calling all motor heads!!

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matrixx

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So guys here is the deal. As many of you know i'm building my car as time/money allows and i've got my list of to do things ( a really long list) however when i look at my plan for engine and performance i have absolutely no clue. the 302 runs fine and is adequate for cruising around but I'm a guy and i want more power!! well so does my wife :) anyway, I want to make a well balanced car and want to stay with the windsor platform as parts are readily availiable and don't break the bank (which is critiacal for me)

I have many friends in high places also and I think what I want out of the engine will be a stout 350-400hp.

I have a long time customer that runs a respected machine shop in the area and the old guy told me that when i get ready for head work or and engine machining just drop it off to him and as long as im not in a hurry he would do whatever i wanted for a steal (basically next to nothing). Now i respect this guy and don't want to seem to just take advantage of his generous offer but it got me thinking about cylinder heads and know of people getting them worked on, ported, valve job and such.

For a street car and a robust engine considering the lower end of the budget spectrum what are some of the best heads to get that will really perform with some machine work?

I'm not looking for miracles but there's just so much out there and im not really looking to drop 1k+ for aluminum heads. I have other areas of the car that needs that attention. Here's whats on my list so far:

-302/351 roller block

-9.5:1 minumum compression ratio

-cam ????

-heads ???

- headers ???

- intake - air gap or ???

- carb i have a new holley 600 that works great but i feel it may not be enough for those numbers soo ???

My car is a manual trans car as well so keep that in mind. So as you can see i'm a little lost here, i don't want to get some stuff and then change my mind, that's wasting cash.

I can build a engine all day long but when it comes to selecting the right parts and we get to talking valve spring rates, cam specs, overflap~~~ my head starts burning.

So i turn to you guys just to pony up any advice and let me know what;s out there, what to look for, and what to stay away from. Thank's in advance everyone!!

 

mdan575

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1. How stuck are you on originality? IE 351W was not an option for our cars. I stuck with the 302 for that reason and it was what my car came with originally. Not only that but the added weight bias benefits on an aluminum head 302.

2. Are you comfortable with say a Stroker Assembly IE Scat or one of the other companies? I ask because your goal is much easier with more cubes.

I got my Aluminum Edelbrock Heads for $685 off Ebay which should get me right in the same area you are speaking of with the planned 331 Stroker. Same goals in my build. Off the Edelbrock Performer Heads(60cc Combustion Chamber Advertised) and Scat 331 Kit I should have in the area of 9.5-10:1 Compression

I am using an aluminum intake off an 84 Mustang currently which is a match to the Cast Iron 68 4bbl I previously had on the car. I might take a hit on a few HP but it is a good fit for my ram air kit.

One thing to keep in mind is our stock clutch also should get some attention at higher horsepower levels.

On the head side generally you will pay more for aluminum heads but they offer more weight loss. Another option I was looking at prior to finding my set was the Windsor Junior Cast Iron heads. They seem to be plentiful here in Virginia at a reasonable price. I have found a few used set for 500-600. Your machinist should be able to check them over to ensure they are good. A great sight to do some reading I linked below. Alot of useful knowledge with some great builds after you build up some posts on the sight(10 or more I think).

http://www.sbftech.com/

 

matrixx

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I havent ruled out a stroker kit, i have never built one though and i have heard they reduce engine life? not sure how true it is. My car originally came with 302 thats why id like to stay windsor powered. but im doing more restomad than worried about originality.

 

mdan575

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In that case I would jump to the 351W your goal becomes a lot easier and cheaper. All you have to do is find a reasonable donor motor then.

Far as cams go best to match them to the heads you get for best power.

I jumped to aftermarket heads because after some research a set of stock rebuilt and properly worked cast heads priced out about the same as the aluminum heads I got. Worked GT40's are what I was looking at on my case.

Far as reduced stroker engine life the tech has matured to a point where that really isn't a problem these days. Good machining and proper care is more important to long engine life

 
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matrixx

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See this it goes grey to me.. matching heads to cams? whats difference in matching stock iron heads, worked heads, or aluminum heads.

 

mdan575

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The various heads flow different amounts of air and also at different velocities. The cam makes the moving parts function. Actuating the valves. To get the best use of a particular head you want to match the cam specs to that head. That way the valves open and close during not only the best time but also for the best duration. One of the reasons I am a fan of the Trick Flow/Edelbrock and various other brands Top End Kits. The parts are matched to function well together and many times you can expect a certain amount of power with that combo. Takes the guess work out of it for the rest of us who aren't engine blueprinters. Me included

 
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Why don't you look at a Jegs or Summit crate engine catalog and see what they are putting together in your horsepower goal range and see what heads, cams and other parts they are using? Mostly the crate engine combos are relatively well considered and versatile designs. This can give you a good starting point for your project.

