I'm about to rebuild the motor in my 72 Pantera. Currently I'm running a turbo charged 351C. Being from the old school I haven't kept current on all the new 351W go-fast-goodies. Finding 351C parts seems to be a thing of the past. It also seems more power can be made with the 351W. Help!?! My question is simple: I want max streetable HP, running pump gas, going back to normally aspirated (turbos and mid-engine cars aren't the best combo), without having to take out a 2nd mortgage. Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.
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From what I think I know, a 351W if bored & stroked to 400+ and equipped with a radical cam, aluminum heads and a properly jetted carb, will deliver 550+. See Hot Rod mag- they currently have a build-up article on the 351W. If that isn't enough, and you are a small person, a 500+ inch big-block can be shoehorned into the Pantera. Note that all big-inch engines only get you up to speed faster; they don't allow any more top end (sometimes less) until you regear the ZF. Figure on $10,000 as a minimum to do the build-up/regearing right.
All things being equal, I'd choose a good running big displacement engine over a smaller displacment engine. I'd say go Windsor and go stroker. I did. In my opinion, what makes a Cleveland attractive has always been the large ported, canted valve heads, not the block. Let's face it, the Cleveland blocks aren't that great. They're marginal in wall thickness even at std bore. Sure you can have a four bolt main block, but I chose a windsor block. It's got the meet where you want it. If you're worried about low end rigidity and crank walk, use a main girdle and thank all the late model Mustang enthusiast for doing all the field tests for you. IMHO, the windsor is an all around better block with more clearance between the pan rails for a stroker. I'm at 424 CI with a set of aluminum A3 heads (but the new Yates stuff is ust as good), and a hydraulic roller. It pulls like a train, idles like a champ, and is the most economical way to a well behaved 500 HP street engine (at less than 6k rpm I might add) there is. By the way, if streetable power is what you seek, build a broad torque curve in preference to peak HP. The same engine is well into the 500 ft-lb range at 3k rpm. The other thing to remember, it all bolts right up to the ZF and existing Pantera motor mounts. Good luck.
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