<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

Ford 400 Build - Newbie advice needed

October 2 2012 at 9:13 AM
  (Login 72fordgts)
from IP address

I have a 1972 Ford 400 in a 1972 Gran Torino Sport. Right now the car is bone stock with almost 150K miles on it. The engine is still tight, but no powerhouse stock. I'd like to pull the engine in the next year and wake it up to make it a decent street performer.

My goal is to have a good street engine, with somewhere around 350 hp, 400 ft-lbs of torque. I don't want to kill the low end power either, even stock this 400 has tons of torque. So far I was thinking something like cleaning up the stock heads, and using T-Meyer 9.3:1 pistons, 4-V intake, something like a Holley 650. I am not sure what would be a good cam choice, but I would be interested in doing a roller cam.

Anyone on here have any recommendations on what would be a good build for this engine? I am not building this engine myself, I will have it done by a professional, but I want to give them the receipe.

 Respond to this message   

(Login tinman351)

should be easy to reach your goal

October 2 2012, 12:24 PM 

are you sure your heads are original or early style replacements with the normal exhaust ports? in 75 Ford did a re-work of the exhaust port that kinda sucks for performance

" I'd like to... wake it up to make it a decent street performer. "

don't forget the rest of the package, mostly the rear gear ratio. with the natural torque building capability of the 400 i wouldn't suggest even a 4.11 for a street machine, but a 2.75 isn't gonna get it either. with a torque monster the gear choice becomes more sensitive. the line between pulling hard on the gear and becoming over-geared and winding up like a school bus gets finer

do you know what rear gear is in it?

what trans, auto?

need help with gear/trans ID?

9.3~ is a good place to be on compression, Edelbrock & Weiand both have intakes for the 400

cam choice is flavor of the week, probably 50 shelfcams that'll work for you or you can have a custom grind spec'd out. remember when your reading the descriptions of how they behave, the larger cubes of the 400 is gonna 'eat up' some cam, it'll act a little smaller in the bigger engine

i expect you'll make your 350hp / 400tq numbers easy, or more

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing

 Respond to this message   

(Login 72fordgts)

Re: should be easy to reach your goal

October 2 2012, 1:33 PM 

The engine is all original, so it has 1972 heads and pistons (Ford stated 8.4:1 stock).

I have a C6 tranny and stock 2.75 gears. I was planning on changing out the gears after I did the engine. I do a lot of highway driving with this car so I want to keep it at a numerically low rear end ratio, but I don't think I can keep the 2.75's in there. I was thinking of going to 3.25's? That's why I want to keep the car torquey. I am not intending on being a drag racer, just have some fun every now and then.

What about crank and rods? Are they something I need to look at to upgrade? I want this engine to be pretty bullet proof if possible.

 Respond to this message   

(Login tinman351)

i'd wait too

October 2 2012, 1:53 PM 

nutil you see how the engine runs with whatever cam you choose. just guessing maybe a little more than 3.25 but probabbly less than 3.7~ for sure. after it's back together runnign you can pull it down into 2 and see how you like the rpms for mph and make a decision where you want to be

the stock 400 crank & rods are pretty bulletproof especially for your intended build level. for higher levels 351W 4"(+) stroker cranks and aftermarket rods can be used in the 400 block but i don't see the expense justified here... ? keep it simple & cheap, it'll work gangbusters

you might specify a torque plate hone for better ring seal, maybe even do a short fill of the cooling jackets too but it's not necessary. i like to do some fangle stuff on my builds, just me. lots of simple decisions that can twist your mind around, std/hv oil pump, cam selection, degree it or just stab it, cam bearing restrictors, lifter choice...

did you mention exhaust, headers or manifolds?

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing

 Respond to this message   

(Login Luc69stang)

400 build recommendation

October 2 2012, 2:27 PM 

If you want a fun, drivable car dont go too big on the cam, particularly if this is your daily transportation or your highway car. A Crane HR 216 (hydraulic roller) is very mild but will make good power. A custom grind might make sense, too. George Pence and Brent Lykins and others will probably chime in with some good cam recommendations. For the money, since you want to keep this a street, mild build you may want to consider a plain hydraulic grind camshaft. If it were me I would do the following additional things:
1. Blue Thunder or Edelbrock RPM intake you will need to buy a spacer because these are 351C intakes and are designed for a shorter block. I dont like the selection of 400 intakes. You can buy the spacers from MPG Heads
2. The 4V Cleveland heads, open or closed chamber, preferably the closed since you will get a nice, but streetable, bump in compression. With the big 400 cubes the 4V heads will come alive and make gobs of power.
3. Headers or a nice 2 ½ exhaust system at a minimum. If you dont get headers you will have to get a cam designed for a restrictive exhaust.
4. A 3.25 gear is absolutely fine for a street and highway vehicle. I would not go more due to the highway driving.
I wouldnt rebuild the motor if it is tight, unless you have the budget. But if you have another 25,000 miles in the motor, why not use it. Rebuild it when it blows up. Also, you will be shocked at how much power these motors can make. A mild cam supported by the 4V heads and a lot of free breathing bolt-ons will be great. Good luck and keep us updated.

 Respond to this message   
(Login steve.k)

Stock crank and rods.

