73 Mustang 351 Cleveland Rebuild – Engine is Out!!!

Time to celebrate!!!   The 351 Cleveland is out of #ProjectSportsRoof.

Yeah…I know!! It seemed like to took forever!!!  Seems longer since I haven’t driven it in months.

Now if you missed the last post and you are expecting to see a video of the engine coming out, that’s just not going to happen.  Here’s a recap of just why there’s no video.

I had made arrangements with my neighbor Dan (Dan did the welding on the floor panels for me) for a Friday he had off to pull the engine.  I was going to “work” from home that day and we’d carry out the task in the morning – it’s pretty hot here in Southern Arizona this time of year.  Well, I had an issue at work and I had to run in for what I hoped would be only a few minutes – it took until noon.

By then, it was over 100 degrees and when I pulled into my driveway Dan was outside working on one of his projects.  After apologizing  I changed in to some grubby clothes real quick and we got to work.  By then it was about 106 degrees out and of course we are doing this outside.  We should have been done by  time we actually started and Dan’s adorable twins we hoping to make it the pool before their Dad had to head off to work for the evening.

I mention this all because I’m setting up you for the disappointment, (there is nothing more exciting than getting the engine out – well maybe putting a new one in, it’s a milestone worth capturing on video).  Given the above circumstances, I felt it very unfair to ask Dan and the twins to hang out while I stopped to talk you all and then perform a task and then record.  So I have no shots or video of pulling the engine out.

351C finally on the stand!

351C finally on the stand!

It was an effort but here it is:

And there you have it.  #ProjectSportsRoof gave up its 351c power plant and boy does it need an overhaul!!

So keep checking back here (www.agcarrestoration.com) and watch it all unfold!

Thanks for read and drop me a note, love hearing back from readers.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof


Average Guy’s Car Restorations, Mods, and Racing

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73 Mustang 351 Cleveland Rebuild – Removal Part 3

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Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. I’m getting ready to pull the 351C from between the fenders of the 1973 Mustang SportsRoof for a complete rebuild.

73 Mustang 351 Cleveland Rebuild – Removal Part 5

2 days ago Tagged: projectsportsroof … We are moving right along on #ProjectSportsRoof, with the 351 Cleveland rebuilt. Still getting it ready to be …


Knock..Knock…Who’s There? It’s the bottom end of your 351 Cleveland!!!

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!!!):

  1. 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.
  2. Not rebuilding/replacing is not an option.
  3. 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”

  1. Is it the cam?
  2. Is it just the bearings?
  3. Are the cylinder walls serviceable?
  4. 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.

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines – $8439.97

– 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.

Thoughts? Suggestions?