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Old 02/11/2012, 01:33 PM   #9
robert campbell
My Car Details

Location: Bremerton Washington
Joined: Apr 07
Posts: 3,885

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Ok I see we are already a bit modified under the hood. Aluminum intake. Can you take the air cleaner off. Looks like an old school 302 with a possible newer distributor or just the Cap-Adapt cap and rotor to match the spark plug wires.

I am a “package” builder. Everything for one goal. Certainly you can go step by step in some cases. First question is power. To make any small Ford make power it is better head, heads, heads! First question is if you stay with the stock exhaust manifolds, the stock heads are fine. The exhaust port of a stock 302 is the limiting factor. Ported iron heads work just as good as aluminum heads. You can liven up a stock set of heads with bigger valves and exhaust port work. But they then must matched to a set of mid length shorty headers or the best, long tube headers. You have power steering so we would want to avoid needing to drop the ram. I know which ones will work best for you.

Now you have to get the heads off and see what the bore is of this engine. If it is already .030 or .040 over, it is time to look for a newer block. I can step you through that.

The above thoughts with a mild cam and the right carb will easily net you nearly 100 hp. And still great drivability. Your 4 speed can be used and if you upgrade to a 5 speed later, all the better.

If you end up with a total rebuild to your current block or a newer “doner” then you can consider a stroker kit. It adds a bit to the rebuild, but not that much. You can now take your 302 or 289 block out to 363 cubic inches. Again, to realize the power you need good heads and in this case long tube headers should be considered. And do not rule out a complete motor from a reliable builder. You get a warranty to boot. Unless you want to build it yourself. Hard to beat turn key kits and I can help you there also.

First couple decisions. Want a bit more power without get out of hand? Are you willing to give up the exhaust manifolds?

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