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How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget How to Build Max Performance
Ford V-8s on a Budget
By George Reid
Low-cost formulas for building serious horsepower!
This book addresses high-performance V-8
engines such as the 289, 302, 351ci small-blocks
found in Mustangs, as well as the FE series of
big-blocks. Emphasis throughout is a budget
approach to building high performance powerplants
through the use of over-the-counter factory
components and selected aftermarket pieces.
Includes realistic, low-cost formulas for building
serious horsepower in Ford V-8 engines.
Read the
sample pages to learn more!

Only 2 Left in Stock, Order Soon!

Click below to view sample
pages from several chapters
1 - Engine Building Basics
2 - Making Power
3 - Engine Block
4 - Crankshaft, Rods & Pistons
5 - Cylinder Heads
6 - Camshaft & Valvetrain
7 - Headers and Exhaust
8 - Ford Ignition Systems
9 - Engine Build Ups
Softbound
8-3/8 x 10-7/8
128 pages
300+ b/w photos
Item #SA69P
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!

If you're serious about building a powerful
Ford V-8 you need this book!


Engine Building Basics
While there have been some considerable advances in engine-building technology over the past
30 years, one of the most important lessons we can learn is that it’s the small details that can make
or break an engine-building project. The two most important details are checking clearances and
triple-checking your work. Far too many of us are not attentive enough to detail, and we learn some
hard and expensive lessons — when an overlooked rod bolt fails half way down the track, or when
a carelessly seated valve keeper escapes at high revs, destroying the piston and cylinder wall
below in less than a second. These are the kinds of important details we don’t want you to miss
during your budget engine build.
Lack of proper planning is another reason for the demise of many an engine project. Wise planning
is the most important tool you should use in your project. Before heading off to the speed shop, ask
yourself the all-important question, “What do I want from this engine?”, then do the plan.

Part of doing the plan is knowing exactly what you can afford, then not giving in to ego and the
temptation to spend more than you have. That’s the mistake many of us make along the way. We
tend to want to impress our peers, the machine shop, and especially the significant other, but these
are the wrong reasons to build an engine. Don’t build an engine to impress anyone besides
yourself because you’re the one who has to live with the result. If you’ve overspent, then you can
count on grief when it’s time to pay the monthly bills. This is why we stress staying within your
budget.

Most of us overbuild our engines. We build more engine than our Ford needs, which costs
unnecessary time and money. For example, if you’re building a 1965 Mustang and you want it to be
the fastest thing around, your first thought might be to build a 351W stroker that displaces 427ci.
Future plans include fuel injection and a supercharger. Just imagine, the power of a big block in a
lightweight stallion, but is it more than your Mustang (and your driving skills) can handle? You don’t
have to worry about impressing us. We’ve been there, too, and we understand the drawbacks of
overbuilding. This is why we’re sharing the cold, hard facts of engine building with you — so you
don’t make the same mistakes.
Too many enthusiasts build more engine than a car can safely handle. When we infuse big-block
displacement power into a lightweight Mustang, Falcon, or Fairlane, we’re not thinking about the
engine and vehicle as a package. Most of us get it backwards. We build a powerful engine, then we
wonder how to manage all that power safely. It is better to build the car first, then the engine,
because too much power in an unprepared platform can get you maimed or killed. A well-thought-
out platform will have good brakes, a handling package, traction enhancement, the right tires and
wheels, a rear axle that can take the punishment, and a mature driver who understands all of this.

The goal of this book is to teach you how to build a reliable, affordable engine that will make the
power you need. No matter the formula,  one basic principle is constant: Performance level is tied
directly to budget. The greater the budget and know-how, the faster you will go.
You are not going to make a  600-horsepower small block for $2,500. However, you can build a
healthy 350-horsepower small block for approximately $2,500 to $3,000 that will serve you reliably.
Keep your expectations and planning realistic. Then go work your plan with perseverance.
PLANNING YOUR BUILD
Before you even start to plan, you must decide what you can reasonably spend on your build.
Believe it or not, if you do your homework and learn how to do much of the work yourself, you can
get into a fresh engine for approximately $2,500. Even if you have never done it before, building an
engine is not difficult if you pay close attention to detail. Engine assembly is costly if you farm it out.
Machine work is also expensive, but most of us don’t have the necessary equipment or the know-
how to do it ourselves. Engine assembly boils down to having the right tools and a super clean
shop environment. Certain tools, like the torque wrench, piston ring compressor, micrometer, and
dial indicator, can be rented locally. You will only need these items for a weekend, which makes
them affordable.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
When you’re new to the world of engines, it is easy to get carried away in the tool department. After
all, we need all those things to get the job done, right? That first trip to Sears is often like a first trip
to the speed shop. You lay down the credit card and come home with a wealth of goodies, but they
don’t always apply to building an effective engine.

