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Nico 06-14-2003 06:08 PM

Need help with a 351W build
Greetings all! I have been doing a LOT of research trying to figure out how to build a reliable 351W with approx 450+ hp/ ftlbs and still maintain 10mpg in the city (if not more). Money doesn't present TOO much of an object, but I don't want to spend more than 8k or so. I will not be putting on an FI kit unless I can get a very good one for under my current engine budget. I will put in FI at some point in the future however. As I have stated, I want it to be reliable and my main goal is to get those numbers naturally asperated.

I want to go with:

complete roller assembly and I don't really have a lot of experience with roller items (anyone recommend a specific brand for the rockers/ lifters etc? ) And what ratio would you recommend?


Edelbrock performer RPM manifold, or an Air-Gap (not sure if it will fit-- any using a 351W with an Air-Gap on a '66 mustang?

I'll need to get probably 10:1 compression and I'm not sure what
I should go with on the pistons. Anyone have any recommendations?

I plan on using an MSD ignition system as well as an electric waterpump and fuel pump

Thinking about a holley 750 for the carb. Any recommendations here? more or less?

Cam I'm getting from Lunati and I don't have the exact grind at the moment, but I'd certainly like some other recommendations here as well. Remember i'm going with a roller assembly.

Next, I'm pretty sure a stock crank can do the job just fine, however I'd like other opinions as well.

Rods-- should I use H beam rods? I will more than likely be putting more crap on the engine so I want everything to have room for growth. And if so, can any recommend some brands you have experience with?

Also looking at chromemoly pushrods from crane-- anyone used these and do you recommend them or another brand?

Basically I want the engine to be VERY solid at ~450+hp/ft. lbs. with room for expansion in the future. Any and all comments on engine build are more than welcome. If anyone here has a high mileage, solid 351W that puts out the numbers I'm looking for, PLEASE share your configuration with me. Like I say, i'm looking for NA at the moment, However I'd like for my build to be able to handle FI at some point.

I have a decent idea of what I want to put into it, however I'd like as much outside help/ info/ recommendations as possible. Thanx a lot for the help and input!


DoubleVision 06-14-2003 08:39 PM

I`m not much help on fords. However, a electric water pump on the street won`t cut it. making that kind of power it`ll never keep it cool. 10 MPG with 450/450, You`ll need a AOD tranny for starters, and combustion efficientcy plays a role here also, so you`ll want to pay attention to the quench distance and so forth.

mstngjoe 06-14-2003 09:23 PM

Considering your goal and the components you have mentioned, you may want to look into a custom cam.

There are a couple of very good Ford guys around with great reputations and many satisfied customers.

I have a custom cam spec'd by Buddy Rawls. Take a look at his web site:

There's another guy by the name of Ed Curtis that has quite a rep too. Try a search on Google.

Sounds like you have a nice project going. :)

I'm partial to strokers myself. :cool: Especially in the early Mustangs.

Good luck. ;)

woodz428 06-14-2003 09:28 PM

If you are willing to spend up to 8K, I'd get an Aluminum headed crate motor use a good 5 spd (or an AOD-E if you want to be shiftless) and a good mass air injection. It should be a pretty easy task to hit both goals.

Nico 06-15-2003 04:07 PM

Thanx for the help guys. I have a brand new TKO waiting to go into it. Also thinking about putting 3.5s into the rearend.


a electric water pump on the street won`t cut it. making that kind of power it`ll never keep it cool
Now that is one thing I hadn't actually considered. Why do you say it wouldn't be able to keep cool? I haven't looked into which particular pump to use, more like kicking the idea around. What would you recommend to help the cooling?

As for the combustion efficiency, I am hoping that a complete MSD ignition system (including the distributor) will help that out a lot.


