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Ford 400M vs. Chevy 400

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  #16  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 85lebaront2 View Post
Well, it is interesting that the 351M and 400 share the 385 series mount design and bell housing. That basically gave Ford an easy setup, 351M, 400, 429, 460 all could use the same transmission case and starter. See a pattern here? That and the physical size of the beasts compared to true small blocks such as the 221, 260, 289, 302, 351W. The 351C is sort of it's own breed kind of like the USS Enterprise (CVN65) is a one ship class. Ford may not call them big blocks, but anything that big and heavy is a big block in my book. Trivia question, did Pontiac ever make a small block or big block?
Your book is wrong. There is no pattern that relates to 351M, 400, 429, 460 using the same bellhousing that has anything to do with "big blocks". It's plain and simple, the 351M/400 are "small blocks". You have to look at the facts, not what you believe.
 
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2009, 09:13 PM
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I understand what the book says, but anything that takes up as much room as my 460 is just plain big! A 301 Desoto hemi is classified as an A block by Chrysler, same as a 273, 318, 340, 360 does that make that huge lump, and the 331, 354, 392 hemis small blocks? By your definition it does.
 
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 85lebaront2 View Post
. Trivia question, did Pontiac ever make a small block or big block?
As was stated earlier, ONLY CHEVY made big block and small block engines. Fords were not noted as such.
If you really wan to classify Ford engine as such, 289/302 = really small block
351W , and cleveland = small block, and there is no way the 351M and 400 are big blocks. They share the same bore spacing as the 302/351W and 351C, and they even share their heads with the 351C. You can put 351C/351M/400 head on a windsor block with some machining to the water passages.

To answer your question, No, pontiac did not make a small or big block either. All of the Pontiac engines except the 301 are the same appearance wise on the outside and can share some vital parts between them.
 
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:42 PM
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Its more accurate to say that for GM, big and small depended on the decking of the engine. olds for example had one hunk of iron and how much they cut off made it big or small
 
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:52 PM
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Didn't Pontiac have tall deck and short deck blocks? There was also that midget 301 thing too. Anyway, back to Ford. The 351M and 400 were not very heavy engines, so I would not consider them big block engines based on block weight. As for bell housing bolt patterns being the deciding factor, remember that all Chevy straight 6's, 90 degree V-6's, small and big block V-8's, 6.2L and 6.5L diesels, and even that old Nova 4 cylinder ALL had the same bell housing bolt pattern!
 
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  #21  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:24 AM
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How about bore spacing to resolve this argument? Deck measurements vary within a single engine family, such as Ford Windsor, Chrysler "B" vs "RB" and many others.

"Big" and "small" is much easier to classify, but I know it is really more complicated than that. Chevrolet adapted medium class truck V-8's to automotive and light truck duty is how Chevy "Big blocks" happened, twice, 348-409 and 366-current 8.1.

Jim
 
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  #22  
Old 08-14-2009, 01:02 PM
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Anyway, The fact is my 79 CK 20 4x4 350 SMALL BLOCK 4 speed all stock blew the doors off a 79 F250 4x4 400M SMALL BLOCK 4 speed all stock, when they were new. The Ford stayed with me until about 60 MPH them the lights went out & all that Ford saw were tail lights until I was out of sight. The Ford had 3:55 gears compared to my 3:73. When he finally caught up 90 miles down the road about 10 minutes later we got drunk.
So who really cares. BIG BLOCK, SMALL BLOCK. The 400M was a good truck engine later used as boat anchors. The 400 SBC ran good for a short while but not my choice of Chevy small blocks. I have owned one. I owned a 400M. not fast but a fairly tough motor & good torque. Great truck motors.
I know Ford never used the term BIG block SMALL block. I'm a retired Ford Factory Trained Tech. form back in the old days. But I don't know too many OLD motorheads that won't agree the 351C, 351M, 400M aren't considered Big Blocks in conversation. 221-351W are considered small blocks with all the old racers & collectors I hang around with.
Craig
 
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  #23  
Old 08-14-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kermmydog View Post
79 F250 4x4 400M SMALL BLOCK
Craig
Lose the M on the 400.
 
