasn't bad, I mean it wasn't undrivable or anything. It was the only automatic ford performance car I ever had, all the rest have been manual. Anyhow, that car would run for an auto, it would bark the tires up through the automatic and it was all stock. I've never road in or drove a 4 barrel stock 351W that even ran close to that car. That cyclone sold me on the 351C, all though I've never owned another one, I've had hipo 289's, a boss 302, 428 cj's and so on, but that cleveland was special. Back home in W,Va, an ole boy had a 70 torino GT with a cleveland, it was a 4 speed car, he had the fastest car around for several years untill he wrecked it. Not that W,Va towns are that big, but there were alot of fast cars, but not fast enough to take down that 351C. I think I could have taken him with my 69 mach 1 and 428 4-speed, it wasn't stock, but I wasn't going to drive it all the way from Ohio to find out ha ha. I guess my point is that the cleveland was a great performane engine that I wish they would have made longer and even impoved it over time, but it only had about a 3 year run. I don't have a thing against the windsor, it was just never a stock performer like the cleveland.
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  16. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    balancing is an excellent idea for any engine, but unless you are going racing in a top echelon class, leave the blueprinting to those who race at the top, or have more money than brains and just want to brag. blueprinting essentially sets all the clearances to the factory blueprint specs with zero tolerance. if the factory spec is .020, then you set the clearance at .020, not .018 or .021.
    #16
  17. Gud T.B. Blown

    Gud T.B. Blown Member

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    All clevelands came stock with 2 piece valves, except the Boss 351 and the 351 HO.
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  18. 302 coupe

    302 coupe Founding Member

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    this thread has reminded me why I no longer seek tech advice here. I know this thread is in talk, but still...... It's fun to read the old wives tales though.
    #18
  19. 72mach1

    72mach1 Founding Member

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    I'm trying to figure out where you guys are getting this low rpm bogging thing with the clevelands.

    I have a 4v 351cj, all is has is a torker intake, holly carb, and long tube headers. All put on in 73'. Standard stuff. It still pulls 0-60 in 4.5-5 seconds, and pulls strong all the way to 140 (7k+ rpm).

    If 5 seconds 0-60 is bogging, I'd hate to see it with 4.11's instead on the 3.25 rear gear. And a 4 spd instead of the big C-6 auto.

    On another note, I've seen a stock boss 351 pull 160 mph at Seattle international on the road course. With 3.90's in the back.

    Somebody mentioned fuel... I've gotten 17 mpg going over the pass to car shows in Eastern Wa. I normally get about 10-15. My dads truck with a F.I. 351w gets 14.
    My moms 6 cyl explorer gets 15..


    IMO Cleveland's are great, nothing like having the secondaries open up and the engine scream. With the straight pipes it sounds amazing, you can hear the car almost a mile away. (If I wasnt so internet retarded I'd post a video of it)


    Sorry to rant, it's early and I had to defend my baby!
    #19
  20. Gud T.B. Blown

    Gud T.B. Blown Member

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