Choosing A Motor...

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by red'67coupe, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Gonna be another 3-4 months before the restoration on my car is done enough to get her back on the road, but I'd like to have a motor built in the mean time while I'm doing the work.

    - I'd like to have a MILDLY built motor with atleast 300hp. My budget is $4k (parts + labor), but I have to have a running motor with that amount. I know a guy with a '67 289 and a '68 302 that need to be rebuilt for $200 each, but I'm not sure I could get the power I want within my budget. I've also thought about getting a 351w, but I am worried about space issues in the engine bay and I'd like to keep it stock looking. Anybody have something built similar to what I want for around $4k?

    - This also brings me to what kind of tranny to hook up to it. Would it be worth rebuilding a stock c4, or buying a new one? Cj pony parts also has a t-5 kit online that I've been eyeing up... Thanks. - Tom
  2. how much work can you do yourself? and what compromises are you willing to make? 300hp at the flywheel is easy enough, even with a $4000 budget.

    if you can do most of the engine assembly yourself, you can save a lot on labor. you can also save on the parts you buy, for instance for 300hp you dont need forged pistons, so there is a big saving right there. hit the swap meets and look for a good set of used heads that you can pick up cheap and refurbish. instead of buying new manley stainless steel valves, check out prices at competition products. i bought stainless steel valves for half what manley was wanting.

    carefully select your parts, and shop around on prices, and you can make your budget easily.
  3. Thanks for the reply rbohm. I've assembled top end of motors before , but when it comes to the machine work I'd have to get the local shop to do that. I've been looking at procomp aluminum heads for $450 on jegs, but I'm guessing you get what you pay for when it comes to it. Just not sure if it'd be worth getting new heads or get work done to the stock heads. I'd like to get a comp cam, edelbrock intake, msd distrib and Holley carb, but that's about $1500 right there. So with head work or new heads I'm guessing id be $2500-$3000 in parts. Doesn't leave a lot of room for labor in my budget... Anybody have any suggestions on what to do/get for a mild build like this
  4. ah but you are thinking in terms of new parts. for instance, look for a used edelbrock intake instead. you can always rebuild a holley, if thats what you want, and since you are only going to make 300hp or so, why bother with a high dollar msd ignition? a stock duraspark distributor hooked up to a chrysler orange ignition box and msd blaster lll coil, and you have a solid reliable ignition system.

    so start checking the swap meets, used heads, there are plenty out there from the windsor jr, to the holley systemax heads, to the edelbrock performer heads, to the tfs and afr heads, and they can be had for about half the price of new heads. some are cast iron, some are aluminum. either way look the over carefully before buying.

    same with intakes. edelbrock, weiand, and offenhauser all made decent intakes for the small block ford. again look them over carefully, and make sure to ask the person selling them if the have been machined.

    as for carbs, you can buy used holleys and edelbrocks from cheap money, and throw a kit into them and have a good carb for under probably $100 if you shop around.

    so if you get a rebuilt duraspark distributor, chrysler orange ignition box, msd blaster lll coil, you are into your ignition system for less than $150 including the cost of the chrysler ignition wiring harness. buy a set of used heads for about $600, and put another $600 into having them freshened up, even with new valves and springs from competition products, and you are in the heads for less than $1500 total. couple that with the used intake for about $100 and other sundry parts, including a new cam and lifters, and you should be into this engine ready to assemble, after the machine work is done, and depending where you live, for about $3000 or so. well within your budget.
  5. budget? your best bet is a newer 5.0, warmed over. you can pick up a 50 for $1000ish, then cam, tune, headers, will get you your 300 easy. you want to go old school, find a 351w, stroke it, cam it, dual plane intake, 670 Holley Avenger or Dominator, then tune the old girl and youll get your 400ish hp. do everything you can yourself and youll save tons, and have more for better parts. i personally dont like aluminum heads, they warp if you arent careful or run too hot. port and polish the cast heads, maybe larger valves. you'll flow near as much as fancy aluminum heads.
    tranny: C6 or 5 speed. i have the T5 in my 67, and frankly its decent. as a plus, you have extra gears for the interstate. downside? more gears to shift through on the road. do a 4 speed/351 stroker, or 5speed 5.0 IMO those are the best combos.
    DO you have Subframe connectors and a good torque box on the drivers side to handle the power safely??
  6. Thanks rbohm. I'll have to start checking out local swap meets.

    ColinMAC, thanks for the reply. My budget is $3-4k, but Id need a running motor with that amount. I'm doing a v8 swap, so I really dont have any components for a v8. I'm leaning towards a 351w as of now... I can get a 351 decently worked over (~300hp) from a guy on craigslist for $1300 (just needs intake/carb, 5k miles) ready to go, or I could get a late '80's 351 block to rebuild to what I want from the local shop (which happens to be a world renowned shop). I know the older the block, the stronger it is, but are the 80's blocks any good when it comes to rebuilding them for decent power?

    I'd like to keep it an automatic. although this kit is tempting...

    Think if I go automatic, I should rebuild an older stock tranny or buy a new one? any decent aftermarket brands for c4's or c6's?

