My 302 - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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My 302

I picked up a used 95% complete 302 that ran but needs a rebuild for $150. I tore it down last night and everything looks pretty clean and the crank turns smooth. I measured the bore and it measures 4.00" and according to the web thats what a 302 should be.

All I'm really wanting to do in the rebuild is add a mild cam, 4 barrel intake and carb, and headers(mainly because of budget). My car is going to be a cruiser so I would like to get around 300 horse power is possible.

What are the major steps that I need to do in the rebuild process?
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post #2 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:47 PM
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A classic 302, or more modern 302? I'd guess classic, since 3-2 out ~ late 68. You don't state what year your car is? but both an option.
Does it already have harden valve seats? Things like that plan into the budget

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post #3 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 01:49 PM
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To do it right you need to take it to the machine shop. They will bore the cylinders .020 or .030 over stock and hone them. They should also line bore the bearing surfaces and size the piston rods. Depending on condition, they may also need to grind the crank shaft. Then you (or they) install new bearings and oversized pistons and whatever cam you choose. All that (not including parts) should not cost more than a few hundred dollars. Once done, however, the motor should be good as new.

Are you going to replace the heads? It may be hard to hit 300 HP without addressing the heads.

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post #4 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 03:07 PM
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Most of the early stock 302's had either 210 or 230 horsepower. The difference was whether they had two or 4 barrel intake/carb setup. If you want to keep most of it stock, have it bored .030 over, go with a set of pistons that give about 9.0 to 9.5 compression. You might be able to go as high as 10.1. Wouldn't go too high, or running on pump gas gets iffy. A more aggressive roller tappet cam/ lifters. Flat tappet ones rob horsepower and have too many issues these days. I've had good luck with Lunati cams, stay away from Comp cams, seen too many on Fords and Chevys that literally melt. Also get a free breathing Exaust like Flow master, Magnaflow, Borla. On the Exaust run a h pipe and good flowing headers. A good friend installed an h pipe on his small block Chevy, and loved the difference it made. Better low end, midrange power. Of course run a good breathing K&N filter. A large carb mounted ones are my favorite. The cone ones give more top end, but you need to run out in the fender, and lose low end torque. Well that's what I would do, hope that helps.


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post #5 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sixtysevenGTconv View Post
A classic 302, or more modern 302? I'd guess classic, since 3-2 out ~ late 68. You don't state what year your car is? but both an option.
Does it already have harden valve seats? Things like that plan into the budget
According to the casting numbers, its a 1980 block. My car is a 1966 GT A code coupe. Its a stock 2 barrel motor.
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post #6 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by panabax View Post
To do it right you need to take it to the machine shop. They will bore the cylinders .020 or .030 over stock and hone them. They should also line bore the bearing surfaces and size the piston rods. Depending on condition, they may also need to grind the crank shaft. Then you (or they) install new bearings and oversized pistons and whatever cam you choose. All that (not including parts) should not cost more than a few hundred dollars. Once done, however, the motor should be good as new.

Are you going to replace the heads? It may be hard to hit 300 HP without addressing the heads.

Baxter
Thanks for the info. So does it have to be bored? I didn't plan on replacing the heads(do to budget) unless I absolutely needed too. Would GT40 heads help?
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post #7 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Moosee1955 View Post
Most of the early stock 302's had either 210 or 230 horsepower. The difference was whether they had two or 4 barrel intake/carb setup. If you want to keep most of it stock, have it bored .030 over, go with a set of pistons that give about 9.0 to 9.5 compression. You might be able to go as high as 10.1. Wouldn't go too high, or running on pump gas gets iffy. A more aggressive roller tappet cam/ lifters. Flat tappet ones rob horsepower and have too many issues these days. I've had good luck with Lunati cams, stay away from Comp cams, seen too many on Fords and Chevys that literally melt. Also get a free breathing Exaust like Flow master, Magnaflow, Borla. On the Exaust run a h pipe and good flowing headers. A good friend installed an h pipe on his small block Chevy, and loved the difference it made. Better low end, midrange power. Of course run a good breathing K&N filter. A large carb mounted ones are my favorite. The cone ones give more top end, but you need to run out in the fender, and lose low end torque. Well that's what I would do, hope that helps.


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Thanks for the info.
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post #8 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:37 PM
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Any interest in selling the 289? With the right date code, a decent running 289 could be worth something to anyone trying to restore a car. Might be a way to pick up some of the cash you need to build that 302 the way you want it.


