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Advice on rebuild parts / kits brands
#1
Hey guys,

In preparation for an engine rebuild I'm looking at possible options for collecting the required parts. Do I get a rebuild kit or buy all separate items? Thing is, I live in Europe and all the kits seems to only get sold in the US, sending and importing would be quite expensive. One option is maybe to buy separate items with shops overhere in the EU (not sure if that's cheaper but it might be).

Are there any brands I should get or avoid?

For example, I read comp cams lifters ain't great? But are their cams OK? I have zero ideas about any brands in this field so pointers will be appreciated!

Thanks!
V.
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#2
I have a few friends living in Europe who own old American muscle cars. Finding a competent machine shop that is familiar with machining and balancing American V-8 engines is a real challenge. Don't buy any parts until you know exactly what you need (bore size, bearing size, head gasket thickness, etc.). Pay particular attention to the compression distance of the replacement pistons as it will play a large role in determining static compression ratio and piston to deck height. Degreeing the cam is also something often overlooked and can impact performance significantly. I've seen cam pin, crank key way, and timing set key way location errors add up to 8 degrees crankshaft error.
Kits are universal fit. That usually means it doesn't fit anything in the universe well. What parts to buy depends on what performance goals you have. Known problem parts are the stock multi-groove valves and rod bolt nuts. Give us some details on what your performance goals are for the engine and the car. Chuck
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#3
Hey Chuck, thanks for your reply. Fabrice is kind enough to guide me through my build and has already given me numerous technical tips and also knows a competent machine shop (who did his 429). I won't be buying before I know what to get or even if my block is still OK at all... For the moment all I'm asking in this thread is what brands I should definitely stay away from so that I'm not wasting my time looking at them coz I have no idea who makes good pistons or good cams or bearing etc...

But since you asked: I just want my 351C with 2V heads (and performer 4v intake + 600cfm carb) refreshed and gain a little HP (between 250-300) and torque by adding a few off the shelve components like a new cam, flattop pistons, +.01/2/30 bore (depending on what machine shop says), maybe a new converter with higher stall and headers (maybe not right away).

So yeah, that's it. I've been reading up about compression and calculated that with some upgrades (not shaving the heads) I'd get to 9.4:1 compression instead of 8.6. That and the different cam and headers should make some difference I think :-)
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#4
It is great that Fabrice has a good machine shop for you to use. Now that I think I know what your goals are, I may be of more help. Stay away from anything sold under the names of "Pro-Comp" or "Speedmaster". Some parts on eBay are fine but, many are not. It requires research to sort that out. Alex's Parts used to sell decent parts on eBay at good prices but, I don't know if that is still the case. 
   Even at the 300 HP level I'd spend a little more to get forged pistons, it is cheap insurance. Prices range from $350 for Speed-Pro to $850 for Mahle. Really watch the compression distance heights.They vary significantly. Stay away from anything labelled a "rebuilder piston". Also keep track of the volume of the valve reliefs as it change compression ratios. (The Diamond Piston site has a very good compression calculator on it.) For rings look for a Moly Faced top ring, iron second ring (preferably Napier style), and a medium tension oil ring. Good rings are Hastings, Total Seal (not the gapless ones), and Mahle. 
   Bearings are Federal Mogul, Clevite, King, and Mahle. No matter what you buy for bearings match them to the individual rod and crank journal to get the proper clearances at each position, after checking the rods for roundness and diameter (have the machine shop do these things). 
   If necessary deck the block to get the top of the piston to within .010 (or less) of the deck of the block when the piston is at Top Dead Center. This yields compression and helps hold of detonation, even with open chamber heads. 
   Use a 9 position timing chain and sprocket set so the cam can be properly degreed, Cloyes is a good source. 
   The cam selection is always one of the harder pieces to select. It depends on so many other things. How you want to use the car, idle quality desired, vacuum requirements, final gear ratio, stall speed, tire size, head flow, headers or manifolds, max RPM, fuel octane, and I suspect State Inspection requirements. I think, based on what you posted, that you are looking for a nice cruiser with good manners yet more torque and horsepower that what you have now. If that is correct, let me know what the gear ratio is and what the approximate stall speed is and I'll try to find you some appropriate camshafts to look at. Be advised, I make no claim to be a cam selection expert. I'm just Ford gear head. Chuck
[+] 1 user Likes c9zx's post
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#5
@Chuck, really great you can help sort out a selection for him, I try (and will continue) the best I can to guide/help him, but when it comes to manufacturers I rely on (far) past experiences which are no longer a yardstick these days. I've used Crane, TRW, Federal Mogul, Crower, Lunati, Clevite etc.. with zero problems but I saw some close doors or merged and could probably share common off shore facilities keeping just the names. If quality was a constant, i'd say these were just fine at the time I've purchased them.
The perception of quality is also very broad. How you assemble, how you treat your engine later on. Varies a lot per owner.
In that regard I'm like an over protecting mom Smile So I might have been using a quality that would not have been sufficient for someone else. I don't know.
So its very hard to guide him in that regard and someone with more builds on his name has certainly more say about pointing fingers at some parts/brands.