Personally, I would build a 351 using a late model roller cam block, and if not using stock heads that are ported, I'd look at TFS Twisted Wedge or RHS heads. The extra 50 pounds or so of the 351 is offset by the heads lighter weight.

Use a Hydraulic Roller cam for great performance and minimal need for valvetrain adjustments. Once you decide on the heads, talk to a cam manufacturer about what they recommend for bot the cam and the induction package for your goals.


http://www.fordcobraengines.com/engine/product-category/mustang-muscle-car-engine/page/2/

This is an example, not necessarily a recomendation, but it gets to your power goal with a lot of pretty basic parts

 
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woodsnake

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If you have a local car club/mustang club nearby, talk to other owners, and see how they like their own combo's, and what they would do differently. It's very easy to throw big numbers around, and brag, but at the end of the day, real people do drive real cars. Some guys may have bought a smaller cam, or more gear, or neither or both. The camshaft will determine the rear gear ratio, that should determine a 3,4, or 5 speed trans.

 

Don65Stang

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I know this you are asking engine advice but I have to inject this idea...

Always think of your car as a system of complimentary parts where one thing affects the other. You say your engine runs great, you have a manul trans and limited budget. The quickest, easiest and least expensive "system" bang for your buck is rear gears.

Depending on which manual transmission you have pick a corresponding rear gear and put it in. Secondly find a 351w roller block and drop it off at the machine shop with your friend and start putting away money over the next few months to pay the bill when it's done.

 

matrixx

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I have thought about gears for the rear end. It's 3:00 now factory with the 3spd. I don't know how much more I could go up and not have the engine spinning like crazy.

 

Paul of MO

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I agree with the ring gear change. Best seat of the pants performance increase for the buck. You can usually find an 8 inch pumkin and gear for a few hunderd bucks and swap them out in a few hours.

3.50's are good for what you are looking for.

You could also find a whole 9 inch rear axle and swap the whole thing.

If you go the engine route - a bone stock newer 351W roller with an alluminum 4V intake and headers will run great, sound nice, get ok MPG, and the best part it will pretty much drop right in. Tons of them out there cheap with plenty of life left in them.

(Put a 4 speed knob on your 3 speed handle and no one will know the difference.)

Paul

 
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matrixx

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I agree with the ring gear change. Best seat of the pants performance increase for the buck. You can usually find an 8 inch pumkin and gear for a few hunderd bucks and swap them out in a few hours.

3.50's are good for what you are looking for.

You could also find a whole 9 inch rear axle and swap the whole thing.

If you go the engine route - a bone stock newer 351W roller with an alluminum 4V intake and headers will run great, sound nice, get ok MPG, and the best part it will pretty much drop right in. Tons of them out there cheap with plenty of life left in them.

(Put a 4 speed knob on your 3 speed handle and no one will know the differnce.)

Paul
Thanks for the info, oh and when some ask I tell them it's a 4 speed. Hey!!reverse counts too!!

 

MotoArts

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Matrixx, I have a 5.8 Windsor, too. It is probably the next engine to be assembled out of my hoarder pile. Starting on top, I have a Stealth, a Performer RPM and a standard Performer for it. The high rise intakes look cool, but most likely are unnecessary. GT40X aluminum heads will replace the stock irons. I have a B303 and a E303 cam, not sure which one I'll settle on. People complain about the Ford "Alphabet Cams", but I don't care. I think either one will work with a slightly loose converter (moot point when using your 3 speed). Cobra bolt down roller rockers will go on, too. Carb will most likely be a 600 Holley. Gears (if I put in a C4) will be the stock 3.25's. If AOD, I'll put in the 3.82's from inventory. I'd say your existing 3.00's, although not perfect, should be just fine if you don't go nuts on cam, carb and intake.

I'd expect the engine to make 350 driveable, liveable horsepower, assembled and installed for around $800 total investment, and the used heads were 2/3rds of that. Sure, I bought the stuff right, but didn't plan on making a Drag Week contender car... ever.

IMO, people tend to go way overboard on components. Where I come from, vacuuming out your wallet doesn't always give a good return on investment when fun and reliability are at the top of the list.

