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How to Get 450 Horsepower From a 351W

by Don Kress

The long-lived Ford "Windsor" engine, displacing 351 cubic inches, was available in performance applications such as the Ford Boss Mustang in 1971, and today is available in a crate-engine version which features up to 535 horsepower. From 1969 to 1971, the 351W Ford engine was rated at 290 horsepower, making the 351W engine the perfect starting point for a 450-horsepower engine build. All parts listed are available from your local auto parts store.


Install the increased displacement heads onto the engine block which utilize a lightweight "roller" type rocker arm. You can also change the pistons and rods if necessary. Use a new head gasket to ensure that the engine will work properly when completed.


Install the high performance intake manifold onto the top of the engine, being careful to have matched the specifications of the intake manifold to the carburetor which you will be using. Bolt the carburetor into place on top of the intake manifold.


Install the camshaft through the front of the engine according to the instructions you will find packaged with the camshaft. Choose a camshaft which is matched with the heads, intake manifold, and carburetor you have chosen. Avoid an overly aggressive camshaft for mild engine builds.


Bolt the aftermarket exhaust headers into place on the engine block, along with new header gaskets.

Items you will need


About the Author

Don Kress began writing professionally in 2006, specializing in automotive technology for various websites. An Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician since 2003, he has worked as a painter and currently owns his own automotive service business in Georgia. Kress attended the University of Akron, Ohio, earning an associate degree in business management in 2000.

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