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starting to plan for a winter engine build


MustangNJ
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so far the 351w 4v in my Mexican Mach 1 is running well.  it took some doing, but its not reliable and sounds good.  which means its now time to think about HP and torque.  I can't really guess at what HP this tired old engine is making right now, but maybe 190hp? I don't know.

what I do know is that I want a bunch more low end hp and torque. by low end, I want real gains at 2500-4000 rpm.  I'm really not interested in power bands that only come on at 6500 rpm, etc.  the 545 stroker in my 78 Ranger has low end torque and hp that I like, but that of course is a different block.

 

at first I was thinking I could get away with a top-end "kit" for the 351: heads, intake, cam, headers, but I don't think that will give me what I want on the low end.  So now I'm thinking that I need to rebuild the motor to a 427 to get what I want.  has anyone done a build on a 351 to a 427?  how were the results ?  I figure I need 400hp+ below 4000 rpm to get what I want.  any advice?

 

my intended use is stop light to stop light, maybe a track day at the strip once/twice per year.  my car sounds great, but has far more bark than bite right now, and thats with the fresh 3.73 gear.  I don't know the health of the current motor, compression could be off, etc

 

thanks

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I don't have a shop or even a garage where I can do this kind of work myself. finding a shop that you can trust is exceptionally difficult these days.

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I think I may approach this in 2 parts. Part 1 Top end: Heads, Intake, Cam, carb, headers. if that does not get me where i want to be, then Part 2: bore and stroke. I think by making the right choices in Part 1, everything can be used if I go ahead with part 2. first I need to make sure the block is worth investing in.

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Another thought, buy a nice crate motor and save original motor for stock rebuild at later time.

 

I was thinking the same thing, given he states he doesn't have a garage to work in. Buying a pre-run dynoed crate engine would save a lot in down time and shop labor costs. It would simply be an R&R job that any decent shop can do. Then again, I rebuilt my first engine in the parking lot of my college apartment complex.

 

 

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Another thought, buy a nice crate motor and save original motor for stock rebuild at later time.

 

I was thinking the same thing, given he states he doesn't have a garage to work in. Buying a pre-run dynoed crate engine would save a lot in down time and shop labor costs. It would simply be an R&R job that any decent shop can do. Then again, I rebuilt my first engine in the parking lot of my college apartment complex.

He said he wanted a 427 Windsor motor so crate may be the way to go. Hemi, I remember Shade  tree but not shade complex mechanics

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the thing is, I am struggling with the idea of ditching the original motor in this 1/600 Mexican Mach 1. I know that rare does not mean valuable, but the car is currently numbers matching. I believe that the motor may have been rebuilt in 1981, and may not be a great block to invest in now. if that is the case, a crate motor is probably the way to go. or if I go with a top end now, and find I can't rebuild later, I can get a 427 short block.

 

my biggest thing is I don't want to be making all my power at 6500 rpm. I have a 306 in my Bronco that is the wrong engine for the truck. it makes 400hp at 6,000rpm. but who the heck drives a 1990 Bronco at 6,000 rpm? I don't want to make another mistake on the Mach 1. the 545 in my 78 Ranger was a great decision. the 306 in my Bronco was not a good choice.

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That’s why I suggested the crate motor for power and you don’t have to bore and stroke the motor in your car if it’s original. Seems like a win win, also not much down time.

+1  I agree, keep the original motor as is, set it aside and go with a crate motor.

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a crate might be the best thing. I never intend to restore my car, so numbers matching is probably not something I need to be concerned with. I am building a driver that does what I want. it will always look a bit dusty, but it will rip and not break.

 

getting a crate engine opens up a whole new bag of questions: do I stick with a small block so I can keep my existing trans? if so, do I get a 427? does a big block make more sense, but prob my current trans won't work. I want low end torque and hp, so it seems that I need displacement. like I have mentioned, I don't want to have to have the rpms screaming all the time to build power at 6500. i want good power at 2,000 - 4,000 rpms.

 

what I do know is that I'm not going to put a $10,000 motor in a $15k car. that will obv limit crate choices

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a crate might be the best thing.  I never intend to restore my car, so numbers matching is probably not something I need to be concerned with.  I am building a driver that does what I want. it will always look a bit dusty, but it will rip and not break.

 

getting a crate engine opens up a whole new bag of questions:  do I stick with a small block so I can keep my existing trans?  if so, do I get a 427?  does a big block make more sense, but prob my current trans won't work.  I want low end torque and hp, so it seems that I need displacement.  like I have mentioned, I don't want to have to have the rpms screaming all the time to build power at 6500. i want good power at 2,000 - 4,000 rpms.

 

what I do know is that I'm not going to put a $10,000 motor in a $15k car. that will obv limit crate choices

 

I would agree with lower end torque being more desirable then higher end.

 

Therefore, with keeping the price within reason, I would go with rebuilding it since you can; plus as you said winter project.

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If I am going to go with a new top-end, what are the 3-4 things I should check the engine for first, to make sure the engine is good enough for the new top end. Compression check? check bore to see if its ever been rebuilt? what else? thanks

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I have a 408 stroker built by proformance unlimited in Florida and it’s kicking 450hp and 530 ftlbs of torc at 4500rpm.   You tell them what you want out of it and how you plan to drive it and they build it complete turnkey.  Steve there is very knowledgeable about the parts and very easy to talk to

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that looks pretty good. what kind of power/torque are you making between 2500-3500 rpm? thanks

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Looks like a pretty nice torque curve there. Bet it is a blast to drive.

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thats exactly the type of curve I am looking for. 500 lbs at 3k rpm is great.

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yikes! that's at least a $9k motor! I just checked out their website

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Blue print engine’s also build a 408 stroker but they don’t warranty well and don’t use very quality parts. They say they are turnkey and don’t come with harmonic balancer or flex plate. They build them right here in Kearney Nebraska and I wouldn’t buy one from them

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I was hoping to get the motor in the car and done for $10k. looks like I will be a bit over that with a 408 crate. I think the 545 stroker in my 78 Ranger was about $10k to get into the truck, but I used the short block I had and save a few bucks. I need to keep looking at power curves and see what the options are with a 351w block

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yikes! that's at least a $9k motor! I just checked out their website

That's the thing, when you want an engine that puts out that kind of power you have to pay for it, whether it's a crate or a DIY.

 

If I were going to spend that much I would probably go with this Ford crate engine, around 11K

 

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