Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

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Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 12:15 pm

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Hello everyone! I’m hoping that tagging everyone go all of your attention. I’d like to start this post out by extending an apology to everyone for the way I came at you. It was neither fair nor right of me to post some of the things I did, and this thread got way out of control, for that I apologize.

I did not join this forum to come here and argue with anyone. Personally, the reason I join ANY forum is to learn. I want to be perfectly clear, and feel free to quote this… I don’t know everything. I have no delusions that I know everything, and truthfully, there’s nothing more aggravating than talking to someone who claims to know everything. We’ve all met those people. You tell them about a car you had in high school and they had the same exact car… but it was faster because it had “xxxx”. We’ve met the guys who had their mustang with a ¾ cam (where’s the other ¼ of the cam?), or the RV cam, or the Stage 3 cam. How many times have we heard the “…he’d put $100 bill on the dash…” stories. Nothing loses my attention or interest faster than these things. I’m guessing the same goes for all of you. I’ve never done this, and I’m guessing none of you have either, but could you imagine calling COMP and ordering a ¾ cam for your 385 series? I imagine you might get laughed at.

A little background on me. I’ve always been into hot rods and fast cars, always, but there was a point when I didn’t know a carburetor from a muffleometer. I joined the Army at 18, at which point the fastest car I had ever owned was a 1993 Chevy Cavalier. Throughout basic training and AIT I managed to save up some money. After AIT I had some time off and I decided to take the money I had saved up and buy a hot rod… God did I want a hot rod in the worst way. I went searching around and I found a really clean 1973 Roadrunner with a 360. The body was clean, the interior was pretty nice, and it sounded good. That was “the one”. $10k was the asking price, and that just happened to be my budget. I went home to get my dad so he could come look at the car, which he did. He told me it was a nice car, but if I wanted a real hot rod, “…go talk to Leo. He’s got a Chevelle that he’s selling”. Leo Beaudin of Auburn, ME was my father’s best friend. He owned (maybe still owns) Leo’s custom upholstery, and he did some of the nicest hot rod interiors I’d ever seen. I went over to his shop, told him what I was looking for, and he told me the Chevelle was over that the paint shop up the road. Oh, did I mention I had NO CLUE what a Chevelle was. Anyway, I went over to the paint shop and saw this beautiful, immaculate 1970 Chevelle sitting there in the parking lot… I was in love. I got out of my car and walked up to the Chevelle with excitement, only to have my bubble burst when I looked inside. It had absolutely ZERO interior, not even a dash, and when I popped the hood there was no engine or trans, brake lines, wires… nothing. Back to Leo’s shop. Leo asked me what I thought of the car, and I told him I loved it, but I had to leave to drive from Maine to FL the next day, so I just didn’t see it happening. Leo told me that if I wanted the car it’d be ready. This was about 1 in the afternoon.

The next morning I got a call from Leo around 8 telling me to come pick up my car. When I got to his shop I couldn’t believe it. He must’ve called in favors from half the city, because overnight they dropped in a 454 with a Muncie 22, Leo sewed a complete interior and had it installed, they had finished all the wiring on it, everything. I had a 1970 Chevelle 454 with a 4 speed, SS clone, at the age of 18. This was in 1997, so you do the math and you know how old I am. What I know now from owning that car is that I did not deserve that car. If I wasn’t so stupid and had hung on to it, I can’t imagine how much that thing would be worth today.

Well, now I had a car, and it was time to drive to FL, so off I went. That trip was fairly uneventful save for some starter heat soak issues along the way. Thankfully, it wasn’t too difficult to get any number of guys to help give me a push start at every gas station I stopped at. I made it to FL, fixed the starter issue in my mom’s driveway, and put the car in a container so it could be shipped to Hawaii, my first duty station.

Funny thing, when you take a car with a carburetor tuned in Maine, drive it to FL, ship it to Hawaii, then proceed to flog on it like a red-headed stepchild, the carburetor doesn’t like that. What the hell did I know? Next thing you know the car is billowing smoke out the back, barely running, and I’m a broke ass Private in the Army with no clue what to do. From my years of experience watching Shade-tree mechanic I just knew I had blown a head gasket. I did not know that I should’ve checked the oil or coolant to check for mixing. Luckily for me, there was a guy in my unit, Matt, who wasn’t a complete moron and offered up his help to me. He came over to the barracks, had me start the car, did some things with screws and other magic, and it cleared up a bit. He looked at me and said “follow me to my house, don’t let it idle”. Any guesses? That’s right, I blew a power valve right the F out. Thinking back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a power valve blown out as bad as that one he took out. At that point in my life, I was a master mechanic, just ask me. No matter what was wrong with your car, it was a blown power valve.

