Car Culture & Entertainment / News & Car Culture / Top 10 Engines

Top 10 Engines of All Time (#9): Ford 351 Windsor


Ford 351 Windsor engine

Ford Motor Co. introduced their Windsor small block engine family in 1962, releasing the 289 and 302 into the automotive wilderness.

As the public demand grew for more factory performance, the gang at Ford needed to figure out how to bridge their 302 and big block 390.

Enter the 351 Windsor.

Fun Fact

In 1970, just one year after introducing the 351 Windsor, Ford introduced the 351 Cleveland—an entirely different engine from the Windsor, but also displacing 351 cubic inches.


Ford debuted the 351 Windsor in the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with both two-barrel  and four-barrel carburetor configurations.

The four-barrel variety disappeared after one year. And Ford continued to emasculate the engine as government mandates forced automakers to reduce power and fuel consumption. In 1978, Ford put small-valve 302 cylinder heads on the 351W and banished it to grocery getters and full-length vans.

But the 351W was the little engine that could.

And it was resurrected as a performance powerplant for later model Mustangs, though known mostly as the Ford 5.8L. And that’s when the automotive aftermarket started delivering power adders for this engine.

It was last seen coming out of the factory in the 1995 Cobra R.

The 351W still lives and is available as a crate engine from Ford Racing.


1969 – 1970 with 2 Barrel Carb
Max Brake Horsepower – 250 @ 4600 rpm
Max Torque – 355 @ 2600 rpm
Stroke – 3.50
Bore – 4.0
Compression – 9.5  

1969 with 4 Barrel Carb
Max Brake Horsepower – 290 @ 4800 rpm
Max Torque – 385 @ 3200 rpm
Stroke – 3.50
Bore – 4.0
Compression – 10.7

Top Aftermarket Upgrades 

According to Summit Racing, these Ford 351 Windsor parts are the most readily available (number of options as of 1/16/2014 in parenthesis):

Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all timesee how the voting was done by reading our initial post.





Tags: , , ,


  1. Can anyone tell me if a 351 Cleveland engine will fit in a dodge nitro engin bay.

    • The 351W continued in production past the 1995 Cobra. It was also used on the F-150 and Bronco through 1996 and a limited number of Super Duties and Vans in 1997.

  2. Pingback: new engine for a 1994 bronco - FSB Forums

  3. monkeyvibes says:

    Its potential would have never been fully known if not for the aftermarket. And its its not ford’351 with the greatest potential either. If the Cleveland were more readily available and had a larger following the aftermarket and ford builders would really be making a statement about Ford performance . The cleveland was built for high speed , high rpm and was halted and killed in its infancy by the new emissions regs . A little ride in bone stock boss 351 is all it takes to see what could have been if you understand what was going down at the time and the direction the cleveland pointed before getting neutered

  4. I had a 1970 Ford LTD 2-door with the 351 Windsor, bone stock. What a pretty car, with its hidden headlights and aircraft-carrier hood length. The rear styling was a bit frumpy with those little tail lights. The truck was enormous, as was the interior. Back in the late-1970’s I used every but of that space driving to-and-from school with all my college-apartment stuff. And then, talk about reliability! The car never stranded me, ever. Plus, in any weather where the temperature was above 40°F, I could merely blip the key, and the engine would start. Some passengers weren’t sure if the engine even started it was so quiet. On Friday & Saturday nights you could flip over the air cleaner cover (all the intake air still passed through air filter, so it was safe to do). That resulted in the engine letting out this fantastic growl when punched, a sound that would turn heads.

  5. scaler911 says:

    My very first car at 16 (1984) was a ’69 Mustang coupe with a 351W and side loader 4 speed. Over the 10 years I had it, I went through the entire drivetrain front to back: Polished/ ported, huge vales in the heads, big cam, roller rockers, MSD electronic ignition, headers, top loader 4 speed, race clutch, 3.83 limited slip for the 9″ in the back. Etc, etc. Super reliable, and super fast on pump gas. I loved that car.
    I kick myself in the backside almost every day for selling it.

  6. Pingback: The Best Reasons to Drive a Ford | TSG Tech

  7. Currently posses 351 w it’s in a 66 f100,swb,c4 auto tranny,posi rear end.. She’s getting a make over… As. We. Speak. Searchi,g ideas for motor upgrades,and interior upgrades as well… Will post as we go.. Awesome article,well informed,and love the custom Opinions as well.. Keep up the good work!!

  8. Pingback: What’s the Difference Between a Ford 351 Windsor, Cleveland, or Modified Engine? - OnAllCylinders

  9. Roberto Palomo says:

    Great sight,considering engine swap on 302 to 351 W. lots of questions on both engines , alot of great information and a lot of positive opinion so I figure i cant go wrong with either engine. THANKS

  10. Christopher says:

    I’m looking for the torque on 1984 / 351 W Ford,
    For the complete engine .
    Heads, timing chain cover, water pump, extra…..
    Thank you

    • What vehicle was it pulled from? Is the engine in the stock form, e.g. no power adders like a camshaft or headers?

    • Where are you located, as I have the complete 351W cast iron 4 bbl intake, dual exhaust which is home made. I also have an aluminum intake with a stamp on it 351W and a 1310 street Avenger 1661 series 4 bbl Holley. its in a ’78 Ranger 2wd and am the 2nd owner. I live in Northern ALBERTA, CANADA. i ALSO HAVE AN ’84 1 TON CREW CAB WITH A 351W AND IT ALSO HAS THE SAME ALUMINUM INTAKE AND THE SAME 4BBL CARB. I want $750.00 for the ’78 Dentside and $2500.00 for the Bullnose 1 ton 4×2. I also have a ’75 Bronco with the removable top, it has the 351M and I have a spare 351M that’s bored 0.40 over and the rods and mains are 0.10 i also have a ‘781/2 F-250 Ranger 4×4 with a 400 4 spd dana 44 front and a Dana 60 rear. as I have 8 trucks, also a ’69F-100 300 6cyl and a ’73 Ford Gran Torino with a 351 Cleveland 4 dr. everything’s for sale for the right price. I also have a garage full of parts. carbs, starters, steering columns, alternators, computer ignition boxes, front diffs, rear ends. and a 302 out of a ’71 Torino GT.

  11. Felix OSORIO says:

    I want to know if i could put a ford 351w engine in my f250 ford which as a 460 engine

    • RAYMOND WHITE IV says:

      The 351 Windsor and the 460 have different transmission bolt patterns. That’s just the start of the numerous differences. You will have to change many things to make it work depending on what year vehicle, engines, auto/std trans (flywheels may bolt on to either crankshaft, but be balanced differently, which will give a terrible vibration). Plan on changing motor mounts, exhaust piping, radiator hoses, etc… If you can find a donor vehicle that has a 351W it would make things easier. It can be done though.
      Good Luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.