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351M into a 1959 Fairlane

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Zach Abbas, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Zach Abbas
    Joined: Feb 7, 2017
    Posts: 8

    Zach Abbas

    So I’ve been working on a build for a while now. I have a 1959 fairlane that originally had a 292 in it and I’m putting a 351M with a c6 trans. I’ve got the engine and trans in for the most part. Still need to figure a few details out. Was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction? I need a electric fan to mock up in it due to the original fan hitting the radiator. I also need some headers due to the fact that my block hugger shortys from Sanderson dump right onto my steering gear box. Also need a cowl since the new engine sits so much higher. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  2. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,106

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I doubt you find any off the shelf headers for that combo. 351M is not exactly a mainstream hot rod engine, you'll probably have to make your own. From what I've read, they are torque engines designed for pickups, although Ford did use some in some mid to full sized cars. A cowl style scoop isn't going to look right on that car, maybe a Thunderbolt style teardrop would give you enough clearance.

    Travelling a different road is always harder than staying where most of the traffic is. If you want to dare to be different, you better be good at fabbing your own stuff, or have deep pockets to pay someone else to do it for you.....
     
  3. Ford put a lot of 351M/400 engines in Pickup trucks and Broncos in the late 70's. Headers for that application may be an avenue to explore.
     
    Zach Abbas likes this.
  4. Yep, the 351M/400 is a bit of an orphan motor for a variety of reasons. And it doesn't fit all that well into the older Fords as you have discovered. There are swap headers for the 429/460 from FPA and I believe a few others, you might look at those as the exhaust port layout is similar. I doubt if the truck headers will be suitable without serious mods, but they will have the advantage of being relatively cheap to buy. Another alternative may be BB Chev headers as I've seen those modified to fit the 429/460 with a flange change, you may be able to fit those to the 351M.

    A FE (360/390) is a bolt-in, there is off-the-shelf parts for that.

    For radiator clearance, hunt down a six-cylinder core support as that moves the radiator forward several inches.
     

  5. My Merc has a 400M. Couldn't find anything to go with it! NO multi-carb manifolds, NO headers, NO great horsepower parts..... Just left it stock. Can't kill it! Has about 200k miles on it and still running! When it dies, i'm going with a 302, hahaha.
     
  6. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 179

    Dusty roads
    Member

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  7. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,852

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    M is the redheaded stepchild of Ford motors. Not a big block, not a small block, doesnt make much power or get great mileage. Can pull a stump though.

    Good luck on it. You've made it this far, youll figure it out!
     
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  8. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,701

    6sally6
    Member

    Can you lower the engine mounts a tad to get it to fit under the hood? Think adjustable motor mounts! Will a 59 Thunderbird hood (with scoop) fit your 59 Gal?!!
    Got room in the front IF you move the radiator in front of the rad support?
    How bout moving the steering box away from the headers?!!
    Biggest "trick" to help the lowly 351/400M is get an after market timing set and degree the cam in to the crank. FoMoCo retarded the cam timing to "help":rolleyes: with emissions and kill off some of the power of the engine. Best thing you can do is find a 400 crank and swap it in. 50 extra cu.in. will wake up any ride. Hotter cams are available as well as ignition stuff. 4 barrel Alum intakes should be available........maybe.........a quadra jet style Eddy intake for it. 650-670-700 cfm carb will let 'er breathe fer sure.
    I think........cleveland heads will bolt on or maybe my synapes are shorting out?! If you can't get 400HP out of it.........you just ain't try'in!
    6sally6
     
  9. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460

    George
    Member

    There is/was a build Thread on the M/400s. Someone mentioned that putting a bigger carb on it increased gas use w/o much gain in go.
     
  10. I have an Edelbrock Performer manifold and carb, really pepped it up over the single 2bl. You can change the timing chain, which corrects the timing and get the flattop pistons for better compression, I was told.
     
  11. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,924

    RmK57
    Member

    Drop base air cleaner will get you the clearance you need.
     
    Zach Abbas, ffr1222k and lippy like this.
  12. Zach Abbas
    Joined: Feb 7, 2017
    Posts: 8

    Zach Abbas


    I got a eddy alum intake and eddy 670 carb and a eddy cam. I should be close to 400 when it’s done. I thought about doing the crank but gunna push that off till I get it running like it is and more money in my pocket. I also got a noise gear drive in it too.


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  13. Reman
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 345

    Reman
    Member
    from Florida

    Cleveland headers are what you need to be checking out, as they were used in cars. Otherwise you are tied to truck headers. There is really little you can do to enhance the 351M. Would have so much better to have gone FE, or even 351W. But you have what you have. I hope you get worked out.
     
