SBF clarification please!

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nickpohlaandp
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SBF clarification please!

Post by nickpohlaandp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:31 pm

Hey everyone! So here's my Friday afternoon random thought. I've built a lot of engines, and until recently I could narrow them down to a bunch of SBC, one Mopar 340, and Ford Mod motors. I recently completed a 390FE rebuild and I'm happy to say it's cruising the streets with its new owner, problem free. I also have a 385 series 429 CJ Torino I'm playing with, but it's not a full rebuild so I can't claim that one. This thread is about something I have ZERO experience with, the SBF.

For a long time I thought the SBF was a SBF, easy peasy, kind of like the SBC is a SBC. With the Chebby, aside from some minor changes over the years, they're all essentially the same, you just use different bore/stroke combos to get to where you want to be. After dealing with the 390FE, and then having the 429CJ dropped off, I quickly learned that there's more to a BBF or SBF than bore/stroke. I've read a few books about the FE's and the 385 series and I feel like I've learned a lot (compared to what I knew a few months ago). FYI, the 4 piece RMS on a FE sucks. I wasn't happy with the installation of the first one so I took it apart and did it again with a new seal... no leaks... yay me.

Back on track. So for years I've associated the SBF with the 5.0 mustang engines. I guess I just assumed that a 351 would be a 302 with a longer stroke. I've also heard for years that a 302 was good for about 500hp and then you are looking at the good possibility of splitting the block. I've never seen it happen, but I've heard about it enough to the point where I'm not even interested in messing with one. Apparently though, Ford can't just make one of something, there has to be at least two.

With the SBF, in the past few days I've read about people getting their hands on a coveted Windsor block, both in the forums and on some FB groups. Does anyone care to share what the deal is? What is it that makes the SBF Windsor so coveted? What is the 302 called? I know with Mod motors there are Windsor blocks (for trucks and 2000 model year cars due to a fire at the Romeo plant), and there's Romeo blocks. Generally speaking, there's not a whole lot of difference between the Windsor and Romeo in regard to power potential. There seems to be some big differences between a 302 block and a Windsor pushrod block. What's the deal? Anyone care to share some info?

I'm going to go on Amazon and buy a SBF book now, but while I'm waiting for that to arrive I'll wait and see what comes of this thread. Thanks everyone!
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by GARY C » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:02 pm

Being a GM guy I always thought that meant "Something Besides Ford". :D Let the battle begin!

No, just kidding, it should be interesting to see the classifications.

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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by DaveMcLain » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:10 pm

There are several small block Ford engines. They started with the 221 in 1962, then along cam the 260 and then the 289. All of those shared the 8.200 deck height as well as a 2.870 stroke. The displacement gains came only from bore size increases. Later in 1968 the 302 came along which used the same bore as a 289 but came with a 3 inch stroke. The pin height of the piston remained the same but the rod became shorter to accommodate the increase in stroke. Also on the old engines about mid '65 the bell housing pattern changed from one with five bolts to the familiar one with six bolts. All 221's and 260's are the 5 bolt but 289's can be either way, 302, 351Windsor, 351 Cleveland all use the same 6 bolt pattern.

In 1969 the 351 came along with an increase in stroke as well as deck height up to a nominal 9.500 from the 8.200 used previously. It is very similar to the 302 except for being a larger engine with a stronger block as well as a larger crankshaft featuring 3 inch main bearings. It also has 1/2 inch head bolts. In 1970 the 351 Cleveland was introduced and it uses a 9.200 deck height, 2.750 main bearing diameter along with a free flowing canted valve cylinder head which is similar to the head used on the Boss 302 in 1969. The Cleveland has a cast on timing cover that's sealed with a steel plate. The Cleveland was only produced from 1970 to about 1973. That design spawned the 400 in 1971 and the 351M a bit later which are also small block engines. The 400 and the 351M have a deck height that's again taller. 11.2 inches nominal right off the top of my head. When Ford developed the 400 they kept the 4 inch bore of the 351C, Windsor and 302 but went to a 4 inch stroke. The rods are also longer yet the piston compression height is the same as the 351C(pin is larger). The "M" block features the same bell housing as used on the 429/460 as well as a unique motor mount but it is still a small block engine.

All small block Ford production engines from 221 to 400 are externally balanced and they all use the 28oz hardware except for the 5.0 which uses the 50oz stuff. They start calling it a 5.0 around 1983 or so and that's when the balance factor changes yet the 351 Windsor never changes..

That should get you started...

