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Discussion Starter #1
My son (age 10) and I are planning a Muscle car or Hot Rod project. Recently a piece of good fortune has fallen into our lap. A local gentleman who has a vast array of engines has offered my son a free stock engine of his choice. We have no idea what a given engines condition is or what it came out of. This is great because we want to build the engine and later install it into a Ford that has yet to be determined. We have decided we want the engine to be non-turbo or supercharged, no nitrous and non fuel injected. In other words, and these are his words not mine, no cheating for power. Boring, headers, head work, etc., are OK. Our questions are this, small or big block? Any particular engine we should ask for? The only limitations are it must be a Ford and it must be "buildable". Any suggestions?
 

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I would say go for a small block if you are not sure what it is going in. That will give you a better selection of vehicles that you could mount it in later. I will say taht if you go for the small block try to get a roller block (86 or later) just to make things a little easier. Good luck. Let us know how everything turns out.
 

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Yeah, we're leaning to the small block. Was just looking at the 400hp 302 Project artical in on the homepage. Very interesting
 

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I would say, go for a small block ford. A 351W is good. It will fit easily into any small block car, and you can stroke it to get big block power, with small block weight, space, less modifications. There are also good aftermarket parts available for the 351w being that most 5.0 parts fit 351w blocks. If you were to go big block, parts are generally more expensive. Aftermarket Aluminum Small block cylinder heads are much more expensive for big blocks than small blocks. Also, make sure that you teach your son the dangers of street racing, because all teenagers love to drive fast (me included). A 500 plus horsepower car for a teenager takes a lot of responcibility. I have seen kids and fast cars make some bad decisions because they make poor decisions with the amount of power. Sorry about the safety part, but new drivers are the most at risk, and nobody wants to ruin a badass car anyway. Just my .02
 

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I'm partial to 351Cleveland engines, as they came with canted valves (better port angle for better flow) and oval ports (less flow restriction , as the air swirls in a round environment, gaining velocity more easily). A 2v (2 barrel heads) Cleveland is probably the best choice of clevelands. As for the year of engine, well I would say 72 is a good year (it's one i have rebuilt). They come with flat-top pistons, high compression, and a strong crank. There are a version of Australian heads available for Clevelands as an improvement to the stock 2v ones. ( this is the setup currently in my gf's 72 Mach I). I can provide you with more info on the Cleve, if you wish.

This strictly my opinion, and others will follow
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the safety input, but he is only 10. Regardless I know what you mean about kids and fast cars. However, I'm still a very proud pop when I hear him say those little screaming rice rockets will never mach the rumble of an American V8. How cool is that for a 10 year old?
 

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Go big block. Prices are about the same. But the torgue at low rpms is a thrill.

A 429/460 rebuilt will pull moe g's than any mild small block. And now days, installation kits ae available to stuff the BBF into most anything.
 

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Im gonna throw another vote in for a cleveland. Not only are they very capable motors, with lots of power being made with mostly stock parts, you would be doing us all a favor by teaching the next generation the raw power of the Cleveland.
 

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A 500 plus horsepower car for a teenager takes a lot of responcibility. I have seen kids and fast cars make some bad decisions because they make poor decisions with the amount of power.
But on the upside he'l clean up at the friday night street drags..
 

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Well, if the engine is most likely going in a big car then I would say go big block. Don't get me wrong; those small blocks can fly in big ol' boats. I had a 302 in my '68 Galaxie 4door with a 2bbl carb and a Automatic tranny without second gear and that thing would HAUL BUTT! But it's soooooo much better now that it has a 390 (4bbl, Automatic) pushing those wheels.

If you do go big block then I would suggest the FE engine. Tons of torque even on purely stock engines with a pretty good amount of horsepower. That and you can get 390's or 352's pretty easily. Parts for them are common finds too despite what many other people say. Just do searches on eBay but there are several companies out there who produce FE stuff only.

Just my input on this and giving you some more options.
 

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Since you have no idea what you will be putting this in I'd have to vote for the smallblock.You can fit them into any ford car that came with a v-8(and even some that didn't)and there is all kinds of aftermarket parts available thanks to the 5.0 crowd.If 400 hp is your goal this isn't "easily" attainable but certainly is possible with the smallblock.Aftermarket heads will make this much easier to attain but add to the cost.(by smallblock I'm talking 289-302).Also the parts are smaller and lighter for a 10 year old to be able to lift.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: frdnut on 10/26/02 10:16pm ]</font>
 

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Well no disrespect, but don't smallblock around, no torque. Don't build something there's not a plethera of aftermarket stuff for. Don't be afraid of a big engine, they can be put anywhere with some fabrication.
 

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My head says small block, but my heart says BIG BLOCK. Fxjr just loves his FE wagon and it's making a great father/son project. The car is huge, so it's much safer than a mustang. Any rice bucket that hits him is gonna bounce right off...
Anyway, torque is what moves the beast and a mild big block will make all you need and more without drivability issues.
 

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Build something he can afford to run and insure when he turns 17 or whatever the age is in U.S.

Pick something which parts will be readily available and cheap for years to come.

Having changed a c4 for an AOD in my v8 Ford Cortina here in England I would recommend going with an overdrive transmission from the off. AOD or T5.

If I was in America , would go for early fastback mustang if cheap enough. Here in England they are twice the price of coupes.
 

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If I had my choice of any engine as you do, I would pick the 460 cubic inch.

Like the good people have already said, it is hard to beat the torque of the big block.

 

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Ask for a Boss 429 or a 428 C\J. If the guy will give your son whatever he wants, either of those two would be the ones to go for. He would not have to "cheat for power" as he likes to say it.
 

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Theres no replacement for displacement. Get a '385'series, stroker kit, and aluminum heads and worry bout fitin it in when you get the car. There are tons of Fox body Mustangs around with them so you know they will fit into anything. As far as "cheatin" with power adders its only cheating if the rules forbid it. There are a lot of mild mannered street cars that are real animals when you open the bottle.
 
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