Ford Six Buildup

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As a big fan of unique engine combinations, I'm seriously considering building up a 300ci Ford Six for my muscle car project. I know they make great torque, and there are cams, intakes, headers, and many other parts available forthem. Can you give me some hop-up tips and perhaps a handle on power numbers for a naturally aspirated, carbed 300?

Chris Trout

Oxford, OH

Chris, I'm going to assume you're not building some wimp tow truck but instead are contemplating a serious performance muscle car engine. If that's the case, this motor has lots of potential. HOT ROD hopes to present a detailed article on building up this engine in the near future. But in the meantime, here's a capsule on hopping up Ford's big six, courtesy of Bob Huettman, a member of the AA8cH race team that runs an extensively modified, professionally built 300ci Ford six in NHRA Competition Eliminator.

The big Ford six has a 4-inch bore. The bottom end is plenty stout with seven main bearings. Many Ford V-8 parts interchange or can be adapted. Small-block Ford manual trans bellhousings or automatic transmissions bolt up. If you need an SFI-certified harmonic damper, order one for a neutral-balanced small-block Ford. Although there were some forged cranks used in larger trucks and marine applications, the stock cast crank will do the job on normally aspirated hot rod street/strip engines.

If you're on a budget and can't afford custom slugs, Ford V-8 pistons from 351W small-blocks or 390-FE big-blocks are a pretty good fit with the stock Ford 300 rod length. Stock rods must be bushed to work with the smaller 351W pins, but the 390 pistons even have the same-diameter pins as a stock 300. The 300 must be bored 0.050 over to use a standardbore (4.050-inch) 390 piston. Most 300s can be bored up to 0.060 over.

No issues for street performance and moderate competition use have been reported with the factory cam gear setup. There are no problems with the stock oiling system and no need for a high-volume oil pump. The stock rods are adequate for street highperformance use if properly reworked and fitted with ARP rod bolts.

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