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  1. #1
    Clint's Avatar
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    351w perfomance mods

    Ive been thinking about souping the 351 up in the EB. Its a fairly new build as far as miles go, probably 4-5k on the motor over its life. Its your typical build, bored .40 over, RV style cam, decked block and balanced. Supposedly around 9-1 compression, but I dont know for sure. It runs well, and I dont want to pull it and stroke it or anything (would be fun, but I would rather do that to Dana's Bronco).

    Its running Mass Air EFI, 24 lb injectors, lighting upper and lower 80mm Vortech Mass Air sensor, shorty headers, routes into a single exit. Motor runs real cool, heat is not an issue....

    Runs a little rich, always has, and I think its due to the 24 lb injectors just being a little much. Ive talked to many people that say at 19lb would work great with the motor specs. So, instead of that, I wanna build the motor a bit Its the 1000 solution to a 100 dollar problem type thing.

    So, engine gurus, lets figure out a way to maximize what I have without compromising the low end grunt I have currently .

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    what type of heads? are you running roller rockers and lifters already? (I assume you are)

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    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    And you're gonna fit this in the schedule when?????

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    just add nitrous then.

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    If it's rich, move more air. Long tube headers, and intake manifold, and cold air source for intake- if necessary bigger throttle body.

    Just let it breathe a bit more, if you want to keep it simple.

    Otherwise slap some of the Edelbrock heads on there, with their air gap manifold.

  6. #6
    Banned Leon Phelps's Avatar
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    Heads are up, IMHO for the next step. Rare cast GT40's for the Lightning blocks are something to consider (I'm a fan for the "off the shelf"). Otherwise like Scotty's suggestion Eddies are OK off the shelf, but a bit pricey for what you get IMHO. But with 351W's, I've had a LOT more luck with World Industries Windsor Jr. heads for idle to 5500 RPM performance. Trickflow's Twisted Wedge Head also does a great job for a mild/moderate build for the 351W. Headers are something else to consider. Since it's a EB, I'm a fan of the good ol shorty GT40 headers, easy enough to fit and keep the exhaust fairly tucked up over any long tube headers. Been there done it with Hedman headers.
    Last edited by Leon Phelps; May 16th, 2008 at 10:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kong View Post
    what type of heads? are you running roller rockers and lifters already? (I assume you are)
    Nope, the block is a 73, and they didnt change it out, like i said, its just mild build...

  8. #8
    Clint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    And you're gonna fit this in the schedule when?????
    Maybe this winter...start collecting parts then do it all at once

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Phelps View Post
    Heads are up, IMHO for the next step. Rare cast GT40's for the Lightning blocks are something to consider (I'm a fan for the "off the shelf"). Otherwise like Scotty's suggestion Eddies are OK off the shelf, but a bit pricey for what you get IMHO. But with 351W's, I've had a LOT more luck with World Industries Windsor Jr. heads for idle to 5500 RPM performance. Trickflow's Twisted Wedge Head also does a great job for a mild/moderate build for the 351W. Headers are something else to consider. Since it's a EB, I'm a fan of the good ol shorty GT40 headers, easy enough to fit and keep the exhaust fairly tucked up over any long tube headers. Been there done it with Hedman headers.

    Im running wild horses coated shorty headers now, brand new

    Of course I want to keep this simple, but real engine performance is just something Ive never had a chance to get into much. So, I figure this will be a learning experience and I can gain some HP while Im at it...

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    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    So, I figure this will be a learning experience and I can gain some HP while Im at it...
    Do you want more HP or more torque? The answer to that question matters...a lot...in deciding what to do.
    Last edited by Steve; May 16th, 2008 at 10:41 AM.

  11. #11
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    a little nugget to tuck away maybe for later.


    I have a clean block from a 76 mercury monarch that is bored .40 over and already machined to be stroked.

    If you ever decide you want to start over completely.