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  14. Reman
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 345

    Reman
    Member
    from Florida

    A 400 crank will not go into the 351M motor. While they look the same on the outside, the internals are completely different. Main bearing size is different. Now a 400 can be made to produce big hp and be fast pretty easily. The 4 inch stroke helps out, lol
     
  15. Best thing to do to wake it up while not cheap is; 292 Degree duration cam with a split lift favoring the exhaust, aftermarket timing set, headers, flat top pistons set at deck height ($), with the intake and carb that you have will garner about 400 HP and 450 Ft Lb torque. Do that on a 400 and add 50 HP and 60 Ft Lb.
     
  16. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460

    George
    Member

    No, Bearings are the same, just different stroke. Use the 400 crank & pistons, you have 400 CID. Use the M crank & pistons you have 351 CID.
     
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  17. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 179

    Dusty roads
    Member

  18. Reman
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 345

    Reman
    Member
    from Florida

    Yes, I stand corrected. For some reason I was thinking of the Windsor. And it was rod journals rather than mains. I guess I should have just stayed completely out of this discussion. ha
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  19. I realize that the 351M/400 are kind of oddballs in terms of performance, but I had a 400 in an O/T F-250 with a four speed and 4.10 gears. Until I bought my Ram Cummins 3 years ago, that 400 was the strongest trailer puller I ever had. Super torque, just no RPM. Mine was internally stock, but had headers, and a 500 Holley on the stock intake. You could take off in second gear pulling my bracket car and not have to ride the clutch. Great engine. I’m not trying to start a s&@t storm, but for truck use or super smooth sedan driving, I’d take a 400 Ford over a 400 Chevrolet any day.


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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  20. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,924

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Remember that it uses a 385 bell housing pattern (R, 429/460 BBF) and not a 335 pattern (L, 351C) 400M..jpg
     
    X38 likes this.
  21. Ford built some oddball early 400s that had the 'standard' SBF bellhousing pattern, and I was told also some with both patterns before settling on just the big pattern although I haven't seen one of those personally. Not common even then, rarely seen today. The supposed theory was that Ford wanted to use the more-efficient and less-bulky FMX trans for a smaller trans tunnel but it proved not to be beefy enough in the bigger cars.
     
  22. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460

    George
    Member

    Some in '73 with SBF pattern.
     
  23. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,924

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Think this may have been a Pantera dual pattern block or 400M, can't recall?
    400M.jpg
     
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  24. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460

    George
    Member

    That looks like the '73 block.
     
  25. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,119

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Neat dual pattern block, is it Australian production?
    I've seen a different picture of one on the Internet but both bolt patterns were drilled.
     
  26. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,119

    Beanscoot
    Member

    Hey, how about the mythical stock cast iron 400-4V intake?
     
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  27. big bird
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 101

    big bird
    Member

    Ford used the FMX with 351Clevelands, and Windsors in Fullsize cars in the 70s, and the 351M Thru at least 79. There is a bellhousing for 351M that would let you use an FMX on a 460, if you wanted (God only knows why you would).
    The FMX-block 400 was a 1973 thing, some have both bell patterns drilled/tapped, some only one pattern. Some of those blocks have both traditional SBF engine mount pads as well as the 351m/400 pads. Some have SBF pads on only one side, and some are not drilled.
    Ford DID design a 400-4v intake, and produced a few with actual part numbers (Like normal production). A few have been found "In the wild", but no record of them being installed as a factory item. 400-4V was supposed to be for California instead of 429 or 460.
     
  28. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460

    George
    Member

    Ford Australia made 302C and 351C, no 351M/400s.
     
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  29. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,054

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A search shows that the exhaust manifold gaskets for the 351 Modified fit a lot of Torinos with those engines from the early 70's The gaskets also fit some Mustangs and Rancheros. Best bet is probably a set of headers for a Mustang with an engine that matches. "The OReilly's compatability link on the gaskets points you to Fel-Pro Exhaust Manifold Gasket Set MS90526 | O'Reilly Auto Parts

    A set of headers for an early 70's Mustang with a 351 C might come closest to fitting. You will probably still have to do some modifying around the steering box though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  30. The engine looks a mile high, are you using a front-sump pan? That is almost always a must to get around the crossmember and not interfere with the tie rods. You may want to join the 1952-1959 Ford sub-forum, lots of smart guys over there.
     
    X38 and Zach Abbas like this.

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