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501" BBF - or - 427" SBF?

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  • 501" BBF - or - 427" SBF?

    I hope everyone had a GREAT New Years........... and with the new year, I'm hoping I'll be able to make some progress with my '69.

    BACKGROUND:
    A couple of years ago, I broke my hot rod Mexican 302 engine block when the swallowed a carb wingnut. Since I had a 460 in my yard, I thought at the time - OK, I guess it's time - let's build a BBF. So since then I've been gathering parts to build a 501" (bored/stroked 460) BBF. Parts are WAY expensive, but I have quite a collection now,,,,some flowed TFS aluminum heads, 2.25In / 1.76Ex SS valves, with YT shaft-mounted rockers, port matched with a 4500-flanged Victor 460 intake; a custom solid roller cam and lifters, Blue Thunder main girdle, Eagle cast-steel 4.14" stroker crank, Eagle 6.80" H-beams, SRP 12.8/1CR 30+ pistons, ATI Super Dampener. But I still lacking a 1050 carb, oil pan, oil pump, water pump and, and, .......not to mention still needing BBF headers, bellhousing, flywheel, soft-loc pressure plate& disc, and rework the Top Loader or go Jerico for a transmission..... of course, none of my previous SBF engine & clutch parts will work. And with a projected 650+HP, I would also need to brace the 9" housing and install a 6 or 8 point roll bar and cut/nock the shock towers to fit the wide x huge engine in there.

    FAST FORWARD:
    So this past week: I was visiting with a racer friend and we chatted about the slow progress of my BBF build....and how much longer will it take me to gather the $$ for the rest of the parts and do the necessary cutting, fabbing and such..... Then he told me of a well-known (local) builder who has a complete 427" SBF that was built for a customer, but the customer backed out and told him to just sell it. I contacted the man and he said it was all true and that he'd do me a good deal. The 427" is wiithout a cam & intake or oil pan....which I'd still have to buy, since the 302 stuff I still have wouldn't work on the 351w block either.

    Since my collection of BBF parts are still in boxes, I could likely sell them and recoup some/most of my costs. Heck, the cost of some of the parts have actually gone up considerably since I purchased them.....which would help tremendously with my VERY TIGHT racing budget. The 427" is based from a 351W block, so as I recall, I might be able to at least re-use some stuff, such as my Lakewood blowproof bellhousing. I might not need to rework my Top Loader, or at least not to the same extent, since the 427 SBF would not be making the same power as the BBF would. I think I would still go with the rear brace and roll bar, just because it is a smart improvement......

    I know I'm not getting any younger, (I'll be 60 this year) and this stuff isn't getting any easier on my old eyes & bones......

    Should I jump ship from the slow boat that is my BBF project and grab this opportunity with the near-complete 427" 351W mill and cut my "re-power build" time considerably?

    SO - WHAT SAY YOU, M&Mers?

    Ryan
    Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. - Henry Ford

  • #2
    Is your flywheel have the same balance as the 427? If so, reusing your bell and clutch would be a huge plus in my book. Another thing to consider is the large weight gain from the BBF. Your adding a couple hundred pounds to the front of the car and that will negate some of the power increase. I would assume you'd need to respring the front and start over with your chassis/shock adjustment to compensate for the additional weight as well. How much power does the 427w make?
    1965 Poppy Red Three Peddle Gear Banger
    347 Stock Block Pump Gas Street/Strip 10.44 @ 125.97 Old Combo
    363 Dart Block Pump Gas Street/Strip - Under Construction

    2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle 12 valve Monster
    244 Stock Block Pump Gas Street /Street Much Slower


    Current CI Count - 103

    Comment


    • #3
      I would think HP wise the 427 would be capable of making almost as much as the 501, but torque, now that's a different story.
      Is the 427 built as a race motor? IE, good rods, good crank, high compression? Or was built for a street/strip gig and not designed for 600+ hp? To me, that would be a determining factor.
      Rob Hetzler
      M&M member since Oct 2000, #773
      Roxboro Dragway 2011 Top ET champion

      My Photo Page

      Comment


      • #4
        Poppy65,

        Thanks for the reply!

        Good point.... if the 427w is internally balanced, then I suspect I could get my 302 McLeod steel flywheel re-balanced to zero and it would likely work with it. I don't know if I'd re-use my pressure plate or not. I am sure I'd go with a new disc, just 'cause I'm there. I'd likely also take a pass over the flywheel to take the glaze off it - just 'cause I can...but yeah, some serious $$ that could be saved with the 427w package.

