H.O. cam worth replacing 351 truck roller cam? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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H.O. cam worth replacing 351 truck roller cam?

I have a 94 roller 351w, looking to swap into my 68 coupe. I really have to dig into the motor to change out timing cover, oil pan. Might as well throw on the gt40 heads I got. The bronco the motor came from was exactly as you would expect, kind of lazy. I am sure crappy ignition curve, crappy exhaust, crappy intake all contribute to this. With all that apart anyways is it worth just to throw in a ho Foxbody cam? I am slapping this together for virtually nothing other then an oil pan and gasket set. Currently installing cobra r brakes and a t5 conversion so tapped out on cash but can figure$ 50 if you guys think might be worth it
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 11:11 AM
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I have a 94 roller 351w, looking to swap into my 68 coupe. I really have to dig into the motor to change out timing cover, oil pan. Might as well throw on the gt40 heads I got. The bronco the motor came from was exactly as you would expect, kind of lazy. I am sure crappy ignition curve, crappy exhaust, crappy intake all contribute to this. With all that apart anyways is it worth just to throw in a ho Foxbody cam? I am slapping this together for virtually nothing other then an oil pan and gasket set. Currently installing cobra r brakes and a t5 conversion so tapped out on cash but can figure$ 50 if you guys think might be worth it
I think so, especially since you're already digging into the engine. IIRC the truck cams have Really short duration, all low end Torque. You might be able to find one for the price of shipping on TheCorral or other Ford sites.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:20 AM
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The 351 in my bronco made more torque than horsepower by a considerable margin. You forgot to mention the crappy heads Ford put on these later 351W's. Heads, cam, exhaust should do a lot for one of these engines. Mine was a 93 version which was the last year for the non-roller I believe. It would pull a trailer like no body's business though and got 8 miles a gallon. In 4wd it got 8 miles a gallon. In 2wd it got 8 miles a gallon. Pulling my car and trailer it got,,,,, yep, 8 miles a gallon, LOL. I loved the Bronco but I couldn't deal with the 8 mpg particularly after I got the 79 F150 restored so I sold it.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:48 AM
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Can you run the 351 Lightning setup? I would think that might be fun...

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=myfirstcar66;10215140]Can you run the 351 Lightning setup? I would think that might be fun...[/QUOTE
Lightning setup probably would be fun but...finding a lightning cam, changing to flat tappet lifters, new push rods.....not direction I want to go. Slapping in cam and calling it good, just to give myself a slightly higher power band is what I was looking to gain, just don't know that much about stock cams rpm range. I remember my 85 stang pulling till 5k maybe slightly more, if Broncos starts losing power at 3500rpm(guess) 1st gear is going to be REALLY short with my 3.73 gearset. Maybe bronco cam will pull till 5k too, I don't know, this is the question at hand.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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The 351 in my bronco made more torque than horsepower by a considerable margin. You forgot to mention the crappy heads Ford put on these later 351W's. Heads, cam, exhaust should do a lot for one of these engines. Mine was a 93 version which was the last year for the non-roller I believe. It would pull a trailer like no body's business though and got 8 miles a gallon. In 4wd it got 8 miles a gallon. In 2wd it got 8
miles a gallon. Pulling my car and trailer it got,,,,, yep, 8 miles a gallon, LOL. I loved the Bronco but I couldn't deal with the 8 mpg particularly after I got the 79 F150 restored so I sold it.
Crappy heads.... Yeah I didn't mention them, but I did state I planned on installing slightly less crappy gt40 heads. Lol. So what do you think, HO cam going going to give more of a performance feel? Torque at low speed probably not as important, 3.35 t5, and 3.73 8.8. Pretty low gear ratio.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 05:35 PM
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The 5.0 HO cams were not very impressive on spec. 208/212 duration at .050 and .445 lift. LSA I believe was 112. This was early 90's. They tweaked the spec's around a little throughout the run of these engines but not by a lot. One of the other things Ford did in the HO engines which probably did help significantly was increase the compression ratio some.


If I was going to pump up one I think I might look at the alphabet cams or talk to a cam vendor and match something up with the performance of the heads and what you want for a power band and rpm range. Even the lowly B303 is 224 @ .050 and .480 lift. I don't know at what alphabet you start having to swap out valve springs but you may already have some decent valve springs in the gt40 heads too. It depends what may have already been done to them.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 10:05 PM
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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The 5.0 HO cams were not very impressive on spec. 208/212 duration at .050 and .445 lift. LSA I believe was 112. This was early 90's. They tweaked the spec's around a little throughout the run of these engines but not by a lot. One of the other things Ford did in the HO engines which probably did help significantly was increase the compression ratio some.


