351Windsor v8 OHV to SOHC swap? Possible / practical or not?

 
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Running a 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite, with a 351 Windsor V8 OHV carbuerated with a holley carb. Don't mind putting in a good bit of money, right now I'm merely in the planning stage. I was just wondering, as I've been doing my research on engine components; My beloved car uses an overhead valve camshaft design. I'm not too keen on the whole pushrod idea, but I can live with it if it's not that big of a deal.

I would like to switch to a SOHC design, as they logically seem more reliable at higher operating speeds. I just want to know if it's possible, the more I think about it the better off I am with an OHV pushrod design, as they work just fine at low rpm's and that low end torque is what I'm aiming for. But I still can't quite see how an OHV design, while it would be stable at low rpm's, how it would be more efficient than a SOHC as there's more mass against your operation thanks to that pushrod.

Regardless I'm still aiming for a low-end powerband, so my land-yacht doesn't have to struggle with daily commute but can still get up there quite quickly should I decide to bring it to the tracks, as my brother owns a 99 trans am with an LS1 motor, and I would like to at least give him some decent competition. I know that featherlight car would get up to speed much quicker than my tank, but I'd still like to be able to compete so I'm aiming for low end torque, as my tank's a bit more stable and can handle more stress at lift-off.

So it all boils down to this. Aiming for low to medium range torque, typically 1500-5500 RPM powerband, and I see my OHV camshaft design as a hinderance. Is it possible to swap to a SOHC or DOHC design, and would that be practical for what I'm aiming for?

If it is possible and practical, I do intend to replace my cylinder heads and intake manifold at the same time as the cam, and thinking about upping the carb as well all at once, so I can set up for the perfect combination here. Thanks for your help!
EDIT:: After looking at some edelbrock intake manifolds as well as heads, I noticed it's possible to modify the 351W into a mock Boss 351, by utilizing an intake they've designed specifically for this purpose in conjunction with Performer RPM Cleveland heads. I was thinking of going with the Edel Performer RPM cleveland heads and E-Boss intake, as well as an edelbrock hydraulic roller camshaft kit. Is there anything I'm missing? Let me know your opinion on this. Again, trying to compete with a '99 Trans Am Firebird running an LS1.
Edit 2: The mock-351 Boss I'm talking about is more well known as a 351 Clevo / Clevor.
Edit 3: Yes, I am talking about converting my OHV windsor to an OHC.

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2 Comments

  1. Derek says:

    Possible, might not be all that practical though..
    The 351W as you prolly know is a great engine, the main reason being there are TONS of parts out there for it whether you want to return it to stock or build the heck out of it.
    If your looking for the best combinations check out specific builds for the 351W. (find places selling several build ideas with specific detailing, Then you can get down what your really looking for.

  2. rick29148 says:

    When you say you want to go to a SOHC design, are you talking about converting your 351W to OHC, or getting a whole new OHC engine ?? I’ve never seen an OHC conversion of any Ford small blocks. On a SOHC complete engine, the current Ford V-8 are a very wide engine, but it might fit between your shock towers. How ’bout a 351W stroker ?? You want both low to medium rpm range torque, and cubic inches is torque. I have a 351W stroked to 427 in my ’89 Mustang, and torque is not a problem. You can get a decent 351W427 short block for two or three grand, & do the top of the engine yourself. The cubic inches will give you torque, and a nice set of Trick Flow aluminum heads will give you higher rpm horsepower.

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351Windsor v8 OHV to SOHC swap? Possible / practical or not?

Running a 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite, with a 351 Windsor V8 OHV carbuerated with a holley carb. Don't mind putting in a good bit of money, right now I'm merely in the planning stage. I was just wondering, as I've been doing my research on engine components; My beloved car uses an overhead valve camshaft design. I'm not too keen on the whole pushrod idea, but I can live with it if it's not that big of a deal.

I would like to switch to a SOHC design, as they logically seem more reliable at higher operating speeds. I just want to know if it's possible, the more I think about it the better off I am with an OHV pushrod design, as they work just fine at low rpm's and that low end torque is what I'm aiming for. But I still can't quite see how an OHV design, while it would be stable at low rpm's, how it would be more efficient than a SOHC as there's more mass against your operation thanks to that pushrod.

Regardless I'm still aiming for a low-end powerband, so my land-yacht doesn't have to struggle with daily commute but can still get up there quite quickly should I decide to bring it to the tracks, as my brother owns a 99 trans am with an LS1 motor, and I would like to at least give him some decent competition. I know that featherlight car would get up to speed much quicker than my tank, but I'd still like to be able to compete so I'm aiming for low end torque, as my tank's a bit more stable and can handle more stress at lift-off.

So it all boils down to this. Aiming for low to medium range torque, typically 1500-5500 RPM powerband, and I see my OHV camshaft design as a hinderance. Is it possible to swap to a SOHC or DOHC design, and would that be practical for what I'm aiming for?

If it is possible and practical, I do intend to replace my cylinder heads and intake manifold at the same time as the cam, and thinking about upping the carb as well all at once, so I can set up for the perfect combination here. Thanks for your help!
EDIT:: After looking at some edelbrock intake manifolds as well as heads, I noticed it's possible to modify the 351W into a mock Boss 351, by utilizing an intake they've designed specifically for this purpose in conjunction with Performer RPM Cleveland heads. I was thinking of going with the Edel Performer RPM cleveland heads and E-Boss intake, as well as an edelbrock hydraulic roller camshaft kit. Is there anything I'm missing? Let me know your opinion on this. Again, trying to compete with a '99 Trans Am Firebird running an LS1.
Edit 2: The mock-351 Boss I'm talking about is more well known as a 351 Clevo / Clevor.
Edit 3: Yes, I am talking about converting my OHV windsor to an OHC.

Disclaimer: This site is a paid affiliate of eBay.com

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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2 Comments

  1. Derek says:

    Possible, might not be all that practical though..
    The 351W as you prolly know is a great engine, the main reason being there are TONS of parts out there for it whether you want to return it to stock or build the heck out of it.
    If your looking for the best combinations check out specific builds for the 351W. (find places selling several build ideas with specific detailing, Then you can get down what your really looking for.

  2. rick29148 says:

    When you say you want to go to a SOHC design, are you talking about converting your 351W to OHC, or getting a whole new OHC engine ?? I’ve never seen an OHC conversion of any Ford small blocks. On a SOHC complete engine, the current Ford V-8 are a very wide engine, but it might fit between your shock towers. How ’bout a 351W stroker ?? You want both low to medium rpm range torque, and cubic inches is torque. I have a 351W stroked to 427 in my ’89 Mustang, and torque is not a problem. You can get a decent 351W427 short block for two or three grand, & do the top of the engine yourself. The cubic inches will give you torque, and a nice set of Trick Flow aluminum heads will give you higher rpm horsepower.

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