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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!I recently inherited from my late great grampa a 1974 Mercury Cougar XR7.I know this is not the most desirable car, but it was my grampas and i want to keep it and modify it and its really starting to grow one me, i like its "diffferentness".I have a couple questions i hope i can get some advice on.The car has a 351w 2v,c-4 trans and the 9 inch rear.Im happy with the c-4 and nine inch as i plan on rebuilding them and know they are both stout trans and rear end.My plans for the car are to strip the top end of the motor off to inspect the cylinder walls etc, maybe do bearings and whatnot.One question is, i want to retain the stock heads for now due to somewhat tight funds, but plan on atleast getting them rebuilt.Is it worth running the 2v heads?can they be ported and polished and upgraded to get decent flow/power from them?Or is it cheaper sourcing different heads?Im trying to make the most power for the dollar with what running gear is already in the car basically.I do plan however for a shift kit in the trans with the rebuild and line pressure increased etc from my friend who rebuilds trannys for a living, running the most aggressive cam possible,new intake, 4 barrel,headers into front exit glasspacks.Any advice on what to do with the motor as far as cam and top end with the stock bottom end until more money is around would be greatly appreciated.The motor runs well now with no noise so im hoping the bottom end is still cherry.I also plan on regearing the rear as well.Thanx for reading my ramblings.I am new to fords, used to own chevy!
 

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There are lots of good aftermarket Windsor heads available that work better than ported/polished stock heads.
 

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Welcome aboard. I agree about the aftermarket products. It is always nice to see another "convert" come over from the Chevy gang. Pat Price
 

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congrats,i am going to start with , 351, its time for an upgrade for that boat! lets talk 392 or 427 stroker! better gears in the 9 inch and make sure you have a limited slip or a locker in it.
justin
 

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Are you sure it has a C-4? Check your door tag. Trans code W=C-4, X=FMX, and U=C-6. C-4 pan shape is similar, and FMX is deeper. C-4 has aluminum case and FMX has iron main case. Generally, C-4s were used behind V-6s in Mustang IIs & Pintos, and behind most 302s. 351-2Vs (Windsor or Cleveland) generally got FMXs, with C-6s optional.

351Ws are great motors. Easy to get power gains out of a 351W with mild porting (grinding out thermactor bump in exhaust port) or swapping to later heads like E7TEs (used in '87-94 Mustang GTs, trucks/vans) or GT40s (1st gen Lightning, '93-94 Cobra or '95-96 Explorer), cam change, (new timing set, too) and add a 4bbl intake and 600cfm Holley or Edelbrock 4-bbl carb.

I see my esteemed colleagues have already posted that 351Ws make for the good basis for big-inch stroker motors. jk69cat calls it a 392, but most of us Ford guys call it a 393W (I have one in my '89 Crown Vic) since Mopar made a 392 back in the day... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanx for the input guys!i was already contemplating stroking the motor, but like i said for now if the bottom end is good id like to keep it to a "budget" build for now.i have a few friends deep into fords(not as many as i did with chevys tho), and am going to check on some of the aforementioned 302 heads.an dupon further investigation grampa must have written down the wronfg thing in his notes becuse according to what i found after you all struck my interest, the car does indeed have the FMX.since i know minimal info about fords, how good are these trannys?are they 3 speeds,4 speeds?thanx for the help and i will get some pics up when i get a chance and keep posting as i start to dive into this project.I got her runnin and air in the tires so far.lol.
 

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your right milo, i missed the bar on that one. !
 

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FMX was the medium-duty V-8 3-spd automatic. They are beefier internally than a C-4, but not as strong as a C-6. Ford also made a C-3 auto trans, but that was limited to four-bangers in Pintos and Mustang IIs... :toung: :evil:

OK, since you're a newbie... (and I love this pic)... This car in this photo has a 484-inch stoked 460 backed by a FMX (using a 351M bellhousing)



BTW, that silver '71 is now getting a 545-inch stroker, and still with the same FMX that it came with from the factory when it was a 351C-2V!

Any questions about FMXs now?
 

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Good enough for "The Silver Fox"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
cool!thanx for the pics and inspiration guys!so heres another question for ya.A buddy has a 351w out of a 96 (i think) f350, roller motor with 14k original miles on it.Complete but stripped down to see cylinders etc, which i consider good , less work for me!Good deal?i think so but wanted to ask the pros.Then i will use that bottom end, all new gaskets with those heads and order a cam, intake, headers, etc etc.Also whats the best cam, intake, carb, header combo in your alls opinions with a stock bottom end for the most consistent power?sorry ,alot at once i know!my head is spinning with all this new knowledge!
 

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If you use that '96 roller-cam block (save the factory roller lifters and pushrods so you don't have to buy new ones!)... If you want to keep that stock 351W engine, but convert it to carb, you're going to need:

* a timing cover since the one from the '96 truck will not have a provision for a mechanical fuel pump.
* stock replacement front sump oil pan & pickup (Truck pan will not fit your car)
* visit this website for some DIY head porting info for E7TE heads. Tells what to and what not to do!
* Edelbrock Performer RPM or similar intake manifold
* Holley or Edelbrock (your choice) 600cfm vacuum secondary carb.
* Camshaft - If you put in a higher stall converter and 3.25 gears, try a Comp Cams XE266HR specs here
* Headers? I don't know what is still out there for the 72-79 Torino/Cougar/Montego/T-bird chassis. Use an H-pipe, and full duals (including tailpipes). To have something custom bent will cost around $250-300.

