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I know there isn't a sure thing but if you were to throw a dart, what is the typical number of miles seen on a 302 before it starts to degrade. I understand there are tons of variables but let's assume that the engine is coming out of say a non racing enviroment such as as Lincoln.
 

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how was it cared for, how was it used, oil change history
too many variables. I have a 302 out of a 78 Granada with 38K miles that needs a rebuild.
Car was owned by an older women since new changed the oil at 3K mile regularly. Very well cared for car.
But it was only driven approx 6 miles a day round trip to her job.The engine never warmed up to operating temps on its 3 mile trip to the office. Lack of use killed it
 

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Don't go by mileage, there's just WAY too many variables to even ballpark it, given only "a non-racing 302" to start with.... How is it doing? Burning oil? Compression? I've heard of well-maintained engines doing 300,000 without a rebuild. I've seen very sad engines with 50,000. It all depends.
 

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it seems to be that new EFI engines last longer than their carburated counterparts from the 70's. a few reasons i can think of for this may be, efi engines never run lean or rich and never flood. another reason i think is that newer engines are just better quality and design- roller cams, better designed rocker arms, better quality timing sets, better rings, etc.

- Jason
 

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you might want to consider buying tom monroes how to rebuild your small block ford engine. the first chapter is does your engine need a rebuild. its a cheap book and its a really good resource when your rebuilding a engine. or even thinking about it.
 

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1) do a compression check

2) look for evidence of burning oil

those two items will tell you how near or how far you are from needing a rebuild

Our 1960’s Ford dealer used to tell us kids that he considered a car nearly broken in at 100,000 miles.

My uncle used to turn overhaul business away at his repair shop, telling people to come back after the car had 250,000 miles and he’d, “....look it over then...” to see if the wear warranted a rebuild.

Z

PS. uncle would routinely diagnose engine trouble or wear by sniffing the exhaust of a running engine. He swore by the technique, saying it was the fastest way to tell what was going on in the engine. I guess he was a human oxygen sensor, decades before they were invented.
 

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The 302 in the 68 has 52 years on it and does not burn a drop of oil. Has 125,000 miles. Never been out of the car and the intake has never been removed. Dad changed the oil every 1500 miles.
Your experience may vary.
 

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I know there isn't a sure thing but if you were to throw a dart, what is the typical number of miles seen on a 302 before it starts to degrade. I understand there are tons of variables but let's assume that the engine is coming out of say a non racing enviroment such as as Lincoln.
To know if it is carburetored or fuel injected with computer controls would help decide!
As is, I'd guess 100k carburetored, 150 to 200K w/ fuel injection.
But with the unknowns this is a shot in the dark!
If it were my choice and I was going to use it in a prolonged situation, I'd do a complete rebuild b4 going to the bother of dropping it into something. Again, all kinds of situations and variables would drive any decisions.😊
 

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Nah. Gotta love the replies in quotes to a guy who hasn't been on this forum in five years though.
 
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