October 2 2012, 3:10 PM 

The stock crank is plenty tough and likewise with rods. I ran them both to 550 hp no problems and some guys even higher. Just use good fasteners such as arp and the proper prep and your fine. The intake selection is limited on 400 so I went with Cleveland intake and mpg spacers.Mpg has a Excellant windage tray and the oil restrictor kit at reasonable price. T Meyer offers good piston kits for 400. I like the open plenum intakes for Clevelands and with the torque of 400 that's the way to go I think. I run the old motorsport cam in wife's 351 cougar that offers good throttle response and drivability with that same gear. It had 214-224@.050 and 510-536 lift? Excellant street cam and you could even beef it up more than that! Nothing less than 750 cfm I would go with, at the moment as you probably read here quick fuel seems to be top of the game. However holley served us well for years and they do still work fine. 1 /7/8 headers would be great but headers are tough to find for that car! We just had trouble with this on a neighbors car and had to use manifolds. Good luck on your build the 400 is a unsung hero and when you tell guys it's a 400 in your car after kicking their butts they give you a odd look! It's a lot of fun! Steve

This message has been edited by steve.k from IP address on Oct 2, 2012 3:13 PM

 Respond to this message   

(Login MsgtJoe)

I think 1 hp/ci should be very easy with a few simple

October 2 2012, 3:27 PM 

choices. I built my 408 for my F150 with ported heads, adjustable valve train, ported Holley street dominator to match the 2v heads, 735 CJ Holley carb, curved distributor, H268 camshaft, headers, dual exhausts with crossover, and DynoMax mufflers. It pulled a 5400# trailer with 3.55 gears all over the USA, and ran great when empty. If I were doing the same build today, I would exchange the camshaft for a hydraulic roller of about 220-224*, and call it done. Joe-JDC.

 Respond to this message   

(Login gpence)

400 Basics (Revised)

October 2 2012, 3:47 PM 

The Ford 400 V8 has never been a popular motor for hot-rodding, but that doesn't mean it has no potential as a performance motor. With its 4 inch stroke crankshaft (the longest stroke of any Ford V8) and its canted valve cylinder heads (sourced from the 351 Cleveland) a hot-rodded 400 makes a tire shredding performance motor with power akin to the 428 Cobra Jet. It's more of a torque monster, rather than a charging rhino like the smaller 351 Cleveland.

Most of the hot-rod parts for the 351C also fit the 400; i.e. water pumps, oil pumps, fuel pumps, distributors, camshafts, timing sets, harmonic dampeners, oil pans and most importantly the 351C heads. The block, crankshaft and connecting rods are manufactured to the same standards as the 351 Cleveland's block, crankshaft and connecting rods; they are durable enough for naturally aspirated high performance street motors and low-buck amateur racing applications.

The 400s wrist pin compression height of 1.65" is identical to the 351C compression height. The one wonky dimension of the 400 is its 0.065" deck clearance; the 400s piston is almost twice as deep in the hole at top dead center as the 351C's piston. The increase in deck clearance and approximately 16 cc dishes in the piston domes give the 400 a compression ratio of 8.0:1. Reducing the deck clearance and increasing the compression ratio must be incorporated into the strategy of hot-rodding the 400.

My formula for hot-rodding the 400 includes boosting the compression ratio to 10.0:1, pistons with greater compression height (in order to decrease the deck clearance) and open combustion chamber cylinder heads. I have a preference for flat top pistons, and a preference to keep the deck clearance in the range of 0.010" to 0.035".

Replacement of the 400s pistons is necessary for any type of performance build-up. Piston replacement creates the opportunity to boost the 400s static compression and decrease the deck clearance without resorting to modification of other castings; such as decking the block, installing off-set bushings in the connecting rods or milling the heads excessively. This simplifies motor assembly. However if you search the Summit Racing catalog you'll discover pistons are only available from a limited number of manufacturers (Keith Black and Sealed Power) and all of the pistons listed for the 400 are cast pistons with the production 1.65" compression height and dished tops of various volumes.

I ordered a set of custom pistons for the 400 I hot-rodded decades ago. Using custom pistons allowed me to specify a piston that met all the parameters of my application without the need for additional machine work or additional custom parts. The pistons were directly installed in the motor as "drop-in" parts without the need to mill the cylinder heads, deck the block, or bush the connecting rods. I used standard thickness head gaskets, and the deck clearance was a very normal 0.030"; none of the dimensions were extreme or wonky, the dimensions of the motor remained conservative and factory-like. The pistons were specified with flat tops and a 1.685" compression height which yielded my target compression ratio of 10.0:1 using D2ZE (351 Cobra Jet) 4V head castings having 75cc open style combustion chambers. These pistons would yield a compression ratio of 9.7:1 with cylinder heads having 78cc combustion chambers.

The spec for those pistons was:

  • Forged aluminum
  • 351C 4V style flat top (notched for 4V valves)
  • 400 size wrist pin (0.9752")
  • Pressed wrist pins
  • Wrist pin height = 1.685"
  • Standard ring package

Ordering custom pistons is not absolutely necessary however, thanks to T Meyer who offers 3 pistons for the 400 which are manufactured by Keith Black exclusively for T Meyer Inc.

(1) KB2347 is a cast hyper piston with a 13cc dished dome and 1.71" compression height. This piston will provide 9.2:1 to 9.4:1 compression with cylinder heads having 78cc combustion chambers (OEM heads). This piston is designed for a deck clearance of 0.005" in an un-milled block.

(2) KB2344 is a cast hyper piston with a 30cc dished dome and 1.71" compression height. This piston is designed very specifically for the Australian 302C cylinder heads having small (2V) intake ports and quench style 58cc combustion chambers. The piston was designed to provide 9.4:1 to 9.6:1 compression with that cylinder head.

Modern high swirl combustion chambers offer improved thermal efficiency compared to older designs; one trait of the high swirl combustion chambers is a requirement for less total ignition advance. Altering the piston domes also changes the amount of total ignition advance required by a motor. Domed pistons usually require more ignition advance while dished pistons combined with zero deck clearance usually require less ignition advance. It is assumed that the reduction in required total ignition advance indicates an improvement in thermal efficiency, as in the case of high swirl combustion chambers. This is the reasoning behind this piston and cylinder head combination.

(3) KB2334 is a forged piston with a flat top (2cc valve notch) and 1.72" compression height. This piston will provide 10.4:1 to 10.6:1 compression with cylinder heads having 78cc combustion chambers (OEM heads). This piston has a 0.927" Chevy size wrist pin, which I assume is designed to work in conjunction with bushed factory connecting rods. With its forged construction, floating pins and high compression it appears this piston was intended for racing motors or perhaps motors equipped with alloy heads.

