SBF Bellhousing interchange


tjack96

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Hi Fellas, i know that there are a minimum of two SBF bellhousing patterns, one from the early days the 60s and the 70s, and then another sometime in the 80s and 90s. I have a 71 SBF that id like to pair with a 1981-86 external slave cylinder bellhousing. I know the bolt patterns are similar but not identical, how different are we talking here? So much that i can use that bell housing with that engine?
 


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The Windsor bolt pattern first came out in late 64... That’s probably the SBF bolt pattern you’re referring to. What engine is your SBF?

There isn’t technically a SBF or BBF bolt pattern like Chevy. With Ford, it’s best to use engine families to differentiate because there were so many different bolt patterns.
 

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SBF = straight best friend or single black female?


Small block ford?

Ford bell housing patterns seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ford_bellhousing_patterns

August of 1963 is when small block(289) pattern changed, and remained the same until 2000 when the last 302/5.0l was rolled out for a 2001 Explorer.........or Mountaineer, lol

You may be thinking of the external balance weight, flywheel and harmonic dampener
Small block Fords from 1963-1981 are 28-ounce offset balanced
1982-up are 50-ounce offset balanced

All 351s are 28 ounce, W or C
 
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19Walt93

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I think that article has a couple of errors. The "big bell" 200 didn't come out until 81 if I remember correctly, they did it because the lock up convertor to be used with the C5 wouldn't fit in the early 144,170,200 bell housing. While 351 C&W used the same pattern as a 289/302, the 351 M and 400 both had the 460 pattern. I've never seen a modular engine with the 289/302 bell housing face. I sent my senior tech to the new model course back when the modular engines were introduced and he asked the instructor whether the new engine would mate with the existing bell housings. The instructor said no and couldn't imagine why that would matter. The "interchangeable" modular engines weren't interchangeable: the Romeo 4.6 (vin code W) had 6 flywheel bolts and used different heads and valve covers than the Windsor 4.6( I forget the vin code, Ford being Ford, they used W for the Romeo). The 5.4 was based on the Windsor 4.6, which I considered to be the heavier duty of the 2. Incidentally, the Windsor 4.6's and 5.4's had only a few threads in the spark plug holes in the heads and were prone to blowing out plugs that weren't installed carefully. The light duty(in my opinion) Romeo heads had full threads.
 

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There were a couple M’s with the Windsor pattern, very rare though. They were pretty much freaks.
 

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I think that article has a couple of errors. The "big bell" 200 didn't come out until 81 if I remember correctly, they did it because the lock up convertor to be used with the C5 wouldn't fit in the early 144,170,200 bell housing. While 351 C&W used the same pattern as a 289/302, the 351 M and 400 both had the 460 pattern. I've never seen a modular engine with the 289/302 bell housing face. I sent my senior tech to the new model course back when the modular engines were introduced and he asked the instructor whether the new engine would mate with the existing bell housings. The instructor said no and couldn't imagine why that would matter. The "interchangeable" modular engines weren't interchangeable: the Romeo 4.6 (vin code W) had 6 flywheel bolts and used different heads and valve covers than the Windsor 4.6( I forget the vin code, Ford being Ford, they used W for the Romeo). The 5.4 was based on the Windsor 4.6, which I considered to be the heavier duty of the 2. Incidentally, the Windsor 4.6's and 5.4's had only a few threads in the spark plug holes in the heads and were prone to blowing out plugs that weren't installed carefully. The light duty(in my opinion) Romeo heads had full threads.

And then of course the 4.6L had three bell patterns. There was one for the Romeo, one for the Windsor, and a third one for the FWD version in the Lincoln Taurus.
 

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I have a '71 302 in my Ranger with an '85 F150 bell. All 6-bolt small block bellhousings bolt up and even the 240/300 bells have the SB bolt pattern. The differences are in the starter mount side. If you use a big bell for a 164t flywheel but use a 157t flywheel the starter wont reach the ring gear and if it's reversed the starter wont even fit back into the bell. There are 3 different 6-bolt bells for 164t, 157t and a 14?t for Mustang IIs. The F150 bell for an external slave is the big 164t. Harder to get headers around the starter side but you can use an 11" clutch with the 164t flywheel. There are 5-bolt bells for '62-'64 221,260,289 but you stated yours is a '71 so no issue with that.
 

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The Mustang II flywheel has 140 teeth and unfortunately weighs 36 lbs. When I put the late balance engine in my 77 I had the flywheel rebalanced and they were able to shave off 8 lbs. A fox body flywheel weighs 18 lbs. I had planned to use a Mustang II C4 in my Ranger, rebuilt it, had the convertor rebuilt, and installed it behind the 351. That's when I found out that the starter would not fit because the oil pan was too wide. Had I though about it before hand I could have modified the pan for clearance, used the Mustang II bellhousing and had a lot more room for exhaust. I put a 157 tooth flex plate and bell with a TCI convertor on instead.
 


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