Nooby need engine building help - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Hotrodding Basics
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2005, 10:19 PM
hearseycakes's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: california
Age: 26
Posts: 5
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nooby need engine building help

I have been interested in cars for as long as I can remember but I never really got the experiance. I know basicaly what most all parts do maybe not by name yet. So now that I turned 18 have had the car and finnaly have some money im ready to build. I have a 1978 ford LTD wagon I know that sounds weak but it was built as a first call car (picks up dead bodys from the scene of death kinda like a coroners car, Accept mine looks almost exactly like a hearse) and it has a good sized engine. Its all stock and in pretty good condition, theres a good chance my parents will get it painted for me for xmas but I wanna hot rod it a little. So it has a m351/400 block and from what I can tell its the 400 version I am not to worried about gas cause I have no where to go. My goal that I think is very reachable would be 300 to 400 hp, now from what ive been told my plans would get me there (I.E. Headers, Cam, Carb, Timing gear) So what I need to know is if you guys think that will work, if so what brands and models do you suggest for parts, if not What would I need instead or also? Honestly any input would help. One last thing how difficult would this be for me to do?

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2005, 11:11 PM
techinspector1's Avatar
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Last wiki edit: DynoSim combinations Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hemet, California, USA
Age: 72
Posts: 12,988
Wiki Edits: 326

Thanks: 768
Thanked 1,026 Times in 858 Posts
Based on personal experience, my best advice would be not to spend one red cent on a 400M and swap in a 460. Now, I know I'll get flak from the Ford guys, just like I get from the Chevy guys when I advise youngsters to use that silly 305 to anchor their boat and get a 350 to power their ride.

Use the first $12.89 that you would have spent on the 400M and buy this book....
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/185...books&v=glance
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2005, 11:34 PM
hearseycakes's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: california
Age: 26
Posts: 5
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well I will consider that as an option but from my experaince and friends experiance It would be cheaper to rebuild and replace almost everything on my engine then to try and find a 460. But I would love to find one because I could work on it out of the car and have probally more luck finding performance accessorys and ontop of all that being that it is a bigger engine I imagine the 400 goal would be pretty easy. Like I said I am tottaly open to anything you say even if its buy a chevy fords suck. Anything I disagree with I will probally disregard if I dont like it anyhow.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2005, 08:44 AM
farna's Avatar
Member
 
Last wiki edit: AMC V-8s Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Batesburg-Leesville, SC
Age: 52
Posts: 1,636
Wiki Edits: 14

Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
hearseycakes, from an economy standpoint you are correct -- it's cheaper to rebuild what you have then to swap, provided what you have is rebuildable. It may not be cheaper/better from a long term and/or power viewpoint though. The 400/351M is a great truck motor. Lots of low speed torque, but difficult to build for high output. Parts are limited, but like AMC V-8s (I'm an AMC nut), the parts that ARE available are the ones that produce the best results on that engine. Fewer choices makes it easier to get a good combination of parts that make the best use of the design. 20 different intakes just gives 19 chances that you pick the wrong one for the rest of the parts you have. It's the combination of parts, how well they work together, not the parts themselves.

Unless you REALLY like that big car, I'd suggest you not put to much into it. That's the last of the behemouths as far as Ford wagons are concerned (the same basic design carried on into the early 90s as the Country Squire). I first thought you had one of the "down sized" LTDs, which is an under appreciated car as far as performance potential. It's a "plus sized" Fox body in concept -- bigger, but more room under the hood, and not to heavy given the size. Of course it's just four door and wagon bodies, a big detractor for most.

Okay, so my advice: I wouldn't go with a big block unless you're positive that body is what you really want/like and you're planning on living with it at least a few years. If you desire a more nimble, smaller, "appropritae" car for a teen later, either stick with a MILD performance upgrade of the 400 or get a 351W. A 302 (5.0L) EFI engine will work fine too, but you'll likely need lower gearing. By sticking with the small block you can save some of your investment by dropping it in any of the Fox body derivatives (Mustang, Fairmont, etc.) or any other Ford body that had a small block V-8 (Maverick, older Mustang) and save some of your investment.

