400 block oil mods

400 block oil mods

Joined: September 17th, 2010, 3:39 pm

October 11th, 2011, 3:05 am #1

I'm putting together a mild 400 for a 79 F150 4x4 and want to know if I really need to install the restrictor plugs in the main saddles. This engine will have a mild hyd cam and HV pump, and probably never see over 5-5500 as I am looking for low end torque. I've read alot around about this oiling system, and I am at the point where i need to either do the work or go on without it.

THanks
Howard
Last edited by 74ford on October 11th, 2011, 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: June 12th, 2009, 1:31 pm

October 11th, 2011, 3:15 am #2

at that rpm its not necessary.
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Joined: October 1st, 2004, 8:05 pm

October 11th, 2011, 4:08 am #3

I'm putting together a mild 400 for a 79 F150 4x4 and want to know if I really need to install the restrictor plugs in the main saddles. This engine will have a mild hyd cam and HV pump, and probably never see over 5-5500 as I am looking for low end torque. I've read alot around about this oiling system, and I am at the point where i need to either do the work or go on without it.

THanks
Howard
Why are you installing it? Got some big clearances somewhere?

What are you doing to control where that extra oil is flowing?

If you do nothing to control where the oil is flowing, it may just all flow out the big clearances, which in a high mileage motor is probably the clearances between the lifters and their egg-shaped bores.

Which I suppose is more desireable than pumping it all to the valve gear and emptying the oil pan!

I'm trying to stimulate thought.

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

October 11th, 2011, 5:28 pm #4

At 5500 use stock pump and bolt together. N/m
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Joined: March 20th, 2003, 1:54 am

October 12th, 2011, 2:14 am #5

George is right. The actual lifter bores have been determined to be the culprit in the fairly rare oil system failures. The fix is the sleeve the lifter bores. For a mild application like that - stay away from high volume or high pressure pumps, they are not needed and create new problems. You may start eating distributer drive gears and or possibly failing oil pump drive shafts. Until you get into extended high rpm operation the stock system in good health is more then adequate. If you worry about it, invest in a bigger pan and pickup and add capacity. Getting the oil back to the pan is also been shown to be an issue with higher rpm ops. A 400 with good heads and the right package tuned to run properly doesn't need to rev all that high to be effective. It is a square engine and a torque monster.

71 M code Mach 1, Tremec TKO, Wilwood SL6's, road racer.
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Joined: December 16th, 2003, 1:59 am

October 12th, 2011, 6:16 am #6

Why are you installing it? Got some big clearances somewhere?

What are you doing to control where that extra oil is flowing?

If you do nothing to control where the oil is flowing, it may just all flow out the big clearances, which in a high mileage motor is probably the clearances between the lifters and their egg-shaped bores.

Which I suppose is more desireable than pumping it all to the valve gear and emptying the oil pan!

I'm trying to stimulate thought.

-G
____________________________________________________________

Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information

If you use a 351C 4V powered vehicle for a grocery getter ... the eggs aren't going to make it home!
yes George is right, but more often than not a good used & polished crank, and even 'rebuilder' crank kits with supplied bearings turn out to have .0025" or more clearance on the rods & mains

the cam bearing restrictors do very little in the way of conserving oil to the bottom end, hardly worth the effort unless you're going to do more in the oil control dept anyway

if i were putting one together quick, dirty & on the cheap i'd use the HV pump rather than finding a few miles later that she won't hold the needle at idle

oil grade can be adjusted as/if needed. if she holds the needle with 10-30 party on! down the road if she starts dropping the needle try 15-40 etc...

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing
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Joined: October 1st, 2004, 8:05 pm

October 12th, 2011, 8:41 am #7

I didn't always believe that low rpm motors need bushings & restrictors. By low rpm I mean anything with a hydraulic camshaft. I've stated my case against such stuff right here in this forum. I stuffed the 100 psi spring in there (like Jack Roush told me to) and motored-on happy as the idiot I am. High volume pumps, same thing right, stuff enough oil in the cracks to build up pressure, and makes everything right with the world, no?

No. Wrong. I was wrong. My head was up my arse.

Denny Wydendorf humbly stated his case over and over ... and it finally sunk in to this thick skulled German brain. It just took a few years.

We never listened to ourselves. We all wrote "boo-hoo the Cleveland doesn't have a main priority system" and then made modification to boost pressure or volume without doing anything to control where the oil was flowing. Why did we think the extra pressure or volume was going to be supplied to the mains ... when we admitted to the world the mains did not have priority?

