331 Stroker owners - Upper RPM Limit? - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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331 Stroker owners - Upper RPM Limit?

Just blew up another motor. It did not make it to the 6250 RPM limit in the fuel and Ignition, it was a mechanical, I think a rod bearing.

68 302 Block, SCAT rotating Assy. Had normal temps and pressures at time of detonation. But, It was on the back stretch of Watkins Glen at full throttle at about 6000 RPM. Just "layed over" and BANG. Locked up with a hole in the block's lower skirt by the oil pan. Have to take it apart to see what happened.

But, here is my query:

Where is your rev limiter set, or what is your mental rev limiter at?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:40 PM
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Revs are going to be limited by your cam and lifters, among other things. IMO though you're not dealing with a rev limit issue, but the overall strength of the block when pushed like that. Might want to think about an aftermarket block. DART SHP would be my recommended choice, or a Ford Boss. 4-bolt mains and overall much stronger. Those stock blocks were designed for a little over 200 HP. A tribute to the work by Ford they hold up to twice that and more. Sometimes.


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Last edited by edwardb; 06-12-2019 at 08:27 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 03:14 PM
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6500 is usually what I limit hydraulic roller stuff. email me some pics when you start taking it apart and we can see what happened.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
Revs are going to be limited by your cam and lifters, among other things. IMO though you're not dealing with a rev limit issue, but the overall strength of the block when pushed like that. Might want to think about an aftermarket block. DART SHP would be my recommended choice, or a Ford BOSS. 4-bolt mains and overall much stronger. Those stock blocks were designed for a little over 200 HP. A tribute to the work by Ford they hold up to twice that and more. Sometimes.
x2 here. I use a stock block and have SCAT and Comp cam with heavier springs and lifters and have my fuel and spark (Holley) set to 6600. Hit the limit a few times on track but usually try to shift by 6300. So far so good, next block will most likely be a Boss.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 08:27 PM
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email me some pics when you start taking it apart and we can see what happened.
What happened? It done blowed up!


Sorry to hear it. That sucks. I have a 347, Scat crank, and have my limiter at 6200. I am more afraid of having to tell my wife that I blew an engine than I am having to pay for one. Now that I am really into autocross and track days, I wish I would have gone with a DART block. I hit the limiter fairly often during autocross.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 08:40 PM
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Easy-Peasy

Got my mental limit set at 5500 - with my basically stock 5.0 ('89 block) and the cam i'm running with stock heads that are only port matched to a GT-40 upper and lower intake, I think I'm being prudent.

Engine doesn't really make much more HP after 5500 and I've spent many years racing other cars that needed engines more often than I like to admit because my cam grinder said I could take it to 7000.

Not worth it now a days, to press my luck and have to rebuild - too old for that at 70 . . .

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
Revs are going to be limited by your cam and lifters, among other things. IMO though you're not dealing with a rev limit issue, but the overall strength of the block when pushed like that. Might want to think about an aftermarket block. DART SHP would be my recommended choice, or a Ford Boss. 4-bolt mains and overall much stronger. Those stock blocks were designed for a little over 200 HP. A tribute to the work by Ford they hold up to twice that and more. Sometimes.
The DART SHP is a REALLY nice option. I was leaning towards a Ford Boss until the local shop that does my balancing (and builds a ton of the engines used at the track in Houston) told me that he absolutely HATES them. He took me into the back to show me a BOSS he was working on (that makes close to 1100HP) and said "notice anything?" I said, what happened to the cylinder skirts? He said, "the BOSS design completely removes the skirts and I HATE that!!!". This dude is one of the most laid back guys I have ever seen but wow, did he get animated while telling me how much he hates this block. He strongly recommended Dart or World blocks instead. The nice thing about the SHP is that it allows the use of the standard Ford "dog bone" roller lifter assembly (the rest of the Dart blocks require the use of the vertical link bar lifters). The World products look nice but they add extra head bolts which may be a nice thing if your heads support them but it seemed a little weird. I guess you could simply not use them....

Good luck with the tear down!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 01:55 AM
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I had no rev limiter until my friend drove the car and floored it. Way way over 6000. I put in a rev limiter of 6200. Stock block with just a girdle. Of course that's no where near my max rev in my 94 mustang gt, I power shifted by accident from 3rd gear to second instead of 4th at 5800 rpm....shifter went sideways and what I thought was a high rev sound was replaced by an engine screaming lol...I quit running the quarter and drove home happy as all was fine.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:03 AM
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In all my years of racing Small block Fords, even back in the days of cast cranks and stock blocks, I've never blown one up, even turning >7500rpm at the end of the straight of a 1/2 mile track on an open wheel modified short track race car.

Everyone I've seen that has blow one up, it was a result of something done wrong during the engine build. Little things like placing the oil pickup too close to the bottom of the pan allowing the pan to suck up the the pickup and cause the oil pressure to shutoff...or having a stock oil pump shaft which when coupled with a high pressure pump can twist itself into a pretzel. Sometimes machine shops wll machine the block as stock, and you have 2618 forged pistons, piston ring clearances too tight or tighter than stock rod and main clearances. All small problems which don't work with high RPM's..A good post mortem will reveal what went wrong, and you can fix it before installing the same in another motor.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:17 AM
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mine is at 7100 with solid lifters. Its been that way for years. I always loose an engine or most of it from valve, spring, retainer problems. Haven't spun a bearing in a while. My hyd roller engines all were at 6500 redline.
A friend of mine that I race with spun a rod bearing last season. No reason, just blew up.

If you have a dry sump, that would reduce the risk of any bearing failures. But there is always the valvetrain to bite you.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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A little more investigation reveals something took out bearing #4, 2nd from rear. Still have to drop the pan.

Have a spare block, off to the machine shop for a new rotating assy and parts swap.

Next time, make sure both rev limiters are under 6K

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:01 PM
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You don't know it was a rev limit issue. It could be oil control, parts flaw and/or failure, assembly mistake or mismatched parts. Find the root cause of the failure and repair that when going together with a new engine.
My ST2 Mustang has an A4 blocked 331 with a solid roller and turns 8000 regularly.
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