302 Vs 351w for a 66 Mustang - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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302 Vs 351w for a 66 Mustang

I've recently picked up a 1966 Mustang with a 200ci 6 cylinder and a T5 back in February and I've been slowly converting it over to a V8 swap and now its basically to the point where i have to pick what engine to swap in now. I've been asking around and talking to other Mustang owners in my area and im getting mixed suggestions in either swapping in a roller 302, or a roller 351w. I've heard people say that roller 302s split at around 500HP and thats got me concerned about long term reliability. With my car, I'll be happy with around 400 HP max, but I want it to be pretty reliable as well. I don't plan on supercharging or turbocharging it at all either, so it will be all NA. I plan on doing a lot of spirited curvy mountain, canyon, and back road driving along with open track events and auto crossing it. I also want to be able to drive the car long distances without worrying about any issues with the car. Any suggestions on what platform to look into would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 04:44 PM
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Done this. A 351 requires special headers and (Tri-Y's won't work) and special radiator (the water outlet is on the left), so it adds to the cost. I'd suggest looking into a 347 stroker kit. Oh, and with a 351, you better be thinking 9" rear end. Don;t forget to upgrade those brakes either.

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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 05:10 PM
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I am working on the same. I plan on going with a 302 based on width requirements for the 351. 350HP max is what I am building it for.

What have you done to prep for the swap? So far the only step I have taken towards the swap is to change the trans to a T5 (I have had to fix wiring, brakes, and lights). My next step towards the swap is the rear end and I would love to hear how you are going about it.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roddster View Post
Done this. A 351 requires special headers and (Tri-Y's won't work) and special radiator (the water outlet is on the left), so it adds to the cost. I'd suggest looking into a 347 stroker kit. Oh, and with a 351, you better be thinking 9" rear end. Don;t forget to upgrade those brakes either.
I currently have a 9in rear end with a 4.11 Trac-Lok and 4 piston 12.2in Dynalite Wilwood discs in the back, up front are the 12.9in 6 piston Superlite brakes. (power 4 wheel discs) Global West tubular upper and lower control arms, adjustable strut rod, roller spring perches, RCD custom valved Bilstein shocks all around, Global West 640 LB front coil springs, Boregson 14:1 power steering kit, roller quick steer idler, quick steer pitman arm, Baer Brakes bump steer Kit, RideTech StreetGrip composite leaf springs in the rear, and Global West subframe connectors. Tires are Michelin Pilot Super Sports 245/45/ZR17 in the back and 235/45/ZR17 up front. Wheels that I'll be buying soon are American Racing VN507 Rodder in gloss black.



Basically all the chassis, drivetrain, suspension, steering, and braking system have been looked over and redone.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 05:50 PM
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Nice setup. Where did your ride height on the composite springs end up at? The website just defines that it works for a "lowered look" and just trying to equate to mid eye or reverse. any impressions yet on those yet?

As for 302 vs 351...You have invested some money (smartly) in your suspension and brake upgrades and sounds like you do intend to have fun on the track and twisty roads. With that in mind, i'd recommend the 302. Keeping less weight up front will make it a much more balanced car and is worth the offset of the additional hp/torque of a 351w.

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 06:08 PM
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There is no replacement for displacement....unless its a Boss 302 of course

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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 06:56 PM
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While there are plenty of guys with 351's in their early 'Stangs, it is a pretty snug fit. It's also about 80 lbs heavier than a 302. If you want massive amounts of cheap power, and mostly going in straight lines, the 351 would be fun. For drag racing, there's no question: a stock block 351 can handle up to around 750 horses before it has problems, while the 302's limit is somewhere around 500. Changing spark plugs, or delivering good handling will be more challenging with a 351.



The 302, especially with some good heads, can definitely deliver enough power to overwhelm the rear tires too. With aluminum heads and intake, you can get the weight down far enough to make even mild suspension mods really impress. In a light first gen Mustang, there's nothing wrong with small block power at all. Don't forget - with your car's light weight, even 200 horsepower can be a LOT of fun. 300 is pretty outrageous. You don't have a 3500 lb boat to haul around - which is why you can get by with a nice mild build and still annihilate some tires with ease.



If you want a brutal brawler, go with the 351. For more refined handling to go with the performance, I'd stick with a 302 based build.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cavboy78 View Post
Nice setup. Where did your ride height on the composite springs end up at? The website just defines that it works for a "lowered look" and just trying to equate to mid eye or reverse. any impressions yet on those yet?

