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Old 04-01-2002, 21:49   #1 (permalink)
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Cleveland 351 (5.8 litre) V8 advice

I would like to mildly improve the performance output of my 351, could anyone please give me some suggestions on what I can do without compromising reliability and my back pocket? Also any suggestions on how to make the exhaust sound better would be appreciated?

This is my first project car!!

Thanks!!
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Old 04-01-2002, 22:43   #2 (permalink)
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how much do you want to spend is the question??
I would start with extactors and a decent twin system .. but decide realistically what you want in the end to stop doing something and then replacing it with something different later.
You need to take into account EPA regulations if applicable too..
a mild cam would be good too!
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Old 04-01-2002, 23:46   #3 (permalink)
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I put a set of Benny Gatt ported & overhauled heads,cam,good springs/rockers/lifters[new],650 Holley Vac secondries o/hauled.Roller timing chain.Extractors interferance. In X.D made heaps of differance...An alloy inlet would have helped.. Oh two outlets off std aircleaner same as original scrapped of another a/cleaner and piped to front of car,each side of radiator for cool air... hth.
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Old 04-02-2002, 03:09   #4 (permalink)
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What is the current staus of your 351? What car is it in? What is your expectations of it? How do you currently drive it? Do you have a zillion dollars to spend on fuel? Answer these questions, we might be able to help!!
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Old 04-02-2002, 16:01   #5 (permalink)
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As too how much I have to spend, and how much I want to spend is totally different. What I should say is, I would like to limit the spending to about $1,500 to $2,000 on the engine itself. The 351 is currently in really good running condition, no bottom end noise, no tapping, it runs and idles smooth as. It is currently in a 1976 Ford Fairmont Marquis, which is also in really good condition, except for the interior door trims. I'm not expecting this car to be a street machine or drag racer, but would just like to work the engine mildly for own enjoyment and get some experience. I have friends who are mechanics who will be assisting so there will be no labour in cost, and I get discounts on buying parts from a different friend also. I currently drive it as I would any car, I donít thrash it, but just drive it to the train station every morning, home again at night, and on weekends. Thatís about it! As for fuel, the previous owner has it running LPG? is this bad? I have attached only pic I have so far, so for the quality. Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-02-2002, 16:56   #6 (permalink)
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Running LPG can be good as it has a higher octane rating .. but the method of delivery(ie the converter) has to be up to the job.
As you have a heavy car and an auto I would chase torque as much as HP ... I would get 4-2-1 extractors, get the heads reco-ed and maybe the bowl area cleaned up .. a mild cam and a decent air cleaner.. You should have the early electronic ignition so maybe a regraphing is in order ..You do have some EPA issues being a post 76 car so you may as wellget the thermocrap reco-ed and tuned. Holley=trouble with the EPA
My opinion anyway!
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Old 04-02-2002, 18:27   #7 (permalink)
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Sweet! Thanks for that, any other tips or tricks I should know about? Also where can I go get interior parts like new door trims and stuff like that?
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Old 04-02-2002, 18:49   #8 (permalink)
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one big tip .. dont make it too loud !!
You will need to look at the trading post and at wreckers to get the trims.. good stuff for older cars is hard to find.
Whatever cam you get.. make sure it will work OK with the stock torque converter too!
Clevelands respond VERY well to the right sort of mods.. pays to shop around and ask heaps of questions
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Old 04-02-2002, 19:04   #9 (permalink)
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Would it be a good idea for me to I invest in a new converter that would be up to the job and be compatible with a new cam?
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Old 04-02-2002, 19:48   #10 (permalink)
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hmm.. I think that you may be looking at a gas carby to get decent performance.. possibly it would be worth ringing some engine rebuilder types to see what they have to say .. if you are going to keep it mild maybe a stock converter would do it .. I have little experience with LPG ...
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