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Author Topic:   what engine to use???
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 15, 2004 01:54 PM  
I don't mean to step on any toes here but, what v8 engine seems to be the most reliable and available? I not a chevy,dodge or ford man, I'm a race car man. Just hoping for some ideas on what you all think. Thanks for the info!

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted January 15, 2004 02:28 PM  
If you're in a class that requires the motor to match the car, here's my opinions.

GM - 305 & 350 small blocks are by far the most available. They're common as dirt, relatively reliable and very cheap to build. Good heads (unless you can run Vortecs) can be a bit $$$ for stock casting.

Ford - 302s are very common and incredibly reliable for their size. 351Ws are not nearly as common, but can match a 350 SBC for about the same total price. SBFs need real attention in the head department. Stock heads after 1974 blow and the 1974 and earlier heads need bigger valves and hard exhaust seats to be used. The 351C-M/400 have a very good design with stock heads that will compete with all but the best aftermarket pieces for a 302/351W or SBC. The downside of the M series motors is weight and lame stock cams. Stuff a cam and 10:1 pistons in and they come alive. They just don't like to spool up real quick because of the huge bearings journals and weight (the 351C isn't quite as bad).

Mopar - 318s are the same as a 305/350 Chevy. Used in everything under the sun since the dawn of time. Decent power and fairly stout too. The 360 is kind of uncommon and benefits from the added CID. And the 340 is by far the best small block Mopar but about as common as a pink elephant.

Those are my opinions on small blocks. Big blocks are generally out of the question for the typical racer because they're not very common and usually big $$$ to build.

[This message has been edited by Raz_900 (edited January 15, 2004).]

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted January 15, 2004 05:36 PM  
Raz has some good points, but not ALL post 1974 ford heads are poor performers. there are late model castings that are as good as the earlier ones. GT-40 and GT-40P are the late model castings of choice and the E7 and later castings are decent as well. the price gap between chevrolets and fords is quickly closing.

factory ford and mopar blocks and heads are cast from better material and you never hear of a ford block with the lifter bores out of line, like chevrolets, and ford blocks rarely need line bored or line honed.

another thing.....if you can run any cast iron head, you will have a tough time finding a better head than the ford SVO N351/N352 head. another advantage to a 351w is it's 9.5" deck can stuff some awfully long rods in there......combine that with the N heads, etc. and the chevy boys will be scratching their heads as to why you are smokin' them down the straightaways.

rico 08
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1139
posted January 16, 2004 07:51 AM  
I think for the money your better off with the chevy,you can still find decent stock type heads,vortec's are the best bang for the buck you will find,and they are regular prodution fare,not a special race head.I read an article on a Maurice Petty built dodge for the late model stock's that cost big money($8,000 i beleive)and it only put out 380 horses!Another magaine did a low dollar build up of a 355 with vortec's that put out 459 horses for 1/8th the cost.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 337
posted January 16, 2004 01:27 PM  
Hey raz nice unbias opinion being I run a ford and I expected to see chevy chevy chevy on a question like this.As for cost my 347 run about 200 bucks more than chevies I have put together for others but has noticably more power.alot of it lies in the heads.And like outlaw said late model fords have better heads than the old.I don't have overheating problem and don't crack heads.The big thing with the chevy is more parts available but cost is simmilar to the other makes dodge seems to be on the high end nowfar as cost.Extreme dirt car champ scott bloomquist ford power.!!!!!!!!!!!Hey rico I wonder which one of them motors will have a longer life.I know just because of the cost doesn't mean anything.My 3500 $ motors rotating assembly is going on its 4th season with the same parts.the 2 place in points driver last year went thru 3 shortblocks @ 9500 each in a month finished 2 positions ahead of me for about 35,000 more than me.

[This message has been edited by dirtracer7 (edited January 16, 2004).]

rico 08
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1139
posted January 18, 2004 12:34 PM  
I'm not sure on which would last longer,bottom end wise prolly the dodge,but the dodge had some really funky pushrod angles and offset rockers to clear the heads so i'd vote for the chebbie on the topend durability.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted January 18, 2004 03:34 PM  
if your low on money i would run chevy parts are cheap and you can build a pretty good motor for cheap. something that will last decent.
a mopar is great for power and strength.
also the front torsion bars are easy to set up especially if your not allowed to run racing springs in some classes.
my dad used to run mopars alot and he loved how easy you can set the fronts up.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 34
posted January 20, 2004 02:19 PM  
Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it.

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