351C stroker question??

351C stroker question??

Joined: June 20th, 2011, 2:47 am

January 17th, 2012, 5:59 pm #1

I plan to build a 351C stroker motor. I'm an older, retired Ford mechanic that wants a faster toy. I have a 1972, 4-bolt main block that was just bored to 4.030". I don't want to build an all out race engine, just a good street motor that will be installed in my 1970 Mach 1, 4-speed, 4:30 rear gear. I was thinking a 408 stroker with the stock 4V heads, along with a roller hydraulic cam, would be the way to go for a good street motor. Something that would rev around 6000 RPM. I checked out the internet and called several engine shops/builders that specialize in the 351C. Now I'm confussed. Everyone has a different opinion, from what size stroker kit to install to the type of heads to use. What I thought would be somewhat simple, has become hard, because of a vast amount conflicting opinions. I do know about rod angle and I am concerned about cylinder wall cracking. Some builders say there is a concern and some say not to worry. Some tell me to install hypereutectic pistons, because less clearance is required, better/quieter for a street motor. Some say no way, go forged pistons. I also realize the stock 4V heads won't produce the kind of power the CHI or AFD heads do, but do I need the max HP for the street? With some of these heads you have to use their intakes, which is costly. Also, I could get too much HP and the 1970 Mustang body may not handle this unless frame rail supports are installed. I just want some honest opinions from car owners that have done a 351C stroker and don't have anything they are trying to sell me that influences their advice. I want to build something that works well, that will last and not give me headaches. I do know cheap is not always better. Thanks much.
Last edited by MMUBM5 on January 17th, 2012, 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 21st, 2005, 12:13 am

January 17th, 2012, 6:15 pm #2

I haven't finished it yet, but I am working on a 408 stroker with 4V CC iron heads. Mine will also be mild street build with a hydro cam and running on pump gas. I'm shooting for about 10-10.25:1 compression. I bought a stroker kit from CHP. I decided to go to the forged kit just in case I want to go to better heads/cam for more power at a later time. I also like the peace of mind of a forged unit in case something happens like bad gas, stuck throttle, etc. I'm not worried about a little more noise at start up (I probably won't hear it over the exhaust). I had forged pistons in my last 302 build and I drove it in -20 weather middle of winter for several years. No problems at all and I didn't notice any unusual noise from the pistons. People make a big deal about oil consumption with the wrist pin intersecting the oil control ring, but I'm not going to drive this a hundred thousand miles daily commuting. I'll be lucky if I get 3,000 miles a year driving it on nice days. I probably won't wear it out. I'll probably decide I want to upgrade the engine before it ever gets worn out.

I'm a little worried about cracking a cylinder, but I had the block sonic checked and I don't think I should be too worried in a street application. It's not going to spend that much time at max revs. I think rod/stroke ratio is over-blown and a 408 r/s ratio isn't that bad even compared to some production vehicles that typically last over 100,000 miles.

If you plan to drive a ton and live in a always sunny area, maybe keep the r/s ratio down more and keep the wrist pin out of the oil control rings. If you have a 3 month summer like I do and won't be driving it a ton, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Joined: December 8th, 2007, 4:20 am

January 17th, 2012, 6:23 pm #3

All production supercharged and turbocharged engines come with forged pistons that last as long if not longer than non forged.Zr1 ,AMG, turbo volvo's etc etc..
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Joined: December 16th, 2003, 1:59 am

January 17th, 2012, 7:20 pm #4

I plan to build a 351C stroker motor. I'm an older, retired Ford mechanic that wants a faster toy. I have a 1972, 4-bolt main block that was just bored to 4.030". I don't want to build an all out race engine, just a good street motor that will be installed in my 1970 Mach 1, 4-speed, 4:30 rear gear. I was thinking a 408 stroker with the stock 4V heads, along with a roller hydraulic cam, would be the way to go for a good street motor. Something that would rev around 6000 RPM. I checked out the internet and called several engine shops/builders that specialize in the 351C. Now I'm confussed. Everyone has a different opinion, from what size stroker kit to install to the type of heads to use. What I thought would be somewhat simple, has become hard, because of a vast amount conflicting opinions. I do know about rod angle and I am concerned about cylinder wall cracking. Some builders say there is a concern and some say not to worry. Some tell me to install hypereutectic pistons, because less clearance is required, better/quieter for a street motor. Some say no way, go forged pistons. I also realize the stock 4V heads won't produce the kind of power the CHI or AFD heads do, but do I need the max HP for the street? With some of these heads you have to use their intakes, which is costly. Also, I could get too much HP and the 1970 Mustang body may not handle this unless frame rail supports are installed. I just want some honest opinions from car owners that have done a 351C stroker and don't have anything they are trying to sell me that influences their advice. I want to build something that works well, that will last and not give me headaches. I do know cheap is not always better. Thanks much.
whoever said Forged and Hypereutectic was probably right, read here...

