Rebuild or Buy new motor

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Cresee

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1973 Mustang Convertible
I have a bone stock 1973 Mustang Convertible with a 302 engine and C4 automatic transmission. Took it out the garage last fall to have the body work done. Car started right up after priming the carburetor after sitting for 15 years or so. Sounds good. The car is currently in primer and I am concentrating on the mechanics. Would like to have get the horsepower in the 375 to 400 range along with comparable torque. I understand the is a big jump form the anemic 140 horsepower it came with. Looking for best bang for the buck rebuild 302 or buy a long block and start from there. If anyone has any experience or input that will be appreciated. Originally I was just going to do a top end rebuild with new heads, intake manifold, 4 barrel carburetor,headers, and dual exhaust and a possible camshaft. Does anyone know how much horsepower and torque a stock three speed c4 and the original rear end can handle. Will most likely upgrade the suspension and possibly the brakes. 

Any other suggestion will also be appreciated.

Thank you

 

rotorr22

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No 71/73 yet. Previously owned a 71 Boss 351 and a 73 Mach 1
I have a bone stock 1973 Mustang Convertible with a 302 engine and C4 automatic transmission. Took it out the garage last fall to have the body work done. Car started right up after priming the carburetor after sitting for 15 years or so. Sounds good. The car is currently in primer and I am concentrating on the mechanics. Would like to have get the horsepower in the 375 to 400 range along with comparable torque. I understand the is a big jump form the anemic 140 horsepower it came with. Looking for best bang for the buck rebuild 302 or buy a long block and start from there. If anyone has any experience or input that will be appreciated. Originally I was just going to do a top end rebuild with new heads, intake manifold, 4 barrel carburetor,headers, and dual exhaust and a possible camshaft. Does anyone know how much horsepower and torque a stock three speed c4 and the original rear end can handle. Will most likely upgrade the suspension and possibly the brakes. 

Any other suggestion will also be appreciated.

Thank you
You can meet your HP target with a 302. I have one in my Maverick producing that kind of power. Having said that, I would not personally choose that foundation for a Mustang project given the relatively large engine compartment these cars afford.  If I were seeking a streetable, docile 400 HP engine, I would begin with a 351W. A mild hydraulic roller cam with a good set of aftermarket heads will put you right there and a 351W will produce significantly more torque as well. 

You can retain your C4 and stock 8", provided that you drive it sanely and keep it on the street. I would however, have a good tranny shop upgrade the transmission for more severe duty. 

The c4 can be upgraded to take 400 HP reliably and an 8" rear end will hold up on the street with an automatic. All bets are off if it is drag raced with slicks, however.

 

delawarebill

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delaware
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'73 fastback, 302 auto. new paint and all the interior re-done. new tires/wheels
[url=https://ibb.co/nRVcVLd][img]https://i.ibb.co/yVMyMQv/side.png[/img][/url]
look into a stroker kit for the 302. that'll run it up to 348 cuin. and make a lot more torque. not sure if a machinist needs to relieve the block so the bigger crank shaft has room to turn. now of course the cyl's go to 30 over so new pistons are needed. don't know if u need new piston rods for the new crank.

 

rotorr22

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No 71/73 yet. Previously owned a 71 Boss 351 and a 73 Mach 1
look into a stroker kit for the 302. that'll run it up to 348 cuin. and make a lot more torque. not sure if a machinist needs to relieve the block so the bigger crank shaft has room to turn. now of course the cyl's go to 30 over so new pistons are needed. don't know if u need new piston rods for the new crank.
A stroker 302 is an option. The block does require notching for the stroker crank and yes, different rods are required. The wrist pin is located so high in the piston that it breaks into the oil ring land, requiring a ring support. A number of 347 owners report increased oil consumption over that experienced with the 302 even when using the revised ring package. The 302 block is also substantially weaker through the lifter valley and main bearing webbing vs. a 351W. Cap walk is more of an issue with a stroked 302 vs. a 351W as well. 

All things considered, the 351W is a better bang for the buck IMO, if you have the room to accommodate one. It will live longer at 400 HP and like the 302, can be stroked to achieve big block torque numbers.

 

libram

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unless its really considered to have been a bad choice to use in the first place, a 302 in a 71-73, a straight 6 in and 65-70........theres something to be said when intact but when the book guides say take half the value off if it has the tiny motor well....................

 

Cresee

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In my opinion I would always, always try to rebuild the original engine with some modifications of course!
I to originally thought the same thing. What suggestions do you have for a rebuild?

 

rotorr22

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No 71/73 yet. Previously owned a 71 Boss 351 and a 73 Mach 1
In my opinion I would always, always try to rebuild the original engine with some modifications of course!
I to originally thought the same thing. What suggestions do you have for a rebuild?
As I pointed out earlier, you can achieve your target of 375 HP (400 is a stretch keeping it street friendly) with a 302, but not with a naturally aspirated 1973 302. The 1973 302 has low flowing heads and dished hypereutectic pistons that will make it difficult to build compression.  You can add a better intake, carb and cam and pick up some power, but those heads and low CR are really going to hold you back.

If you insist on keeping it a 302, you can do something similar to my Maverick build. I used a set of early AFR 165 heads, a Weiand Stealth dual plane intake, 600 CFM Summit carb, E303 Ford Racing hydraulic roller cam, + .030" over Speed Pro flat top pistons at zero deck with 58CC chambers and a stock Duraspark II ignition. Timing set at 34 degrees total. 

