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Old 06-03-2008, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First I should tell some history about my engine situation. 2 Years ago I bought a 351 roller block. It was a factory shortblock straight out of a truck. It needed a rebuild but it was a good start to my project. I paid $150 for it because the guy was sick of tripping over it. I also had what I thought to be (my father in-law supposedly helped the PO with the engine) a good running 289 in the car. Four months ago I sold the 351 roller shortblock for $300 because I was sick of tripping over it. I did well over the 2 years since I doubled my money.

Two months ago I finally got the 289 running and that was an exciting day. I had owned the car for 8 years and it could finally move under it's power. That happiness was short lived once the blue smoke starting pouring from the exhaust as well as the breather. It started huffing and puffing like it was trying to blow my house down. The 289 came out and the heads came off. The supposedly "great running" 289 needed a rebuild. It had a huge ridge and the cylinder walls were all scratched to hell.

Now the search began. I was looking for something cheap to get me through the summer without needing a rebuild. Next winter I would rebuild the 289 and put on a pair of windsor jr heads I have sitting here. After going and looking at 3 different engine and talking to numerous other people about possible engine purchases I had almost given up. Everything was junk or somebody had just bought it or I got the "I decided not to sell" story.

While searching craigslist I saw this ad


"Have a Ford 351 Windsor taken out of an '89 Bronco. Have all parts to go along with engine including another set of heads. Engine has all new bearings, pistons, bored .030" over. Short block completely rebuilt. Heads are not done. Would make a great project. Painted Old Ford Motor Blue. Pictures soon to come. Make me a reasonable offer."


So I emailed the guy because he was only 1 town away. I was really looking for just a shortblock and didn't want anything else.

His email responses kept saying make me an offer. I kept replying that I need to know what's in it before I can make an offer. Yesterday I got an email from him saying someone had offered him $200 for it and he wanted me to have the first crack at it. I said I'll do $300. I figured I could backout once I got there if it looked like anything wasn't right. He accepted my offer and we scheduled a time to pick it up from his work. He sent me the address and it was an auto repair shop.

My confidence was increasing that this might be a good deal, after all if he works at a garage then he probably knows something about rebuilding engines so the rebuild will most likely be done correctly.

When I got there we started talking about the shortblock and it turns out that for his job he took an engine rebuild class at the junior college. This was his "project" for the class and he said "I rebuilt it with hyper pistons and a mustang roller cam". As we walked over to his truck I kept thinking why would he install a roller cam in a flat tappet block. I figured I would just pull the cam and put in a flat tappet cam. We arrived at his ford ranger and the pickup bed full of parts including the shortblock wrapped up neatly in plastic. We opened the bag up and everything looked great. It had a nice crosshatch on the cylinder walls, the threads had all been chased, and it had moly lube on the cam and bearings.

He then said "take what you want because I am just throwing this stuff away." Bewildered I said how much more do you want for this. His response "nothing, my dad wants this junk out of the garage". So I grabbed the full gasket set, the arp bolt kit (intake,exhaust,oil pan, motor mount, timing cover, fuel pump and some others). I also grabbed an efi timing cover, tfi dizzy, pushrods. He also had a bunch of roller lifters, dogbones and spyder holddown.

I figured I might be able to sell some this stuff and recoupe part of my $300. I gave him the money and we loaded the shortblock up. It was at this point I noticed the casting code on the block F4TE and I couldn't help but smile. Holy crap this 89 bronco had an engine swap at some point and this was a damn roller block.

I felt like I hit the lotto.

So now I will double check all the torque specs and try to locate the rest of the parts necessary to swap this thing in. I already have a 351 oil pan so I will need to find a dizzy (I already have the steel gear), an intake, possibly pushrods and some head bolts.

