The 351 Cleveland engine is the Rodney Dangerfield of Ford small-blocks—it gets no respect. The truth is that the Cleveland has a lot of potential, but like most factory offerings, it has a few issues due to budget constraints and assembly line requirements. The Cleveland may have been short-lived in domestic Ford production vehicles, but it has seen a long and healthy life abroad in such countries as Australia. As a matter of fact, Australia has for decades been the "go to" spot for Cleveland goodies to build a strong-running 351C, and we've seen our share of new hardware stateside with intakes, heads, cam and valvetrain parts, and more. So the Cleveland is far from being down for the count.
While a solid offering in the Mustang and other Fords from 1970-1974, some say the Cleveland's real fame came to light in the mid-engine'd DeTomaso Panteras sold through Ford's Lincoln-Mercury dealers at the beginning of the decade. These Italian exotics had the looks, feel, and handling of a super car, yet could be serviced at your local LM dealer due to the Cleveland engine mounted mid-ship. Today, the Pantera is a much sought after collector vehicle with a large following of enthusiasts that aren't afraid to drive their cars, nor modify them for more power. So when we first heard of an early "push-button-door" Pantera coming into the Survival Motorsports shop for a fresh engine build, Survival's head man, Barry Rabotnick, filled us in on the owner's plans to build an all-aluminum stroker Cleveland with fuel injection. It took us about a half of a nano-second to say yes to following this engine build up.
If you're thinking that an aluminum Cleveland must be some rare and exotic Australian combination brought stateside, you'd be wrong. The aluminum block Survival used for the build is a brand-new casting made by Tod Buttermore. Tod has extensive casting experience and has made other Ford blocks in the past. His Cleveland block is a faithful reproduction of the original on the outside, yet has tons of internal improvements. Bore sleeves allow positively huge bore sizing not capable with a stock iron Cleveland "thin wall" casting. In this build, the bores have been machined to 4.125-inches. The aluminum used is 356-T6 with American-made steel bore sleeves and billet steel four-bolt main caps from Pro-Gram Engineering. Iron versions are also available with the same internal improvements, which include lifter valley webbing, thicker walls, and so forth. The block comes rough cut and requires finish machining of the journals, bores, and deck surface by your machinist. Screw-in core plugs are standard on either block.
To top off the all-aluminum build, the owner sourced a set of Scott Cook aluminum heads (www.scmenginedevelopments.com). These heads are some of the latest offerings for Cleveland fans and do originate from Australia. The 4V-style heads are fully CNC-ported and feature efficient 58.9cc chambers with revised spark plug locations. The heads utilize 2.190-inch intake and 1.625-inch exhaust valves and flow 325 cfm at 0.600-inch lift. Valvetrain can be set up for standard stud mount, T&D shaft-mount rockers, or Yella Terra rockers. The Scott Cook Cleveland heads externally are dead ringers for the stock iron parts, including traditional casting ribs, accessory bolt holes, and even the number "4" in the corner of the head!
The rest of the Cleveland build is nothing short of a who's who in top quality aftermarket performance parts. From the Scat crankshaft and Callies rods to the Diamond pistons and Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam, there's not a part that Barry used in this build that we would kick to the curb for something else! Take a look at the build photos to see this all-aluminum 412ci Cleveland stroker come to life for one super-special early Pantera.
8. The Scott Cook heads are a sight to behold. Designed to emulate the look of the stock 4V heads, the exhaust bolt pattern, intake bolt pattern, and accessory bolt holes are all in their stock locations. This means stock manifolds and accessories bolt right up. As noted in our opening text, even the visible “4” on the corners of the cylinder heads are there for a stock-appearing casting. The combustion chamber has been redesigned and the spark plug location optimized.
|On the Dyno
Results with Inglese EFI System
To see the dyno pull of the Survival Cleveland check out the YouTube video here: