best year for the 302 block?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by steel1212, Jul 13, 2004.


  1. steel1212

    steel1212 New Member

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    Which years do you think was best for the 302 block? I'm talking about everything in it the block, pistons, crank ect. just not heads and all the other bolt ons.
     
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  2. allcarfan

    allcarfan The Answer Man
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    a few choices.....it depends on what you are looking for....

    Boss 302 is always a good one
    the 69 block or mexican block are good, strong blocks
    87-92 engines had a roller cam, stock forged pistons and rods
     
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  3. SadbutTrue

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    i would say the roller 87+ with forged internals... thats me though
     
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  4. 10secgoal

    10secgoal Active Member

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    If you can't get your hands on a boss 302 (good luck), I would start at the 289 's. Not a 302, but close enough, they are pretty strong. The early 302 are also stronger. The roller blocks are about the weakest. BUT you don't have to have the expense of converting the block to a roller cam. I did read that the mexican block theory of higher nickel content is junk. What in one mag. you read one thing, and another in next months. :shrug:
     
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  5. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    If you want the absolutely best 302 block, then you have to go outside, to Dart. Next would be the R302 Ford block, followed by the 69-70 Boss blocks.
     
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  6. VictorII

    VictorII New Member

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    '68 and '69 had the best power. Maybe even '70. After that it started to drop due to smog regulations, etc. IIRC. I am assuming that you are talking a stock engine here as a start point. If you are going to pump it up, you can add performance heads, have the rods drilled for ARP bolts and then have then shot peened and that will increase the power handling capability and RPM capability of the short block. The aftermarket heads will let it breath better. It is not inconceivable to get 320 HP out of the early ones. I don't know about the 5.0s. They have roller cam setups and are built pretty well I understand. Of course, you can get a roller setup for the earlt 302 as well. Kinda depends on what you are after and how much you have to spend.
     
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  7. blue66tang

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    I have always thought 68-69 blocks were the strongest because they had the highest nickel content. The 85ish + are the weekest i believe, but for almost all of us any block will be strong enough for power we are putting out.
     
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  8. 1320stang

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  9. AustinCobra

    AustinCobra New Member

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    While we're on the subject, I've got a 302 2bbl in a 71 doner coupe I'm using on a 72 convertible project. the Vert has a 351c and I'm wondering what to do with the 71 302. Would this year block be worth anything to anyone? Or should I just scrap it with the rest of the spear parts? :shrug:
     
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  10. 1320stang

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    It's not like its worth a bunch, but its a better block than a late 70's block. Good foundation.
     
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  11. 66coupe306

    66coupe306 New Member

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    I am guessing the question is which is the most durable production block? They typically are late 60's 302's/289's. They have the heaviest castings especially around the mains where the late model blocks fall short. I have also heard and early 80's truck block is good as well.
     
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  12. Pakrat

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    Also note worthy regarding the whole mexican Block thing. I have one and have heard that first it was only on San Hose cars, and the desirable part is not the nickel content so much as it is the thicker mains and webbings than a block from another location. I believe due to the less than perfect method of their casting process, but only repeating what I have heard or gathered info wise in the past. I guess because of this you can bore it more with less fear or something, but it certainly doesn't seem anything to bow to.
     
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  13. 69pony302

    69pony302 New Member

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    the question is do u want to go with carb or efi. u can a 90 302 at 400rwhp with pistons, cams, heads, exhaust, intake mani, port and polish job on everything. the carb will take a power adder. maybe u should go with a 351w. 69 was the best year for that and u can get a long block for around a grand.
     
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  14. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Regarding the theory that Ford used nickle in their blocks----- got to the Ford FE big block forum, on Network54. There's a guy there named Dave Shoe that's done extensive research into Ford's engine casting techniques and he's found NO evidence of Ford ever using nickle in their blocks. The late 70's D8VE 302 block is also a heavy weight, it weighs 10 lbs more than other 302 blocks at 135 lb's. According to Ford, this is a thick walled casting. The late model roller blocks have semi-siamesed bores which the earlier ones don't. They may also have less iron in them, but this doesn't mean they're weak, they were cast using better techniques, requiring less iron to do the same job. I noted a late 80's 5.0 cranks casting quality, damn thing looks almost like a steel forging, the casting quality's so good. No sharp edges, all counterweights have smooth contours.
     
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