These T Meyer Inc. pistons offer options in hot-rodding the 400 that weren't available decades ago.

When I hot-rodded a 400 V8 I chose the 4V Cobra Jet heads as the least expensive route to high air flow cylinder heads. This reflected the mind-set of that era that a serious performance motor had to be equipped with the big valve big port 4V heads. I also had several sets of Cobra Jet heads stacked in the garage so there was no additional expense involved in that selection. The drawback to the choice of 4V heads was the necessity to use intake manifold spacers, but I learned that really wasn't that big of a drawback, the spacers installed easily and didn't look bad either. Some people didn't even notice the spacers until I point them out.

Even though I chose to use 4V heads it doesn't mean you have to use them too, many people prefer the smaller port heads, while others prefer not to spend additional money on replacement heads. The small port heads are certainly capable of supporting elevated horsepower output and performance. Any pre-1975 small port (i.e. 2V) open chamber iron head can be used for a performance build.

Cylinder Head Choices:

  • 1970 351C 2V .................. Nominal combustion chamber volume is 76.2 cc.
  • 1971 - 1974 351C 2V......... Nominal combustion chamber volume is 78.4 cc.
  • 1971 - 1974 400 .............. Nominal combustion chamber volume is 78.4 cc.
  • 1971 - 1972 Cobra Jet 4V... Nominal combustion chamber volume is 75.4 cc

The heads listed above have combustion chamber volumes in the range of 75 cc to 78 cc which are ideal for building a 400 cubic inch performance street motor because the compression ratio we want to obtain can be achieved with flat top pistons, a reasonable 0.030" deck clearance and a standard 0.040" thick head gasket; they also compliment the off-the-shelf T Meyer/Keith Black KB2347 pistons. The heads found on the 1975 and later 351M and 400 are not recommended because the exhaust ports were modified for thermactor air injection and do not flow as well as the earlier heads.
Open Combustion Chambers

Some enthusiasts are under the misconception that Cleveland cylinder heads with quench chambers are more resistant to detonation and make more horsepower. Although this may be true in regards to the small block Chevy I know from experience this does not apply to the 335 series Ford cylinder heads. I have built two high performance street motors using open chamber 4V cylinder heads (D2ZE castings sourced from 1972 Cobra Jet motors), both motors had 10.0:1 compression ratio. One was an actual 351 Cobra Jet installed in a 1972 Mustang, the other a 400 V8 installed in a pick-up truck. Both motors ran without a hint of detonation on 91 octane pump gas without having to reduce the amount of ignition advance. (US/Canadian 91 octane gasoline is equivalent to 95 octane anywhere else in the world). The 351 Cobra Jet was dyno'd and made just as much horsepower as similar motors I had hot-rodded using quench chamber heads. I also know there have been many racers over the years that quietly used open chamber heads in their high compression Cleveland race motors along with their own proprietary piston dome designs. They wouldn't have done this if they weren't competitive.

There is one quote in Ford's Off Highway (i.e. racing) parts book of 1972 about the differences between open and closed combustion chambers:

Quote: "Quench chambers encourage a swirling action of the incoming air-fuel charge. This improves mixture ... especially at low rpm ... when the mixture travels at relatively low velocity. This causes a more complete burning of the fuel and better low rpm torque ... Open chamber designs ... There's no quench area and valves are less shrouded; thereby encouraging excellent breathing. However, you sacrifice some of the good low rpm torque advantage associated with the quench chamber ... As of this date (1972) Ford has not developed a special pop-up piston that will give 12:1 or 13:1 ratio with open chamber heads. Thus the quench head is recommended. However this doesn't preclude use of open chamber heads. If you elect to go this route, it simply means you will have to work with a piston manufacturer to develop an appropriate piston design."

This quote is straight from the Ford engineers who designed the 351C. They made no mention of detonation, no mention of a big horsepower difference; the main difference is low rpm torque, which won't be a problem with a 400 cubic inch motor. They also suggested the use of the open chamber cylinder head for racing; they wouldn't have made that suggestion if the performance of the open style combustion chamber was inherently inferior to the quench style combustion chamber.
Intake Manifolds

For a basic performance street motor I recommend choosing a two-plane intake manifold in order to emphasize the power band in the rpm where the motor will be operated the majority of the time and to maximize manifold vacuum for the power brakes, PCV system and distributor vacuum advance.

I chose the Shelby (same as Blue Thunder) dual plane intake manifold for the 400 I hot-rodded. The manifold is designed for the 351C 4V, therefore installation required Weiand manifold spacer plates. Weiand also manufactures the model 8010 "Action Plus" dual plane intake manifold which is an excellent small port (2V) head manifold. The "Action Plus" manifold is designed specifically for the 400, therefore it requires no spacer plates for installation.

Although I recommend a dual plane intake manifold that doesn't limit your choices, some enthusiasts may want the racy looks or top-end power of a single plane manifold. The choice is yours. And there are plenty of choices thanks to Price Motorsport Engineering (PME) and T Meyer Inc. who sell adapter plates to allow utilization of 351C 2V or 4V intake manifolds on the 400. The PME #AP-29 2V adapter plate provides the choice of using any 351C-2V intake manifold in conjunction with 2V heads. The PME #AP-30 4V adapter plate provides the choice of using any 351C-4V intake manifolds in conjunction with 4V heads.

For my 400 V8 build I used a Ford sourced 780 cfm vacuum secondary Holley carburetor. Those carburetors were a bit expensive but they were calibrated very well for the type of motors that I built (motors that had to pass a tailpipe emission inspection) and provided better drivability than any generic out-of-the-box Holley carburetor I could purchase at the hot-rod parts emporium. Unfortunately that option is not available today.

