Well, not exactly, Beginning in, I think 72, Ford cast "smog bumps" in the exhaust ports of the factory head. These obstruct the flow, which degrades performance. I believe the 74 302 was the lowest rated hp/torque, of the 302 engines. The factory cam profile differs between certain years as Ford began compensating for EPA smog requirements. Also, the front dress on the block changed in 1970. As noted above the water pump outlet was reversed to the other side of the engine, which also meant the timing pointer was re-shaped and mounted on the passenger side of the engine. The 1970+ timing pointer is not reproduced, to my knowledge, and is hard to find. Despite my repeated emails to NPD, they never changed their catalog advertising and still claim, and sell, the same pre-70 timing pointer for applications through 1973.Rickmaan said:Unless you're buying a fresh rebuild or ordering from a crate engine supplier and you'll be installing it as is, the year of the engine doesn't make much difference.
Rickmaan said:P.S.-if you're looking to do a performance build up using the stock short block take into consideration that only the HiPo 289, Boss302, and late model 5.0 ever got anything beefier than regular production pistons, rods, or rod bolts so regardless of which year you start with these area will need to be addressed to add reliability to a performance engine build.