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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm starting to piece together my motor for my 65 fastback and was hoping for some input. I purchased a 1978 long block from a friend who abandoned the build some time ago. I'll start by saying thank you in advance for everyone's feedback. The car is not a daily driver and I don't plan to drive it more than a couple of times a month, so, street manners are not an issue. I would like to build the most aggressive engine that is possible without having to trailer it around town, let's say a goal of 300 - 350hp. I've outlined the details of the build as it stands today below.

I'm concerned the cam is not aggressive enough for my HP goal and the heads even with porting could hold me back, thoughts?

Thank you,


1978 Ford 302 Long Block (D8VE-6015-A3A) which I believe have larger main caps

D8OE heads with the following work
STAGE I PORTING
16 IRON VALVE GUIDES
8 11575 MANLEY PERF 1.550" FORD SB EXHAUST VALVE
8 11578 MANLEY PERF 1.850" FORD SB INTAKE VALVE
VALVE JOB-COMPETITION RADIUS-V8-2 VALVE-INLINE VALVE
Crane Valve Springs: 363308-1 (96803-16)
Crane Needle Bearing Rocker Arms 1.6 Ratio
Crane Cam 363932: 4600 RPM, 210int/218exh, .456in/.472exh
VALVE PART NUMBERS: INT 11578 EXH 11575
VALVE HEAD DIAMETERS: INT 1.850" EXH 1.550"
VALVE STEM DIAMETERS: INT 11/32" EXH 11/32"
VALVE SEAT WIDTHS: INT .040" EXH .060"
VALVE SEAT ANGLES: INT 45 DEG EXH 45 DEG
SPRING INFO: PRESS @ INST HGHT = 100 LBS @ 1.760"
VALVE LIFT = - .472" EXHAUST, .456 INTAKE
PRESS @ OPEN HGHT = 240 LBS @ 1.288"
COIL BIND = - 1.130"
MARGIN = .158"
Edelbrock RPM Performer Intake Manifold
Carburetor TBD
Ignition TBD
Short Block
Speed Pro Pistons .030 over
Crower Sportsman Forged Rods
Transmission
Top Loader Wide Ratio
Rear End
9" with Trac Lock and 3.25 Gears

Considering the following upgrade: Lunati 10350703 (.522/.538 lift), 6,200 RPM, 227/233 duration
Considering the following upgrade: Replacing D8OE heads with AFR Enforcer 185cc heads
 

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300-350hp at the crank or wheels?

My little old 302 made 324hp to the wheels. TFS 170s, Anderson B-41 cam, .544/.568 228/236. 10.75:1 compression, AirGap intake, Street Avenger 670 carb, 1-3/4" JBA longtubes. Through a C4.
 

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You'd be better off with 289, early 302 or 351W or some later GT40 / GT40P iron heads or going to aluminum for breathing room. Aside from the pistons being .030 over, the valve reliefs and overall combustion chamber volume will affect your compression ratio and you can have more mid-range driveability than running wide open with a more aggressive cam. Sometimes it's not how much power you make but when you make it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey @jdub,

I appreciate the reply. I was referring to flywheel HP, I want to be realistic.That’s a great setup you have. Looking at what I have so far, it’s really tempting to upgrade my heads to aluminum. I’ve been looking at the new AFR enforcer heads, but the TFS 170s seem to have a great reputation as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey @myfirstcar66,

Appreciate the thoughts, I am heavily considering going aluminum heads like you mentioned, just feels like I won’t hit the numbers I’m looking for otherwise. After talking to a few cam companies, a valve spring upgrade may be required for the cams I am considering. I’m not thrilled about the idea of having to spend additional money on these heads. Any thoughts on the new AFR heads or the Lunati 1050703 cam? From what the techs at Lunati mentioned, it has the nice midrange power. I’ve found some positive thoughts online, but I’ve never spoken to anyone with first hand experience.

Thanks again
 

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I think you can hit 300-325 flywheel horsepower with your heads and a better camshaft. However, you could make much more with your shortblock, better heads and a different camshaft. The issue is if you want to maximize horsepower in a short stroke 302 you have to rev it and that cam is a restriction.

Here's a thought if you don't do a lot of highway driving: Use the heads you have, get a cam made to make peak power around 6-6500 rpms and change your rear gears to 3:50-3:90. The gears will make more difference than new heads with your present combo.
 

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Also, that Lunati cam you mention appears to be a hydraulic lifter version of the solid I run. I can comment that it will idle as low as 850 rpms with around 12.5-13 lbs of vacuum. The solid revs all the way to 7000 rpm easily but probably makes peak power around 6200 to 6500 rpms. It will lug all the way down to 1500 in 5th gear in my car but I have 4.56 gears. It's a very driveable cam but I would not consider it aggressive but my last cam had over 300 degrees of duration. If you run this cam with your heads you will need valve springs.

