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Author Topic: Ford 351m/400 engine  (Read 6380 times)

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Offline woodbeard

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Ford 351m/400 engine
« on: July 14, 2006, 06:31:01 pm »
I just picked up a '79 f250 4x4 which I got a good deal on because it was in the middle of a motor swap when some problems arose that the owner didn't want to mess with.
I was told the motor was a recently rebuilt 351m out of a wrecked T-bird, that during the swap, it got a bit wet, causing a few valves to stick, and that when they tried to run it, those lifters collapsed.
Well, I did some exploring, and found that the engine is in fact a 400,  that the "collapsed" lifters are busted, and the rest are in need of cleaning. The whole area under the valley pan is grungy and rusty, and so are the pushrods. I pulled a head off, and the cylinders look fine. That was when I noticed the 4" stroke and identified it as a 400.
I'm not real familiar with the bigger V-8's, so I'm wondering if I should just clean up the top, put a set of new lifters and pushrods in and hope for the best, or if I am better off finding a good running engine, maybe even a 460?
I bought the truck knowing that I would have to do some work on the motor, and everything else is sound, but I'd still like to get it going with the least amount of hassle and expense ( yeah right  :D )
Any ideas?

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 06:38:15 pm »
If the lower end looks good I would try to find a local grease monkey and get a set of lifters and go for it, see what happens. I can probably get you a set here but you can probably find them cheaper local than what the shipping would be. If not let me know.
Bill

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 09:07:32 pm »
If the collapsed lifters are busted, it would be a good idea to pull the pan and get rid of all of the metal fragments.  Also, check your cam lobes to make sure that they are not damaged.  Replace all of the gaskets and put a timing chain on it too.

The 400 is a good, solid motor, but the 460 will give you more torque (and worse mileage).

Scott
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Offline Kcwoodbutcher

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 09:53:42 pm »
I've got a 78 F250 4x4 with a 400.  Great motor it's got a mear 338,000 miles on it and it still runs perfect. It's got a decent amount of torque and does get better mileage than a 460 but it still sucks. I regularly trailer 8000 lb loads and rarely have to downshift. I'd rebuild it and not go though the hassle of an engine swap.
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Offline red

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006, 10:38:22 pm »
The 351/400 is definately a good engine

but  sounds like enough water got into that engine  to pull the oil pan too

clean out the oil pump and screen .... before rolling the dice

all depends if this is just a farm truck or something to go down the highway  in



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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2006, 10:48:38 pm »
you can swap lifters on a 400 without pulling the intake :-D
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Offline woodbeard

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2006, 06:27:20 am »
Yeah, that's what I was trying to do, when I noticed they were coming out in pieces.  :D   
Good idea on the oil pan and pump, that way I can get a look at the crank, too. Anything in particular I should look out for there?
I'm not too worried about mileage, since this truck will be primarily for pulling my sawmill. Nothing gets real good mileage doing that, and I make it back sawing anyway. If it was just a farm truck, I'd just keep the one I got with the 300-6 and the ratty front end.  :D

Offline johnjbc

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2006, 10:54:25 am »
Way back in the last Century in 1980 when we had the long lines at the gas pumps I looked at a brand new 1979 Ford 250 4x4 with 400 engine and all options.
The cash price with no trade was $7000 :). Didnít buy it because of the Dodge / Ford Wars in my family. I would never have heard the end of it if I was caught with a Ford. ::)
My pay has went up some since then but not near the 5 or 6 times a new one costs now. >:(
Some of the 351/400 Ford engines in that year range had a problem with Oil usage. I seem to remember that it depended on what plant the engine was made in. Other than that they were a pretty good truck.
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Offline dave7191

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2006, 01:33:27 pm »
I would check the bottom end and if it looked good put in a new oil pump and the lifters in if the cam and heads look good and go back together with it i"v had several over the years and they were a good engine i"m looking for one now to replace a 360 in a 73 F 250 its to far gone to boar and rebuild

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2006, 11:17:26 pm »
Re things to watch out for - check the main and rod bearings.  Mic them if you can.  Disassemble the oil pump and clean it.  Replace it if there is any scoring evident inside the pump.

If the main bearings and oil pump show signs of scoring, then you should consider a complete rebuild on the motor.

As long as you've got the heads off, check the valve guides for wear.  be sure to replace the valve seals, along with the crankshaft main seal and all gaskets.
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Offline J_T

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2006, 12:36:28 am »
Be lot's fun to put in a 460 in place that 400  :o or in place that 360 a 390 or 427 will bolt back where the 360 is no trouble . The 351m and 400 also interchaged ok. At present I have a spare 351m a 390 and a 360 the 390 far as I can tell is the high hp with a 4 barrel carb on it the thuck had a ton rear under it got 7.5 mph loaded or not pass anything but a gas station :D :D
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Offline ScottAR

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2006, 01:15:25 am »
A nice way to wake up those 400s instantly is to put a '69 429/460 timing chain on em.   The 400 chain is 4deg retarded from the factory along with the engineers who thought that was a good idea.   

