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Author Topic: Creative small block build ideas  (Read 12797 times)
IndianaJones
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« on: April 29, 2017, 06:20:04 am »

Please help me with some engine build specs, or if you could point me in the direction of a similar engine build, that would be cool.

I’m trying to get ideas for a truly budget build, not using off the shelf aftermarket parts, but hopefully being able to put some ingenuity to use, and creatively put various junkyard parts together do build up something decent, and hopefully being able to take the fight to the LSx crowd, using mostly old tech on the long block.

I want to use cast iron heads, and build a long block that someone could have built in the late 70’s.

So what would your engine spec look like, if you had to build an N/A SBF engine, for maximum streetable horsepower, only using parts available up to the late 70’s, or parts which could be custom fabricated during that time?

Basically the only modern concessions I’ll make, would be electronic ignition, making carburetion/throttle bodies unrestricted, and modern cam grinds.

What interesting solutions did the Trans Am/Group 2 or drag racers of the time, come up with to just get that last bit of a power advantage over their competitors?

I’ve also looked into building an old tech inline-6, like the 300ci Ford, and turbocharge it with converting to EFI, but just prefer the sound of a V8 over it, might even want to turbocharge the old tech small-block later on.

Any spitball suggestions will be appreciated.
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dennis112
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 07:40:02 am »

As far as a small block and readily available parts, build a 351 Cleveland motor.  Alternately, a better choice might be a Clever (351W block, 351C heads) although you would need to use an aftermarket intake manifold.   That's the best that you can do N/A with factory available parts.  You will be leaving a lot on the table if you rule out currently aftermarket heads which are light years more advanced than factory offerings of the 60's/70's (disregarding the potential of the old Cleveland heads which have also been surpassed by the aftermarket equivalents.)

Other than that, your really not going to meet your criteria as inline factory Ford heads (including heavily ported early cast 351W's) are woefully inadequate vs the stuff available today.
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Dennis

65' Stang, 434W NA, Victor Heads, Super Vic Intake, 11:1, Braswell Carb, Bullet SR Cam, G101A 4-Speed, 4:56 rear, 93 Octane Pump Gas  9.82@138.00
IndianaJones
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 08:03:44 am »

I know it's not ever going to make as much power as ally heads, but I want to find out what is possible.
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cheapbastard
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 09:18:44 am »

This is one of those "just for the principle of the matter" kinds of builds which forces multiple compromises.
What is the engine going in and what is the intended purpose?
Like Dennis said you are leaving "easier" horsepower on the table.
However, if you don't need it to be super streetable or if you are willing to use nitrous, a blower or a turbo you can make some power (albeit not as much as with good heads)

1). Build as big an engine as you can.  351 Windsor, Cleveland, even a 400 "Cleveland" with adapter plates.
2). If not going turbo or blower don't be afraid of compression.  Mill the snot out of whatever old cast iron head you use and allow the cam design to bleed off enough pressure to make it run on pump gas or better yet run it on E85.
3). If building a 289 or 302 rev the snot out of it.  If so, don't be afraid of gearing it.  Put a 4:56 gear or deeper in it with an overdrive trans or a deep first gear automatic.
4). Look at what super stock racers and circle track racers are doing with stock parts in restricted classes.
5). Put whatever you build in the lightest chassis you can find such as a lightened fox body, maverick, falcon, Fairmont, ranger, early mustang, etc.
6). For small block Windsor head modifications look at current threads on SpeedTalk site.  Buy a good respirator and get very used to breathing in cast iron dust from porting.
7). Work with a good cam grinder and explain clearly what your intention is.
Cool. Welcome
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It sucks to get old but at least the expectations are lower...
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Outlaw Bill
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 10:05:04 am »

Cleveland cylinder head will make the most power out of any factory Ford cylinder head. The 1969 351W cylinder head is next , they are comparable to the later GT-40 iron cylinder heads.
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knucklefux
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 11:06:11 am »

I agree with the Cleveland head recommendations.  If you're willing to spend a lot of money on machine work, you could probably cobble together something with a 351w block, 400m crank, and 4v Cleveland heads.  Please emphasize the probably.  And A LOT of money. 

Bottom line is, you're trying to hang with modern ls stuff with old, outdated stuff that was hamstrung by epa emissions regs.  I guess it's a good plan if you like losing
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IndianaJones
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 11:54:50 am »

Yes, you are correct, it is a "just for the principle of the matter" build. In the process, I'd like to improve my knowledge of old skool engine builds, how improvements are made without computer tuning.

Anyone can buy parts off the shelf, I want this to be something different. In a way, it is more about the build than actually beating the modern stuff.

It will either go into a 42 Ford hot rod pickup, or an old English Ford, thus the body would be light.

Its purpose, is to sharpen my engine build skills, and once done, to scare me on the weekend, to get through driving the econobox in the week. Unfortunately, it will have to run a lot more hours on the street, than at the track.

Revving the snot out of a 289/302, is how rpms?

I am especially interested in what “racers are doing with stock parts in restricted classes.”

