302 or 351W?


Daniel Black

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Okay, I already have an older 302 in my 2WD '87 Ranger but I'm going to build a new motor to replace the one I run now. I have a '95 roller cam 351W and a '96 roller cam 5.0 setting in an outbuilding. The 5.0 would be pretty direct swap of course. I'll swap my oil pan, intake, distributor, water pump, fan, timing cover, fuel pump fulcrum and my alternator bracket but I'll have to buy a 50oz balancer and a new flywheel since my old motor is 28oz balance. For the 351w I'll need a new intake, oil pan, pickup tube, distributor, alternator bracket and cut on the frame a tad to make my Tri-Ys fit but I can still reuse everything from the timing cover forward off my old motor and I can use my 28oz flywheel. Whichever motor I'll use I'll rebuild the short block with stock crank and rods, not a stroker motor in either case, flat top or dome pistons with a big cam, aluminum intake, roller rockers. I have a set of '70 Windsor heads that I'm using on whichever I decide to build. Question is, on a mild build is the 351W worth all the extra work and money? If it were a race truck with a huge Windsor stroker motor maybe but just a mild street truck? I know there's no substitute for cubic inches but I figure they'll be at least a $500-$1000 price difference just to use the 351. Not to mention the added nose weight if I use the 351. If it makes a difference I use a carburetor, Duraspark ignition, mechanical fuel pump and a mechanical fan. I don't have PS, PB or AC to worry with.
 


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racsan

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if I recall right , the 302 & 351 share the same cyl bore , the 351 has more stroke . Ive heard they are a little taller as a result, you would certainly gain more torque from a 351.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Id go with the 351.

Yes itll be more work, but IIRC a roller 351W makes around 330ftlbs of torque, compared to a 302's 275, and the 351 will come on at a lower RPM.

Yes its more work, but it has been done, is very doable, and would net alot more fun.
 

19Walt93

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I used a 351 in my 93 because the one I had was complete and the 302 I have is not. I was concerned about the weight difference but found out it's only about 60 lbs. If you want screaming high RPM's build the 302, for low end power the 351 is the best bet. Look closely at the heads before deciding to use the old ones, the E7TE heads are not bad and if your old heads use rail rockers I would convert them to hardened pushrods and guide plates or scrap them. I lost count of the early 70's 302's and 351's I had to do major valve jobs including drilling and replacing valve guides because of the side load from rail rockers.
 

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I got a 351w coming that im probably gonna do a 351 clevor with.

 

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Ive driven 289s, 302s, and 351s... I gotta be honest it depends how they are built. My 289 is no rocket ship but it will blow the doors off any stock 302 or 351 windsor or modified (not counting coyotes and cleavlands are oddballs). The only "beast" 351 ive had was a cleavland but it was a nascar engine. Ive driven stock 302 and stock 351w trucks and cannot say omg the 351 was soooo much better. Unless you go into the 351m which is a torquey bitch but not much good for anything else.

But if you have pick of the litter id surely do a 351w over a 302. But again all about how you build it.

Just my experience.
 

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Pfff 460.... you need a Merlin V1650

It will fly circles around any 460 out there. Guaranteed....
 

Daniel Black

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I'd love to do a 460 Ranger but I can't swing buying the motor and another trans to use it. My Dad has a '69 Mach 1 with a 351W and it runs really good in stock form but most of my experience with them is in '80s F-series and I agree with the above that I wasn't blown away with how they ran. The weight difference isn't as bad as I thought though. It seemed a lot heavier unloading it off the truck. The old 302 I use now has plenty of torque to spin the tires but once I get into 3rd and 4th gear it's apparent it doesnt have much horsepower. I guess I'll tear both motors down and get them to the machine shop. If one has to be bored and the other just needs to be honed that could be the deciding factor as far as budget goes. That would probably mean the 351W. It's only supposed to have around 86K miles on it out of an F250. First inspection with the intake and valve covers off is that it's very clean so far. Maybe a Windsor swap wont be so bad. I thought the 302 swap would be a huge, long played out nightmare but it only took a Saturday to get the motor in and then a few more days to work out the small details. Does a 351 typically run hotter than a 302? I've gotten away with running a single core 2.9 radiator so far, so that could be another thing to add up on the price list.
 

rusty ol ranger

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I'd love to do a 460 Ranger but I can't swing buying the motor and another trans to use it. My Dad has a '69 Mach 1 with a 351W and it runs really good in stock form but most of my experience with them is in '80s F-series and I agree with the above that I wasn't blown away with how they ran. The weight difference isn't as bad as I thought though. It seemed a lot heavier unloading it off the truck. The old 302 I use now has plenty of torque to spin the tires but once I get into 3rd and 4th gear it's apparent it doesnt have much horsepower. I guess I'll tear both motors down and get them to the machine shop. If one has to be bored and the other just needs to be honed that could be the deciding factor as far as budget goes. That would probably mean the 351W. It's only supposed to have around 86K miles on it out of an F250. First inspection with the intake and valve covers off is that it's very clean so far. Maybe a Windsor swap wont be so bad. I thought the 302 swap would be a huge, long played out nightmare but it only took a Saturday to get the motor in and then a few more days to work out the small details. Does a 351 typically run hotter than a 302? I've gotten away with running a single core 2.9 radiator so far, so that could be another thing to add up on the price list.
IIRC the biggest issue with 351 fitment is the steering box and header clearence. The 351 is slightly taller/wider then a 302.

Have you ever driven a 80s F series with a 302? If you do a 351 from an 80s F series will impress you, espicially if its a 4bbl H.O.

A 351 will run a bit hotter then a 302, id recommend a bigger radiator.
 

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The steering box clearance isn't that tight, I made a little heat shield so I could run manifolds. I used fox body brackets and pulleys so I mounted the Griffin universal radiator inside the core support.
 

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The steering box clearance isn't that tight, I made a little heat shield so I could run manifolds. I used fox body brackets and pulleys so I mounted the Griffin universal radiator inside the core support.
It is tighter if you want headers.

I have thought about going 351W as my 302 isn't really a spring chicken. I don't really want to redo my exhaust and clutch...
 

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I'd do a 302 again, I dunno about a 351w simply for width concerns. The end result kinda depends on how you build your 302... mine is from an '89 Crown Vic, they were rated at 150hp, and they feel like 120hp. It's a marginal improvement from the 2.9 on the highway, HUGE improvement on the trail just from the increased torque alone. I've driven an '82 F150 that had a 302 that was rated at (IIRC) 120hp, that truck was SOOOO bad, it ran well but had a lot of blow by and felt like driving a 4 cylinder...and it had an AOD...and really tall gears in the rear end.

My '86 F150 was supposedly rated at 180hp, second year of factory EFI. It has loads of power and you can spin it to the moon. Love that engine, I'd like to put it on a dyno sometime. I bet it comes close to what it's rated for.

Point being, a 302 is not a 302 is not a 302.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Point being, a 302 is not a 302 is not a 302.
Same can be said though for a 351, a 69 with no emissions and 10:1 compression is going to rip apart an 81 351 that has the wonderful variable venturi carb, basically flat cam, and 8:1 compression.

The 351 H.O was actually stouter power wise then the early EFI ones IIRC, and matched the 94+ rollers for power.
 


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