While I'm not aware of Vincent's wallet thickness. Keep in mind that we do not have your "shipping free above xx $$" option, instead we europeans always have this "loose_an_arm" shipping option for every single order we place.
That's one of the reasons he wants to make sure he buys a certain level of quality. Nothing is more frustrating than pay premium and receive crap.
Tho Top notch, state of the art parts could also be state of the art expensive once here and likely not the stuff he will order. Not to mention they might be overkill for the planned use.

We have 95 and 98 here in the Netherlands and lots of "enhanced" 95 variations in between.

EDIT: there is no regulation on emissions for our cars years, tho they always performed it on mine by routine and found out afterwards that they wasted time.

73 modified Grandé 351C. Almost done. 
71 429CJ. In progress
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#6
(09-14-2018, 01:02 PM)Fabrice Wrote: @Chuck, really great you can help sort out a selection for him, I try (and will continue) the best I can to guide/help him, but when it comes to manufacturers I rely on (far) past experiences which are no longer a yardstick these days. I've used Crane, TRW, Federal Mogul, Crower, Lunati, Clevite etc.. with zero problems but I saw some close doors or merged and could probably share common off shore facilities keeping just the names. If quality was a constant, i'd say these were just fine at the time I've purchased them.
The perception of quality is also very broad. How you assemble, how you treat your engine later on. Varies a lot per owner.
In that regard I'm like an over protecting mom Smile So I might have been using a quality that would not have been sufficient for someone else. I don't know.
So its very hard to guide him in that regard and someone with more builds on his name has certainly more say about pointing fingers at some parts/brands.

While I'm not aware of Vincent's wallet thickness. Keep in mind that we do not have your "shipping free above xx $$" option, instead we europeans always have this "loose_an_arm" shipping option for every single order we place.
That's one of the reasons he wants to make sure he buys a certain level of quality. Nothing is more frustrating than pay premium and receive crap.
Tho Top notch, state of the art parts could also be state of the art expensive once here and likely not the stuff he will order. Not to mention they might be overkill for the planned use.

We have 95 and 98 here in the Netherlands and lots of "enhanced" 95 variations in between.

EDIT: there is no regulation on emissions for our cars years, tho they always performed it on mine by routine and found out afterwards that they wasted time.
Fabrice,
    The fact you have a qualified machine shop is a huge benefit to Vinnie. I have heard some horror stories from friends in Germany an Austria about machine work done improperly and large amounts of money, effort, and time wasted. I'll spend some time coming up with a list of some parts and sources that won't break the bank yet are suitable for the kind of build it sounds like he wants to do. The import duties and fees you have to deal with are ridiculous. Is it any lower in neighboring countries? Chuck
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#7
runninpony 
Hey Vinnie, when I lived overseas I ordered a few parts from a company in Hamburg, Germany, Company's name is/was KTS I forgot what that stands for. So they would send you a catalog with their part numbers and if you called them and provided part numbers of what you wanted to order they would give you a 3% discount LOL. You wouldn't get the discount if they had to look up the parts. So, see if they are still around, their prices are marked up of course but it may help you save some money on import taxes and fees! If you had a friend in the U.S. Military stationed there it would be easy, there just would be a 10% shipping charge, ask me how I know!

Old Mustangs never die, they just go faster!
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#8
Quick reply before hitting the sack.

- money: going to set some aside every month, have to also set aside for new furniture otherwise the gf goes berzerk... I’m thinking of a buget around 2-2.5k EUR, but preferably not at once.
- on items purchased within the EU we do not pay taxes. shipping is also less.
- KTS: found their website and will have a closer look when I have some time (prolly when I’m at work again monday ;-) )
- current specs: 351c with standard 2v heads and exhaust man. + performer 4v intake and edl 1406 carb. Stock converter -> C6 -> 2.75 open diff 9” axle.
- goals: rebuild engine (and whatever is required) to be reliable and towards 250/300 hp being able to cruise but also draw nice black lines. Reliability is more important.

I realise my budget is tight. A machine shop can do the metal work and install things like piston pins. I’d very much like to do all the other work myself. If something is not strictly neccesary like maybe new valves as I’m not going to race, maybe we can leave that out then.

I saw cams from comp, 262 or 265 or 268 I believe seemed OK. They should create a smooth idle.

About to fall asleep now. Nighterz!
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#9
One additional thing to consider. with a 300ish hp build and wanting to do some tire burning you are going to want to swap out the 2.75 open for a trac lok or similar and a 3.25 or higher gear prob a 3.50. While you are at it you should consider some sort of traction device to prevent wheel hop. Ask me how I know.

'73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

'73 F code convertible. Bright red. Needs total restore. (IE HOT MESS)

- Jason
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#10
(09-14-2018, 05:16 PM)73pony Wrote: One additional thing to consider. with a 300ish hp build and wanting to do some tire burning you are going to want to swap out the 2.75 open for a trac lok or similar and a 3.25 or higher gear prob a 3.50. While you are at it you should consider some sort of traction device to prevent wheel hop. Ask me how I know.


Did not mention that but would like to. Just not sure if it fits the budget yet. Can that be done later?

What’s a traction device?
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