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My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

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Geoff2
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Geoff2 »

'Should have done it right from the start'. Done what?

Was it a race engine?
If so it was a failure because of the oiling system. The leading Cleveland racer in this country claimed they 'blew up on the starter motor'. Only after substantial oiling mods were made were they able to finish a race, let alone win.

Was it a street engine?
If so, the huge intake ports made it a sluggish performer on the street. It was topped over the 1/4 mile here by a Chrys inline 6 engine that made 303 hp. The Ch engine was more flexible everywhere in the rpm range, compared to the lumpy 351.

The Aussie 2v heads had reduced intake port volumes that improved performance.

I alsosaw many 4V Clevelands at the drag strip back in the day drop intake valves....& going home on tow trucks. If you design an engine with huge ports & big valves, wouldn't you expect the engine to see high rpm...& therefore require one piece, not welded, valves?

I don't know how any of this makes it a great engine because it didn't perform any function, as designed, very well. Lots of other brand engines were better designed & didn't have to be re-engineered to perform well or be reliable.

Ford seem to learn NOTHING from the big port fiasco, repeating it with the 429.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by MichaelThompson »

Geoff2 wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:35 am 'Should have done it right from the start'. Done what?

Was it a race engine?
If so it was a failure because of the oiling system. The leading Cleveland racer in this country claimed they 'blew up on the starter motor'. Only after substantial oiling mods were made were they able to finish a race, let alone win.

Was it a street engine?
If so, the huge intake ports made it a sluggish performer on the street. It was topped over the 1/4 mile here by a Chrys inline 6 engine that made 303 hp. The Ch engine was more flexible everywhere in the rpm range, compared to the lumpy 351.

The Aussie 2v heads had reduced intake port volumes that improved performance.

I alsosaw many 4V Clevelands at the drag strip back in the day drop intake valves....& going home on tow trucks. If you design an engine with huge ports & big valves, wouldn't you expect the engine to see high rpm...& therefore require one piece, not welded, valves?

I don't know how any of this makes it a great engine because it didn't perform any function, as designed, very well. Lots of other brand engines were better designed & didn't have to be re-engineered to perform well or be reliable.

Ford seem to learn NOTHING from the big port fiasco, repeating it with the 429.
Geoff I respect your opinion but I must say I disagree with your rear view mirror view of the Cleveland.

While I acknowledge the drawbacks each one of them was addressed eventually and by the 1980’s the 351 Cleveland stood above the rest.

Here in the States we appreciated the Aussie thicker wall blocks. They came in time to help the NASCAR Ford teams but they STILL had the normal oiling system. The NASCAR engine builders simply plumbed an oil tube through the valley to directly oil the center 3 main bearings. That fixed the problem.

So now we’re down to one issue. The exhaust ports. Ford fixed that too as soon as the first aluminum heads were cast.

The 1970’s killed the Cleveland due to lack of development.

The 351 SVO is the direct result of the 351 Cleveland. All of the best attributes of the 351 Cleveland combined with the best from the 351 Windsor produced an engine that was so good it required GM Mopar and Toyota to come up with versions of their own.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Geoff2 »

Michael,
I remember when the 351C was first drag raced, racers were slicing off a 1" thick section of the exh side of the head to get rid of the restrictive hump in the port floor. In place of the cast iron slab went a 1"piece of alum that angled the ports up for better flow.
Just another Ford failing: why have intake ports that flow huge amounts of air.....& choke the exh flow.

It is all very well fixing the problems AFTERWARDS. We can all do that......
But getting it right the first time?
Here is a great example of that. Chrys was losing speedway races. So C decided to design/build a hemi head to fit the existing 426 wedge block. Work started in July 63, & target was to be entered in the Feb 64 Daytona 500 race. Seven months. Pretty short lead time to cast all the heads, valve gear, test cams, manifolds etc....& reliability. Not many race engines I can think of that are designed for 500 mile races finish their inaugural race, let alone finish & win. But C did, winning the first 4 places.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by MichaelThompson »

Geoff2 wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:21 am Michael,
I remember when the 351C was first drag raced, racers were slicing off a 1" thick section of the exh side of the head to get rid of the restrictive hump in the port floor. In place of the cast iron slab went a 1"piece of alum that angled the ports up for better flow.
Just another Ford failing: why have intake ports that flow huge amounts of air.....& choke the exh flow.

