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Old 07-11-2002, 06:22 PM
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Post Ford Race Engine

A buddy of mine has got himself into an early bronco race truck. After the season ends, we're looking at building him a new motor. Doing research on Ford motors is starting to confuse me (always worked with GM motors in the past), so I'm looking to the boards here for help.

Here are our rules. Cast block, cast heads. Must be a 302 block (although he's running a 351W now and getting away with it). Must be wet sump. No limits on cams, carb (other than a single 4bbl max), bore, stroke, etc.

Here are the questions:

1. How much HP can you really build into a stock Ford Block? I'm hearing from many of these racing engine builders that if you plan on going over 400-450 HP, you really should run a Ford Racing Block. The cylinder walls on the stock blocks are too thin and just won't take it. (Remember here, this is a racing motor that needs to hold together for us under high stress, no tooling around taking it easy on the street for this puppy).

2. I'm interested in the Ford Racing Heads part no. M-6049-N351 because of the 10 degree valve angle. On the Ford site, they list as only for a 351W block. What are the differences between a 302 and 351W block? Only deck height and head bolt size, or is there something more?

3. To run this motor up to about 6500-7000 RPM and make good power all the way through, what bore/stroke combinations do you Ford guys recommend?

4. Looking through the Summit and Jegs catalogs, I'm not finding many roller cam profiles for Ford small blocks that look very appealing. Any suggestions here for a good roller cam setup?

Please include any other tips/suggestions you may have.

Thanks in advance,

Barb

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Old 07-11-2002, 10:08 PM
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Hey there barbed wire, this is a good set of questions. Even better because I can pretty much asnwer all of them being the ford freak that I am. You said it must be a 302 block so I'll just start from there. The best 302 blocks would either be the early ones from 64-69 or the late ones from 87-00. Any in between are not as strong because of thinner casting techniques.

1.) Now then, looking through my trusty ford racing catalogue it says that a stock 302 block can safely handle 450hp. I've seen a computer controlled mustang in a magazine with a "stock block" making 900hp safely. You'd be suprised how much power you can make these handle. If you want you could spend 800 dollars on a sportsman 302 block that is advertised to handle 600hp. The only difference between the two is that the sportsman has strengthened bulkheads and main caps; it didnt say anything about thicker cylinder walls. If you are worried about cylinder wall thickness just dont go beyond .030 over. You would most definanitely be able to get a stock 302 to handle 600hp by buying a good set of main caps like the Milodon ones sold in summit, and a good main girdle... of course with ARP EVERYTHING.

2.) As for those heads, I've heard that they make A LOT of power, but thats all that I have really heard about them. You can put those heads on a 302 but you will need some bushings to make the bolt holes smaller. 351 windsors come with 1/2 inch head bolts and 302s come with 7/16 inch head bolts. Edelbrock makes these bushings for their own heads but will work with these also, then just use regular 302 bolts. If you are not sure about these heads I would look into the Roush 200 heads. They have 200cc intake ports as opposed to the 195cc intake ports of the sportsmans. Just a thought. I couldn't find any flow data on the roush's to compare the two. Just in case you do, the sportsmans flow 244intake and 169 exaust at .600 valve lift.

3.) If you HAVE to use a 302 block the biggest that you could go in terms of displacement would be 347c.i. or you could go 348 with a .040 overbore! These stroker kits work great though, i was doing some research about them for myself and everybody i talked to said they love them. If you can get away with a 351 block i would probably get a 393 stroker kit. Though they also make 408 and 427 kits, it probably wont rev as high as what you are looking for with such a long stroke. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS FORGED!

4.) Summit and Jegs dont print anywhere near their entire inventory. They actually have a lot more than you might think. What I would suggest is to go to a website of your favorite cam manufacturer, or call them and find the cam that works best for your application. Then take that part number to summit or jegs website and search for it. If you are lucky they will have it in stock. It probably would be a good idea to buy the same brand roller lifters and timing chain/gears.

Also dont forget to use custom wide header bolt flanges because of the huge exaust ports. A windage tray is a good way to gain about 10hp. Also I would look into a good oil pan for inproved oil controll.

...And last but not least Good Luck with your bronco. Those things are bad! Let us know if you need anymore questions answered. FORD RULES!
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Old 07-11-2002, 10:19 PM
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...also look into some cam roller bearings. Ford Racing also sells these. You have to have your block machined for them. The oil feed holes can be completely blocked off becuase they only need slpash lubrication, leaving more oil for the bottom end. I would just recommend getting a Ford Racing Performance Parts cataloque. You will spend hours looking through this thing dreaming. Just a thought.
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Old 07-11-2002, 10:23 PM
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Hey, thanks a lot guys. I'll get working with those suggestions!
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Old 09-15-2002, 04:24 AM
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Just a side note the earliest blocks were actually 289 and don't have the extra cylindetr support in the bottom that the longer stroke 302s have9 although you can make them 302, you run the risk ( especially in a race engine) of getting some piston rocking. Plus in the mid 60's they went to 6 bolt bellhousings from the 5 that had been used so keep an eye on that. I think up to about '71-2 are as strong, and there is also the mexican block that is available at swap meets and through hemmings, they have mains cast like the 289 hi-po and are stronger than a regular block and are fairly reasonable.
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:06 AM
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In my humble opinion, people sweat stuff that isn't an issue, such as main girdles. In my experience no one has ever seen a broken main cap from a small block Ford. This is an item some Ford racers thought they needed because a 4-bolt block wasn't readily available to them. Roller cam bearings are another great way to waste your limited racing finances. when the engine is running there is no friction between the cam and bearing. If there were, your cam bearings would be wiped out in short order, certainly not lasting the 100K+ miles that stockers do. This applies to everything Chevys, Big Block Fords..whatever. The Winston Cup guys want them because they can remove an area of windage from their dry sump engines they don't have to worry about scavenging. We're talking teenie tiny hp losses at extreme rpm from the oil escaping the oil clearance at the journal. Cam life to them is unimportant as long as the engine lasts the race weekend. Someone else is buying their parts. I would suggest defining an RPM range that you want to be in and then find a set of suitable heads after you decide what the displacement is going to be. Its a buyers market out there for Fords, but be warned, a 200 cc intake runner on a 302 will be a stone when it comes to moving a 4x4 or tough truck type dealio. After defining those parameters a cam purchase is easy. Nothing weird about a Ford with aftermarket heads. Compression is a huge factor in determining duration and lobe seperation. Its all gotta work ya know?
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Old 10-14-2002, 03:42 PM
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I agree with the over building for the application , roller cam bearings would have to fall into that category and the only 302's I've seen that broke, cracked right through the cam bearing ( another reason not to bore it out for roller bearings)main area, and they had girdles. That's what happens in a 600hp Drag engine at who knows what RPM, but for your application and RPM range you are probably going to run all those "extras" would probably set you back enough that you could build a spare shortblock.
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Old 10-18-2002, 11:38 AM
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FWIW, Shelby America always brazed the press-in joint on the oil pick-up tube on their 289's. Cheap insurance.
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