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351W a tight fit...


gene_w

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I am having some minor, shall we say, issues cramming a 351W into my '75 280Z and was curious if any of you might have had the same problems and how you solved them. If you haven't done the same thing but were considering it, keep these issues in mind. First, some background information. As already mentioned, I'm putting a 351W into my 280Z. For mounting, I have one of Alsil's crossmembers. I plan to run EFI and would really like to fit everything under the hood without having to use a cowl/scoop. The plan is for the car to be one hell of a sleeper, and anything too obvious from the outside is a major problem.

 

Actually fitting the engine in the car wasn't that much of a problem, since these ol' cars have pretty big engine bays:

Engine-Side.jpg

 

One problem that I did have, which apparently isn't an issue with a 5.0, was that the front oil pan sump hits the original crossmember. I guess the 351W has a deeper sump! (keep in mind that the front crossmember has been unbolted and lowered in this picture)

Engine-Front.jpg

 

As an attempted solution, I tried moving the engine back until the bellhousing bolts hit the firewall:

FirewallClearance.jpg

 

Even with the engine back that far, the front sump still hits the front crossmember. Has anybody else had this problem? If so, how did you solve it? All suggestions are welcome.

 

The other problem I'm having is trying to make sure the engine will fit under the stock hood. As mentioned earlier, I plan to run EFI. The upper intake manifold measures 5.75" at its tallest point. Unfortunately, I don't have quite that much space to spare:

HoodClearance.jpg

 

As you can see, there's only about 4" of clearance at this point. Shaving down the intake is not an option because it comes within less than 1/4" from the valve covers as it is. Smaller valve covers aren't much of an option because of the large roller rockers. I think that there may be a possibility of lowering the engine a bit more, but am not sure how low is safe. Here's what I see from under the car as it sits now:

GroundClearance.jpg

 

My question here is, how low can the engine go? I think that if I can lower the engine some more, the bellhousing bolts will clear the firewall and the engine can be moved far enough back to clear the front crossmember, but I'm not positive about that. Removing the engine or bellhousing in the future could be a real pain in the @ss if I went that route, though!

 

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions are more than welcome.

 

Thanks,

Gene

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I am not familiar with the engine, but I would look at the possibility of fabbing a hood with a slightly higher cowl.... 1 inch more there wouldnt be noticed by anyone other than a Z nut.... and many would miss it the first time around.... unless you had just embarrassed them on the street.... :P

Next, I would look into a custom sump...., but my ignorance of the engine comes into play here, as I dont know how much of that sump is used for hardware, vs oil....

I had a vette cowl on one of my sbc Z's... and while that is a bit more obvious, many people had no clue it wasnt stock. I think I have even seen a custom (as in one-off, not aftermarket available) hood that was "massaged" to allow the extra room the owner wanted for his sleeper. Mine had the vette cowl, and bowtie centercaps on the wheels, and it was still rarely recognized for what it was.

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From what I know, the 302 and 351 are the same size blocks except for the 1.3'' diffrence in deck hights. My 302 and 351 front sump oil pans seem the same but for the diffrent size (cut outs?) areas to allow for the diffrent size bearings.

I have not fitted the 351 yet but the 302 is sitting behind the crossmember with the balancer about 1'' above it. I can't remove my tranny (AOD) with out removing the engine also but it is a price I'll pay.

Also all this may change when (if) I get the car running but it's the way it fits now.

 

Don

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Gene,

 

I believe Don is correct, the 302 and 351W are the same size other than on deck height. You should be able to swap you current oil pan with a standard Fox body 5L oil pan and it should clear...if the pan is truly different on your current engine. From looking at your pictures it appears that your oil pan is slightly different. On the Mustang oil pans the front edge of the oil pan is slanted back towards the center of the engine and has a drain plug on this angled portion. Here is a picture of the front sump on my install.

 

normal_BalancerClearance.jpg

 

I used Alsil's engine mount for my 5L EFI install and I had to put a blister in the hood to clear the throttle body on the stock intake manifold. Alsil's mount sits the engine up a little higher than some other installs. With this mount the oil pan is NOT the lowest part on the car. I felt the blister was a small trade off to keep the oil pan from being the first part of the car to meet a speed bump.