People will argue over carburetor size, but I see no problem in recommending a 735cfm to 780 cfm carburetor for a 400 cubic inch motor, especially if it is used in conjunction with a dual plane intake manifold. My recommendation for a 400 cubic inch street motor equipped with a dual plane manifold is a 735/750/780 cfm carburetor. This is a carburetor with 1-11/16" throttle blades and 1-3/8" venturi throats. The carburetor I'd recommend will have an electric choke, Ford kick-down linkage and vacuum secondaries for smooth street operation and for best performance with automatic transmissions. I also prefer carbs with annular boosters. If you're going to use an out of the box carburetor stay away from Holley; choose Quick Fuel Technology carburetors instead. QFT carburetors are price competitive with Holley yet offer more features, they are tuned better out of the box and they are easier to fine tune.

  • Demon Carburetors #1402020VFE 750 CFM, vacuum secondary carburetor with annular boosters.
  • Quick Fuel Technology #SS-735-VS 735 cfm vacuum secondary carburetor with down-leg boosters
  • Quick Fuel Technology #SS-780-VS 780 cfm vacuum secondary carburetor with down-leg boosters

A smaller carburetor may be a better choice for single plane intake manifolds, for heavy vehicles, for high geared vehicles, for towing or off-road vehicles, or for drivers wanting to maximize low rpm performance at the expense of upper rpm performance.

  • Demon Carburetors #1282020VFE 650 CFM, vacuum secondary carburetor with annular boosters.
  • Quick Fuel Technology #SS-680-VS 680 cfm vacuum secondary carburetor with down-leg boosters

Demon carbs have had their quality control issues. But the vacuum secondary Demon carburetors I've listed are the only carburetors in this configuration having both an electric choke and annular boosters. They are great carbs if youre willing to buy one risking the possibility it needs work out of the box. If that risk seems illogical to you then you'll be better off using a Quick Fuel Technology carb instead of a Demon carb.

The off-the-shelf camshaft I most often used in the 1970s was a hydraulic version of the Boss 351 camshaft, having the following specs:

  • 290°/290° advertised duration
  • 219°/219° duration @ 0.050
  • 62° overlap
  • 0.505"/0.505" valve lift
  • 114° lobe separation angle

This cam turned a 351 into a hot performer that operated over a wide power band with Boss 351 type street manners. It was amazing how the 400 was a torque monster with the same camshaft installed in it; the extra cubic inches tamed both the camshaft and the large port 4V heads. I'm not suggesting you use this camshaft; I merely wanted to demonstrate how the extra cubic inches of a 400 V8 will tame the performance of a camshaft designed for a 351.

Recommending a camshaft is inherently difficult to do without specific information about the vehicle, how the vehicle shall be used, and the drivers expectations. One cam I feel safe in recommending is Crane Cam's part no. 523801, grind no. H-278-2. This is another wide power band type camshaft with good street manners that will work in a variety of applications. Remember this cam was designed for a 351; therefore it will be much more "civilized" in a 400 V8. The specs:

  • 278°/290° advertised duration
  • 222°/234° duration @ 0.050
  • 56° overlap
  • 0.539"/0.534" valve lift
  • 114° lobe separation angle


The factory distributor will interfere with the intake manifold if the PME manifold spacers are used. In that situation plan to use an aftermarket distributor that has more clearance between the block and distributor housing. My recommendation would be the MSD model 8477.
Exhaust headers

Off-the-shelf exhaust headers for the tall deck 400 are available, but the manufacturers and applications are limited. To my knowledge there are no off-the-shelf headers for the 400 with 4V heads. Some fabrication may be needed, trial fitting headers for other applications may provide a solution, or universal shorty headers like those made by Sanderson may be a viable choice. If you should find there are no headers for your application it should not discourage your plans; paying someone else to manufacture custom make exhaust headers is always a possibility, but that will inflate the cost of your engine project by several hundred dollars.

Those are the specific concerns for building a tall deck 335 series, 400 V8 performance motor. All the usual concerns related to building the 351C for performance apply to this motor as well so I won't rehash that information here.

In summary, the 400 I hot-rodded long ago was equipped with custom flat top pistons having a compression height of 1.685", open chamber 4V heads (1972 Cobra Jet heads), 10.0:1 compression, a Shelby manifold and a 780 Holley. That motor was a hot performer in a Ford pick-up truck. However, that is only one possible way to go about it. A person may wish to avoid the use of custom ordered pistons, 4V heads, or intake manifold spacers; or a person may prefer a motor with a milder state of tune. In those situations a build-up including T Meyer/Keith Black KB2347 pistons, small port (2V) cylinder heads, 9.4:1 compression, the Weiand 8010 "Action Plus" intake manifold and a 680 QFT carburetor may fit the bill.


Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information | Classic Cleveland Spoken Here

[linked image]

This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 5, 2012 6:38 AM
This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 3, 2012 6:29 AM
This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 2, 2012 4:06 PM
This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 2, 2012 3:55 PM
This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 2, 2012 3:49 PM

 Respond to this message   
Brent Lykins, B2 Motorsports
(Login blykins)

KB 2334?

October 2 2012, 8:33 PM 

Is that a typo George? Can't seem to find that part number...

Brent Lykins
B2 Motorsports, LLC

 Respond to this message   

(Login gpence)


October 3 2012, 6:07 AM 

The piston is a T Meyer Inc exclusive manufactured by KB ... I was trying to send Tim some business ... problem is I forgot to mention its only available via T Meyer Inc. That has been rectified.


Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information | Classic Cleveland Spoken Here

[linked image]

 Respond to this message   

(Login blykins)

Cool, thanks. n/m

October 3 2012, 6:39 AM 

Brent Lykins
B2 Motorsports, LLC

 Respond to this message   

(Login Luc69stang)

Re: 400 Basics

October 2 2012, 8:39 PM 

Nice write-up George....

