302 vs. 351 comparisons - Ford Mustang Forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009 Thread Starter
beretboy2003's Avatar
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302 vs. 351 comparisons

Hey guys i'm looking to take a foxbody and turn it into my road racing project. I seems that most have the 302 in them but some have the 351. Is there that big of a difference? My goal is to have around 350-400 rwhp but i also want the most reliability and the one that the most aftermarket parts are avaliable for. Also what's the difference in a 5.0 H.O? Suggestions?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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If they have a 351 it is because someone put one there. My favorite budget engine is a 351W. They are very robust reliable engines and MOST 302 parts fit except components related to balance and deck height.

The 302 HO motor came in many forms, from flat tappet cam versions to hydraulic roller cam versions. Peak power was in the 220 HP range mostly due to small heads with limited flow.

Mostly because of the taller deck and beefier crank and rods, the 351W is a little heavier than a 302. The taller deck cuts down on rod angle and allows use of a longer rod, and truck engines use better bolts and machining on rod end caps to make a stronger rod. I've run truck rods at 7000-7500 RPM without a single case of failure in years of drag racing.

You'll want aftermarket heads for any Ford motor. Heads range from the poorest flowing E7TE castings at about 165 cfm through D0OE 351 castings at 189 cfm up to 250 cfm with good aluminum heads like the TFS or AFR heads.

The ultimate head by far is a "Yates" SB head at 368 cfm. A 330 inch motor of mine made well over 700 HP naturally aspirated with them with a very wide power band using a single 4 bbl carb.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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easier and cheaper to get 400 hp with 351w!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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IMHO - If you looking at going through the curves stay with the 302.

Hundred pounds lighter on the nose resulting in better front/back weight distribution compared to the 351. Given the products out there you will not have a problem coaxing out 350-400rwhp, especially if you decide to stroke it. If you do stroke it, then go with the 331 stroker for the better rod ratio and to meet your longevity criteria. Further, the 302 reciprocating assembly is lighter and journals smaller (less friction) for quicker revs coming out of the corners.

Last, have fun with your project!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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i have a 351w in my mustang with cast iron GT-40 heads and it still only weighs 2750lbs., i'd go with the 351w for sure, they produce way more torque and horsepower and with the longer stroke you can get over 11:1 compression with flat tops, i noticed a huge difference when i swaped mine out for a 351w the torque is crazy
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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If you can afford it, why not go with a 351 alloy block/heads? You'd get close to the weight of a 302 iron engine and enjoy the better power range of the 351. There is no replacement for displacement (not mine, wish I knew who said it first ).


Carbed '89 'Stang GT 5.0/T-5 in a lightweight Cobra replica---now, THAT's the way to go!!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009
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My vote is for the 351!
IMO, the thing that gives the 351 the advantage is the 302 can only be poked and stroked to a 347 whereas a 351 can be pushed to even a 427! We all have to admit it, it doesn't matter whether you have 100HP or 400HP, we all eventually want to go even faster!

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