Over the next few years Matt kind of took me under his wing and began to show me just how stupid I was. I built my first engine with him, a 355 Chevy, and he taught me about measuring bearing clearances with plastigauge. WOW! That shit was cool. Put this little piece of plastic on the journal, bolt it down and squish it, take the cap off, and compare the width of your plastic to the finely tuned ruler provided with it. That stuff was amazing. Slap the rings on the pistons, smack ‘em down in the bore, jam the cam in the engine and line up the dots on the timing set, bolt the heads on, grab a set of pushrods from an old 350 from a junk car in the on-post scrap yard… this is how it was done! I was learning so much. I was unstoppable. After that one we built a 340 to swap into a ’73 Duster, same methods, better parts. That Duster ran like a bat out of hell and the first time we took it to the drag strip we got black flagged for running too fast.

One day Matt got sent out on deployment and I was left to my own devices. Always wanting to learn more, but now not having this mechanical “guru” to teach me, I decided to purchase a book. I think the first book I purchased was by John Lingenfelter on SBC engines. I’d heard of Lingenfelter, seen his engines in magazines, I “knew” he was a God when it came to engines. Can you imagine my confusion when the book when into camshaft profiles, spring rates, measuring bearing clearances with DIAL BORE GAUGES, measuring deck clearance (what the hell was that?), crankshaft end play, etc. That book was what spawned the single most important revelation in my engine building career… Matt could put an engine together, but he was doing it wrong, and I didn’t know jack shit! When Matt came back from deployment I was working on another 355, but I had purchased some micrometers, a dial bore gauge, a depth gauge…. A FREAKING TORQUE WRENCH!!! I’m not saying that I knew more than Matt at that point, because he still had a lot of general automotive knowledge that I lacked, but I was becoming more meticulous with my engine building.

I know you guys have all heard me refer to myself as a bookworm, and since that first book I read, I can’t even count how many other have followed. I’ve read so many “SA Designs” tech book that I can’t even begin to recall them all. I’ve read books on engine theory, I went to college and took Physics and Trig just so I could get a better understanding of how things were working inside of an engine. In hindsight I probably should’ve gone to a technical college because it would’ve been a LOT cheaper, but I’m not sure if I would’ve gotten the education in Physics and Trig that I got where I went, so that’s neither here nor there. My point here is that I like to read, I love to learn, and I’ll seek out any way to further my knowledge and understanding of how things work in any way I can find.

After I got out of the Army I went to work for a company my father had recently purchased. I don’t want to sell the misconception that this was some big company… it wasn’t, but it was a company nonetheless, marketing to a niche demographic. There were two engine assemblers, myself and another guy named Travis, and then there was the engine master (keep reading, I’ll get to that). The company built all aluminum turbocharged, fuel injected V8 engines for experimental aircraft. The engines were based on the SBC design, but the only SBC part used was the LT1 intake, used for its low profile, which was needed for packaging purposes. Hood scoops surpass the law of diminishing returns and defeat aerodynamics in airplanes.

This next part I want to be perfectly clear on. I WAS NOT the brainchild behind the design of these engines that I was building. The man who chose the parts, worked with Dart to design a cylinder head to work how he wanted it to, and figured out all of the other genius behind the package is probably the most knowledgeable engine builder I’ve ever met. He doesn’t do very much publicly, so out of respect for his privacy I’m not going to throw his name everywhere, but for any of you older Ford drag racers, you would know him as Batman. Anything I say is strictly MY views and opinions, not his, and if you know who I’m talking about I ask that you please respect his privacy. This man taught me how to build an engine the correct way, from the delivery and preparation of the engine parts, preparation, machine work, measuring, setting tolerances, etc. With what he has taught me, if I’m given the correct parts, I have every bit of confidence that I can build any engine and make it last. He taught me a combination of variables, that when kept within a certain envelope, will allow you to build an engine and run it at a desired power level for any period of time with the reliability of a Swiss watch. He also taught me how to build engines that make power above those power levels, pushing certain envelopes, and what you can do to mediate the risks by your choice in parts… but the risk is still there. After having worked with this man, and having built the engines I was able to build with him, my previous statement of “I didn’t know jack shit!” has changed to, “I know enough to know when I’m entering foreign territory, and it’s time to ask questions.”

