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Old 12-27-2011, 02:11 AM
Red-Tail Red-Tail is offline
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400 'cleveland' build. ideas?



Hi all, I see that is is pretty common to bolt on cleveland heads to a m block, but anyway I wrote out my info/ideas for my little spruce up deal. anyhow....

So I have a 1978 4x4 f150 with a 400 ci mill. 3.50 gears and everything else stock. (but everything works good, so no issues there).

I know my shortblock is in pretty good shape as it has 150-155 psi of cranking compression, and when I put new valve cover gaskets and intake gaskets on everything looked very very clean (hardly any carbon buildup, and what little there was wiped off fairly easily).

My question is: What would you think a set of 4bbl cleavland heads, a 4bbl, and a healthy cam would do this?
I don't want to put a bigger stall converter in it, or throw more cash into the stock 2bbl stuff, and I think it would be fun and interesting to wake this up with a little bit of an unusual buildup.

I figure with a set of 4bbl heads, or a set of worked over 2bbl (something with closed chambers) would bump up the CR and allow for a healthy-er cam. that with a good 4bbl would make pretty decent power.

Suggestions? ideas? any ideas on HP?

BTW I live in an area where I can buy a set of all done 4bbl cleveland heads for about $4-500 (I have seen them at swap meets for that much)
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:58 AM
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mark a. has a very good reputation on FTE.mark a. has a very good reputation on FTE.mark a. has a very good reputation on FTE.
For the closed chamber, I wouldn't do it unless I went and got a set of TMI's zero deck pistons and milled the block accordingly. The problem with using those big heads on a street motor is a 351M-400 makes it's power down low. 4v heads make power up high, so the heads are more of a hinderance for daily driving weather people realize it or not.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:17 PM
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let the fun begin.

hello red tail. I've just recently built one of these engines. like mention before. btm end torque might be a issue. but if you spend some decent money on a nice carb things will go your way. edelbrock won't get it done!!!! wrong booster in carb. i have many photos in my albums of what the process was and cost in my documented build of this engine. been wanting to build one of these for a long time and now it is done, not cheap. wyoming 400 4v. check out my albums and the questions will begins. good luck and if serious i will help anyway i can. if you go with tim meyer your will be good to go, very knowledgeable on this very build and capable. their are other ways to get it done and how much do you want to spend. the CHI heads from austraila are about the best head out their for these engines PERIOD! DYNO proven. read up on (engine masters challenge) and get familar with this comptition. A 400 ford extreme has one this competition. Jon kasse. if wanting to do mild upgrade or extreme it all about the $$$$$$$. what is your application is the real question and what you really need!!
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:25 PM
Red-Tail Red-Tail is offline
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So I spoke to an engine shop today and they suggested that I have the stock heads ported for my application. Since my heads don't smoke, and have good compression, they said that they could do a full port on the exh side, as well as clean up the intake, and check for any warpage on the heads for $300. (that is keeping my stock size valves).

They also said they could get me a custom grind cam and lifters for $180. Does all this sound reasonable?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:49 AM
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wyoming4x4 wyoming4x4 is offline
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decent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red-Tail View Post
So I spoke to an engine shop today and they suggested that I have the stock heads ported for my application. Since my heads don't smoke, and have good compression, they said that they could do a full port on the exh side, as well as clean up the intake, and check for any warpage on the heads for $300. (that is keeping my stock size valves).

They also said they could get me a custom grind cam and lifters for $180. Does all this sound reasonable?
on the head flows the trick isn't getting the highest flow but keep them all even on flow. find your weakest flowing port and work it. then match all your ports to this cylinder. helps with rich lean conditions. If you upgrade to a modern valve over OEM you gain some flow just by this upgrade. the oem valves work but not as well as modern valves and under cut guides and many other little upgrades. it all matters just how much do you want to spend. workin the ports is always a good thing. the cam sounds about right. who is the company that is gonna cut the cam? I know of a few companys that do this. I believe you get a better cam by doing the custom cam compared to the off the shelf. As long as its for your application. know your rpm range and purpose and gearing of your truck and tire size. if they don't ask these questions your not dealing with the right people, they have to know this to build per application for proper cam. catch you later. i use MPGheads in englewood colorado for all my cams. scott does good work, no complaints.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 AM
Red-Tail Red-Tail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoming4x4 View Post
on the head flows the trick isn't getting the highest flow but keep them all even on flow. find your weakest flowing port and work it. then match all your ports to this cylinder. helps with rich lean conditions. If you upgrade to a modern valve over OEM you gain some flow just by this upgrade. the oem valves work but not as well as modern valves and under cut guides and many other little upgrades. it all matters just how much do you want to spend. workin the ports is always a good thing. the cam sounds about right. who is the company that is gonna cut the cam? I know of a few companys that do this. I believe you get a better cam by doing the custom cam compared to the off the shelf. As long as its for your application. know your rpm range and purpose and gearing of your truck and tire size. if they don't ask these questions your not dealing with the right people, they have to know this to build per application for proper cam. catch you later. i use MPGheads in englewood colorado for all my cams. scott does good work, no complaints.
Yes, the shop has a flowbench, so I think they will do a good job for keeping things even.

