Ford introduced the 302 cubic inch Windsor V8 in 1968, although it was not introduced to the F Series lineup until late 1969 as option for the F150. Ford had a variety of 302 engines (with some making over 300 horsepower), but the F150 302s started at a lower 205 horsepower. This power output was reduced to 130 hp when Ford went to the newly required SAE horsepower ratings in 1972. The 302 offered Ford truck buyers 130 hp until 1980, when it was increased to 133 hp and 233lb-ft of torque. Along with that modest increase in power, the 1980 302 equipped trucks included Ford’s first automotive overdrive transmission, allowing for improved fuel economy. It was during this period where the 302 became more commonly known as the 5.0, thanks to badging on the popular Ford Mustangs, even though the 302 had previously been recognized by Ford Motor Company as measuring 4.9L.
In 1985, the 302 was modified to include Ford’s new electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, and the ‘5L’ 302 offered 185 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This made the 302 one of the more powerful engines in the F-Series lineup, behind only the 351 High Output and the 460 big block. The 302 continued making 185/270 through the 1993 model year, and was the base model V8 engine option, offered with either an automatic or manual transmission.
After 1993, the 302 received a boost in power, then offering 205 horsepower when mated to a manual transmission and 195 with the automatic transmission option. The 302 F-series engine continued to offer the same specs through the 1996 model year, when the 302 was finally retired and replaced by Ford’s new Modular series.