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335 Series Tech Articles
351 Cleveland Oiling Topics, Threads and Tech oh, my!
Forum Tech Articles - Clevelands Forever!
"if you have a leaky water pipe in the house and can't get enough pressure to take a shower, it might be better to fix the pipe instead of using more pressure in the water pipe." -denny wydendorf

This page is for the re-posting of popular forum oil system threads, it can serve a a reference to minimize the repetition of posts on this same topic. The Links are located in a Chart below George Pence's extensive explanation of the 351C oiling system.

The Cleveland lubrication system is as intelligently designed as the rest of the motor. It relies upon the interaction of several parts that result in a efficiently working "system". Important aspects of that system are not obvious to the casual observer, and the 351C designers were always very hush-hush about their motor's features. The Cleveland is a precision & technically advanced motor that rewards careful assembly with tremendous power and durability. On the otherhand, casual or improper assembly is often rewarded with disaster. One false decision can result in undoing the engineering built into the motor. Getting the 351C lubrication system "right" requires the careful selection of parts, attention to detail and careful assembly.

The problems of the 351C lubrication system are grossly over-stated. They are normally the result of human made issues, not due to any inherent engineering issues. Aftermarket parts, wear and human error are the enemy of the Cleveland lubrication system. Up to 6200 rpm the stock system is just fine, the motor will run forever, the only change I would recommend is a better oil pan. Over 6200 RPM Jack roush recommends fitting a standard volume oil pump for 0.002" to 0.003" rotor clearance, using the high pressure oil pump relief spring and installing the cam bearing oil restrictor kit (which was designed by Jack Roush).

"IF" you are using the OEM nodular iron crank, "IF" you have the proper lifters, "IF" your lifter to bore clearances are not too big (nominal Ford spec for this clearance is 0.0017"), "IF" your rod & main bearing clearances are set properly (0.0025"), "IF" you are using fully grooved main bearings, "IF" you have applied Jack Roush's recommended modifications (fitting the oil pump rotors for 0.002" to 0.003" clearance, the high pressure oil pump relief spring and the cam bearing oil restrictor kit), "IF" you are using an oil pan properly designed for the chassis and intended use of the vehicle (consider the baffled Cobra Jet/Boss 351 pan a minimum recommendation), "IF" your oil drain back passages have been blue-printed, "IF" you are using push rods with 0.040" restrictors in them (restrictor push rods are not needed in every situation, it depends upon the lifter) then your lubrication system should work just fine in most applications at any rpm and at any power level. Sustained high speeds will require an oil cooler; high G-Forces may call for (1) external oil drain back lines between the heads and oil pan, or (2) an oil accumulator, or (3) a dry sump pan and pumping system.

Jack Roush spun his pro-stock motors to 9500 rpm using the oem crankshaft, the simple modifications he recommended and a deep sump oil pan. The early NASCAR racers who ran the oem crankshaft made one alteration to the lubrication system, they employed a dry sump oil pan & pumping system, the rest of the lubrication system remained stock, this was good for 500 bhp at 7200 rpm for 500 miles of racing.

Installation of an aftermarket crankshaft (stroker kit) negates a very important component of the oem lubrication system, i.e. the oil passages within the oem crankshaft. The best solution in this situation is to install bushings in the lifter bores and set the clearances tight (0.001" +/- 0.0003"). Lifter selection is also very important, it is possible to really screw up the lubrication system with the wrong lifters.

351C Basic Engine building Tips

Dan Jones

Oil return lines from Cyl Heads

Joe & Brokenboss

Doug Baker's 351C Oiling Problems
Doug Baker 6/97
Hank The Crank Oil KiteBay & Joe
Wydendorf Machine Lifter Bore Bushing Kits
Forum Discussion PDF
Wydendorf's Homepage
Denny Wydendorf
Joe's 13.5 GPM Thread Dec 2008
Joe's 351C Oil Pump Forum PollJoe
Oil Pump Preperations for 351C Forum
Danford's Cam bearing Oil ModsForum
ZDDP and Oil Master ThreadForum
Mike's Oil Pressure ConcernForum
Clevite Full Groove Main Bearings Joe
Valvoline ZDDP threadForum

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