The Ford 335 Cleveland engine family used to be a killer OEM top performer. The Cleveland engine family, best known for its large intake and exhaust ports and large, tapered valves, also featured improved engine block technology, including power supplies that either came with four screws from the factory or easily retrofitted with four screws could become .
Because it was designed with the same 4.380 inch hole spacing as the Windsor series engines, there were aftermarket creations “Clevor” (Cleveland heads on a Windsor block) inspired by the Boss 302 engine and still seen occasionally today are. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, it was by and large not Cleveland’s friend as the Windsor engines won the small-block Ford popularity contest.
However, there are still people who not only value the Cleveland series for what it is, but also continue to promote it as their preferred performance platform. Rick Stanton from sunny Southern California is just one of those people. He put together a sturdy 438 cubic inch Cleveland engine for his Pro Stock 1971 Ford Pinto (which further tells you about Stanton’s affinity for the underrated Blue Oval products).
It’s not a Windsor block
Designed from the start as a naturally aspirated power pack for the quarter mile (it was eventually built into a retired Pro Stock chassis), no compromises were made in the design and execution of the engine. One thing Stanton saw as a compromise was deviating from the Cleveland architecture at the lower end.
“This is Cleveland oil priority architecture, not Windsor style,” Stanton said at the beginning, emphatically. Starting with an aluminum engine block from one of the largest sections of the Cleveland aftermarket – Titus Performance – Stanton had Russ Fulp Racing do all of the machine work to get it ready for assembly.
With a target displacement of 436 cubic inches, the block was drilled to 4.185 inches. If you do the math, you’ll find that it takes 3.96 inches of travel to get this displacement. You might also find that nearly four inches of stroke is mighty big for a small block. Stanton solved this problem by having Fulp-Offset grind the rod journals of a 3.5 “hub and a forged 4340 steel crank to a 1.85” journal diameter.
This smaller rod journal not only reduces the additional nearly half an inch of stroke, it also reduces bearing speed as this motor is running at a significant speed. To complement the custom crankshaft, Stanton opted for 6.00 “Carillo steel bars with the corresponding 1.850” studs. A set of custom forged 4032 aluminum slugs from JE Pistons with a sturdy dome for a compression ratio of 15.0: 1 and a ring package of 1.2 mm / 1.2 mm / 3.0 mm hang from these rods.
Coated Clevite rods and main bearings are used in the rotating assembly, and a Roush-Yates Racing five-stage dry sump pump provides four purge levels and one pressure level. A Roush stainless steel sump with three flushers complements the pump, and a Cloyes double-roller timing kit keeps everything updated.
Cleveland’s crown jewel
Above is a set of Ford Motorsports C302 cylinder heads that have been redesigned by Roush-Yates Racing. The inlet ports flow 382 cfm with a stroke of 0.750 inches. The combustion chambers are filled with a 7 mm titanium inlet valve 2.150 inches and a 7 mm titanium outlet valve 1.60 inches. These valves are controlled by a set of PAC Racing valve springs.
A custom Crower full roller camshaft with an inlet duration of 268 degrees, an exhaust duration of 272 degrees – both at 0.050 inches – and a gross lift of 0.788 inches sits in roller cam bearings. A series of Crane Ultra-Lite lifters can be seen on these cams, topped by a series of Roush-Yates 7/16 inch pushrods. These push rods operate a set of 2.1: 1 ratio wave rockers from Jesel Y2K.
A pair of 0.042-inch copper head gaskets and O-rings machined into the deck of the block hold everything tight under the heavy cylinder pressure. The combination is rounded off by a pair of 1050 cfm Holley dominators, which sit on a Weiand tunnel trestle with shear plates and were ported by Stanton himself.
Stanton also built the stainless steel headers himself, which says something about a naturally aspirated engine of this caliber. A 400 gallons per hour electric fuel pump for product development feeds the combo with a constant diet of 110 octane racing gas, while an MSD manifold, crank trigger, and Moroso wires ensure the fuel is ignited at the right time.
The result of all the time and effort is an engine that can deliver 2.00 horsepower per cubic inch (2.0056 if we’re specific) with a peak output of 874 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 621 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm, which propels its Pinto to a quarter mile of 8.30 seconds. And for those times when a race might require him to ride a single demon carbohydrate 4160 style, he has a vote for it; with 816 hp at 7,800 rpm.
While the Windsor won the popularity pageant in the Blue Oval Pushrod small-block arena, the Cleveland is still an extremely capable family of engines, and there are still plenty of people who prefer the less traveled road.
TO UPDATE! For those of you who are bothered by the music in the Titus performance dyno video, Rick Stanton sent us one of his personal videos in which the engine on the dyno is ramped up to 8,400 rpm with no music (other than the cute one Song of Cleveland at high speed). Enjoy!