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/cc ... index.html

4032 being high silicon probably qualifies it as Hypereutectic alloy, the 2618 probably Hypoeutectic

forged construction, better than cast... best of both worlds?

depends upon the application

but a 4.30 rear gear sounds like a lot, with a 26" tire you'll tach 6k at 108 mph

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing
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Joined: June 20th, 2011, 2:47 am

January 17th, 2012, 9:10 pm #5

Good article. Thanks. The 4032 piston sounds alot like the hypereutectic type. I called KB Pistons or Keith Black and they told me that they didn't even make a hypereutectic piston that would work with a 408 stroker kit. That's not to say someone else doesn't. The tech guy I spoke with said a hypereutectic piston would be good for at least 500 HP and is a better piston for a street motor that won't see much more than 6000 RPM. They are quieter and last longer, just like the Car Craft article says. And the 4:30 gear, you're right. It may go. I do plan on installing a five speed or Gear Vendors OD unit, but that's another chapter. Thanks.
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Joined: November 18th, 2003, 6:49 am

January 17th, 2012, 9:29 pm #6

whoever said Forged and Hypereutectic was probably right, read here...

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/cc ... index.html

4032 being high silicon probably qualifies it as Hypereutectic alloy, the 2618 probably Hypoeutectic

forged construction, better than cast... best of both worlds?

depends upon the application

but a 4.30 rear gear sounds like a lot, with a 26" tire you'll tach 6k at 108 mph

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing
I wouldn't look too hard into that Car Craft article, as Forged pistons havn't had big expansion/noisy running on cold motors since the old TRW Forged days, and the 2618 have tight piston to bore clearances and are light weight as well. Like stated, only forged pistons are availl off the shelf for a 408 and thats the way to go. The 4032 are listed as Factory replacemnt pistons on the probe site, so you would run them in a basic streeter with the std 351 crank only.

http://www.probeindustries.com/Probe_Do ... s_s/10.htm

I have had my 30 thou over, 408 Cleveland running for over 4 years with near 600HP and havn't touched it bar change the oil. When i race, i shift at 7400 rpm and it has been very reliable.

I think the 4V's will peform very close to any of the alloy head offerings out there, just pick the right piston CC to get you compression right. I run the Probe SRS 14213 with a 16CC dish to get my compression where i want it.

Are your 4V open or closed chamber? Are you going to fit good one piece valves and decent reatiners/locks etc?
Last edited by xdclevo on January 17th, 2012, 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 20th, 2005, 4:48 pm

January 17th, 2012, 9:40 pm #7

I plan to build a 351C stroker motor. I'm an older, retired Ford mechanic that wants a faster toy. I have a 1972, 4-bolt main block that was just bored to 4.030". I don't want to build an all out race engine, just a good street motor that will be installed in my 1970 Mach 1, 4-speed, 4:30 rear gear. I was thinking a 408 stroker with the stock 4V heads, along with a roller hydraulic cam, would be the way to go for a good street motor. Something that would rev around 6000 RPM. I checked out the internet and called several engine shops/builders that specialize in the 351C. Now I'm confussed. Everyone has a different opinion, from what size stroker kit to install to the type of heads to use. What I thought would be somewhat simple, has become hard, because of a vast amount conflicting opinions. I do know about rod angle and I am concerned about cylinder wall cracking. Some builders say there is a concern and some say not to worry. Some tell me to install hypereutectic pistons, because less clearance is required, better/quieter for a street motor. Some say no way, go forged pistons. I also realize the stock 4V heads won't produce the kind of power the CHI or AFD heads do, but do I need the max HP for the street? With some of these heads you have to use their intakes, which is costly. Also, I could get too much HP and the 1970 Mustang body may not handle this unless frame rail supports are installed. I just want some honest opinions from car owners that have done a 351C stroker and don't have anything they are trying to sell me that influences their advice. I want to build something that works well, that will last and not give me headaches. I do know cheap is not always better. Thanks much.
A 408 with the right cam and 4V heads will definitely surprise you. I'd aim for about 500-550 hp, which is certainly do-able with those components.

There are no issues with rod angles (some people get obsessive with that subject), rod ratios, or anything of the like.

As for the rotating assembly, a Scat cast crankshaft, Scat forged I-beam rods, and forged pistons would be the way I would go. For the money, forged pistons are just a couple hundred more than cast and you get a lot nicer piece...in most cases machined to a tighter tolerance, able to run smaller ring packs, etc. You would also have some room to grow if you wanted to ever upgrade to boost/spray.

This shouldn't be a hard choice, but with everything else in the world, everyone has their own opinions...

FWIW, I build Clevelands and have done all of these combinations...



Brent Lykins
B2 Motorsports, LLC






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Joined: May 20th, 2005, 4:48 pm

January 17th, 2012, 9:42 pm #8

I wouldn't look too hard into that Car Craft article, as Forged pistons havn't had big expansion/noisy running on cold motors since the old TRW Forged days, and the 2618 have tight piston to bore clearances and are light weight as well. Like stated, only forged pistons are availl off the shelf for a 408 and thats the way to go. The 4032 are listed as Factory replacemnt pistons on the probe site, so you would run them in a basic streeter with the std 351 crank only.

http://www.probeindustries.com/Probe_Do ... s_s/10.htm

I have had my 30 thou over, 408 Cleveland running for over 4 years with near 600HP and havn't touched it bar change the oil. When i race, i shift at 7400 rpm and it has been very reliable.

