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The 351 Windsor engine was produced by Ford and had a long reign, beginning in the 1960s, and although not commercially available, it is still used by many rebuilding Ford small blocks for their project cars.
This most well-known car that this engine was used in may be the Mustang, but this engine was also used in many other models as well, including the Cougar, Torino, Maverick, and many other classic Fords used this block. In addition this engine was also used on various truck and van applications for Ford, including in the F150, Bronco, and E150.
The 351 Windsor was originally introduced in 1969, used in a variety of cars as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Later on, the engine was added to the truck platform and was actually used in the F150 up until 1997.
A 27 year stint for this engine is nothing less than impressive and speaks strongly about the popularity and strong following for this engine. While this engine is no longer available in any cars as a stock option, the engines are still produced and sold as crate engines, called the Boss 351.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of this engine is its reliability. Another reason that this engine is still so popular today is the ability of these engines to have parts changed, so each person can modify their engine based on the desired mixture of parts from various engine.
Due to the 351 Windor’s strong block design and thin-wall casting, it is a popular engine to choose as the base when building a project car. A final advantage that many Ford enthusiasts point out is the ease of access when working on many of the parts of this engine. This is very much unlike today’s engines where even the simplest of tasks can take hours because the part can’t be accessed directly.
351 Windsor Performance Specs
With the introduction of the 351 Windsor in 1969, the 2 barrel carburetor version was rated at 250 horsepower and the 4 barrel carburetor version was 300 horsepower at 5400 RPM, with peak torque of 380 lb-ft at 3400 RPM for the 4 barrel version. The horsepower ratings, however, were changed in 1972 as a new way of rating engine power was adopted, which resulted in 153 and 161 horsepower for the 2 barrel and 4 barrel engines, respectively.
By 1997, fuel system improvements along with many other improvements resulted in peak horsepower of 210 at 3600 RPM, with 330 lb-ft of torque at 2600 RPM. The 351 Windsor, as one might guess, is 351 cubic inches, or 5.8L. The engine block has a bore of 4.0 inches with a stroke of 3.5 inches.
Head and Block Construction
As this is an older engine, the block and head are both of cast iron construction, as one would expect. The valvetrain system used was the traditional push rod overhead valve (OHV) 2 valve per cylinder system with camshaft in the block. For the majority of its life, the valvetrain used a cast iron camshaft with a flat tappet design; however, this was updated in 1994 to begin using a steel roller cam and lifter system.
The longevity of the Windsor 351 speaks for itself to the great popularity of this engine, and an engine is not popular just because of luck. This engine was reliable and also is capable of providing some significant power, which explains the almost 30 year life of this engine in normal production. To this day, many project cars can still be found with at least some parts from a 351 Windsor being used.
- Engine photo via sfoskett