        As far as the weight gain, yeah, I know the current BB parts would be less than an all OE cast-iron BB, but with aluminum heads, intake and water pump, but how much more than the 427w, I don't know. I did have some hard bloc added to the 460 block, so that would be extra weight with the BB too. Yep, I didn't think about the likelihood of needing to change out the front springs if I went with the BB.

        The car already has welded in subframe connectors, Cal-Trac bars, 5-leaves in the back, 31-spline Moser axles, with a 4.56 gear on a spool,,,, but the six-cylinder front coils would likely have to go.......

        The HP of the 427w is still yet undetermined, since it does not have a camshaft or a carb/intake yet. I would need to determine what heads, valves, pistons, CR, it does have --- in order to best utilize the current package with a proper cam, carb & intake,,,then an estimated HP could be guessed. The estimated 650/700HP that I was planning on from the 501" BB at 7300rpms, would be a blast I'm sure, but if the 427w would make 450/500HP @ 7500rpms........Hmmm....

        Poppy65, sounds like you're leaning toward voting to GIVE UP ON THE 501" and to pursue the 427w?

        Ryan
        Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. - Henry Ford

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kid vishus View Post
          I would think HP wise the 427 would be capable of making almost as much as the 501, but torque, now that's a different story.
          Is the 427 built as a race motor? IE, good rods, good crank, high compression? Or was built for a street/strip gig and not designed for 600+ hp? To me, that would be a determining factor.
          Thanks for your thoughts, KV!

          I don't know for sure, but if I had to guess, I'd say the 427w is more a race motor than a street motor.... because I do know it has a forged crank. I guess I need to ask and determine more details on what is in the 427w now......

          Yeah, the 501" would definitely pull like a freight train....which is VERY attractive to me, but I also know all that torque can also twist up a nice car if I don't take the necessary precautions and brace it up right. I just don't really know how long it will take me to get the BB work all done before I could make a pass with it. Sure, gathering the parts and doing the build is major fun, but making passes is the goal..... The 427w would be much easier on the car and would put me much closer/faster to making passes with the car......

          Lastly, if our economy was to head for the ditch for some crazy reason, and I end up unemployed again.....it wouldn't matter, as I wouldn't be seeing either project to completion.

          Ryan

          Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. - Henry Ford

          Comment


          • #6
            Any idea what heads are on it Ryan? An descent aluminum head will get you the 650 horses that you want and you shouldn't have to spin it to the moon either. 450/500 hp would damn near have to be using factory heads with the induction tech out today. My little pump gas 347 (that's getting a makeover this winter) made 502hp @7,000 rpm with an older set of ported RHS heads.
            The torque of the 501" BBF would be nice but not exactly your best friend with a stick car IMHO. Harder on the drivetrain and less forgiving when the track goes away. The 427w we built for my ex-BIL's Cougar was a basic zero maintenance hydraulic cam combo and that made 540ish lb's of torque so they're really no slouch either. My vote (not like it matters to anyone, lol) would be for the 427 UNLESS you had the option of making a big, big block. You can get the factory 385 series block out to almost 560 cubes. There's a new can of worms right there
            1965 Poppy Red Three Peddle Gear Banger
            347 Stock Block Pump Gas Street/Strip 10.44 @ 125.97 Old Combo
            363 Dart Block Pump Gas Street/Strip - Under Construction

            2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle 12 valve Monster
            244 Stock Block Pump Gas Street /Street Much Slower


            Current CI Count - 103

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Poppy65 View Post
              Any idea what heads are on it Ryan? An descent aluminum head will get you the 650 horses that you want and you shouldn't have to spin it to the moon either. 450/500 hp would damn near have to be using factory heads with the induction tech out today. My little pump gas 347 (that's getting a makeover this winter) made 502hp @7,000 rpm with an older set of ported RHS heads.
              The torque of the 501" BBF would be nice but not exactly your best friend with a stick car IMHO. Harder on the drivetrain and less forgiving when the track goes away. The 427w we built for my ex-BIL's Cougar was a basic zero maintenance hydraulic cam combo and that made 540ish lb's of torque so they're really no slouch either. My vote (not like it matters to anyone, lol) would be for the 427 UNLESS you had the option of making a big, big block. You can get the factory 385 series block out to almost 560 cubes. There's a new can of worms right there
              In trying to recall more of what he told me about the 427, I do believe he mentioned aluminum heads, I'm thinking he said AFR heads....but I don't recall which AFR heads nor what/if he said anything about the compression ratio. IIRC, it is a '69 351W block. I simply need to call him again, maybe tomorrow, and ask more questions on the 427. Such as: what cylinder heads/valves, con-rods, pistons...

