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Hello, I am looking to replace the 302 in my 1969 Ford Ranger with a 351W. I am a beginner when it comes to cars and mechanics. My dad and I used this truck as a work truck for 15 years and he recently gave it to me. I would like to fix it up, make it look nice, and take him for a ride in it some day. This will begin with putting a new motor in it. Is it better to buy a block from somewhere like Jegs or to pick one from a junk yard and have it machined? Looks like Jegs sells a short block for about 1400 and the Edlebrock performance kit for about another 1700. Is this a good way to go or are there better ways to go about it? again I know little to nothing at this point. I am hoping to learn as I go.
 

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Actually, the swap should be pretty straight up. That year is a full sized pick up, the 302 and the 351 are both Windsor blocks, and there's oodles of room under the hood. A new engine comes with a better warranty, but a higher price. If you go used, you're going to want to tear it down and have it machined and refreshed, in the long run, that might cost you more and require a lot of work. As a word of advice, keep HP and torque in the 300 region unless you plan on going into suspension and performance tires. I have a 73 Ranger and I figured I'm putting out a little over 300 and the rear gets real squirrely when I get on it. I'm also running some pretty knobby tires, so that doesn't help, either.
 
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