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Author Topic:   Ford Help!!
rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 02, 2003 10:45 PM  
I'm new to racing so be nice. I have an '81 Mercury Cougar and going to put a 351M in it with a C-6 tranny. Anybody know if that setup will work for pure stock. I don't want to start off in hobby stock. And what gears will I need to run in my Ford 8.8 rearend? Any help is appreciated

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted May 03, 2003 03:13 AM  
stay away from the 351M. it's a boat anchor. you'll be better served with a 351W or a 5.0. a C6 is a tough transmission but they rob a lot of HP. a manual will be better.

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 03, 2003 09:55 PM  
I am going to be racing on a limited budget and I already have have the 351M and the C-6. I will work with what I have right now and maybe change down the road. I'm just looking to have fun.

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted May 03, 2003 10:15 PM  
i understand completely. if you have to use the 351m, it's a long rod engine, has good heads and makes good torque but it's a heavy weight. if it has stock valves, don't turn it a lot of rpms. the stock valves are the "3 groove lock" type and are prone to break the valve just under the keeper. if this happens, it will most likely "swallow a valve".

ltd7blue
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted May 04, 2003 01:24 AM  
355 gears sound close.... some might think that they are a little low but i run them in my ford ltd and never turn over 5200 on a 1/2 mile track.......have fun
blue

jay116
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 428
posted May 04, 2003 09:07 PM  
No thanks Jason for the offer on the 302. I'll just stick with my "boat anchor". Any idea how horses I need to get to compete with the 350's?

odb93
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 537
posted May 06, 2003 10:43 AM  
Did you say you are racing a FORD?

You must be joking.


Just kidding.


Chevy thunder.

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 06, 2003 07:33 PM  
I know...I know...A Ford? I just want to be the black sheep at my track. And I just couldn't bring myself to drive a Chevy. As I said a few replies back, I just want to have fun.

pforsythe
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 133
posted May 07, 2003 10:09 AM  
I also run a ford, my advise is get rid of boat anchor. Get yourself a 302 out of a 85 or newer mustang. They have a shorter stroke and roller cam. We run our around 5500 rpm and we can run with all the big blocks. also they aren't as heavy so you dont have so much front end weight. The only hang up is if your track has a rule about roller cams. Also some tracks let you use shorty headers cause they come stock from the factory.

dirtracer7
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 337
posted May 07, 2003 08:59 PM  
I run a 347 and it does just fine on a 1/2 mile track.Alot lighter than that truck motor and alot more parts available to make it go fast.

Trapper
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 64
posted May 09, 2003 04:27 PM  
You never said how long a track is it and is it flat curves, high banks, it all comes down to final drive. If its a short track go with a bigger final drive. 1/4 mile track may warrant a 4.10 gear and a longer track would warrant a 2.73. It all depends on how high your gonna wanna tach it also.

I know its a little confusing when first starting but just have fun. When it stops being fun thats when I will hang up my helmet.

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 09, 2003 05:16 PM  
Trapper, it's a 3/8th mile semi-banked clay oval. I'm thinking I am going to have to push about 5500 rpm's

wizzard
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 306
posted May 09, 2003 09:31 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by rparker351:
Trapper, it's a 3/8th mile semi-banked clay oval. I'm thinking I am going to have to push about 5500 rpm's

that 351 will run out of steam long b-4 5500 or come apart i've blown alot of these in trucks

towmandan
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted May 09, 2003 10:36 PM  
GOOD..LUCK.......Towman

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 09, 2003 10:50 PM  
Good luck coming from a towman. I not sure how to take that. I'll take you word-for-word and say "thanks".

Trapper
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 64
posted May 10, 2003 05:36 AM  
I would lean towards a 4.10 and run in second gear to keep from over reving. When we run a 3/8 mile track we use a 2.73 and run in first gear but thats is taching 5700 or so. I would try to keep the rpms down a bit and make the motor last as long as possible. Just my $0.02

rico 08
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1139
posted May 10, 2003 08:48 AM  
You need to pick outlawstock's brain,he's got the fastest ford i've ever seen,i've got a 77 400m that i'd take $200 for the whole car,runs and drives it's just ugly,if you have to run a boat anchor for a motor might as well be a big boat anchor!

hrspwr
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted May 11, 2003 11:24 AM  
I run a 77 cougar and knowing what I know now 2yrs and 10 grand later have this for you. Lose the 351M C6 combo. Sorry there is know nice way to say it. I ran a 400 in mine and kept burning con rod bearings. Drop a 302 C4 combo in there, the weight savings alone is reason enough, or drop a 351w 3spd get away from the heavy weight parts. The 351M C6 is durable as **** just don`t race it. Put a 9in rear in that car also. It should be a bolt up. I am the black sheep at my track and I am really trying to help and not discourage you at all. Your car can be fast and it wont take a lot to do it but, you have to use the right parts. You can PM me and I will be happy to help.

