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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey there everybody, I am a new member, but have been reading through many threads prior to actually joining. I've been wanting to build a roadster for many years now, and I am still a while away from making the purchase from FF still, but I have started hunting down some of the drive train parts already.

A quick introduction about myself: I grew up in the midwest (Illinois unfortunately) then spent several years in Ky and Tn, but recently relocated to SC. I've always been a bit of a gear head being a bit over obsessed with wranglers and motorcycles, but both of those seem to be played out for me. which brings me to you fine folks. I think my next project in life is going to be a roadster. After reading through many build threads I think this is something that i can tackle if I take my time. I recently stumbled across a 351w at the local salvage yard, it came from a 94 (i think) pick-up, it is a F4TE block, and is in fact a roller block, the block and internals seem to be in great shape so far, i've got it torn all the way down in the garage already and will be taking the block to the local machine shop to be cleaned up and gone over as soon as i have a free weekend.

This will be the first complete overhaul of a motor I do myself, and I think I want to build it to be something worth putting in one of these cars. I do not need a crazy power house of an engine since I only want to build this car to be a street car/weekend warrior. From what i understand, you all talk about 400-500hp being plenty in a car this small. With that being said I've been toying with the idea of stroking this 351w I have to 393 or a 408, and getting some better heads. However i think i've overloaded my brain reading to much information about stroker kits and aftermarket heads. I am now more confused on which kits/parts to look into than I was when I started my research. If anybody can simplify it all for me or point me int the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

In the past i've always had friends ask me how I learned so much about cars and bikes, and I always tell them that there are forums for just about anything, and they are full of much smarter people than I am. So I want to start of by saying thank you to you all for passing your knowledge and mistakes onto others on this forum. 馃馃馃

1,053 Posts
Welcome iman9r

Nothing wrong with Illinois! Lol except the cold.

Can wait to see your progress. There is a lot of help on this forum. I could not have gotten as far as I have with out them. That includes the engine. The people on here are more than willing to help on all aspects of the build.


1,053 Posts
As far as help with the engine I used

DSS Racing

out of St. Charles IL. I happened to live close to them but they are mail order based.

They are well known in the Mustang world meaning Ford engines are their specialty and will help you decide what you need and dont need. They have Kits and piece together. They have their own designs too. They have or will get you anything you will need. They are a one stop shop and authorized dealer for most major companies too.

I have been in their shop. They are not just a distributor they have a full shop building engines and cars too. The techs you talk to most likely are working in the shop too.

I bought everything on my engine from them maybe minus a few small items.

347 stroker kit
Lower end support system
Windage tray
Oil pan
Font end
Just to name a few.

FYI the website lacks a little you have call them. Ask for Jed

They helped plan it and make sure what I put on it all complemented each other.


Junior Charter Member
579 Posts
Welcome, you鈥檝e found the right place!

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Premium Member
1,130 Posts
Welcome! Be sure to register on the other forum as well. Over there, a guy who goes by Scottiec can help you with engine research. He did a TON when building his engine.


FFCobra Craftsman
22,287 Posts
That 351 block will be a great start. I started w/ a 351 w/ stock internals and Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and intake. 3 years ago I built a 408 shortblock and swapped the upper bits over. I would definitely recommend the Edel kit
The 2090 or 2092. Whether it is worth it to go to 408 is somewhat debatable. I did it and am glad I did but it is more $. Lets say you decide to do one of the top end kits and next question is 408 or not.
#1- stay 351, the crank and rods you have are definitely usable and plenty strong but should be balanced.
Crank might need to be machined
You need rod and crank bearings.
You would want to add in set of new stock type pistons w/ rings to up the CR somewhat. Call these expenses $500 (or more if crank needs machining)
#2 -a stroker kit for X $ includes pistons, and most come completely balanced and include crank and rod bearings. Say a stroker kit is $1500 (it could be $2000)
But you can subtract the $500 you don't spend on #1 so your cost increase to go to 408 is just $1000. Here is where I got mine.
Note; I used Edelbrock and Coast as examples because I am familiar w/ them. There are several other companies selling equivalent kits.
Note2; Whatever you do, don't buy an Edel carb. As above there are several carb suppliers. I like the Quickfuel SS750AN that I have.

310 Posts
As others have said a 351 is a great motor. I was planning to build a DART block 427 for my build, but literally stumbled on a nearly complete 351. All the machining was done as well as the balancing. The AFR heads and other pieces that came with it had all been thought out. Compression is 10.5:1. I'm running the Fitech throttle body fuel infection with a TKO600 out back. Simply easing into the throttle in 2 gear will break the tires loose at 40 mph. Romping on the gas pedal at any time has the same effect. As many have said, the weakest thing on these cars is the grip between the tires and the road. Your power level will have you smiling every time you start the car, but also keep you from thinking you're invincible. Plan it out and let us help you spend your money. We're really good at it.


3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the warm welcome everybody. I plan to try and give the machine shop a call tomorrow to pick their brain, and see what their schedule and costs are like. I do not have any personal experience with the shop I'm going to call, but a few people I know who have had work done suggested "Precision Cylinder Heads Eng" here in the town I live in. I looked them up online and they do have the most reviews (and positive ones mostly) on google.

where in SC? I鈥檓 here as well.
I am in Aiken SC on the western side of the state. I'm actually house hunting so I am looking in this area as well as the Augusta Ga. area.

#2 -a stroker kit for X $ includes pistons, and most come completely balanced and include crank and rod bearings. Say a stroker kit is $1500 (it could be $2000)
Option 2 is really what i'm leaning towards, I figure if i am going to bother with tearing it all the way down (which it probably didn't need), and sending it to the machine shop, I might as well put some money into it to make it more than just a truck motor. I keep stumbling upon this

and similar kits within similar price ranges. They seem pretty cut and dry to me, but I am also fighting a learning curve on it all. Correct me if I am wrong, but for what I am needing your typical stroker kit like the one I linked would get the job done. Along with getting the right size push rods, and picking out a cam, and headers, along with the other random bits like the flywheel , pressure plate, and harmonic balancer, etc...which i would worry about next or as i can fund them.

P.S. I keep finding myself staying up to late at night reading through this forum, I'm sure that isn't a problem I face alone.

11,811 Posts
Since I was 33 years old, I've been calling the Roadster "my mid-life crisis car." Then people say, "What? You're really young!"

Then I say, "No, no, no - it's a car to avoid a mid-life crisis!"

Charter Member
709 Posts
You are doing it exactly the right way. Be guided by the machine shop. If the crank and the rods are OK you really don't have to spend money for an extra 70 cubic inches you'll never need. Bore it ,030 pick up 8 inches and buy quality pistons, Do a little research and pick a cam that suits your needs. The machine shop will do a valve job on the stock heads for little money but aluminium heads are a better bet. You can pick up extra power and, more importantly, take 75 pounds off the nose which makes a difference in these cars. Buy Tom Monroe's "How to Rebuild Small-Block Ford Engines." I guarantee you it is the best $20 you can spend.
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