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Best Cam Heads for 351W Ford: Top-Rated in 2020!

By Kencoul

Hi everyone, we were asked to present the case of a 351W Ford Cylinder Head, so here goes.

  1. Edelbrock 5023 Cylinder Head - the best cam heads for 351W Ford
  2. Flotek 203505 Aluminum Cylinder Head for Small Block Ford
  3. Speedmaster PCE281.2049 Ford SB 289 302 351W 210cc 62cc Hydr-FT Complete Aluminum Cylinder Heads
  4. Edelbrock 5025 Cylinder Head
  5. COMP Cams 35016-01 Cylinder Head Assembly

Top-Rated Heads for 351W List:

We strive to always give you genuine, accurate information. To do this, all of mechanicguides.com reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience. This knowledge comes from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve "Whip" Whipple who has 11 years of experience in the auto industry. For more information, see here.

To start off, the Ford Windsor engines are the V8 type and were originally built back in 1961, and was discontinued in 1996 for trucks, being replaced by the F-Series engine, and in 2001 when the Explorer hit the SUV market.

However, Ford continues to manufacture and retain stock for all the vintage ford enthusiasts. Just take note, that this engine is usually confused with the 351CU which the Cleveland designated engine is and is totally different.

So, when you decide to buy a cam head, make sure you have the Windsor and not the Cleveland model, or you are just wasting your money and time.

The aftermarket is also rife with all kinds of Ford parts, and the 351W is one of those parts you can find all over the internet.

Best Cam heads for 351W Ford Reviews:

We have the Edelbrock E-Street cylinder heads that have been specifically made for small block Ford V8s. The best part about it is that it's really well priced for the quality that it offers, but don't think its affordability is the only good thing about it.

This 5023 cylinder head is rather advanced, featuring cast ports and a modern combustion changer which ensures an optimum amount of airflow. The range at which this head works the best is claimed to be from above idle to around 5,500rpm.

For the price, you get a complete pair of cylinder heads, a 60cc combustion chamber, and 170cc intake/60cc exhaust runner with a 1.9-inch intake and 1.6-inch exhaust valve. All in all, this is a great head for a small block V8 as it helps run the motor perfectly on unleaded gas, too. Users have reported improved fuel efficiency along with the obligatory increase in horsepower and performance.

  • Grade Type - Performance
  • Quantity - Set of 2
  • Guide Plate Material - Hardened Steel
  • Camshaft Type - Flat Tappet
  • Horsepower - 200-400 HP
  • Availability Note - Available to Order
  • Warranty - 12 Months
  • Seat Angle - Exhaust 45 deg/Intake 45 deg
  • CNC Ported - No
  • Combustion Chamber Volume - 60 cc
  • Deck Height - 8.2 in
  • Deck Thickness - 0.625 in
  • Exhaust Valve Diameter - 1.60 in
  • Guide Plates Included - Yes
  • Intake Runner Volume - 170 cc
  • Material - Aluminum
  • Push Rod Diameter - (Suggested) 0.3125 in
  • Rocker Stud Diameter - 0.375 in
  • Valve Angle - 12 deg
  • Valve Spring Diameter - 1.46 in
  • Valve Spring Maximum Lift 0.550 in
  • Valve Stem Diameter 0.341 in

The FLOTEK Performance cylinder headpiece is a basic unit that is adjustable to all the small block Fords and also the later EFI models. This head is designed for the idle-to-5500 rpm range.

Make sure you purchase all the compatible parts to complete the engine block and also check the 58cc combustion chamber and pistons for accurate ratio computation.

In this kit, you get the SBF Stud and Plate 1.94 Assembled, ID #00850134007075 P/N 203-505

This Small Block Ford Assembled unit weighs 24.4Lbs., and the dimensions are 22" x 7" x 8.5."

The spring cup is made of hardened steel, the intake and exhaust valve seats are cast aluminum alloy, and the valve guides are manganese bronze. The 3/8" Chrome Moly Rocker Stud and 7 o retainers and valve locks are made of chrome moly, and guide plate is made of hardened steel. The valve seals are Viton Positive.

These are the main specifications for this head:

The cast iron head on Ford's small block is known for durability, however, it's restricted in terms of horsepower and grunt. This lighter and performance-oriented aluminum head by Speedmaster does a good job of improving the airflow in certain V8 motors. If you're someone looking for a high horsepower build, say anywhere between 500 to 700bhp, then it makes sense to go for this high-performance aluminum cylinder head.

