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Why can't a SBF last like a SBC?


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Since no one answered my question before the other thread was locked, I'd like an answer here.

 

Why can't a Ford 351W be built that will last? What is the difference between this block and a SBC 350?

 

Thanks,

 

Sidney Franklin

AI #64

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swhiteh3

No reason at all. The SBFs tend to be a little more expensive, but especially with the 351W deck height, there is NO reason you can build it to be reliable.

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Ernesto Roco

It should not be a problem making a Ford motor reliable at all. It probably is not as readily available or less expensive than a comparable LS motor.

 

Give Troy a call at Ford Performance Solutions @ Anaheim, CA and he can build you a good motor that will lasts. He even gave me a neglected 347 motor and it's still running and put down a 1:25 at Willow Springs which I believe is a HP track. So simple a Caveman can do it.

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King Matt

There seems to be a perception out there that the Fords are "unreliable" at AI-level horsepower, which is a pretty crazy considering AI power is barely over 1.2 hp/ci for a 302 and much less for a 331-347-351. The parts are readily available, so if there is an actual problem, I would look closer at the preparation and maintenance of the engines rather than their inherent durability.

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D Algozine

I don't have any hard numbers to provide some specific data, however, follow along with my logic.

 

90% of the cars in AI have Ford engines, therefore most of the engines that break are Fords. Anyone have any real statistics to confirm or refute?

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Ernesto Roco

Tips to keeping a SBF alive:

 

1. Do not miss a shift

2. Do not suck small bolts and nuts and other hard objects

3. Do not overrev, know your limit on this and follow it

4. Do not miss a shift

5. Watch your oil level

6. Know your AF ratio and timing

7. Warm it up first before getting on it

8. Do not miss a shift

 

That should do it.

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white_2kgt
Tips to keeping a SBF alive:

 

1. Do not miss a shift

2. Do not suck small bolts and nuts and other hard objects

3. Do not overrev, know your limit on this and follow it

4. Do not miss a shift

5. Watch your oil level

6. Know your AF ratio and timing

7. Warm it up first before getting on it

8. Do not miss a shift

 

That should do it.

 

I can attest for #1, 4 and 8, missing a shift however isn't the only problem, getting the 'wrong' gear is...esp if it is a lower gear and you were going for a higher one. Lost 2 pistons that way...and 18qts of oil. Hey, I had the drive the car 5hrs home!

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D Algozine
Tips to keeping a SBF alive:

 

1. Do not miss a shift

2. Do not suck small bolts and nuts and other hard objects

3. Do not overrev, know your limit on this and follow it

4. Do not miss a shift

5. Watch your oil level

6. Know your AF ratio and timing

7. Warm it up first before getting on it

8. Do not miss a shift

 

That should do it.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this holds true for a SBC.

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Tips to keeping a SBF alive:

 

1. Do not miss a shift

2. Do not suck small bolts and nuts and other hard objects

3. Do not overrev, know your limit on this and follow it

4. Do not miss a shift

5. Watch your oil level

6. Know your AF ratio and timing

7. Warm it up first before getting on it

8. Do not miss a shift

 

That should do it.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this holds true for a SBC.

 

Dunno. About every 3rd visit to the track, I seem to find a way to do a 4-1 (instead of 4-3) downshift and a 4-3 (instead of 4-5) upshift on the track. The last time I did the 4-1 (last month), the car went into a violent shuddering spin and destroyed the bead hoop on the Toyos on the front the car. The car never stalled. I put it in gear and drive away...

 

...and this is on the original LT1 motor with 111,000 miles on it. I am the 4th owner and the 3rd to race it.

 

...and ask Brian Tone what I said at an HPDE (in my old, stock LS1 Camaro) when he was my instructor and my 4-5 upshift (at about 6,000) ended up being a WOT 4-3 upshift. SInce I knew he was a Ford engineer, I just muttered, "meh, it's a chevy no problem", grabbed 4th and continued on...

 

All of this is not statisically significant but I have to admit that I have the *perception* that the SBC's are more DURABLE than the SBF's. YMMV.

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Grizlbits

I am wondering if some of the west coast problems are from the rovals, which could casue an oil starvation problem from the long banked corners. We had a ford block break at the Roval in Iowa last week. I don't know root cause however.

 

I do know that A Sedan cars usually break the 3rd rod cap / block area in the 302 block, which is a known weak spot in the block. Those A sedan guys also run a ton of timing (38 - 40 degrees) to squeeze out hp from their "modification limited" class. That never helps either.

 

Missing a shift is always bad, chevy or ford.

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King Matt

...and ask Brian Tone what I said at an HPDE (in my old, stock LS1 Camaro) when he was my instructor and my 4-5 upshift (at about 6,000) ended up being a WOT 4-3 upshift. SInce I knew he was a Ford engineer, I just muttered, "meh, it's a chevy no problem", grabbed 4th and continued on...

I dunno Keith, I think you got lucky on that one. GM warranted many, many LS1s with bent pushrods from missed downshifts on street cars. I know a few guys who bought them dirt cheap because they were scrapped as non-rebuildable due to the thin cylinder liners, but they just swapped in a couple of new pushrods and had a practically new engine.

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The SBFs tend to be a little more expensive, but especially with the 351W deck height, there is NO reason you can build it to be reliable.

