Hi i have a 1979 with a 351m in it can you please tell me what that means? Is it a 351c with 400 heads?


Asked by Mar 19, 2014 at 08:06 PM about the 1979 Ford Ranchero

Question type: General

It runs like a clock.  It has 101000 mi. What issues are norm with this motor? What can i
do to it? To wake it up?

9 Answers


Are you sure it's a 351m? As I recall there was a C for Cleveland and a W for Windsor. Any way, in those days the pollution control systems were the power robbers. Look into a cam, a high rise manifold, an aftermarket carb and ignition distributor. Oh and maybe plain the heads to get better compression. Lots of options but none of them cheap.

Best Answer

No. A 351m is a 351m. Taller deck height, lower compression, milder cam. A 351c runs circles around it! The 351m and the 400m (m=modified) were Ford's early attempts at reducing smog. At this mileage, you should expect the nylon timing gear to wear out soon. Just replace it with a metal gear and chain set. Don't get mad at me but there isn't a lot you can do to liven up this motor - it wasn't designed for that. You can spend the money but you won't get the results. A good Hot Rod suggestion is to build an aggressive 302 (much easier to get parts and go crazy with). Dad had a "73 with the 351C and a "79 with the 400M. Bought both of them new. The "73 kicked serious butt - for modified station wagons.

Best Answer

BTW - the Cleveland Motor went away after 1973

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Thanks Tracy, I'm old as dirt and forgot that.


I BEG TO DIFFER. The 351-M is basically a "modified" 351-C but with a taller deck. The heads interchange as does the timing chain and camshaft and all the front pulleys and brackets and exhaust manifolds as well. .I've got a 79 Ford F-250 4x4 that I special-ordered new in March of 1979 and still have it today with only 39K original miles. It was built on May 26th and I took delivery on June 3rd. I plowed snow with the truck for the first 3 years and had more than enough power to push 2 feet of Chicago snow during that heavy winter. I hot-rodded it after that adding a .566 high lift cam, polished and ported cyl. heads, Edelbrock dual plane intake with Holley 3310 750cfm carb on a 2 inch spacer. I also added MSD ignition, Hedman fenderwell headers, dual polished stainless steel. Sonic Turbo mufflers and Chrome Zoomie exhaust collectors. Transmission is a grannie gear Borg-Warner T-18 4 speed. The final drive ratio is 4:10 on both front and rear Dana 60 H.D. axles. That '79 351-M can smoke all 4 tires in 4wd, and yes I've done it many a times. So yes, It has power to spare with a little help from a balance & blue-printing. The rear main seals were known to go but that was right around 25-30K miles so I'm sure yours has been replaced already. Other than that they were and still are good engines and there are many still on the road in T-Birds, Rancheros and Pickup trucks from the late '70's and early '80's. Most of those motors can go 150-200K miles if well maintained. I had a 77 Ranchero with a 351-M and had over 220K miles on it and never been apart. I change oil every 3K miles and run 4 quarts of oil with one quart of transmission fluid for a total of 5 quarts but all in the engine. That one qt. of trans fluid acts as a detergent and keeps the internals of the engine super clean like a brand new engine even with over 200K miles on it. Good Luck with your 79. Kenny/MrBlueOval


Sweet! Put me on the list of guys who want to "take it off your hands" should you ever want to part with it. :-)


I do have it for sale. It's a 1st place show winner every time with 4 best of show awards under it's belt. Check my listings on my profile to see pics and price. But here's a quick pic. Kenny/ MrBlueOval


I'll check with the shipping company I used to import my belonging here to the Philippines to see what I'm looking at for import duty and shipping costs.


I just updated the For Sale listing of my Show Truck. If you want to see it just click on my I.D. to the left. Thanks, Kenny/MrBlueOval

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