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Old 03-11-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
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351w DIY rebuild..........

wats goin on guys.my coupe has 5.0 that has next to no oil pressure...tapping like no tomorrow. this past weekend i came across a roller 351 at the u pull it yard out of a pretty clean f150 that caught fire. Ended up paying $37.xx after taxes for the shortblock. Cheap!!! The interior and cluster was already gone so miles are unknown.since i have to pull my 302 anyway im figuring y not do a slight upgrade. i stopped by the Napa machine shop.He checked the bores with a mic an the stock bores are fine.

So my question is ive been itching to try a DIY rebuild, in this case maybe just just rings and bearing. How involved do you all think a stock rebuild would be.Not trying to bild a race motor, just a freshended F4TE. i can get the tools from summit. I really would like to try this........just guide me in the right direction...............
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:16 PM   #2
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Many rebuild shops screw up simple rebuilds when they use inexperienced or stupid help, or cut corners. Some guys just can't read a service manual or don't believe it.

If you are a methodical type and can read a book and measure and have the correct tools and experience, then you can do it. If you have never assembled a short block alone, then you are probably not going to be successful as you do not know how many mistakes you can make, or might not notice. Get someone to help you out who is not out of his mind and has actually done this successfully more than once.
Of course you have studied all about the changes required for the 351w swap, right?
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Many rebuild shops screw up simple rebuilds when they use inexperienced or stupid help, or cut corners. Some guys just can't read a service manual or don't believe it.

If you are a methodical type and can read a book and measure and have the correct tools and experience, then you can do it. If you have never assembled a short block alone, then you are probably not going to be successful as you do not know how many mistakes you can make, or might not notice. Get someone to help you out who is not out of his mind and has actually done this successfully more than once.
Of course you have studied all about the changes required for the 351w swap, right?
yea i dont think alot of the macine shops around here do all the checking clerances,plastguage,blueprinting and so forth.......basically torque an go. i just figured everybody starts somewhere,so i thought id seize the oppurtunity....or do u think this wouldnt quite work out?

an yes i checked all the swap parts prices.turns into a pretty pricey project. if im not mistaken i see around 1200 in swap parts and thats not includin decent heads for the 351 other than the gt40s i already have.Still debatin. push come to shove i can attempt the rebuild on the 302.............
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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i probaly could knock a couple hundred off swap parts by going carb,but im trying to stay injected. so thats something else i have to consider
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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If ur just reringin it and new bearings, U should be alright. Find a good local machine shop that knows there stuff and talk to them. Buy a manual and read up on the motor and clearance u need. keep everything clean and devote enough time to build the motor start to finish(Walking away and leaving something loose)and tripple check ur work. Goodluck
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #6
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:48 PM   #7
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I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I was shown many years ago how to do this stuff by a real mechanic. I had enthusiasm but no idea how to do it. I was 12-13 and started by hanging around and breaking down an engine for rebuild every so often for him and learning how to do that. He would then show me step by step how to do things right. It took a few years for sure. Not much of that stuff happening today and I am 60. I am competent but no Kato for sure. For example just putting the piston rings on is simple but easy to screw up. I would recommend just getting a new lower end or complete explorer engine to install. Just changing engines successfully is a goal in itself and most of the time a better thing to do, especially when you are at the point you are.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #8
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I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I was shown many years ago how to do this stuff by a real mechanic. I had enthusiasm but no idea how to do it. I was 12-13 and started by hanging around and breaking down an engine for rebuild every so often for him and learning how to do that. He would then show me step by step how to do things right. It took a few years for sure. Not much of that stuff happening today and I am 60. I am competent but no Kato for sure. For example just putting the piston rings on is simple but easy to screw up. I would recommend just getting a new lower end or complete explorer engine to install. Just changing engines successfully is a goal in itself and most of the time a better thing to do, especially when you are at the point you are.

been thinkin today.might end up just selling the 351. im not planning on stroking yet and the torque gain to swap cost ratio is not justifiable right now.hella cheaper to put in another 302. DECISIONS...................
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:43 PM   #9
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Explore motor if u can find one cheap enough for ur budget is the best option.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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everybody has to start somewhere.
i vote you build the 351
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #11
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:37 AM   #12
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I would kill to find a 351 roller block like that. If you cant afford the 393/408 stroker kits do this:

1. Disassemble to bare block
2. take, pistons and rods to be shot peened and cleaned up
3. Take crank to machine shop to see if it needs polishing
4. Get a ball hone and electric drill and hone the cylinders...do this in and up and down motion to get the crosshatching effect. This will remove any lip and the top of the cylinder.
5.Drench block in degreaser and hose it down with soap and water.
6. Immediately after being cleaned DRENCH the block in wd-40
7.Buy new bearings and rings and assemble.

