The New Engine

CobraRGuy

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Hi All,
Back in August of 2020, I was getting ready to load my car onto a trailer to take it up to Sonoma Raceway for SAAC-46 (the national Shelby Club's big annual event), but I had one last thing to do so I drove it to Custom Alignment (the incredible Joe Silva) in Mountain View to have him finish the alignment after installing the Griggs anti-sway bar for me. When I stopped at a light, I could hear a noise that did not sound good. I continued to Custom Alignment (another 3 blocks), but had it towed home from there. It turns out that a tie bar on one of the CompCams lifters had failed, the lifter turned sideways and took out the cam lobe. This aluminum block requires tie bar lifters.
It took me a while to find someone I trust to remove the engine from the car and go through it for me. I ended up taking it to Kevin Sittner of Precision Machines in Lodi, CA. Kevin discovered that the lifter bore in my aluminum block was also damaged. This required installing a bronze sleeve to correct. Although only one was damaged, I asked to have sleeves installed in all of the lifter bores.
It was also discovered that one of the pistons was damaged, but not by the lifter failure. This is very strange. The bottom side of the oil ring groove is melted away in places. I have attached a picture. Those are custom Wiseco pistons. I still had all the information on those pistons including the date, job number, specifications, everything. When I called Wiseco they told me "Oh, we've changed our software three times since then, so none of this is in our system anymore". I could have sent them one to duplicate, but decided to just have a whole new set made. Those took almost 1-1/2 years to get, but they are beautiful.

IMG_20220620_124427231.jpg

Kevin Sittner builds a lot of street and race motors, and has built six based on the exact same Race Parts Distribution aluminum 351 block I have. He says he's never seen anything like this before. He said he shared that picture with both Wiseco and JE, and they said they had never seen that before either. They have all seen something like this near the top ring, but never the bottom side of the oil ring. I think I know the cause, but not the how.
When I first put this motor together I was trying to run the stock ECU. The problem was that the O2 sensors were too far from the exhaust port, so they were too cold and were reading a rich condition, so it kept leaning out the mixture in closed loop mode, would run like krap until open loop mode took over and that was like turning on a light switch. The tuner I was using claimed that it was either because I had the distributor in wrong, or it was fresh air coming into the exhaust through reverberation. That was when I went back to a carburetor. It wasn't until later on that I figured out that the O2 sensors being at the end of my long tube headers was the real culprit (I KNEW it wasn't the distributor). I believe the engine being run with an extremely lean mixture (that burns very very hot) is what caused that melting, but why under the oil ring? Anyway, that will hopefully never happen again. I did buy an extra piston this time.
I already had a new set of Trick Flow CNC R-Series 225 heads in the box sitting in my garage (thank God I bought those when I did because they've been unavailable for the last few years), so the Brodix Track1 CNC ported ones will be replaced. I will be making those available. The Trick Flows flow around 17% better. They also have smaller combustion chambers, 65cc vs. 72cc. That brought my static compression ratio from 9.75:1 to 11:1.
I had to replace the lifters, and I sure as hell didn't want to use CompCams lifters again (how the hell does a tie-bar fail?). I looked at every 351W tie-bar style hydraulic roller lifter I could find. Companies that do make these for the 351W typically have only a single part number. My buddy Ray Miller suggested that I use Johnson Lifters (johnsonlifters.com). I had never heard of them before. That's because they do not sell through Summit or Jegs. They have FOUR part numbers for the 351W. Normal travel, short travel, axle oiling and non axle oiling and all combinations of these. Their website made it very clear to me that these people REALLY KNOW LIFTERS. They maintain tolerances of less than 1/10,000th of an inch, and the entire lifter from start to finish is made within a 20 mile radius of their headquarters in Detroit. That's ALL THEY MAKE. I ordered the short travel axle oiling ones, the most expensive, of course. This is a $1170 set of lifters. Ray tells me that EVERY racer he knows (he knows A LOT of them) in every NASCAR class that requires hydraulic roller lifters uses these. Okay that's good enough for me Ray. Sold.
I needed a new cam, and knew that I would be switching over to Holley EFI, so I wanted to identify a cam I could both get more power out of AND use with EFI. The people at CompCams directed me to their new XFI cams. They had two for the 351W, a big and a small one. I chose the big one. It has .608" lift and 248/258 duration @ 0.050" lift and a 114 degree lobe separation. The CompCams rep said it was much more appropriate than their biggest Extreme Energy cam I was using before.
All of the engine parts have come back from the machine shop after finish honing, sleeving and balancing, so reassembly is finally starting (YES!). We have all of the parts we need now, including a new ATI damper. The Ford Racing one was starting to come apart.
So that where we're at right now. Kevin will also be port matching the new Trick Flow single plane EFI manifold I will be using. For now, the Edelbrock Victor Jr and the Holley 4150 HP Race carb will go back on. I still have to pay off Kevin, and there's still around $3,000 worth of EFI stuff I'll need (the ECU, injectors, throttle body, fittings and lines, etc.), so the pocketbook says put the carb back on for now.
We're anticipating somewhere around 625HP normally aspirated. I used an online horsepower calculator that gave me 636HP. Aluminum engines typically do make less power than iron ones due to lower ring seal.
I'm super stoked to finally see light at the end of this very long tunnel. I wish I had more pictures to share, but everything is in Lodi. Oh Lord, my engine's stuck in Lodi again 8^)
Peace out everyone... Perry
 
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CobraRGuy

CobraRGuy

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After reading through my above post, I realized that I really didn't give many parts details about what's going into this engine, so here goes. NLA=No Longer Available.

429 CID
Ford Racing Z351 Aluminum block w/4-bolt mains on all five main journals NLA
4.134" Bore
4.000" Stroke
11:1 Static Compression Ratio
Wiseco Custom Pistons -13cc dish, Coated Skirts, Vertical Gas Ported
Total Seal 1.5/1.5/3.0mm Ductile Iron Rings, Napier Style 2nd Rings
6.200" Oliver I-Beam Forged Steel Connecting Rods
SCAT Forged Steel Crank w/Knife Edging (I would have LOVED to put a Callie's crank in there but learned about them too late)
Trick Flow TFS-52410003-C01 R-Series 225cc CNC Ported Heads NLA
CompCams XFI248HR-14 Hydraulic Roller Cam
Johnson ST2222SBR Hydraulic Roller Lifters w/Short Travel, Axle Oiling
Moroso Chrome-Moly Pushrods
CompCams High-Tech Stainless 1.6:1 Roller Rockers NLA
Ford Racing M-6268-D302 Roush Hy-Vo Timing Chain and Gears NLA
AVIAID 7-Quart Road Race Oil Pan
Melling Std Flow Std Pressure Oil Pump
Stock Ford Water Pump
Edelbrock 2981 Victor Jr Single Plane Intake
Holley 0-80509-2 830 CFM HP Race Carburetor

The entire 429 CID engine weighs about the same as a cast iron 289.

Ask any questions...
 

96blak54

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WOW! Sounds like a great build! And a ton of build anticipation! 625hp N/A is going to be a beast!!!
 

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