The absolute best part about working with this man was that when I had a question about one of the engine packages, which was kind of on a daily basis, “why are we using a T3/T4 hybrid?”, “why are we using Inconel valves here?”, “why are these valves getting lash caps?”, it was ON! He had a white board and he’d pull it out with some dry-erase markers and school was in session. Travis and I would take a seat and Batman would proceed to educate us. He shared knowledge that, IMO, not many people have, or at least not many people are willing to take the time to share. To this day my biggest regret is that I didn’t take better notes, but here I am 16 years later, I still have the notes I took, and I still email with him about stupid ideas I get. I can gauge the stupidity of my thoughts on the length of his responses. Obviously, really dumb questions get really short replies. Well thought out questions tend to get better information.

If you’re still reading, I’m almost done. Please take notice that when I describe this man who taught me how to properly blueprint and assemble an engine I referred to him as “the most knowledgeable engine builder I’ve ever met”. I did not say that he’s the most knowledgeable engine guy in the world. Maybe he is. We’ll never know, at least not unless we meet every engine guru in the world, and that’s highly doubtful that will ever happen to any of us. My point is I’ve had some great guidance from many people. This man in particular I hold in very high regard, and he has told me on many occasions, “keep learning because knowledge is power”. He did not say “keep asking me questions”, essentially he just said “keep asking questions”.

rmcomprandy, I believe you are one of the people who took offense to me saying that nobody got to where they are completely on their own, and when I rebuffed that statement it just pissed you off more. I apologize for that, because in hindsight, this man who taught me the majority of everything GOOD that I know DID get their on his own. He studied, tested, and pushed the envelope. He had questions that nobody had ever asked before, so he had to find out the answers on his own. So I’d like to rescind that statement. How about if I were to say not many of us got to where we are completely on our own? I don’t know you rmcomprandy, and you don’t know me. It’s not fair of me to make assumptions of your knowledge base or when, where, or how it was obtained.

Lem Evans, my apologies in regard to the comments I made about you. Again, I don’t know you, you don’t know me. I was being a dick to be a dick.

I’d like to move on in this forum, continue to post, and leave all the BS behind. Any chance we can bury the hatchet and do that? I’m only here to learn, and I promise, ask the occasional stupid question. I get bad ideas in my head from time to time that I know I shouldn’t even voice, but I do regardless, knowing I’m going to catch a ration of shit or ridicule for it, but when I post those, I’m ready for whatever ribbing I get. I’d like to think this is a friendly place where everyone has a similar interest. Any takers?

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 24th 2017, 2:32 pm

Up Your Ass Nick!!!! That's an inside joke that you may or may not learn about in the future.

Apology accepted and welcome to the forum.

I would suggest that you mark you Calendar for the first weekend in June so you can meet all of us in person at the Annual Ford race at US60 Dragway in Hardinsburg Kentucky. It's the best time of the year for MANY of us.

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 2:45 pm

D. Sea wrote:Up Your Ass Nick!!!!
    That's a little forward. Do I get a kiss first? Very Happy  

D. Sea wrote:Apology accepted and welcome to the forum.  

I would suggest that you mark you Calendar for the first weekend in June so you can meet all of us in person at the Annual Ford race at US60 Dragway in Hardinsburg Kentucky.  It's the best time of the year for MANY of us.


I looked it up. That's about a 13 hour drive, which is no big deal for me, but convincing mama to come along with an almost 3 year old at that time will be difficult, and I'm pretty sure it'd just be like going to a tiddy bar for me. Lots of looking but I can't play. I might have to hold off until the next year unless some miracles come together before then. I don't wanna go to a drag strip unless I can run SOMETHING.

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  5pointslow on October 24th 2017, 2:51 pm


a lot of my family is from maine as well , my mother is from newport maine not far from bangor and have family up there still


i give you credit for the post seems you have been around and been through some things


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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  jbozzelle on October 24th 2017, 2:55 pm

Who cares if you have a car. I've gone for about the last 10 or so years and just bring my fat ass...

It's one of the best BBF bench racing sessions you'll ever go to. It's good to put names with faces.

And remember, a good bit of guys on this forum make their 9-5 money building BBF engines and engines of other varieties. others simply do it on the side for extra cash. They're not going to jut give away their secrets...

But if you stick around and become part of the forum the knowledge you simply absorb is priceless...

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 24th 2017, 2:59 pm

jbozzelle wrote:Who cares if you have a car.  I've gone for about the last 10 or so years and just bring my fat ass...

It's one of the best BBF bench racing sessions you'll ever go to.  It's good to put names with faces.

And remember, a good bit of guys on this forum make their 9-5 money building BBF engines and engines of other varieties.  others simply do it on the side for extra cash.  They're not going to jut give away their secrets...  

