Progress Thread First Project Car - '93 Notch. Should I do this 351 swap?

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CarMichael Angelo

Nobody appreciates me..I'm gonna cut my ear off
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Nov 29, 1999
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There used to be a day believe it or not when a 351 Windsor was a dog, and a 351 Cleveland was king.
From the 1st time it was used in prostock in 1970, through the mid 80's, it was the king of the Ford small block.
But that was before somebody started making aftermarket heads for the Windsor. The day that World products first made a cast iron set of good heads for a Windsor based engine was the day that a 351 Cleveland was doomed to restoration only status.

A 351c has its own fair share of negative issues..as well as a few benefits as a build up, so I'll list the good and the bad.

Pro:
You don't see the engine everyday, and in a fox the thing looks freakin huge because of the heads. It's different.
The crank mains are smaller in diameter than a Windsor, potentially better for bearing life.
The stock 4bbl heads are very capable of flowing enough CFM to support relatively high hp numbers.

Con:
the 4 bbl heads are cast iron. Heavy as all three pigs in a basket, and have flow issues at low RPM. ( the exhaust port needs restrictor plates that serve as a fix for a poor floor design)
The engine has oiling issues that you have to fix with restrictors as well, or the top end of the engine gets too much oil, and the crank starves at high rpm.
You will not have very many choices for exhaust, and what you find will be expensive, and potentially huge for the street ( like 2" primary tube, 3.5" collector long tube only)
The intake choices suck, as this engine never saw the efi revolution, so you'll be forced to take a carbureted intake, and convert it.
Nothing that fits a Windsor, fits a Cleveland.
The aftermarket makes several different heads to choose from now, from a smaller exhaust port aluminum head ( edelbrock) but it's based on a street friendly port and valve size
( edelbrock performer maybe) ...to a really good race head from trick flow.
With a few other castings in between.
So a head isnt really that much of a problem anymore.
Similar to the above, There is a ford made cast iron head out there called a 2bbl head, but the chamber is open, and terrible for use in a boosted or power adder engine.
There is also a cast iron 2bbl head out there from ford Australia that has a closed chamber, but it is as rare as seeing a 5.0 in a Camaro, and again, both cast iron head options are heavy, and old as dirt.
You'll have to source a double sump pan
As well.

There is a reason that dudes bare block is sitting, buried in his garage..But.....where there's a will, a buttload of money, and a whole bunch of know-how, there's a way.

I know a guy that has a 351 Cleveland style head on a six cylinder that he put in a Fairmont. Talk about stupid..
 
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James V

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Feb 26, 2017
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There used to be a day believe it or not when a 351 Windsor was a dog, and a 351 Cleveland was king.
From the 1st time it was used in prostock in 1970, through the mid 80's, it was the king of the Ford small block.
But that was before somebody started making aftermarket heads for the Windsor. The day that World products first made a cast iron set of good heads for a Windsor based engine was the day that a 351 Cleveland was doomed to restoration only status.

A 351c has its own fair share of negative issues..as well as a few benefits as a build up, so I'll list the good and the bad.

Pro:
You don't see the engine everyday, and in a fox the thing looks freakin huge because of the heads. It's different.
The crank mains are smaller in diameter than a Windsor, potentially better for bearing life.
The stock 4bbl heads are very capable of flowing enough CFM to support relatively high hp numbers.

