- Written by webmin
It was big news back in 1969 when Ford Motor Company unveiled a new V-8 for 1970. Although it featured the same displacement as another new V-8 introduced just one year prior, the 351 Cleveland was an all-new design, and its “big small-block” features, like canted valves and large-port heads, made it appealing to performance fans. Despite its apparent potential, the Cleveland peaked quickly with the impressive Boss 351 of 1971, and, sadly, it would last but one year as other forces simultaneously conspired to quell factory performance. Reduced compression did not combine favorably with the Cleveland’s large intake ports and modest displacement; the engine would not continue in the American market beyond 1973.
McKeown Motorsport Engineering (MME) has been building high-performance Ford engines for nearly 30 years, keeping abreast of advancements in engine technology and using that knowledge to develop enhanced engine packages for the V-8s that formed the foundation of the muscle era back in the ’60s and ’70s.
One of MME’s more recent developments is a program the company has branded the “21st century Cleveland 2K Crate Engine,” a hallmark of which will be to yield streetable engines that make power over a broader RPM range than this engine family has traditionally been known for.
Although the specifics of these engines will vary somewhat based on customer desires, the basics are fairly consistent. First, while some will be built using reconditioned Ford engine block cores, MME is able to offer brand-new Cleveland-type blocks for complete builds. Most will displace 408 cubic inches using a proprietary 4340 forged-steel crankshaft that is internally balanced without using excessive amounts of heavy metal; 427-inch versions are also available. The majority of these engines will also use aluminum heads and 10.75-11.0:1 compression, with customers able to choose among CHI, Trick Flow or Edelbrock castings.
These combinations, using MME’s own camshaft selections, are said to be good for well over 600hp (625-630hp for the 408; 640-650hp for 427) while remaining genuinely streetable on pump gas. In addition to being internally balanced, the crankshafts are contoured to reduce turbulence in the crankcase, and the lubrication systems are reconfigured to provide priority-main oiling. Electronic fuel injection is optional, using the F.A.S.T. XFI controller and an MME-modified intake (several castings are used, again depending on the application). MME even offers camshafts with larger bearing journals as an option, and can alter the firing order for smoother performance, if so desired.
And just so customers know exactly what they’ve received, each engine will include a build sheet detailing every engine dimension, including calculated oil clearances. For more details on MME’s 2K Cleveland program, go to www.mmeracing.com.