Check the 'net for 400M performance tips. You don't want a high rpm engine -- small block 400s have long strokes and will throw rods easier than other small blocks with shorter strokes when revved high. I'd limit the top end to 5,000 rpm to keep the engine healthy. Build it for more low to mid range torque (2,000-4,000 rpm would be a nice range for the torque curve) instead of big hp numbers. A torquey engine with a relatively low hp number will feel more powerful than an engine that builds big hp numbers at high rpm. It will also pull that big car much quicker. With high rpm engines you need to change torque converters and gearing so that power can be used in the engines high rpm power band. Don't get hung up on HP numbers!

I think I'd go with a nice set of block hugger headers (to facilitate using in another boady later) and 2.25" dual exhaust. If you're on a budget can the headers and get the exhaust. It would mean minor mods to the exhaust system to add headers later. Something along the lines of an Edelbrock Performer intake and 600-650 cfm carb would be nice. If the engine is tired and needs a rebuild, rebuild to stock specs except for a Performer cam (Edelbrock has done lots of research -- the Performer intake/cam combo will work well together). Since this is your first rebuild forget anything exotic. Roller rockers and such can be added later without much expense. You might go with a double roller timing chain as well, but don't worry with a high flow or pressure oil pump. The stock oil pump works great, if anything just get a slightly stiffer oil pressure relief spring to boost oil pressure by 5-10 psi. Most of this can either be transferred to another Ford small block later, or the whole engine can be transferred.

Just my $0.02!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2005, 09:25 AM
xntrik's Avatar
Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy.
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,131
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Here's from my experience with this car.

I had a new 73 400 C6 and a new 77 460 C6 car, each Country Squires. The difference in power was so minimal it was disgusting. The 460 consumed 15 % more fuel.

With a full tank of fuel and the cars empty, I weighed the 73 at 5000 even on a certified scale. The 77 weighed 5220 on a certified scale.

The first and most advantageous thing you can do is to install a '71 timing gear set. The factory cams are retarded 8* on the later cars. This feels like 25 hp !!!

Second get a good exhaust system and eliminate the cats and EGR functions. Recurve the distributor and make sure of a good tune. Do small diameter long tube headers if possible. Keep your pipes at 2 1/4.

If you can, and you should, upgrade your camshaft to a lower rpm high torque cam, keeping the lift down to about 470 lift unless you want to do head work. Remember the static compression is very low, those are open chamber heads and you must preserve all the cylinder pressure you can.

Don't forget how much it weighs.

Changing from 2.50 gears to 3.00 gears seems to help acceleration minimally with an expense of 2 mpg.

In short, these simple modifications will make the car significantly more powerful without breaking the budget. Otherwise I believe you are whipping a dead horse to attempt to get 400 hp. $$$$$$$$$ with disappointing results.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2005, 10:34 AM
OneMoreTime's Avatar
Hotrodders.com moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Health and safety in the shop or garage
Last journal entry: Yard Dog pic
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Age: 69
Posts: 7,392
Wiki Edits: 3

Thanks: 54
Thanked 154 Times in 144 Posts
What Xntrix said..Yup just do a nice stock rebuild with the timing run straight up..a 4bbl and my thoughts is These guys for a cam and timing gear set..Just call them and they grind the cam to suit the application..

I must say I have a failing for these unique kind of projects..A nice paint job..some wheels..a sound system..keep the A/C working and you have a great cruiser..BTW..used one of these big ole wagons for a tow car at one time and it worked fine..

Good project..keep us posted..and when you get ready paint post in the body exterior and someone will help you out..BTW is this one with the solid sides like a panel delvery?? Post a pic or two..