Con:
the 4 bbl heads are cast iron. Heavy as all three pigs in a basket, and have flow issues at low RPM. ( the exhaust port needs restrictor plates that serve as a fix for a poor floor design)
The engine has oiling issues that you have to fix with restrictors as well, or the top end of the engine gets too much oil, and the crank starves at high rpm.
You will not have very many choices for exhaust, and what you find will be expensive, and potentially huge for the street ( like 2" primary tube, 3.5" collector long tube only)
The intake choices suck, as this engine never saw the efi revolution, so you'll be forced to take a carbureted intake, and convert it.
Nothing that fits a Windsor, fits a Cleveland.
The aftermarket makes several different heads to choose from now, from a smaller exhaust port aluminum head ( edelbrock) but it's based on a street friendly port and valve size
( edelbrock performer maybe) ...to a really good race head from trick flow.
With a few other castings in between.
So a head isnt really that much of a problem anymore.
Similar to the above, There is a ford made cast iron head out there called a 2bbl head, but the chamber is open, and terrible for use in a boosted or power adder engine.
There is also a cast iron 2bbl head out there from ford Australia that has a closed chamber, but it is as rare as seeing a 5.0 in a Camaro, and again, both cast iron head options are heavy, and old as dirt.
You'll have to source a double sump pan
As well.

There is a reason that dudes bare block is sitting, buried in his garage..But.....where there's a will, a buttload of money, and a whole bunch of know-how, there's a way.

I know a guy that has a 351 Cleveland style head on a six cylinder that he put in a Fairmont. Talk about stupid..
Wow thanks for the in depth breakdown. That's a whole lot of cons. I'll pass on this than, I just want a fresh block to start building on eventually.
 

James V

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I may not go with red when I repaint this summer. I'm still going back and forth on what color I actually want. I like calypso green but I also think I dark metallic gray would like nice, still up in the air.
DSC00198.JPG
 

BlakeusMaximus

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Jul 12, 2017
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Only 50% of it is red at this point lol, but that was my original thinking to keep it red mainly because I think redoing the door jams would be difficult.
You would have to pull all the body panels off. Fenders, doors, hatch bumpers to do the jambs. Then, what about your engine bay? Pulling the engine? Red is a cool color, I would keep it red.
 
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Rdub6

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Dec 29, 2017
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I was never crazy about red, but that’s what my car was when I bought it, so it’s growing on me more and more (especially with what I have in my head as my final version), but I do love a real clean, simple metallic grey Foxbody. It’d be a tough choice for me, but as Blake says, that engine bay may have your answer in it!
 
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James V

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Feb 26, 2017
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You would have to pull all the body panels off. Fenders, doors, hatch bumpers to do the jambs. Then, what about your engine bay? Pulling the engine? Red is a cool color, I would keep it red.
The engine bay was painted black before I had it. I may end up keeping it red to avoid having to take everything apart like you're saying.
 

James V

Active Member
Feb 26, 2017
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Anyone have any insite on the AC system. Mine doesnt work at the moment and I'm debating removing it. I originally wanted to fix it but never realized how much money I would spend trying to fix the AC. Someone told me they dont make the gas for the stock system anymore anyway, is that true?
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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There is a kit you buy, has fittings and oil, I have all new stuff, compressor, evap and condenser, and that hose with the big can on it,dryer (?) I not sure how one would work converting to 134a and using old parts. @jrichker or maybe @FastDriver could better answer that. There may even be info in the technical/how to thread, I didn't look.
 
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BlakeusMaximus

“Blakeusdoneimus”
Jul 12, 2017
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Was tired of my roof sounding like a tin can. Bought some Noico on Amazon and it was worth it.
20190504_163333.jpg

20190504_171722.jpg
How much was that stuff? I priced some dynomat and right now its a little to rich for my blood. I need some of that for my roof before I reinstall my headliner.
 

kendawg73

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Feb 5, 2014
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There is a kit you buy, has fittings and oil, I have all new stuff, compressor, evap and condenser, and that hose with the big can on it,dryer (?) I not sure how one would work converting to 134a and using old parts. @jrichker or maybe @FastDriver could better answer that. There may even be info in the technical/how to thread, I didn't look.
GK, this the kinda kit your talking about? -https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/autocraft-r-12-to-r-134a-retrofit-parts-kit-ac995-va-lh11/12011072-p?c3ch=PLA&c3nid=12011072-P&adtype=pla_with_promotion&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3qHKqaCM4gIVgkwNCh3Iug8PEAQYASABEgJhlPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I bought all new stock a/c stuff to put back it the car... so would this be all that's needed to used the 134A?