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If you want to lower your compression ratio, say, if you're using flat-tops (which can give a pretty high CR with 289 heads) and don't want detonation problems, using 302 heads would be a good way to achieve this. The combustion chambers are larger.

Other than that, depending on year of 302, they're essentially the same as what you have. Only major difference I can recall, if you have early 289 heads, is that 302's (and some later 289's) have rail rockers and a large pushrod hole in the head. Early 289's have slotted pushrod holes which guide the pushrod, similar to this HiPo head

I ran 289 heads on the race car in the early years (ported) and achieved good performance (mid 11's) before going to '69 351W heads, which got me into the 11.20's. I never ran 302 heads so I don't have any practical experience to share, other than noting their similiarities from the core engines I purchased.

If you want to look for a "better" set of OEM heads, look for some '69-'70 351W heads....

Good luck!
 
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