But if you stick around and become part of the forum the knowledge you simply absorb is priceless...

PLUS there is racing ALL weekend
AND
Lots of REALLY GOOD FOOD! Like that jambedupabalaya stuff that is freakin' AWESOME!!!!!
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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  jbozzelle on October 24th 2017, 3:01 pm

D. Sea wrote:

PLUS there is racing ALL weekend  
AND
Lots of REALLY GOOD FOOD!  Like that jambedupabalaya stuff that is freakin' AWESOME!!!!!

And there will be TWICE as much next year. My brother will come also and he can throw some food down as well...

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 3:04 pm

Don't ask me or my wife to bring any good Cajun cuisine, we're no good at that. We live in LA but we're from GA. We can throw down a low country boil though.

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 24th 2017, 3:30 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:Don't ask me or my wife to bring any good Cajun cuisine, we're no good at that. We live in LA but we're from GA. We can throw down a low country boil though.

Outstanding! So glad you can make it... That was a Yes, correct? Razz

All joking aside it really is the very best event for BBF guys. Lots of racing, lots of technical information, lots of BS and LOTS of sensitivity training What a Face

On a side note: my son is on the Archery team and if he does as well or better than last year then we may be going to the World Archery finals that same weekend Sad

He's a natural....
His team mate won the national and world championship last year for middle school and he was 2nd or was it 3rd overall... Kid is trully amazing! Won't know for sure until game time...
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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 3:44 pm

D. Sea wrote:
nickpohlaandp wrote:Don't ask me or my wife to bring any good Cajun cuisine, we're no good at that. We live in LA but we're from GA. We can throw down a low country boil though.

Outstanding!  So glad you can make it... That was a Yes, correct?...

So what's this shindig like? Bring a camper kinda thing?

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 24th 2017, 4:01 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
D. Sea wrote:
nickpohlaandp wrote:Don't ask me or my wife to bring any good Cajun cuisine, we're no good at that. We live in LA but we're from GA. We can throw down a low country boil though.

Outstanding!  So glad you can make it... That was a Yes, correct?...

So what's this shindig like? Bring a camper kinda thing?

Sure can, many do. We stay in the trailer. Some stay in the local hotel or in Owensboro and some stay at the track. Good times....

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 24th 2017, 4:03 pm

Do a youtube search for Ford Race US60

https://youtu.be/yOAoLymGqEI

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 4:23 pm

D. Sea wrote:Do a youtube search for Ford Race US60

https://youtu.be/yOAoLymGqEI


It's an 1/8 mile race?

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  rmcomprandy on October 24th 2017, 7:04 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
D. Sea wrote:Do a youtube search for Ford Race US60

https://youtu.be/yOAoLymGqEI


It's an 1/8 mile race?

It is not "A" race, (it is an 1/8 mile track though), as it is an entire weekend of at least 4 separate races one can be part of and even some more if he wishes to enter some gamblers races with other people there. Along with a whole day of test & tune to make as many passes as you wish or need to make.  
You could wear out a car and only have to make one tow trip there, to do it.
There is a "sticky" at the top of this page for last June's event. Again, do a search in this forum 'cause there are literally pages of what actually does happen there.

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  cool40 on October 24th 2017, 7:59 pm

I enjoy seeing everyone more than anything. If bracket racing is your thing they have a hell of a Friday night deal.
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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  maverick on October 24th 2017, 8:10 pm

Jeezuss!...You had to take a typing class in high school, didn't you? Razz

Just put next year's race on your calendar, Nick.  At the very worst, you'll have a bunch of laughs with a bunch of BBF freaks, clowns, experts...and some pretty damned sharp racers...not to mention some really good cooks. Cool   You'll put faces with names, and with a little conversation, you'll BEGIN to find out how much some of these guys know about engine building, racing of all kinds, where (and how) to get the RIGHT stuff for your build...and on and on and on.....

And if it turns out that you don't have a car to flog....I suspect that a friend and I will be bringing 2 racecars, and I'm supposed to drive them both.  After a little "get to know the car" session, we could probably be talked into strapping you into one of them for a couple TNT laps.

2 races ago, Damon (D Sea) and I had our own private "Destroy your powerglide" competition...which I'm proud to say I won.  If you want to enter that deal I'll respectfully ask that you borrow another car.


Last edited by maverick on October 24th 2017, 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 8:14 pm

rmcomprandy wrote:
nickpohlaandp wrote:
D. Sea wrote:Do a youtube search for Ford Race US60

https://youtu.be/yOAoLymGqEI


It's an 1/8 mile race?

