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Old 07-30-2006, 08:23 PM
onebadmerc's Avatar
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Should I put it back to original or not?????

This last January I bought my girlfriend a 1970 Ford Mustang that I plan on fixing up for her. The Mustang is a M code car, but it is missing the original motor. To all of you out there who don't know, a M code Mustang in 1970 is a 4 barrel 351 Cleveland powered car. The other big thing with this car is that it is a coupe, not a fastback. This car had alot of the options except for power disc brakes. It had power steering, AC, factory tach, but that too is missing, tilt column, etc... The big question, should I find another 351 Cleveland 4 barrel engine for it and restore it back to original or should I put a different engine in it. I currently have a extra Ford 460 and a 302 looking for a home. Both these engines will need rebuilt, so should I go original and hunt down a 351 Cleveland. The other option is, should I go for overkill and stroke the 460 to 500+ cubes and stuff it in there or should I go for a warmed over 302?????

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Old 07-31-2006, 08:58 AM
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If it was mine I think I would do a "resto-mod" with it. Modern disk brakes, upgraded suspension, hopped up 351/4 speed, A/C, killer stereo, etc.

Going with the big block will make it handle like crap as all the big block Mustangs did. They were good for straight line performance but were too nose heavy to handle well. The 351 is an excellent compromise.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:03 AM
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ask your girlfriend since she will be the driver of what you build.
remimber if she ain't happy you won't be either.
my opinion would be the put it stock if the car is in good shape,but if the car has been butchered keep cutting and go will the 460.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:16 AM
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nitro_baller4692 that is a good point, I should ask her what she wants for a motor. It is her car, she probably wouldn't like a nose heavy Mustang with a big old fuel eating stroked 460. I'll ask her and see what she wants, if she want a 200 inline six stuffed in it that is what I will put in her car. This is the first coupe I have ever seen with a 4 barrel 351 Cleveland engine option, so I didn't know what I should do, I will ask her, thanks everybody.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:28 AM
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I'm building a motor for my wifes car right now. It is a 70 mustang convertable with the original 4V cleveland and 4 speed. Another somewhat rare factory build. Most of the ragtops came with 302/autos
If you try to build it back to stock, use the later block and open chamber 4V heads or aussie heads. The later blocks are less prone to be cracked, and have a little more meat for decking and boring. (at least thats what my machinist told me after chucking 3 unserviceable blocks)

The 70 heads are great if you can build the motor to take advantage of their potential, They do much better when allowed to rev. They are not torque monsters at all at low rpms.


I am building ours back to mostly stock for the sake of originality, and it will be a compromise at best.

If I did not care about that, I would use a windsor. Those perform well, don't have the cooling, oiling and low end issues that a cleveland does, and they are lighter also.

A 302 is a good motor if you want reliability and you can make them run well for cheap. my sisters 70 notchback got 22 mpg and was a real nice driver. I have never heard of anyone getting better than 12 mpg with a cleveland.

I won't say that a cleveland won't be a great motor, it is just hard to build one to run right in todays world with the crappy gas. I'm trying to pick a cam for ours right now, here is a thread about that:help with a cam choice

Here is what a 4V head looks like from the intake side. The ports and valves are way bigger than they need to be. They are 240 CC. How fast do you think that motor needs to spin before that port starts working?



You could park a car in that port.

IMO if I were starting off with nothing, and was not so concerned with originality, I would build something other than a cleveland. The big block is not a really good choice either as centerline already mentioned.

Hope this helps, mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 07-31-2006 at 09:40 AM. Reason: get rid of a poor comparison.
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