You can also offset grind the crank to 4.125 with 240 six rods and 4v cleveland heads and really go go go... but that's for another post. 
Scott
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Offline woodbeard

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2006, 05:49:42 am »
Really? Just the chain will change the cam timing? I woulda thought you had to use a different gear or cam, as well, no? I haven't messed with timing chains much. Most of my engine experience has been with the ford sixes and old VW. Why '69 460/429 in particular?
Looking thru timing sets on eBay, I see some roller chain sets that have 3 keyways on the crank gear, for 4deg+, 0deg, or 4deg-. Seems like that would give me my straight up timing, and they are offered for the 351m/400
I'm assuming the cam comes right out the front like on a 6 cyl. If it does, I'm probably gonna pull it out anyway to inspect it, so a new timing set wouldn't be too much more work.

Scsmith, I'm pretty comfortable with pulling/cleaning the pump, but how much can I inspect the bearings with the engine in the truck? If I have to pull the motor, I figure I might as well just replace it altogether.

Offline gary

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2006, 08:23:55 am »
I am thinking about buying a ford truck with a 360 in it for a parts truck to use on my 77 f 250 with a 67 352 in it it has a 4 speed transmission will the 360 match up with the tranny or would i have to change tranny's also?

Offline woodbeard

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2006, 09:06:44 am »
The 352 and 360 are both FE series engines, along with the 390 and a few others, so I would think they'd have the same tranny bolt pattern.

Well, here's pics of the cam:



I'm starting to wonder how "rebuilt" this motor is. From the looks of the journals, I'm kinda thinking the cam bearings are not much better looking. ::)

Offline tnlogger

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2006, 11:56:44 am »
from the looks of the journals what cam bearings  ::)
gene

Offline ScottAR

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2006, 03:55:44 pm »
'70 was the first year for the first round of emissions laws.  The engineers used the retarded timing as a stop gap measure till they could figure out how to make an emissions compliant engine that actually worked.  Only took em 20 more years... 

The 429/460 and the 351C/351m/400 use the same timing chain.  The '69 429 is just a factory application to the parts man.  Any aftermarket chain you wanted to use would be fine as well.  Looks like a cam kit is in the works. Melling usually makes a good towing cam for pretty cheap. 

352s and 360s have the same bolt patterns and engine mounts. 
Scott
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2006, 06:20:43 pm »
Woodbeard, from the pix it looks like the cam journals might have had some moisture in the oil when it sat for a while.  Unless the pitting is bad on the journals, that would not bother me, as cam journals really don't get much wear.

However, the most important area to check is what the cam lobes themselves look like.  Eyeball all of them closely, both from the side and also from the top.  Things to look for are any excessive wear (where you can see that part of the lobe is actually ground down).  Usually when wear occurs the pointed part of the lobe will start to flatten out.  Also, the cam lobes will start to get pitting in them - either at the point of max lobe lift or on the ramps up to the max lift.  If you observe any pitting in the cam, replace it.  Considering that there were broken lifters, quite honestly the hundred bucks or so that a new cam would cost is well worth it.

Melling makes a very afordable cam, and they are OEM to most of the manufacturers so you're getting good quality without having to pay for a lot of marketing.  Crane, Competition Cams, Isky, etc, all make good products.  I recall that Edelbrock sells some complete cam, intake, and carb packages - worth considering depending on budget.

Re bearing inspection, the places to check are the lower main bearings and the upper rod journal bearings.  Pull a couple of rod caps and main caps and see what the bearings themselves look like.  Only do this is you have access to a torque wrench to properly torque the bolts / nuts back when you're done.  The thing that you're looking for is excessive scoring on the journals or bearings, or if the bearings are worn past the surface coating.

RE the timing chain set, for towing applications a 4 degree advance will help your towing (with a stock or Melling cam).  If you replace the cam with a Crane, Comp, Isky, etc, go with whatever setting that the cam manufacture recommends (some of them may have ground the cam lobes advanced for installation at 0 degrees).

Always put new lifters on a new cam.  Be sure to use the recommended cam lube for the lifters and lobes if you replace the cam, and when you start the engine keep it at a high idle or higher rpm for at least the first 30 minutes.  If you allow the engine to idle much (with a new cam), it can cause them to prematurely fail.

Good luck!  Scott
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Offline woodbeard

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2006, 07:09:06 am »
Thanks, Scott and all for the info. I have yet to get into the bottom end. If that looks good, I may just put a new cam, lifters, and chain in. If not, I'll just find another motor to stick in it for now, and maybe do a complete rebuild on this one later on.

Offline woodbeard

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Re: Ford 351m/400 engine
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2006, 01:56:14 pm »
Well, I made my way into #3 main, and found the bearing worn down to the copper colored layer, and lightly scored.
All things considered, if the valves hadn't froze up, this engine would probably have kept going and going, but I cant see putting it back together now, even with a new cam and such.
No big deal. My other truck still works fine, just a bit loose in the front and wimpy up the hills. I'll probably be the same in a few years.  :D