  12. #12
    Banned Leon Phelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Do you want more HP or more torque? The answer to that question matters...a lot...in deciding what to do.
    Yup. The heads suggestion(s) I threw out are for a more balanced HiPo build. But if there is one or the other your shooting for....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post

    So, engine gurus, lets figure out a way to maximize what I have without compromising the low end grunt I have currently .
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Do you want more HP or more torque? The answer to that question matters...a lot...in deciding what to do.
    BOTH I dont want to sacrifice low end for HP gains at high RPMS. I would just like to maximize what I have. I KNOW there are some options to increase both HP and torque, so Im just exploring what would be the best route to take to take advantage of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Phelps View Post
    Heads are up, IMHO for the next step. Rare cast GT40's for the Lightning blocks are something to consider (I'm a fan for the "off the shelf"). Otherwise like Scotty's suggestion Eddies are OK off the shelf, but a bit pricey for what you get IMHO. But with 351W's, I've had a LOT more luck with World Industries Windsor Jr. heads for idle to 5500 RPM performance. Trickflow's Twisted Wedge Head also does a great job for a mild/moderate build for the 351W. Headers are something else to consider. Since it's a EB, I'm a fan of the good ol shorty GT40 headers, easy enough to fit and keep the exhaust fairly tucked up over any long tube headers. Been there done it with Hedman headers.

    Ding, Ding, Ding We have a winner!!!!!

    Yuh got a good intake and exhaust. Get some better heads. I too like the World products heads Jr. or Sr.'s. I run the Sr. to feed my 393W. The stock heads are restrictive unless you got GT40's.

    Tuning? Is the MAF you run calibrated for 24 lb injectors??? If not the computer is firing the 24's as if they were the stock 19's. I would assume that is what is happening as it is rich. It would be better to swap in the 19's as they will handle even a built 351W and the computer will provide the correct pulse width for the correct AF ratio.

    I have a set of 19lb injectors from a 1996 351W for shipping and the chance to install some Alcans at your shop when and if I get over there to have some made.

    Corral.net always has a great assortment of used parts. It's a Stang website.

    I also have Desktop dyno, a good simulator to show you what a difference power parts make. I can input your current build and then see what heads would do for it.
    Last edited by Swat; May 16th, 2008 at 11:21 AM.

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    Another vote for a set of heads. Hit the junk yards and find an explorer with a 302 V8.

    Up to mid '96 will have the regular GT40 irons and the late '96 to 2000 will have the GTPs. Both will give you a bit more breathing room. About the only mod needed to do this swap is to drill the head bolt passages out to accept the larger 351w head bolts. In all honesty, switch to head studs and be done with that. You should be able to score a set pretty cheap.

    FWIW, I originally ran GT40s on my 302 (they came with my motor since it was pulled from a '96 xploder). They worked, but one trip out was enough to realize the motor was weak in stock form. I bought a new set of Eddy Performer 5.0 heads with the 1.90 intake valves, full roller 1.6 rockers, and a Crane 2020 roller cam. That helped a lot. Stock ford heads are really weak. You can gain a lot (+50 HP) just by swapping the heads. I plan on running these same parts on my 351w if I ever get around to building it.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swat View Post
    Ding, Ding, Ding We have a winner!!!!!

    Yuh got a good intake and exhaust. Get some better heads. I too like the World products heads Jr. or Sr.'s. I run the Sr. to feed my 393W. The stock heads are restrictive unless you got GT40's.

    Tuning? Is the MAF you run calibrated for 24 lb injectors??? If not the computer is firing the 24's as if they were the stock 19's. I would assume that is what is happening as it is rich. It would be better to swap in the 19's as they will handle even a built 351W and the computer will provide the correct pulse width for the correct AF ratio.

    I have a set of 19lb injectors from a 1996 351W for shipping and the chance to install some Alcans at your shop when and if I get over there to have some made.

    Corral.net always has a great assortment of used parts. It's a Stang website.

    I also have Desktop dyno, a good simulator to show you what a difference power parts make. I can input your current build and then see what heads would do for it.
    I would love to put the 19s in and see how it acted! Ill send you a PM and we can work something out. If you want put the info in the dyno that would be great. Let me know what all you need from me.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmd11 View Post
    Another vote for a set of heads. Hit the junk yards and find an explorer with a 302 V8.

    Up to mid '96 will have the regular GT40 irons and the late '96 to 2000 will have the GTPs. Both will give you a bit more breathing room. About the only mod needed to do this swap is to drill the head bolt passages out to accept the larger 351w head bolts. In all honesty, switch to head studs and be done with that. You should be able to score a set pretty cheap.