Ford perfomance Solutions used to sell specialty headers, not sure they still do but you can check.

 Respond to this message   
(Login steve.k)

Tim Meyer 400

October 2 2012, 9:10 PM 

If you go Tims website he has a dyno video and write up on 400 about the hp you looking for ! He is good to deal with and maybe a big source of help. Good luck.

 Respond to this message   
(Login broncosaurus)

No exotic parts needed to make a strong 400

October 2 2012, 10:00 PM 

You don't need any custom made pistons or anything exotic to make a good running 400. Just get Tim Myers 14cc step dish pistons for the 400. They use the stock wrist pin and will make about 9.5 compression with the stock open chamber heads. Just get a weiand or edelbrock dual plane intake, use a 750 carb, headers, and a mild cam. Get some arp rod bolts and build the bottom end good and use some good valve springs. You will have a good running 400. Just a basic 400 that will make great torque. Very inexpensive to build also.

 Respond to this message   

(Login gpence)


October 3 2012, 6:08 AM 

Thanks for the compliment.

FPS has a new web site, still under development ... no mention of parts at all ... just crate motors.


Pantera Photos | 351C Historic Information | 351C Technical Information | Classic Cleveland Spoken Here

[linked image]

This message has been edited by gpence from IP address on Oct 3, 2012 6:09 AM

 Respond to this message   

(Login steve.k)

Tim also has forgings from racetec for 400!!

October 3 2012, 7:26 AM 

Tim also uses forgings from Racetec which were what I had for 436. They are very high quality as they maybe some of the best quality pistons I have seen. This maybe option! I would call Tim!The boys from racetec are very helpful also!!

This message has been edited by steve.k from IP address on Oct 3, 2012 7:32 AM

 Respond to this message   

(Login tinman351)


October 3 2012, 12:58 PM 

they're obviously in no hurry, it's been the same for a LONG time


there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing

 Respond to this message   

(Login Luc69stang)


October 3 2012, 2:05 PM 


Yes, their new website looks nothing like the old one. I purchased ceramic coated headers for my 69 Mustang from them 10 years ago, but as you mentioned, no sign of any specialty parts. It might not be the same company because I think the old FPS was out of the state of Washington or Oregon and the current address says California.

This message has been edited by Luc69stang from IP address on Oct 3, 2012 2:12 PM

 Respond to this message   

(Login Luc69stang)


October 16 2012, 2:03 PM 

Ford Performance Applications is the name of the outfit I was thinking of. They have a lot of parts.


 Respond to this message   

(Login MsgtJoe)

Mine did not start out as a truck motor, it was a

October 2 2012, 9:52 PM 

351M, to which I added a 400 crank, ported heads, ported intake, carb, cam, headers, etc. The concept will work for either a car or truck. The point was intended to show that it will make power as well as torque, with basic hot rodding principles. If I were building strictly a truck engine today, I would probably use a dual plane intake instead of the Holley, but it still performed much better than anything available at the time for the 351M/400 engines. Joe-JDC.

 Respond to this message   

(Login 72fordgts)

Wow - thanks for the info

October 3 2012, 7:03 PM 

Okay, it will take me a bit to process all the information thrown at me. You guys are a great resouce.

So, a few more points. This car is not a daily driver, it's a weekend/nice day car. The car is in excellent shape and has been in the family since day one, so I plan to keep it forever. Even though the engine is tight, I'd prefer to redo it once, and do it right, never worry about it again.

This is my car here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rtcmdr/sets/72157625157551064/with/5077010681/

As for the rear end ratio (mentioned previously) I will probably not decide on it until the engine is built and in the car. I have a 9" Ford, so not a huge deal to change it out.

- I'd like to keep the stock heads if I can. 335 engine parts are hard to come by in my area, so finding 4V heads or Aussie heads will be hard and likely expensive.

- I'd be happy with 9.5:1 compression. I am in Ontario, and high test here is 91, so I don't want to go to high on the compression.

- If I have the stock heads port, polished will they be prone to detonation? I have heard that open chamber are more prone to detonation vs closed.

- I'd like to run headers, and I think there might be one that will fit my car with this engine. Wouldn't manifolds be too restrictive?

Anyone have any suggestions on cams?

I am sure I will have more questions, right now I am just trying to plan out what I am going to do.

Thanks for all the great advice.

 Respond to this message   

(Login john-9)


October 4 2012, 5:31 AM 

Vince where in Ontario do you live -- i am located near Windsor Ontario and being that the 351C is my favorite engine have some extra parts ,heads manifolds small parts you may need.

 Respond to this message   

(Login tinman351)

Re: Wow----

October 4 2012, 7:25 AM 

yeah, wow that car looks sweet

and i just put 2 & 2 together


search 'stuck distributor' or 'stuck dizzy' here and see what comes up, i just hope you don't need a visit from Joe

there'll be phantoms, there'll be fires on the road... and the white man dancing

 Respond to this message   
(Login steve.k)

Very nice Vince !

October 4 2012, 10:14 AM 

That is very clean Vince should really haul with Tim's 400 formula! Sounds like alot of your existing parts work with Tim's kit! Also he's close to you a good road trip with car!

 Respond to this message   

(Login 72fordgts)

Re: Wow----

October 6 2012, 8:00 AM 

Hi John, I am pretty far from you, being in the North Bay area, or about 3 hours north of Toronto. Nice to see another Canadian on here.

 Respond to this message   

(Login Falcon67)

Love those 72s

October 4 2012, 1:46 PM 

Relative owns a yellow 72 Ranchero 400 and a 72 Torino 400. Nice ride you have there.

1967 Falcon 4 door 351C-4V
1970 Mustang 351C-2V
Owner built, owner abused.

 Respond to this message   

(Login 72fordgts)

Header info

October 6 2012, 8:07 AM 

I think between all you guys you have answered most of my questions. Someone posted the Hooker Headers info, which were the ones I was thinking of. They are expensive, but I'd be willing to purchase them. I think stock manifolds would be too restrictive.

