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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2000, 08:09 PM
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big Bronc engine Qs

I'm currently without an offroad vehicle, and I'm sorta thinking about a big Bronco. Maybe late 1980s, auto, ps/pb/ac. Use will be as 2nd vehicle, maybe 50% around-town (particularly snow & ice days), 25% highway, and 25% trail (nothing insane). It looks like the engines that best fit my needs would be the 5.8l MPI or the 351W 4bbl. Any engine mods would be for reliability, torque, and fuel economy (in that order of priority).

1) Is there much of a weight difference between the 289/302/5.0l family and the 351W family? It sounds like there's a lot more iron in the 351W block and heads.

2) When shopping for the Bronco, and/or for a motor for rebuild, are there any years in which the 351W motors had aluminum heads? I've had my problems with alloy heads, and want a more heat-resistant engine for my "doomsday buggy."

3) Can a 351W be stroked easily? If so, will that kill fuel economy on a fuel-injected engine?

4) If I get ahold of a nice Bronco with a 302, is it worth the trouble to try stroking it to 330 cubes or thereabouts, or is a swap to a 351 block a better idea?

These are probably no-brainers for true-blue Ford fans, so feel free to reply by e-mail if needed.

Thanx much!



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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2000, 10:31 PM
 
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

I have a book and they stroked a 302 to 347 and got 450hp/425lb-ft. Doesn't seem all that bad. I have a 302 and I am thinking about stroking mine when I breaks.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2000, 12:56 AM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

Shovel, if you have the book handy, what's its title and author?

Not that I really need 450 HP, but I figure if their crank/rods/pistons were up to that power level, they oughta be reliable for a 250HP/375ft-lb mild buildup. I'm curious if they had to do a lot of grinding so that the rods and crank cleared the bottom of the cylinders. I'm not too familiar with the bottom end of engines, but I do know that can be a problem.

I have an article on Bronco buildups in "4x4 Power" magazine and I was surprised to see that the smallblock Fords are all short-stroke/big-bore. That's probably great for high-revvin' Mustangs, but for trucks I'd think they would have a small-block family of about 3.75" bore & stroke for light trucks and 4x4s.



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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2000, 03:14 AM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

stroking your 302 will put too much stress on the engine block. remember, that stroked 302 was probably not meant to be exposed to off-road driving. It was probably ment to make passes at the track or even be a daily driver. Unless you take it REAL easy when your off-road....stroking your 302 wouldnt be too wise. I have heard it is very high maintenance and it greatly reduces the life of your engine block.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2000, 09:22 AM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

Ivanhoe......."jump" to the Early Bronco board and look at 460 vs. 302 ......it covers just about everything you're looking for.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2000, 11:58 AM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

My interest in Ford stops around 1970, so I can't comment on the newer stuff.

1) I can't remember the exact figures, but the 351W is around 100# more. Do a search for 351 Windsor, there is a site that gives all the specs for Ford engines. The bottom end is very strong and the cylinder walls are thick on the 351. There is a lot of hp potential there.

2) ?

3) Yes the 351 can be stroked to 406 cid (400 crank and 30 over). There are kits you can buy from JEGS with everything, they are quite pricey though. There are templates you can buy for the 302 and 351 that show you how much you need to grind off the block to stroke the engine. Not much is needed to be removed, except the 351 has a large chunk of useless metal that is left over from how Ford cast the engine. I heard that the aftermarket 4 bolt main caps are actually weaker than the stock 2 bolts. No matter though, cause you are looking for a torque monster, not a high rpm motor. Fuel economy? What's that? [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

4) The 302 is no harder to stroke than the 351. Kits aval. for this too. I agree that with the 347 stroker, you are putting a lot of stress on the cylinder walls (which are no where near as thick as the 351) with such a short con rods. Since you have no intentions on a screamer engine, you should be ok.

Initially, the 351 was intended on being a truck engine, that is why it is so much heavier. IMO, I would try to find a 351 Bronco. If you find a good 302, by the time ($$) you stroke it, you could have swapped in a much stronger 351. If you go this route, you can always stroke it down the road when you get more money.
Just my take on things.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2000, 11:09 PM
 
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

The book I have is called "Ford Windsor Small-Block Performance," the publisher is HPBooks, and the author is Isaac Martin. As the title describes, the book is about all Windsor blocks which includes the 302 and 351. Everything you want to know about Windsor blocks is in this book and it has some buildups. It is also more of a Mustang book than it is a truck. The book is good, but it is the only Ford small-block book I have read, so there could be other better books out there. I would have to agree with everyone else, the 302 was designed for Mustangs and the 351 is more of a truck engine. But, IMO a 302 can be built to be just as good or better than a stock 351, without much modification. I really love my 302, but it's not that torquey. If you want torque I would go with the 351.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2000, 01:16 PM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

I looked for that site I mentioned above, I think it was called "The Ford V8 Engine Shop" or something very similar. Apparently it has been removed. Too bad, it was a great site. If anyone knows what happened to it or knows another good Ford engine site let me know. It's been a while since I did my research on these engines and I forgetting a lot of things.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-06-2000, 04:03 PM
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Re: big Bronc engine Qs

I like 302's, have had quite a few, won't say anything at all bad about them. But when I was looking for a Bronco, I wanted a 351. A Bronco is no lightweight vehicle, and the 351 helps erase the weight penalty. Just my thoughts!

post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-07-2000, 07:12 PM
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Actually, I have many complaints about the 302!!!

351 Broncos are hard to find, I wanted one, but I just happened upon my 88 302 AOD Bronco... It had 90,000 miles on it, and ran good when I got it and was too good a deal (so I though). Then the rear main seal started leaking... I put some stop-leak in it, and it slowed it, but at 110,000 miles or so, it was leaking really bad... Then the valve seals started going bad. I fouled a plug a week. Then I decided it was time for a rebuild. at only 115,000 miles!!! My moms 78 vette has 180,000 miles on it, and doesn't leak or use a drop! I had an 82 mustang that had the same problems at about the same mileage. With all the 302s out there, I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one who has had these problems! I won't mention the rusted brake lines, and leaking power steering box, or the rust EVERYWHERE!!!! Is Quality really job#1??? I love my Bronco, but it was definately lacking quality!!! Anyway, I got off on a tangent there... I always thought that the 351W and 302 shared the same block? I though they were the "Windsor" family? I'd look into getting it if it is a different engine....

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