This combo or something close, will put you between 360-375 HP @ 6,000 RPM with a set headers that will match the larger aftermarket exhaust ports. You will require a higher stall converter, around 3,000 RPM and a set of 3.55 or higher gears to make it responsive in the heavier Mustang. Bear in mind that retaining your stock engine driven fan will cost you some power at higher RPM. You should see 300-325 HP at the rear wheels with a good, high flowing dual exhaust.

You can consider going with either a 331 or 347 stroker which will pump up the torque nicely, at the cost of increased friction losses and higher oil consumption vs. that experienced with the 302.

 
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1971 Sports Roof Fastback (early model)
1973 Coupe -Under rebuild/restore
Cresee,

I wanted to rebuild my 302 from 1973 coupe. I did not have a shop to do the work in. I did not have the proper tools to inset the pistons, dial in the cam and other required tools. Plus the cost of labor and time to carry parts to have them reconditioned. I bought a used 1994 roller 302 from a GT mustang and a set of Tri-State cylinder heads with the roller rockers. I carried the package to the the engine re-builder . By the time I got it back, the cost comparison, plus time to gather parts, It would have more cost effective to get a crate engine. Plus, you can get a better warranty also.

A friend of mine bought crate 302 and AOD combo from an outfit in Charlotte, NC . They built the motor,dyno tuned it and sent all the paper work, plus pictures, on the engine build process.

I would recommend a cost analysis to see what would be the best path, plus budget restraints.

 

Studdley

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72 Grande 351c, 73 Mach Rust
I have a bone stock 1973 Mustang Convertible with a 302 engine and C4 automatic transmission. Took it out the garage last fall to have the body work done. Car started right up after priming the carburetor after sitting for 15 years or so. Sounds good. The car is currently in primer and I am concentrating on the mechanics. Would like to have get the horsepower in the 375 to 400 range along with comparable torque. I understand the is a big jump form the anemic 140 horsepower it came with. Looking for best bang for the buck rebuild 302 or buy a long block and start from there. If anyone has any experience or input that will be appreciated. Originally I was just going to do a top end rebuild with new heads, intake manifold, 4 barrel carburetor,headers, and dual exhaust and a possible camshaft. Does anyone know how much horsepower and torque a stock three speed c4 and the original rear end can handle. Will most likely upgrade the suspension and possibly the brakes. 

Any other suggestion will also be appreciated.

Thank you
A dart block wouldnt hurt

 
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1973 Q code Mach 1
buy a wrecked late model Mustang and swap the entire drivetrain and computer system. Then add twin turbos and call it a day

I'll grant you it is easier said than done-but if you shop carefully and are creative, you can get a great car and keep the costs way down.

 
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1969 Cougar Eliminator B302
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Figure out your realistic budget, the amount and level of work you can do, and the amount of time you are willing to wait to complete the project. Then have a very fact based discussion with yourself. Do this, and how you should proceed will become clear. This is not an easy, cheap, or frustration free pursuit. Keep in mind that matching the entire drivetrain, suspension, wheels, brakes, and tires to the power plant is required. Put a plan together that is realistic for you and your desires. If the most important thing for you is to be able to drive the car as a cruiser and the budget is less than you'd like it to be, settle for less power, and spend a little on a rear gear. If you must have the power, then plan carefully, spend wisely, and be patient. Either way, I wish you the best of luck with the project. Chuck

 
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1971 Mach 1, Grabber Blue w/Argent stripes. Original 2V 351C Auto, Tilt, rear defog, Black Comfortweave Interior. Under restoration. Original colors, 4V 351C, 4-Speed, Spoilers, Magnums, Ram Air. All Ford parts.
I totally agree with the modern power train option for a nice driver.  You could find a deal on a Cobra engine, get the overdrive tranny, fuel injection, modern spark control and a very fun running motor.

Keep teh original power train in tact and store it under your workbench in case you ever sell to an originality seeker.

kcmash

Yes, my original power train is under my workbench, and I built another motor to put in.  Problem is I started too long ago, so I still have a vintage drive train without all the modern features.

 

digithead

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1973 Mustang 351C-4V 4BBL 4 SPEED CONVERTIBLE White
I just went through this with my 351C. Since it was numbers matching I felt better to keep original engine for the long term. So I went for stroker rebuild.

Set me back $8K but its a dyno monster at 460HP/500 torque. Had a pro blueprint it

 

Spike Morelli

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1971 Mustang Mach 1 ram air 351c H-code, fmx, ps,pb, medium yellow-gold, hubcaps and beauty rings.
Well....I see it as some of you...If you are going to be pragmatic about an engine build, that is, weighing cost vs what you get, I think buying a crate engine may be a better path, especially if you replace like-for-like engine family. An additional bonus is that you will still retain the original engine to store away should that matter to a future buyer. I build engines for a living. The rule of thumb money-wise is "Never make what you can buy", it's always less expensive to buy something ready made than to hand build something. Small block Ford crate engines are offered everywhere.

 
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1972 Mustang Coupe 302 Auto RHD
Agreed that in the long run a good crate engine can be a better option

I decided to do my own build because I wanted to do it myself and customise what goes into it

It will probably have some better parts on it than a run of the mill crate engine but certainly costing me a pretty penny and not to mention no warranty coverage!

 

barnett468

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i have a collection of mustangs
if you want a "user friendly" 375-400 hp engine, build a 347 stroker.

 
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