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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have decided to post up my build here starting from today. I have several things in the works including a SAS, engine modifications and other bits and pieces.

My main goal is to have a truck that is not only streetable, but can tackle most trails, rock crawling and other adventures - the main idea here is to maintain drivability on and offroad.

I'm going to start with Engine Improvements:

I have been unhappy with the performance of the 302 hauling my large truck around above 7000 feet. I know the altitude takes it's toll on everything at that altitude, especially a heavy truck with large tires and taller gears. However with a truck approaching 6000 lbs and having a 5.0 liter about to tick off 100K miles I have been looking at ways to improve the current engine without having to source and build a 351..

I think the 302 has allot of life in it and would like to do what I can to it to make it all it can be with minimum down time.
A few things I have done already to improve performance:

  • Six liter tune up
  • Replaced the exhaust (From heads back)
  • Dropped in a K&N (The air intake currently takes air from the drivers side fender as I have a York attached to the AC… future plans are to cut a small hole in the front outside fender and add a very small scoop to get a bit of cold air from the outside into the fenderwell)
  • New 19lb injectors
  • New IAT
  • Cleaned Throttle body and MAF

I have my mind set on a set of heads and a mild cam as well as refreshing the top end of the engine (water pump, timing chain etc etc...)

The heads I have in mind are the AFR-165 (165cc Street Cylinder Head)

I think I have settled on a Cam from CompCam - Xtreme Energy, XE270HR (Still trying to make sure this will fit my goals)

Again, I want to make sure that the modifications I do to the 302 today will last me for the foreseeable future so I decided to test my current engine before I start purchasing.

I have 99,250 miles on the current engine.

First thing I did was replace all my vacuum lines. It was actually pretty straight forward and when it was all said and done pretty easy! I just took it slow and did one at a time like many have said. Tested the vacuum at the manifold and got 17. Tested almost all the vacuum lines and got 17.. so no more leaks and my air ducts now actually switch when i tell them :)

Next thing I did was do a compression test. The following are the results of doing 3 tests on each cylinder.

  1. 115, 119, 119
  2. 119, 120, 119
  3. 120, 125, 130
  4. 130, 125, 132
  5. 120, 120, 125
  6. 125, 125, 125
  7. 115, 120, 120
  8. 120, 120, 120

I threw out the lowest and highest and took the middle number for an average.

  1. 119
  2. 119
  3. 125
  4. 130
  5. 120
  6. 125
  7. 120
  8. 120

I was going to do a leak down test next, however with the results of the dyno run about 2 months ago and the compression test, i felt the engine was running the best it could be for 99k.

So, my next step will be purchasing the heads, cam, and other things that I want to replace on the engine and get those installed in the next 30 days or so.

I have a thread already started on the SAS here Landshark's Solid Axle Saga

I will update this thread with pics as i take them.. the only one i Really have right now is the picture of the whiteboard with the compression test numbers. I know how you all are so here it is! you can't complain of all talk and no pics! :goodfinge



and a few more of the axles waiting for love...

Dana 44 ready to be welded and painted.


Dana 60 before it was stripped down


Ready for 35 spline axles.. oh yea :)
 

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Premium Member
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319 Posts
nice rig i love it whit all that Hefty products, its a really nice rig!!!! come on!! more pictures please!!!!!
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well today i was a bit lucky.. running my axles down to Hefty Fab works (HEFTY on here) my truck barfed up all my coolant a mile from his shop.. turns out my water pump and/or the thermostat took a dump after 99,250 miles.. a few hours later we put in new ones and good as new.. was a great sneak peak into the engine rebuild!

Really lucky this didn't happen on the trail the week before.. thankful for that!
 

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FSB's Bastard Child
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2,047 Posts
Everyone is going to tell you to screw the 302 and put in a 351. If you do end up putting in heads and a cam, you can put them in a 351 later on.

I'm building a 302 just because I got a hell of a deal on it. Have you looked into the Ford Motorsports GT-40 aluminum heads?

