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Old 12-07-2005, 12:47   #1 (permalink)
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hello and 302 questions

hi everyone, new to this forum but owned a stang for a few years now, just got a 66 pro street ranchero in the garage now, so decided it was time for a broader forum...

i got a question about the 302 that's in the ranchero: the previous owner says he pulled it out of a 86 or 94 thunderbird (he can't remember exactly) to replace the worn out drag block that powered the pro street ranchero. he put everything from the old block onto the thunderbird block (carb, intake, headers and ignition, except for the aluminum heads and the cam. he says it was too wild and thirsty to drive daily (we live in belgium, by the way).

so the question is, can anyone here give me some info on 302 blocks from those years, i.e pro's or cons? i would like to know what type of cam/lifters were used in those days, roller or flat tappet, any remarks on the heads and so on. i do know that there was EFI on it, but he took that off and replaced it with a holley 750 and an edelbrock performer intake, mallory ignition and hooker headers.

behind it is a pro street ready C4 tranny, with a noticeably smaller torque converter and a 9 inch rear axle out of a ford bronco.

the plan is to get me some aftermarket heads and stick a 280 or 290 cam in there.

sorry for the long post guys, but hope you guys can give me some info on the block..
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:17   #2 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

The block will be made for a roller cam. That's the good news. The factory heads on the standard 302 were good general purpose heads but for real performance, and especially with the cam you are looking to put into it, you will want to get some aftermarket performance heads. Which ones will be a matter of debate among many people here I am sure. Everyone has their preference and budgets.

I got the Ford Racing GT-40 X305 heads for my wife's 1966 Mustang that I built a 331 engine for (a 302 with a longer stroke crankshaft). This car is for driving on the street for fun and to go to car shows and once in a while at the drag strip. Mostly it is for driving in the streets with the most acceleartion you can get with a smooth idle (that's what my wife wanted) and that ruled the cam selection for her engine.

I believe the block through those years (86 - 94) is the same. It used hydraulic roller lifters.

I hope that helps some. What year is your Mustang?
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Old 12-09-2005, 04:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

this might be a stupid question, but should i get me a roller cam and replace/re-use the lifters (but i'm a bit worried about the higher lift for my pistons), or would it be safer (and i know it would be cheaper) to get a flat tappet cam and hydraulic lifters and a pushrod set to finish off?

the aftermarket heads are indeed a good plan, which will be carried out in the near future. was thinking about AFR or JEg's Kaase heads....

the stang is a 69 Fastback in a flaming orange color,
it's on WWW.gti-killers.be if you're interested...

anyway thx already for this reply and hope you can clear that roller/flat tappet issue up for me.

harald
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

Hi Harald Nice fast back!!
Switching to a flat tappet cam won't make it safer if the valve lift is the same as the new roller cam. The roller lifters can be reused if there good.

The block is not as strong as the early flat tappet blocks .
The heads use the same size valves as the early ones E7's(1987-) are the best E6's(1986) are the worst.
It should have the same firing order as a 351w
and a 50oz imbalance crank
Thats the main differences

also
Those jegs kaase heads look nice but seem to have issues.
the AFR's are a way safer bet
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Old 12-09-2005, 07:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

If you put in a flat tappet cam you will also need longer pushrods because the roller lifters are taller than flat tappet ones. I also do not know if the oil passages for the lifters are in the right location to keep the hydraulic lifters pumped up.

Stick with a roller cam. Even with the same specs as a flat tappet cam it will flow more because the valve will open and close faster providing more duration at higher lifts throughout the range. Don't know if I said that clearly enough. The point is because the roller cam can have more aggressive ramps on the lobes the cam will open the valve wider faster. The sooner it gets open wide the more air it can flow.

I put a retro-fit cam in my wife's old block in her Mustang for that exact reason.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:33   #6 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

gotcha; stick with a roller cam on a roller block just to be on the safe side... thx for the info guys.

errr, 1 more very important question, someone told me that with a 88 tbird 302 engine i would have flat top pistons, which would limit my valve lift to .480.

is this correct, and do i need dished or notched pistons for higher lift, or can i go higher (if so, how high?). just seems very important to me to be sure about this before buying any cam....

thx guys

Last edited by 302junkie; 12-09-2005 at 11:45. Reason: forgot the most important question
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Old 12-09-2005, 14:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

The only mention that I keep seeing of that is that the 1986 5.0L engine is the only one mentioned to have flat top pistons and clearance is a problem. I read this when looking at the heads I got for the wife's engine at the Ford Racing website. Here is what it says....

"Will not fit 1986 5.0L with flat-top pistons unless pistons are notched for valve relief."

That's the only year I have seen stipulated for that condition so you should be safe if your engine is an '88.
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Old 12-09-2005, 23:37   #8 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

that would be a nice lucky stroke, to have notched pistons in the block.... will know for sure monday, when it arrives. actually, a good question comes to mind: with notched pistons, what is the max lift you can go? i must look like a real Dumb A** posing questions you all know the answer to, but i hope you guys cut me some slack, after all i do live in belgium, which lies in the continent where a 2.0 liter is considered big....

thx for your help and patience,

harald
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:47   #9 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

Hey its better than looking stupid for not asking questions.
With stock heads .5" should be safe .
But the only way to know for sure is to measure.

Remember what might be fine for the stock heads wont be the same with aftermarket heads
Things get dicy when valve sizes increase and the valve reliefs are no longer big enough for the valve,
combined with extra valve lift/ duration it can cause disaster.
Here's some good reading About this topic.
Piston Valve clearance

the .5" is for engines with valve reliefs in pistons sorry
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Last edited by 302xm; 12-10-2005 at 03:20. Reason: need valve reliefs
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:53   #10 (permalink)
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Re: hello and 302 questions

Look dumb? Hey, I am blown away by how well your english is. I am thinking you were perhaps an American that moved there. I can only speak one language. Also there was a time when we didn't know what we know now. None of us were born with this information. I also understand that a V-8 is probably considered either slightly exotic there or just over kill.

One last thing, none of us know it all.
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