how much will a set of new valves set me back? a quick search for new style valves showed me about 50 for intakes. is that about right? How much of a gain are we looking at here anyway?

I am not looking for max performance, I want to just do a cam heads and 4bbl as far as upgrades go. the rest will be bone stock with 3.50 gears (and perhaps later a locker in the rear).

I want something that will do more than just one wheel peel when I go around a corner.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:45 PM
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OEM will work but!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red-Tail View Post
Yes, the shop has a flowbench, so I think they will do a good job for keeping things even.

how much will a set of new valves set me back? a quick search for new style valves showed me about 50 for intakes. is that about right? How much of a gain are we looking at here anyway?

I am not looking for max performance, I want to just do a cam heads and 4bbl as far as upgrades go. the rest will be bone stock with 3.50 gears (and perhaps later a locker in the rear).

I want something that will do more than just one wheel peel when I go around a corner.
my idea of performance and yours is possibly different. i know and believe the more modern valves will definelty help. but OEM will work also. people want to make their old iron go fast and strong. But now the cost of getting it changes things. if your gonna flow your heads i say get decent valves. have them flow your heads with either valve and you will know the actual difference between the 2 valves. I have gone both ways over the yrs and it works either way. but the upgraded valves are usually a little lighter and more durable and flow better, but what is your rpm range? your gonna have to answer this your self. I say upgrade the valves and it will help. but its not my money. cubic dollars per hrspwr, cha-ching$$$$ it has begun.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoming4x4 View Post
my idea of performance and yours is possibly different. i know and believe the more modern valves will definelty help. but OEM will work also. people want to make their old iron go fast and strong. But now the cost of getting it changes things. if your gonna flow your heads i say get decent valves. have them flow your heads with either valve and you will know the actual difference between the 2 valves. I have gone both ways over the yrs and it works either way. but the upgraded valves are usually a little lighter and more durable and flow better, but what is your rpm range? your gonna have to answer this your self. I say upgrade the valves and it will help. but its not my money. cubic dollars per hrspwr, cha-ching$$$$ it has begun.

Haha, rpm range is idle to 4500 max. Looking to make the truck run better now (something is wrong with the intake, I can't get it to seal) so I may just put a different one on and call it good, I am debating what to do here. this came around becasue I think the headgaskets need to be changed (it has white water in it right now, but no other symptoms of a bad gasket) So I wanted to see if I could make some easy and cheap HP while I have the heads off.

not looking for anything really crazy hp wise but a 'damn this stock truck pulls pretty hard' kinda deal.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:22 PM
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head flow.

