Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Just bought a new truck and want to put a 351 windsor in it

Does anybody know what the best year there was for a 351 windsor ?

They’re all essentially the same. Compression ratio, ignition timing and timing systems, and camshaft timing are the difference between various years.

One’s a good as the other. The only question is are you looking at the reliability angle or the power part of this? Power dropped off after about 1972 but a later gutless smog motor can be altered to put out quite a bit of horsepower.

I have a friend that says he has a 1973 ford galaxie with the 351 windsor that I am gonna put into the 1979 ford f150 ranger lariat. It is going to be bored .30 over vith a voodoo cam in it, 750 holley,edelbrock intake,and dual glasspacks.

All of the small block Fords are good engines and it sounds like this one should generate more horsepower than it ever came from the factory with for sure.

I would advise looking the timing chain cover over closely before installing it. Check the coolant ports in each side where it mates against the engine. With age and old coolant sometimes the aluminum in those spots will pit badly and leak anti-freeze even with a new gasket and sealer on it.

These are enough of a problem that a local salvage yard here even stocks new timing covers.

thanks for the tip I will check it over when he gets the car

Jack Roush wrote an article in Hot Rod magazine in 1973 called: “If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now”.

It explained how to take a 351W block and turn it into a tire burner. It mostly had to do with using parts from other stock Ford engines and some slight engine modifications.

I should try to find that issue.


it sounds intresting. I wouldn’t mind to read that article.

There’s also an excellent soft cover manual on small block Ford modifications although I can’t remember the name of the book offhand. I’ll dig through my bookshelves and post the name in case you might be interested in buying a copy of it. It’s a very interesting read.

cool I would like to know some good manuals on stuff like that.

What motor came in your '79? If it is a V8 you might want to just soup it up and not bother with a motor switch. I like 351’s too (have one in my ski boat) but just about any Ford V8 can benefit from some mods and you might want to investigate this first. A 289 or 302 can make nice power and sound good doing it.

A warmed up engine deserves a better platform than a '79 Ranger…The only thing it will good for is smoke shows…

Think Boss 302 in a Pinto for some REAL fun!

That book is “How To Build Max Performance Ford V-8s On A Budget” by George Reid.

It may still be available from cartechbooks (add the dot com) which is based in North Branch, MN.
About 19 dollars.

We’ ve got a local guy here with a '65 Ford Falcon Ranchero that is very slick. I had seen him around a number of times and finally got a chance to look the Falcon over at an small and somewhat impromptu car show one weekend.
A chromed and blown fuel injected 351 under the hood. Ow.

I don’t think there was any “best” year for a 351W Windsor (made in Windsor, Ontario). We had one in our 1976 Granada and it was a particularly difficult engine to adapt to the new emission standards. The gas mileage was awful, and we could not get it to run smoothly. Ours had the catalytic converter and it still had numerous driveability problems.

The best year for this engine was probably before any emision controls ( like the truoblesome air injector pump) we hung on it, like 1968 or so.

If you want a 351, get the other kind, the Cleveland engine, which has much better driveability. It was souped up to be the mid-engined Ford Pantera engine and had bags of power.

uncle turbo. the truck has a 302 in it and from what I’ve been around them no matter what you do to them they are still wimps.

hey caddyman thoes trucks can take almost anything you can throw at them. look them up. and on top of that they look cool. and its an f150 ranger.

The smog era 302 is a bit anemic but that’s curable. The 302 is a great motor and it can be easily built to be an absolute monster.

The 302 is actually the same as a 351. The difference is the 351 has a higher deck height and a longer stroke.

Sounds like a plan, but I think you should do a little more R&D if you want to do it right. A 750 CFM carb is way too big for an engine of this size and could cause drivability issues. A 650 CFM is more than enough for this motor.

What you do to your truck is a matter of time, budget, equipment, and skill. There is nothing wrong with the 302. There were a lot of factory high performance 289’s that were great motors right out of the box. There are lots of parts for getting more performance from a 302. It would be a higher reving engine compared to a 351, and the 351 will have more torque.

Either motor will give you a fun ride. The question is how much power do you want and need? Are you heading for drag strips, or cruise nights? I’m not saying to not put in a 351. But you will have more time and effort into just getting it in the truck. Put those same resources into pumping up the 302 that’s in there now and you might be ahead of the game, less money spent, less time in the garage, more time on the road.

the 302 that is in the truck is wore out it smokes , and has blowby. and asfar as cruise nights or drag strips the awnser would have to be both and a show truck as well.

and I forgot no oil pressure