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Modifying Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads
Modifying Small
Block Ford Cylinder
Heads

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Small Block Cylinder Block
221/260/289/302
Though a lot of people mistakenly call the Ford small-block the “Windsor” V-8, the 221, 260, 289
and 302 engines were never identified as “Windsor” small-blocks by Ford Motor Company. These
engines were all produced in the Cleveland engine plant from the beginning. Ford called this family
of engines the 90-degree “V” family of small-blocks or the “Fairlane” V-8. The 351 “Windsor” small-
block V-8 which was introduced in 1969 was the only V-8 engine ever named the “Windsor” by
Ford, to distinguish it from the all-new 351 “Cleveland” small-block V-8 introduced for 1970.

Block identification is straightforward. The 221 and 260ci V-8s use a five-bolt bellhousing block with
3.50-inch and 3.80-inch bores respectively with a C2OE or C3OE casting number. Aside from
cylinder bore size, these two blocks are virtually the same. The only significant change in the
221/260 block is engine mount bolt hole spacing at the block. The earliest 221/260 blocks employ
engine mount bolt holes that are six inches apart, identifiable at a glance by the use of two freeze
plugs. When the bolt holes were widened to seven inches as a means to improving noise, vibration,
harshness and structural integrity, three freeze plugs were used. This change was adopted early in
production in the 1963 model year. The 221/260 blocks should not be bored to 4.00-inches (289ci)
because the risk of water jacket violation is very high. It is recommended that you begin your small-
block high-performance Ford engine project with a 289 or 302 block, which has a 4.00-inch bore
from the start.
Ford Engine Block Casting Number
The quickest path to block
identification is the casting
number and date code found
above the starter on the
right-hand side of the block
on 221/260/ 289/302, Boss
302 and 351W/351C engines.
The 289 block employed a five-bolt bellhousing bolt pattern from 1963-64 model years only,
numbered C3OE, C3AE, C4OE, C4AE and C4DE. Beginning in the 1965 model year, the 289 had a
six-bolt bellhousing bolt pattern. Six-bolt blocks were numbered beginning C5AE and C6AE. The
289 High Performance block (1963-67) was the same as the 289-2V and 289-4V block with the
exception being wider, heavier main bearing caps. There was no difference in the block whatsoever.

The 302 blocks appeared for the first time late in the 1967 model year as 289 engines with casting
numbers beginning C8AE and C8OE, sporting a “302” in the valley area. It is not uncommon to find
a 302 block that was cast and assembled during the summer of 1967 as a 289ci engine. Though
302 blocks looked virtually identical to the 289 block, the cylinder bores had extended skirts to
handle the 302’s .019-inch longer stroke. This extended cylinder skirt reduced piston slap and
improved stability for quieter operation. The 302 block evolved to a certain degree in the years
following 1968. While most of these blocks are interchangeable with 289 derivatives dating back to
the 1965 model year, it is important to note that the clutch equalizer pivot boss was deleted from
the left-hand side of the block beginning with the 1975 model year.

If you are restoring an old Ford or Mercury to stock condition and are looking for a matching
number block, your challenge will be greater, but not impossible. There are two considerations for
the purist. First, the block must have a Ford part number that falls in line with the model year of the
vehicle. Secondly, the date codes (casting and manufacture date codes) should fall 30-60 days
prior to the scheduled assembly date code of the vehicle. An example of a date code might be
“5A26” (January 26, 1965) or “4F17” (June 17, 1964) which means the year, month and day of
casting or manufacture. One example of a Ford part number might be C5AE-6015-E for a 289
block. Look for these numbers because they show you the way to correctness.
Ford Engine Assebly Date Code Stamping on Engine Block
Stamped in the block
deck just below the
distributor is the engine
assembly date code. This
tells when the engine was
actually assembled.
If you find a matching number block with cylinder bores that have been overbored .030—or .060-
inch, the block can be sleeved with standard size cylinder bores for $800 to $1,000 at nearly any
machine shop. Then you will have a fresh block ready for a renewed return to service. Finding a
correct period block that hasn’t been overbored is a great challenge. New-old-stock (NOS) service
blocks that have never been assembled are out there, but they are expensive and rarely for sale at
a swap meet. Sleeving a worn out block may prove more cost effective than buying an NOS block.
The beauty of sleeving a worn-out block is its seasoned iron which is completely settled.
Ford Engine Block Bellhousing
Six-bolt versus five-bolt
blocks and bellhousings is a
very important consideration.
The five-bolt small-block
bellhousing pattern was used
through August 1, 1964 in
mass production (see table).
Six-bolt blocks and
bellhousings (shown) were
conceived to reduce noise,
vibration and harshness,
beginning August 1, 1964. All
221 and 260ci engines were
of the five-bolt design.
It is always a good idea to check any used block for cracking before any machine work is
performed. This process can be accomplished by any reputable machine shop before the work
begins. Small-block Fords rarely suffer from cracking unless there has been a history of overheat.
Weak spots are generally found at the deck around the cylinder head bolt holes and water
passages.