As for 302 vs 351...You have invested some money (smartly) in your suspension and brake upgrades and sounds like you do intend to have fun on the track and twisty roads. With that in mind, i'd recommend the 302. Keeping less weight up front will make it a much more balanced car and is worth the offset of the additional hp/torque of a 351w.
I currently have not installed the parts in yet, just have them all sitting next to my bed LOL! (the rear axle is at my friends house right now LOL!) The only thing that's holding me back from installing in the parts is getting the wheels, (still have the 4 bolt steelies on the car) and waiting for the final pieces to ship in from Open Tracker Racing. Though when holding the leaf springs, they are VERY lightweight. Like 5 pounds a piece.

Lots of people that I've talked to suggested going with a 302, but at the same time, they all told me that 302s can split in half if you are pushing around 500 horsepower out of them, that's why I was considering the 351w. My main goal with the car is for it to make decent reliable power, handle nicely, and be comfortable enough to drive long distances with. Basically have it run and drive somewhat like a modern car.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 08:48 PM
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300 wheel horsepower should get you solidly into the 12's with a 1st gen Mustang. Possibly high 11's, if everything was set up right. With 500 horsepower, you will be in the low 10's, at something around 140 mph in the 1/4.

When planning this stuff, don't forget to think about this in realistic terms! A Hellcat or Demon needs a lot more power to get that big barge of a car moving. Ditto for a Camaro. Your car with 300 real horsepower would keep up with most of the modern terrors running around on city streets.

Do you really want to have to put in a roll cage? What about all the suspension and chassis mods you need to ensure that your car's not going to swap ends when you try to pass someone at 75 mph and your back end kicks out? 400+ horsepower in these lightweight cars can be flat out scary. You make a mistake with the gas pedal, and you can find yourself in a very unforgiving situation. Make realistic decisions about what you want, and how you intend to use the car.

If it's going to be a dragster, then duh. Go with the 351. =) If you want to drive it on the street, 351 would be great for cheap thrills. Otherwise, spend some more money on the 302 and enjoy the better handling and easier maintenance.
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:00 PM
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the first thing you need to do before building the engine, actually the entire car for that matter, is decide what exactly you want from the car. with the build you have going so far, i can presume that you are wanting something that will turn corners, as well as go fast, so perhaps you want a solo style race car.

so that means to me you want something with good balance, and decent power, which meansa stroker 302 based engine. a 347 is a good choice. you can make good power with it, and maintain a well balanced car.

the real key here is tuning the whole combination for best performance.
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:04 PM
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Consider a 331 or 347. The 347 could easily exceed 400 HP. If you are going to push the 500 mark, maybe a Dart block would be a good foundation so that it would be reliable. Lots of the Cobra replica builders are running 331s and 347, first I had heard of regarding splitting the blocks. The foundation you have put together sounds real good, give the car a good heart to get yours beating.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:14 PM
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Another route to BIG horsepower without fuss is to run a supercharger. You could get 400 out of a 302 pretty easy that way.
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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:17 PM
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If my 289 ever comes all to pieces (not likely) I will probably build a stroker in a 302 block that looks the part of the 289 but will be a surprise for the unsuspecting late model GT or rice burner. I would love to build an outrageous 351 stroker but I don't think I want to have trouble with space or lose the nostalgia of opening the hood and seeing daylight on every side.

My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
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Older son's 1st car...
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Younger son's 1st car...
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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
the first thing you need to do before building the engine, actually the entire car for that matter, is decide what exactly you want from the car. with the build you have going so far, i can presume that you are wanting something that will turn corners, as well as go fast, so perhaps you want a solo style race car.

so that means to me you want something with good balance, and decent power, which meansa stroker 302 based engine. a 347 is a good choice. you can make good power with it, and maintain a well balanced car.

the real key here is tuning the whole combination for best performance.
Yeah, that's exactly what I had in mind the moment I bought my car. I knew that I did not want a straight line car, or an all original, numbers matching Sunday driver/show car. I want my car to be able to corner great, stop great, accelerate great, while being comfortable and reliable enough to drive long distances in. Basically like a pro touring car.
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Consider a 331 or 347. The 347 could easily exceed 400 HP. If you are going to push the 500 mark, maybe a Dart block would be a good foundation so that it would be reliable. Lots of the Cobra replica builders are running 331s and 347, first I had heard of regarding splitting the blocks. The foundation you have put together sounds real good, give the car a good heart to get yours beating.
Thank you! When I was researching and deciding what parts to use for my foundation, and what I want to do with my car, I decided that I want the car to be like a pro touring car. I wanted it to run and drive like a modern car, but have the classic body style and lines of a classic mustang. I am also a big believer of the old saying "buy once, cry once." So I did not want to cut corners on important things like the foundation of the car.
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