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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-04-07, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Different 302 engines which is better?

Hello, I'm looking to getting a 302. I have found a few of them. One is a rebuilt 1976 carb out of a mustang. Another is I believe he said 1991? efi however it is not rebuilt.

I want something rebuilt however I don't want the 10 mpg that comes with the 1976. What's the mpg on the 1990's or later?

Which should i grab? I'm dropping it into a 1989 toyota pickup. So I will have to wire up the harness with that.

What do you think?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-10-07, 12:08 AM
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cool Re: Different 302 engines which is better?

I believe the 1986 5.0 is a sort of a transitional year engine, and the 1987 & up FI motors are essentially the same and the way to go. The 5.0 HO's and GT's have forged pistons in them. Not sure when they became roller cammed, but is was somewhere in the late 1980's.

My business partner rebuilds (freshens) those engines regularly, and rarely do they need much more than a light hone, rings, bearings timing chain, etc. Almost never any major issues seen at teardown, just freshen and reassemble. The later 302 roller motors are the way to go, in my opinion.


p.s.: This assumes U.S. specification engines.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-24-07, 07:11 AM
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Re: Different 302 engines which is better?

fuel mileage is determined how efficient an engine is and what type of induction system you use, NOT what year the engine was built.

Becarefull of mid 70's to early 80's 302 blocks, they had a casting flaw and the water jackets at the rear of the block, around cylinders #4 and #8 will crack and leak externally.

ALL 81 and newer 302's have a 50oz imbalace and one piece rear main seal.
earlier 302's and 351W use a 28oz imbalance and 2 piece rear main seal.

ALL 86 and newer passenger car engines got EFI and Roller hyd cam, which included a double roller timing chain.
Most 85 year model passenger car blocks are machined to accept a hyd roller cam.

302 truck motors are essentially the same, except they have provisions for a knock sensor at the rear of the block, truck 302's didnt get a hyd roller cam until 91.

Be aware there are 2 types of 302 EFI motors; HO and non-HO. HO motors were used primarily in the Mustang from 87 to 95, but were also used in Lincoln mark 7's LSC from 89 to 92 and in the 91-93 thunderbird. HO motors have better cylinder heads (E7TE casting), more aggresive cam (266 duration and .444" lift) and flat top pistions with valve reliefs. HO motor also uses the 351W firing order.

non-HO motors were used in all other passenger cars (crown vic, grandmarquis, town car, 86-90 thunderbird and lincoln mark 7's non LSC). these motors had low flowing cylinder heads (E6SE casting), small cam (.379" lift) and cast, dished pistons with no valve reliefs.
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