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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys
what are the commom failure for a 289-302 and 351w and on all strokers in the sbf famly
a freind of mine ran a 289 for 5 years with out a rebuild on it he thinks he had about 900 passes on it. at 11.40s ET and 115 mph.and shifted it at 7500 rpm. what do you think are the weakness on a sbf and any combo's and what is the best combo and the least failures. mainly race only form. give me your apinion on this.
 

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The weakest part of any small block Ford has to be the rod bolts on the stock rods and the oil pump shaft. Make sure you run a chrome moly oil pump shaft and a good aftermarket rod if possible..Bob
 

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When I was 18 a friend of mine built a 68 Cougar with a 302, ported 69 351W heads, a small Crane solid lifter cam, TRW forged pistons, SPS rod bolts, heavy duty pump drive and a high volume oil pump. He ran that engine for a few years and I lost track of him when I moved away. Last year while bracket racing my Mach1 at a northern BC track, a fellow pulled into the pit area beside me with a Ford Ranger race pickup. TO my suprise it was my old buddy, and 22 years later he's still using the same engine that he had in the old Cougar, and all he'd done is re-bearinged and re-ringed the engine once, 2 years before. He ran between 6 and 10 meets a year for 20 years and other than setting the lash each spring never touched the engine. He runs it hard enough and makes enough power to push the 2700 lbs Ranger as quick as 11.0's in the low to mid 120's. The chances are good that he had 1000 passes on that engine and when he pulled it apart everything looked excellent. As far as I'm concerned, if you equip a small block Ford with good rod bolts and a heavy duty oil pump drive shaft, they don't have any weaknesses.
 

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A couple common weak things with common factory sbf's are: rod bolts, those silent timing chain cam gears; on '70's engines mostly (gap toothed beauties), rubber valve stem seals turn brittle after a while end up in oil pan/pump which in turn, turns the oilpump shaft into a twizzler. Press in rockerarm studs can work their way out under aftermarket conditions.

All the fords ive driven (about two dozen or so) the car typically falls apart around the engine... as long as you put fluids in several places routinely. Ive got 200K original on the lower end of my '76 302, I cant seem to kill it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I have aftermaket rod in it but a stock crank I have never seen the bottom end on a SBF come apart except for stock rods and bolts as the cause. Has anybody seen any differant
 

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The late model 5.0 blocks are not as tough as the earlyer blocks. I kicked the front face and front main cap out of one. It still ran! The lower end was in fine shape and just transfered to a new block.
 

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we went to the local junkyard one day with way too much time on our hands. We found an old 84 LTD, 302 that looked like a prime candidate for torture test. Drained all the oil out of it and filled the crankcase from a water hose. We also bricked the gas pedal. Started it up, and once it cleared out, it ran about 6000 rpm for, jeez, I bet probably 5 minutes straight. The manifolds were starting to turn red (sun was starting to set). It never made any abnormal noises, just some steam from the pcv valve hole. We shut it off and drained all the water out of it, then started it up again. It would run for a few seconds, kind of sound like it was going to lock, then take off again. It did this a couple times, and we finally got disgusted. It would not die! Yea, I know this sounds far-fetched, but it's a true story. Ever since then, the guys at the salvage will take an old car that is hammering in the lower end and drain the oil and brick the gas pedal. They take bets from who's there to see how long it will last.
 
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