              Hmmm....... I'd prefer a CR over 12:1, because I haven't ever and don't plan to put a license plate on the car [a.k.a. make it street-able]). Nor do I ever plan to go back to an automatic, (it was an FMX car when I bought it & I switched it over to a manual trans way back in the day....).

              When I started planning the BB, the 514" was the favorite 385 series combo at the time. But I finally settled on the 501" package I described above.....
              Now if I had stepped up to the nowadays common 550+" BBFs - as you suggested Poppy - I would still need to do some serious prep to the car to be able to handle all that torque with a stick....

              I don't want to over think this thing either --- at the rate I'm going, this will likely be the LAST hot rod motor I build from scratch......

              Ryan

              Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. - Henry Ford

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ryan Wilke View Post
                I don't want to over think this thing either ---
                Kinda fun though isn't it The timeless small block vs big block game
                1965 Poppy Red Three Peddle Gear Banger
                347 Stock Block Pump Gas Street/Strip 10.44 @ 125.97 Old Combo
                363 Dart Block Pump Gas Street/Strip - Under Construction

                2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle 12 valve Monster
                244 Stock Block Pump Gas Street /Street Much Slower


                Current CI Count - 103

                Comment


                • #9
                  I`ve always been a FE guy, but I gotta admit, I really like the331 SB Ford that I have been running for the past few years, first in my 85 Mustang, and the past 2 years, my Fairmont. After I ran a couple of high 9 second ETs in the Fairmont with the FE, which only has a roll bar, thus not NHRA legal to go quicker than 10.00, I had a decision to make. I either needed to update the Fairmont to make it legal to run 9s all the time, likely at least $2000.00, plus I would need a new jacket, pants, helmet, gloves, neck collar etc. As a 60 year old fat guy, I like having a simple roll bar, with a swingout door bar, and no window net. Also not sure how pleasant the heavier jacket and pants would be during hor summer weather. Plus since the FEs clutch needed a rebuild, and the multi piece, very hard to install custom made headers are falling apart after 12 years, I decided to pull the pump gas, flat tappet 331 out of my Mustang, and stick it in the Fairmont for the 2016 season. At that time, I also added a tubular K member (retaining the factory lower control arms and coils springs), as I didn`t want to modify my FE mounts welded to the old K member. Between the K member, and going from an iron headed FE to the aluminum small block, it took 200 pounds off the nose, which ain`t a bad thing! Also, it takes up so much less room under the hood, headers are cheap, easy to find, and install. My last FE made 550 HP, the 331 made only 475, but the car did not slow down all that much. The FE went a best of 9.97 @132.5 MPH, the 331 has so far gone a best of 10.24 @128 MPH. With the lighter small block, the car is a blast to drive, especially the first 3 gears, dumping the clutch at 6600 RPM, it picks up the front wheels pretty well, and carries them out further, and lands much more gentle than the FE did, which tended to pull them up, but land rather hard maybe 20 feet out. There has been a few times with the small block, where it has tripped the 60 foot clocks with rear tires, and lands so smoothly, I don`t even feel it. I am still debating whether or not to upgrade the chassis and safety equipment, and if I do, I will put the FE back in, and step it up. But I gotta admit, I am sure liking this little pipsqueak motor! Having seen how tight and nose heavy a 460 style engine in a shock towered Mustang or Fairlane is, I can`t say that I`m a big fan.
                  1978 Fairmont 428CJ 4 speed 9.972@132.54.mph[/ 1.29 60 foot.
                  1985 Mustang NHRA Stock eliminator 302 4 speed M/S 12.31@106.99 mph, with 331 bracket engine: 10.29@128.71 1.37 50 foot
                  1959 Ford Meteor 2 dr sedan 332 FE auto (finally under construction witha 428CJ and 4 speed.)
                  1974 F350 ramp truck 390 4 speed (gone buy not forgotten)
                  2010 Ranger PU 2.3L 5 speed
                  1999 F350 dually, V10 5 speed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What rear gear are you running Rory?
                    1965 Poppy Red Three Peddle Gear Banger
                    347 Stock Block Pump Gas Street/Strip 10.44 @ 125.97 Old Combo
                    363 Dart Block Pump Gas Street/Strip - Under Construction

                    2005 Torch Red Topless Three Peddle 12 valve Monster
                    244 Stock Block Pump Gas Street /Street Much Slower


                    Current CI Count - 103

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rory McNeil View Post
                      Also not sure how pleasant the heavier jacket and pants would be during hor summer weather.

