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Old 02-11-2020, 10:10 PM   #1
1931flathead
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Default 351w block problems

Trying to build up a 351w motor I was told you want to find a older one cause they are stronger and I read some were they had oiling problems but never found out were

Planning building a stroker motor

Thanks for your input
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: 351w block problems

I've been around and into a number of 351W engines and never ran into "oiling problems". You may be thinking of the 351C engines which had a problem because oil was routed to the cam bearings before the main bearings.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: 351w block problems

What he said!
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: 351w block problems

There are 2 different deck height 351W's. 69 and 70 were 9.480 and 71 up were 9.503. The only oil problem I read about was a lot of the 95 roller cam blocks would crack the cam tunnel were they were drilled and tapped for the lifter hold down spider. The crack would be above the cam bearing. The 78 that I rebuilt had the better rod bolts with football heads instead of square heads. The truck engines I tore down from the 80's did also.

Last edited by 5851a; 02-12-2020 at 10:43 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: 351w block problems

There are two different deck heights in the 335 family of engines. The 351C and the 351M that was used in a lot of pickups.

I like the early Windsor engines. A lot of folks chose the 351C over the 351W due to architecture back in the day. That just left more Windsors for guys that knew what they could get out of them. I've know guys that had both and most of the 351C blocks ended up with holes in them. A good friend of mine that in now in hot rod heaven, built a 351W that would twist the lug studs off the right wheel of a 66 Fairlane. The car was faster than it could be handled. It scared both of us more than once. The 351W came out of a Galaxie 4-door originally and there wasn't anything real special about it other than a cam and some porting & polishing.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: 351w block problems

the c engines were junk.they not only had block problems but the heads cracked and wore their valve guides.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: 351w block problems

Used to drag race clevelands in the early 70's and had pretty good luck. Never had a block or oiling issue For what was available in performance parts then, they worked much better than a Windsor. The only problem I had with guides was finding a machine shop that could set them up properly. As far as the 4V heads being overkill and not good performers, maybe not today, but 50 years ago they worked better than anything a SBF or SBC had to offer. With the right cam, compression and carburation it wasn't hard to make a early mustang run the high 11's
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:20 AM   #8
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Question Re: 351w block problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrell View Post

... the c engines were junk.they not only had block problems but the heads cracked and wore their valve guides.
... junk ... ?

Why not tell the board how you really feel?

I had a 351CJ in a 73 RANCHERO and that thing would scream. And that was with the 4300 carb.

FORD did have some design issues, one being oil supply and the other the canted valves. But both could be compensated for.

And they look good in a 57 ...
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: 351w block problems

I certainly wouldn't call the 351C junk but I've seen what can happen to them under extremes when using stock rods. Breakage was less common with the small block 351 but any of them will break if pushed too hard. What killed the 351C was the change to the tall deck design and the oil crisis that happened after that. It's production was short lived at the end of the muscle car era. New blocks are available now so it will be interesting to see how they hold up. Kind of expensive going that route though but if you need a new engine for an old Mercury Cyclone GT or even a Pantera then at least there is one.

For extreme use, I'm still an FE guy. I never tried this but there is info out there that the 2V Cleveland heads can do about the same thing we did with porting and polishing for the 351W. It just takes some mods to get any of the 335 family 2V heads to work on the Windsor block. It boosts compresion a bit and makes them breath a bit better. I hear it makes a good bit of difference but I've yet to try it. Ford 351 engines will run well no matter which side of the river they were made on.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 02-13-2020 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: 351w block problems

I never got in to 351 or 429 style blocks back in the day. In the past few years, I have run in to more than one guy who ruined it because the machine shop plugged all the oil holes but left the two out of the lump above the cam.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 351w block problems

It's pretty hard to go wrong with any Ford engine. The emission years before fuel injection were hard on all manufacturers. The 351W survived through it all from Mustangs to Mini homes. I don't know why Ford killed off unless it was café standards. Now we are back again to monster 7.3 truck engines with pushrods. Whats next a ecoboost flathead?
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: 351w block problems

Somebody say ecoboost Flathead?????????????
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