If you were to add the AFR heads and the lower gears you could use more cam (as could I ) but that cam would be good with a 3:50-3:73 gear. Maybe your 3.25 and a short tire would be okay.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey @cheapbastard,

This is great feedback, I really appreciate your time! You answered my concerns perfectly. I will have to do some cost-benefit comparisons between upgrading my current heads (new valve springs, valve spring seat cutting, possible assembly) and selling these to upgrade to aluminum. The new AFR enforcer heads will run me about $1,100 and the valve train appears to be better than most comparable heads I've seen. It's great to hear you have experience with a comparable cam. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of HP is your motor producing? Also, how do you like the HP curve?

I have 245/45/17 in the rear, so I'll look at upgrading my gears to something closer to 3.50 - 3.75 as well.

Thanks again,

Dan
 

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Hey @cheapbastard,

This is great feedback, I really appreciate your time! You answered my concerns perfectly. I will have to do some cost-benefit comparisons between upgrading my current heads (new valve springs, valve spring seat cutting, possible assembly) and selling these to upgrade to aluminum. The new AFR enforcer heads will run me about $1,100 and the valve train appears to be better than most comparable heads I've seen. It's great to hear you have experience with a comparable cam. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of HP is your motor producing? Also, how do you like the HP curve?

I have 245/45/17 in the rear, so I'll look at upgrading my gears to something closer to 3.50 - 3.75 as well.

Thanks again,

Dan
I thought you already had the heads done. If you have not spent the money on the heads yet I would definitely spend the money to upgrade.as you will have nearly that in the old ones with labor and parts. Those heads and that cam should be a good combo. You can ask Lunati if the springs that come on the heads are adequate for that cam.

I would also consider the Twisted Wedge 170 heads. They have just as good as flow numbers and can be had with 53cc combustion chambers which will raise your compression ratio. If you are staying with a stock stroke maintaining compression is very important. Look at Jdub's combo.

I estimate I am making around 375 at the crank. My combo is held back because I went cheap on the heads. I bought Floteks with the idea that I could port them into something as good as AFR or TW heads and I am not sure I achieved that. I have not dynoed or been to the track ( I was to the track but broke my 8" on the starting line) so this is just an estimate. I also probably have too big of an intake (single plane Funnel Web) and would benefit from a Performer RPM but I figure it will work when I build a stroker. However, the gears and manual transmission are great equalizers. My old combo with cast iron heads, a toploader and a crappy torquer intake went 13.00 at 105 in humid 85 degree heat. The butt dyno says this combo is much stronger and I hope for at least 110 mph trap speed in the quarter.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey @cheapbastard ,

I should have been clear, the heads are complete and fully assembled. However, the cam upgrade will require a spring change and the seats to be cut. I’ll give Trick Flow a call as well.

Thanks again
 

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DanD, how many of these pieces do you already have ? and what is the casting number on the block ? Because there are SOME blocks out there ( 73~78 ) that have 8.229 deck height instead of the normal 8.206. These blocks, if you have normal head gaskets, and the Speedpros with 8 cc of notch, and the big D8 heads, you have 7.75 to 1 compression. Just about any other head will have smaller, better, chambers than the D8 bathtubs. If you switched the pistons to 3101HC Silvolites ( 4 cc of notch ), and milled the block .025 to 8.206, the compression would go up to 8.4, alittle better. The valves you have chosen are fine. The Lunati 703 cam changes the firing order ( no problem, 13726548 ) but has too much duration and too narrow of a spread to really be happy in front of 3.25 gears. Consider the 702 Lunati, or, better yet, get a semi-custom and grind the something like the 702, but advance the exhaust lobes so that the spread is 114 or 116. Your 3.25 axle will appreciate the low speed driveability and fuel economy.
 

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LSG is right that those blocks are taller. I have one and with aftermarket pistons they are .02 down in the hole. I got my compression up by running a Cometec thin MLS head gaskets which are only .027 thick which gives me about .047 piston/head clearance which is good. I also had my heads milled down to about 52 ccs. That is why I recommended the Twisted Wedge heads which have a small combustion chamber to up your compression ratio. I agree that one of the most important parts of your build will be assuring you have as much compression as possible.

Whatever cam you choose I would run lower gears unless you plan running on the highway all the time. Gears will be the biggest seat of the pants change you will make other than putting on a nitrous kit.

To me that is not a radical cam but I have over 10:01 compression and gears. However, if your compression is that low it needs to be addressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey @LSG,

The parts I have listed above are currently in my long block, but I am concerned they are not enough to meet my expectations. The casting number for my block is D8VE-6015-A3A 78 which I understand came out of a Lincoln, but I can't confirm the deck height. I'll have to take the heads off and measure everything this weekend.

Everyone here has so much knowledge and I appreciate the input!

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey @cheapbastard,

It's a great point @LSG brings up and I'll take the heads off this weekend to confirm. I also appreciate the feedback on the 3.25 gears, I'll be shopping around for something lower. I don't plan on driving much on the highway, if at all.

-Dan
 

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65 Fastback 289 4 spd, 65 convertible 5.0L 5 spd. 3.73 8.8
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Hi everyone,

I'm starting to piece together my motor for my 65 fastback and was hoping for some input. I purchased a 1978 long block from a friend who abandoned the build some time ago. I'll start by saying thank you in advance for everyone's feedback. The car is not a daily driver and I don't plan to drive it more than a couple of times a month, so, street manners are not an issue. I would like to build the most aggressive engine that is possible without having to trailer it around town, let's say a goal of 300 - 350hp. I've outlined the details of the build as it stands today below.