 

Don-Are you using Al's mount or one that you fabbed?

 

Josh

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I am not familiar with the engine, but I would look at the possibility of fabbing a hood with a slightly higher cowl.... 1 inch more there wouldnt be noticed by anyone other than a Z nut.... and many would miss it the first time around.... unless you had just embarrassed them on the street.... :P

 

I'm thinking that's going to be my best option for hood clearance. This still won't solve my oil pan problem, but would fix my problem with the hood. I'm sure it will look noticeable to me, but hopefully you're right and nobody else will know the difference.

 

Next, I would look into a custom sump...., but my ignorance of the engine comes into play here, as I dont know how much of that sump is used for hardware, vs oil....

 

I'm not sure how much I can modify the front sump, because that is where the oil pump is. It is driven off of the distributor, so that's why it's up there. When Ford came out with the Fox-body cars, they needed a rear sump, so they just made a dual sump pan. Only the rear sump is actually a sump. The front one is strictly for oil pump clearance. As far as I know, the oil pump isn't any different than the 5.0 unit, except for the bigger input shaft, so maybe I can cut/bend the front sump to clear. Anybody done this?

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I have not fitted the 351 yet but the 302 is sitting behind the crossmember with the balancer about 1'' above it. I can't remove my tranny (AOD) with out removing the engine also but it is a price I'll pay.

 

How did you manage to get the engine far enough back to drop behind the crossmember? Mine is already back to where the bellhousing bolts hit the firewall. The only way to go back any more is to lower it down. Are you using Alsil's mount or a custom one? Do you happen to know if the front-sump oil pan you mentioned is that different from the dual-sump pans as far as clearance in front of the sump? I'd love to see pictures if you have them.

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You should be able to swap you current oil pan with a standard Fox body 5L oil pan and it should clear...if the pan is truly different on your current engine.

 

Unfortunately, a 5L oil pan won't fit a 351W. The 351W has bigger mains than the 5L and so the rear of the pan has a bigger cutout in it. I assumed the front of the pan was the same, but apparently I was wrong! I see that my pan is very different from yours...wonder why in the world they would have designed the two pans different. Mine is a standard Ford pan from a Crown Vic. or something like that. Hmm...I wonder if a 5L oil pan front sump could be grafted in...

 

I used Alsil's engine mount for my 5L EFI install and I had to put a blister in the hood to clear the throttle body on the stock intake manifold. Alsil's mount sits the engine up a little higher than some other installs. With this mount the oil pan is NOT the lowest part on the car. I felt the blister was a small trade off to keep the oil pan from being the first part of the car to meet a speed bump.

 

I could have sworn that some other folks around here didn't have any trouble getting the 5.0 under the hood without any hood modifications. Do you have any pictures of how your modified hood looks?

 

Thanks,

Gene

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Gene,

 

I wasn't aware of the main cap size difference between the 302 and 351W engines but I did look at some parts catalogs and saw that oil pans for each engine have different part numbers. I should have looked before posting. I wonder how much room you have to play with inside the pan?

 

I don't have any pictures of my hood at this time. It really isn't much to look at. I used a body hammer to pound a bubble (2" high and 6" round) into a trashed hood that I had in my garage.

 

I believe those who were successful at installing the EFI engine without touching the hood made their own mounts. There was a discussion back nine months ago or so regarding this issue.

 

http://hybridz.org/nuke/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=24881&highlight=

 

I recently looked at a 5L EFI install that fit with the hood closed and this person also made his own mounts. He was able to drop the engine down quite a bit but he ended up notching the crossmember where the oil pan interfered.

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The 5.0L engine in mine is mounted as follows:

 

The harmonic balancer is ~1" above the steering rack.

 

The front sump of the pan just barely squeezes behind the crossmember.

 

The motor is centered left to right between the frame rails.

 

The motor is angled 2.5 degrees down in the back. (The back of the differential has been raised to match.

 

 

Yes, it is a pain to get the bellhousing off. I have to remove the transmission first (T5). Then I loosen all the bellhousing bolts, and remove the ones that clear the fire wall. Then I pull the bellhousing off the guidepins and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise to remove. It is a pain but worth it. :D

 

Here are links showing the installed engine position

 

normal_5point0Z.jpg

 

 

http://hybridz.org/nuke/modules.php?op=modload&name=coppermine&file=displayimage&pos=-465

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I have had the motor mounted in two ways (both of my own design).