I like the idea of a 400 Clevor...
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juiced coupe
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 12:15:06 pm »

While it is possible to build the 408 Clevor with a modified 400 crank and Mopar rods, it just doesn't make much sense these days.

You will spend more money to have inferior parts.


I would keep the rotating assembly and valvetrain modern, and then use the classic castings, etc.

And I wouldn't even get into the stock class racing voodoo. Don't be fooled, those are race engines. They are just built to fit within a certain set of rules.
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
Outlaw Bill
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 12:48:23 pm »

Yes, you are correct, it is a "just for the principle of the matter" build. In the process, I'd like to improve my knowledge of old skool engine builds, how improvements are made without computer tuning.

Anyone can buy parts off the shelf, I want this to be something different. In a way, it is more about the build than actually beating the modern stuff.

It will either go into a 42 Ford hot rod pickup, or an old English Ford, thus the body would be light.

Its purpose, is to sharpen my engine build skills, and once done, to scare me on the weekend, to get through driving the econobox in the week. Unfortunately, it will have to run a lot more hours on the street, than at the track.

Revving the snot out of a 289/302, is how rpms?

I am especially interested in what “racers are doing with stock parts in restricted classes.”

I like the idea of a 400 Clevor...

You can still learn/sharpen engine building skills with better-aftermarket parts. Don't forget machine work for adjustable valve train, new valves, valve guides, seats, and etc. Building old stuff is not cheap, plus it makes less power per $ spent.
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www.TeamZmotorsports.net

TeamZmotorsports 25.2 outlaw drag radial stock suspension 1991 Mustang
Thank You to the following for their help
TeamZmotorsports
Marcella Manifolds
Schoneck Composite
Ultimate Converter Concepts


"Stupid is as stupid does", "You can't fix stupid"
"Common sense is not common"
IndianaJones
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2017, 02:07:43 pm »

Yes, aftermarket parts are better, easier, etc, etc. Unfortunately over here, with the added shipping costs, taxes, etc, they are also prohibitally expensive, and used aftermarket ally heads are just not available. Machining costs over here are more acceptable, as I am a fitter and turner by trade, I am even able to do a lot of the machine work myself.

As soon as I bolt a set of aftermarket heads on a SBF over here, no matter if it’s even Chinese heads, it no longer is a budget build, and it is much easier getting to decent power levels with a Japanese brand engines.
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juiced coupe
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2017, 02:29:38 pm »

Well, I'm not sure what the junkyards are stocked with over there, but the factory parts that you'd want to use are getting harder to find over here.

I don't think that I've seen a Cleveland engine in a jy since I was a teenager. I see a 351M/400 every once in a while.

289? Forget about it. They are getting hard to find, even if you know where to look.

Early 302? Maybe. But I'd expect more later stuff instead.

Windsors? 80s stuff, if you're lucky.

If you're dead set on using factory stuff, I'd probably look for a roller 351 and GT40 heads. Finding good early stuff is getting harder and harder, even over here.
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
IndianaJones
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 05:39:28 pm »

We received regular American production SBF’s over here until around 1968, and Australian production SBF’s from around 1968 to 1978, and a 5.0 HO for one model in 1984/85, and that’s about it. Here and there you find some odd models, which were personal imports, but that’s about it.

Now and again I’ll see 4V Cleveland heads for sale, or complete 400M motors, but there ain’t any GT40/P or roller heads over here, or at least ones that are somewhat commonly available.

There is an importer over here, bringing in salvaged 4.6 and 5.4 mod motors, would they make more power, on a stock longblock, with a low boost turbo, than the talked about 351W, or 351C or Clevor could?
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juiced coupe
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 07:29:40 pm »

In those year models, Clevelands and 69-74 Windsors are what I'd be looking for.

If doing a Clevor type build, any Windsor short block is a good base.

In all honesty, how much power are you wanting to make? And what are your goals?
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Doing more with less, or something like that.
http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,20009.0.html

Quote from: Monte Smith
Bottom line, if it was the hot ticket, the fast guys would do it.............they don't

You might need some Titanium rods and a flow bench!  LMAO on floor

I honestly don't get it.

I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my clutch foot is twichin', and my right arm punched the computer screen doing an involentary 2-3 shift while reading all that. 
Outlaw Bill
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 09:35:29 pm »

The 5.0L explorers had GT-40/GT-40P heads.
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www.TeamZmotorsports.net

TeamZmotorsports 25.2 outlaw drag radial stock suspension 1991 Mustang
Thank You to the following for their help
TeamZmotorsports
Marcella Manifolds
Schoneck Composite
Ultimate Converter Concepts


"Stupid is as stupid does", "You can't fix stupid"
"Common sense is not common"
SteveL
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 11:46:38 pm »

We received regular American production SBF’s over here until around 1968, and Australian production SBF’s from around 1968 to 1978, and a 5.0 HO for one model in 1984/85, and that’s about it. Here and there you find some odd models, which were personal imports, but that’s about it.

Would those have been Basil Green XR8s?

Is this the IndianaJones from AMC?  Good to see you here,  and listen to these guys,
most have forgotten more than I'll ever remember...

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Steve.K.Bates

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