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Thread: Local shops experienced w/ Ford (Windsor) engines

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    Default Local shops experienced w/ Ford (Windsor) engines

    Are there any good local shops that know Windsor engines like the back of their hand?

    I have a 408W (351W stroker) that I've often wondered if my rod bearings were set too loose (or potentially wearing early) ... but I know nothing when it comes to building engines so if I drop the pan I wouldn't have a clue what to do next.
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    I am not sure if they are Windsor experts but they do work on a lot of older hotrods and the new stuff. I have been using them for my charger and once the truck is off warranty they will be my goto for any work. Their contact info is below:

    Courtney Automotive & Exchange Service Ltd
    2420 10 Ave SW
    (403) 228-4265

    You can ask for Dave and just say Mike with the blue charger sent ya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.alex View Post
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    Are there any good local shops that know Windsor engines like the back of their hand?

    I have a 408W (351W stroker) that I've often wondered if my rod bearings were set too loose (or potentially wearing early) ... but I know nothing when it comes to building engines so if I drop the pan I wouldn't have a clue what to do next.
    Rod bearing clearance wouldn't be a detail specific to a 351 W. Any performance engine machine shop can check clearances for you but the engine would need to be disassembled. Precise, D&W, Brad's Automotive etc.

    Why do you suspect the rod bearings are loose or prematurely worn? If the rods are knocking currently, it's already FUBAR, crank will need to be machined/replaced, new bearings, maybe a new rod depending on the damage.
    I like neat cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90_Shelby View Post
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    Precise, D&W, Brad's Automotive etc.
    Precise shut down a short while ago. Cutterup claims to have bought all their equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90_Shelby View Post
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    Rod bearing clearance wouldn't be a detail specific to a 351 W. Any performance engine machine shop can check clearances for you but the engine would need to be disassembled. Precise, D&W, Brad's Automotive etc.

    Why do you suspect the rod bearings are loose or prematurely worn? If the rods are knocking currently, it's already FUBAR, crank will need to be machined/replaced, new bearings, maybe a new rod depending on the damage.
    No knocking, engine runs strong, engine oil pressure is okay (25 - 55psi depending on rpm and temp) but 3-4 psi lower than it used to be years ago.

    Could just be the engine is broken in now (15yrs old, 5000 miles), but I was told a while back Windsors like to eat bearings. Plus I've always had concerns about the engine since when it first arrived 2 rocker arms were 90* off the valve spring and my builder tried to convince me it was 'shipping damage due to changes in atmospheric conditions'. If it hadn't been for the later I wouldn't give it a thought.

    Was hoping to find somebody who could pull off the oil pan and know what they're looking at/for with it in the car (there's nothing underneath it, dropping the pan takes like 2 minutes)
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    To check crank bearing clearances properly you need to drop the crank and measure it with Plastigauge, instructions and a dial bore gauge, upside down or on an engine stand. I don't think I would try and drop a crank in my alley but people do it!

    If there is no knock or abnormal sounds you should be good
    Machining, Fabricating, Welding etc.

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    Plastigauge could work for the rod bearings to check clearance but I wouldn’t attempt this in the car for the mains. The proper way is to measure the crank (mains or rod throws) with a caliper, then install bearings in the main or rod bore, and torque to spec. Using a dial bore gauge you 0 it in the caliper then check clearance in the main or rod bore that was previously torqued with bearings installed. This would be how you check clearances when originally building the engine.

    I agree with the above, oil pressure seems reasonable and if it’s not knocking, run it.

    If you want piece of mind:

    a) take the car to Davenport since they wrench on cars but still do some engine work for clients and they could drop the pan and inspect the rod bearings for wear (visually). If the bearings are wearing abnormally you can generally see this when you a pull a rod cap off. I would not expect them to check bearing clearance in the car.

    B) send an oil sample to blackstone and see what they say for bearing material in the oil.

    C) as per another thread, change your oil more frequently then you’ll never have any engine problems because the engine will be happier. (Sarcasm)

    I didn’t know Precise went under. It’s been awhile since i’ve built an engine or been involved with any local machine shops so i’m A bit out of the game. But, once upon a time I worked as engine machinist/ engine builder / mechanic at one of the few successful performance shops that’s still in business.
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    Does Davenport still do that type of work ... I thought they'd more-over transitioned to just doing bolt-ons because of higher margin?

    Good call on Blackstone, couldn't hurt to do at next oil change.

    Everything is probably okay and going down this path likely will cause me more issues than anything else ... I'm surprised there's so few shop recommendations out there ... I guess everybody's gone the route of crate engines and slp on sc/turbos these days rather than building an engine.
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    Davenport still has their machine shop at their current location and they still build engines but they’re much more heavily weighted to blower installs and bolt ons since that’s the shift of the performance world these days. For your case, a visual inspection should be sufficient and one of the guys who is still at Davenport has been for well over 20 years and he ran the machine shop for most of that.

    I don’t think there are any other shops in town who can do both, full machine shop and mechanic shop. Maybe in Edmonton?
    Last edited by 90_Shelby; 07-21-2020 at 06:43 AM.
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    Tim @ Zero to 60 still around? He would be my first call (in 2015)

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    Tim is now working in Chestermere if I understand it correctly.

    On the positive side I don't think there's anything suspicious with my engine anymore. I had the brainstorm to hook up a manual gauge to it. At cold idle (1,000 - 1,500 RPM) oil pressure ranges from 54 to 60psi on my manual hand-held OTC gauge. On my electric autometer gauge it reads 48 to 53psi for the same conditions/RPM. I put in a new sender and same thing - about 6psi lower than the manual gauge. Since my new sender gave me the same reading as my 15yr old sender I guess it's the gauge's interpretation.

    So that makes me feel much better as if I add 5-6psi onto my readings I'm exactly where I would expect to be.

    On the negative side if something happens with my engine it seems my choices are significantly more limited than 15yrs ago :O
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    Finding a Ford or Chevy engine machine shop in Calgary isn't that difficult. Try finding a Japanese or Bavarian/European engine machine shop around here.

    Cutterup's website has grammar errors. How "precise" are they on engine builds/machining?
    https://cutterupauto.com/about.html
    Last edited by mr2mike; 07-30-2020 at 10:52 AM.

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