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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some guidance from some of you that have way more experience than I do.

I have an opportunity to purchase a E-150 conversion van with a 351W which I was thinking to use in a MKIII build this summer. (still need to order the kit)

The van is a POS but still runs and drives, the engine starts right up, runs well and doesn't smoke or use any oil at all. It has 120K on it.

The deal is I can get the whole thing for $600. My thought was to pull the engine and sell/junk, the rest of the van.

Does $600 sound like a good deal for a running, non smoking, non oil burning 351W w/ 120K miles?

Will this motor work in the MKIII kits?

My plan would be to not rebuild it, but pull the oil pan, valve covers, and intake manifold and inspect only. If nothing looks bad and the compression checks out, then I would only clean it up, paint it, convert it from FI to carb, and dress it up with shiny things (new valve covers and oil pan) :D. (not broke don't fix it approach)

Having said this, and going from FI to carb, would I need to change the cam? If so, then would it make sense to just pull it apart and freshen it up?

I'm not looking to turn it into a monster, but rather a reliable engine will around 300 hp (give or take)

Any comments, suggestions, opinions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would NOT change the cam unless you are replacing the heads, or at least the valve train. The springs on the stock 96 heads are so weak that they'll float as soon as you hit ~5300(+-) rpm. The stock pan on the truck motors of that year(the van's probobly identical) will hang a bit below the frame rail. before I changed mine, it did hit a couple speed bumps hard enough to make me worry. (The drain bolt actually is the lowest point!)
 

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it would be a good buy, sell the misc. parts.
the FW would change.
the belly pan needs 7.5 depth pan.
the E7 heads would be fine but the springs are past 60,000 so a different cam can be done but there is a bit involved. i scraped my idea of e7 heads too much money in the lower-end to make an engine breath out of a straw.
if you stay with the heads and cam stay with a performer intake and a 550-600cfm carb anything else would be too much fuel.
electric fuel pump because no pump boss on the front cover.
a roller rocker motor you are buying so don't forget, think of a cheaper set of cast heads and a mild cam. the rollers can be used with a new cam on a roller with a quick inspection. for keeping the cost down.
also you are changing the belly pan check your tolerances on the mains end-play. and check rod side clearance anymore that .023 needs to think about service of the bearings and the mains end play no more than .008
and easy check. just a word of caution when you pull the lower throttle body off and the engines oil galley looks dirty try not to disturb it, because whats above will work its way into your pic-up tube and lower bearings eventually.
so a old engine is great but doing mods to it can be harmful down the road.
but yes it can be done..............good luck Leo
oh save the title to the van for the engine VIN
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
a roller rocker motor you are buying so don't forget, think of a cheaper set of cast heads and a mild cam. the rollers can be used with a new cam on a roller with a quick inspection. for keeping the cost down.
Leo,

Thanks for your help and good info.

I didn't quite follow you on this statement. Are you saying if I decide to put a new head and cam in, I should stick with a mild cam and I may be able to save some money by use the existing roller rockers on a new cheaper head? as long as they are still good.

Also were you suggesting a mild cam due to the typical weak springs of the stock heads?

The specs on the engine for this year puts the HP around 200....I would like to (cheaply) get to 300 - 325 HP. (In my head, cheaply means under $1,500 not including the 600 for the engine and van. ) So total around $2100.

In your opinion, do you think I can get there with the stock heads and performer intake and 600 cfm carb you mention,...or am I looking at new heads as well?

Again, thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Matt
 

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Just as a helpful reference point, I bought my '92 302 (from a mustang gt) on Craigslist, with stock E7 heads, stock intake, stock injectors for $150.

Granted, its not a 351 like you are looking for but, you may be able to find a similar deal on a 351 at a junk yard or on craigslist. If you were going to use more parts from the E-150 Van, I'd say buy the van but if you are just using the engine, you'll have to weigh your options.

Good luck
 

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1500 bucks won't get u there.heads,cam, carb, linkage, fuel pump,ect..
1st thing to do is start a parts list, on necesity. to make the engine a carb and a belly pan that works.
the engine u can always build up later if u decide. do some research.
good luck
Leo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info and suggestions,

The Craigslist comment from ZanexGt has me thinking that I could probably part out the van and get my money back and have a free engine in the end.

Also Leo's comment regarding building it up later makes sense as well.

Will probably do a compression test on it next weekend and if it checks out, I willl jump in and buy it.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions and info.

Matt
 

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Dark Side
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Thanks for the info and suggestions,

The Craigslist comment from ZanexGt has me thinking that I could probably part out the van and get my money back and have a free engine in the end.
I didn't mention before but I did just that. I sold the intake, injectors/fuel rail, and heads and just about broke even on the engine block. I then took the money i got from selling parts and got a good set of AFR heads.

Good luck
 
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