    FWIW, I originally ran GT40s on my 302 (they came with my motor since it was pulled from a '96 xploder). They worked, but one trip out was enough to realize the motor was weak in stock form. I bought a new set of Eddy Performer 5.0 heads with the 1.90 intake valves, full roller 1.6 rockers, and a Crane 2020 roller cam. That helped a lot. Stock ford heads are really weak. You can gain a lot (+50 HP) just by swapping the heads. I plan on running these same parts on my 351w if I ever get around to building it.
    What am I looking at for good heads, roller rockers, etc? What do I need to consider for the cam? I assume if Im changing everything else out I would have to do the cam as well. What about the distributor gear? I can find out exactly what it is, but its the typical RV cam for a rebuilt engine.

    Or, since mine has been rebuilt, bored, etc would the gt40 heads give me some of what Im wanting without breaking the bank? Like I said, im not looking for a drag motor, or some crazy high HP setup, just wanna wake up what Ive got if possible

    Im also scared if I start putting a bunch of expensive aftermarket parts on here Ill go crazy like i do with everything else and end up dumping five or six grand in the motor. If that happens Ill be looking for somewhere else to live

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    I would love to put the 19s in and see how it acted! Ill send you a PM and we can work something out. If you want put the info in the dyno that would be great. Let me know what all you need from me.


    Do you know if the maf meter is calibrated for 24's???

    Running the Desktop Dyno simulation will help determine if you want a new cam or not, probably not. Roller rockers help some. An F4TE block is factory for roller cams and needs a dizzy with a steel gear vs the cast gear. You can retrofit for a roller cam but now were talking more bucks for not a huge gain ($50 retrofit, $250 lifters plus the cam).
    Last edited by Swat; May 16th, 2008 at 12:19 PM.

  19. #19
    Captain Radon Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    Im also scared if I start putting a bunch of expensive aftermarket parts on here Ill go crazy like i do with everything else and end up dumping five or six grand in the motor. If that happens Ill be looking for somewhere else to live
    You know that'll happen. Dana is gonna kick your ass if she sees this thread.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swat View Post


    Do you know if the maf meter is calibrated for 24's???

    Running the Desktop Dyno simulation will help determine if you want a new cam or not, probably not. Roller rockers help some. An F4TE block is factory for roller cams and needs a dizzy with a steel gear vs the cast gear. You can retrofit for a roller cam but now were talking more bucks for not a huge gain ($50 retrofit plus the cam).
    Supposedly it is, its an aftermarket one set up for the 24 lb injectors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    You know that'll happen. Dana is gonna kick your ass if she sees this thread.
    I have a first generation Lightning blower from Kenne Bell


    Heads, Supercharger, fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel rail, 42 lb injectors, and a tuner. Then you'll need new running gear to handle the power. $12,000
    Last edited by Swat; May 16th, 2008 at 12:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    Supposedly it is, its an aftermarket one set up for the 24 lb injectors.

    OK, well then the 19's may run a bit lean. We don't want predetonation do we?

    The calibrated MAF is not the best set-up. It's a compromise vs going to a tuner. The computer is looking for a stock MAF and fires the injectors according to a preset air flow table for the stock MAF. A calibrated meter is an attempt to fool the computer by sending a voltage that should correspond approximately to what the computer should fire the injectos at for the larger 24 lb injectors but using the table set-up for 19 lbers. It's just not as accurate as tuning, inputing injector size into the computer and the actual flow curve for the MAF.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swat View Post
    OK, well then the 19's may run a bit lean. We don't want predetonation do we?

    The calibrated MAF is not the best set-up. It's a compromise vs going to a tuner. The computer is looking for a stock MAF and fires the injectors according to a preset air flow table for the stock MAF. A calibrated meter is an attempt to fool the computer by sending a voltage that should correspond approximately to what the computer should fire the injectos at for the larger 24 lb injectors but using the table set-up for 19 lbers. It's just not as accurate as tuning, inputing injector size into the computer and the actual flow curve for the MAF.
    Ive got a stock maf sitting here that I can use, no problemo...

