I have a 351 Cleveland engine that just wants to backfire through the carb. Checked timing and it appears to be accurate. The intake is a performer with a Holley carb, I think it's a 4160, but I just can't seem to make it sit, the intake, on the engine, without sealing properly. I've tried to seal the intake with black rtv at then ends of the intake won't seal. Replaced the intake gaskets with edlebrock gaskets and didn't use valley pan gasket, still can't get her to seal. It's leaking along the rear, right side intake matting service. I'm lost at what else to do. Help!


Asked by Feb 07, 2014 at 08:40 AM about the 1970 Ford Ranchero

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

351c with a performer intake. Pop's on accel. Checked timing, it seems ok. I just can't get the intake to seal properly. No valley pan gasket,black rtv on the ends of the intake and using edlebrocks intake gaskets. The heads are 2v. Giving me a headache. Help you Ford guys!

4 Answers


1. Could be damged valve seats or valves. 2. You've checked the dist. timing, how about the cam. Might be that the chain jumped.. I don't know about the clev but it happened alot on my buddies 302. Looks like a pain to check the timing with the front on those beasts.


Check the manifold for warpage, if it is too bad you will have too replace the manifold.


Of coarse the actual CAUSE of the intake not sealing properly is something you'll have to determine yourself, BUT I'll offer you a viewpoint that you may not have considered. You know more about the engine and intake than you've shared in your brief question, so it's not safe for me (or anyone) to assume things we just don't know without being told. In other words, it's HARD to work on someone's car over the internet (I won't attempt that)... but I'll offer input you can use as a starting point to find out what the problem is. Some food for thought... IF your engine block and Cyl. Heads have been machined to true up mating surfaces (IE: during a rebuild), This process REMOVES material and causes the heads to sit LOWER on the engine than they did before. An intake manifold will ALSO need to be machined to fit properly and seal properly to the (now altered) mating surface relationships. With this being said... If your intake is "Used" (Previously used on an engine OTHER than your own), it MAY have been machined to FIT the other engine? If the intake is "NEW" out of the box, and your block and heads have been machined, you'll need to have the "New" intake machined to fit. These calculations for how much material needs to be machined (and from what surfaces) is easily done by the machine shop who removed material from the heads and block... as they know how many thousands they milled off and what compensations need to be made to an intake for a perfect fit. This is the starting point (in my opinion) to find out why the intake won't seal. I MUST assume that the intake you're using is "Correct" for your application (2 barrel heads), and they are in fact "Cleveland" heads. Hope this helped.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for the feed back. Milling the intake was a thought. I didn't rebuild the engine, but I was told when I bought the car the engine had been rebuilt. By the way they are 2v heads. Block numbers say it's a 1972-73 Cleveland. I did notice the choke isn't reacting to adjustment. Power up the choke and it didn't move. Took an ohm meter to the choke coil and got continuity. I did notice the ground wire is grounded at the carb housing. Not sure if this is the correct place, but ground wire has a hole that matches up with the screw that goes into the side of the carb. What a head ache.

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