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  #24  
Old 08-14-2009, 04:48 PM
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Holiver, I realise you probably grew up in a Ford parts department, but. From what I remember about Ford V8s, Ford decided to bring out 2 new engines for the 58 Model year, the Ford line received the Intereceptor series, 332 Interceptor, 332 Interceptor special, and 352 Police Interceptor, Edsel Ranger and Pacer models got the Edsel 361 which was a bored out 352 (sound familiar, think 360), Edsel Corsair and Citation got the E475 410 ci engine, Mercury got the 383 and 430 engines and Lincoln got the 430.
This compared with Chevy's new 348 engine. Chevy retired the 348 in 1961 after taking it out to 409. Ford used the 332 only 2 years. The base Ford V8 was the 292, with Mercury getting a 2bbl 312. Ford enlarged the Interceptor series to 390, 406, 427 and 428. After either 66 or 67 Ford discontinued the 352, leaving a hole in the lineup, basically, nothing to compete size for size with the 350 Chevy.
Ford decided to enlarge the highly sucessful Windsor small block to 302 for 68 and 351 for 69. 69 was the only factory 4bbl Windsor until the truck HO engines. In 1970, the 351C was born as a performance engine for the smaller cars. Trucks continued to use the old Interceptor, now called FE engines through the 1976 model year in 360 and 390 ci versions, the latter offered as a "camper special" with a 4bbl. For 77, both were dropped, most likely for emission reasons, they were replaced with a 351M and 400ci engine built on the same block. The 400 had appeared in cars starting in either 71 or 72. They were built on the larger 400 casting to make assembly line easier, you had 4 engine packages, 6 cyl, 302, 351M/400, or 460.
Chevy did much the same, their small block 400 was built to provide a smaller physically and lighter package than the bored out 396 aka 402. Chevy had a hole in their linup between the 350 4bbl and the 396 4bbl. They actually built a 2bbl 396 for station wagons in 69. 400 Ford vs. 400 SBC? to me it's a tossup, neither was a real good engine in my opinion. The Ford was a pig in stock form, the Chevy would spark knock if you looked at it hard. My son had one in 77 C10 4WD he bought, it was sooo good. He finally admitted he should have kept the 77 F150 I had the camper special 390 in, better performance, better fuel economy, all with a 3:25 gear to the Chevvies 4:11s
 

Last edited by 85lebaront2; 08-14-2009 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #25  
Old 08-14-2009, 06:54 PM
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i don't know if they called the 326 a small block ,but it was to me and my 455 trans-am was a big block to me also. what did pontiac call them?
 
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:18 PM
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If the 400M/351 is a big block why is it you can put 302 heads on it ?
 
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Econoline 150 View Post
If the 400M/351 is a big block why is it you can put 302 heads on it ?
Why is some of you guys calling the 400 a 400m? I thought only the 351M got the M added to it?
 
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by turnerjc03 View Post
Why is some of you guys calling the 400 a 400m? I thought only the 351M got the M added to it?
My mistake. It's a 351M/400.
 
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sandmanf250 View Post
i don't know if they called the 326 a small block ,but it was to me and my 455 trans-am was a big block to me also. what did pontiac call them?
The 301 and the 303 race only engine were short deck motors. All of the others from like the 326 and 455 were appeared to be the same on the outside. The 455 used larger bearing journals.
 
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:50 PM
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How about bore spacing to resolve this argument? Deck measurements vary within a single engine family, such as Ford Windsor, Chrysler "B" vs "RB" and many others.
A very reasonable suggestion, indeed!

Actually, the 400 Ford has a lineage that goes all the way back to the first OHV Ford: the 239 of 1954. Every Y block, 221-260-289-302, 351C, 351W, and 351M/400 share the same bore centers.

