351 Cleveland Advice

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351 Cleveland Advice

Post by Jody_VA » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 19:42

Hi All

After a ship load of reading and asking advice from people I've come out learning more and also ending up more confused than before.. :roll:

But, I need some advice on building a high revving powerful v8 with a budget constraint. Not big power but decent to make a 12s pass and hit 7000rpm

I have a 351C 2v with open chamber heads mated to a F250. It was rebuilt by the previous owner. Not much is known about the rebuild but I'm guessing a piston, bearing, gasket, oil pump, timing chain kit or just a piston bearing kit.

I have this engine mated to a T5 that had 'windened gears' im taking it as he dovetailed the gears to mesh better?

Anyway, I've been told that a T5 is not strong enough for a Cleveland, bare in mind its a stock 2v currently so it is still fine. But, I was given many alternatives, Rebuilt C4 or C6 box, Cressida M58 box, Toploader T4 and FMX Box. I also have a C4 which hasn't been rebuilt and a Toploader T4 mated to my Fairlane 289.

I may restore the F250 but I may part it to cover costs of the engine build as the license is behind. So the Cleveland is not necessarily for the F250. I'd like to build it to mate to a lighter body car, maybe a Cortina or Grenada, Capri, or Fairmont, whatever will be easiest and most cost effective still being respectable.

Which leads me to my question

How quick can you go with a Cleveland build at what cost vs a windsor build, is there any apparent improvement in the Cleveland's power output that makes it worth it..

Considering the wealth of Windsor aftermarket parts including aluminium cylinder heads that come with an adjustable valve-train etc vs spending the money on machining Cleveland heads as well as the overall saving in costs of a Windsor build

Please share your knowledge if you've built a 351C

1. 2v or 4v
2. Intended use of engine and chassis that it was mated to
3. Modifications done
4. Total spent
5. Dyno results or estimated HP/KW
6. Overall satisfaction with the build

I'm trying to weigh up the costs vs benefits of building a 302-331-347 stroker vs 351c 2v N/A or forced induction vs 351c 4v N/A

Im also a big fan of a 351C 4v hitting 7000rpm since I watched a video on YouTube and its been my goal to achieve that ever since..
I've got great advice so far from Rassie about the 2v being a killer off the line but losing steam at higher revs whereas the 4v making up for the lower end bog and coming in strong around 4000rpm. I would be interested to see some Dyno figures though if anyone can share that or even just personal experience with a Cleveland.

I haven't had a chance to draft this on pen and paper to really consider whether this is an achievable option for me or not

I know the phrase goes: Q how fast do you want to go? A How much are you willing to spend :lol:

So to put a limit on it.. if it can smoke the wheels until 3rd gear, hit 7000rpm without breaking, and do a 1/4 mile around or under 12s, that would tickle my fancy :D

Not that the two can be compared but a VW 20v can meet these goals above, well for much cheaper but it wont give me the same satisfaction as a v8 would

I am a Classic Car and v8 enthusiast but I would also like to be practical before I go into a build blindly

Thanks for your input!


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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by ZA Perana » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 19:35

Honestly why 7000 rpm? For that you are going to at the very least need lightened and balanced internals and probably forged parts. Cost I would imagine will be horrendous.

They guy to really answer this question, the Ford engine guru of the forum is Stealth, drop him a pm, he has built lots of Ford engines and has a very good reputation.
Wait not for tomorrow to do what can be done today, live each day for one knows not what the next day may hold.

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by Jody_VA » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 20:44

Thanks ZA.. the main reason why 7000rpm is for the sound.. but I am trying to work out the costs to see if its practical..

This is the link im speaking about re 7000rpm


The other 2 links I mentioned before about the kind of power to loosen the wheels


I will drop him a message thanks ZA :D ..

Since my last post, I bought a capri shell now from Shane Botha in Brakpan, waiting for it to arrive should be Tuesday :mrgreen:

Im planning on building it for track/strip use so im not in a rush it still needs body work and a lot of planning wrt the drivetrain and suspension which I will also ask or advice as time goes on il also need to save money because im doing my fairlanes engine over too.. so im just trying to gain some more info on the v8 options available at this stage...I read articles but people tend to exaggerate, so id prefer to get some practical figures like a dyno or 400m time etc from people who have real world experience.. instead of going on something inread and then being disappointed :?