We recommend this for performance applications because of the heavy-duty build thanks to the reinforced casting process to create a more strengthened cylinder head. Speedmaster's design also features a small cross-section that improves airflow for bigger bangs in the combustion chamber to ultimately produce more horsepower.

Speedmaster's combustion chamber, intake ports, and the exhaust chamber are fully CNC-machined for a greater flow.

In terms of packaging, you get a damper spring, valve stem seals, and rocker arm studs. That said, you don't get rocker arms, rocker arm nuts, or a guide plate.

  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Head Finish: Natural
  • Combustion Chamber Volume (cc): 62 cc
  • CNC-Machined Combustion Chamber: No
  • Intake Runner Volume (cc): 210 cc
  • Exhaust Runner Volume (cc): n/a
  • CNC-Machined Intake Runner: No
  • CNC-Machined Exhaust Runner: No
  • Intake Port Shape: Rectangular
  • Intake Port Location: Standard
  • Exhaust Port Shape: Square
  • Exhaust Port Location: Standard
  • Spark Plug Style: Standard
  • Comp. Valve Job: No
  • Intake Valves Included: Yes
  • Intake Valve Diameter (in): 2.020 in.
  • Exhaust Valves Included: Yes
  • Exhaust Valve Diameter (in): 1.600 in.Ê
  • Valve Springs Included: Yes
  • Maximum Valve Lift (in): 0.550 in.
  • Outside Diameter of Outer Spring (in): 1.450 in.
  • Damper Spring Included: Yes
  • Number of Springs Per Valve: Dual
  • Retainers Included: Yes
  • Retainer Material: Chromoly steel
  • Locks Included: Yes
  • Lock Style: 10 degree

The Edelbrock E-Street Cylinder Heads are sold in pairs, and you can get either 1.90" or 2.02" intake valves. These heads are designed for small block Ford 351W street use. You don't need to add any porting; these are out-of-the-box bolt-on parts that provide idle to 5500 rpm performance.

This model includes one-piece intake and exhaust valves made of stainless steel, 2-ring positive oil controls seals; 3/8" rocker studs and 5/16" guide plates. The valve guides are made of magnesium bronze alloy, and the guide-plate is stainless steel.

When you install this unit, I suggest you use a .550″ max lift hydraulic flat tappet camshaft. I also recommend you use Champion RC12YC spark plugs or an equivalent model that has 14mm x 3/4″ reach with the flat gasket seat.

The E-Street™ 170cc Ford cylinder head comes with the following specifications:

  • Combustion chamber volume: 60cc
  • Intake runner volume: 170cc
  • Exhaust runner volume: 60cc
  • Intake valve diameter: 90″ / 2.02″
  • Exhaust valve diameter: 60″
  • Deck thickness: 5/8″
  • Valve spring diameter: 460″
  • Valve spring maximum lift: .550″
  • Rocker stud: 3/8″ with guide plate
  • Pushrod diameter: 5/16″
  • Exhaust port location: Stock
Installation Guide

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This Comp cam #35016-01 (GTIN Code: 036584191889) cam head is fabricated using clean cast technology which minimizes airflow restriction while improving airflow efficiency. The dual exhaust bolt pattern is good for both large tube headers, and stock manifold and this smaller valve provides installation without piston modification.

This is a fully assembled aluminum alloy cam kit for Flat Tappet Cams up to .560″ Lift, it provides 200cc intake runners and 64cc chambers with 2.020" internal and 1.6″ external valve diameters. The valve seats are a machined tungsten steel alloy and come with bronze valve guides.

The cam kit includes intake and exhaust valves, valve and damper springs, valve stem seals, all locks and steel retainers and a stainless-steel guide-plate. There are no rocker arms or nuts in the kit, but it does include the rocker arm studs. The kit also has no heat crossover nor any drilled steam holes. However, there are drilled accessory bolt holes.


