After spending $$$ to get my 2v heads done right and after driving my 73 Stang for about 50 miles, the Cleveland has developed a knock in the bottom half of the engine.
It’s not uncommon when restoring cars that an undiscovered issue pops up and changes the entire project plan. But the dilemma I have now has multiple facets.
First there’s what to do about the engine. Rebuild it if possible? Replace with a short block, reusing the 2v heads? Buy a crate engine? Or set it on fire in the driveway? Each one of these options have it’s own inherent hurdles and impacts the timeline differently.
Second there’s issue with the old conundrum “Well as long as….I might as well do the ….” In this case it read like this… “As long as the engine out, I should, really, redo the engine bay.” That’s has is own timeline with the cleaning and sanding and priming and painting and replacing clips/fastener….etc.
So let’s discuss the engine.
There are a few “known knowns” (thank you Donald Rumsfeld!!!):
- The current 351C engine isn’t original to the car – in fact the car was born with 302. Why is that important? I don’t have to worry about the matching numbers thing, that ship sailed sometime ago. Basically anything goes.
- Not rebuilding/replacing is not an option.
- Budget. Although there is no set dollar amount, there is restraint how much can be spend in a given time.
Then there are the “known unknowns”
- Is it the cam?
- Is it just the bearings?
- Are the cylinder walls serviceable?
- What do I want this engine to be?
Options: (just a few)
Option 1: A friend of mine suggested a crate engine – just order one from Summitt Racing or Jegs. Make all the power I want.
– Discussion: $$$ (Could stop right there with this one.) Getting a 400+ HP turn-key crate would be just awesome. In my option that is what these Mustangs were meant to be. (ching-ching) Getting tons of power to the rear wheels with the current automatic C6 transmission will required a possible rebuild and an upgraded torque converter. (ching-ching again). But having a Cleveland in the engine bay is way cool!! I grew up in GM family… there weren’t a lot of discussion about Ford product and anytime I heard “Ford talk” a 351 Cleveland engine was mentioned. I do like the look of it under the hood the are wider than the Windsor family of motors. Keeping it a 351C V2 will be less expensive and you can make good power from it if you do it right.
– Conclusion for Option 1: Not gonna happen!!
Option 2: Find a good used 351C and install that
– Discussion: This is a good possibility. That’s already happened to #ProjectSportsRoof. The 302 was replaced with a 351 (whether it was a Windsor or Cleveland is not known) as this was the engine the previous owner hauled it out of a field with. As it turned out that engine was seized and the current engine was found and installed (along with the used C6 trans). It may be tough to find one. If and when you do the mileage shouldn’t be a known unknown and you need to determine the condition as best you can by listening to it run. If it is just sitting on the shelf, would you perform a “trust-fall” with the seller? Bottom line is a used engine “is like a box of chocolates”…you might end right back up where you are now. Frankly this would be my last option.
-Conclusion for Option 2: A weak maybe.
Coming up next – the Rebuild option.