351W vs 400....

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by DZG, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. DZG

    DZG In First Gear

    Messages:
    16
    Im in the "planning" stages of a mild build for my 77 LTD II. Nothing insane...but would like more punch from redlight to redlight.

    Right now the car is not running, and hasent since 2007. Its got the stock 351W/FMX trans, it jumped time and destroyed the heads.

    I really want to next spring/summer (if my shop gets done) to begin resurecting the ol gal.

    Ive gone around and around in my head if i want to..

    A- Rebuild the 351W with a mild cam, intake/4bbl, headers, you know, the normal.

    B- Buy a already running 351W and just drop in, preferably a mid 80s H.O from a truck/Econoline

    C- Buy a 400 core and rebuild it, with a cam, intake, headers, possibly heads, etc etc.

    Now, i know obviously the 400 would require the biggest expense, time and money wise, but perhaps offer the largest reward. Im a torque junky and its hard to argue with that big ol 4 inch stroke...if i did go this route i should be able to just buy a set of 400 motormounts for an LTD II, and buy a big block bell for my FMX correct? What about header clearence?

    Rebuilding/building the current 351W seems like a good middle ground...but i feel like ill always wonder "what if" if i dont go for the 400...

    The 351 H.O is considerably stronger then the late 70s 2bbl version, would also be the quickest and eaisest way to get it running, but its always a crapshoot with junkyard motors.

    Keep in mind i also have a 3.31 3rd member for the 9 inch in back to replace the 2.50 airplane gears (who needs to run 80 in 2nd?)

    Also...before anyone brings up a 429/460, ive avoiding these for a couple reasons...ive had trucks with the 460 and while total powerhouses...both were iffy on reliabilty, and junkyard 460s arnt exactly cheap. I also want to keep the car original...and the 400 was an original engine offering, and ive had several 400 trucks that all treated me very, very well.

    Sorry for the long winded post...but this has been bugging me for a while, and im getting close to the position where i can start making it happen.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. lovejoy

    lovejoy In Second Gear

    Messages:
    44
    Hi DZG, I shall follow this thread with interest, as you can see, I recently acquired a 78 Rancho 400GT, that has lotsa torque, despite being smog bound, at the moment !
     
    DZG likes this.
  3. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    11,493
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Okay, I'm a servant in the House of Windsor, yes, you could rebuild a 400 with a lumpy cam, ported heads, 4-barrel or programmable EFI, and flowing exhaust, but it'll cost a lot. 335 engines aren't all that plentiful, same with performance parts for them. As opposed to an F4TE 5.8L, 1994-97, with a factory roller cam and timing set, which will accept any carb or EFI intake, any available headers for Windsors, and bonus, you can bolt an AOD right to it, and regear for deeper gearing.
     
    RancheroRandy likes this.
  4. DZG

    DZG In First Gear

    Messages:
    16
    Id rather keep the FMX actually. But i didnt think about getting a later EFI engine and converting it to carb. I find 351M/400 cores on ebay alot for 200 bucks or so....havent priced any later 351w's.
     
  5. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,099
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
    The Wrench likes this.
  6. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,337
    Location:
    central CT
    There's always the 392" route - inexpensive 3.850 stroke crank, stock 351W rods, and 302 pistons. And I would change the trans - FMX is one heavy, inefficient beast.
     
  7. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    11,493
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    I ditched mine for a C4 (came with the 351W); there's a reason I call the FMX a 'boat anchor,' what with the iron case. You really would do better with another; you can do a C4 or even a late '70s-early '80s truck C6 (if you do stick with a 335-series engine), or a late '80s-early '90s C6 if you go with the Windsor. But the deeper rear gears and an overdrive makes for a more potent combo.
     
  8. AimlessMoto

    AimlessMoto In Overdrive

    Messages:
    534
    Location:
    Townsend, MA
    I thought the 351M/400M/351C was a lot wider than the 351W. You sure it will fit? The LTD bay is kinda tight around the frame rails.
     
  9. Doc76251

    Doc76251 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    426
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I am currently doing a similar build for my 77 Chero. I though about doing the 408 stroker thing but had to back off when I needed new heads ($2K), new intake manifold ($400), New cam ($3-600), new springs and rockers ($300+/-), the rolling gear ($1200 - 2800) and all the other "$tuff$$$$). So I am going with a 95 roller block 5.8L (351W) that I snatched in running condition out of a 96 Bronco. Picked up a 92 AOD out of an F150 that was driving prior to part out. I have some good upper end bones on the 77 block that I will reuse as well as parts from the 96 but they even need some additional parts. I'm trying to do mine over time to lessen the wallet impact but it's getting close to having to pay for the block work, deck and cylinder hone to 4.030" as well as the new pistons to accomplish the final hone. Dunno where I'll end up yet but it is coming more into focus as the days move forward.

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
  10. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    11,493
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    It may be, but the intermediates can accomodate 385-series engines, so 335's will definitely fit a '77 LTD II.
     
  11. Rods N Restos

    Rods N Restos In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    South Jersey
    77-79 Ford LTD II /Ranchero was based off the 72-76 Gran Torino/Ranchero platform.
    Frames are very similar,uses same firewall,same dash,same windshield so it will fit same engines as the 72-76 and know someone that put a built 460 in a 77-79 Mercury Cougar which is the same platform as LTD II

    Here ya go 460 in a LTD II and even has A/C and looks factory
    https://bangshift.com/general-news/...rd-ltd-ii-with-460-and-that-police-spec-look/
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  12. Rods N Restos

    Rods N Restos In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Regardless I would ditch the FMX in favor of AOD.
    Having overdrive is a big deal and you can put a nice gear in the 9" axle for plenty of off the line action but still cruise on the highway and not be revving high rpms like you will with C4,C6 or the overweight FMX.

    I have a friend who now lives in Florida but I did a bunch of work to his 70 Torino GT and the had the 351 Cleveland rebuild with aluminum heads and good size camshaft,aluminum intake new carb and replaced the C6 with an aftermarket built AOD trans and he loves it,car is fast but he can cruise it also on the highway
     

Share This Page