It is all very well fixing the problems AFTERWARDS. We can all do that......
But getting it right the first time?
Here is a great example of that. Chrys was losing speedway races. So C decided to design/build a hemi head to fit the existing 426 wedge block. Work started in July 63, & target was to be entered in the Feb 64 Daytona 500 race. Seven months. Pretty short lead time to cast all the heads, valve gear, test cams, manifolds etc....& reliability. Not many race engines I can think of that are designed for 500 mile races finish their inaugural race, let alone finish & win. But C did, winning the first 4 places.
Well I don’t know Geoff. Certainly the 426 hemi was epic and absolutely was a great engine supercharged and on exotic fuel......but gasoline?

The 426 does not have high velocity intake ports it has giant sewer ports. They do not have much built in fuel mixing to their design. They are best at loading cylinders with gulps of air/fuel.

The piston domes required to attain compression inhibit flame propagation and are heavier than other designs.

The exhaust rocker arms are long and thus heavier. I’ve also read that one of the key Chrysler hemi designers admit that the early hemi was a better design with regards to valve train geometry. One can easily see why when looking at lifter bank angles.

The block on a 426 was heavy for its purpose in NASCAR an frankly it was a very expensive engine to produce compared to the engines it competed with.

The Boss 429 was a better engine in many ways for NASCAR and it was very effective in winning NASCAR races.

The Boss 429 bombed out in drag racing at first while the 426 Hemi found a home. (Interestingly the Boss 429 style head dominated mountain motored pro stocks for many years)

But Geoff you’re right the 351 Cleveland had so much potential it’s a shame it was hobbled by easily remedied corrections.

The exhaust port was a forced error due to the shock tower cars. The thin wall cylinder blocks were fine and high quality until you went to boring past .030”.

All those tales about furnace brazed blocks were not because the cylinder walls were too thin. (simply filling the block could fix and cylinder flex problems)

No the furnace brazed sleeves were used to put a bigger bore (4.080” or more) in a stock block. Glidden, G & R and Nicholson to name a few knew that the GM teams were coming with big bore/de-stroked big block Chevs to counter the Clevos.

There’s another thing too that the Cleveland brought and that was huge and that was getting the damn water out of the intake manifold. Water, air and oil all want to combine on those stupid wedge style intake manifolds.

I’d love to see the details of the Clevos that Alan Moffatt ran in Aussie endurance racing.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by BCjohnny »

I’d love to see the details of the Clevos that Alan Moffatt ran in Aussie endurance racing
Brocky 'round Bathurst wasn't exactly pedestrian either .......

The 'Cleveland' school of thought originally was a very rough diamond indeed .... only after the facets started to get polished did it shine
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Geoff2 »

Michael,
With all due respect, you are missing the point. Yes, the Hemi had big ports, but if you want to compare it to the 351, it had an extra 75 cubes to feed! And the 426 was designed/built to win races. Built with a specific purpose in mind, in which it excelled! Without blowing up or needing modifications &/or redesigning.

What about the 351C. Was it designed for racing or street use? Whatever. It failed at both for reasons already discussed in previous posts.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Ron E »

Even with the extra displacement the OE ports on a 426 hemi weren't as large as the 4bbl Cleveland or a rectangle port BBC. None of them had a good exhaust port.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by frnkeore »

Another thing I remember about the 426 hemi, is that it took at least 1 year, maybe 2, to even beat out the 392 based hemi, even with factory support.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Kazoom »

The "Cleveland" base block had absolute issues with oiling with Sustained high rpm, in the mid/late 70's my uncle sponsored a few 351C circle racers through his auto shop, i still remember back of a pickup truck at his shop FULL of bad 351C cranks/rods/blocks from spun rod/main bearings, it got to a point he stopped sponsoring guys with these eng's, i understand thats why Ford stopped using the 351C block in nascar also. The 351C block can handle high rpm for a few seconds at a time like in dfag racing but in real/road racing its a different story.

a real shame ford did/could not develop there 9.2" deck W race block more instead of flip flopping to a olds inspired block.

also some of the BEST! iron heads Ford ever cast were the 4VBoss Trans-Am heads ... these where NOT! cleveland heads.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by MichaelThompson »

Kazoom wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:10 pm The "Cleveland" base block had absolute issues with oiling with Sustained high rpm, in the mid/late 70's my uncle sponsored a few 351C circle racers through his auto shop, i still remember back of a pickup truck at his shop FULL of bad 351C cranks/rods/blocks from spun rod/main bearings, it got to a point he stopped sponsoring guys with these eng's, i understand thats why Ford stopped using the 351C block in nascar also. The 351C block can handle high rpm for a few seconds at a time like in dfag racing but in real/road racing its a different story.

a real shame ford did/could not develop there 9.2" deck W race block more instead of flip flopping to a olds inspired block.

also some of the BEST! iron heads Ford ever cast were the 4VBoss Trans-Am heads ... these where NOT! cleveland heads.
I respectfully disagree with you on some points here.