                      Although it's not required per IHRA rules for how quick my car runs, I upgraded to a Sparco Sport Light jacket and pants last year. It is multiple layer and -5 rated. And honestly, it is softer than my single layer jacket was, incredibly light (I like to hand the jacket to folks in the staging lanes and have them go "holy cow that's lite" ), comfortable to wear, and not much if any hotter than my single layer stuff was. And it gets hot here in the summer. I highly recommend it, but the only drawback is it's kinda pricey. I've heard Biondo has it on sale from time to time, so that might be a place to keep an eye in case you were considering it.

                      https://www.sparcousa.com/product/sp...t-jacket-pants
                      Rob Hetzler
                      M&M member since Oct 2000, #773
                      Roxboro Dragway 2011 Top ET champion

                      My Photo Page

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Poppy65 View Post
                        What rear gear are you running Rory?
                        5.13s right now. Could likely stand a little more gear or a bit shorter tire.
                        1978 Fairmont 428CJ 4 speed 9.972@132.54.mph[/ 1.29 60 foot.
                        1985 Mustang NHRA Stock eliminator 302 4 speed M/S 12.31@106.99 mph, with 331 bracket engine: 10.29@128.71 1.37 50 foot
                        1959 Ford Meteor 2 dr sedan 332 FE auto (finally under construction witha 428CJ and 4 speed.)
                        1974 F350 ramp truck 390 4 speed (gone buy not forgotten)
                        2010 Ranger PU 2.3L 5 speed
                        1999 F350 dually, V10 5 speed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Fellas,
                          I do appreciate everyone's thoughts...... Thanks!

                          I placed the call to my guy with the 427, but he was not answering. I left a message asking he call me back. I plan to ask for more info on the SBF and to see if he may be interested or know someone who may be interested in my BBF parts. I'm sure for some folks this hot rod engine/direction decision would be simple. But for me, it's a pretty big deal.

                          Rory,
                          I really appreciate your input...... I have always admired your racing program.... I like that you're a stick guy.... that you still have your '74 F350 listed in your signature....thanks for the words of wisdom & experience. I like the idea of pulling the front hoops, and especially the part of it coming down easy like....which has been a concern of mine when I think about the BBF stuffed up front.
                          (By the way, you mentioned you run a 5.13 gear in your Mustang with your 331,,, Dang! what rpm do you cross the stripe at?)

                          Ok,,,, since I started this post, the builder called me back. So, now I've got some more info:

                          The 427 is a '69 351W casting. It has TFS Twisted Wedge aluminum heads, a Probe rotating assembly (Hmmm,,,,did Probe have kits with forged cranks? - I'm wondering if it really does have a forged crank or a cast steel crank). It is internally balanced. It has a main cap girdle with studs. It has needle bearing cam bearings installed...intended for a some type of hydraulic roller cam in the 0.600" lift range. He wasn't positive, but recalled it to be 10.6 - 11.0:1 compression (I could probably use a thinner head gasket to help up the CR, or even cut the deck. Since it's never been fired - to pull it back apart wouldn't be a big deal.) It was intended for premium-grade pump gasoline, but more CR would require race fuel (which would be ok with me, as I don't plan on it to be street-able). Lastly, it does have a Melling oil pump, but no pickup, no oil pan and no intake manifold. He wasn't sure if it had a front cover or not...........

                          With these bits of info, what say you now, M&Mer's??

                          Would a guy go with a hydraulic roller or a solid roller?
                          Would a guy use a TFS intake or a Victor?
                          Likely a 850 or 950 carb?


                          Ryan




                          Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. - Henry Ford

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Did he say which TF Twisted Wedge head it is? They offer two sizes, 170 cc and 205 cc. I would assume a motor that size would have the 205 head on it. Out of the box those things flow pretty well.
                            320 cfm at .600 lift on a 427 would be capable of somewhere around 600 hp I would think, given the right cam and intake choice.

                            I would go solid roller, but that's just me. I prefer them over a hydraulic, even if it requires a little more upkeep.
                            I would put a Super Victor Jr on a motor that size (would like to try one on KK's motor actually.)
                            On KK's 408W, an out of the box 850 is quicker than an out of the box 950.

                            All that said, if this was MY project, it would all depend on if I could recoup my expenses from the BB or not. If I could get most of the money back that I had already spent, I would go with the smallblock.
                            Rob Hetzler
                            M&M member since Oct 2000, #773
                            Roxboro Dragway 2011 Top ET champion

                            My Photo Page

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there is a guy I race with here, he has a 421 inch Windsor with a set of CNC ported Twisted Wedge heads on it, in a tubbed Fox body mustang, it runs low 5.60s in good air with a glide behind it. Does HUGE wheelstands when it leaves too.
                              Rob Hetzler
                              M&M member since Oct 2000, #773
                              Roxboro Dragway 2011 Top ET champion

                              My Photo Page

                              Comment

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