Should I mod the 302 or run the 390?

2Blue2

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we were gifted the 390. I don't think it would be appropriate to sell what Nino's Papa Fred gave him,


Sentiment wins! Mild street 390 it is!!! Its already built/paid for right?

That car is really neat as is, but...
1969 390 sports roof...... Drool
 
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sheebs

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If you're at all interested in the big block, why not go that route? If when you think of this car, you think 60s muscle, nothing says that more than the low rumble and big torque of a big block. It doesn't sound like you'll be competing or anything serious like that, so the going around corners argument is mostly meaningless imo. Will a small block be more balanced? Yes. But are you going to be pushing this car even 7/10 in a cornering situation? For me the answer is no, not in my vintage Mustang, this is just fun. So as others have said, the big block adds something unique...it's fun to open the hood and see something other than another 289/302 (unless you're about to change the spark plugs, in which case it's god awful). All that said, I'm biased as I've got a 390 in mine. When I rebuilt it, I swapped the top end to aluminum, and as many have said, it's a huge weight savings. Like removing a small person from the front end. That was years ago, and back then I felt the difference, but now it's all just part of my Mustang.
 
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If you're at all interested in the big block, why not go that route? If when you think of this car, you think 60s muscle, nothing says that more than the low rumble and big torque of a big block. It doesn't sound like you'll be competing or anything serious like that, so the going around corners argument is mostly meaningless imo. Will a small block be more balanced? Yes. But are you going to be pushing this car even 7/10 in a cornering situation? For me the answer is no, not in my vintage Mustang, this is just fun. So as others have said, the big block adds something unique...it's fun to open the hood and see something other than another 289/302 (unless you're about to change the spark plugs, in which case it's god awful). All that said, I'm biased as I've got a 390 in mine. When I rebuilt it, I swapped the top end to aluminum, and as many have said, it's a huge weight savings. Like removing a small person from the front end. That was years ago, and back then I felt the difference, but now it's all just part of my Mustang.
We've pretty much decided that's what we're going to do. New cam, aluminum intake, aluminum heads (TF, AFR, or Edelbrock - I don't know which. That'll take some study. ) Once we have the thing all put together (no stroker, it has all new rotating assembly, so I don't want to dump new money replacing new things...), we'll put it on a dyno, get the EFI tuning all figured out, then we'll swap it over & make the switch to a big block car!
 

sheebs

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We've pretty much decided that's what we're going to do. New cam, aluminum intake, aluminum heads (TF, AFR, or Edelbrock - I don't know which. That'll take some study. ) Once we have the thing all put together (no stroker, it has all new rotating assembly, so I don't want to dump new money replacing new things...), we'll put it on a dyno, get the EFI tuning all figured out, then we'll swap it over & make the switch to a big block car!

Which EFI setup are you going looking at?
 
Feb 17, 2020
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Which EFI setup are you going looking at?
We're already running a Holley Sniper on the 302. I'll just swap it over. It's good to I think 600 hp. (Just looked it up - the Sniper is good to 650 hp, so we're good with the Sniper for a while) If we end up above 600 hp at some point, I'd LOVE to go with one of the EFI versions of the Weber stack. They are pretty expensive, but I've heard that they add quite a bit of performance, and man, do they look cool!
 

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2Blue2

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Was your story attached to this to?
e7036547-torched-mustang2.jpg
 
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I ask because I think I might have donated to a go fund me.
Yes!!! That was my son's Mach I that an arsonist burned! You contributed??? God bless you! You have no idea what a kindness you did to my son! Building his replacement car opened up an entire world to him! He loved his Mustang before, but building the replacement turned him into an honest-to-God aficionado! He is so entrenched in car culture now, he has years worth of modifications planned for me to do to his car! Most of the boys that have his syndrome, when they have a hobby or an interest, it's usually watching WWE, Football, stuff like that. With Nino, he studies cars, engines, he goes to car shows, rides in his car in parades, he goes for rides several nights a week, or rainy day we do donuts in parking lots, and he has his big goals - drag racing his car, and taking it to California to run it on an open-track day at Laguna Seca!

He has a lifelong hobby and passion, and we owe so much to people like you!
 
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2Blue2

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Nice to see it back on the road after that catastrophic mess.
How about posting a couple of nice pictures to replace the torched images in my head. maybe the 390 too;)
 
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Here are a few shots of the replacement when we first brought it out of the pole barn and got it running, and put on a shaker. (At that time, it was a cracked & peeling Black Jade with Ivy Gold interior & a C4 tranny.) Then, Nino helping me block the car, then a couple of shots as it currently is, with the BMW Frozen Silver Metallic & Hot Rod Black exterior.

I'll shoot a pic of the 390 when I get it moved from my dad's garage to mine!
 

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2Blue2

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Thats good stuff, thank you!
:nice: ;) :D:):banana::):D;):nice:
 
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zookeeper

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Great car, sad story but a happy ending. For all the people telling you to put in the big block, ask how many have ever tried to change plugs on a big block Mustang. Anyone who has tried will tell you to stick with a small block. 351w is as big as I would go. The FE’s are just too much of a hassle to work on.
 

DBegley

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Interesting choice of paths. I have always been a small block fan. As you know you can trick out a 302 and get upwards of 300-400 HP. How much HP is enough? I just did a bad head gasket excuse to do a rebuild on my 1968 302. I wanted to stay with the stock block. Spent a chunk of change for a blue printed and balanced 302, aluminum heads, forged pistons, Comp cam. I have 800 miles on the build. We got 310 Horse. Huge improvement over the stock 4 Bbl. I figure I added about 80 HP. Was it worth it? You bet but now I wonder what would I have gotten if we stroked it. HP is addictive. But how much is enough? I am quite happy with 310 HP. It is a different car especially with my 3.89 rear end. More would be nice but... 390 engines are a bit rare. And you can't beat displacement for added power. But it's more weight up front. That is why small blocks are used when you want handling. Bottom line is the car needs to be streetable, right? How streetable do you want it to be?