Carbed 360 or 302 FI? (Long) - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-17-2003, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Carbed 360 or 302 FI? (Long)

For the past 2 or 3 months I have been reading all I could find about putting a Ford 302 with fuel injection into my 79 CJ7 that currently has a 304. I am looking for more horsepower and low-end torque. There are no rocks and few hills around here to climb, just mud to play in. I had decided on an 89 to 92 Mustang, Cougar or Lincoln Mark VII with Maf.
Sunday I met a guy that for several years owned a 4x4 shop that specialized in Jeeps. Like me, he is retired with time on his hands. He was very adamant about me being better off with a carbed AMC 360 or 304 than a Ford 302 with fuel injection. I don't know if he just likes AMC engines or what. He offered to rebuild my Holley 600 for off road use. He gave me an AMC 360 and delivered it the same day. He said another option was that I could stay with the 304 and use the heads off the 360. He offered to help me tear either engine down and rebuild what needs rebuilding. He has some parts that he offered to give me for the rebuild, especially the heads.
His reasons for saying I should use the 360 or 304 was less cost to rebuild those engines, one was free and I have the other that runs, horsepower and low end torque that the 304 or 360 can be made to develop, expense of changing the bellhousing if I went with the 302 and cost of purchasing the 302 and several other things that I have forgotten.
I don't want to make another expensive mistake with my Jeep. I would hate to decide on the 360 or 304 and not be satisfied with the results. I would also hate to go with the more expensive 302 install and find out later that I would have been happier or just as happy with the 360 or 304 for use in the mud.
I would appreciate input from those people that have experience in the mud with either engine. It would be really nice to get input from someone that has gone both ways, AMC and Ford.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-17-2003, 11:24 PM
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Re: Carbed 360 or 302 FI? (Long)

If you don't have any hilly trails, I'd go for the 304 or 360. I swapped in a 360 for my 304. I had the 360 and was faced with the choice of rebuilding the 304 or 360. The rebuild kit for the 360 was a little less but other than that, the cost is the same. The 304 and 360 have the same stroke, you're just getting more bore. I do miss the 4-6 mpg better the 304 got. With the 304 I was getting 15-16 mpg. With the 360 both with the carb and now with the pro-jection, I get 10.5 mpg. Externally, the 304 and 360 are the same so it literally is a bolt in swap using everything you want from the 304.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2003, 12:02 AM
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Re: Carbed 360 or 302 FI? (Long)

From what your describing in terms of usage offroad, I`d go for the 360. I wouldn`t waste time doing the
360/304 head swap. There isn`t alot to be gained from it for your purpose. What would be worthwhile though
would be to find a set of pre `73 360 heads for your rebuild. These heads came from the factory with screw
in studs that makes adding roller rockers a true bolt on horsepower gain. And don`t let anyone try to tell you
that you have to install guide plates, AMC sized the pushrod holes as guides for that purpose. All you need
are a set of hardened pushrods. If you go the 360 route, I`m sure you won`t be disappointed.
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