What about the Sanderson block hugger headers? Would I be better of with the long tube headers if I can afford them?

 Respond to this message   

(Login TMeyerInc)

Thanks, but no thanks...

October 3 2012, 10:58 PM 

You had 3 great sentences in there.

I can probably safely say that we deal with 100 or so 400 Ford customer around the world per year.
We have sold over 5000 of the KB2347 pistons so far in the past 6 years or so.
The pistons give you about 9.3:1 C/R and pump gas will work just fine for you.
The engine that you are wanting to build is what about %75 of our customer build.
Very simple straight forward.
Our default engine kit "receipt" will yield you about 325-340 HP and 430-435 TQ
and it goes up from there.
If a 400 is done right, you can't make less than that.
Heads, make sure your machine shop does a good quality VJ and make the heads flat.
That is all you need to do to your stock head.
Bore block, grind crank, balance assembly and your machinist should know if there are any other
must have operations.
Follow our oiling diagram we outline on restricting the front main.
You don't need Aussie heads.
You don't need anything over 9.5:1 C/R
You don't need a HV oil pump
You don't need any port or polish work done.
You don't need anything over a 650 CFM carb.
You don't need some exotic intake manifold.
You don't need special headers, Sanders block huger headers for about $350 will work just fine
for you application if you can't find you exact application.

We build and dyno on the average a 400 Ford once a month. We get a lot of feed back from customer on how
their combination works. When your ready to talk 400, give me a call and I will be glad to help
you look at your options.

 Respond to this message   
(Login steve.k)

Tim what about racetec?

October 4 2012, 9:04 AM 

Tim I was glad to see you drop in! What about the racetec forgings, or are these just for your custom line pistons? I really like the looks of Racetecs quality! Steve.

 Respond to this message   

(Login TMeyerInc)

Re: Tim what about racetec?

October 4 2012, 12:30 PM 

Yes, the Racetec pistons are awesome. But my personal feeling is if a customer has a simple
build, he does not need forged pistons. Now I do deal with people who want overkill, and if that is the case, I will sell and build a customer what ever he wants.

 Respond to this message   
(Login steve.k)

Yes Tim I hear ya!

October 4 2012, 3:02 PM 

I've run the kb hypers in a few of the engines and we have had Excellant luck! Not one has had an issue yet, the set I took out of my own 408 measured up fine and I'm reusing them! I think the KB's get abit of a bum rap and they are a good quality hyper!I did talk to the KB tec and he said on his personel car he ran a 347 stroker around 450 hp with a 300 fogger nitrous with no issues. He commented that he was the guinea pig for those particular pistons and was having good success? Not sure if it was sales pitch or not?I had already installed and was curious about a 100 shot nos?

 Respond to this message   
(Login bryanscott)

WOW , nice ride man

October 4 2012, 9:53 AM 

really nothing to add after all this great info the guys have given ya.

T Meyer, nothing but the best to say , i bought a rebuild kit and built a 400 thru him great guy and allot of help.still sitting on the stand, haven't installed it in the truck yet.

I also built a 400 for a 79 ford f150 super Cab longbed in about 1990, that motor has probably over 200,000 on it right now, a friend begged me to sell it to him after i bought a ford diesel in 1995 or i would still be driving it.

That motor made a ton of power , i ran a 268 comp cam in it with extensively ported and gasket matched heads, edel torker intake an headers, dual exzaust etc. c-6 with 2.75 rear gears for allot of the years.changed the gears to 3.55 way later on,

With the 2.75 gears it was lazy under 2000 rpm , it really came alive at 2200 or so in the heavy truck, i never drove that truck with out a camper and full of tools until i unloaded it getting ready to sell it with like 190.000 miles on it, the c-6 had a gazillion milles and had lived thru the two motors and was shifting into 2 very slowly ,

well any way my son ask what it would run like empty,with out all the added weight, so i said i had no idea, well we cleaned it up , ( it had been sitting and not been driven for a while) i did a quickly tune up on it, with a power tune( the truck would pick up 3 or 4 miles to the gallon with retarded timing and pump gas, but with better fuel and advanced timing it ran way better)

I could not believe how the thing ran ,( this is with the 3.55 gears at this point) it would spin the tires hard out of the hole , you had too peddle it, it never did this with the added weight.it would spin 5500 nicely with the 268 comp, we took it to the 1/8 th mile and it ran a 10.12 et, which i though was pretty good for a F150 super cab long bed considering it was worn out with a worn out c-6 . the 1994 lighting's run 9.90's stock, with 4.11 gears for comparison.

So there is a quick run down of some of my experience with the 400 motor,also i wish i would have put in a slightly smaller cam for the heavy truck with a load, empty it didnt seem to matter as much,but there are smaller cams that come in at idle and still spin to 5000 nicely that would be better suited for a working truck.

Also the 2.75 really would spin on the high way it was great, 70 miles per hour at 1900 rpm with 31" tires.

the 3.55 were 2400 to 2600 at 70 , so if you drive allot on the high way you migh just keep the 2.75 s .with the tork the 400 is going to make , and you will not believe how much diffrent the motor is going to run, the 2.75 will work in that lighter car, for all but the best for getting out of the hole, so most defenatley get the car running before changeing the gear ratio,

Get with Tim meyer if you buy your rebuild kit from him, and he is the best price around for these parts, he can help you on choosing your camto match you set up,

If i were building that 400 in that car and didnt want to go max effort ,or medium and wanted to cruise it,and drive the highway ( i hate hearing a revving motor cruising the high way)i would stay smaller on the cam and the 2.75 rear gears.
the 268 comp or similar,the 268 comes in nicely at 2200 , if you have 2.75 gears and a slightly loose converter, not even 2000 stall the thing would need some sticky tires for sure.