I believe Gack is running a set and I will be once i put the motor in. Might be worth looking into for the difference in price.
 

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negative creep
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8,651 Posts
the 302 is a good motor, it just has to rev and work harder to move that weight and make good power. it was never designed to be a torquey engine either, it was built specifically to kill it at trans am racing which at the time was limited to 302 cubic inches. 100k mi is nothing, especially if you are good at basic maintenance. good luck.
 

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Registered
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472 Posts
A basic build on my 302 (GT40's, 1.7 rollers, and long tubes) resulted in more than enough power to move my 37's and 1 ton gear. Mine had 155k when I tore it down and the cylinder walls still looked great. You should be good with the 302 while you build something bigger.
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Everyone is going to tell you to screw the 302 and put in a 351. If you do end up putting in heads and a cam, you can put them in a 351 later on.

I'm building a 302 just because I got a hell of a deal on it. Have you looked into the Ford Motorsports GT-40 aluminum heads?

I believe Gack is running a set and I will be once i put the motor in. Might be worth looking into for the difference in price.
Ya i figured if I'm going to tear into my engine, iam going to do it right once and do the best I can to get the most out of it.. so I have looked at the GT-40's but in the end the AFR's won my heart :)

the 302 is a good motor, it just has to rev and work harder to move that weight and make good power. it was never designed to be a torquey engine either, it was built specifically to kill it at trans am racing which at the time was limited to 302 cubic inches. 100k mi is nothing, especially if you are good at basic maintenance. good luck.
Thats what i figured.. I have lots of life left in the engine and I think it can use a little kick in the pants and I will be pretty happy with it for a while to come.. when i get that hair up my ass again I will start fresh and do a 351 up right :)

A basic build on my 302 (GT40's, 1.7 rollers, and long tubes) resulted in more than enough power to move my 37's and 1 ton gear. Mine had 155k when I tore it down and the cylinder walls still looked great. You should be good with the 302 while you build something bigger.
Thats what I'm hoping.. iam not looking for a drag truck.. i just want to move the thing a bit better especially when the air gets thin.. I expect to find the cylinder walls to be great as well... I will make sure to take lots of pics.

So as you can tell Iam going ahead with the engine mods, I have purchased:

Crane 1.6 Roller Rockers
Upgraded (enlarged) stock valve covers
CompCam XE258HR Cam
Felpro Gasket set

Will purchase the rest of what i need next week and maybe in about 2-3 weeks start the engine work!
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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17,025 Posts
you can do all the engine stuff and have ok results. Your motor is low mileage, so it should last many years to come depending on how many miles you are putting on it. The other piece you really would like is to move beyond 4.56's, and probably go 5.13's unless it's highway driven and you like to go faster than 75. I have 4.56 with the 351 and it's not enough here in denver with 37's. I won't ever change this, just saying that if you have a choice, go higher.
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
you can do all the engine stuff and have ok results. Your motor is low mileage, so it should last many years to come depending on how many miles you are putting on it. The other piece you really would like is to move beyond 4.56's, and probably go 5.13's unless it's highway driven and you like to go faster than 75. I have 4.56 with the 351 and it's not enough here in denver with 37's. I won't ever change this, just saying that if you have a choice, go higher.
I'm going 4.88's will be running 37's.. i think that should be a good compromise as far as street/highway and trail.. i expect similar performance as i have now with 4.56's and 35's...
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well iam putting the engine rebuild/refresh on hold. Going to finish up my SAS first.

In other news the bronco rolled 100K!

 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well a couple of updates...

I have had some problems coming up with a replacement solution for my air intake.

I lost the stock air intake due to the location of the York compressor and so had to come up with a solution to get cold air into the intake instead of it sucking in hot engine bay air... well in the end I decided to cut out a section of my fender and make a scoop to grab some air and force it into the fender well.

I turned the bottom of my air intake box (with the air cleaner) 180 degrees so that the intake at the bottom is sticking out of the engine bay and into the inner fender. I cut a hole in the engine bay side of the fender and stuck the bottom of the air intake into this cut out in the fender.

