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postalxj 06-14-2009 11:37 PM

302 vs 351M
What do you guys think, should i swap my 351M for a 302?

Both motors are stock but i was going to do a intake, cam, and timing chain upgrade with a 600 cfm carb, also headers and flowmaster ext

Sorry my truck is a 79 F150 4x4 short bed, and i want to be able to tow my Jeep Cherokee.


I have a rebuilt 302 in a doner truck.

fmc400 06-14-2009 11:46 PM

It's not a good decision. A 302 is a pretty poor choice for a truck motor that will be used for towing. It doesn't make sense why one would want to do that in the first place.

TriumphTune 06-15-2009 01:01 AM

I agree. I'm not sure why Ford insisted on putting them in so many trucks.

JSTMoto 06-15-2009 02:00 AM

If the 351 is on its way out, and you cant repair it or cant afford to, then ya swap the 302 in and make due with it. BUT if the 351 is fine and running good, leave it. Like others have said, the 302 is not the best truck engine out there, it can tow ok, but it lacks in the low end grunt department, so it will work much harder.

You probably wont see any improvement in gas mileage either, so there really isnt any reason to get rid of the 351 unless its broken and you can't fix it. Even then, i'd sell the 302 and buy parts to fix the 351.


Holiver31 06-15-2009 08:22 AM

Leave the 351, if your going to do intake, cam, timing, and a carb you'll have a decent pulling motor. 302 aren't very good truck engines. They have basically no low end.

4x4 Bart 06-15-2009 08:38 AM

Ive had both and the 302s don't pull loads good.

kettle-one 06-15-2009 11:37 AM

Think 460 or at least 400. The 302 is too small, you'll be revving the crap out of it just to get the truck to move. I have the same truck you do, and currently have a 351m. I hate it to death even with an RV cam, fender well headers, open exhaust, Performer intake and new 600 Holley it still is gutless just to move the truck. If your going to tow, (and a short box is a poor choice as longer wheel base makes for more stability), at least build a 400 with higher compression. I was going to do that, but got a good deal on a 460 and zf and a pair of SCJ heads fell in my lap for cheap so I am going that route.

hairyboxnoogle 06-15-2009 01:10 PM

At least with a 351M/400/ 460 you dont have to swap anything but the engine. I think you have to do motor mount towers with the 460. Find a 400, bump the compression, get a straight up timing chain set, performer 400 intake, and throw that 600 cfm carb on there. Still not the greatest engine there is, but it will do the job. As far as the 302 goes, they are good little engines and last forever it seems. And agian, how many people, especially today, use a pickup for its origional intention?? No where near half im sure. People like pickups because they arent cars, but they want em to get good fuel econemy. Thats why ford stuffed so many pickups with 302's. My theory anyway, which is why we have a 5.4 L in new trucks as compared to say a 6.2 L. Which is why econoline vans have engines with higher compression and hotter cams, theyre most likely going to be put to work, not just driven around.

justforkicks 06-15-2009 03:05 PM

i'd say stay w/the 351. mines pretty torquey in it's stock form, and it's more reliable than my 87 ranger!

postalxj 06-15-2009 10:07 PM

Wow I didn't think i would get that kind of feed back, Sound like the 302 is going to be sold and some money put in the 351M.

Wow again

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

Wood Welder 06-27-2009 08:33 AM

Originally Posted by postalxj (Post 7611023)
What do you guys think, should i swap my 351M for a 302?

Both motors are stock but i was going to do a intake, cam, and timing chain upgrade with a 600 cfm carb, also headers and flowmaster ext

Sorry my truck is a 79 F150 4x4 short bed, and i want to be able to tow my Jeep Cherokee.


I have a rebuilt 302 in a doner truck.

Sorry to be off topic......

I have a 1977 F150 4X4 short bed and I was wondering does your rear drivshaft have a CV joint on it? I still have a slight vibration thing going on and I wonder if this is the last thing I need to change out.


kettle-one 06-27-2009 09:41 AM

^^ My 79 Short 4x4 does not. You might need to have the balance on your drive shafts checked.

1977f150xlt 06-27-2009 02:31 PM

it always amazes me at the outright hatred against 302w motors on here,

it depends on what year the 302 is, if its a stock mid to late 70s 302w it will be gutless just like every other stock motor of the mid to late 70s, (sorry i mean no offense, but its the truth)

well now i will address the 351m vs. 302w well in all truth the 351m and 400 are just over weighted paper weights, again sorry, but in stock form they are, just like a 302w or any other engine of the mid to late 70s,

also lets look at parts, well i know the 302w is the easiest Ford motor to get replacement parts for, there's a reason it was used from the 60s till the early 2000s also with the Mustang market its simple and cheap to upgrade a 302w, now go look for some 351m parts........good luck! and good luck on finding performance parts, and if you do,,,, watch out! the price will be way more than a 302w,

if it was me, i would toss out the boat anchor 351m and put in 302w, i am sure a brand new 351m would be great, or one all modded and tuned, but in stock form i would choose the 302w, you can just do some much more and for far cheaper than a 351m,

here is some upgrades you can do with a 302w,

you can go to fuel injection
you can go too serpentine belt setup
you can swap in Mustang shorty headers (which can be nice i had to with my 4x4)
you can swap parts from cars and trucks from more years
you can swap in any Mustang 302w part, from cams to heads to headers to intakes, to even turbos to superchargers if you got the money

also don't count out the 302w in the power realm, i know and have seen 302w motors react quite well to power upgrades,

so knock off the hate for the 302w, if i remember correctly, the 351m had a common problem with the block cracking, and other mishaps, now i would bet anything my trucks '71 302w would out pull and out power any stock 351m,

the 351m and 400 are smog designed motors, and thus i would never suggest them to any one, now if someone wants to address all the problems of motors of the day, then a 351m would be fine,

so i would stick with the 302w depending on what year it is, i can help you out if you want to date the 302w, also what transfercase do you have? a NP205? and what transmission? i would suggest if your in for a auto, upgrade too a 4x4 AOD from the early 80s, also you can bolt a AOD up to a 70s NP-205, all you need is the adapter and grind one little spot on the adapter, so the transfer case shifter clears,

and you say the 302w is rebuilt, then i would stick with it for sure, that 351m will be nothing but headaches finding performance parts for, read my sig, i will tell you in the next 2-3 weeks how its on road, and i will make some videos, see sig youtube video,


Ronzi 06-27-2009 03:17 PM

I would rather have fords straight six in my truck than a 302. They are nearly the same size but the six has gobs more bottom end. Since the 6 cyl is not an option in the OP I will say Id stick with the 351M even though Im not a big fan of that motor either.

4x4 Bart 06-27-2009 03:23 PM

It's not hatred for the 302w, in fact without a doubt the 302w is my all time favorite engine. The last on I had was a 92 f-150. It was awesome on the road when empty, plenty of power and fast but put a moderately loaded trailer behind it and start up a hill and the power faded to 5000rpm screaming in first gear and thats with 3.70 rear gears.
At the same time I owned a 77 f150 with a 351m that was terrible on the highway, no power and not fun to drive but put the same trailer and the same hill and it would pull it reving less than 2000rpm with the same rear gear.
What made the difference, the 351m is desined as a truck engine.
What does that mean? It has a tall deck height that allows for longer rods and eases the rod angle as it rotates the crank. This makes it pull strong at low rpms. This is the same with the 351Windsor.
Don't get me wrong a 302w with the right cam, gearing etc. might be encourged to pull

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