Id like to do events like regional races, local drags and maybe special events like knysna hill climb.. it will not go back on the road..but of course I would like it to be fun to drive first of all

Im still testing the waters at this stage.. so I dont have my mind set or anything and im open to suggestions

I will attach a picture of the shell

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by ZA Perana » Fri 17 Mar 2017, 21:24

The problem is what you want to do in respect of drag will give you a very compromised cars for circuit and hill climbs.

From the outset I would decide if you want a dedicated drag car or an all round car. For 12 second pass you will need and auto box in my opinion and high (3.9) diff ratio, neither of things will work well on the track. In addition for drag racing you want the car to squat at the back and again that wont lead to great handling around the track.

351 into a Capri is a very tight fit, I have seen it done and there is almost no space around the engine at all.

Of course lots can be done with a glamour budget but for a fun car you don't need massive power, what do you need is good handling and brakes, in my opinion at least.
Wait not for tomorrow to do what can be done today, live each day for one knows not what the next day may hold.

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by Jody_VA » Tue 21 Mar 2017, 02:02

Thanks for the advice ZA

I agree with you and you have raised some valid points

Wrt the purpose of the car. I am hoping at this stage to just build an all round car and perhaps at a later stage when I am making more power to be more specified.

Wrt the suspension and brakes setup. Im still researching on possible options here. My first concern will be the shock tower, inner fender clearances at the moment with the width of the cleveland.

Speaking about the cleveland transplant, Im pm'ing Warren, so im hoping to get some more information from him to help me decide on an affordable and appropriate drivetrain for my application.

Ideally, I would like an american v8.

But, this might upset some enthusiasts..

Cost wise the 1uz (non vvti) R15k, is around 80kg lighter than the 351c. Power is rated around 200kw 380nm. It also lends itself to being boosted thanks to forged internals. It has 6-bolt mains, derestricted can rev to 7000-8000rpm safely and in stock tune it is mostly understressed and resiliant enough to sustain continued high stress use like ive seen guys use in spinning.

I would like a traditional v8, but I will need to weigh up the weight, power, and durability aspects as well using the lexus as a benchmark, alternative if I cant reach decent figures for these aspects with a traditional OHV small block.

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by Jody_VA » Wed 22 Mar 2017, 23:27

So here we go.. the Capri she has arrived :roll:

Took some doing offloading the truck.. had to lower it down using the bakkie as a brake but all went smoothly :)

As stated above..

I'm currently still doing research on engine options, however, I will continuing with what can be done in the meantime.

I'll be moving the rebuild to the 'restorations' section, and keep this thread for the engine advice.

I initially wanted a Cleveland, but with regard to suggestions I've received. I am open to exploring other options.

I've dropped the initial criteria of
1. 12s Pass
2. Rev to 7000rpm
3. Burn tyres into 3rd

Simply put now I would like the most power and durability I can get for my buck (Not sure of an exact amount yet), since I dont mind buying the parts individually.

Could be Japanese or American at this stage

Is it realistic to aim for 500 Rear-wheel Kw? Twin Turbo Setup is what I am considering.. at this stage so early I've already changed my mind multiple times, but of course it will still happen many times as the build goes on.

I'm concerned with boosting the Cleveland as some forums have expressed a concern with the cylinder wall thickness resulting in a cracked block when exerted under higher pressures.

I was thinking of doing a 0.5 - 0.8 bar boost with standard internals but my gut tells me, power dividends will be limited with standard setup and most likely not worth the costs of installing the turbo.

I've noticed that a few guys are boosting the 331 and 347 strokers.

Any opinions on boosting a cleveland vs a 302/stroker?
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ZA Perana
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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by ZA Perana » Thu 23 Mar 2017, 08:00

With due respect 500 wheel kw in a Capri will result in a car un driveable on the street. If I were you I would do the following (consider that I hate Lexus conversions).

347 stroker motor.
Red line 6500 rpm
Give or take around 300kW.

Remember the Capri is very light, just over a ton in weight so you don't need mega power and with modest power you have a good power to weight ratio.

Sure, you can dump the Lexus motor in there for around R35k but really who is going to want to buy the car one day?