First of all in my neck of the woods the 351 Cleveland was mostly outlawed in the lower classes of circle track racing. Only in the top tier Modified Sportsman division were Cleveland’s allowed because the engine of choice there was eventually the 427 Chevy. The Boss 302/351 heads were considered “exotic” pieces.

I think the preparation required on a 351 Cleveland is singled out by some people while the prep work needed to make other designs last is temporarily forgotten. Take for example press in rocker studs. Do these studs not require specific machine work to make them live with higher rpm’s and spring pressures?

The aforementioned oiling system was completely addressed by guys like Bud Moore. The key was careful preparation. The NASCAR Cleveland’s could reliably run 5 or 6 hundred mile endurance race.

The NASCAR guys didn’t worry about exhaust port plates either. They filled the dead space in the exhaust port floor with braze. This achieved about 75% of what a port plate did without compromising the cylinder head’s reliability.

The 351 Cleveland block was robust in design with a superior main cap and register. The camshaft was large in diameter by comparison to the competition’s engines and it was located high up in the block.

Lastly I don’t know where this Oldsmobile inspired block comes from. The 351 Cleveland is inspired by Ford’s own research. The 351 Cleveland has an extension cast on the front of the block to facilitate getting the water out of the intake manifold. It contains the water crossover and thermostat housing in the block extension.

Also the Cleveland has essentially an “air-gap” intake with a “turkey pan” beneath it.

These two points are in contrast with the Olds. The Olds is typically GM with the intake manifold incorporating the water cross over and it also forming the top cover of the engine.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Kazoom »

the olds connection comes from Ford hiring Bunkie Knudsen away from Olds in 1968, Knudsen brought in his own ideas with his "new" mass production block for the public that was harder to cast because of its front design which Henry Ford II was NOT very fond of and in the end was one of the reasons why the cleveland block stuff (along with the 2V head design) got sent under never to return. IMO Knudsen was one of the reasons the mid/late 60's 9.250"-9.450" "Windsor" race block stuff (which Henry/Shelby loved) did not get more needed development.

some cleveland fanboys dont like hearing it, the 2V head was not a performance head... thats why it got sent to aussie land along with the C block, the 2V int & exh ports where a Crap design compared to the 4V head even with any 4V head shortcomings and as far as the aussie propaganda about the 4V int ports being to big and them having the big "fix" for them with there over kill "port stuffers" lol, the FACT is...

Ford Indy originally designed removable/changeable small ci intake port inserts in 69-70 for the 4V Boss head design way before anyone else ever did ... http://www.ponysite.de/transam_stevens3.htm

the PME T/A type port inserts are based off of Fords old design... http://www.pricemotorsport.com/html/bod ... 1c_4v.html

we could keep going on & on about the cleveland blocks oiling system but the FACT is it was a problem & the sbf Windsor blocks was way better.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by MichaelThompson »

Okay fair enough but I’m gonna have to think about how Bunkie Knudsen influenced the 385 series Ford that came out in 1968 but began it’s development in 1965.

The 385 series had canted valves and the same oiling system as the 351 Cleveland.
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by Kazoom »

i cant speak to who designed the bbf block oiling system but it was not being revved up as high as the cleveland block was,
which was when real problems started but also needs the same mods as the cleveland blocks oiling for sustained high rpm.

oldsland block lol ... :wink: ...
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Fords own "Windsor" 4 bolt race block designs is what should of got more development in the 60"s...

https://www.corral.net/threads/351w-xe-block.2498544/
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by MichaelThompson »

Okay well let me tweak this conversation just a little bit.

Firstly I’m well aware of all the experimentation Ford was doing during the Total Performance era. They left no stone unturned.

But let’s back up just a little and think about the big picture just a minute.

Take a look at the “big 3” in total. What were Ford’s main competitors doing? Well Chrysler had 3 different hemis in the 1950’s one for each division except Plymouth.