I'm concerned the cam is not aggressive enough for my HP goal and the heads even with porting could hold me back, thoughts?

Thank you,


1978 Ford 302 Long Block (D8VE-6015-A3A) which I believe have larger main caps

D8OE heads with the following work
STAGE I PORTING
16 IRON VALVE GUIDES
8 11575 MANLEY PERF 1.550" FORD SB EXHAUST VALVE
8 11578 MANLEY PERF 1.850" FORD SB INTAKE VALVE
VALVE JOB-COMPETITION RADIUS-V8-2 VALVE-INLINE VALVE
Crane Valve Springs: 363308-1 (96803-16)
Crane Needle Bearing Rocker Arms 1.6 Ratio
Crane Cam 363932: 4600 RPM, 210int/218exh, .456in/.472exh
VALVE PART NUMBERS: INT 11578 EXH 11575
VALVE HEAD DIAMETERS: INT 1.850" EXH 1.550"
VALVE STEM DIAMETERS: INT 11/32" EXH 11/32"
VALVE SEAT WIDTHS: INT .040" EXH .060"
VALVE SEAT ANGLES: INT 45 DEG EXH 45 DEG
SPRING INFO: PRESS @ INST HGHT = 100 LBS @ 1.760"
VALVE LIFT = - .472" EXHAUST, .456 INTAKE
PRESS @ OPEN HGHT = 240 LBS @ 1.288"
COIL BIND = - 1.130"
MARGIN = .158"
Edelbrock RPM Performer Intake Manifold
Carburetor TBD
Ignition TBD
Short Block
Speed Pro Pistons .030 over
Crower Sportsman Forged Rods
Transmission
Top Loader Wide Ratio
Rear End
9" with Trac Lock and 3.25 Gears

Considering the following upgrade: Lunati 10350703 (.522/.538 lift), 6,200 RPM, 227/233 duration
Considering the following upgrade: Replacing D8OE heads with AFR Enforcer 185cc heads
Like some others have said, I would go with a 69-70 302 or with a 86 and newer 5.0L. 70's were not good years for any car company, engines were low compression. I would go with aluminum heads, check out Speedway.com, they have some good prices on heads. I built a 351 with one of there cheaper aluminum heads, $450 with heavier springs already on them for my nephew, He turned 12 sec. quarter with his stang on his 2nd run at track. I think you need a bigger cam also.
 

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DanD, I see, it is already together. I would pull off the D8 heads, someone with pop-up pistons can use them and be fine. If you bought some aluminum heads with the 53 cc chambers, you'd have 9.25 instaed of the 7.75 to 1 you have like it sits. I'd keep the 3.25s, spend your money on the small chambered heads. LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey @Jmo1999 and @LSG,

Great feedback guys, your input has convinced me I should upgrade to some aluminum heads. I had read quite a bit about the limitations of the D8OE heads even if they had been ported. I'll pull off the heads this weekend and take a closer look at the pistons and deck height.

Thanks again!

-Dan
 

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Check to see how far the piston is down the hole. If it's not too bad then I would think you'd be OK using that shortblock. It's been rebuilt so I would not just assume it is still in its smog-dog configuration. The heads? I'd toss them unless you have a boat that needs an anchor. That's been kind of a given since the beginning of the thread, which you already know.

As far as everything else, with the power level you're shooting for I would not overthink this. Even cheap heads from Skip White or the new cheaper AFRs (which I believe are the same casting based on the flow numbers), or the budget Blueprint heads and a TFS Stage 1 cam should get you where you're going.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey @jdub,

Will do, I'll keep everyone updated. One more question, does anyone think I'll have piston to valve clearance issues if I add the AFR or TSF 170's with a cam in the neighborhood of the Lunati I mentioned? The speed pro pistons have valve relief cut-outs and I will certainly do a clay test, but your initial thoughts would help me avoid mistakes in choosing my parts.

Thanks,
 

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Hey @jdub,

Will do, I'll keep everyone updated. One more question, does anyone think I'll have piston to valve clearance issues if I add the AFR or TSF 170's with a cam in the neighborhood of the Lunati I mentioned? The speed pro pistons have valve relief cut-outs and I will certainly do a clay test, but your initial thoughts would help me avoid mistakes in choosing my parts.

Thanks,
Two factors to consider regarding this: 1). the Speed Pro pistons have valve reliefs for inline heads like the AFRs. 2). The Twisted Wedge heads have different valve angles and won't line up with the Speed Pro valve reliefs. HOWEVER, due to the angled valve trajectories they generally give tons of piston to valve clearance. I would think you would be fine with either head and the type of cams you are looking at.

Also, since you have aftermarket pistons they may have an adjusted height and not be as far down in the hole as the stockers even with that block. Lets hope! Again remember that you can adjust compression with a thin head gasket if you need to. That's what I did.
 
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