The Air Flow Research Renegade Race Aluminum Cylinder Head #1456 is their 72cc stud mount model and is best used for racing applications. This A356 cast aluminum alloy cam head comes with 220cc intake runners and has CNC ported combustion chambers, exhaust and intake ports. The design is a 5-angle competition structure, and the kit includes:

  • AFR #7256: 8mm Bead Lock Intake Valve 2.100″ x 5.000″ O.A.L.
  • AFR #7248: 8mm Bead Lock Exhaust Valve 1.570″ x 5.030″ O.A.L.
  • AFR #8000: PAC Racing Spring 1.550″ OD Solid Roller Dual Valve Spring, 220 lbs on seat, .710″ maximum lift, Max RPM 7200-7400
  • AFR #8511: Manley 10° Steel Retainers 1.500″ O.D x 1.120″ I.D x .705″ I.D
  • AFR #9009: 10° Bead Lock Keepers with lashcap recess
  • AFR #6405: ARP 7/16″ Rocker Studs
  • AFR #6103: Adjustable 5/16″ Guide Plates
  • AFR #6612: Viton Valve Seals .600″ O.D x .495″ I.D
  • AFR #8048: Hardened Valve Spring I.D Locator 1.550″ O.D x .780″ I.D
  • AFR #9059: Ductile Iron Intake Valve Seats 2.131″ O.D x 1.680″ I.D x .375″ Deep
  • AFR #9069: Ductile Iron Exhaust Valve Seats 1.650″ O.D x 1.350″ I.D x .375″ Deep
  • AFR #9051: 8 mm Bronze Valve Guides .502″ O.D x 2.100″ O.A.L
Specifications: Instruction PDF

The AFR's 195cc "Street" heads is an A356 aluminum casting block with 100% CNC machined ported combustion chambers, exhaust, and intake ports. This is their model no. 1356 which is a straight 75cc design. The design is a 5-angle competition structure, and the kit includes:

  • AFR #7252: 8mm Bead Lock Intake Valve, 2.050″ x 4.900″ Overall Valve Length
  • AFR #7250: 8mm Bead Lock Exhaust Valve, 1.600″ x 4.950″ Overall Valve Length
  • AFR #8017: PAC Racing Spring 1.290″ OD Hydraulic Roller Dual Valve Spring, 140 lbs on seat, .600″ maximum lift, Max RPM 6300-6500(upgrades available)
  • AFR #8514: Manley 7° Chrome Moly Retainers 1.245″ O.D x .885″ I.D x .655″ I.D
  • AFR #9007: 7° Bead Lock Valve Keepers
  • AFR #6409: ARP 3/8″ Rocker Studs
  • AFR #6103: Adjustable 5/16″ Guide Plates
  • AFR #6612: Viton Valve Seals .600″ O.D x .495″ I.D
  • AFR #8042: Hardened Valve Spring O.D Locator 1.380″ O.D x .570″ I.D
  • AFR #9060: Ductile Iron Intake Valve Seats 2.200″ O.D x 1.750″ I.D x .375″ Deep
  • AFR #9070: Ductile Iron Exhaust Valve Seats 1.696″ O.D x 1.325″ I.D x .305″ Deep
  • AFR #9051: 8 mm Bronze Valve Guides .502″ O.D x 2.100″ O.A.L
Instruction PDF

Ford motors and Edelbrock aftermarket parts go hand in hand. The latter's Victor Jr. Small Block Ford cylinder head is a sure way to unlock the hidden horsepower of your small block. This particular head is compatible with OEM pistons and valves as well as race-spec motors. The Victor Jr. offers high flowing intake ports that are 210cc and .130 inch raised 75cc exhaust ports with either 60cc or 70cc combustion chamber.

The unique construction makes it ideal for both supercharged and turbocharged motors. The CNC-milled gasket port entry and exit feature valve bowls that are blended for increased flow of fuel into the cylinders.

Edelbrock's 77199 Victor Jr. cylinder head features a rocker arm with a nut thread size of 7/16-20. The entire thing is made of aluminum with a natural finished look. The kit includes valve springs, exhaust and intake valves, a guide plate and retainers. However, note that you do not get rocker arms, and a damper spring with this kit.

  • Grade Type - Performance
  • Guide Plate Material - Hardened Steel
  • Camshaft Type - Mechanical Roller
  • Horsepower - 400-600 HP
  • Warranty - 12 Months
  • Seat Angle - Exhaust 45 deg/Intake 45 deg
  • CNC Ported - No
  • Combustion Chamber Volume - 60 cc
  • Deck Height - 8.2 in
  • Deck Thickness - 0.625 in
  • Exhaust Valve Diameter - 1.60 in
  • Guide Plates Included - Yes
  • Intake Runner Volume - 210 cc
  • Material - Aluminum
  • Push Rod Diameter - (Suggested) 0.3125 in
  • Rocker Stud Diameter - 0.4375 in
  • Valve Angle - 20 deg
  • Valve Spring Diameter - 1.55 in
  • Valve Spring Maximum Lift - 0.670 in
  • Valve Stem Diameter - 0.3438 in

Installation is specific to each the part you buy; no two suppliers give you an identical kit, so make sure you install according to the specific kit you are buying.

