1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks
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Hi guy's, I need some help or advice on some up grades for my 302. I have a 54 ford pick up [ please take a look in my gallery] with a 302/AOD eng and tranny. the engine is of the 86 variety which was stock with 140 horse power. I thought I could pick up some horse power so I installed an edelbrock manifold and 600 series carb and a little better cam. It didn't help at all. So, what do I need to to? Are these engines upgradeable? Im looking for up to 300 horsepower. Would better breathing heads and headers get me what I want? Do I need to go inside the motor with better compression pistons and bore size? I also want to go to a standard trans. maby a 5 speed. I know autos are better and easier but I want to get back to shifting threw the gears. Would I be better off trying to get the whole set up with a HO 5.0 and tranny from a mustang and what do you think that would run me? Any help would be appreciated. My truck is dependable as it is now but my tranny's got a noise and is leaking at both ends, so Im thinking I might as well go for it. Bill
Is the motor and HO motor, or just a regular 302? Roller cam or flat tappet? You should have noticed some improvement with the Edelbrock intake and carb. What cam did you put in, and what is your timing set at? 302s like about 14-16 degrees advanced for initial timing.
Better heads are the key....depending on your budget you could go with some GT40 or GT40P heads. The p heads are a pain with headers, but the regular GT40's are no problem. These won't get you 300 hp, but you will notice an improvement. Or you could drop $1200 - $1400 on some good aluminum heads. Trick Flow or RHS are some good choice.
You'd be better off financially getting a 351 IMO, trucks need torque as much as pure HP. A more modern 351 would give you both, and if you kept the EFI, it would likely give better mileage. You'd need to watch the AOD tho, an '86 AOD is one of the weaker designs out there (unless it's been upgraded).
1952 F-1 Flat V8 3-on-the-tree MSD, Rochester 2G, Red's Headers
“It’s really hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” -- Yogi Berra
Tiredood, thanks for the reply. This is not a HO motor. Its the slow as you go old two barrel carburated can't get out of its own way motor. prety sure the timing is set good, between 15 and 16 and the spec sheet from the boys said 140 ponies or there abouts. feel more like 120. anyway the Edelbrock manifold and carb were a set and there's no noticable difference. I did take it to a carb shop and had them turn it down a bit. It was gassen me out. My brother in law picked up the cam for me and said it was a mild cam but better than the original. Rockers are definately not roller.. If I decide to go with the aluminum heads and headers will that get me to 300? Will I still need to go into the motor for some more compression? bill
I actually started out with a Lincoln town car engine with the same hp ratings as yours. I had my engine rebuilt and went with a 600cfm edelbrock, weiand intake, GT40P heads from a 97 explorer, ford racing cam, and 1-5/8. I was told by the machinest that my compression around 9 to 1. With all of this, everything I researched it should put out over 300 hp. A guy on one mustang site had the same setup as mine except his had a 600 Holley carb dyno tuned and it made 340+ hp at the crank. But every engine is different so I figure my engine should be around 300hp
Rear gears will help with the seat of the pants feel with either the auto trans. With a aod trans or a 5 spd you should be able to run lower gears like 370-410 and still get decent
mileage. I'm going with 370 gearing with my aod
Edit: I used block hugger headers with my gt40p heads, work great
300 HP is probably asking a lot from a mild 302 but you should be getting some help from your changes. Since it's basically an "air pump" a good general rule is if you increase the top end breathing you need to allow the exhaust to breathe better as well. On a mild engine, headers aren't always essential, but stock manifolds are pretty restrictive unless you have the stock tube type shorties which aren't all that bad. I'm assuming you have dual exhaust or a large diameter single system. A "little better" cam doesn't provide much info for help. If your lift is around .460 and duration is around 270 you should be in the ballpark. As I recall, my 86 GT had about about 210 HP stock. So you shouldn't have a problem achieving that or more. If you bought your Manifold, Carb and Cam from Edlebrock as a package, that's a pretty good way to go. Better heads are always a plus but something seems fishy.
Lastly re-visit everything. If you are sure you indexed the cam properly (Because rechecking it on a SBF is a pain in the a$$) than I'd take compression, read the plugs and ignition characteristics, vacuum etc. You may have some gremlin that's not allowing full performance.
Hi Bill, first off you have a beautiful truck there. My 302 is a 68 that stock was listed at 210 HP/ 310 FPT. When I got it ,it was a fairly fresh rebuild, 2bbl with a C4 tranny. It was hurting for power real bad ( i dont know what was done to the bottom end), I went with the Eddellbrock performer package the same as you with the exception of cam wich i took the performer plus cam. At that time I also added stiffer pushrods, stronger springs, and new Eddelbrock timeing chain. I saw a big improvement with these mods. Then I swapped out the old distributer and computer with a HEI with this I saw another increase in power, then last I replaced the old 2" dual exaust and stock manifold with 2 1/2" block hugger headers and 2 1/2" pipes with wich I also saw an encrease in power. Each piece of the puzzel adds to the finished product. Im very happy with the power it now provides. My next engine mod will be better heads quite possibly aluminum . Im surprised you did not see a decent increase in power with what you have done. You might compare the specs on the cam you got to the Eddelbrock performer plus cam and see if there are big differences. Eddelbrock does match there different packages to work as a teem. Im sorry all I can add is My personel expeierence, Im no mechanic but there are some very good ones on this site as you know . Good luck.
I have a similar 302 in a 66 Mustang. Half the problem is the cam and cam timing. To meet emissions, the cam is set back a few degrees compared to the early 302 that Jim has. The net effect is that the intake closes late...so even though the piston is on the way up, there is no effective compression. So...even though the pistons might be 8:1 compression ratio pistons, the effective compression ratio is more like 6.5:1
If you change out the timing gear and chain with aftermarket parts, you can set the cam timing straight up and most likely pick up at least 40 of the missing 70 horsepower. If you go with a cam that is similar to the stock cam in the 68 302, you'll probably find the other 30 as well.
The two barrel carbs actually aren't bad for power, but you could do better with 4 barrel unit that is around 600 cfm.
300 horsepower is do-able, but it takes money. You can easily get to to something over 210 without a lot of effort.
If you really want to make some horsepower you have to change the heads. Stock 302 heads are good for either door stops or boat anchors. No matter what cam or carb setup you use it will not help unless the engine breaths. The old Ford Racing x303 heads were a good choice or AFR's are even better. The 302 going in my truck is a roller motor with a Ford Racing x303 cam, worked over x303 heads, 10 to 1 JE forged pistons and fuel injection. It's good for just under 400 horse.
What Toy Should I Play With Today
Still A Kid After All These Years.
im running an 89 model 302 HO out of a fox body. i have rebuilt it completely to a 347 stroker balanced and blue printed. running aluminum gt40 turbo swirl heads and and bbk shorty headers with a full roller system with stock cam and fuel injection, its putting out 512 hp to the rear wheels. its currently in my 90 f150 4x4 will eventually be sitting in my 48 f1. i have about $3000 in the motor. if you want more details or anything i would sure share what i did. if thats not a route you would be interested in i understand... imo if its worth doing... its worth over doing... lol
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