 

Totalled

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393W is the most budget stroker. It uses stock app 302 pistons. Put some gt40 explorer heads on it, and a roller cam.

 

Don65Stang

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Matrixx, I have a 5.8 Windsor, too. It is probably the next engine to be assembled out of my hoarder pile. Starting on top, I have a Stealth, a Performer RPM and a standard Performer for it. The high rise intakes look cool, but most likely are unnecessary. GT40X aluminum heads will replace the stock irons. I have a B303 and a E303 cam, not sure which one I'll settle on. People complain about the Ford "Alphabet Cams", but I don't care. I think either one will work with a slightly loose converter (moot point when using your 3 speed). Cobra bolt down roller rockers will go on, too. Carb will most likely be a 600 Holley. Gears (if I put in a C4) will be the stock 3.25's. If AOD, I'll put in the 3.82's from inventory. I'd say your existing 3.00's, although not perfect, should be just fine if you don't go nuts on cam, carb and intake.

I'd expect the engine to make 350 driveable, liveable horsepower, assembled and installed for around $800 total investment, and the used heads were 2/3rds of that. Sure, I bought the stuff right, but didn't plan on making a Drag Week contender car... ever.

IMO, people tend to go way overboard on components. Where I come from, vacuuming out your wallet doesn't always give a good return on investment when fun and reliability are at the top of the list.

393W is the most budget stroker. It uses stock app 302 pistons. Put some gt40 explorer heads on it, and a roller cam.

^^^ Excellent advice right there.

 

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+1 on the 393. The bigger motor will let it be more street able with less gear. Even stock dished piston 351w with a little cylinder head work and a small cam will move a truck good so your car even with tall gears will work with less effort.

 

ramair

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Ok here is my answer to your question. I have done this swap, I put a roller cam 5.8 out of a 97 F250 in my 73 Mustang. My car previously had a 302 in it with a Lunati Voodo Cam with .520 lift, Edelbrock F4B intake, headers, 600cfm Holley, dual exhaust, Msd ignition with a C4 trans 2500 stall and I think 2.78 gear and 8" rearend. It ran good but needed more gear. When I pulled the 302 and went with the 351W, it was a night and day difference. My 351W is stock besides a Edelbrock Performer intake, headers, and the Msd ignition. I put in a stock convertor with a rebuilt C4 and swapped out the rearend with a 9" out of a 73 Cougar with I think 2.72 gears. The mild 351W in my car will run circles around my old hopped up 302. Here is the thing with this swap, motor mounts are the same. Flywheel on all 351w is 28 ounce balance, same as old 302's but newer 5.0's have 50 ounce balance, watch for this. 302 headers will not fit a 351W in our cars, you will have to get a specific header for the 351W, mine are Headmans and ran around $150. 302 alternator bracket and mounts will work on 351W. Power steering mounts and Ac mounts off 302 will not work on 351W. The best mount to work for our cars is to use 1969-70 Mustang/Cougar 351W PS or AC mounts, they fit and look right. All my pulleys off my 302 worked on my 351W conversion as did the starter, timing cover, water pump. This summer I am going to find some GT 40 heads or GT40P heads and put them on my 351W for a little bit more bark and bite. My total investment is under $1000 and it is way better than my old built 302. One other thing is watch for engine height, a tall intake will not fit a flat hood with a 351W.

 

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I love the 393w. I have one in my '68 coupe. As for heads, you should look around for a set on Craigslist or Racing Junk.com.

The amount of money you would need to spend to get a set of iron heads to flow, you could have bought a nice set of aluminum heads. I would say 3:50 gears are best all around gears. The east answer is:

351w with 9.5:1 compression

-224/240 @ .050" .540/.545-112'

Edelbrock RPM or Air Gap intake

performer heads

650-700cfm carb

This will give you 400hp. But you can honestly build a 393 for not much more (you don't necessarily need to go with all forged). A 393w with a 228/246 @ .050 cam will work well with a daily driven (town, freeway, traffic) car. But, you'll need a set of heads that can flow. AFR-185 or AFR-205 heads are my favorite. But you'll have plenty of power on tap.

A mild stroker won't make your engine any less reliable if you don't wind it up. And that 393 will make plenty of torque you won't have to spin in past 6000.

And if you wanted a Cleveland, I have a warmed over 4v Cleveland with a torker intake (I would change that).

 
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