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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by cjperformance » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:19 pm

I guess due to the 'windsor' small block having been in production for a long period of time spanning emission regs from as basic as just a PCV thru to a fairy complex SEFI and many performance tweeks, racing programs, capacity changes, vehicle uses etc it has become a complex beast to follow. 221, 255, 260, 289, 302 (& 5.0l) from one deck height and 351/5.8l from the taller deck height.
There are many block changes both in strength and bore diameter pre 289 and with the 255.
The 'Mexican' block for the 302 and the Boss 302 blocks being about the most sought after and strongest basic production blocks for the low deck SBF's.
Different external balance values, add on high rpm balance weights, thinner castings on later blocks, a ton of different rocker variations, HFT, SFT and hydro roller cams, timing cover differences, water pump rotation changes, intake bolt changes, even some exotic stuff
like the boss302 canted valve heads, tunnel port heads, gurney eagle/weslake heads, gear driven quad cam and just the production valve size changes and different head combo's, the list goes on, and on!
Unless you are building a factory spec accurate resto, basically once you know what power level and vehicle fit you are building for, pick the correct factory or aftermarket base parts and then fit up with whatever external accessories suit your needs/vehicle.
Craig.

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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by cjperformance » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:20 pm

Dave beat me to it following on from the windsor base so I stopped wearing my fingers out! :lol:
Cheers
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by nickpohlaandp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:24 pm

So far so good, and to quote John Belushi from Animal House, "Hoooooly Shit-ah!!"

Well al least Ford didn't make anything confusing.

:shock:
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by DaveMcLain » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:25 pm

cjperformance wrote:Dave beat me to it following on from the windsor base so I stopped wearing my fingers out! :lol:
Cheers
Small block Ford certainly is a long story. But at least it is interesting. :D I messed up in my first post with the 400, I think the deck height is 10.200.

There really are three different 351 Ford engines but they are more similar than the four different 350's built by GM. The 351M shares the same block and rods as the 400 but it has a unique crankshaft with a 3.500 stroke and pistons to make it work and they all use the same basic head design as the 351 Cleveland 2V. Most people are amazed that the 351C was only produced for a few years.

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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by cjperformance » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:32 pm

10.3" nominal on the 351m/400 deck.
Oh yeah definetly a long winded subject when addressing the SBF !!
Yes its amazing the 351c was dropped so quickly in USA yet the 351w & M continued. Thankfully (well in my view) here in Australia we continued with the 351c untill 84.
And just to make it more confusing we added a 3" crank and closed chamber 2 barrel heads to the cleveland to make a 302 Cleveland. Same pistons as the 351 with 6.028" rods to fill the gap.
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by cjperformance » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:39 pm

Not small block but I must say the FE certainly got more than a fair share of alterations over its lifespan!
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by nickpohlaandp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:06 pm

cjperformance wrote:Not small block but I must say the FE certainly got more than a fair share of alterations over its lifespan!
Building that 390 was cool. There's no doubt it's a stout block. I'm not sure how much power it would handle, but my guess would be quite a bit.
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by peejay » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:08 pm

Technically only 351Ws were "Windsor"s, the 221-302 were called something else, I think just "90 degree V8" although I've heard people call it the Fairlane V8 too. It's the same engine family but there's a lot different and I think only the head gaskets interchange between the two.

Technically technically the 351W stopped production in '78 or so, too. But that is really splitting hairs, here.

If you go by bore center as the difference between small block and big block, Ford made at least three different major "small block" V8 engine families that shared the same bore center (Y-block, 90-degree/Windsor, Cleveland) and there's a few subfamilies with different deck heights, main diameters, bellhousing patterns, etc.

I always thought the 400 was a real trick. Let's take the 351C and put a stroker 351W crank in it. And raise the deck height to the same as a 460 so we can save a few bucks on tooling. So what if it's a 700lb engine that makes 130hp?

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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by Walter R. Malik » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:27 pm

peejay wrote:
Technically technically the 351W stopped production in '78 or so, too. But that is really splitting hairs, here.
The 351 WINDSOR V-8 engine continued to be produced right through the 2000 year production AS the 351 WINDSOR engine later having fuel injection in light trucks. The first "Lightning" pick-up was a 351 Windsor and the 1993 COBRA MUSTANG was a 351 Windsor.

In 1993 the block was internally changed some to eliminate some girth and add the ability to use O.E.M production hydraulic roller cams and lifters.

I don't know where your "technically" comes from but, you are technically wrong.
Last edited by Walter R. Malik on Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by nickpohlaandp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:32 pm

So what are the blocks I've heard about "splitting" when you lean on em too hard? Like I said, I've never seen it, but I've heard about it a lot. And how are they splitting? Is it like the block just breaks in half?
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by Walter R. Malik » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:35 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:So what are the blocks I've heard about "splitting" when you lean on em too hard? Like I said, I've never seen it, but I've heard about it a lot. And how are they splitting? Is it like the block just breaks in half?
The 5.0L engines which came with torque to yield head bolts, light weight crankshafts, and 50 in/oz counterbalance were internally lightened and reduced their strength greatly.

Splits right up the main webs through the camshaft oiling passage; in half. The timing cover and bellhousing are holding it together.
Last edited by Walter R. Malik on Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SBF clarification please!

Post by nickpohlaandp » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:38 pm

Just looked on Summit and for Windsor blocks they only show 3, all made by DSS. The Cleveland seems to Have more options through Dart.
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