Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Ford 351 Windsor Engine Build
Our Budget 351 Shoots For Competitive Power Levels While Maintaining Daily Driver Manners.
For cylinder heads, we looked to Racing Head Service and the company's 200cc Pro Action aluminum cylinder head. The Pro Action series is designed for high-performance street and racing applications, and the 200cc intake runner will allow the 351 to breathe easily without losing too much port velocity. This head can be had with either 58cc or 64cc combustion chambers and in 0.0560- or 0.600-lift spring packages. We went with part number 35012-2, which specifies a 58cc chamber and 0.600-inch-lift springs for use with a hydraulic roller camshaft. While this head flows as much as 286/202 cfm at 0.700-inch lift, at our limited range of 0.500, it still flows 277 on the intake and 193 on the exhaust. Should we change out the pistons and pop in a larger camshaft, the heads will be able to offer plenty of airflow to support the better breathing valvetrain.
Atop the RHS cylinder heads will be a set of Comp Cams all-new Ultra-Gold aluminum rocker arms in the factory 1.6:1 ratio. Designed specifically for high-performance street and race engines, Comp's Ultra-Gold rocker arms are precision CNC-machined to strict tolerances, and are designed to fit an assortment of rocker-stud diameters in a variety of rocker ratios for small-block Ford applications. They are also designed to withstand extremely aggressive spring pressures and valvesprings with as much as a 1.650-inch O.D. They also come with a lifetime warranty.
The camshaft will be the most optimized piece of the puzzle in this build, and probably the most expensive item as well since it will be a custom grind. Most off-the-shelf aftermarket camshaft grinds feature far too much duration and lobe separation than a stock-style cam, and right now, we plan to use a modified version of Comp's 35-413-8 hydraulic-roller grind, which offers a split duration pattern of 212/218 degrees at 0.050, and a valve lift of 0.513. We will change the lobe separation to a more idle and vacuum-friendly 114 degrees, as opposed to the standard 110. If time and interest permits, we may pull the pistons and swap them out for a set with bigger valve reliefs down the road, so we can get somewhere closer to 0.550-0.570-inch lift.
With the heads and camshaft chosen, we're looking at two options in particular for our 351 Windsor build-the Trick Flow R-series intake manifold, and the Edelbrock Victor 5.8 intake manifold. The Trick Flow R-series for the 351 features 13.3-inch-long runners, a 2.00x1.20 port size at the head, and an 11.5-inch overall height. With a 75mm throttle body, Trick Flow claims the R-series will support a rev range of 1,500 to 5,500, but stepping the throttle body up to a 90mm piece will broaden the rev range to 2,000 rpm to 7,000 rpm.
The Edelbrock Victor Ford 5.8L EFI intake is designed to work from 4,000 to 7,500 rpm, and is capable of supporting over 700 hp. The Victor Ford 5.8L features Edelbrock's air-gap design, which isolates the intake charge from the engine heat that is present in the lifter valley. The manifold's runners feature 2.0x1.20-inch exits with a 12.5-inch runner length.
We're also considering Trick Flow's Box R-series intake manifolds for Ford 351 Windsor, which cuts the runner length to 11 inches to support a rev range of 2,500 to 7,500 pm. Though our 351 is substantially larger than the 302 it will replace, it's probably not enough cubes to keep the air moving efficiently through the box design. We may test it down the road just to illustrate how it works in this rather mild application.
So we've laid out the plan for this street-smart Windsor. Next month, we plan to assemble it and have it on the dyno to see how we compare to the General's (or rather the government's) latest technology, and after that, who knows. Maybe we'll stroke it, or throw a thumping camshaft in there just to please the masses.