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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys me and my dad are gonna start to tear down my 302 out of my 83 f150, yeah i know not a bronco but would still like to hear some good feedback. my question is what do i need to make at least 300 horsepower or a little more. and a little more torque. The 302 is from a 1987 mustang gt. what cam should i use, different heads maybe? not wanting to spend a crazy amount rebuild, me and my dad are gonna do the work. but any info you guys can give would be great. it runs now but runs really bad and smokes, think there is a bad bearing or a couple. i dont wanna spend much more than 1200 on my motor build. but that might not be possible. it has a 4 barrel holly btw. thanks again guys. this forum rocks
 

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Eric
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2,624 Posts
Daily driver or trail rig/toy?

If emissions aren't a concern, you can pop 300HP with a stock rebuild master kit which runs ~$300. Add an intake ~$170, GT40 heads ~$100 (junk yard) or ~$250 private sale, performance cam kit ~$200, and headers ~$200.

Ignition stuff is nice if you want to tune your timing curve, but, not necessary for 300HP, which isn't much more than a mild build on a carbed, roller-block, 302. Hell, you might even be able to get away with the stock cam.

Right there you're at, about, $1k. Some prices might be lower, depending on where you find the items, or, do some "horse-trading." Do some homework on where/how you want your power band to come on and match the components respectively. Don't just hack a bunch of crap together. If parts compliment each other, they are more efficient (read: make more power). Take some time, cruise the 'net, and learn how engines make power. EDUCATE YOURSELF. It's free. :thumbup You are doing yourself a disservice if you build an engine (or do anything, for that matter), based on what everyone else tells you, and don't understand how/why it works.

Any machine work needed will kill the budget. To vat, mag, bore, hone, R&R pistons, install cam bearings, and valve-job/guides/mill the heads you're looking at, close to, $800-$900. That's not even assembly/paint/freeze plugs. That's just machining.

Don't rush the build and the deals will come around in time. Just keep your eyes open and, constantly, check Craig's List and E-bay. Like, every day. Talk to machine shops in town and find out if they have any parts they're willing to cut you a deal on.

My $0.02,
Eric
 

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House of Windsor 4ever!
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10,512 Posts
Eric has some very good points on the machine work, but IMHO, you will run into machine work, and having it done correctly right off the bat will save heartache and frustration in the long run. Also when budgeting, add an extra 10-15% for "just in case" situations. Anyway, when I had the 351W donor engine rebuilt way back in 2001, I bought the rebuild master kit myself, the machinist offered me a set of van 351W heads (has bigger chambers but 1.94/1.60" valves and thick decks) for $100, and the shop did the cleaning, machining, piston/rod work and cam bearing installation for $650 back then, so I was into that part at about $900-925 or so. Then I inspected the crank first, which passed, so I assembled the engine myself, trading sweat equity for the cash I'd have to lay out. This gave me the ability to keep track of everything that requires attention and so if something were to go wrong, I'd know it was my fault. 26+K miles later, it runs just fine, even though it still needs a dial-in, which I'll be doing this Summer. I also did an accessory conversion, installing the bracketry, fan and pulleys from the '79 donor Grand Marquis to be able to more easily source repair parts if necessary (I changed to '85 MY pulleys four years ago for more efficiency in the cooling system). I also have the brackets and compressor to change to the later Crown Vic design over the original Frigidaire compressor; I just need to modify the core support in my Ranchero to accept the CV condenser and lines. But I'm happy with my own work and I can see this engine going for a long while without major repairs.
 

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Eric
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2,624 Posts
Right you are, Andy, and I completely agree. I'm, totally, in favor of getting machine work done. I was, merely, suggesting that if the OP wanted to do it right, machining would blow his budget of $1,200, easily, and he should take that into consideration. However, as you mentioned, solid machine work is the start of a solid build.

I mean, why do, solely, a re-ring and dingle-berry hone on a block that might only last another 40k miles without a proper over-bore? Then, you're gonna be in the same boat and have to buy new over-size pistons/rings for a total rebuild you should've done in the first place. "Buy once, cry once."

If I might make a couple more suggestions: when you do the rebuild (whichever route you choose), I would highly recommend installing ARP main cap and connecting rod bolts. They stretch less than the stock hardware and maintain the bearing clearances for a longer period of time. This will prolong the quality of the rebuild you are doing now. Also an ARP oil pump shaft is cheap insurance against pump failure.


Eric
 
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