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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all - I have a few questions with regard to my options with an engine rebuild. I just recently picked up a roller 351 for pretty cheap that was out of a 90k mile 97 F250, I’m told.




Anyway, it is not complete - I have the block, rotating assembly, and heads. I don’t have the timing set, timing cover, water pump, intake, TB, valve covers, etc. Not a big deal - I’d want to replace a lot of that anyway. So now I get to my question, keeping in mind that I currently have a 96 with 351 MAF and OBD2 and I don’t want to change that.

Do I....

Build a fresh 351 more or less stock-ish with maybe a torquey cam, allowing me to keep my stock heads, rotating assembly, and stock intake.

Or...

Build a 408 stroker. To do this I would need either GT40 or aftermarket heads, new rotating assembly, and a better flowing intake - lightning or Eddy Perfomer.

Now, obviously, the stroker build will be more $$$ than the 351, but I just want to get some input from you guys here about these options. This rig is mostly a driver, with occasional trips off road, so I’m leaning towards 351 for practicality and budget. What do guys think? Is it worth it for a stroker or should I stick with a fresh, mildly built 351?

Thanks all!
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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7,730 Posts
So the 408 would be neat and I doubt you would regret it, but do not think that the extra cost is just the engine. A healthy 408 can be easy 475hp/450ftlbs +. The rest of the truck will need some attention to match that kind of power (if that is what your thinking).
On the flip side a healthy 351 at around say 350hp won't destroy the rest of the truck and also play nice with the stock fuel lines and such. Being a 96 your options are not as limited as you will have the ability to tune it much easier then the speed density trucks. That said the bottle neck on these engines is the Intake, then the heads.

My suggestion is to rebuild what is there, but spent some time looking for a decent but used set of smaller valved aluminum heads. Like the AFR 165's or the smaller Trick Flows. My opinion is that the gt40 heads are only good for near stock rebuilds, unless you get a really good deal on them I would pass and go straight to aluminum, but its easy to spend other people's money too....
 
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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You make a good point, Brandon - there would be other needs besides engine upgrades, and I’m not sure I want to get into a lot of that. I may look into a punisher VB but don’t want to go too deep into the rabbit hole. Plus, it’s not a dedicated off road machine, like “Overtime.” (y)
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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16,301 Posts
Stay stock stroke. Engine will last longer that way, as will everything else down the line.

Bump the compression to 10.1 with a moderate cam. Comp 35-512-8 is what i used on my speed density 351. It would be a great MAF cam. Put big valves in the heads with a good port job, a good intake and headers. This ought to net you about 300 HP and 400 ft/lbs.
 

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78 & 92
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7,730 Posts
I have went down that route 3 or 4 times now, so its easy to do. Your doing the right thing in being honest about what you want and its main use. Yours looked to run pretty good as it was, so just a little more and built for the long haul and I am sure you will be very happy with it.
I would do things like smoothing out oil returns (espeically in the valley), chamfer crank oil holes, clean up timing cover water passages, good oil pump, dizzy shaft, etc....
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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959 Posts
You've gotten some great advice here, and i agree to build for what you need. I too would probably stick with the more stock setup, however as others have mentioned, i would probably squeeze as much extra free HP i could out of it. You could clean up those factory heads with a mild port (intake and exhaust port match) and port match the stock intake. Polish the exhaust ports on the heads. Doing the port matching and the polishing is a good way to get an extra 10-20 "free" HP. Free flowing exhaust to utilize that headwork and a cam to match and i think you'd be happy...i just wish my 86 was MAF so i could do more to it and get a little more than the 185 hp it has...oh well...maybe when i have more money. Good luck!
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I tend to agree with the stock-ish build. I have a peanut gallery local to me pumping fists and chanting “stroker” lol but I wasn’t sold on it. I like the idea of a cam and port/polish and valve job. Maybe I’ll ask the machine shop to shave the heads 0.010” for a nice fresh surface and a little bump in compression also, so long as there’s no valve clearance issues. Maybe a 0.0030” bore-out would be good too, if the bores aren’t pristine, might as well.

