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Old 01-09-2005, 06:51 PM
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general question

We are putting together a new truck and plan on using a donor motor and tranny from an 89 LTD wagon. I don't have specifics, but should I be concerned about the tranny not shifting correctly without the computer?
We will be going with different heads and intake setup, anything 'special' i need to know?
Thanks all!

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Old 01-09-2005, 07:52 PM
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engine question

It depends on if you are using a truck with a computer system in it. If the truck is pre computer, you wont need it. Other considerations are what engine you are going to use.

If you are taking an engine from an 89, which is a computer job, you want to take the entire harness as well, if you want to stay with computer.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:40 AM
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The '89 AOD is not controlled by the computer. It does have a TV cable, which must be connected properly or the trans will shift crazily & die an early death. There is no lockup converter, the converter is just bypassed in 3rd & 4th gears.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:19 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. More specifically, we will be pulling a 302 and mated tranny from an 89 ltd wagon and dropping it in our next 51 ford p/u. we will be going w/o the computer, since it sounds like we can, and putting on a set of decent heads and a four barrel intake.
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:10 PM
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302 in a 51P/U

Sounds like a good combo to me. If you are planning on going with aftermarket aluminum heads, I recommend the Twisted Wedge. I have a set on a 351W, and as far as I am concerned, they are the best bang for the buck.
Not sure what kind of RPM you will be turning, but unless you are going to be consistantly running it over 6000 RPM all nite long, I would suggest going with a 500-525 CFM carb. An excellent intake would be a Wieand Stealth or Performer RPM, and of course a good set of 1 5/8ths primary tube headers.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:47 PM
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This is going to be a real driver, prolly even gonna pull a camper with it on occasion. I don't believe we will be going with alum. heads, I only mention changing them because I was under the impression you couldn't throw a carb/intake on a set of heads designed for carbeurated fuel injection? The intakes you mention are actually some of the ones we will definitely take a closer look at. I will be learning alot on this one. All of our previous trucks have had flatheads , which i prefer for nostalgial reasons. My other motor experience is all with small block chevy's we used to run in the race car and i have forgotten quite a bit about them...
thanks again! and keep the info coming!!
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:47 PM
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heads up

In that case, if you arent going aluminum, but are interested in aftermarket heads, the Roush steel Jr.'s would definately be a good one to consider. If you are planning to go with other heads, consider that by the time you worked out a set of Factory heads, even the best ones, you would barely have what you wouild with a set of those heads and with nearly the same money in them.
Sounds like a fun truck to be driving. About the only difference in the carbureted and throttle body injected setup was the intake and the carb or injector itself, as far as the engine dynamics go. Everything else is pretty much the same.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:11 PM
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Could we get away with the stock heads then Max? Just wondering because the motor has very low miles on it, the car has been parked for a long time. Thanks again!
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:18 PM
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stock heads

Stock heads will work, of course. If you have the equipment, you could do some minor bowl blending on them yourself. A good bowl job is worth 30-35 hp, even with stock heads. One other item that is critical is the air injection port in the exhaust. That "Tonsil" blocks almost 1/3 of the runner. I would also stay under 220 degrees duration with stock heads. They just wont handle much more on the exhaust side.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:23 PM
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I will have to see how things pan out, the stock heads with a decent intake may be the route we go. I will clean them up, possibly do a 3 angle valve job if I can remember how to use the equipment! I know, this stuff is all coming back a little at a time!
As far as HP, we aren't going to be bumping up too much. Mostly stock really. But, if you could tell me, we used a very small cam in the SB Chevs, it was called a Fireball II by Crane as I recall. Added just a little shake to the idle. Can you recommend anything similar for the 302?
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:41 PM
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cam for a 302

An excellent grind would be Comp Cams XE 256 H, or Cranes #443942. The fireball series is no longer made I think.

One cam you might also consider is the Ford factory 351HO cam, from the 4 bbl 351W pickups made in the 80's.
real good duration, but a wee bit short on lift. 206/221 degree; .445/.453 lift. I put one in my 84 Ford pickup 302, and it really livened it up, even with stock single exhaust.
Prior to that I had a 70 Ford F-100 with a 302 and had a stock 196/196 degree; .416/.416 lift early 351W cam in it, and you could definately tell a big difference with it over the stock cam, and I was running a 2 bbl. on it with stock exhaust.

If you do nothing else, its sure worth it to do a good 3 angle valve job and grind out that "tonsil". Those two, to gether are probably worth 10- 15 hp, at all points along the power curve.

What Crane now calls their Powermax series is the old HMV series.
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:20 PM
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The low-output 302 used in the '89 big cars has heads that are famous for not being too good for high-performance use. The 5.0 Mustangs used them in '86, and Ford upgraded to a pickup truck head (E7TE) in '87 and gained 25hp.

The cam in your engine is a tiny roller cam with around 180* duration at .050". Torque peak is at 2000rpm. The stock 225hp 5.0 Mustang roller cam will fit in the block, but the firing order is different. Be sure & check for valve-to-piston interference. The low-output motor has flat-top pistons WITHOUT valve reliefs, but from what I hear, the Mustang cam will clear with the E6 heads. The Mustang motor has valve reliefs, but I think the valves sit lower in the E7 heads.

You'll also need an older-type distributor with advance mechanism inside, since the '89's advance is all from the computer.
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:07 AM
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cams and heads

jimfulco just brought up a point. I dont remember the exact year that they went to roller cams in all the 302's. It was in 85 or 86 with the Mustangs, not sure about the other years. You might want to check those pistons. I had also forgotten about the non relieved pistons, but I was thinking 87 was the only year they used those, so it didnt occur to me.
If you do have a roller cam, stay with it. Crane makes a good little number that would work well, #444211, a 208/216 degree, .530/.530 lift.
As he said, go either with an earlier distributor or an after market. Going with an early points type distributor with a Petronix electronics coversion is a good way to go.
Save some bucks that way.
You will definately want to play around with the centrifical advance some.
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:48 PM
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Crane also makes a roller cam that's compatible with the low-output 5.0 motor's computer & EFI. A Crane guy told me PN 364211 will raise the operating range of the engine by about 500rpm.

Freeing up the exhaust system will also allow that little motor to make power for another 500rpm or so. Still no powerhouse, but it really helps a lot.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:42 PM
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Thanks for all of the info guys! This will be put to use for sure... I will be stopping in more often too!
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