Of course choose a little more gear , you can chose a little more cam.

this is just my 2 cents, and my experience with the 400 in a mild build daily driven situation, if you really want to keep it mild.

like i said i don't know much compared to the other guys, but i just wanted to let you know that the 400 would feel really great with a small cam and the 2..75 gears.

NOw the way that car looks, it would be really hard not to set it up with at least 3.55 gears (still be able to cruise on the highway , just not in ovr drive ) and a like comp 280 hydraulic, or the similar roller cam.happy.gif

talkin about needing some dot street leagal leagal slicks.

This message has been edited by bryanscott from IP address on Oct 4, 2012 9:55 AM

 Respond to this message   

(Login 72fordgts)

Re: Thanks, but no thanks...

October 6 2012, 8:02 AM 

Thanks for all the great info Tim. I do plan on speaking to you and getting my parts from you when I have the cash.

 Respond to this message   
Dan Jones
(Login 74Pantera)

Re: Ford 400 Build - Newbie advice needed

October 4 2012, 10:42 AM 

> Okay, it will take me a bit to process all the information thrown at me.

A word of advice. List everything in a spreadsheet and consider all your
options but don't buy anything until you decide on the engine combination.

> This is my car here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/rtcmdr/sets/72157625157551064/with/5077010681/

Very nice! Two of my sisters drove Torinos when i was in high school.
I was driving an AMC Gremlin I bought for $250 sad.gif

> I'd like to keep the stock heads if I can. 335 engine parts are hard to come
> by in my area, so finding 4V heads or Aussie heads will be hard and likely expensive.

If you plan on keeping stock rocker arms, check your rocker arm fulcrums.
They may be aluminum which can prematurely wear or even fail under load.
They can be swapped out for the steel 4V sled fulcrums. Also, there are
two types of stock rocker arms. The ones that are smooth on top are okay
but the ones that have lugs on them have a pushrod to rocker arm clearance
problems with high lift cams (0.550" lift or so). If you plan on roller rockers
but don't want to mill and drill for studs and guide plates, there are a few
options. Crane makes a bolt on adjustable stud kit and there's the Ford Racing
M-6564-C351 roller rockers (adjustable via shimming). Also, Randy Malik at R.M.
Competition has fully adjustable bolt-down aluminum roller rockers manufactured
by Harland Sharp to his specs which are dedicated Ford 351C/351M/400/429/460
rocker dimensions. Randy says they will withstand spring pressures in excess of
475 pounds open and over 625 pounds open when using the optional Jesel bolts,
though I might wonder about what the 5/16" threads in the heads might do under
those loads. These rockers are not the old style flat top Harland Sharp rockers
and are shaped more like the Crane Gold units and are available in 1.73:1 and
1.8:1 ratios. Yella Terra Another adjustable bolt down rocker arm similar to
the RM Competition arm is the Yella Terra, model YT6015.

> I'd be happy with 9.5:1 compression. I am in Ontario, and high test here is 91,
> so I don't want to go to high on the compression.

That should work fine. Depending upon the cam overlap, you may have to pay attention
to how quickly the spark curve comes in. With the open chamber heads, you may want
to consider a multi-strike ignition like an MSD-6, particularly if you run an open
plenum intake like the Holley Street Dominator or don't have carb heat.

> If I have the stock heads port, polished will they be prone to detonation?

Porting won't make the heads more likely to detonate and polishing the chambers
may even reduce the tendency to ping. If you're considering porting the heads,
add up all the costs (labor and parts) to see what the difference is between
a set of worked iron heads and a set of TFS 2V heads. Labor prices vary widely
around the globe but if you have to replace guides, valves, do a valve job, porting,
etc, sometimes the jump to aftermarket heads is not much more $$$ and you'll get
much better flowing heads with better closed combuation chambers.

> I have heard that open chamber are more prone to detonation vs closed.

They are but you can run 9.5:1 with open chamber heads and 91 octane with the right
spark curve and enough cam overlap.

> I'd like to run headers, and I think there might be one that will fit my car with this
> engine. Wouldn't manifolds be too restrictive?

On a 400 HP 351C-4V, we saw a loss of over 30 HP and 30 ft-lbs of torque with cast
iron 4V exhaust manifolds. That's a bunch. I know Hooker makes the p/n
p/n 6125-HKR (black paint) and 6125-1HKR (ceramic coated) headers for the Gran Torino.
Those are from the pricier Super Competition line. My notes say their dimensions are
1 3/4" diameter by 31" long primaries with a 3" diameter by 10" long collector. Last
I checked, I didn't see a listing for the cheaper Competition line of headers. You
might also check with FPA (Ford Powertrain Applications,http://www.fordpowertrain.com/)
as they have a lot of Ford specialty headers. Don't forget good mufflers. We saw a
50 HP difference between the better mufflers (Maganflows) and less ones in dyno testing
on a 400+ HP 351C. A bad exhaust can really strangle a Cleveland.

> Anyone have any suggestions on cams?

Iron 2V heads have a strong exhaust port and a so-so intake port and it's easier to
improve (via porting) the exhaust than the intake. Given the exhaust bias of the 2V
heads, for your application, I'd be looking at a single pattern cam. Also, 2V heads
peak in flow at relatively modest valve lifts. A flat tappet cam will be cheaper but
a hydraulic roller cam will have the edge on longevity and break-in worries and probably
make better power. Will you be using roller or stock rockers?

As far as intake manifolds go, here's a list of 351M/400 intakes I put together
a while ago. Some are out of production like the Holley Streetmaster single plane
but can be found used. You can aslo use spacers to use any 351C-2V intake manifold.