 

I've built the same car twice. The first time as a primarily street car, and the second as primarily an auto-cross car. I wrecked the car in between.

 

The first iteration of the car used the late model 5.0L mustang rubber mounts and steel body mounts of my own design. The steel mounts were on 3/16" plate sandwiched between the frame rails and front crossmember. The plates were reused after the accident to mount the crossmember to the new frame(shown in the links below).

 

 

http://hybridz.org/nuke/modules.php?op=modload&name=coppermine&file=displayimage&album=topn&cat=0&pos=3

 

http://hybridz.org/nuke/modules.php?op=modload&name=coppermine&file=displayimage&pos=-466

 

In the second iteration of the car, the boxes have been removed, and the motor is now mounted on motorplates similar to Terry Oxendales car. The motor position has not changed from the first iteration.

 

I don't have any electronic pictures of the new installation. There were some floating around that were taken at the SEZ3 event at Reynolds last September.

 

P.S I laid a straight edge on the flat section on the bottom of the front crossmember, and extended it back to the pan. The bottom of the pan is ~1/2" below the bottom of the crossmember. To get the motor this low and still get clearance, the motor has to be mounted at a 2.5 degree angle like mine. Also remember that my crossmember has been spaced downward by 3/16".

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I made my own mounts and the front crossmember is notched a little. The engine is a little tough to get in without it modifying the fire wall itself.

I can send pics to whoever wants them and you can tell if I am crazy to do it this way.

If you want pics let me know what and large or small pic, I have a cable modem so it's not a issue for me.

 

Don

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I made my own mounts and the front crossmember is notched a little. The engine is a little tough to get in without it modifying the fire wall itself.

I can send pics to whoever wants them and you can tell if I am crazy to do it this way.

If you want pics let me know what and large or small pic' date=' I have a cable modem so it's not a issue for me.

 

Don[/quote']

 

I would very much love to see some pics. Please send them to gene@wheelbarger.com.

 

Thanks!

Gene

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P.S I laid a straight edge on the flat section on the bottom of the front crossmember, and extended it back to the pan. The bottom of the pan is ~1/2" below the bottom of the crossmember. To get the motor this low and still get clearance, the motor has to be mounted at a 2.5 degree angle like mine. Also remember that my crossmember has been spaced downward by 3/16".

 

Does spacing down the crossmember have any adverse effects on the handling of the car? I know that most people are moving the inner pivot point for the lower control arms up to counteract the effects of lowering the car. Spacing down the crossmember might be just the ticket for getting my oil pan to clear.

 

When you say that your engine is mounted at a 2.5" angle, is that in relation to the ground or the frame rails?

 

Thanks,

Gene

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The engine is installed at a 2.5 degree angle relative to the frame rails.

 

The adverse effects of lowering the crossmember are minimal. My holes for the inner control arm pivot points have been raised 3/4" and moved outboard 1/8", and bump steer has been virtually eliminated. The rack moves with the crossmember, therefore lowering the crossmember has no affect on bumpsteer. The only downside that I can see is a slight decrease in control arm angle which will change the point at which the front suspension stops gaining negative camber in bump and starts losing camber. (By the way, if you do the geometry you will see that the front suspension continues to negative gain for over an inch below the point where the control arm is horizontal.

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Guest stickaz

not sure if you solved your oilpan problem, but two options I can think of would be either the ford motorsport 351w swap pan (looks like it would be perfect), or the canton 7-qt which has the same sump location for a 351w in a fox.

 

otherwise a custom oil pan. lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest 305240

You might try checking some of the local J yards for some pans out of a 4x4 truck or Bronko. I know they had to change the pan configuration for the front axles.

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You might try checking some of the local J yards for some pans out of a 4x4 truck or Bronko. I know they had to change the pan configuration for the front axles.

 

Actually, I already had one of those. It wouldn't help matters any. The front part of the pan came down almost as far as the fox-body pan that I have now. The problem is that the oil pump is up there, so the sump can only be shaved down so far. That pan also wouldn't work with Alsil's motor mount setup. The pan was hitting the crossmember part of the mount.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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