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post #9 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Any interest in selling the 289? With the right date code, a decent running 289 could be worth something to anyone trying to restore a car. Might be a way to pick up some of the cash you need to build that 302 the way you want it.
I bought my coupe as a roller.
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post #10 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 11:57 PM
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I bought my coupe as a roller.
Knowing that, do you have all the peripheral "bolt-on" items you need to complete the 302 or do you have to budget for that too?


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post #11 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Knowing that, do you have all the peripheral "bolt-on" items you need to complete the 302 or do you have to budget for that too?
No. I will have to budget for that too. I plan on building the engine up as I go. Im still doing body work(along with other things) on my coupe. Im in no hurry to get it done since I need to pick up a T-5 also. I just wanted to get a 302 now and slowly build it over the next few months. I'm hoping I can find some good deals on the parts that I need.

My first priority is to get it vatted and the machine work done. Since the block appears to be stock, will it have to be bored or can it just be checked and have a basic rebuild kit installed on it? Are heads a must if I want to get closer to 300 horsepower out of it?
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post #12 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by OklahomaCoupe View Post
My first priority is to get it vatted and the machine work done. Since the block appears to be stock, will it have to be bored or can it just be checked and have a basic rebuild kit installed on it? Are heads a must if I want to get closer to 300 horsepower out of it?
The block doesn't necessarily have to be bored... as long as your cylinders aren't too far out of round, don't have too much taper on them, and don't have an scoring. If even one of those things is not 100% within spec you will loose compression, and worse case your new rings won't seat. If your rings don't seat you will get a ton of blow-by and your engine might run on idle, but will fail under any kind of load. Let the machine shop check it out and tell you if it has to be bored, most likely it will. If they say it's good with the stock bore, then it's good and you can save some money on parts.
As for the heads I'm a bit shakier here, but I'm pretty sure you'll want to ditch those heads for GT40s if you're looking for power. The heads from that time are pretty restrictive due to rising emissions standards and OPEC's shenanigans.

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post #13 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for the info. So does it have to be bored? I didn't plan on replacing the heads(do to budget) unless I absolutely needed too. Would GT40 heads help?
I would not spend the money rebuilding the motor unless I was going to rebuild the motor. Boring the cylinders brings them back into spec so they are like new. Of course, you will also need new (oversized) pistons. If you are not going to rebore, you could try to just change out the bearings, hone the cylinders yourself, install new rings and "hope" for the best. Hope would be the strategy employed here, hoping that you did not waste good money on bearings and rings.

In your first post you say the motor needs to be rebuilt. What is the matter with it? The motor is the heart of your car. I understand budgets. You certainly got the block for a descent price. I would not cut corners rebuilding it it.

GT40 heads might help. However, heads can be replaced. You can do that later when funds allow (provided you build it with new heads in mind) but you can't go back and rebore the cylinders or hone the bearing surfaces without rebuilding the motor again.

Just my 2 cents.

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post #14 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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The block doesn't necessarily have to be bored... as long as your cylinders aren't too far out of round, don't have too much taper on them, and don't have an scoring. If even one of those things is not 100% within spec you will loose compression, and worse case your new rings won't seat. If your rings don't seat you will get a ton of blow-by and your engine might run on idle, but will fail under any kind of load. Let the machine shop check it out and tell you if it has to be bored, most likely it will. If they say it's good with the stock bore, then it's good and you can save some money on parts.
As for the heads I'm a bit shakier here, but I'm pretty sure you'll want to ditch those heads for GT40s if you're looking for power. The heads from that time are pretty restrictive due to rising emissions standards and OPEC's shenanigans.
Thanks for the info. Could I have the stock heads opened up or would that be as much as a set of GT40 heads? When it comes to the cam, Im seeing flat taper, roller, mechanical. Which one is best and can I use?
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post #15 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 10:23 AM
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My thoughts my engine builder gave me for general evaluation:
When sorting thru what's good, what's not for a common small block: General if done by a prof and don't wanna be second guessing "if this if that" is in spec, it all can cost money to check. And once you start going thru engine eval process, where do you draw the line when some parts "marginal", replace others?
IF you don't do the engine work yourself (meaning assembly after machine work), my engine builder told me cost wise, cheaper to buy a short block crate engine, comes with a nice warranty?
I'm about doing thing right the first time and the engine is the heart of the car.
If you rebuild an engine (freshen it up" and it fails or smokes later, gotta start over.

But if you're certain just needs a few simple things, low mileage, then move forward with it.
Also newer 302's (not sure what years) the firing order is different than the classic 302. Others can answer that.

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Last edited by sixtysevenGTconv; 02-06-2017 at 10:25 AM.
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