We suggest Sears Craftsman tools because they have a lifetime warranty, great reputation, and
there’s a Sears store in nearly every area of the world. The Craftsman warranty is written with no
nonsense and no fine print. Bust a socket and Sears will replace it with no questions asked. Strip
out a ratchet and Sears will hand you a new one or rebuild your old one. Sears Craftsman tools are
the best tool value going. The next best tool value is Husky in the “bang for the buck” department.
You can find Husky tools at many home improvement or hardware stores for even less than
Craftsman, yet with the same no nonsense lifetime warranty.

Our Beginner’s Tool Shopping List is intended to get you started and will last you the rest of your
life with care. It is even something you can pass along because, with proper care, it will last several
lifetimes. Most of us buy socket sets, but we forget to go for the deep-well sockets, which you will
need in the course of an engine build. One other thing to keep in mind, opt for 6-point sockets, not
12-point. A 6-point socket won’t strip a bolt head and provides a firm grip. Make sure your socket
sets have at least two extensions — one 3-inch and one 7-inch. Spring for the universal adapter as
well for easy access. If you can afford it, buy a matching set of 12-point shallow and deep-well
sockets because they do have a purpose with some engine applications.
When you’re shopping for screwdrivers, hold one in your hand first. You want a screwdriver that
feels good in your hand and offers adequate grip comfort and mechanical advantage. If your hand
slips around the handle, then it is a poor design. The tip should be super tough steel that will not
strip out or break. Go the extra mile and invest wisely now in a screwdriver that will last you a
lifetime. Another idea is to buy screwdrivers with bright orange handles for visibility and safety. This
lessens the chance of leaving tools where they don’t belong.

We push the idea of quality tools because there really is a difference. Inexpensive wrench sets you
can buy for around $10 won’t get the job done effectively. A low-quality forged or casting will strip
out and leave you hanging on a Sunday afternoon when you need it most. With Sears Craftsman
(and this is not a commercial endorsement), Husky, MAC, or Snap-On tools, you get a lifetime
warranty that’s good for as long as the tool exists — for you, your child, your grandchild, great
grandchild, and more. MAC and Snap-On tools tend to be very expensive and available only off a
truck at better garages everywhere, which makes Craftsman and Husky a better value and easier to
find.

Proper tool care once you’ve made the investment is what assures you reliability in the future. Keep
your tools clean and serviceable. Lubricate ratchets periodically with engine oil or white grease for
best results. Drill bits should be sharpened periodically. When you’re using a drill, run the bit slow
and keep it wet with lubrication while drilling. Drill bits begin to squeak whenever they’re dull. Invest
in a drill-bit sharpener or find a reliable shop that sharpens drill bits. Most shops that sharpen
lawnmower blades and chain saws can sharpen your bits.
It’s also important to know when it’s time to retire tools. Tools that are not serviceable can be
dangerous. A loose hammer head, for example, could rearrange yours or someone else’s dental
work — or break a window. Cracked sockets, worn wrenches, busted screwdriver handles, stripped
ratchets, and other forms of serious tool deterioration are reasons to invest in fresh equipment. It is
about your safety and the integrity of your work.
RENTING TOOLS
There are many tools you will only use during an engine build that are expensive. It may be more
cost-efficient for you to rent these items. Most shops make rental tools available. Look for the “multi-
purpose” in any tool you’re thinking about renting. If you expect to use the tool again, it may well be
worth the investment to purchase it now. When renting tools, rent only at the time you intend to use
them. Don’t rent every tool mentioned here at the same time because you’re not going to use all of
them at the same time.

When renting torque wrenches, keep in mind they are typically either beam or breakaway types.
We suggest the breakaway type that “clicks” when the specified torque is reached. Be sure to learn
how to properly use a breakaway torque wrench. Ask for instructions when you rent the tool. Keep
in mind two things: First, never use a torque wrench to remove a bolt or nut, as you will disturb the
calibration. Second, never overtorque a fastener. When you torque a fastener, you are stretching
the bolt stock. Too much torque and you stress the fastener. Specified torque readings are there to
ensure fastener integrity.

Piston ring compressors are available in different forms. The most common type available to rent is
an adjustable type. There is also a ratcheting type that makes piston installation a snap. Custom-
sized billet ring compressors are costly and not for the novice.
Harmonic balancer pullers are a borderline rental item. This is something you may use again and
again. They don’t cost that much to buy, which is what makes them a borderline item. Balancer
pullers also make great steering wheel pullers.