 

What about the deck height makes it more reliable? I don't know what makes 302s and 4.6s grenades waiting to go off.

 

The drag race guys seem to be able to make good HP, what is wrong with those motors for road racing?

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swhiteh3

It's not the deck height that makes the motor stronger, it's the fact that all the blocks with that deck height have a lot more meat on them. That also makes them heavier (not mention the fact that they're iron blocks), which is exactly why I'm looking for LS1/2/6 weights versus a comparably equipped 302 - because making the same power is one thing, but making it with significantly less weight is another matter.

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Grizlbits
It's not the deck height that makes the motor stronger, it's the fact that all the blocks with that deck height have a lot more meat on them. That also makes them heavier (not mention the fact that they're iron blocks), which is exactly why I'm looking for LS1/2/6 weights versus a comparably equipped 302 - because making the same power is one thing, but making it with significantly less weight is another matter.

 

Are you saying I scared you into AI from AIX? Say it ain't so Scott!

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Ernesto Roco

My AIX budget is probably a fraction of some of the AI budgets out there.

 

I don't make a lot of money so I have to do with very little funding. I don't believe that you have to spend a whole lot to be competitive in AIX as you would in AI. Engine cost is bout the same for me anyway but it does'nt hurt to get free oils, filter, engine support, etc. It also does'nt hurt that I do all of the preparation and setup on the car. I have invested in my program and built the relationships I need with the vendors to be competitive.

 

My point is you can be competitive in AIX for the same amount of money as you would spend in AI. That is the truth.

 

If you gave me 20K I would figure out a way to spend it in CMC to gain performance somewhere, it's all relative. Saying that it costs too much to race in a certain class is a cop out, nothing else.

This is just my opinion.

 

I would like to see more cars in AIX and see the AI/AIX group grow together. Chris G, please don't scare them away over there

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Ernesto,

 

You can make 600 hp for $2,500? I don't think so. AIX has got to cost more than AI. Granted, some guys are spending big dollars in AI but they would spend big dollars times X to be as competitive in AIX.

 

Sidney

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Ernesto Roco

Who says you have to make 600 hp?

 

I have a crate 347 street motor with a regular 5.0 block at the Nationals with 10:1 compression running 91 octane fuel.

 

If you have to have 600 hp then that's up to you but you don't have too.

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Grizlbits

Sidney,

 

I figure my next car will come in around 40 - 45 K. A LOT of AI cars are more than that, especially if you keep blowing up motors, trannies, etc. My car may look like a rat up close, but I really don't care. I put the money were it takes to make it go fast, not to make it look nice. My car only really looks good from a distance, at 100 MPH. I'll show you a breakout of my budget at the next event if you don't believe me.

 

Similar to Ernesto, I do all my own setup, instalation and fabrication of a lot of my own parts, and most of my engine building. I just can't see paying someone else $50-100 an hour to work on my car. Race cars are poor investments that can be totaled by one little driving error or stupid part breaking at the wrong moment. I'll put money into RV's, trailers and equipment, but they don't typically depriciate by 50% after you drive them on the track. (I don't take the RV on the track much )

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It would be interesting to document some of the Ford failures and their causes. Pure speculation on my part here but were some of the failures due to actions taken to reduce Hp or tq? You can create a lot of heat by running low timing. You can create a lot of problems running small exhaust or too small of intake/throttle body/carb.

This comes to mind because a lot of the Ford guys are building more cubes than they need to try to run a more level power curve. As already said there are a lot of Fords out there and more "ideas" being used on Fords.

As many of you already know, I ran a 306 motor that was essentially a 93 Cobra motor with the exception of the MAF meter and cam for many years in a different series. That motor made enough power to run a car just over 3000 lb's with driver and lasted almost thirty races before I retired it to "upgrade". I ran a lot of timing in that engine and never had a mechanical failure. I ran the same long block for almost 4 years of racing. I ran little timing and a ton of dyno time on the 327 and went through 4 of them.

It's going back in the car for this season (sometime) and exchanging out the 327 I don't need and am spending time detuning.

So the moral of this story is maybe Ford engines aren't the problem, but the people adapting them to their hp and tq needs are creating the problems.

I'm raising my hand right now as a guilty party.

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D Algozine

I was going to sit this one out, but.......

 

Who cares how much someone spends on their car, rigs, repairs, spares......? Everyone hanldes there own business differently. What's the point in having to "come clean" on our expenses. Spend away if that's what you want to do, or don't.

98% of us do our own work., and don't have a crew. Some have help, either with $$ or labor, and the point is ???

The range of skills and budgets is as different as each indivual.

 

edit -spelling

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D Algozine
Matt started it-sorry Dad.

 

That's it Chris, I've had about enough, up to your room and no dinner. And turn that damn music down.

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Matt started it-sorry Dad.

 

That's it Chris, I've had about enough, up to your room and no dinner. And turn that damn music down.

 

Just tell him to go clean the trailer. That's about a weeks project.

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Grizlbits

After talking with Tom from DSS here basically confirmed the weak spot near the 3rd main cap. Certain castings (I believe the Mexican castings) are beefed up in this area which helps, but does not eliminate the problem. The DSS main support system is claimed to help, I do not know how much. DSS says that if the block is machined and assembled correctly, they should easily handle the power levels of AI. AIX is another matter, except for Ernesto .

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