OMT
__________________
I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2005, 04:29 PM
hearseycakes's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: california
Age: 26
Posts: 5
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thing is the car has around 110,000 miles pretty damn close to perfect inside and tons of receipts to show was kept in great order. I do love this car it has the worlds best heater and ac and drives amazingly for being basicaly huge. My neighbor who had the same engine but on a truck said when he built his he used the timing gear, headers, mild carb set up and he was very near 300 hp (180 hp is the factory rating). I am not really hung up on horsepower I have just always wanted to build a semi performance engine and from what ive read in car magazines youd be suprised what can be done with even huge cars. I will try to get a better picture but basicaly it has vynle over the windows with launda bars (the curvy bars) the windows are blacked out on the inside and the rear compartment is bare metal with gurney holders. When I looked through the car I found a full bottle of embalming spray, a body bag, scapels, surgenes and all kinds of stuff I shouldnt legaly have that I think they didnt know was in there. So its a really really neat car and I can only find one anything like it online so its kinda my baby now. Plus my thought is my friend has a GMC 88 serria that easily spins tires and weve had it with 3 people and a full set of band equipment (two full stacks, 2 large pa speakers, and a few other things) and on the highway we had it up to 120 not even floored. So I was just thinking if his is only a 350 bare stock with all the smog parts and he has tons of ricer smoking power then why couldnt I do that and them some with my 400.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2005, 11:19 PM
xntrik's Avatar
Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy.
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,131
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
[QUOTE=xntrik]Here's from my experience with this car.

Changing from 2.50 gears to 3.00 gears seems to help acceleration minimally with an expense of 2 mpg.

QUOTE]

oops I meant to say

that changing from the 2.50 gears to 3.00 gears in the 460 car with trailer towing package (yes 2.50 gear) reduced mileage by 1/2 mile per gallon, from 12.7 to 12.2

The 400 had 2.75 gear and usually got 14.2 mpg.

That is the car only,,,,, no trailer.. with 5000 pounds behind me the 400 got 12, and the 460 got 10.

Yes that is with the upgraded timing gears in each. 77 460 still had the cats.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2005, 09:03 AM
farna's Avatar
Member
 
Last wiki edit: AMC V-8s Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Batesburg-Leesville, SC
Age: 52
Posts: 1,636
Wiki Edits: 14

Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
Almost any pickup will smoke the tires easily. That's because of the low weight over the rear tires AND because of lower gears and stiffer springs than even a big car. It's set up to carry a lot of weight. The stiffer springs don't wind up like softer ones would, so more "shock" goes to the wheels faster. Your wagon has higher gearing, softer springs, and a lot of weight over the rear end.

Spinning tires is over rated -- you're just wasting good rubber AND power! While the truck is spinning, the wagon will be moving forward. The spring wind up (assuming leaf springs -- even four links have some of the effect though, through compressing the bushings) helps -- the car starts moving then the springs unwind and give it a little shove.

I drive a wagon (63 Rambler) with a modern EFI straight six (warmed up Jeep Cherokee 4.0L). The EFI has a slight delay in it when you slap the gas pedal down quickly, just enough that the car barely starts moving before it gets the full fuel load. That's just enough to keep it from spinning, but it scoots! That is unless the pavement is wet or has loose sand on it. Then it moves out slowly because the wheels start spinning. That's almost caused a wreck! I just did get out of the way when I should have had plenty time. I have 3.55 rear gears and limited slip too. The limited slip prevents the spinning that the 3.55 would seem to encourage because both wheels plant instead of one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2005, 06:18 AM
RPM's Avatar
RPM RPM is offline
World Class ASE tech
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hills of TN
Age: 64
Posts: 704
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My thought is the car is too heavy to be fast. You will spend a lot of money trying to move all that weight. If the car is as nice as you say. I would sell it and get a Mustang. I know everybody has one. But there must be a reason for that. They are probably 1/2 the weight of the wagon. Then the money spent to improve the motor will really pay off. Just my 2 cents worth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2005, 08:34 AM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lakeland FL
Age: 65
Posts: 4,110
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
because the car is so heavy, think more low rpm TORQUE for everyday driving fun not HP for racing (high rpm's)