351M/400 4 Barrel Aluminum Intake Manifold List

Edelbrock S.P.2.P. 400 (P/N 3370)
- low rise (A=3.5", B=4.9") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
- CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-4000 rpm
- low rpm type economy manifold with smaller than stock runners
- no longer in production

Edelbrock S.P.2.P. 400-2V (P/N 5171)
- low rise (A=3.7", B=4.95") dual plane with Holley 2BBL carb bolt pattern
- CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-4000 rpm
- low rpm type economy manifold with smaller than stock runners
- no longer in production

Edelbrock Streetmaster (P/N 3190)
- low rise single plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
- small port, small plenum, economy type intake
- no longer in production

Edelbrock Performer 400 Non-EGR (P/N 2171)
- low rise (A=3.6", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
- not CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-5500
- installation notes from Edelbrock catalog : choke block-off plate #8971
incl. recommended intake gasket: Fel-Pro #MS96020.

Edelbrock Performer 400 EGR (P/N 3771)
- low rise (A=3.6", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
- CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-5500
- completely different casting from 400 non-EGR
- can be used in three configurations:
1. OEM 2V carb and EGR system with supplied 2V EGR spacer
2. 4V EGR system with either an Edelbrock #8053 4V EGR spacer,
or an Edelbrock #8017 and Ford #E4ZZ9A-589E 4V EGR spacer
3. Non-EGR 4V system with an Edelbrock #8714 adapter.
- installation notes from Edelbrock catalog: recommended intake gasket:
Fel-Pro #MS96020.

Holley Street Dominator 351M-400 (P/N 300-20 or is it 301-14?)
- low rise, open plenum, single plane
- Holley/Carter standard 4 barrel bolt pattern
- will also mount a Motorcraft 4300D spreadbore carb
- advertised rpm range: idle-5500
- CARB emissions approved
- no longer in production

Offenhauser Dual Port 400 (P/N 6033-DP)
- low rise dual port with Holley carb bolt pattern
- not CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-???
- '71 later 400

Offenhauser Dual Port 400 (6034-DP)
- low rise dual port with spread bore carb bolt pattern
- not CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-???

Offenhauser Dual Port 351M (P/N 6141-DP)
- low rise dual port with Holley carb bolt pattern
- not CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-???
- '75 and later 351M

Weiand Action Plus 351M/400 Series (P/N 8010)
- low rise (A=3.75", B=4.75") dual plane with Holley carb bolt pattern
- not CARB emissions approved
- advertised RPM range: idle-6000
- for a time was renamed by parent company Holley as a Weiand Stealth but
carried the same p/n)

Ford cast iron 4 barrel intake
- Experimental low rise dual plane intake for aborted 400-4V

CHI 3V 400 spider 3V 218-250cc 4150 Holley Engine Masters Manifold
- air gap single plane high rise for CHI 3V heads
- comes with separate valley cover
- very tall
- available with Holley 4150 or 4500 Dominator flanges

Edelbrock Glidden Victor Spider Intake Manifolds for SC-1 Heads (P/N 2860)
- air gap single plane high rise for Yates SC-1 heads
- requires separate valley cover
- very tall


1. With the exception of the CHI and Edelbrock Glidden, the above intakes
are for iron 2V style heads (302C Aussie, 351C-2V, 351M/400) and aluminum
aftermarket (CHI, AFD, Edelbrock, TFS) 2V heads.

2. For 4V (or 2V) heads you can use spacers and 351C intakes. Weiand makes
spacers (P/N 8205) that mate 351C-2V intake manifolds to 351M/400 blocks.
PME makes spacers for 351C-4V heads on 351M/400 heads.

3. Edelbrock Performer intakes are now available in a variety of finishes.

It was not a 400 but we did a bunch of testing of 2V intakes on a 393C with
iron 2V heads and street hydraulic roller cam. The heads had a best
bang-for-the-buck short side radius port job and ended up flowing 220 CFM
intake and 200 CFM exhaust. The best intake was the tall Parker Funnelweb
followed by the Holley Street Dominator then Weiand Xcelerator single plane.
Given how well the Edelbrock RPM Air Gap did in previous testing on a 351C-4V
and a 408C, I was surprised to see that all the single plane intakes beat the
RPM Air Gap. The Holley Street Dominator was better from the lowest RPM tested
(2500 RPM) on up. Upon reflection, with the 393C, the cylinder head intake
ports were the limiting factor and, with the cubes, the dual plane plenum
effect wasn't needed so the less restrictive single plane was best. These
results may not apply on unported heads with less cam or on really good
aftermarket 2V heads (will be testing them soon on a 408C with TFS-2V CNC
ported heads).

At one point in time, I was considering a 400 for my 1956 F-100 truck project.
It was going to be a performance with economy build to experiment with. I'd
gathered some parts including a low mileage 400 long block, Aussie 2V closed
chamber heads, Edelbrock, Weiand and Holley intakes, gaskets, Carter Knock
Eliminator, etc. I have both Carter ThermoQuad and Edelbrock/Rochester Quadrajet
carbs and was looking for a Offy spread bore dual port to Extrude Hone and try
on the 400, along with a Predator variable venturi carb on the Holley intake.
I've since decided to use my 403C with A3 heads and Scott Cook dual plane
when the time comes so I sold off most of the parts. I think I still have
the Weiand 8010 intake if anyone is interested.

Dan Jones

 Respond to this message   

(Login Luc69stang)

Weiand 8010

October 4 2012, 1:56 PM 

I may follow-up with you on that intake. I'll let you know, my brother in law is looking at buying a 1978 Lincoln Towncar with a 400-2v on it. He's intimating that he'd like a 4 barrel carb if he buys it. The 8010 should be good for that 4200 lb. car, right?

 Respond to this message   
Dan Jones
(Login 74Pantera)

Re: Weiand 8010

October 6 2012, 8:23 AM 

> The 8010 should be good for that 4200 lb. car, right?

Yes the Weiand would be a good intake for that application.

Dan Jones

 Respond to this message   
Current Topic - Ford 400 Build - Newbie advice needed
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index