Rvarc
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 7
posted May 11, 2003 09:33 PM  
351M is not a rpm motor you need rpms to pull down the straight. there are a bunch of ford guys out there who felt just like you that oh well I'm just going to run it and have a good time and did and blew a motor and got a bad taste for ford and some of them even bowed the popular belief that chevy is the only way to race.Listen to the guys who have been there and done that and have fun using a tried and true 302 or 351W with a C-4 you'll be glad that you did and you can put the 351M back in your tow truck where it will do a great job

------------------

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 12, 2003 08:42 PM  
After much debate with myself and listening to all of your suggestions I have decided to use a 302. Ya'll can breath a sigh of relief that I won't embarrass the Ford fans out there. Jay116, do you still have the 302 for sale? And Outlawstock17 can I get your email address to get some more suggestions.

24s52
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted May 12, 2003 11:22 PM  
I have run a 4-door ltd with a 351W for 3 years in the cruiser class. It has the AOD tranny which you can't really pull back down to low gear....Cop car....we run the stock rear end and gears but play with tire size instead...i work at a tire factory so it is cheaper and easier for me to do tires. I know it isn't really a built stock car but for this class on a 3/8 mile high banked track we run as small a tire as a 205 70 14 inch tire....this gets a good jump on the start and keeps the rpm's up in the turns in 2nd gear. with only 7 spark plugs firing we only hit about 4500 - 4800 rpm's. almost indestructable motor. we have won more than just a few races, but then we aren't really running with the "big boys" either. Just my 2cents.

racer351c
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted May 13, 2003 04:54 AM  
Howdy Parker 351. I'm glad to hear you wanna run a FORD. I've been running a 71 Torino, 351C/C4 for the past 1 1/2 seasons at my local dirt track, and we are making those Chevys very nervous. Although Clevelands are hard to find, they r worth the time it takes. Mine will run down down 350s and 351Ws, just takes a little gear to make it work. PM me if you want more info. BTW, 5 top 5s in the last 6 races. How's that?

CUSTOMPERFORMANCE
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1172
posted May 13, 2003 07:06 AM  
Lose the 351m and run a 351c. I run a cleveland in my mod and do very well.

towmandan
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted May 13, 2003 10:20 AM  
Just wondering what kinda RPM the cleveland will stand without exotic parts....Towman

rparker351
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted May 13, 2003 06:41 PM  
When I bought the 351, I was told that it was a Cleveland. I bought it for a Cleveland. With further research on the block I discovered it was a '77 block which makes it a 351M. I didn't know any better from looking on the outside. It was in an old motorhome in a junkyard. Like I said "I'm new to this racing stuff." All the comments and opinions have been more than helpful. Thanks!

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted May 13, 2003 08:11 PM  
rparker351, that's a common mistake of a non-ford guy. a 351m/400 looks a lot like a cleveland, but they are a lot different. they share the same head as a cleveland and not much more. they have the 429-460 bellhousing bolt pattern and a unique motor mount. they have a different, taller deck block, different intake and use a 351W journal sized crankshaft. they also use a 6.58" rod and a 4" bore. 351m stroke is 3.50" and 400 is 4.00". they're both low rpm torque monsters.

towmandan, a properly balanced cleveland should be capable of 7500 with a mostly stock bottom end. the real disadvantage of clevelands, other than lack of availability of blocks and parts, is their poor oiling system. a windsors oiling system is much better and nowadays there are wedge heads for windsors that outflow the out-of-date canted valve cleveland heads.

as always, just my opinion...

[This message has been edited by outlawstock17 (edited May 13, 2003).]

hobby62
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 58
posted May 15, 2003 10:37 PM  
I'm glad to here your your going to the 302. Its an affordable way to race. It will help you in both reliability and handling. We have run a balanced 302 for 2 years and wouldnt use anything else. We also use the c-4 trans. and on our 3/8 mile we are running 456 gears, and run in second gear about 6000 depending on track conditions.We also have a set of late 60's 4brl 351w heads on it. That has helped dramatically over the stock H.O. heads. Also the shorty headers are great if the track alows them, they do come stock from ford. Good luck and take her to the front.

pforsythe
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 133
posted May 16, 2003 09:53 AM  
Hrspwr: You said you ran a 400 and burned con rod bearings? How fast were you spinning it? Also, how did it run until it blew up? I am just about ready to run a 400 in a 77 TBird and would appreciate any info you can give. I read somewhere a 302 weighs about 450 lbs, and the 400 is about 550. Is that close to what you have found?
Thanks again for any help,
rgsracer

hrspwr
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted May 21, 2003 06:58 AM  
my 400 was sweet. 12.5 - 1 brc pistons with cleveland 2v heads, balanced,400hp,2bbl. I was twisting it to 6500 twice a lap. The failure occured because most of the oil went to the top end and stayed there.I have a 351C I am putting together now. If you are going to use the 400 put in the oil restrictors(open can of worms here). The 400 made good power but it would not rev as fast as the smallblock bowties. I run a 3 spd manual with hyd clucth in the cougar and used headers for a 72 montego 351c 2v, they worked with some manipulation to clear the steering box. The hard part of driving these tanks is corner entry, they will push you up into the wall. On entry only lift halfway and brake at the same time if needed,this will ease the rear to front weight tranfer which overloads the front end and causes the PUSH. Watch your backspacing on your wheels I started with 3in and the RF tire would roll up into the upper control arm and kill the tire. not fun in the corner.I now run 1in backspace and it clears. I like these cars a lot and have mine painted like David Pearsons 21 puralator Mercury, good luck, let me know if I can help.

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