I recently bought a '71 Mach 1--it is in absolutely great shape, no rust at all (AZ car supposedly), very decent paint, good interior, etc. Basically I have a 33 y/o car that looks like it is less than 10 y/o. The only real problem with the car is the engine--it is a 351C-4V, bone stock from what I can tell (it even still has exhaust manifolds) and it feels very tired. Also, the car is an auto (C6), I had originally planned on changing this to a TKO like is in my '69 Mach, but the more I drive the '71 around the less opposed to the auto I become, so I have decided to ditch the 5-speed conversion idea. So, to get the power up to a little more respectable level, I am going to concentrate on the engine.
Here is the dilemma--I have a basically fresh (probably less than 500 miles on it) "built" 460 sitting in the garage right now--balanced, forged pistons, custom cam, etc. All it needs is a set of aluminum heads and it would be a really killer engine. All I would need to drop this in the '71 would be accessory brackets, headers, etc. I already have a big-block C6 as well. I have always wanted a big-block Mustang by the way.
On the other hand, I almost hate to do this to such a relatively pristine car--the other option would be to build up a 351C and drop it in. This would keep it more original, but would end up costing about the same or more as the 460 because I would basically need to do a total rebuild, plus if I go this route I will get aluminum heads for the 351C.
I do want this thing to have very respectable performance, and I am never planning on turning it into a garage queen or concours show car.
Back in the late 70's, I briefly had a '71 Mach 1 (302 originally) with a stock 460 from a '73 Lincoln installed and auto. There was plenty of room under the hood for everything and it was a tourqe monster. With 2.79 gears and the stock cam it ran out of breath at 5,000 rpms but it was quick and fun getting there.
The 71-73 Mustangs were "made" for the 429/460 engine series. It's too bad the first oil embargo, high horsepower safety conserns, insurance agencys, and lower emissions standards basically killed them off after 1971.
I think that the 351C-4V and the 71-73 body make an excellent and well balanced combination, kinda like the HiPo 289 in a 65. The C would be more "fun" to drive than wrestling around a big block car. The biggest problem with the stock 70-1 automatic "M" cars was the stall converter. Stall speed was too low, making the car feel very doggy off the line. They all should have gotten the CJ 2500rpm converter......
Clevelands respond extremely well to the normal mods: exhaust, headers, cam, intake, carb, etc.
A solid tappet dual pattern cam in the 230 @ .050" range, Hooker Comps, 2.5" Flowmaster kit, a fresh rebuild with one piece stainless valves and hyperuetectic slugs, 750 Holley DP, Edelbrock Torker, 3000 stall converter and 3.89 gears will make a VERY fun car indeed, pushing around 400 FWHP.
Granted, the "cool factor" of the big block car cannot be disregarded.
You have a very fun decision to make......
Nothing worthwhile is ever quick, cheap or easy, those that can't do, complain
The 429 was available in the '71's, the 460 is a stock parts swap. Just order the '71 429 mounts, and a good set of headers. Easy swap, and, you still have the stock Clev. to restore the car at a later date.
With the 429 front springs, and frt. sway bar, the car will handle good...
Love the big block torque..........
If you are going to be dumb, you got to be tough.
'70 Mustang Fastback,460 powered
One dissenting vote: I LOVE CLEVELANDS! That engine will absolutely haul! :horror: I think it is the best engine Ford ever made. I got no argument with those who say save the Cleveland and use the already-ready 460, but (1) if it is performance you want, and (2) you don't mind spending even more money and (3) not using a perfectly good BB you have already invested in, THEN GO WITH THE CLEVELAND.
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