If I was going to pump up one I think I might look at the alphabet cams or talk to a cam vendor and match something up with the performance of the heads and what you want for a power band and rpm range. Even the lowly B303 is 224 @ .050 and .480 lift. I don't know at what alphabet you start having to swap out valve springs but you may already have some decent valve springs in the gt40 heads too. It depends what may have already been done to them.



Will have to check out spring heights. My gt40 heads are marine variety supposed to have brass plugs, Manley valves, comp cam spring/retainers. I can't tell the difference. Yeah, definitely going to mill heads to up compression. 60cc should be about 9.1. Even e cam springs are supposed to be changed, but have heard of many success on gt40s. If had to change spring, would not do swap. This is a temporary build. I still have a significant line up of stuff to get for the brake and t5 swap. Only reason I am forcing this now, is I want to set my exhaust up to ensure cable routing for t5 swap, this is why I was just considering a ho swap. Few bucks, everything compatible, just looking to feel and sound a little more "peppy". I can do the milling at home, so why not.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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I can do the milling at home,

(Ears perk up) Do tell. How will you mill the heads at home? I've milled this and that including some header flanges on an old Clausing vertical and have always wondered about doing heads. I haven't tried yet partly because I doubt my setup skills. I haven't invested in a proper tramming tool for one thing. And realistically haven't actually had the need. Yet.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I can do the milling at home,

(Ears perk up) Do tell. How will you mill the heads at home? I've milled this and that including some header flanges on an old Clausing vertical and have always wondered about doing heads. I haven't tried yet partly because I doubt my setup skills. I haven't invested in a proper tramming tool for one thing. And realistically haven't actually had the need. Yet.


To start with I have a good sized sajo mill. Arbor is 40 nmtb, fairly substantial. I have a 2inch face mill shank. Made a 12 inch diameter face mill. Single pt. Is all you need, slow as hell but no need to align/ grind tool pts identical. Lathe bit in slot, or round bit in drilled reamed hole. Preferably set screws pressure in same direction as the cutting action pressure. Flycutters are easy make. Anyways I have tilting table to accommodate the heads angle.

Tramming? No need for anything special. Just throw indicator on your flycutter, or put a chuck on the mill with indicator arm, whatever you got. I will set lead edge .001 lower or so . Only want to cut with the one edge. Yes in theory this will leave an arc, but only like .0003 depth, I'm sure whatever mill is being used is not going to be that accurate anyways.
Only reason I feel ok to do it on this mill is it's particular construction. The saddle is particularly wide. Like 28 inches. I think there will be no sag as the table traverses, where as say my Bridgeport, the dovetails are maybe only 14 inches wide. (Guess, I am not at my shop, ) Just don't think it would be that stable as it traverses and the weight of the work goes from the left to the right. Not to mention there is no way I feel the r8 spindle would be ridged enough at a 12 inch cut. The Sajo's backgears will allow as slow as 30 rpm.

Please note I am not a machinist. I just like building stuff. I am comfortable with my plan, but with a free pair of gt40 heads. If I had a $2000 pair of heads, I would seek professional help. With my heads, if I am not satisfied with the cut, I can just lap them on my surface plate.

By the way, thank you GypsyR for advice relative to my ds2 . And yes I always over think everything. Lol
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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So I feel I finally answered my own question. Just had to.look at some torque curves of similar engines. 5.0 truck engine: 95 roller with f4te cam =205peak [email protected] 3800 rpm. 275 peak torque @ 2400rpm. 87 mustang with same heads: 225hp peak @4200 rpm. 300peak torque at 3200rpm.

I know there are other differences, but I feel the cam is probably the biggest change in rpm where torque curve lies. Peak torque is 800 rpm later. I think it is worth the very minor investment to get.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 07:10 PM
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Just make sure your cam selection matches torque converter too.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=50dan;10216508]Just make sure your cam selection matches torque converter too.[/QUOTE


Pretty sure my king cobra clutch is going match up nicely! Lol. But for real, that is good advice. Bronco torque converter with a ho cam would probably suck!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 11:53 PM
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The HO cam works great with those heads. You will want to make sure you get some new springs too though, as the truck springs are pretty weak, and you don't want to be lofting your lifters with the extra RPMs. I haven't seen the GT40P's and that cam on a 351, but I'm thinking you'd have no problem even with a stock converter. You're basically gaining 800 rpm with the cam, and pulling it right back down again because of the extra displacement (compared to a 302). To my way of thinking, it should be a really solid setup.

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