Then with the mad skills of Chris Hefty and his brothers from Hefty Fabworks we cut a hole near the headlight and added a scoop and shaped it to the fender. A bit of welding and a little paint it looks like it came from the factory!











On my return from the springs (about 65 miles) I really noticed an improvement in the top end when passing or going up a hill.. there is definitely more power there when I bury my foot.

This week I will be making a small scoop on the inside of the fender from the old intake plastic to direct most of the air coming from the outside hole directly into the intake, so hopefully I will see some small further gains.

I'm interested to see if my MPG improve as well as I have noticed as the weather got warmer my MPG when down.. but mostly I am really happy that I now i have some cool air getting to the engine on those long hot climbs here in the mountains and on the trails!

Currently I'm also adding a few gauges to the truck, we added a nice 3 hole bracket to replace the storage bin/radio area on the dash. I just have one of the bracket we made, i should have the gauges installed this week sometime.



In other news I have decided to hold off on the engine upgrades for the time being and instead focus on my solid axle swap and general improvements to the truck. I really can't wait to get the SAS under there but I'm still finding I have quite allot of parts to acquire and test fit. Found a few problems with my Dana 60 and the disk brake kit fitment so will be working on resolving that problem...
 

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Screw the Jeep Thing
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4,522 Posts
Why didn't you just run a scoop on the top of the hood? I would think that would keep the water out of the engine better then at the headlights?

Either way, looks kinda cool.
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Why didn't you just run a scoop on the top of the hood? I would think that would keep the water out of the engine better then at the headlights?

Either way, looks kinda cool.
Snow. Sometimes I have several feet of snow on top of the hood and it would block then melt into the opening..

With the way the intake is now any water entering the fender will run out the bottom of the fender well, so shouldn't be a problem. Snow also doesn't sit on the side of the truck and I do so few water crossings it doesn't really matter that its sitting where it is. Plus again actual intake is way up high in the fender so water would run out the bottom of the fender well.. it was the best I could come up with for all intents and purposes.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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17,025 Posts
came out nice. Would be helpful to have an underhood pic. If you're driving on the highway and hit some heavy rain, which we can get here, I'm wondering how that water would flow around the front and into the pickup, and then inside, is there a drain hole or? Is it basically setup the same as the stock box in that the air comes into the bottom of the box, up through the filter and then over to the intake?
 

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Too many broncos!
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1,240 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
came out nice. Would be helpful to have an underhood pic. If you're driving on the highway and hit some heavy rain, which we can get here, I'm wondering how that water would flow around the front and into the pickup, and then inside, is there a drain hole or? Is it basically setup the same as the stock box in that the air comes into the bottom of the box, up through the filter and then over to the intake?
Yup you got it. Same stock setup, just turned the bottom so it sucks air from the drivers side fender. the intake on the outside of the fender is about 3-4 inches higher than the highest point of the air box, plus the inside of the fender well has all kinds of holes in it so no water will accumulate inside the fender well... so should be good. I will snap some pics maybe tonight of the intake.. not terribly interesting.. just the stocker with a hole cut out of the fender ;)

it surpassed all my expectations.. I think it looks great and will work perfectly.. the best part in my opinion is that you wouldn't even see it if your not looking for it, it looks stock.
 

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Screw the Jeep Thing
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4,522 Posts
Snow. Sometimes I have several feet of snow on top of the hood and it would block then melt into the opening..

With the way the intake is now any water entering the fender will run out the bottom of the fender well, so shouldn't be a problem. Snow also doesn't sit on the side of the truck and I do so few water crossings it doesn't really matter that its sitting where it is. Plus again actual intake is way up high in the fender so water would run out the bottom of the fender well.. it was the best I could come up with for all intents and purposes.
Gotcha.. I'm used to Alaska Wheelin, I would say 8 of of 10 trails, I'll have water atleast twice over my tires.. Never had any issues with the stock box though.

I agree snow would be somewhat of a concern..
 
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