I just bought a 351 Windsor engine out of a 1978 LTD and I would like to
know what the stock horsepower of this thing is before I go to a lot of
trouble rebuilding it. It came with a rebuilt C4. Is this a good
You have a core to build upon, but in stock form the hp rating is dismal. Can't
quote a #.
The heads have to go. They are the same as the the smog dog 302 heads of that
era. Not to be considered for any kind of performance build up on a 351.
If you do "trouble" yourself rebuilding it, don't restore it to stock form. You
can easily get 350 hp with the right parts.
The C4 is not my favorite, but with a shift kit it should be durable enough.
This engine and tranny will fit into about anything.
So what is the horespower of a stock 351?
Pardon my ignorance. I'm not into race cars, but I'm intrigued.
What's the significance of a "Windsor" engine? Is that made in Windsor,
Canada? You do mention below that the engine can fit in just about any
Sorry to sound cynical, but weren't engines from the 1970s rather
inefficient, considering the recent onset of half-effective anti-pollution
measures? I thought they gas guzzlers with low compression ratios, for
example. So wouldn't it be better to rebuild an engine from some other era?
Wouldn't the metallurgy of a later engine be better?
Does this imply that the cavities inside the stock heads are so great, as to
never allow high compression? i.e., >8:1? So other heads are available?
And what fuel would one need?
What octane rating?
What's a "C4"? Grandmother's automatic 4 speed tranny?
I knew a guy who once put a Ford V8 into an old Fiat. He sat in the back
seat when driving it.
Generally speaking, I would agree, however, there are very good
reasons to keep an original engine. For example a classic model with
all original equipment (depending upon condition, of course) would be
very desirable to a collector, while a driver might be far more
interested in performance, and an enviro-terrorist might be more
interested in pollution control and saving resources.
Hey! Spikey Likes IT!
1965 Ford Mustang fastback 2+2 A Code 289 C4 Trac-Lok
Vintage Burgundy w/Black Standard Interior
Vintage 40 Wheels 16X8"
w/BF Goodrich Comp T/A Radial 225/50ZR16
The Ford company has 2 engine plants that made a 351cu.in engine. One is
in Windsor, Canada. The other is in Cleveland, Ohio. They are different
in heads and some other ways.
Introduced in about 1969, It will fit most any car that can hold a small
block v-8. The Windsor was used in cars and trucks of various models
till very recently.
If you compare them to a hopped up Honda of today, your right. But, more
displacement makes up for the lack of bells & whistles needed get that
Honda to the same power level. Is it a gas guzzler? By today's
standards, yes. Back in the pre '73 world though, gas was dirt cheap.
With after market parts and tuning it can produce over 300 hp.
FYI: The Windsor, Ontario Ford plant is right across the Detroit River
from Detroit, MI
The most significant difference between the 351W and the 351C is the
heads. The Cleveland heads are what make this engine. Cleveland 4V heads
feature HUGE canted valves - intake head diameter ~2.19, exhaust head
diameter ~1.71. Valves this large are only possible via a canted valve
arrangement, forming what Ford referred to as a "poly-angle" combustion
chamber. A comparable 351W head features ~1.8" intake and ~1.5" exhaust
valve head diameters.
Other differences are as follows:
Intake manifolds, camshafts and crankshafts are not interchangable
between 351W and 351C.
6-bolt valve covers
Thermostat housing bolted to the front of the intake manifold (coolant
passes through the intake manifold)
5/8" spark plugs
Bolts securing fuel pump to block are horizontal in relationship to each
8 bolt valve covers
Thermostat housing is on the block extension which contains the timing chain
14mm spark plugs
Bolts securing fuel pump to block are vertical in relationship to each other
In 1970, Congress adopts the first major Clean Air Act, establishes the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and gives the new Agency
broad responsibility for regulating motor vehicle pollution. The clean
air law calls for 90 percent reductions in automotive emissions.
Therefore, Ford engines were not significantly affected until the 1972
model year when Ford concentrated more on meeting emission regulations.
Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 1970 Mach 1 351C 4V @
This is why I call them smog dogs. Due to the "cavities" being large, cam
timing being late, etc.
I can't speak for the original poster. But any engine of any era can be
enhanced to run better than in stock form.
When restoring an engine like a 351W, nobody uses a Ford replacement plastic
timing gear set, or factory dished pistons.
In the mid nineties the 351 was offered with a hydraulic roller cam. So yes,
there is an era to choose a better core.
"Dished" piston? As in concave piston tops?
Though I doubt I would ever build up a car engine, I like to ponder the
prospects. I don't know the ropes, only to "stay within designers'
specifications." I picture any automobile engine being carefully designed,
and tested during its development stage, before hundreds of thousands of
such engines are produced. The testing methodologies could be awfully
elaborate and expensive, justified only by a tremendous economy of
scale...;i.e., cost of development spread out over lots of engines. So I am
skeptical about changing piston shapes or head cavities, etc. Who's to say
that all the fuel will burn at XYZ rpm?
Maybe, then, a newbie like myself would be the one who would use factory
More likely, I'd stay away from smog dogs!
I'll be darned, I learn something every day. I didn't know about the
deck height between the 351C and 351M.(Anyone who doesn't know about the
height should work on Chevys)I always thought the difference was just crank
size and trans bolt pattern. (Maybe "I" should have been working on Chevys all
I remember back in about 1985 a fellow asked for my help changing the motor in
E-van. He pulled out the 302 and couldn't figure out how to make the new motor
was a 351C 4-V. He didn't have any of the accessory mounting brackets, exhaust
manifolds, etc. I kindly sold him a low miles 351W complete with brackets and Y
for $75 and the Cleveland. The motor slid right in whth slight exhaust mods. Now
years later I wish I hadn't put off picking up that Cleveland motor, I never
got it. If anyone has a supply of "round tuits" I could use a few. :)
My '73 Torino had the 351 Windsor, and it was more of a utilitarian V8
than was the 351 Cleveland. However, by today's standards, I would note
that that 351W will still roast the tires, anywhere, anyhow and the
tendency to fishtail was very pronounced. It would top-out speed-wise at
about 103 MPH and took a VERY long time to get there, but was geared very
low and great on city streets. Had a better AC system than the VFW hall
: I just bought a 351 Windsor engine out of a 1978 LTD and I would like to
: know what the stock horsepower of this thing is before I go to a lot of
: trouble rebuilding it. It came with a rebuilt C4. Is this a good
: combination for an install into a hot rod.
My 76 Torino had the 351M. It was fast. Really fast. Had the low rear
end though. 0-100 was damn quick, but after that it kinda petered out.
I topped it at like 140 or something once racing a Trans-Am on I-77.
He just kept on going. Here I was topped out and that other car just
slowly pulled away. He was probably doing about 10mph more than me and
he was topped out too. What a rush.
That Torino was sweet. I made it from Badin Lake to Mint Hill in about
20 minutes one July 4th. I sold that car when second gear died. It had
a habit of losing traction when it hit second and I loved to hear
those tires squeal at 50mph. Slowly it started slipping until finally
one day it would go into second no more.
I sold it and bought a 1980 Volkswagen Dasher. I went from 0-60 in
about 6 seconds to 0-60 in about 30 seconds. I sold the Torino so I
would not have to change the tranny. 3 Weeks after buying the VW I
ended up changing the tranny on it. I hated that car. Still do. I quit
paying on it and when the repo guy came I helped him load it up with a
smile on my face. Thanked him for getting it out of my driveway.
Still miss the Torino though. That 351M rocked.
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