before you spend one penny on that motor, do a compression and leak down test to verify it still has some life/miles left in it

think quicker 0-60mph, which is xntrik's timing chain changes, helps most at normal operating RPM's,

you need 3.5 gears if you want "push you back in the seat" acceleration

I'd keep the factory 2V and manifold on it, works well for low to 4,000rpm torque

headers do little to increase TQ, help alot on peak RPM HP, for your car the stock manifolds with a "H" pipe dual exhaust builds TQ faster,

if the distributor is original (probably), I'd replace it with a stock re-manufactured due to the mileage on the motor and recurve it for all in about 2500rpm

unless the compression/leak down #'s were really good, I'd leave the stock cam (peaks at low rpm for TQ and flat curve) in the motor

summary: timing chain, distributor, rear gears = a nice strong cruiser, spend the money you saved on the paint job

Last edited by red65mustang; 11-29-2005 at 08:43 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2005, 12:00 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mountainair NM
Age: 57
Posts: 103
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here is a link to another discussion on the 351/400 Ford

The ford 351 modified
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2005, 11:31 AM
Max Keith's Avatar
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Fort Madison,Iowa
Age: 66
Posts: 2,391
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
M block build up

The 400 M block is a much underrated engine, mainly because it came out at the wrong time, and there is little equipment available for it. Not to fear though, as it uses the same cams and ignition as does the Cleveland, as well as heads.
You can build a mega torque engine out of the 400, with a lot of reliability.
Its easy to get 350-375 HP at the flywheel out of one.
A couple things to consider in your buildup.
First off is the oiling system.
The M block, along with the Cleveland and Limas have what is referred to as an indescriminate oiling system. the passages from the crank mains going to the cam bearings are too big, allowing too much oil to go up top, starving the crank at higher RPM.
The simple cure for this is to get 5- 2 inch 3/8ths diameter and 5 1 inch 3/16ths diameter roll pins. Starting with #2 main and working back to #5 main and the rear oil passage going to the lifter gallery off of #5 main, drive the 3/8ths" diameter roll pins into these passages, about 2/3 of the way in. Then drive the 3/16ths pins inside the 3/8ths pins. Then drive them all the way in til they clear the bearing shell. This will eliminate your oiling problem, and its a lot cheaper than the tap and thread in restrictors that sell for about $10 a set. Not to mention a lot less work.
Second item is the valves. In what was not one of Fords better ideas, the valves in your M block are a two piece unit, and high spring pressure and or high RPM, can cause the head of the valve to remove itself from the stem, causing some expensive noises inside your engine.
Replace them with standard 1 piece valves.
Edlebrock and Weiand both make excellent manifolds for the M block, and they arent that much more in expense than for other more popular engines.
Ford made an iron 4 bbl manifold for the 400, for one or two years, for the California market. About the only positive thing I can say about this intake is that it will bolt on a 4 bbl carb, and not really worth the effort, unless you are wanting to race the vehicle in a class that requires stock 4 bbl intakes.
In your exhaust ports you will find a tonsil hanging down, which is where the port for air injection is. This tonsil is very disruptive of exhaust flow. If you do no other mods to the heads to improve flow charactoristics, get a carbide rotory file, and a source of power for it, and remove the tonsil. This tonsil can block up to 1/3rd of the exhaust port.
Other than that, a good 3 angle valve job, is about all you really need for a warmed up street engine.
The easiest way to gain compression is to have your heads milled .040". This will put you up to or maybe a little over 9:1 compression, vs the stock 8:1.
When you install your intake, due to the heads being cut, you will run into a port alignment problem, and possibly even a manifold bolt alignment problem.
Easy cures for this.
