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"balanced power" + Cleveland = does not compute (lol)

May 7 2012 at 7:06 AM
DAVID  (Login D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S.)
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Upon reflection after re-reading this thread again and thinking way back to my youth and the very mild stock block/head +.030" street driven Cleveland combos that ended up in the first two daily drivers/street cars I owned........I have to say this idea that a "stock-ish" Cleveland combined with any average "middle weight" Ford passenger car platform can't be considered as anything remotely resembling "balanced power". There's just no way.
Obliviously George has the benefit of the Pantera having the engine sitting almost damn near over the rear axle and benefiting the traction to help aid hooking a healthy Ceveland's power to the road surface. But for the rest of us I would bet that a lot of people that had a more conventional Ford body/chassis layout (front mounted engine) had absolutely no problem "roasting" the tires with even the most mild of Clevelands.....kinda hard to call it balanced power in that situation. But then that's where a good driver's abilities (or lack of) comes into play when driving a performance/muscle car that has power to spare.
I do believe that having a 90% street/10% strip car with a little more power on hand than can't be easily hooked on the street at full bang, (but still hooks OK at the track) isn't really a bad thing if the guy doing the driving is a smart enough/talented enough driver to know what he is doing controlling the car. A driver that has no working skills/knowledge in handling a performance/muscle can still get into trouble even with traction control.   
As for the whole Cleveland vs 460 thing in truth it's kinda hard to do a real (and fair) comparison between the two in "mild/street" low compression form because their working HP/TQ power ranges are so different. Best I can come up with is my 69 Mustang coupe with a street +.030 flat top 351-C vs a friend's 69 Mustang Fastback with a junkyard smog era low compression 460...........
My 69 Mustang Coupe's Cleveland combo was a pretty much a "plain vanilla" street build (for the early 1980's anyway) with a small Isky hyd cam, +.030 flat tops, 4V CC heads, stock multi grove valves, stock pedestal/sled type rockers, no nitrous, a Holley Strip Dommy intake, & a Holley 780 vac sec carb. The rest of the combo was an FMX trans with a 10" 3500 stall converter, and some of the rear gears tried were 3.50, 3.77, 4.11, 4.56 (if I remember correctly).  
His  69 Mustang Fastback 460 combo was a 100% true "straight-out-of-the-junk yard" re-ring/re-bearing/lap the valves quick-n-dirty smog era low compression 460 build thrown together to replace his good 460 that had spun a cam bearing. Only aftermarket engine parts were an ancient NOS plate system, Weiand Stealth intake, & a Holley 850 dp. The rest of the combo was a C-6 with an 11" converter (later a 10") and I think 4.11 gears. 
No real way to accurately compare the two car's ET's (straight motor) because in the 80's (when my 'Stang was running) the track we ran at was a 1/5 mile track that had been shortened from it's original 1/4 mile to increase the length of the shutdown. And when his Mustang was running the junk 460 (90's to 2000's) the track had been again shortened from a 1/5 mile to it's current 1/8 mile length. But I get the feeling from driving them both that they might have probably been very close ET wise both on straight motor.
Since I had more gear & converter (and it was a Cleveland after all) usually spun it to around the 6800-7200 range, he only spun his to 4800-5000. Both ran on pump gas. He could use regular for driving around & straight motor passes, & premium with nitrous passes. I needed premium for both street & strip. And I can tell you from driving both cars that the heavier 460 didn't make his Fastback a bitch to drive, it took corners about as good as my Coupe did with the 351-C. One benefit he had with the dirt cheap junkyard 460 was it stayed in the car forever....and ever......and ever......aaaaannnnnd eeevvveeerrrrr. He ran it/raced it for many years till it's tongue was hanging out with around 3000 total bracket & bottle passes combined on that same junk yard ring/bearing job before he finally pulled it to put in a fresh 460. But I have no doubt that his Mustang would have probably been a lot faster than mine (even at the heavier weight) if it had been a fresh 460 with a little better compression than what he could get with the smog era giant dish pistons & giant chamber smog heads.

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This message has been edited by D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S. from IP address on May 7, 2012 7:11 AM

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