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Technical 351c into my 1955 T-Bird

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,220

    birdman1
    Member

    i am contemplating installing a 351 cleveland engine with a C4 transmission in my 1955 T-Bird. Has anyone here done this and any info will be appreciated. Thanks,Henry
     
    6sally6 likes this.
  2. Oldb
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 218

    Oldb
    Member

    Kind of an OT engine here. I am putting a stroked one (408) in a 56 f100. If you do be prepared to pay more and have less choices when it comes to performance parts than you would for a 351Windsor. For me it was worth it.

    B
     
    Dusty roads likes this.
  3. The oil pan sump has to be the same style, the 1st hurdle. If possible measure bolt-to-bolt on what you have and also on the 351 mounts. I'm no expert on transmission help but you may choose to upgrade to something appropriate to the newer engine.
     
  4. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,989

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Will need a 4x4 351-M/400 rear sump oil pan and pick up tube.
     
    Frankie47 and jimmy six like this.

  5. Just do a SBF..way cheaper on parts, better fit, C4 or T5 choice..just dont trash the Y block....
     
    rpm56 likes this.
  6. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,648

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    How do you define a SBF and a BBF ? A 351C is a SBF , it has a small block belhousing pattern . Matter of fact it is Damn near a twin to a Boss 302 . It will fit nicely in an engine bay where a Y block was designed to live . If it were me I’d be searching for an FE to drop in your bird , it’s damn near bolt in .
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  7. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,648

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I’m not so sure you will need a rear sump pan . It’s been years past that I was under a bird . Best as I remember the engine sets back behind the crossmember , if so no rear sump is needed . Just has been too long
     
  8. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,277

    sunbeam
    Member

    The cross member will be in front of the motor but the steering linkage won't. In my 56 street hemi powered bird the pan cleared but it's pan was not clear at the front.
     
  9. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,220

    birdman1
    Member

    I built a 408 cleveland for my grandsons 1973 Mustang. aluminum heads, roller Isky cam, with a 4-speed. well worth it!
     
  10. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,220

    birdman1
    Member

    the 351c is what I have, so I will use it. I AM MODIFYING THE FRONT SUMP PAN TO A REAR SUMP. wILL POST PICTURES WHEN DONE. i WILL BE FITTING THE ENGINE INTO THE T-BIRD THIS WEEK. tHE T-BIRD HAD NO ENGINE OR TRANS WHEN i BOUGHT IT LAST FALL. I WILL BE USING A c4 TRANSMISSION.
     
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  11. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    Would be a lot easier buying a rear sump circle track pan or finding a 351M 4x4 truck pan than modifying a stocker.
    SPark
     
    sidevalve8ba and loudbang like this.
  12. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,439

    George
    Member

    I believe all 351C2Vs had the FMX & the 4Vs had a C6. C4 topped out with the 302 until CAFE caused them to go behind 351W in the late 70s smoggers.
     
  13. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,648

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    Tons of C6s available from vans with the SBF pattern .
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  14. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,586

    6sally6
    Member

    351C maybe called a small block but......................it mates up to a big block bell housing. (335 series not a Windsor like the 351W...302...289)
    Ford just LUVZ to mess with our headz.
    YOU COULD get a 351/400 M and that would be a big small block engine.
    Whateverrrrrrrrrr!
    6sally6
     
    48fordnut and rpm56 like this.
  15. Charlietruck62
    Joined: Apr 2, 2019
    Posts: 40

    Charlietruck62

    +2
    351 c has small block bellhousing
     
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  16. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,586

    6sally6
    Member

    Re-check
    6sally6
    PS.........too trivial to argue about...never mind
     
  17. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 518

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    302, 351W, 351C all use the same 6 bolt bell housing and motor mounts as a 289. 351M/400 use the 429/460 mounts and bell.
     
  18. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,439

    George
    Member

    yup
     
  19. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,049

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Except for the rare one year only 400 engine that has a dual bellhousing pattern, the second one being a small block pattern.

    And since someone brought up 289s, 1964 and earlier ones use a different five bolt pattern, shared by the 260 and 221 small blocks.
     
  20. synchro7
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 341

    synchro7
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I put a 400M in my 56 Bird and used a 4x4 pan. I had to make a small modification to the bottom just above the steering linkage.
     
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  21. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,439

    George
    Member

    Part of '73.
     
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  22. I put a 427 Ford engine & 4 speed in a 55 T-Bird about in 1972 -3
    The T-Bird was a Automatic & as most of you know 6 volt
    I changed it over to 12 volt & Auto. to Stick.

    My Shop was the Second shop to do a Conv. like that on the East Coast
    The first one was done on L.I. NY I cant remember the Shop's Name
    It might have Been All Car Automotive but I am not Positive, as you
    get older you have a tendicy of forget thing's

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn ^ Die A Fool
     
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  23. A Recap on the Time Line it was in the 60's late ..! that I Did the Swap.

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn & Die a Fool
     
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  24. synchro7
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 341

    synchro7
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've owned my bird since Dec 1967. I did a similar swap in the summer of 69. I used a mild built 390, T-10 and a 57 wagon 9 inch. Used a 4x4 oil pan, built side mounts for the eng. Modified the trans cross member and the Hurst shift mount so the handle came through the original hole in the floor. Managed to find NOS T-Bird clutch linkage in Iowa of all places! In 71 built headers and side pipes. Promptly blew the 390, installed a 427 and scattered the T-10. Replaced the T-10 with a big shaft top loader. In the summer of 73 spun a bearing in the 427. Sold the eng and the car had sat for 13 years when I installed the 400M.
     
  25. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,220

    birdman1
    Member

    got the engine and c4 mounted on the chassis, then sat the body back on the chassis last week. 3 days to get all the body mount bolts and ruber cushions in. The oil pan was a lot to build, but was the cheep way out for me. The oil pan to drag-link clearance is all of 3/4". the heads are 1/2" from hitting the firewall. I used a stock cleveland right hand exhaust manifold and it clears fine. the left manifold will not work. I think a pickup or van with the 351m-400 may be what it needs. DSC_0050.JPG DSC_0039.JPG DSC_0041.JPG DSC_0040.JPG DSC_0044.JPG DSC_0043.JPG DSC_0050.JPG DSC_0039.JPG DSC_0041.JPG DSC_0040.JPG DSC_0044.JPG DSC_0043.JPG DSC_0050.JPG DSC_0039.JPG DSC_0041.JPG
     
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  26. I have a 351 Cleveland and a C4 in my '50 Ford coupe, that engine is strong and sounds pretty good to! HRP

     
  27. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 557

    glrbird
    Member

    There was, years ago, a resto shop in Houston Texas than put a lot of 351's in the early birds, I don't recall what manifolds they used but it has been done a lot. Try Ford Barn, might be some help there. Does the pan hit when you turn the wheels lock to lock? Can you raise the engine to get some manifold clearance?
     
    loudbang likes this.
  28. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,774

    RmK57
    Member

    Take a bit off the steering box cover with a die grinder and use RTV sealant instead of a gasket.
    The engine will torque away from the steering box anyway.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  29. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,586

    6sally6
    Member

    I bet that is a "Bad mama-jamma"! How did it drive? Love to see some pictures (in a new post of course)
    6sally6
     
    loudbang likes this.
  30. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,220

    birdman1
    Member

    the cleveland has 2 barrel heads(all I had) flat top pistons, and a fairly hot hydraulic cam..560" lift, 235*. hope it works with the stock converter. I will do some more grinding at the gearbox. i can't raise the engine because trans is hitting floor now. and i don't want to move it ahead so grinding is only alternative. Have not checked pan clearance at full turn yet. thanks for the idea. I sure want to drive it this summer!
     
    loudbang likes this.

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