When Ford needed a small block for its small and intermediate cars of the early 60s, the 221 was designed with many of the same dimensions as the old Y block, which is why 289/302s used machined Y Block cranks as strokers in the 60s -- and such things are not done without a close kinship in engineering.

That the Windsor, with a raised deck to deal with it's longer stroke and larger mains to ensure proper rod journal/main overlap is directly related to the original 221-260-289-302 cannot be doubted either, as swaps of the 351W heads on the smaller motors was commonplace. Cleveland 351 4v heads are entirely similar to the Boss 302 heads except for the difference in the way the Clevelands ran coolant thru the block, rather than thru the intake manifold. It is not difficult to use Cleveland heads on 302s, as a matter of fact, and this was a well-trod path years back, as well. Regarding the 351M/400s, they were re-engineered 351Cs, and using heads from the Clevelands is possible also.

It is clear from these facts that the machining centers of all of these engines was maintained by Ford, no doubt because it allowed the foundries and manufacturing processes to be modified more cheaply for each successive modification.

Raising the deck to accommodate a longer stroke and longer rods is a better way to go, even tho it is more expensive, as it ensures that the rods don't work at such cockeyed angles. This decreases side thrust on cylinder walls.

Both the Fords and the SBC have the same bore spacing of 4 3/8", and there simply is only so much bore that can be accommodated within this dimension. Chevy went to a siamesed bore in order to achieve a 4 1/8 bore. They also shortened the rods to about 5.5" to take the longer (3 3/4") stroke for their 400. I simply don't see this as a bargain. The siamesed bores can be made to work pretty well -- the fact that 400 SBCs could be subject to overheating was an engineering problem at Chevy, not necessarily a shortcoming of the design. But the stubby rod business is another thing all together.

Cleveland oiling was not anything to write home about for Pro Stockers and racing, but it was sufficient for low RPM pass car and truck use.

Regarding the Mopar 400, as a bored out 383, it was also reaching the limits of its bore centers of 4.8" with the 4.34" bore -- .020" over the 440 RB bore. This is why these motors generally were not preferred for boring .060" over. However, there was an interesting swap which made use of the 440 crank, where the mains were turned down from 2 3/4" to 2 5/8" and the rod journals were offset ground to 2.2" to take Chevy BB rods -- giving a 3.9" stroke and 470 cu in. This would make a dandy motor for swapping into a late 60 Dart, as 440 installations in these gets pretty tight.

Mopar B motors are plenty tough and comparing them to the Ford and Chevy 400s doesn't quite seem straight-across in my book -- as a true big block, the Mopar would be my choice, were I looking for something tough in a truck. There are tons of B/RB parts in wrecking yards that can supply parts for these motors -- for instance, it is much easier to come by a 383/400 4v manifold than it is to get one for a 400 Ford. The SBC 400 would be my last choice of the bunch.

Regarding Pontiacs, there was very little difference between the 326 and the 400 blocks other than bore. Also, there was little difference between either of these and the 421-428-455 Pontiacs, except these larger motors had bigger mains on the crank. The rods, cams, heads, etc would all swap from top to bottom, however -- they were the same motor family.

Regarding old Mopar A motors including Hemis, yes, they were all practically the same thing, except that the 392 did have a higher deck than the 331-354s, and the block was strengthened for the longer stroke, too. This made them preferable for Top Fuel use in "the day," since besides being bigger, the block was better able to withstand rude amounts of supercharging and nitro.

Just because the heads on an engine make it physically larger doesn't change the fact that it still remains a member of a certain engine group by virtue of its internal dimensions and centerlines. By using sheer size as the sole criteria for differentiating between big blocks and small blocks, a 302 Ford is a small block and the ~159"-168" Ford DOHC turbo V8 derived from it is a big block -- not! Clearly such a criterion cannot be realistically applied with any consistency.
 
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