A buddy and me did this on his 427 nitrous windsor motor and the car ran in the high 8s without any problems at all!
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:37 AM   #13
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why the motor is cheap you can rebuild it really cheap and what you will learn will be worth its weight in gold when next time your car breaks and you can fix it yourself.no body will take the time to do it right like you will.JUST DO IT OR SELL IT 2 ME
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:41 AM   #14
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I would kill to find a 351 roller block like that. If you cant afford the 393/408 stroker kits do this:

1. Disassemble to bare block
2. take, pistons and rods to be shot peened and cleaned up
3. Take crank to machine shop to see if it needs polishing
4. Get a ball hone and electric drill and hone the cylinders...do this in and up and down motion to get the crosshatching effect. This will remove any lip and the top of the cylinder.
5.Drench block in degreaser and hose it down with soap and water.
6. Immediately after being cleaned DRENCH the block in wd-40
7.Buy new bearings and rings and assemble.

A buddy and me did this on his 427 nitrous windsor motor and the car ran in the high 8s without any problems at all!
doesnt sound to bad
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #15
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:19 PM   #16
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everybody has to start somewhere.
i vote you build the 351
I'll second that, you'll never learn untill you do it.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:28 PM   #17
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I would absolutely do it myself. There is only 1 way to learn and thats getting your hands dirty!

After getting several bad shortblacks that didn't last (thanks DSS) I opted to pick up the bore gages and dial indicaters and do it myself.

I did lots of reading(how to build small block fords Ect..) and picked up a Haynes manual. After checking on what I needed to do, tools that I needed, and clearances that need to be set, I just went and did it!

I am happy to report that I did a MUCH better job than DSS and my lil 306 lasted me for quite some time. The crank eventually snapped....

I just got done doing my 383 stroker and it is up and running without issues.

It can be done and SHOULD be done. If your a real hot rodder, you gotta learn sometime!

Find a good machine shop for the machining (if needed in your case) as this will save you much time and headache. A good engine starts with good machining then with a good detailed assembly.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:39 PM   #18
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Like I said earlyer, Find a good machine shop and talk to the engine builder and ask him any questions u have and keep a clean work place and plenty of peace and quite and u should be fine. Just make sure to check and triple check ur clearences and torque specs.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:27 AM   #19
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thanks for all the motivation.hopefully ill know something by the time this spring weather hits
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:30 AM   #20
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another question about piston selection. wat exactly in the piston specs are u looking for when trying to determine wat clears 2.02 valves and long duration cams and so forth. i went on summit and looked at some and maybe its me but the valve reliefs didnt look bigger than the big dish on the stock 351 piston.......................
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:20 AM   #21
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I would just do it. It is much easier to build an extra engine, because you have the time. Get a decent rebuild book, study it, and go through the process as methodically as possible. Bag and tag every part.

I have done two, just finished a 350 brand c, which took a month or more and had me finding a bunch of issues the machine shop from hell left me. But its in the car and running now.

Did a 302 8 years ago, balanced and all. That was from pro shop, and everything went together nicely.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:34 AM   #22
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+1 vote for DIY!!!
Buy a Haynes manual. It's got EXACT detailed step by step instructions... but even with that said you won't need to do everything.
Pull it apart, keep everything organized and IN ORDER. Hoan it using WD40 as lube, go in and out rather fast to try and give it a 30* angle on the cross hatching. Unless your crank and or rod journals look scratched just slap it back together with new bearings and rings. Buy or rent a bottle brush hoan. Put in a new oil pump, pickup, shaft, and timing chain. Don't change anything big (rods, pistons, rod bolts). If you try to change anything you'll likely need to have the assembly balanced again costing youself another couple hundred. If you can find a decent one a windage tray is always a nice addition.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #23
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+1 vote for DIY!!!
Buy a Haynes manual. It's got EXACT detailed step by step instructions... but even with that said you won't need to do everything.
Pull it apart, keep everything organized and IN ORDER. Hoan it using WD40 as lube, go in and out rather fast to try and give it a 30* angle on the cross hatching. Unless your crank and or rod journals look scratched just slap it back together with new bearings and rings. Buy or rent a bottle brush hoan. Put in a new oil pump, pickup, shaft, and timing chain. Don't change anything big (rods, pistons, rod bolts). If you try to change anything you'll likely need to have the assembly balanced again costing youself another couple hundred. If you can find a decent one a windage tray is always a nice addition.
wow alot more people than i thought have went this diy route.im motivated. i guess i have to figure which to rebuild.my 302 or the 351w.im going to pick up a small block ford building book today
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:27 PM   #24
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WIch piston selection, Go look at some pistions at ur local speed shop. Get familiar with what ur looking at and sizes and stuff. Its hard to online shop for some parts when u dont kno what to look for.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #25
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i'd drop an eploded motor in,they are getting easy to find nowadays,then build your 351 and have an xtra set of gt 40's for resell,just my 2 cents
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:27 PM   #26
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Dropping an explorer motor is the easy and cheapest way. I'm not a fan of cheap DIY rebuild. Too many problems can come up. So drop the explorer motor in and strip your old block bare get it tanked, checked and see what you got and what you want to do with it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:17 PM   #27
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