So with that roller cam Big Blue listed above, heads shaved 0.010”, ported/polished and valved, cylinders bored 0.030” and block mating surfaces honed, stock crank/rods/pistons (or flat-tops?), shorty headers to bolt up to my existing exhaust (which is 2-1/4 pipes to a 2-1 hi-flow cat to 3” single pipe)....the remaining thing is the intake. I hear the Eddy intake can have clearance issues with the firewall - true? Lightning intakes are hard to come by, and I think some intakes I’ve seen have the TB on the opposite side right? I’ll have to keep an eye out for a good intake. Any ideas here?
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So keeping with the stock-ish theme of this build, I have a question. I’ve been looking at intake manifolds - trick flow, Eddy 3881, lightning, or stock. It looks like trick flow doesn’t have an EGR port, Eddy and stock do, and I assume lightning does also. Eddys and lightnings are going for $900-$1000 each, trick flow for about $800.

I would rather not drop a cool G on an intake for a stock-ish build. So I’m thinking maybe just keep the stock intake and install a set of GT40 heads I’m in the process of picking up from Doosenberry. I’ll have the new valve springs installed for the cam, drill out the head bolt holes, and probably install roller rockers. Any issues with this?

Also, headers question. BBK 3511 shortys with EGR tube eBay listing says it fits 87 F-150 351, so I assume it’ll fit mine, so anyone know if these fit up like the manifolds do or will I need to modify my exhaust pipes?



The last engine build I did was in the mid 90s and it was a 302 for a 66 Mustang, so I’ll probably have a couple questions as I go start to acquire parts for this.

Thanks all.
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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Is the 5.0 GT40 upper intake any good on a factory 351 lower? I can get the intake off the 5.0 I took those heads off of. I'm assuming the intake would be a GT40 since the heads were, but I guess I really don't know. I'm not familiar with a lot of that stuff.

Obviously the lower portion doesn't fit a 351 without spacers, so I'm not sure if you'd want that. The whole thing is still with the Mountaineer I grabbed the heads off of.

Only downside if you want them is that I wasn't nice to any of the hoses or tubes connected to them.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the 5.0 GT40 upper intake any good on a factory 351 lower? I can get the intake off the 5.0 I took those heads off of. I'm assuming the intake would be a GT40 since the heads were, but I guess I really don't know. I'm not familiar with a lot of that stuff.

Obviously the lower portion doesn't fit a 351 without spacers, so I'm not sure if you'd want that. The whole thing is still with the Mountaineer I grabbed the heads off of.

Only downside if you want them is that I wasn't nice to any of the hoses or tubes connected to them.
I actually have a local friend with a GT40 explorer intake, but as you mentioned, it’s for a 5.0 and there’s still the issue of the lower. I believe those intakes put the TB on the pass side also, which would make things interesting. I have time to figure this out - I’ll let you know. I’m ready to buy those heads though. (y)
 

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78 & 92
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Should be able to use Edelbrock 351 lower, to then bolt most 302 uppers on. It uses the same ports and pattern. Not sure if other manufacturers do same.

Stock 5.8 efi truck intake is huge bottle neck. While I think what your doing is fine, I also would not expect huge increase over what you have, with out doing something with the intake.
I think those headers should fit with minimal modifications if any. The egr maybe different on yours, being a 96.
 
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Premium Member
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A GT 40 style upper intake will NOT bolt to a factory non Lighting truck or Bronco lower intake. The port arrangement is very different.

If you aren't going to spend the money on an intake there is essentially no need to upgrade the heads or cam as that is the limiting factor on the 351 engines.

With that said, any aftermarket intake or the GT40 series can be used. It would in a car flip the throttle body to the passenger side, but all you do is simply flip the upper. This will put the throttle body on the driver's side. A Lightning or any fabbed throttle cable bracket should easily work after that.

With that said, I agree with CrazyBroncoGuy above. 408" for the win, buy once, cry once and be done. Buy all the supporting hardware and don't look back. You won't regret it. But, alas, like he also said, it is easy to spend other people's money. (But, from personal experience, build all the engine you will ever want off the bat, because going backwards to add.....isn't cheaper.)

I will second his second opinion. If you are going to rebuild the 351 and want anything over stock, buy some good aftermarket aluminum heads, intake and cam. Buy good pistons, use stock rods and crank, have the rotating assembly balanced. Good exhaust, torque converter and be happy.

Best of luck, and hth

tim
 
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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A GT 40 style upper intake will NOT bolt to a factory non Lighting truck or Bronco lower intake. The port arrangement is very different.