The 302 block was virtually unchanged through 1975. In your search for a 302 block, we suggest
the use of the high nickel content blocks produced from mid-1967 through the early 1970s. One
alternative, though not always easy to find, are the 302 blocks cast in Mexico. A number of these
blocks found their way into U.S.-built Fords and Mercurys. These Mexican blocks weigh more, but
they offer strength in a heavier casting, thus being more suitable for high-performance use.
Ford 302 Engine Block Cylinder Skirt
The 302 block differs slightly
from the 289, yet both are
interchangeable. We suggest
the use of a 302 block with 289
internals, but not the 289 block
with 302 internals, due to the
increased stroke. The 302
block has slightly longer
cylinder wall skirts to
accommodate the small
increase in stroke length. This
reduces piston skirt noise and
play at the bottom of the bore.
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This has been a sample page from

High Performance Ford Engine Parts Interchange High Performance Ford Engine
Parts Interchange
by George Reid
First-ever book about Ford parts interchange
Covers
the entire range of Ford engines from
221-CID to 460-CID
This is one of the best books ever written about Ford engines.
Covering both big- and small-block Ford V-8 engines, this
first-ever book on the subject provides indispensable information
to the Ford enthusiast. Included are high performance factory
parts, interchangeability between Ford Windsor and Cleveland
engines, extensive coverage of the 302 and 351 series as well as
the
352, 390, 406, 427, 428, 429, and 460 big block engines,
factory casting numbers, etc. Read the sample pages from each
chapter to learn more!
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter
"If you are trying to mix and match cranks and rods, this book
will tell you if it can be done. If you are trying to find the correct
casting number for a Boss 429 distributor, this book will have it
listed. What we really find appealing about the book is that, not
only is it a perfect resource for those interested in factory
correct restorations, but it is equally as useful for the
performance oriented engine builder. Each chapter points out
building tips, such as how to improve a Cleveland's oiling
system, or what heads will yield the best horsepower gains. As
with all SA Design books, this one is filled with pages of detailed
photographs and diagrams. This book will prove to be a
priceless resource, as many of the original Ford V-8 parts
become harder and harder to come by."
-- FORDMUSCLE
webmagazine, February, 2000

In Stock and Ready to Ship!

Small Block Fords
Chap. 1 - Small Block Ford
Chap. 2 - Cylinder Block
Chap. 3 - Crankshaft & Rods
Chap. 4 - Oiling System
Chap. 5 - Cylinder  Heads
Chap. 6 - Intake System
Chap. 7 - Ignition System
Chap. 8 - Exhaust Manifolds
Chap. 9 - Cooling System
Big Block Fords
Chap. 10 - Big Blocks
Chap. 11- Cylinder Block
Chap. 12 - Crankshaft & Rods
Chap. 13 - Oiling System
Chap. 14 - Cylinder Head
Chap. 15 - Intake System
Chap. 16 - Ignition System
Chap. 17 - Exhaust Manifolds
Chap. 18 - Cooling System
All Ford Engines
Chap. 19 - Gaskets  
Chap. 20 -
Engine Math  
Softbound
8-3/8 X 10-7/8
160 Pages
417 Color Photos
Item # SA56
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!
This is a great book that any Ford engine enthusiast or
engine builder is sure to love!


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