    I'm currently patching the frame rails, replacing the whole floor pan/ floor support and putting a passenger torque box on. The outside of the driver's box looks good, but until I cut the toeboards out I wont know how it is on the inside. I've been looking at the frame connectors, but not sure if I'm gonna need them, or what kind to get. I like the competition engineering ones, but I'd go with whatever would be strongest and wouldn't interfere with the exhaust. Thanks.
  7. only years id trust for a 351w are '69-72, strongest blocks. something like 600hp capable. aftermarket Dart blocks are the strongest out there. you CAN build anything for decent power, helck ive seen a 500 horse 200i6. but the main thing is how easy is it to squeeze the power? sooo, you go with the best parts from the factory. 69-72 had the strongest blocks, 69-74 had the best flowing heads out there. get the machine shop block, id trust it more than some CL goof, $150 on some of the aforementioned heads, machine shop to clean them up, boil, mic, hone, magnaflux, maybe zero deck the block, port/polish for $500ish, get a nice cam (comp cams are not the best imho), then a highrise or dual plane intake with the Holley Dominator, and youll surpass your 300hp mark easy. thats probably $1500 for a trusted engine. then put an AOD behind it ;) diy subframe connectors. im having some made at the local Mustang shop soon. helluva lot cheaper than those tubular things they make in china.
    Dazecars has A LOT to improve upon what you have already, the UCA shelby drop, roller spring perches, heck even a chart to figure efficiency vs power. good resource if you DIY
  8. Sounds pretty good to me haha. Maybe I'll wait a little while longer until I can locate an older 351 that I can get rebuilt. I checked out that website and looks like it has a TON of good info. Any good aftermarket companies for automatics? Would it be anymore difficult to hook up an AOD, than it would a regular automatic?
  9. good luck with that!
    aftermarket companies?
    will it be harder than a c4/c6? yup.

    honesty? the extra gear might be worth it. yeah, we got light cars. but running an engine at 3500 down the interstate to an out of town show sucks. gas mileage bites, its loud, and wear on the engine has the chance to increase. the lower you can get your RPM, the better. its some elbow grease to get it to work and extra cash, but itll save money in the long run in gas alone
  10. I think I'd be even more over my head with the AOD switch honestly haha. Just something to think about until it comes to that point I guess... but hey, I appreciate the info man
  11. you and me both. one thing to think about, is a gear vendors unit. they hang on the BACK of the tranny, like the tailshaft area. may chop the driveshaft, but im not sure. i havent needed one enough to look into it seriously. ill get the link here for you
  12. and no problem! good luck:nice:
  13. dont bother trying to find an early 351w block, just grab one as they are all good blocks. they will all handle about the same amount of power. one thing to check though on any 351w block you locate, and that is to look for a spun number two main bearing. i have come across 3 different 351w blocks, and all three had that problem.
  14. ill second that. something else i remember since rbohm brought weak points up: 351w's have a chance at con rod issues, however its only in 400+ hp engines. if you rebuild the lower rotating assembly, stock rods are usually ok unless the engine was plain abused. BUT...ARP studs are always a good bet.

    oh, and a tip from an old drag racer i know: you can turn the crank down .010" and get the Clevite 77 mains. the engine will spin up faster. food for thought there if you have to rebuild the lower rotating assembly
  15. Some more good info guys, I appreciate it. I'll be suspect of all used parts I go to buy. There's a really good engine tech shop in my town that I'll have check out everything before I have them start rebuilding. Thanks.
  16. I'm just a redneck racer with an ASE master cert, and in my opinion, these guys are steering you in the right direction.
    My experience with 351Ws has been nothing but positive, even spinning them up to 6 grand at the little oval track I used to race on. We never broke one, and we used standard rebuilder (read cheapest) parts in all our race engines.
    In '79 Ford added .010 to the deck height. I wanted some compression, so I had the machine shop deck the '79 block I built .010. We never had access to anything as fancy as a dyno, and the rules required all stock cast iron parts. We ran cast flat top pistons, stock cast crank and rods, .450 lift was all that was allowed on the cam, and we ran stock cast iron heads with a (hard to find in the late '80s) cast iron 4v intake, a stock Duraspark ignition, Stock cast iron exhaust manifolds, and the Motorcraft (Holley) 4180. We ran a C-4 behind all that. I was outrunning the "stock" Chevys. I guess we were running about 300 to 350 HP, but I have no idea really. The stock Windsor in '69 made 290 hp, so 300 is simple. 300 hp from a 302 isn't too tough either. Even with stock parts.
  17. What I did when I did my build, I just opted for a 302 crate motor with a roller cam. The price is reasonable (although higher than the $1300 you were talking about earlier) for a fresh 300hp build and you get a 24mo/unlimited mile warranty.

    The one I went with was:

    ATK HP79 302ci 300hp/336tq

    I've put a couple hundred miles on it and it seems to be doing well. It moves the car great! I've got the C4 (rebuilt more robust) and a 300 rear end. As well as the car moves right now, I'd be interested to see if I could hold traction with all but the easiest take-off with a 373. Oh, the rubber is 205/70-14 BFGTA.

    For more info on my car:
  18. hmm. Theres alot for me to think about... I like the idea of having my car be a manual, but I think it'd be alot easier and cheaper getting an older c4 rebuilt like you guys are saying and put a shift kit on it. still alot to think about though haha