I paid a company , to rebuild my engine, big mistake, I have ALWAYS dun it myself, but this time, I for any number of excuses, turned the project over to a outfit that was purported to be one of the best. I started the engine and the rear main leaked, but only till he engine came up to temp, then it stopped? I pulled the engine last Thursday and this is what I found:The rear main cap where it metes the block was not sealed , the seal was not rotated prior to install, easy fix, but why was it done half way? The most disturbing find came when I noticed the pan not fitting properly, the custom pick up lay right on the bottom of the pan!But to make matters worse, they fixed the problem by drilling random holes around the pick-up! This of course would allow ANY foreign material to go right into the pump and through the engine destroying it!Luckily I pulled the engine after one oil change and their was no damage. BE WARE, do it yourself!
Original Post
Wow! Sorry to hear about your misfortune.

This makes me want to do my engine myself next year even more, even though the last rebuild I did was ages ago, and I'd be in over my head and need to seek lots of help, at least I'd know I'd have covered EVERY thing I'd be concerned about compared to if I just threw the engine at a builder.

My last car, I had a simple turbo kit installed, that should have cost me about 8K in total and take about a week to install and tune. Well, 4.5 months later, after MANY screwups and returns to the shop, I finally got my car back running, but with terrible power numbers, and the tuner and I didn't see eye-to-eye, so he refused to do things I asked him to do (there was no one else in the area to tune my car so I was stuck with this shop), and after selling the car to buy my Pantera at a huge loss, a different tuner was able to unlock the old tuner's tune (one reason I went with that ECU was because it was Open Source and I requested the tune NOT be locked, but the tuner locked it anyways)and he was able to get an extra 80 safe HP without touching anything accept his laptop.

Live and learn, tuning I know nothing about so my story doesn't really apply to yours, but next year I plan to rebuild my engine, and I'm still debating on whether to send it to a builder or rebuild it myself.

I'm sure there are builders out there that you CAN throw your engine at, and get back exactly what you want, I know I'm going to do a lot of research and ask a lot of people about it all before deciding.
I don't even like to get my oil on my regular cars changed by somebody else.

I did have a shop build my short block, but my buddy and I were involved every step of the way on my engine build.

Glad you got things figured out early!

Rocky
If you can read and follow instructions there is plenty of good information on this site and elsewhere. If you have decent mechanical skills that's even better. There should be no reason one can not rebuild an engine in a home garage by outsourcing to a competent machine shop all the required machine work. Heck if I did it......
Mike, one suggestion: find yourself a good short-block or complete 351-C and start learning on that. Its worked for many and the advantages are numerous: no pressure to get it done at any particular date, you get to drive the car during the rebuild, your learn the motor's li'l tricks at your own pace and maybe even take advantage of parts deals as they occur.

Expect to find absolute rubbish for sale with a few diamonds mixed in- it HAS been 45 years since these engines were to be Ford's shining star that 'King' Henry ll threw away. Your heads are excellent as are a few more parts you already own so this could be done on a reasonable budget.
Unbelievable!

I just acquired a "never been bored out" standard 351C (2 bolt main) block with no ridging in the cylinder bores. The block came with a stock 351C crank - with standard sized journals and mains, as well as two sets of DOAE (stock) connecting rods. One set of rods has brand new TRW .030 over forged pistons (flat, for the quench chamber heads).

Who would have thunk it!

Rocky

PS> PM me if anyone is interested....
I may very well do that. Although, most of my parts will be rebuilt from the old engine.

I can at least get the block work done, I've read about the lifter restrictor bushings, and a few other important things that need to be done to the cleveland block, I can get all those things out of the way before I do the rebuild.

When the time comes, the engine I build/rebuild will be perfect, with everything done right.



quote:
Originally posted by Bosswrench:
Mike, one suggestion: find yourself a good short-block or complete 351-C and start learning on that. Its worked for many and the advantages are numerous: no pressure to get it done at any particular date, you get to drive the car during the rebuild, your learn the motor's li'l tricks at your own pace and maybe even take advantage of parts deals as they occur.

Expect to find absolute rubbish for sale with a few diamonds mixed in- it HAS been 45 years since these engines were to be Ford's shining star that 'King' Henry ll threw away. Your heads are excellent as are a few more parts you already own so this could be done on a reasonable budget.
If I have said this before please forgive me. I rebuilt my 351 windsor (69 model) but of course had the machining done by a reputable race engine builder/machinist. Since it was my first rebuild I had them order all the parts so that I would not have a problem with the incorrect parts for my particular engine. I also had them check bearing clearances and install screw in oil plugs. It was to be a completely stock rebuild 20 thou over. Cut a long story short here is a list of dramas on assembly time when one would have thought it drama free. Some I have thankfully forgotten.

Incorrect intake gaskets (was off a later windsor)

Incorrect sump gasket (probably the same problem)

Pistons hung out of the block by 20 thou so had to be machined (as it turns out the 69 block deck height is shorter than later years)

Had to take to the cam retaining washer edge with a grinder to make it fit the new double row chain

The worst of all is the brand new harmonic balancer. This caused me the most woes for a long time before I realised what was going on. I had a lot of problems with plugs fouling and in my search to fix the problem I changed many things but the most expensive being the rockers. They were changed to adjustable roller rockers but to no avail. One day while playing with the timing I decided to adjust it by ear and driving. Well after that the car came to life and no more fouling. But the timing sure was not any longer on the usual 10-18 degrees of initial advance but miles away. My theory is the balancer has the timing marks for a later model windsor with the water pump outlet of the drivers side, not the passenger side as my engine was. This means the timing pointer on my engine is in a different place than a later engine. So when I set the initial timing on around twelve degrees it was likely quite retarded but enough to run. That's the theory anyway!

The rubber rear main seal failed around three months after the rebuild. Don't know why but it had two great splits in it.

No matter what with rebuilding an engine you are going to have to rely on someone else for machining or parts etc. And you better look out because they are staying up at nights thinking of ways to ruin your day!
Being a relative beginner I didn't know to do such things. At the time I was just happy the engine didn't blow up when it first started! Some times you just have to live through these things to learn. Engine rebuilding is all about checking for every one else's mistakes. Be it the machinist, the part manufacturers or yourself.
quote:
My theory is the balancer has the timing marks for a later model windsor with the water pump outlet of the drivers side, not the passenger side as my engine was. This means the timing pointer on my engine is in a different place than a later engine. So when I set the initial timing on around twelve degrees it was likely quite retarded but enough to run. That's the theory anyway!

This happened to a fellow PCNC member too. His 600 hp engine (builder provided dyno sheet) sure didn't feel like 600 hp. Turns out the timing marks on the balancer didn't line up with the pointer on his Cleveland. Had taken it to a tuner who figured out the problem and returned the car with an extra 100 hp (or more) that had been missing before!
On 351-Cs made in the various years, there are at least three completely different timing pointers- one of which uses a tubular holder for some Ford instrument probably having to do with smog controls. I don't think its possible to accidently add a 351W timing pointer, but I've been wrong before.... And stock harmonic damper outer rings with the timing marks on them shift unpredictably- usually toward retard. If you use a stock harmonic balancer, my suggestion is to not change your distributor timing until you absolutely verify TDC first.

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