At least if you keep it Ford the car has some intrinsic worth, more so if its a usable road car.
Wait not for tomorrow to do what can be done today, live each day for one knows not what the next day may hold.

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by Waterhond » Thu 23 Mar 2017, 10:32

Hi Jody,

I love your way of thinking.

Have you considered the GM LS-series, especially the cheaper 5.3 that people are making serious horsepower with, even with stock internals.


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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by RASSIE » Thu 23 Mar 2017, 13:53

Fit a 302W and stop playing. They got no brakes from build. My experience.
“Cowboys do not ride donkeys”
“I will die driving a V8”

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Re: 351 Cleveland Advice

Post by IndianaJones » Thu 23 Mar 2017, 20:15

Hi Jody

Just my 2c. I’ve refrained from commenting on your thread, in the hopes that one of our actual engine builders might chip in.

Without wanting to sound pessimistic, there are very few members on the forum that have actual experience with stroker small block Fords or boosting them, and unfortunately fewer, which are actively participating. Best would be for you to have an actual telephone conversation with the known engine builders, if you can not visit them in person, which would be best. Unfortunately, I know of no engine builders in the Eastern Cape. Try to get hold of Warren (Stealth GT), or Willie Nel, or Melvin Strydom in Cape Town or member Mark (Bigblock496) in Gauteng, on this forum, and pick their brains. Also in Cape Town, talk to Alvin Chetty, he has lots of Ford V8 experience and a drag race fox body Mustang, or Robbie(ROBBINATOR), or Theron (Bird 455) about how much power and what other mods, would actually be needed, to make a 12sec pass with a Capri. I don’t think you need 500rwkW to run a 12sec pass, at the coast at least. Don’t be surprised if the guys don’t answer their PM’s. If you can not find their contacts, ask, someone on here will be able to assist.

Cleveland’s are generally regarded as being more expensive to build, because the parts are slightly more scares and more expensive. On a performance build I don’t there is a big difference in power output between a Cleveland and a Windsor, if any. A T5 would not hold behind 500kW. 12sec is doable with a different manual gearbox, but as been stated, a really fast drag car is better off with an automatic.

Some questions arise though, what is your budget for the engine build? Because it could very well be the deciding factor in which engine you use.

And, have you actually driven a 500kW car for an extended period? A 500kW road car, or 500kW show car, and a 500kw race car are completely different animals. Using a 15% power loss factor, 500rwkW translate to approx 590 fwkW, that is almost 800hp at the crank. With an unlimited budget, it surely is achievable, but I don’t think it is a realistic goal. If you lower your hp goal, you’ll be able to build an engine, which suits a greater variety of applications. Also remember that everything isn’t about horsepower, small-block V8’s make a lot more torque than say a 1UZ, and a high torque engine, with the correct gearing, can be just as quick as a high horsepower car.

If you are willing to crossdress, the 5.3 LS Waterhond suggests is a good option, but just as a powerplant, the cheapest way to your initial criteria, would be a big turbo 1JZ or 2JZ. The Ford alternative, is off course the Falcon six, but I don’t think they rev as high, and to achieve 500kW would probably also need some internal reinforcements. I think Rocket 88, sells the 5.3 LS with 4x2 autobox for R40k…

To rebuild a SBF is one thing, but to build a SBF with components that could either handle sustained boost or produce 500rwkW is going to be on another price level. Most parts would need to be specially imported. Unless perhaps turbo’ed, I don’t see you reaching 800hp, with cast iron heads, but I’m no expert. Currently the dollar exchange rate isn’t as bad as it has been, but still hefty.

If your focus shifts more to the 7000rpm goal, then I think a 289 or 302 unstroked or even destroked will more easily spin to that rpms, than a 351. Also, turbo’ed cars don’t have the sound, of the cars in the links you posted.

Personally I think you should just build a not-too-extravagant small block Ford for now, finish the car, suspension, etc, and drive it. Then you’ll see what it needs, build up another engine as you have time, when and if you get bored with the power. There is much more joy in having a reliable car and actually using the car, than saving up for exotic speed parts and a car on jack stands. But whatever you do, please keep us updated, everyone here enjoys a good build thread.

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