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    Sample output from Desktop Dyno, pimpin' the 393. Power at the flywheel and it is overly optimistic by 13%:


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    If you are running a little rich with the current set up, then yes just swapping to the explorer heads should afford a noticeable gain in power. You might get around 35-40 hp and a similar torque gain. A 351 has a 3.5 in stroke and 4 inch bore- it really likes heads that can flow some air to fill those cylinders. I suggested the explorer heads because they are cheap from the junk yard and would be an almost direct swap (other than hogging the bolt holes out). Keep everything else (cam, lifters, rockers, ect). Like I said, these heads are cheap to procure since a lot of junked explorers are starting to show up in yards. About the only upgrade needed would be a change to the explorer valve springs. They are super soft and don't like rpms and will float. Trick Flow sells a spring kit for about $100 that upgrades the springs, retainers, and keepers to their parts and will keep those valves seated at higher rpms. Seriously, the explorer springs float at 4500 rpm- they suck. the kit also gives you new seals too so it's a no brainer upgrade. Pull heads, upgrade springs, drill head bolt holes to 1/2in, install heads. Depending on what you find (GT40ps or GT40s) you will see a nice little boost and I bet you AFR will balance out too.

    To ID the heads, look right below the valve cover on the passenger side front and you should see either GT40 or GTP cast into the head. The ONLY thing to be careful of (which may require a call to your header supplier) is the plug angle on the GTPs. The spark plugs stick out of the head almost straight out, while the GT40s are angled like the stock heads. This could cause an interence problem with the headers. I would search for the GT40s (look for 1996 to mid year '97 V8 explorer (I was wrong earlier with the dates) and lok for the casting ID as mentioned above to ensure you get the right ones.

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    cainfield or edelbrock heads, custom roller cam, crane conversion roller lifters (work great in my '86 block). I'd let ya take mine for a spin, but I keep breaking parts for it down the drive line so its sitting in my garage as usual.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmd11 View Post
    If you are running a little rich with the current set up, then yes just swapping to the explorer heads should afford a noticeable gain in power. You might get around 35-40 hp and a similar torque gain. A 351 has a 3.5 in stroke and 4 inch bore- it really likes heads that can flow some air to fill those cylinders. I suggested the explorer heads because they are cheap from the junk yard and would be an almost direct swap (other than hogging the bolt holes out). Keep everything else (cam, lifters, rockers, ect). Like I said, these heads are cheap to procure since a lot of junked explorers are starting to show up in yards. About the only upgrade needed would be a change to the explorer valve springs. They are super soft and don't like rpms and will float. Trick Flow sells a spring kit for about $100 that upgrades the springs, retainers, and keepers to their parts and will keep those valves seated at higher rpms. Seriously, the explorer springs float at 4500 rpm- they suck. the kit also gives you new seals too so it's a no brainer upgrade. Pull heads, upgrade springs, drill head bolt holes to 1/2in, install heads. Depending on what you find (GT40ps or GT40s) you will see a nice little boost and I bet you AFR will balance out too.

    To ID the heads, look right below the valve cover on the passenger side front and you should see either GT40 or GTP cast into the head. The ONLY thing to be careful of (which may require a call to your header supplier) is the plug angle on the GTPs. The spark plugs stick out of the head almost straight out, while the GT40s are angled like the stock heads. This could cause an interence problem with the headers. I would search for the GT40s (look for 1996 to mid year '97 V8 explorer (I was wrong earlier with the dates) and lok for the casting ID as mentioned above to ensure you get the right ones.
    Well maybe over there, but the junk yards here SUCK SUCK SUCK. Ill have to get with Mike Boyle and see if he can find me a deal on the gt40 heads.

    What about those Windsor Sr heads that Swat posted up, good option as well??

  29. #29
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    In my personal opinion the bigger heads help compensate for the altitude we live at and even higher altitude we wheel at. Big ass heads will reduce low end torque slightly. In a comparison with a buddies 393 with GT40P's my build gave up 10 ftlbs of torque at 2,000 RPM, not much. On the high end my 393 will outperform his with over 20 more ftlbs of torque at 4,000 RPM and more ponies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swat View Post
    In my personal opinion the bigger heads help compensate for the altitude we live at and even higher altitude we wheel at. Big ass heads will reduce low end torque slightly. In a comparison with a buddies 393 with GT40P's my build gave up 10 ftlbs of torque at 2,000 RPM, not much. On the high end my 393 will outperform his with over 20 more ftlbs of torque at 4,000 RPM and more ponies.
    So, are you talking about the Windsor Sr heads (or similar) you posted vs the GT40 heads?