There are two basic types of valve spring compressors -- one you use in the shop on a head in the
raw (looks like a huge C-clamp) and one you use with the head installed (more like a pry bar used
only for ball/stud fulcrum rocker arm applications). For engine rebuilding, you’re going to need the
C-clamp type. You can sometimes pick these up at a discount house for less than it would cost to
rent one for several days.

Freeze plug and seal drivers are one of those borderline items you could use again and again. You
an also use a like-sized socket as a driver on the end of an extension. This saves money, but could
damage the socket. Don’t be a tool abuser.
Thread chasers are a vital part of any engine build because you want clean threads. Clean threads
yield an accurate torque reading when it’s time to reassemble the engine. Thread chasing should
be performed when the block returns from the machine shop clean, machined, and ready for
assembly. Machine shops that are on the ball will have already chased your threads. However,
thread chasing is time consuming and machine shops don’t generally do this unless asked and paid
for the service. If you do it yourself, it’s a good idea to chase every bolt hole. When a thread chaser
is outside of your budget, use Grade 8 bolts and other fasteners with WD-40 to chase the threads.
This may sound crude, but it will save you money and get the job done.

Engine stands are one of those purchase/rent questions because renting can sometimes cost you
more than simply buying. Harbor Freight Salvage has some of the best values going at $50 to $100
for a stand. If you’re building a heavy big block, don’t cut corners here. Invest in a four-legged
engine stand for stability and safety. The low-buck $50 stand will not hold up under the weight of a
650-pound big block. You don’t even want to think about what happens when an engine stand fails
— it’s sudden, noisy, and destructive.

The decision to rent or buy tools boils down to how often you will use the tool and how long you will
need the tool during your engine build. Any time you’re going to need the tool longer than 1 - 3
days, you’re probably better off buying. If you have to buy, look on the bright side. You can always
loan it to friends or sell it after your engine is finished. Keeping it makes it a useful piece of
community property among friends.
KEEP A CLEAN SHOP
We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a clean, organized shop. Do your engine
teardown work where you can catalog everything and keep it in its rightful place. Keep engine parts
and fasteners in jars or plastic containers that are labeled. Haul the block, heads, crankshaft, and
connecting rods to a machine shop immediately upon disassembly. This avoids any confusion and
keeps you rolling. If you cannot afford the machine shop at the time, leave the engine assembled
until you are ready. We speak from experience on this one because too much is lost both mentally
and physically once the engine is disassembled. Keep disassembling, cleaning, machine work, and
assembly as cohesive as possible.

It is always a good idea to keep an engine project organized from planning to completion. Know
what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Then get busy and see your engine project
through to completion. Nothing is more discouraging than a disassembled engine that’s going
nowhere because you didn’t have a plan.
Next


This has been a sample page from

How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget How to Build Max Performance
Ford V-8s on a Budget
By George Reid
Low-cost formulas for building serious horsepower!
This book addresses high-performance V-8
engines such as the 289, 302, 351ci small-blocks
found in Mustangs, as well as the FE series of
big-blocks. Emphasis throughout is a budget
approach to building high performance powerplants
through the use of over-the-counter factory
components and selected aftermarket pieces.
Includes realistic, low-cost formulas for building
serious horsepower in Ford V-8 engines.
Read the
sample pages to learn more!

Only 2 Left in Stock, Order Soon!

Click below to view sample
pages from several chapters
1 - Engine Building Basics
2 - Making Power
3 - Engine Block
4 - Crankshaft, Rods & Pistons
5 - Cylinder Heads
6 - Camshaft & Valvetrain
7 - Headers and Exhaust
8 - Ford Ignition Systems
9 - Engine Build Ups
Softbound
8-3/8 x 10-7/8
128 pages
300+ b/w photos
Item #SA69P
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!

If you're serious about building a powerful
Ford V-8 you need this book!


Other items you might be interested in

How to Rebuild the Small Block Ford
This 144 page book guides you step by step through
a rebuild, including: planning, disassembly and
inspection, choosing the right parts, machine work,
assembling your engine, first firing and break-in. It also
gives you helpful hints and tips on performance
upgrades, including cams, heads, ignition, induction,
and more. It also points out problem areas to watch for,
professional builder tips, jobs that need special care or
special tools, and more. Includes 495 color photos and
covers the Ford 289, 302, 351W, 351C, 351M and 400.
How to Rebuild the Small Block Ford
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How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
By increasing the bore and stroke of your current
engine, you can add those cubic inches without the
hassle of switching to a big block. George Reid
thoroughly explains the building of a small block Ford
stroker, paying special attention to the effect that
increasing the bore and stroke have on the engine as a
whole. Also included is a complete guide to factory head
and block castings, as well as aftermarket block and
head guides, so you can choose exactly the right parts
for your project.
How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
Price:
$ 22.95



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