Thanks for reading this longwinded post. I just had to tell someone because my wife could care less.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great story. Your 289 wouldn't be a 4bl by chance. I am looking for carb and intake. Too bad we can not all find deals like that. Dave
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dave,

Yeah it was a 4 barrel but it's a single plane Holley street dominator. If you have a stock 289 it might be a bit much. My 289 had .510 lift cam that was quite rowdy. If you are interested in it let me know.

I am planning on reusing the 600cfm holley carb after I rebuild it. It might be a bit small but I am going to try it first. I got the carb from Darrell (finallya68). You might want to contact him he had a whole stack of them when I was out there 3 months ago.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Having gone through the same process of trying to find a roller 351 myself, I know how hard it can be.
These are becoming the next variety of "barn finds".
I now have one in my 67 but the next time one came up for reasonable money, I snatched it up as a spare.
I may trip over it for a few years, but at least it's there if mine goes south.
Great story, thanks for sharing.
Joe
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good luck with the search. It can be both fun and frustrating.

What intake are you running? I am concerned mostly about hood clearance. I'm thinking that an air gap, performer rpm or a stealth will fit the future plans provided they fit under the hood.

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Old 06-03-2008, 03:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Right now it is an open book running stock 2bl and manifold just looking for a little more performance if possible on a nonexistant budget. I will have to talk to Darrel when I get it back on the road. Dave
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hear ya. I started hoarding 351C blocks about 5 years ago. I let a couple get away from me, but now I have 4 standard bore blocks... should last me awhile
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm running a Victor Jr. which is a pretty tall manifold. I've got no spacer under the Holley carb and I'm running a Holley drop-base filter with KN element and lid.
I run the Shelby hood and it works, but I don't think it would work under a stock hood.
As another datapoint, the air cleaner you see in my sig pic is the Cobra oval and it wouldn't fit. I snapped that pic just with it mocked-up.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No offense...but I hate you.

j/k congrats..I've been looking for one (351W roller block) for a while now as well. Eventually I'll find one.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great story. Wish I had that kind of luck. When I was hunting down a 351w for my project I really wanted a roller block but the closest I came was a guy on ebay who wanted $450 plus shipping for a used bare block. I wasn't ready to take his word on it that it was a rebuildable block and spend that kind of money sight unseen. I checked every single junk yard with in an hours drive and there was only 1 351 block in any of them, an '85 Bronco had just arrived at one yard the day before I got there. The yard mechanic still hadn't even inventoried the parts from it yet. The guy behind the counter told me he doesn't hang onto those engines very long, he gets 2 or 3 calls a week from guys wanting to upgrade their 5.0. The engine was missing the intake but otherwise complete, so he sold it to me as core motor for $150. I paid him and the next day it was out of the truck waiting for me. That same block is currently on my engine stand, completely machined and waiting for assembly.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMach1
No offense...but I hate you.
HA! I knew you'd be in on this thread!
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMach1
No offense...but I hate you.

j/k congrats..I've been looking for one (351W roller block) for a while now as well. Eventually I'll find one.
I guess my story just confirms that sometimes you will find many people that don't know what they have.

It was a much smaller scale but I felt like the urban legend of the corvette purchased for $1000 from the little old lady selling what's advertised as a chevette.

So go and check out the engine from an 89 bronco you never know what you might find
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I never realized that Ford made a 351W with a roller cam.

Can somebody please tell me what they came in and what to look for to identify one?

Thanks... Bruce
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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They came in Broncos, and the 250 and 350 series trucks and vans between 1994-1996. They also came in the Ford lightning from those same years as well.

The key identifier is the casting code up under the starter. You want to see F4TE. That indicates that the block is roller cam compatible. Many of them don't actually have a roller cam in them but the lifter bores are longer and the valley is tapped for the spyder hold down.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Any 351W from a '94-'96 truck will be roller compatible. Once they started production of roller blocks (in late '93 according to some sources) then all of them were roller compatible. I don't know if there were any block revisions in following years to make an F5 or F6 casting number, but any 351 block with the F4 casting number or later will take a roller cam
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