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Sadly, in the summer of 1997, the fine powerplant of this noble steed took a turn for the worse. After over 80,000 miles from it's first rebuild, something gave up. I'm unsure exactly what, but based on earlier sounds I think we lost a piston skirt and finally either spun a bearing or lost the oil pump all together. Luckily, the engine has not seized but is in desperate need of repair. I will begin work on this in 1999 sometime, after I finish another project. When I start, I will be chronicling the process on this web site, complete with pictures. So stay tuned for the gory details.

The great feelings I have for this car come from the many shows and races it performed in. And all the time during those years it was an "everyday driver". This car was driven on nice sunshiny days, and days when the snow was over 8 inches deep. After 8 years of polishing paint, it would still take awards at car shows, even though there were 50,000 miles plus and many many dings, chips and checking paint. One note of advice, never use KR200 Yellow for primer when painting a car a dark color. I never understood why the paint shop I chose did this, but I've been very displeased. So much so in fact they never recieved final payment, and they never bothered me about it again.



Ford 351C (Cleveland), so named after the foundry where it was produced. Probably the one and only "bastard" block. It's larger than the 351 Windsor, yet smaller than the FE series, from 390 to 460. The Cleveland is considered a "small block", yet weighs in almost as much as a 429. You want a really good engine stand for this one. The major observable difference is the cast in block timing cover. Instead of a full cover that goes around the timing set, the block has been cast such that the timing set is shrouded by the front of the block and the timing cover is really no more than a piece of flat sheet metal covering the opening. Don't get any ideas, that's a pretty special piece of sheet metal, so don't go making your own. For another car powered by the 351C, visit my Pantera page.

4V heads and manifold, stock, cast iron. The 4V system differs from the 2V system in that the ports are much larger. The 2V heads have port openings on the average you might on any other head, however, the 4V contains such large openings you could just about shove a golf ball clear through to the combustion chamber. Ford was starting to get deeper into the racing end of things and the 4V heads were the ticket, unfortunately, the gas shortage/paranoia of the early '70's soon put an end to this powerful combination. 4V heads for the Cleveland are pricey and difficult to come by. They work best at higher rpm's and with low gearing. In my application, they don't really do me a lot of good until around 2,000 rpm, then watch out.

4V Carter AFB 750, oooooh, such a nice induction system. I've tried Holley and the stock Motorcraft units, and just keep coming back to the Carter. Also available by Edelbrock, this carb is very simple and quickly tuneable by the use of easily changed metering rods. Ever have to go get emissions done on your car??? This is the way to do it. Change to the leanest rods you can handle without impeading driveability, get your test, then drop in the old set. The model I use has an electric choke and is housed under the Ford NASA RAM AIR hood system found on few Mach I's.

RAM AIR, the fastest way to get cool air to the carb. Of course, you don't really want to do that until the engine is up to temperature. The system on this car uses a dual NASA hood ducted into a larger plenum area then fed directly to a circular air cleaner mated to the hood with a large rubber gasket. This is essentially an outgrowth of the "Shaker" hood designs on earlier Mustangs. The scoops themselves have a vacuum actuated flapper door that stays closed until a loss of vacuum, as in high speed acceleration, when the air demand is higher.

Motorsport hydraulic cam for the Cleveland, 510/536 lift with 292/302 duration I/E. Purchased from Ford Motorsport direct. This was a very good all around good cam for this engine. Not too much, not too little. Part Number M-6250-A341, recommends Lifters M-6500-A301 and Springs M-6513-B221.

CAMSHAFT SPECS (From label on cam box)
at .050 Lift
Lift (net)
Timing is net
(with no lash)
* ( at .006" Valve Lift pr SAE spec J604


Motorsport Roller Rockers. These babies are cool. Once you put them on a rig, you sincerly wish you had glass valve covers. Boy do they look pretty. These definately save horsepower (that is, give you a few more), save on wear and tear, and also allow the valve to travel in a more linear path.

Crane valve springs. All other valve train components are stock.

Headers with glass-packs. Midas claims it's all street legal, but the police tend to disagree. Carry the Midas paperwork with you.

Ford Duraspark II electronic ignition. A personal touch, eliminating that pesky requirement of changing points every 6 months. Oh yea, and the plugs seem to last a lot longer too, on the order of about 50,000 miles. Easy swap, just picked up a unit off an 80 Ford V-8 and dropped it in. I may have had to change distributor gears, can't remember.

C-6 transmission. Automatic, not manual. I'm comfortable with it. It moves out well, and the next rebuild will include some lower 1st gear ratios, from Ford Motorsport also. With the particular cam combination, I would recommend a higher stall converter though.

Well, maybe I can get some more pictures up here later.

Check out Les Morris' 71-73 Mustang Registry

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