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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

After I finish my current project (66 coupe 289 rebuild) I want to grab a used SBF engine to tear down and rebuild. I want some opinions on this. I'm not too worried about making a big chunk of change off this venture, its more because I like doing it but a little profit would be nice.

What I want opinions on is what to look for when searching for a used 289/302/351 engine... things like date codes, rare engines, distinguishing features, how to tell if an engine is original/worn/rebuilt, etc.

I know some of the basic things like K code 289's and G code boss 302's

I'm just looking for some pointers when I go to a swap meet and start engine hunting
 

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My experience at swap meets, are sometimes you get a good deal and other times they think they have gold. My best recommendation is an 302 or 351 with not much cylinder wear, otherwise you will have to have it bored, somewhere along the lines came the roller lifter motors, I know 87 was one year, some of the other guys should know what years, K codes and boss 302 will be expensive if they are really that motor, and not one dressed up to look like it. The problem you will have is what they tell you whether it is the truth or not or they may not know the history of the motor. IF you are trying to find a motor with the correct year for your car it will start with C6 on the engineering number on the block, I think there is a link for decoding the ford numbers at the top of the forum. A salvage yard might be your best bet for an engine, I would price them before you go to the swap meet, that should give you an idea of price. The price to rebuild one yourself will probably start at about $400 and go up (not counting the price of the motor), depending on how worn out it is, also if it is the wrong year, you will need the vintage stuff to make it work, like timing cover, water pump, hoses, oil pan, oil pump pickup, etc. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I know there's always going to be that "take it on good faith" piece... just about everyone will say "it was running when we pulled it out"

I was thinking more 302/351 also as it doesn't seem too many people are paying out for 289s. Are that many people into buying roller 302s?? I'm pretty sure they really started coming out after 1986. Are these any different to rebuild?

When I did my 289 it cost $450 to machine out but in that case the crank didnt have to be touched, just micropolished and I wasn't reusing the original heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thats another question I had... are the 302 and 351 from a truck/van the same thing that would be found in a mustang?

And I deffinitely like the idea of pulling one from a junkyard if I could find some near me that had old enough cars
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually a couple months ago I found a Mustang II with a 302 in it but I remember someone saying the mustang 2 was terrible
 

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Terrible is a subjective term. They were heavy, underpowered (even the V8's) but they were on par with a lot of cars of that time. I had a 77 Cobra 4 speed that was "fun", (not exciting) to drive. They looked good and were quite popular at the time but emissions standards of the day made them 'dogs'. I suppose droping a nice crate engine into one could change that nowadays.
 

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If you want a good core to rebuild it don't matter what its from as long as its a small block.The only thing really different is the oil pans sump placement and if its a efi block the front cover is different then a carb engine.But both are simple bolt on change.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah that makes sense since I'll be swapping out probably all of the oil parts... so maybe I can find a good core for cheap that hasnt been touched yet

what about the crank? did they change over the years? the one in my 289 was perfect it didnt even need to be machined
 
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