If you're changing the engine, you might want to consider a higher-stall torque converter. Check out ACC Performance since they still list converters for FMX. You also might want to swap in a 28-spline Traction Loc (Posi unit) and a set of 3.25 to 3.50 rear gears (chances are you have 2.75s now). Don't go higher unless you limit highway driving or use an overdrive trans like an AOD...
 

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Damn this post makes me feel old.....! Doesn't help to have grandkids....

I used to own a 74 and it was a great car. To drive. It is a cruiser!

Grandpas74, What do you think your grandpa would prefer you do with the car? Enjoy it the way that he did, or pump a boatload of money into it to "try" and go fast, which is what you will be doing. ...and everyone knows that boats are one of the biggest wastes of money.....keep pumping......

You probably have a 351C. Count the valve cover bolts and see what you have. If you have more than 6, you have a Cleveland (should have 8).

Somethings to think about:
I owned my car in Minnesota and Illinois. You are in NY. Similar. Bought it in about 78, it already had rust....I paid to fix the rust....repainted the car....rust eventually came back...... It had a defective lifter from the factory, that the dealership could never fix.....cuz if you do not pull the bad one out and replace it, you will never fix it..... Ran great! Up until it needed a valve job due to the rear cross over tube rotting away, and me being a novice with 351C non-adjustable rocker arms....so I paid some more. Brought the car out to CA with me once I was done with school.....and eventually replaced the entire engine, updating to DuraSpark ignition from the donor car! (Good thing) Oh, forgot that I had rebuilt the trans in IL, after smoking it while stuck in a parking lot ice rut....hello Amco....

The BEST thing I ever did to that car in terms of performance, was to install an Edelbrock water injection unit. It managed all of the pinging issues........ however, I could never get it to work once I put the DuraSpark ignition in......no matter what I tried. Unit sits to this day on my garage shelf!

Worst thing about this car was that it was HEAVY! It took huge 14" tires that seemed to get consumed by the potholes on a regular basis.....brakes were huge.....doors were huge.....but it cruised!!! Was great for those long distance drives back home to visit! Hood is three miles long...but the trunk won't hold a 16 gallon keg.....

The fact that this is a huge car, makes your modifications limited. You will want something that has torque on the bottom end, in order to get this barge moving. No one makes long tube headers for the car, so get ready to lay out some serious scratch for these. $1500 or so.

Because you asked, I'm putting this out there.... I think you would be money wise to keep all of the performance BS off of this car. There is NOTHING WRONG with a 2V 351 Cleveland in its stock form. Keep in mind that this is not a quarter mile car..... You will never beat a Camaro with this car. Ever. Unless of course you drop in a blown 460 on alcohol..... It will bolt in.

If you MUST hot rod this thing, consider getting a 400 engine. You can find 4V intakes at the swap meets for around $100, and this is still a good low end torque engine for cruising. The 400's were the optional engine in these cars. I have seen a few around over the years.....not common.....

Based upon my experience with this car, I think you would be better served, and would also honor your grandpa's memory, by keeping the car basically as it was. You say that it runs nice and quiet. Great!!!! If it isn't broke, don't fix it!!! You do not want to start tearing into this only to find that it was in very good condition....and now you want to pump money into it just to put it back together? Save up your money(which it sounds like you do not have yet....drive this car, and find yourself another car to hotrod. One that will actually accelerate and go around corners. The understeer is incredible because these cars are so heavy up front! In Buffalo, you could put a plow up front and use this to move snow (if you fill the trunk with sand!)! They are front heavy, plow into the corners, and are ass-end light....once you're plowing....

I was still driving my 74 when I found my 68 basket case back in about 1982. Once I got the 68 up and running, I sold the 74 to a friend. Last time I talked to them, they said that the car was still cruising around up in the Santa Cruz mountains somewhere!!! (WOW! Now that I think about it, that 74 wasn't even 10 years old yet, and it had already rusted to hell, been painted, had a trans rebuild, replaced the engine.....and was re-rusting....that's not necessarily a good track record!) ...anyway, having the 74 to cruise around in, while I was able to rebuild the 68 engine was great! I had a car that I could count on to be dependable. I just think that after you pump the engine, pump the trans, pump the rear end, alter the suspension, that you'll have a car that is still remarkabley slow...get's about 10 miles to the gallon.....and you are about $7-8000 lighter in the wallet dept.

That money could go a LONG ways towards something much more performance oriented. Or at least lighter!

Go find a friend that has a 68 or 69 coupe that is built up a little bit for performance driving, and see they'll let you take a test spin....or have them drive... then go back and try and do the same thing in the 74. While I would suspect that you will make the straight line performance better through the investment of cubic dollars, you will be hard pressed to go around corners without sliding off the vinyl seats....

These Cougars were sold as luxury cars, no performance basis at all.

I'd just hate to see you invest a crapload of money in this car, only to be pissed off at it because it runs like crap, or you find yourself half way through the project only to run out of money and steam....and find yourself with a car you can't drive any longer. While your intentions may be well intended, they may not be the wisest in the long run.

Enjoy the car for what it is!! If you really need a performance boat, go get a stripped down Montego and make a Starsky and Hutch car.....speaking of 460's....
Steve
 
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