General Motors had a Caddy, an Olds a Pontiac A Buick and a Chevrolet V8 engine just in the 1950’s. Then when the 60’s rolled out Caddy, Olds and Buick came with entirely new designs.

Each division had a unique power plant with unique characteristics that made each division special in my opinion. You may remember the scandal GM faced when they started using sbc’s in Olds and called them “Rocket” V8’s.

Chrysler also had a transitional engine, the “Poly” and then that lead to the LA “small block” engine.

So Ford on the other hand did things a little differently at least as time went on. The Ford Y-block, the LYB and the FE and MEL were Ford’s first efforts to put different character into their various car lines and models just like GM and Chrysler.

The Y-block was kind of doomed early on because it was a very premium engine with a fully skirted block, a big structure surrounding the valley and a shaft mounted rockers that cost A LOT more to produce than the sbc.

What’s more and maybe more importantly the Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the 50’s and a mini revolution occurred. Ford’s answer to the economy car question was the 1960 Falcon with the 144” six. This new six cylinder could really be considered the first truly modern lightweight engine from Ford. It’s where Ford began using their modern casting techniques in earnest.

Lots of people say that thin wall casting is used to save money by using less material but I say that’s bullshit. It is 100% to save weight and improve efficiency. In my opinion it’s more likely cheaper and easier to just cast with more material and scrap less due to core shift etc.

It’s interesting to note that Ford V8’s were not popular supercharged nitro burning drag engines by comparison BUT in the road racing and oval track racing world where total vehicle dynamics counted the lighter Ford engines shined. The more archaic but thicker walled engines from other automakers were more suitable for the loads that nitro and supercharging placed on them.

(Side note: I always said a Ford Y-block bottom end with a hemi head bolted to the decks would have been the toughest hemi one could conceive of in the 1950’s) Kind of eerie that the 426 hemi is exactly that.

Back to the subject at hand. Ford did have massive changes going on in the performance arena. Certain people were brought in and certain outside shops were contracted to help. Probably one of the most notable hires was Joe Macura, and he was from GM.

I have read that the canted valve Cleveland head was his conception. He and George Stirratt were tasked with coming up with an ideal mid displacement engine to compete with the offerings from GM and Chrysler.

Stirratt was the one behind the 351 Windsor and Joe Macura decided that a medium sized engine needed more airflow than the inline wedge design could provide.

Regardless of all the experimental stuff the article showcases Kazoom Ford still is in the business to sell cars. Combine that fact with the thought of one engine plant producing ALL the engines necessary for the bulk of Ford vehicle production is a lot to ask.

Hence the 351W and the 351C were born as production engines.

Both engines have good and bad like any engine ever designed. The mighty sbc has a tiny camshaft base circle, smallish head bolts that go into water and are placed in such a way as to cause unnecessary bore distortion when tightened and that terrible idea of running water through the intake manifold that is being pulled in two different planes by the fasteners.

The question is what is the builder’s choice? Take a 350 Chevy with the best production line heads and take a 351 Windsor with the best production line heads and take a 351 Cleveland with the best production line heads. Which one comes out on top in almost any horsepower/torque comparison?

The most recent EMC competition had two classes. LS Spec I think and Vintage Muscle. Funny thing about the rules in the Vintage class though was that the cutoff date for these vintage engines was 1968. Exactly one year before the Boss 302 came out and two years before the Cleveland.

I’m sitting here trying to think why that ☝️rule exists?
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Re: My next debate: origins of the canted valve Ford cylinder head.

Post by frnkeore »

Getting back to the OP.

As I said at the beginning, Ford copied the GM design and I think this latest revelation, mostly proves it.

This is the summation of the OP:
So is this a discussion worth having? Was Ford plagerizing the bbc head or did Ford actually come up with an idea on their own.

As I said I’m in the production Tunnel Port camp while I think many casual observers would just call a 351 C a “baby bbc”

Who’s right? Was anyone there? Somewhere I read or found something alluding to the tunnel port theory I put forth. Just can’t remember where I found this.

Would be fun to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
And then apparently, this is the proof:
Back to the subject at hand. Ford did have massive changes going on in the performance arena. Certain people were brought in and certain outside shops were contracted to help. Probably one of the most notable hires was Joe Macura, and he was from GM.

I have read that the canted valve Cleveland head was his conception. He and George Stirratt were tasked with coming up with an ideal mid displacement engine to compete with the offerings from GM and Chrysler.
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