When Ford Motor Company introduced the 90-degree Fairlane V-8 in 1962, not many of us understood the great potential of this engine. In its original form as a 221ci V-8, it had a 3.50- inch cylinder bore with a 2.87-inch stroke. That same year, Ford also offered an optional 260ci small block with a 3.80-inch bore and the same 2.87- inch stroke. Both of these engines had the same 2.87-inch stroke 1M cast-iron crankshaft and C3AE, 5.153-inch long (center-to-center) connecting rod forgings. Both engines were fitted with Autolite 2100 two-barrel carburetors and single-point distributors with vacuum spark advance.
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In 1963, Ford pumped up the bore size to 4.00-inches to create the 289ci small block. The 289-2V V-8 was a hardy engine, long on power potential and reliability. Fitted with the same 1M cast crank as the 221 and 260, the 289 also had the same C3OE rods. Also in 1963, Ford introduced the 289 High Performance V-8, a more powerful version of this engine that produced 271 horsepower. It featured a mechanical high-performance camshaft, Autolite dual-point distributor, Autolite 4100 four-barrel carburetion, and special cylinder heads. What made this engine unique was its aggressive camshaft and dual-point distributor, designed to enable this engine to reach 6,000 rpms. Hi-Po-specific cylinder heads also provided better valvetrain stability at high revs.
The 221, 260, and 289ci engines lived side-by-side during 1963. For 1964, the 221 was dropped, leaving the 260-2V, 289-2V, 289-4V, and 289 High Performance engines in production. In 1964, the 289-4V engine was a lowcompression V-8, just like the 289-2V. It ran on regular fuel and was available only in the Mustang. For 1965, Ford dropped the 160-horse 260-2V, leaving the 289-2V as the standard small-block V-8. Also for 1965, Ford increased the 289-4V’s compression ratio with flattop pistons, boosting the horsepower rating from 210 to 225. The 289 High Performance V-8 remained the same through 1967.
For 1968, Ford stroked the smallblock 0.13-inch, raising the displacement to 302ci to compete with Chevrolet’s 307ci small block. The 302 had the 289’s 4-inch bore with a longer 3.00-inch stroke. The longer stroke came as a result of a 2M crankshaft with a 3-inch stroke, shorter C8OE connecting rods at 5.088-inches long. The 302 used the same piston as the 289. The 302 also had a revised block with longer cylinder skirts (.015-inch longer) to improve piston stability at the bottom of the bore. This block was actually introduced in mid-1967. Quite a few 1967 289ci engines were produced using the C8OE 302 block casting. This means the 302 block can easily be used with 289 internals. We suggest avoiding the use of 302 internals in a 289 block, however.
The 302ci small block has continually evolved since its introduction in 1968. Beginning in 1985, Ford redesigned the 302 block to accommodate hydraulic roller tappets. Meatier connecting rods and a high-nodular iron crankshaft have been the key to solid reliability. Cylinder heads continue to suffer from modest port sizing, which is why aftermarket heads tend to be preferable to factory iron.
For 1969, Ford raised the 289/302 deck 1.275-inch to conceive the 351ci small-block. The 351ci V-8 had the 289/302’s 4-inch bore with a 3.50-inch stroke. This was accomplished with the taller deck block, of course, with a 3M crankshaft (3.50-inch stroke) and 5.956-inch (center-to-center) connecting rods.
For 1970, Ford introduced another type of 351ci small-block V-8, called the 335-series engine, with a different block casting and crankshaft, larger cylinder heads, and a dry intake manifold. The objective of this engine was to produce more torque and horsepower via its large-port cylinder heads. It was a heavier engine than the 289/302-based small blocks. Enthusiasts came to know the 335-series 351ci V-8 as the small block that acted like a big block. It made boatloads of torque and became popular with drag racers. It was in production just four short years – 1970-1974.
When Ford introduced 351ci in two different engine families for 1970, this created an identity problem. To quickly identify the two engines displacing 351ci, Ford called the 289/302- based 351ci engine the 351 Windsor (351W), named for its engine foundry and manufacturing plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada across the Detroit River from Detroit, Michigan. The 335- series engine would be named the 351 Cleveland (351C), also named for its foundry and plant in Northeastern Ohio. Although we call the 289/302 “Windsor” small blocks, they were also cast and manufactured in the Cleveland Engine Plant. “Windsor” is a designation Ford applied to the 351ci engine only, never the 221/260/289/302.
In 1972, Ford revised the 335-series engine family to conceive the 400ci Midland (also known as the “Modified” in some circles) V-8. The 400 Midland (400M) was a raised deck 335- series engine with a four-inch bore and four-inch stroke. It was conceived to replace the FE-series 360 and 390ci big blocks, although these engines remained in production until 1976. The 400M also had a 385-series Ford bigblock bellhousing bolt pattern, unlike the 351C’s small-block pattern.
In 1975, Ford dropped the 335- series 351C engine and destroked the 400 to 351ci to simplify production and reduce costs. The 351M is not a suggested engine project platform because it is decidedly heavy, with not much brawn. Don’t get the 351M confused with the 351C, which is clearly the better 351 to build.
The 351C, 351M, and 400M all use the same cylinder heads. The 351C-2V head is the same casting used on the 351M and 400M. For street use, this is a good cylinder head because compression is conservative, as is port size. Conservative port sizing is what makes the 351C-2V head more desirable for street use where we need good low-end torque. The 351C-4V head has huge ports designed for high-RPM use. But these heads make little sense for street use, since their low-end torque is poor. The best 351C head was cast in Australia, with the 351C-2V intake and exhaust ports, yet with the closed wedge chamber common to the U.S. 351C-4V head. These heads are available in the United States from a couple of sources, but they don’t come cheap.
Written by George Reid and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks