Yes, the roller blocks started in 1985. Even though the F150 came with a roller block, they still used flat tappet cams well into the 1990s. The Ford Mustang, however, got the roller block and a roller cam for the 1985 model year. 1985 was the last year for a carbureted Mustang, and 1985 was the ONLY year that the Mustang offered both the 4V carb AND roller cam.
As for when Ford started calling the 302 a 5.0, that came much earlier. I do know that in 1982, the Ford Mustang GT still used a flat tappet cam and 2V carb, and the car came with the famous "5.0" emblems on the side. I think the "5.0" and "EFI" moniker was placed on the F150 intake starting with the 1987 redesign, however.
For some reason though, I noticed that most people tend to call the Mustang motor the "5.0", and the truck motor the "302," regardless of the year, even though they are basically the same.
A friend of mine had a '79 Capri (same as a Mustang) that said "5.0" on the fender, so the name goes at least that far back
As far as I'm concerned, all engines have names, not a displacement that can be converted between units however you want. Ford put a 5.0 in Mustangs and a 302 in everything else, I don't care if they're the same engine
Ive seen several different comments on when and what years and model vehicles the 302v8 acquired a roller cam. So what is it? in this thread alone ive seen 3 different years 85, 87, & 89. I have an 84 bronco 302 2bbl and reading this thread has brought alot to my attention. Im now questioning what i can even do with my motor. And how long its ran with out the Vddp zinc additive as im almost certain it has a flat tappet cam ##ck me!
Welcome to having a Ford. Ford always slowly phased in changes it seems, sometimes mid-year. So you can have the same year vehicle and be equipped differently.
I have had many many conventional tappet engines and have had no problems with cam wear with the newer oils. I am sure the zinc helps, but so far it seems to be over blown just like the leaded/unleaded fuel was over blown.