It is not "A" race, (it is an 1/8 mile track though), as it is an entire weekend of at least 4 separate races one can be part of and even some more if he wishes to enter some gamblers races with other people there. Along with a whole day of test & tune to make as many passes as you wish or need to make.  
You could wear out a car and only have to make one tow trip there, to do it.
There is a "sticky" at the top of this page for last June's event. Again, do a search in this forum 'cause there are literally pages of what actually does happen there.

This sounds like one hell of an event. I’m going to have to look into it.

Totally off topic, I know it’s not a 385, but does anyone have any thoughts on a 351C? I was offered one today for very cheap, but as usual, I know nothing about that engine. Never been apart, not blown up... $200. Yes, no, indifferent?

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  jbozzelle on October 24th 2017, 8:24 pm

D. Sea wrote:............  Lots of racing, lots of technical information, lots of BS and LOTS of sensitivity training What a Face


Randy's Sensitivity Training 101 is mandatory for all new guys...

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 8:51 pm

jbozzelle wrote:
D. Sea wrote:............  Lots of racing, lots of technical information, lots of BS and LOTS of sensitivity training What a Face


Randy's Sensitivity Training 101 is mandatory for all new guys...

Fuck

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 24th 2017, 8:55 pm

maverick wrote:Jeezuss!...You had to take a typing class in high school, didn't you...

LOL, no, but I type a lot of stuff for work. My job involves a lot of technical jargon with the FAA so I’ve gotten pretty good at typing over the years. Funny thing, I failed typing in high school. It wasn’t until I joined the Army and spent a lot of time talking to friends on those live AOL chats they used to have, that’s where I really learned to type.

Edit: I guess the correct answer to your question would’ve been yes, but I failed it, durr!

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  Mark Miller on October 24th 2017, 10:53 pm

D. Sea wrote:
nickpohlaandp wrote:
D. Sea wrote:
nickpohlaandp wrote:Don't ask me or my wife to bring any good Cajun cuisine, we're no good at that. We live in LA but we're from GA. We can throw down a low country boil though.

Outstanding!  So glad you can make it... That was a Yes, correct?...

So what's this shindig like? Bring a camper kinda thing?

Sure can, many do.   We stay in the trailer.  Some stay in the local hotel or in Owensboro and some stay at the track.  Good times....


I remember sleeping in the Damon Sea trailer at the NMRA Race in Columbus,Ohio years back,although i think Damon and Chuck slept in the RV!!!!Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  BBFTorino on October 25th 2017, 1:06 am

Nick, although I never had any ill feelings towards you, some of the guys can be a bit edgy when a newcomer hits the scene.
Nevertheless, your apology is accepted......and I hope EVERYONE on here can accept it too, and just move forward as a like minded group!!
Also, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!

I like your story, its honest and shows that just like everyone else, you had to learn from others too....and experimenting with things and using the old "hands on" approach is always cool!!

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  D. Sea on October 25th 2017, 8:18 am

You are correct Mr. Smiley... You definitely won the Destroy your powerglide competition. Hopefully with the billet planetary and 1.80 gear set I installed in mine, it won't ever break again... Hopefully Embarassed

Nick,

I don't know much about the 351 Cleveland but for $200 it would be a good buy imo. Get some numbers off the heads and the block first. Several times I've been told that someone has a BBF for sale only to go look at it and it's a 351M or 400M.

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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  HorsinAround on October 25th 2017, 8:54 am

D. Sea wrote:You are correct Mr. Smiley...  You definitely won the Destroy your powerglide competition.  Hopefully with the billet planetary and 1.80 gear set I installed in mine, it won't ever break again...  Hopefully Embarassed

Nick,

I don't know much about the 351 Cleveland but for $200 it would be a good buy imo.   Get some numbers off the heads and the block first.  Several times I've been told that someone has a BBF for sale only to go look at it and it's a 351M or 400M.  


X2. I got bit on this one. Took a guys word that it had a 460 in a truck. Got it home, raised the hood and found a 351M. Was more pizzed at myself for not checking before agreeing to buy the truck.
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Re: Nick's BBF Abomination Thread!

Post  Doug Rahn on October 25th 2017, 9:21 am

Nick, you're in the right place to even glean information on other engines. The wealth of knowledge these guys possess is incredible and I don't say that because they are my friends. We have guys on here who are not only engine builders, there are guys who are Pros on transmissions, chassis and suspension, and fabrication.There are several here who have entered in the Engine Masters Challenge, with one I think at last count is an 8X Champion. Even the history that some know about the engines and parts is mind boggling to me.
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