I'm just as guilty as anyone ... I'm not trying to be a smart arse ... I just want to humbly state that I now believe having high pressure in a 351C lubrication system does not guarantee that the lubricant is flowing where it is needed. It gives the owner a false sense of security. Stuffing additional oil into the passages with a high volume oil pump may boost pressure, but it doesn't guarantee the extra lubrication is getting to the crankshaft.

The factory specification for the clearance between the lifters and the lifter bores is 0.0007" to 0.0027". That's when the motor was new! 0.0027" is more clearance than the cranskshaft clearances of a new motor! Holy .... sheez! 40 years later this situation can't be any better, it will be worse due to wear. I imagine every high mileage Cleveland has one or more lifter bores that sprays motor oil downward on the camshaft like a shower head!

On top of that, modern lifters are designed for Windsor motors, they flow two or three times as much oil to the top end as they should in a Cleveland application. This is no big deal for a Windsor, the crankshaft has priority, whatever is left over is free to flow where ever it wants. But in a Cleveland the crankshaft does not have priority, it shares the oil with the valve gear, camshaft bearings and the lifter bores on an equal basis. The biggest clearances get the most oil.

This is why I posed the question ... what do we think a high volume oil pump is accomplishing if we've done nothing to control where the oil is flowing? High pressure is meaningless in my inebriated opinion. Lack of pressure was never the problem ... we've had it right all along ... the lack of a main priority system is the problem. That's what we've always admitted. There's only one way to fix that, and its not with a high volume pump or a high pressure spring.

-G
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Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information

If you use a 351C 4V powered vehicle for a grocery getter ... the eggs aren't going to make it home!
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Joined: February 13th, 2006, 4:59 am

October 12th, 2011, 2:37 pm #8

George do really think the bushings are warranted on a engine that might if it's lucky see 5500?I have a hard time going through the extra hassle when the stock oiling system kept the engines running for 100,000s of miles. I think if he was spinning over 6000-6500 and a little more power than go for it. I say the same as you if no bushings run the stock pump!
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Joined: September 17th, 2010, 3:39 pm

October 12th, 2011, 8:02 pm #9

I'm putting together a mild 400 for a 79 F150 4x4 and want to know if I really need to install the restrictor plugs in the main saddles. This engine will have a mild hyd cam and HV pump, and probably never see over 5-5500 as I am looking for low end torque. I've read alot around about this oiling system, and I am at the point where i need to either do the work or go on without it.

THanks
Howard
Thanks for all of the replies.

I did have a question on lifters, do i understand right that 351M/400/C lifters are different than windsor lifters?
If so when I buy a cam and lifter set from say Crane or Comp will they provide the correct lifter, or do they all just use windsor lifters?
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Joined: October 1st, 2004, 8:05 pm

October 12th, 2011, 8:49 pm #10

George do really think the bushings are warranted on a engine that might if it's lucky see 5500?I have a hard time going through the extra hassle when the stock oiling system kept the engines running for 100,000s of miles. I think if he was spinning over 6000-6500 and a little more power than go for it. I say the same as you if no bushings run the stock pump!
a person installs a high volume oil pump, or the moroso high pressure spring 'cuz we think we're doing some good for the motor, or maybe its a habit, or maybe its the trick we learned from a mentor 4 decades ago.

We want to give the lubrication system a little boost, we think "stock" isn't good enough.

Fine, but the spring or the bigger pump aren't going to help, its misguided effort. There is one modification that will help, it will help for sure, it will help every time. Fix the short-coming, turn the lubrication system into a main-priority system, install 5 cam bearing restrictions and 16 lifter bore bushings. $400 for Denny's kit, $26 for two bags of Moroso restrictions. Do it at home, yourself, in a couple of afternoons. The lubrication system will have plenty of oil volume even with the stock volume pump. The hot oil pressure will run higher too, even with the stock spring. You can run any lifter without robbing the crankshaft, because it has priority!

Now Steve, to answer your question, does this 5500 rpm motor need the bushings? 4 decades ago I would have answered you an emphatic NO! But today, 40 years later, these motors have lots of miles on them, I can't tell you how much wear is in that motor's lifter bores, but I CAN assure you there is wear. Whether or not its enough to require bushings ... well that is up to each individual person to decide. But if someone is going to ask me for a recommendation, I'm going to give the safe answer ... yes.


-G
____________________________________________________________

Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information

If you use a 351C 4V powered vehicle for a grocery getter ... the eggs aren't going to make it home!
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