How to replace a 351w cam-head video:

Now let's take a closer look at the 351 Windsor:

This is a 5.8L Windsor unit; it comes with a 1.3" (32.5mm) taller deck height than a 302 and this gives it a 2.5" (88.9mm) stroke. There are similarities between the 351W and the 289-302 units, they all share identical bell housing, motor mounts, and other small parts.

However, the 351W has its own tall deck block and a larger main bearing cap with thicker and longer connecting rods. Add to this the distinctive sound from its unique firing order which is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 (not the conventional 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8).

This unique firing order moved the noise of the front cylinders adjacent firing to the rigid rear of the engine block. This reduced the extreme main bearing load and added a dry 25Lbs (11Kgs) to the weight of the engine.

The 351W distributor is also unique and is designed for a larger oil pump shaft and pump. Most enthusiasts also tend to replace the head with aftermarket heads, such as those mentioned above. This replacement head delivers much better performance than the stock versions.

A quick look at some specific dates:

Between 1969 and 1970 the 251W heads had larger valves and ports which provided better performance. There were also different head castings and valve head sizes from 1969 to 1976, specifically in passages for air injection and spark plug diameters. The 1969-1974 models had 18 mm, while the 1975 and up models had 14 mm.

From 1977 upwards, the 351W shared the same head casting as the 302, the only differences between the two models were the bolt hole diameters. The 351W bolt holes were ½", while the 302 were 7/16", so you couldn't confuse the two when installing them.

When looking back at the 1969 to 1974 blocks, most mechanics agree that these years blocks were far superior in strength than the later blocks. In this case, the earlier engine blocks are considered to be the SBF engine families strongest and most desirable parts, and this includes the 335-series.

A four-barrel version was reintroduced during the 1980s, (intake manifold casting ID E6TE-9425-B) that was used for light trucks and vans. Fuel injection came to replace the four-barrel carburetor in 1988, and in 1994, roller camshaft/lifters were integrated into this engine.

How to Install the Cam Head

1: Install the head gaskets, just make sure you install the front to the front, do not reverse the gasket.

2: Install the block dowels before installing the heads.

3: Always make sure you zero your torque wrench after use, and never remove bolts with a torque wrench.

4: To torque the head bolts, start off with the 2 center bolts, torque to 50ft/lbs., torque outwards and when completed, do again to 60ft/lbs. The final torque should be between 65ft/lbs. to 72ft/lbs.

5: Apply engine oil to the lifter bores.

6: Give your lifter faces cam lube before installing them into the camshaft.

7: Lubricate the pushrods with engine assembly lube before installing them.

8: Lubricate the fulcrum with engine assembly lube, position the rocker in place. Make sure the rocker is centered squarely over the valve stem. This will install the Rocker Arms

9: Run the rocker arm nut down to the valve stem and then give it another ½ turn This will adjust the rocker arm into place.

10: Install the Gasket Ports with regular old gasket shellac and seal the intake gasket coolant passages with silicone sealer.

11: Now Seat the Gaskets.

12: Make sure you trim your coolant passes for the 351W dimensions.

14: Use a strong solvent to clean the intake rails.

13: To prevent oil leaks, use silicone gasket sealer instead of the intake manifold end gaskets, its proven to be better.

14: Sit the manifold carefully over the port and bolt holes for proper alignment.

15: Torque your manifold using 1/3 rd values, start off with 15ft/lbs., then increase to 20ft/lbs., and finish off with 22ft/lbs.

16: Now roll over the engine and clean the gasket mating surface to prepare for the oil pan.

17: Place the gasket between the block and the pump, place the oil pan and use Loctite on the bolts. Check to see that the crankshaft counterweight clears the pump.

18: Installing the oil pan gasket is straightforward, apply silicone sealer to both ends of the pan at the unions. First, install the rubber end gaskets, apply silicone sealer between the gasket and pan rails.

19: Set the pan and hand tighten the bolts.

20: Torque the bolts to 9ft/Lbs. and then wait a few minutes, check the torque again.

21: Apply sealer to the valve cover gaskets and then place the valve covers over the gasket and tighten them down firmly.

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