since not turning hard on rpms the valve job is critical for sure. a better valve will help on the low lift flow numbers for sure. your guys should know how to work this to their advantage. OEM will work but wanting to go to the next level of low end torque better parts. My 400 4v headed engine will work in your rpm range but stepped up on quality parts for the occasional haul azz time if needed. Intake pull intake and check and see if intake is machined correctly. clean up intake gskt area and set intake back into engine and look closely at the fit. feeler gages help on doing this check. if the gap is different on front to rear to head and intake machined surface you need to verify these to help troubleshoot you problem. don't assume they are machined properly. sometimes the head dowels are not correct sometime. old school machining back in the day situation. look closely at how everything is setting on block and looks even. gone through this problem before on occasion. just part of the job, assume nothing!!!!
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:06 AM
FordMotorsport FordMotorsport is offline
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Hi all. Read this post and just wanted to add something: Remember, the 4V heads have a reputation for flowing better at HIGH rpm's because they were always used on a smaller 351-cube engine. Put them ona 400-cube engine and the intake ports will "act" smaller as they are now trying to flow enough air/fuel for 400 inches, not 351 inches, get it? The velocity will actually increase somewhat with that extra 1/2-inch stroke. Still not IDEAL for a street "torque motor", but it depends on the build and intended use. A set of 4v heads with MPG port plates would raise flow activity and increase velocity for better cylinder filling, much improving low-end torque. Another note: bolting the close-chambered heads on an existing shortblock should be done with thinnest gaskets possible to take advantage of quench chambers, unless the block is coming out and milling the decks is possible or in the budget. I deally you want .030-.035 piston-to-head clearance, it will make a difference. Last two notes: PROPER cam selection will make all the difference with a head swap like this, PLEASE talk to a sales or tech rep at whatever cam manufacturer you choose. Better yet, call them ALL and get their opinions and then compare their recommendations. Lastly, installing 4v heads means a 4v Cleveland intake and spacers, (a few more bucks) available at Jeg's, etc, AND you will have to change the exhaust side of things as well: Headers or manifolds for a 4v head, whatever you are running. Personally, I would run a set of Aussie closed chamber 2v heads if on a budget, a good dual-plane intake, small-tube headers (velocity, cylinder scavenging) and I will not make any cam recommendations as I have seen too much controversy in the past and really don't feel like living the drama, lol. Just stick with a flat-tappet hydraulic and you will be fine for anything short of dedicated racing or bracket. That's my 2 cents, anyway.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:07 PM
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can't argue with that thinking. thumbs up!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordMotorsport View Post
Hi all. Read this post and just wanted to add something: Remember, the 4V heads have a reputation for flowing better at HIGH rpm's because they were always used on a smaller 351-cube engine. Put them ona 400-cube engine and the intake ports will "act" smaller as they are now trying to flow enough air/fuel for 400 inches, not 351 inches, get it? The velocity will actually increase somewhat with that extra 1/2-inch stroke. Still not IDEAL for a street "torque motor", but it depends on the build and intended use. A set of 4v heads with MPG port plates would raise flow activity and increase velocity for better cylinder filling, much improving low-end torque. Another note: bolting the close-chambered heads on an existing shortblock should be done with thinnest gaskets possible to take advantage of quench chambers, unless the block is coming out and milling the decks is possible or in the budget. I deally you want .030-.035 piston-to-head clearance, it will make a difference. Last two notes: PROPER cam selection will make all the difference with a head swap like this, PLEASE talk to a sales or tech rep at whatever cam manufacturer you choose. Better yet, call them ALL and get their opinions and then compare their recommendations. Lastly, installing 4v heads means a 4v Cleveland intake and spacers, (a few more bucks) available at Jeg's, etc, AND you will have to change the exhaust side of things as well: Headers or manifolds for a 4v head, whatever you are running. Personally, I would run a set of Aussie closed chamber 2v heads if on a budget, a good dual-plane intake, small-tube headers (velocity, cylinder scavenging) and I will not make any cam recommendations as I have seen too much controversy in the past and really don't feel like living the drama, lol. Just stick with a flat-tappet hydraulic and you will be fine for anything short of dedicated racing or bracket. That's my 2 cents, anyway.
4v heads on 400 expensive. aussie heads and a mild port work simple/cheaper. i wanted something interesting and unique and 4v heads and spacer plated a edelbrock air gap intake. interesting!!!
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:41 PM
FordMotorsport FordMotorsport is offline
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Yes, 4v heads, Edelbrock Airgap and spacers would work well, especially the manifold being a dual-plane. One other note: Do not do any port work on your 4v heads, they already flow a max (as cast) of 280-290 average. More than enough flow, BUT, however, DO have a good 3-angle valve job performed as this will improve low- and mid-lift flow which is what an engine such as yours will need most. (if I am correct in what you are building this for).
Just FYI, my flowbench shows between 298 and 305 cfm (at 28") at .650 lift on a 4v closed chamber head with FACTORY valve job and intake floor filled in with aluminum "tongues" (I think roush still sells them) and I would assume similar flow numbers with the MPG port plates (they block off the bottom 1/3 of the intake port) Either the tongues or the plates push all the flow activity toward the top of the intake runners, increasing velocity, etc. Give them some thought, they are relatively inexpensive, the plates can sometimes be found used for cheap, try Ebay, etc. There, that's my OTHER 2 cents, lol. - Don
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:13 AM
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FWIW, the stock 1978 heads have a water jacket in the exhaust port, IMO anybody that wants to 'port' these heads either doesn't know what they're in for or they just want to start sucking money out of your wallet. D5 heads pretty much suck and have no place in a performance build. if you want to stick with 2V heads get a set of pre 1975 castings and start from there. you can't remove the material from the exhaust port of a D5 casting or you'll hit water

don't believe the 4V's are too big fairytale that started when the chevy ragazines put too much cam and not enough gear on a 302 engine and the performance didn't make them tingle. cam duration, stall and gearing has to match the application
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:13 AM
 
 
 
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