On your intake ports in the head, chamfer out the opening at a 45 degree angle then taper the inner edge to smooth it out. Dont go out more than about 1/8th inch with the chamfer onto the intake face of the head.
Do not taper or chamfer the intake manifold runners, as this will put you right back where you started with port alignment.
Do not install the front and rear intake gaskets at the ends of the cam gallery. Instead put some silicon sealer along those two ridges.
Before installing the silicon, put the manifold in place to make sure your intake bolts will align with the head. If you run into a problem here, Take a drill bit one size larger than the bolt holes in the intake and drill them out. This will give you the clearance needed to put in the bolts, and wont affect clamping ability of the bolts.
I would also recommend putting flat washers on your intake manifold bolts. Something Ive discovered over the years is that a flat washer one size smaller fits quite well on a bolt. In other words, using a 1/4 inch washer on a 5/16ths bolt, and so on. Going 1/16th smaller gives you a washer that fits snuggly on your bolt, vs one that will move around.
Something else to consider, is your push rods. Since you have cut the heads .040", naturally, your pushrods are now too long and have to be replaced, or else use shims under the rocker arm pedestols, correct? Not necessarily.
Many years ago, I went through this with a Cleveland. Having cut the head, I installed the shims to raise the pedestol the correct amount, only to find my pushrods were too loose. I had cut the heads .030".
Upon investigation, I found that the new cam I had installed had a .030" smaller radius base circle on the lobes than did the stock cam. Removing all the shims put me right back where my geometry on the pushrods should have been.
When you put the engine back together, this is a little item you should consider.
As for carburetion, I would go with a 600 CFM, vacuum secondary carb, and you will need a carb that has the kickdown arm for the transmission linkage. As for Holley carbs, the part number will generally start with an 8, which denotes having Ford transmission kickdown linkage on it. IE; a #1850 series carb vs a #81850 series. Be sure to double check with your friendly parts guy just to be sure.
Finding headers to fit your Full sized Ford with the M block may be a problem, however, with a bit of light grinding on the runners of the stock manifolds, can yield a lot of benefits.
Two things to work on are the manifold face where it mates to the head. Lightly chamfer this out as you did with the intake port on the head itself.
Remove any casting flash, or mold lines inside the runners, and very lightly re radius the lower side of the ports in the manifold. Dont get wild here, as this isnt that thick of metal, and you could wind up going through the floor very easily.
The best way to see the port in the exhaust manifold as well as the intake port in the head are as looking at a funnel, and the port or runner feeding them like a garden hose. You want the hose to be spraying into the funnel and not around the edges, if you get the drift here.
I dont know what your state allows for exhaust mods. If you are allowed to modify it, as far as the cats go, install a pair of cats the same size as your stock one, putting one on each bank, and run dual exhaust, with an H or X pipe between them. I would run 2 1/4 inch exhaust with high capacity turbo mufflers. On that note, I once had an 85 Crown Vic 2 dr with a 302 in it. It came from the factory with twin cats, one for each bank. I ran dual 2 inch straight pipes all the way out the back, and mufflers werent even needed. It had a very mellow tone to it, as you would get with many turbo mufflers. It wasnt at all intrucive in sound. ive got some cam suggestions etc, but not going to get into those at this time.
If you have any other questions feel free to send me a PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Hotrodding Basics posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
engine building 72chevyC/10 Engine 10 09-06-2005 10:01 PM
Rebuilt Engine Squeaking, Driving me Nuts! BH69Camaro Engine 24 04-22-2005 08:51 PM
New Engine Built & Dyno'd babe_n_indy Engine 69 09-09-2004 07:26 PM
building first engine 71chevellepa Hotrodding Basics 7 10-03-2003 11:54 AM
Whats a good Engine building (Assembling) Book? Nos Engine 8 09-16-2003 02:08 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.