I think the 4V's will peform very close to any of the alloy head offerings out there, just pick the right piston CC to get you compression right. I run the Probe SRS 14213 with a 16CC dish to get my compression where i want it.

Are your 4V open or closed chamber? Are you going to fit good one piece valves and decent reatiners/locks etc?
Probe (or even Diamond, Mahle, JE, etc.) forged pistons would be a great choice.

Don't worry about excessive clearances like some of the older forged pistons used to run. Forged pistons these days run around .0045-.006" clearance depending on the brand and material. Your cast stuff usually goes at around .0015-.002".

If your block has the correct clearances, you will not hear the forged pistons....I promise.

Brent Lykins
B2 Motorsports, LLC






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Joined: February 13th, 2006, 4:59 am

January 17th, 2012, 10:21 pm #9

A 408 with the right cam and 4V heads will definitely surprise you. I'd aim for about 500-550 hp, which is certainly do-able with those components.

There are no issues with rod angles (some people get obsessive with that subject), rod ratios, or anything of the like.

As for the rotating assembly, a Scat cast crankshaft, Scat forged I-beam rods, and forged pistons would be the way I would go. For the money, forged pistons are just a couple hundred more than cast and you get a lot nicer piece...in most cases machined to a tighter tolerance, able to run smaller ring packs, etc. You would also have some room to grow if you wanted to ever upgrade to boost/spray.

This shouldn't be a hard choice, but with everything else in the world, everyone has their own opinions...

FWIW, I build Clevelands and have done all of these combinations...



Brent Lykins
B2 Motorsports, LLC





Well we have talked about this a few times on here for sure! What are your reasons for stroker? I think most have come to the consensus that with today's camshafts, carbs and other goodies a 550 - 600 hp c-motor is not that big of a deal even without stroking. If your heart is set on stroker than go for the gusto. I would buy one of the complete Stroker kits offerd from the various builders. The iron heads are very close on power so unless you have a ton of money or no iron heads then yes a new aluminum is the way to go. I myself went to the 400 block based stroker and knowing what I know now(info gained from this site) I would've built a real stout stock stroke Cleveland. It would have been way easier. Good luck in your build. Oh ya the Keith black hyper pistons are of very good quality and I have used them in 550 hp motor with zero issues.
Last edited by steve.k on January 17th, 2012, 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: June 20th, 2011, 2:47 am

January 17th, 2012, 10:27 pm #10

I haven't finished it yet, but I am working on a 408 stroker with 4V CC iron heads. Mine will also be mild street build with a hydro cam and running on pump gas. I'm shooting for about 10-10.25:1 compression. I bought a stroker kit from CHP. I decided to go to the forged kit just in case I want to go to better heads/cam for more power at a later time. I also like the peace of mind of a forged unit in case something happens like bad gas, stuck throttle, etc. I'm not worried about a little more noise at start up (I probably won't hear it over the exhaust). I had forged pistons in my last 302 build and I drove it in -20 weather middle of winter for several years. No problems at all and I didn't notice any unusual noise from the pistons. People make a big deal about oil consumption with the wrist pin intersecting the oil control ring, but I'm not going to drive this a hundred thousand miles daily commuting. I'll be lucky if I get 3,000 miles a year driving it on nice days. I probably won't wear it out. I'll probably decide I want to upgrade the engine before it ever gets worn out.

I'm a little worried about cracking a cylinder, but I had the block sonic checked and I don't think I should be too worried in a street application. It's not going to spend that much time at max revs. I think rod/stroke ratio is over-blown and a 408 r/s ratio isn't that bad even compared to some production vehicles that typically last over 100,000 miles.

If you plan to drive a ton and live in a always sunny area, maybe keep the r/s ratio down more and keep the wrist pin out of the oil control rings. If you have a 3 month summer like I do and won't be driving it a ton, I wouldn't worry about it.
Sounds like we're doing about the same thing. I just hate to dump $2500.00 or so into a set of aluminum heads so I can get more HP and probably in more trouble. The prices for CHI or AFD were in that price range. I looked at all the other aluminum heads being sold for a Cleveland and there are cheaper sets, but not too many good praises for them. Like you said, the heads can always be changed out later. I live in Northern Illinois and our fun time for old cars is basicly late April to October. I probably won't drive 3000 miles a year either. I would rather put the head money into an A/C unit for the car. Are you doing anything special to your iron heads? I just planned on new seats, guides, valves, springs and whatever else. The R/S ratio on a 408 is not all that bad. I know the cylinder walls on a 351C block are thin and I then when I read a few horror stories about cracked cylinders after they installed a 408 stroker, I started to worry. Who knows how these were driven and what kind of RPM's they saw. I'm keeping the car's original engine as it was. If the stroker breaks, I still have the original to stick back in the car.
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