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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2020, 02:38 PM
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Hello, my name is Mike. I am a new member and this is my first post. I just purchased a rolling chassis kit car Cobra less the engine and transmission that the previous owner sold. I don't have any idea why. Originally it had a Ford 427 FE aluminum BB with 5 speed transmission. I am undecided about replacing with an Aluminum FE BB or SB 427 (351W). I am not planning to race the car but I will probably take it out to Hallett and try it out there. Price wise the SB 427 is much more affordable but what worries me cooling. Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with cooling the small blocks?
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:25 AM
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Welcome! I would go with the SB 427 myself due to cost and also you can obtain plenty of power out of one.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:32 AM
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Hello Mike, a possible consideration is also what brand of replica you have. Upper tier brands that strive for accuracy and faithfulness to the originals will lose a significant portion of their potential value with anything other than an FE between the fenders while others, particularly some of the newer brands that do not stress these details, typically use small blocks and it doesn't matter so much. Perceived value may not matter to you though, but I just thought I'd mention it. All the best with the project and welcome to the club.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:26 AM
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I have a 351w with approx 500 hp; cooling has never been in issue. I would think big block cooling is more of an issue than small block cooling, no?
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:47 PM
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Thanks Buzz, I agree with you. Although I am happy with my Cobra and it is a beautiful car (previous owner said it won a car show) I don't think it is one of the top tier kit cars. Nevertheless, I haven't decided for certain but I'm leaning towards the small block 427 which will let me get it finished sooner. If I wait until I can afford the BB, I may be too old to drive it (I will be 70 next year).
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:50 PM
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Thanks KDubU and Fastd, that helps
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Old 10-21-2020, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbatchlear View Post
Hello, my name is Mike. I am a new member and this is my first post. I just purchased a rolling chassis kit car Cobra less the engine and transmission that the previous owner sold. I don't have any idea why. Originally it had a Ford 427 FE aluminum BB with 5 speed transmission. I am undecided about replacing with an Aluminum FE BB or SB 427 (351W). I am not planning to race the car but I will probably take it out to Hallett and try it out there. Price wise the SB 427 is much more affordable but what worries me cooling. Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with cooling the small blocks?
I have a 351w stroked to 427 ci in my SPF and have never had cooling problems even in the high heat of Sacramento CA. I have driven it on the street at 100 degrees and no problems what so ever. Also no oil leaks that are common in the FE’s.
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Last edited by Lou1119; 10-21-2020 at 04:55 PM..
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:11 PM
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IMO, matters to what you want to do and how deep your pockets are. 427 Windsor engine is a short lived engine. If you wind it out often, they beat themselves to death. Same problem with the 302/347.

You can go on the cheaper with a 392/3 Windsor or 408 a little more expensive and have a respectable dependable platform. It has to do with rotating assemblies and weights slinging around.
I like at least square engines, not extreme long strokers.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:05 AM
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I never owned a 427W, but I do have a 5.0 stroked to 347. At the 400 - 450 Hp range no problems at all with it. I try to keep the RPM below 6500, but have hit the 7000 rpm rev limiter several times. The engine has been together about 15 years. I typically do not like going above 6000 rpm with any V-8.

Truth be told the Center Oiler FE do not live long above 6000 without some work on the oils passages and a good balance job. Things that didn't happen back in the day. The 428 FE with the hatchet spinning on the snout was a very short lived engine at high rpm.

Bottom line, no engine lives long at high rpm unless it is built right. Almost all of them can be made to live if you do the right things.

Look at Brent's thread on what he did with a 390 FE. You can make plenty of power at a reasonable price. Don't get hung up on the magic 427 cid number.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:30 PM
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Thank you Lou1119, straight to the point, much appreciated!
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbatchlear View Post
Hello, my name is Mike. I am a new member and this is my first post. I just purchased a rolling chassis kit car Cobra less the engine and transmission that the previous owner sold. I don't have any idea why. Originally it had a Ford 427 FE aluminum BB with 5 speed transmission. I am undecided about replacing with an Aluminum FE BB or SB 427 (351W). I am not planning to race the car but I will probably take it out to Hallett and try it out there. Price wise the SB 427 is much more affordable but what worries me cooling. Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with cooling the small blocks?
Is this car one with side pipes or under car exhaust? If the former you'll need to modify or replace the side pipes to accommodate a 351W. Motor mounts as well. Just a sample of the things you'll need to deal with.
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Old 10-22-2020, 06:19 PM
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Ok Incoming I have to disagree with you.
I had a 347 dyno-ed over 400 to the rear wheels (500 ish at the flywheel) and I put over 12,000 miles on it. I love to wind it in 1st, 2nd and 3rd to 6500. Every time I drove it.
Not a problem.

The secret is zero balancing. Damper, rotating assembly and flywheel.

I think the best motor for a street Cobra is a 408 W. Over 500 hp / tq and as street-able as a Cadillac. Push the go pedal and hang on.

Check with Craft Performance

https://craftperformanceengines.com/crate.html

My 347 would spin up faster than the 408.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:49 PM
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I had a Craft 408W dyno at 498HP and it ran strong and was a nice driver, but it just didn’t give me the rush I enjoy. I now have a 427 Sideoiler that has 541HP and I love it. Runs strong sounds great and never over heats.
To me the 427 big block is way to go. Just my opinion, good luck with your build.

Last edited by Mr Barnwood; 10-23-2020 at 05:08 PM..
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:45 AM
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A few quick points.

1) 450 Hp can be made with a 289 and any Windsor, Cleveland, FE, or 385 series engine.

2) Flow through the heads is what makes the power. The better the heads the less cam needed. Cylinder bore limits valve size, which affects flow. Displacement moves more air. Small ports and valve size, requires high lift, high duration cams that give poor street manors. Large displacement engines with good heads can make power and have good street manors.

3) Large displacement engines do not need to turn high rpm to make power, and the torque curve is much flatter. Thus they have good street manors and longer lives.

4) You can stroke a 390 to 440ish cid, if you want to spend more money for bragging rights on all the Hp that you cannot hook to the ground. Or just go with a 390 and save money. Visually a 390 block looks like a 428 or 427 center oiler.

5) It is always cheaper and easier to stay with the engine family that a car is set up for. Include those costs with a Windsor when comparing the price of a FE.

Good luck
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Last edited by olddog; 10-23-2020 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:10 PM
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Thanks
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:15 PM
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GM LS the only way to go!
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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GM LS the only way to go!
only

Seems a bit too strong of a word.

I understand and respect your passion for the Chevy, but this is questionable advise.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:51 PM
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oh heck, may as well say a sbc is a good choice too if you like that sort of thing. Mine is aluminum chevy 350 block and head and is bored and stroked to 427 CI. Weight of a small block ford, power like a big block.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:02 PM
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only

Seems a bit too strong of a word.

I understand and respect your passion for the Chevy, but this is questionable advise.
Ok I will admit it is not the ONLY way to go! But a GM LS is a very GOOD way to go!!!
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:49 PM
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Skip the big block boat anchor and go with a stroked small block 427. My Roush makes 550 hp, weighs less, runs cooler and handles better without having all that weight in the front.
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