recently bought a 1959 ford f100 with we are sure what. what is the best way to tell the difference between a 302 and a 351? are there some numbers on the motor that i should look for or is it more of the size of valve cover or what? HELP!!!
First, we need to know which 351 we're talking about. There's 3 different ones to choose from. The Windsor looks just like a 302, only wider across the intake manifold from the taller deck height. The Cleveland has larger valve covers with 8 bolts (6 bolts on the windsor) and a water neck that sticks straight up from the front of the block, as opposed to coming out of the front of the intake like the 351W/302. Here's the confusing part. The 351M looks just like the 351C, only again with a taller deck height and wider intake manifold. If you can post pictures, and measure the width of the intake, that would help us help you with the identification.
a quick visual clue is to look at the block beside the distributor. the 351W has a reinforcing rib while the 302 doesn't. there is also the same reicnforcing rib at the back of the block. another visual clus is that on the 302 the lower bolts on the thermostat housing are hidden behind the water pump while they are more exposed on the 351W sue to the taller deck height.