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  Mustangsandmore Forum Archive
  Ford Racing
  Fontana Aluminum Block

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Author Topic:   Fontana Aluminum Block
Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 972
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 02-04-2003 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones        Reply w/Quote
I just made a deal to buy a Fontana aluminum block from a fellow
Pantera owner. Here are the particulars:

- Fontana aluminum block
- Block is 9.2" deck height
- 4.125" bore
- 4 bolt steel main caps (on all 5 mains, splayed on 2, 3, and 4)
- 2.750" mains (for Cleveland crank)
- Cleveland cam bearings
- Windsor oil system layout but Cleveland oil pan rails
- Has wet sump provision but is currently plugged for dry sump (one plug)
- Has pad for internal oil pump (not just external wet sump)
- Bare block weight = 116 lbs
- Block requires a specific Fontana front cover (included)
- Windsor real seal rail shape

The seller said the engine had 20 hours run time (made 825 HP on dyno).
when there was a partial piston failure (burned & collapsed dome) which
scored the cylinder wall. Shaver Racing replaced sleeve and welded a
water leak near freeze plugs. Nothing has been done since. Just needs
a hone on new cylinder to 4.125". It has not been decked or machined.

Tom (the seller) said he personally took the block to Joe Fontana who
inspected it himself (along with his engine guy) and said it was in
perfect condition. Tom also had his own engine builder (Performance
Machine) inspect the block and they agreed with Joe Fontana that it is
an "excellent block".

Does anyone have any experience with Fontana blocks or aluminum racing
blocks? I'm interested in any differences relative to a 351C block
and on any clearances that should be different from an iron block build.
I plan on calling Joe Fontana for his input.
I believe the 347 stroker kits use pistons with pin heights in the
I believe the 347 stroker kits use pistons with pin heights in the
1.1" range but have a reputation for being oil burners and being

hard on the rings. I do know of some 1.2" pin height Cleveland
Assuming zero deck, with a 4" stroke and 6" rods, the stack height
strokers which seem to be doing okay.

works out to be:

..piston pin height = deck height - (rod length + crank stroke/2)
................... = 9.2 - (6.0 + 4.0/2)
................... = 1.2 inches

A 4.100" stroke would yield a 1.15" pin height and a 4.125" stroke
would yield a pin height of 1.1375 inches.

4.125" bore x 4.000" stroke = 428 cubic inches
4.125" bore x 4.100" stroke = 438 cubic inches
4.125" bore x 4.125" stroke = 441 cubic inches

Anyone have experience with strokers? I need to decide on a final
stroke before ordering the pistons. I know 4.0" stroke cranks are
readily available from both Eagle and SCAT with 351C main diameters
and SCAT lists a 4.1" stroke for 351C mains. 4.125" would probably
need to be an offset ground 400 crank or a custom forging. Anyone
have a preference for SCAT or Eagle (or other crank manufacturer)?

The 4.125" bore means no notches on the block needed for the
canted valve heads which is a good thing when fitting the stroker
piston ring pack. I believe the 347 stroker kits use pistons with
pin heights in the 1.1" range but have a reputation for being oil
burners and for being hard on the rings. I do know of some 1.2" pin
height Cleveland strokers which seem to be doing okay. This is for
my mostly street Pantera and I'm leaning towards a 4" stroke. The
extra cubes of the long strokes would be nice but not if it compromises
reliabilty.

Thanks Much
Dan Jones.

P.S. Pictures of the block at:

http://groups.msn.com/RacermanPanteraGarage/fontanaaluminumengineproject.msnw?a*
http://groups.msn.com/RacermanPanteraGarage/fontanaaluminumengineproject.msnw?a*
http://groups.msn.com/RacermanPanteraGarage/fontanaaluminumengineproject.msnw?a*
http://groups.msn.com/RacermanPanteraGarage/fontanaaluminumengineproject.msnw?a*
http://groups.msn.com/RacermanPanteraGarage/fontanaaluminumengineproject.msnw?a*

'69Stang
Gearhead

Posts: 205
From: Detroit, MI USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-04-2003 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for '69Stang        Reply w/Quote
It sure seems like the 3.85 stroke would be safer, and it would still yield ~414 cubic inches. What a great setup either way.

------------------
'69 Mustang Fastback, 351C, Holley 950 HP, New Parker Funnelweb intake, ported 4-v quench heads, 10.75:1, UD pulley, windage tray, Top Loader, 3.89 9" rear
-------------------------

12.51 1/4 mile @ 115.89
60 foot time 2.008 (ouch)

Mpcoluv
Gearhead

Posts: 1421
From: Charlotte NC usa
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 02-04-2003 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mpcoluv        Reply w/Quote
Since it is a 9.2 block, I wouldn't go past 3.90 stroke if it were mine.
Ya know SCAT makes fairly cheap 4340 forged cranks in a lot of different stroker now.......

Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 972
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 02-04-2003 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones        Reply w/Quote
> It sure seems like the 3.85 stroke would be safer, and it would still
> yield ~414 cubic inches. What a great setup either way.

but 428 cubes has such a nice ring to it :-)

> Since it is a 9.2 block, I wouldn't go past 3.90 stroke if it were mine.

3.9" stroke is a 1.25" pin height versus 1.2" for a 4.0" stroke.
Does 0.05" really make a diference? I'm not so concerned about
piston speed as much as I am about piston stability in the bore.

> Ya know SCAT makes fairly cheap 4340 forged cranks in a lot of different
> stroker now.......

Yes, I've noticed that. Are SCAT cranks any better or worse than
Eagle? My friend with the 418W is running a 4340 4.1" stroke Eagle
crank. No problems yet but not many miles, either.

Dan Jones

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-04-2003 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Nicholson, Animal Jim, Jack Roush, and many others ran strokes in excess of 3.85 and No2 in some cases with the inferior FoMoCo XE aluminum 351 block castings in the 70's through the early 80's. The Fontana piece is far superior and will withstand a lot of abuse.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,&'03
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"
www.moneymakerracing.com

Daniel Jones
Gearhead

Posts: 972
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: Aug 99

posted 02-05-2003 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Jones        Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the input guys. I know the block won't be the weak link.

Dan Jones

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