If you aren't going to spend the money on an intake there is essentially no need to upgrade the heads or cam as that is the limiting factor on the 351 engines.

With that said, any aftermarket intake or the GT40 series can be used. It would in a car flip the throttle body to the passenger side, but all you do is simply flip the upper. This will put the throttle body on the driver's side. A Lightning or any fabbed throttle cable bracket should easily work after that.

With that said, I agree with CrazyBroncoGuy above. 408" for the win, buy once, cry once and be done. Buy all the supporting hardware and don't look back. You won't regret it. But, alas, like he also said, it is easy to spend other people's money. (But, from personal experience, build all the engine you will ever want off the bat, because going backwards to add.....isn't cheaper.)

I will second his second opinion. If you are going to rebuild the 351 and want anything over stock, buy some good aftermarket aluminum heads, intake and cam. Buy good pistons, use stock rods and crank, have the rotating assembly balanced. Good exhaust, torque converter and be happy.

Best of luck, and hth

tim
Thanks for the input. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m in no rush to do this build. I will take my time and look for the right parts. I don’t want to put a stock intake on this, so I’ll be hunting for a deal on an intake while I’m collecting all the parts I need.

You said that any GT40 series intake can be used, and flipped to the drivers side, but most are for the 5.0 - the lower wouldn’t fit. So by my estimation, I have to have a lightning, Eddy, or Trick flow intake for a 351, right? .....or go with a carb style intake with aftermarket efi.

I’m in the “parts collecting” stage right now and will be for the next few months - I should be able to find an intake by the time I’m ready to build.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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If you're not in a rush, and if you do end up getting the GT40 heads, I would recommend porting them. (I can send you the links I collected to the best guides of what to do and not to do.) With some sweat equity, you can close much of the gap between stock GT40's and good aluminum heads, and probably exceed the cheap ($1000-1100) aluminum ones, many of which are apparently based on the aluminum GT40X.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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4,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you're not in a rush, and if you do end up getting the GT40 heads, I would recommend porting them. (I can send you the links I collected to the best guides of what to do and not to do.) With some sweat equity, you can close much of the gap between stock GT40's and good aluminum heads, and probably exceed the cheap ($1000-1100) aluminum ones, many of which are apparently based on the aluminum GT40X.
If you have some links, I’ll happily read them. I’m planning on a port job for sure. Thanks man.
 

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Thanks for the input. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m in no rush to do this build. I will take my time and look for the right parts. I don’t want to put a stock intake on this, so I’ll be hunting for a deal on an intake while I’m collecting all the parts I need.

You said that any GT40 series intake can be used, and flipped to the drivers side, but most are for the 5.0 - the lower wouldn’t fit. So by my estimation, I have to have a lightning, Eddy, or Trick flow intake for a 351, right? .....or go with a carb style intake with aftermarket efi.

I’m in the “parts collecting” stage right now and will be for the next few months - I should be able to find an intake by the time I’m ready to build.

Sorry I wasn't super clear. The GT40 series of intakes include the coveted GT40 Lightning tubular upper, the Cobra "cast" upper and the Explorer "cast" upper. They all share a common "GT40" lower. You are however correct. The lower is engine specific. Meaning, there is a 302 based and a 351 based GT40 lower.

You can get the basic same performance from a 351 specific GT40 lower intake mated to any of the above uppers.

I would "save" money and purchase the best aluminum aftermarket heads that meet your goals. Or, perhaps exceed your goals. Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck and suggest, research, research, research. lol

In hindsight, I should have "bought once, cried once" and been done. I am in the middle of upgrades and will make a thread of my results once done. You already have mass air, and probably a better operating system (OBDII) to begin with. No need to short yourself except for budget and time constraints. If you have neither (within reason of course), I would build more than I thought I wanted, cause then it may be enough. :)

jmho
tim
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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If you have some links, I’ll happily read them. I’m planning on a port job for sure. Thanks man.
Might as well post them here for everyone's benefit... This is a laundry list of the ones I found worth bookmarking, sorted more or less in terms of descending importance:

 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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Might as well post them here for everyone's benefit... This is a laundry list of the ones I found worth bookmarking, sorted more or less in terms of descending importance:


That's a lot of bookmarks.

Those Mustang guys are always deep into getting the most out of factory parts it seems. Anything for cheap speed!
 
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