    This is good stuff by the way guys....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    Well maybe over there, but the junk yards here SUCK SUCK SUCK. Ill have to get with Mike Boyle and see if he can find me a deal on the gt40 heads.

    What about those Windsor Sr heads that Swat posted up, good option as well??

    Mike Boyle wouldn't be from the Durango or Cortez area, would he? I think I know him from my days as president of the Creeper Jeepers club in Durango back in the late '90s.


    Anyways, the Windsors would be quite nice too. Heck, any head other than the stock heads would be a nice upgrade. Cheap end starts at the stock explorer heads, and then go up from there. The Performers are nice because of their ultra reliability, but performance wise there are better heads. Canfields, AFRs and Trick Flows are the tippy tops. If I had to pick from those three- Canfields.....if money wasn't an issue.

    edit: here is a damn good deal on a set of Performer heads. New. Machined for lockwires- but not an issue to use without. These would be a bolt in.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/EDELB...spagenameZWDVW
    Last edited by cmd11; May 16th, 2008 at 03:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmd11 View Post
    Mike Boyle wouldn't be from the Durango or Cortez area, would he? I think I know him from my days as president of the Creeper Jeepers club in Durango back in the late '90s.


    Anyways, the Windsors would be quite nice too. Heck, any head other than the stock heads would be a nice upgrade. Cheap end starts at the stock explorer heads, and then go up from there. The Performers are nice because of their ultra reliability, but performance wise there are better heads. Canfields, AFRs and Trick Flows are the tippy tops. If I had to pick from those three- Canfields.....if money wasn't an issue.
    Dunno, he lives over here, is on the board, runs an explorer and spends alot of time messing with them

    So I guess what Im looking at is they are all upgrades, just in different increments with more advantages, and more cost.

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    I'm going to bookmark this, and come back in a few weeks, when you're up to 10 grand and about 600 horse............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint View Post
    So, are you talking about the Windsor Sr heads (or similar) you posted vs the GT40 heads?

    This is good stuff by the way guys....
    Yup, The WP Windsor Senior has 2.02 intake valves, 1.60 Exhaust, and 200cc intake runners.

    I got my best bookmarks at home and flow data for most of the heads available. If given your cam specs, and bore I can run simulations with different heads and show the difference. I am very curious about the cam specs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottycards View Post
    I'm going to bookmark this, and come back in a few weeks, when you're up to 10 grand and about 600 horse............

    Can I live at your house? Its always tempting "just because" but Ill save the serious power for Dana's Bronco (My bronco that will be a show queen that she drives around and I fix and hot rod) hehehe

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    just a side note - if you have the iron heads on now and swap to alum heads, you may end up wanting to change your spring rate on the coil overs. I gained ~3/4" of lift on my BC coils with just that change (and the ride got a bit harsher..)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsaunder View Post
    just a side note - if you have the iron heads on now and swap to alum heads, you may end up wanting to change your spring rate on the coil overs. I gained ~3/4" of lift on my BC coils with just that change (and the ride got a bit harsher..)
    no kidding! how much of a weight difference we talking here? This might help me make a decision as anything I can do to save weight on the ol pig helps hehe

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    Dug out the receipt, will have to call them Monday it looks like, but here is what is on it:

    Engine kit w/ RV Package
    Flat top pistons
    Crane valve springs
    Machine Package
    Balance Motor
    Deck Block

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    I'll have to dig around to find the weights - another side thought though. since you have flat top pistons, any change in heads or cam and you'll want to make sure you have enough valve clearance. You may say a few things even Steve hasn't heard if you fire up the "new" engine and bend a few valves.

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    Found the weight difference for me - ~125lbs. Also on alum heads they are better heat sinks so you can run slightly higher compression and advanced timing and not worry about detonation.

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