Why is the Ford 302 block better than the 351W? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-18-2002, 05:56 PM
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Post Why is the Ford 302 block better than the 351W?

OK, I know there are differing opinions here. Not being a "Ford gal" myself, I thought I'd pose this question to all you Ford fans out there.

I did some race engine shopping for a friend of mine this summer for his race truck. We wound up ordering our motor from Keith Craft Racing engines and are as pleased as pie. When talking with the engine builders about building this motor, all the builders that were really good and knowledgeable about Fords, wanted to work with the 302 block. While the builders who primarily work with Chevys, wanted to work from the 351W block. The hardcore Ford builders claim they can build a much better motor out of a 302 block (we wound up with a Ford Racing 302 block stroked to 331). Most of the high dollar stock car motors these guys build are based off the 302. Even Ford Racing themselves lists their 302 block as capable of 1200 HP, while the 351 block is only listed as capable of 750. Is this because of a different angle of the "V" that just works better or what?


Thanks in advance,

Barb

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Old 09-18-2002, 06:25 PM
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First of all the V must be 90 degrees or else the cylinders will not fire 90 degrees apart. This is why the crank throws are 90 apart also. My guess involves the main webbing. Being used to small block chevies, the first time I took a small Ford apart I couldn't believe the wimpy looking webs. While the Chevy is solid, the Ford is rather thin - a materials and weight savings for a stock engine I guess. As far as I know, the stock blocks differ only in deck height which would allow the 351 to have a thicker deck for better head gasket seal but I don't know if Ford did this. Can someone educate us? Good question!

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Old 09-18-2002, 07:31 PM
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Ford Motorsports blocks have nothing in common with factory engines installed in motor vehicles, the difference is probably in the way the Motrosports blocks are cast. Why one person likes one engine over another is anybody's guess, likely you are seeing personal preference more than anything else. Just like why some Chevy guys love 327 over 350's.

The 351W has a longer stroke and also a 1 inch higher deck height to fit a decent length rod into the engine, they are otherwise very similar engines except for the 49 cubes.

I doubt there is a real valid theoretical reson to prefer one or the other except for the extra 49 cubes, parts are cheaper for the 302 though.
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Old 09-18-2002, 08:14 PM
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The 351W has a heavier block casting wise, and looks like Ford intended to offer 4 bolt mains and never did ( the block has the metal for it). I don't believe the 302 is a better block from an engineering standpoint (probably the opposite) it does however have a lot more available parts. The big advantage is probably the smaller main and rod journals that slow down bearing speed and use up less HP. Overall a stock 351W is hands down stronger than a stock 302, thicker deck,cylinder walls,bigger head and main bolts, so it may be that the 302 is more easily built.
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Old 09-18-2002, 09:01 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by 4 Jaw Chuck:
<strong>Ford Motorsports blocks have nothing in common with factory engines installed in motor vehicles, the difference is probably in the way the Motrosports blocks are cast. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I'll agree with you here. Ford Motorsports may cast their 302 blocks to handle more ponies.

Stock for stock though, the 351W will handle more HP than a 302.

You can also get the 302 in an A4 block, which has a 4 bolt main.

[ September 18, 2002: Message edited by: BigBlockBabe ]</p>
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Old 09-18-2002, 09:24 PM
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I don't think the NASCAR guys start out with a 302 to get to thier 357 cu in limit and they get 750 HP that can run 500 miles @ 8000 RPM. Whats the deal? I guess its how fast can you afford to go.
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:22 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by BarbWire:
<strong> The hardcore Ford builders claim they can build a much better motor out of a 302 block (we wound up with a Ford Racing 302 block stroked to 331). Most of the high dollar stock car motors these guys build are based off the 302. </strong>
<hr></blockquote>

I wanna know who you talked to that you consider "hardcore". Everything I've read and been told says that the 302 is just weak. There's no way the stock car guys are using 302s.
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:14 PM
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i agree with woodz, there is just simply more metal in the 351 windsor block so logically, it should be stronger. but just like barb wire said, the 302 race block can handle 1200hp while the 351 race block only 750. i just looked in my ford racing catalog to confirm. Now that I think about it, it kinda makes sence. Its like having a pole thats 6 feet long versus a pole thats 12 feet long. If you held it strait out and have weight put on the end, the longer pole will obviously break or bend (depending on the metal) first. Maybe this is why the 302 block is stronger. Its more compact
An interesting thing to point out in the Ford Racing catalog is that they sell race 302 blocks in 2 different deck heights (8.2 and 8.7). The taller smaller one limited to 360ci and the taller one, 380ci and both rated for 1200hp. the stock production 302 block can only handle 347 and rated at 450hp and the stock 351(9.2" deck height) can handle 427 and and i dont know how much power. So here a question for you...Why even bother with the 351 race block when you can buy the taller "302" race block that can handle more power and keep up with displacement? THIS is probably why they recomended the 302 block.
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Old 09-19-2002, 04:44 AM
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Some of the Ford racing blocks use the 351C main sizes (between the 302 and 351W) for less bearing speed. I don't have my FRRP catalogue here to know whether it is th 302 or 351 block.Those Winston cup guys are also making that power with restrictor plates and little carbs ( I think 390 CFM ).
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Old 09-19-2002, 05:07 AM
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As I recall, several years ago there were some Ford engines built in Mexico that were preferred because they have more nickle in the cast iron. I think these were 302" blocks, but could be 351" as well, can't remember for sure. The Mexico blocks have "MEXICO" cast into the block somewhere, I think it is in the valley area. Anyway, these were the blocks that the "real" Ford guys were seeking. This was before Ford Motorsports came into being, so I am assuming that the SVO blocks are probably more desirable than the Mexico pieces.
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:03 AM
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Mexican 302 Block;

Higher Nickel Content- 289HP Style Main Caps

75ZY 6013-AA - C8AZ-B - DIZM-AA

Heco En Mexico cast in lifter valley...
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:29 AM
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Thanks KulTulz, are the new Ford Racing small blocks as good as (or better than) the Mexico blocks?
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Old 09-19-2002, 09:44 AM
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The new offerings from FORD Racing are much better than any production block, including the BOSS 302.

I just gave that information for Racers On A Budget...
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Old 09-19-2002, 05:49 PM
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The new offerings from FORD Racing are much better than any production block, including the BOSS 302.


AMEN
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for all the posts guys. And yeah, the Ford Racing catalog does offer a higher deck height 302.

As far as who I heard this from, I guess the best authorities I would post here would be Roush Racing (too expensive for our blood, but we did price them), and Keith Craft Racing Engines (which is where we bought ours from, these guys were great). There were other engine builders who stated the same (302 being a better build than the 351W), however, these are the only two I would consider to be big nationally known names.

It's pretty tough not believing them too, considering that the way the Ford Racing Blocks are rated...


Thanks guys!

Barb
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