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Old 10-12-2016, 07:08 PM   #1
ford_ranger12
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Default 351w build help

My ranger is close to being done so I've started on the motor which is a 351w, It's a 97 F-250 roller block. I was gonna leave it stock but when I started tearing it down a couple bolts broke off in the heads trying to get the manifolds off so now I'm gonna go ahead and rebuild with all new bearings/piston rings, gonna keep stock internals, TFS stage 1 cam, Trickflow type R intake, and Edelbrock aluminum rpm heads. I've got everything already except for the TFS cam. I decided on a mild cam for now because I'm keeping the explorer computer and just seems like it'll be a little easier to get everything finished up and running but at least getting rid of the stock cam. I hope this isn't stupid but my question is:

How do I measure pushrod length AND piston to valve clearance at the same time without a starting point?

I've worked on a lot of motors but this will be my first one throwing a different cam and set of aluminum heads on at the same time so I'm unsure how to get these measurements and which one I do first?
....the pistons are stock 97 F-250 dish type pistons, I think they were around 8.5 compression. The Edelbrock heads have 2.02/1.60 valves.


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Old 10-12-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ford_ranger12 View Post
My ranger is close to being done so I've started on the motor which is a 351w, It's a 97 F-250 roller block. I was gonna leave it stock but when I started tearing it down a couple bolts broke off in the heads trying to get the manifolds off so now I'm gonna go ahead and rebuild with all new bearings/piston rings, gonna keep stock internals, TFS stage 1 cam, Trickflow type R intake, and Edelbrock aluminum rpm heads. I've got everything already except for the TFS cam. I decided on a mild cam for now because I'm keeping the explorer computer and just seems like it'll be a little easier to get everything finished up and running but at least getting rid of the stock cam. I hope this isn't stupid but my question is:

How do I measure pushrod length AND piston to valve clearance at the same time without a starting point?

I've worked on a lot of motors but this will be my first one throwing a different cam and set of aluminum heads on at the same time so I'm unsure how to get these measurements and which one I do first?
....the pistons are stock 97 F-250 dish type pistons, I think they were around 8.5 compression. The Edelbrock heads have 2.02/1.60 valves.


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I guess the short answer is to get a push rod length checker, clay the top of one piston, bolt down a head and gasket, set up your valve train with "stacked/fixed" lifters on one cylinder, and dial in your rocker lash with the adjustable push rod length checker. Then rotate the assembly twice, disassemble, and check your PTV clearance by measuring the thickness of the clay. Once satisfied with the adjustable length of the checker tool you can have it measured at any machine shop for push rod length.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:51 PM   #3
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Sounds simple enough. Kinda what I was thinking but was pretty sure an adjustable pushrod would break under that pressure but now I see they have lighter valve springs for checking this stuff.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ford_ranger12 View Post
Sounds simple enough. Kinda what I was thinking but was pretty sure an adjustable pushrod would break under that pressure but now I see they have lighter valve springs for checking this stuff.
I didn't have any issue with using the tool and spinning over the rotating assembly by hand with the TFS Springs installed. There are a few you tube videos on the process. That is where I learned how to do mine.

Do you know the trick with flipping the insides of the lifter?

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Old 10-12-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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I've read somewhere about taking out the retaining clip and putting the plunger back in upside down and putting it back together that way just didn't know how accurate that method would be and haven't got around to messing with my roller lifters yet, at least not taking them apart. But when you say, "with the TFS Springs installed" do you mean the lighter springs I was referring to earlier or you used the adjustable pushrod with your actual springs that you're running?


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Old 10-12-2016, 10:01 PM   #6
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I've read somewhere about taking out the retaining clip and putting the plunger back in upside down and putting it back together that way just didn't know how accurate that method would be and haven't got around to messing with my roller lifters yet, at least not taking them apart. But when you say, "with the TFS Springs installed" do you mean the lighter springs I was referring to earlier or you used the adjustable pushrod with your actual springs that you're running?


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I used the actual valve springs when checking everything. Yes, the lifter trick works good. It seems like there was one simple thing that needed to be changed or modified when installing the pieces upside down but I don't remember what it was.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:01 PM   #7
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Yea ima have to check into that cause I really didn't want to swap the valve springs just to check all this, I would, but it would be easier not to. One last thing. Do you remember the brand pushrod checker you used? I just saw trickflow had one and comp cams sells them and I'm sure there's probably other companies but if the one you used was strong enough I'd like to buy that one.


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Old 10-13-2016, 06:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ford_ranger12 View Post
Yea ima have to check into that cause I really didn't want to swap the valve springs just to check all this, I would, but it would be easier not to. One last thing. Do you remember the brand pushrod checker you used? I just saw trickflow had one and comp cams sells them and I'm sure there's probably other companies but if the one you used was strong enough I'd like to buy that one.


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Seems like it was Comp Cams. I know I found it new on eBay for about $19.00. I went back and read your original post, can you run a 351 with the Explorer ECM? I don't know for sure but I don't think the two are compatable.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:32 AM   #9
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I made a camshaft position sensor that should work fine. And it's the same firing order so everything should work the same they'll just be a bigger motor in there. I'm almost sure it'll run the 351 just think I made need a tune to get it running the best it can but with the cam,head, and intake swap I planned on getting it tuned anyways so it should work out


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Old 10-13-2016, 04:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ford_ranger12 View Post
I made a camshaft position sensor that should work fine. And it's the same firing order so everything should work the same they'll just be a bigger motor in there. I'm almost sure it'll run the 351 just think I made need a tune to get it running the best it can but with the cam,head, and intake swap I planned on getting it tuned anyways so it should work out


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Ok, I wasn't sure. My biggest thought was the crank position sensor, timing, and fuel. But then again, my 306 fired up and ran with the stock 3.0L Ranger ECM. It just didn't run very well!!! Once I discovered I had mixed the two ECM's up somehow it ran much better.
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