Considering your goal and the components you have mentioned, you may want to look into a custom cam.
Thats actually what I was doing with Lunati. One of the guys there had a couple ideas and he gave me the specs on a grind and recommended I research it to make sure it was what I needed. However cam grinds are one of those elusive pieces of engine technology to me. I have read a ton of information on it and I understand each number individually, however putting them all together and understanding the entire process is a bit daunting. Anyway, I will definitely check out the guy you recommended and do more asking around and etc.

I was thinking about stroking it, but I don't believe I will. Only thing I'll be doing is putting it .030 over. However if someone can tell me I can get 10mpg/ city with a stroker, I might consider that. I certainly like the torque aspect of it, however I'm just worried it will negatively impact my mileage requirements.


If you are willing to spend up to 8K, I'd get an Aluminum headed crate motor
I have had quite a few friends that got crate motors, and I must say I've been very disappointed with most of them. Even the high dollar/ high quality ones are not quite what I have expected. If you can point me in the direction of some very, very well made crate motors I will take a look at them.

Again, thanx for the input! Any other comments are more than welcome-- fire away!


mustang66maniac 06-15-2003 09:15 PM

If I were you, id use h-bead rods becuaes stock 351 rods wont be up to the task. Another intersting idea would be to contact speed-o-motive and get one of their long rod kits for the 351w. It uses the 400m length rods measuring 6.58 inches instead of stock 5.958. They say you can run 11:1 with 89 octane and aluminum heads with these rods. That should help a lot with hp and torque.

I would definately use AFR 185s, all ive heard is good reviews from the magazines about them. Also, use 1.6 roller rockers and 7/16 studs.......i broke a 3/8 stud in my 302 just from street abuse.:mad:

I agree with the performer rpm airgap and 750 carb. Im not sure if itll fit under the hood of a 66 mustang though, acutally..probably not, i have performer rpm and 600cfm edie carb with a 3 inch filter in mine and its about 1/2 inch from the hood. Check out speed demon carbs too, my brother got one for his 408 and theyre well worth the money.

Id use an MSD6AL so you dont overrev it. ALso, get a distributor with vaccum advance, itll give you better gas mileage without taking away performance. (if you dont know the difference between the two, the vaccum advance advances the timing when you cruise, so instead of giving it gas too keep going, the rpms stay up from the advanced timing)

THe stock crank should be has 3 inch mains afterall.

If your looking at fuel injection, edelbrocks work good i've they look coooool. Anybody seen the one they put on the bronco in monster garage???

An AOD would definately help out, as would a 5 speed. 3.50s sound good for street use, but you could go up to 4.11s with overdrive without being killer on gas mileage. Heres some links for the swaps into old mustangs. t-5 AOD

Also...on another note, just for fun on desktop dyno i built a 351 for the engine building contest for hotrod magazine. I used edelbrocks flow numbers for their 2.02/1.60 heads, a dual plane manifold, 750 carb, 10.5:1 compression, compcams# 35-452-8 (230/230 @.050, .544/.544) hyd roller cam and this is what it gave me....448hp @6000rpm, and 443ft-lbs @ 4500rpm. This is without taking the long rods into consideration becuase desktop dyno wont allow you to. I think your combo should get your goal numbers.

so...there's my 2 cents

Nico 06-15-2003 10:07 PM

I will definitely check out those rods. Running 11:1 on 89 octane? almost sounds too good to be true... :P

I had checked out either the Twisted Wedges or the AFRs and I've heard good things about AFR and more good things regarding those. Always good to hear more positive comments.

As for the airgap -- yeah I dont think it'll fit either :( even tho i'm putting on the TPC engine mounts (dammit they better be worth the friggin price) and that drops the engine about 1 inch or so, i think its still too tall. If it'd be worth it, I'd even consider getting a 'glass hood with a scoop....

yep the 6AL was what I had been looking at. Good to have a confirmation on it.

FI will be way in the future.

Yep that TKO is a 5spd

And i'm definitely going to be using H-beam rods. Godawful expensive but worth it.

Thanx for the input! Anybody else have any advice?


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