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Modifying Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads
Modifying Small
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Selecting Parts
Choosing the right engine castings and parts for your application isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Ford's peppy small-block has been through untold changes since it was introduced in 1962 as the
90-degree Fairlane V-8. Although Ford buffs love to curse Father Ford, running changes are
commonplace at Ford because Dearborn never remains very content with things as they are. As a
result, the small-block Ford has been ever changing for more than 40 years.
289 block with 6 bolt bellhousing
This is the large six-bolt
bellhousing bolt pattern from
1965 to present. As you might
imagine, this is a more common
and logical replacement for that
1962 to 64 five-bolt block if you’
re not concerned about
originality. With this six-bolt
pattern, you open yourself up to
a wider variety of transmissions
and bellhousings.
Though there have been many changes in the small-block Ford over the years, the changes are
simple to understand. In its original form, the 221/260/289-ci small-block had a five-bolt (narrow
pattern) bellhousing pattern. We find this pattern from 1962 to ’64 only. From 1965 and up, there is
a six-bolt bellhousing pattern, which is the most common. This means a late-model 5.0L engine will
bolt right up to a 1965 and up C4, T-10, or Top Loader transmission (wide pattern) bellhousing. It
also means a 1965 and up 289/302-ci small-block will bolt right up to a late-model Automatic
Overdrive or T-5 5-speed. Engine mount attachment points have never changed, which makes
these swaps simple in scope.

Ford went from the five-bolt to the six-bolt bellhousing pattern in 1965 for one simple reason: By
expanding the pattern and adding the sixth bolt, vibration and noise are distributed over a broader
area, which reduced noise, vibration, and harshness. Ford did the same thing with the 170- and
200-ci sixes to quiet things down. If you’re trying to improve your vintage Ford without concern for
originality, ditch the five-bolt block and related transmission, and opt for a six-bolt duo. This will
make things easier on you because the parts are much more common
Blocks
The 221- and 260-ci blocks differed from the 289/302 blocks in bore size. Neither block had a
4-inch bore, but instead they had 3.50- and 3.80-inch bores, respectively. They also employ
7/16-inch bellhousing bolts instead of 1/2-inch like we find in the 289/302 blocks. The 289 was the
first small-block Ford to have a 4.000-inch bore. And because the 302 also has a 4.000-inch bore,
it has basically the same block as the 289. When Ford first began casting 302 blocks in mid 1967
(as 1968 castings), they had slightly longer cylinder skirts to give the piston greater stability at the
bottom of the bore.  We have documented 302 blocks in 1967 Fords with 289 internals. This proves
that the Ford factory built 1967-vintage 289s using 302 blocks. We are convinced this practice
continued through 1968.
5.0L Roller Tappet Engine Block 5.0L Block with Studs Retaining the Main Caps
This is the late-model, 5.0L roller-tappet
block, an excellent foundation for any
small-block Ford project. It has provisions
for the roller tappets, a one-piece rear-main
seal, and is designed for the serpentine belt
drive in front.
Here’s what you can do with a small-block
Ford. Look at these five main bearings with
studs. This makes the foundation nice and
rigid – good for high-revving bottom ends.
Although a lot of different six-bolt block casting numbers have appeared since 1965, not much
has changed through the years. From 1965-84, 289/302 blocks were virtually the same except
for the cast-in front accessory drive mount on the right-hand side, which first appeared with
the introduction of serpentine belt drive. Another significant change was the one-piece rear
main seal, which first appeared for 1985. Crankshafts are not interchangeable at this point.
Crankshafts with the lip for a two-piece seal will not work in the one-piece seal block. By the
same token, the lipless one-piece seal crank will not work in a two-piece seal block because it
will leak. The lip works hand in hand with the two-piece seal. Without the lip, it’s a leaker.
Installing the crankshaft in the 5.0L Engine Block
John DaLuz of JMC
Motorsports in San Diego,
California, understands the
importance of selecting the
right parts for an engine build.
John’s first question for a
customer is “how do you
intend to drive the car?”
Before you order parts, you
must know how you intend to
use the engine.
351W engine block
This is the 351W block, which
is based on the 289/302
block. Where this block
differs is its taller deck (1.274
inches taller), which allows for
a 1/2-inch longer stroke. This
deck height difference makes
the 351W wider than the
289/302.
Two types of small-block castings had wider main bearing caps – the 289 High Performance block
and all Mexican-block 289s and 302s. Contrary to what we have all been told through the years, it
turns out Mexican blocks are not made of high-nickel iron. They weigh virtually the same as their

U.S. counterparts. The only benefit is the wider main caps we find south of the border.
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This has been a sample page from

How to Rebuild the Small Block Ford How to Rebuild the Small Block Ford
by George Reid
One of the best reference books available for rebuilding the
Ford 221, 260, 289, 302, Boss 302, 351W, 351C, 351M and 400
Over the years, the small-block Ford has remained one of the most
popular and widely used engines on the planet. From the earliest
Fairlanes and Mustangs to the latest Mustangs and light trucks, the
Ford small-block has powered them all. With the amount of aftermarket
support and rebuildable cores out there, you don’t have to worry about
spending an arm and a leg for a quality rebuild – especially if you do
the teardown and assembly yourself. This all-new color edition of How
to Rebuild the Small-Block Ford guides you step by step through a
rebuild, including: planning your rebuild, disassembly and inspection,
choosing the right parts, machine work, assembling your engine, and
first firing and break-in. The Workbench format also gives you helpful
hints and tips on performance upgrades, including cams, heads,
ignition, induction, and more. It also points out problem areas to watch
for, professional builder tips, jobs that need special care or special
tools, and more. Whether you're a first-time engine builder or a
seasoned professional, this is the essential guide to rebuilding your
small-block Ford.
Chap. 1 - Before You Begin
Chap. 2 - Engine Disassembly
Chap. 3 - Selecting Parts
Chap. 4 - Machine Shop
Chap. 5 - Engine Assembly
Chap. 6 - Break-In Tuning
Chap. 7 - Buyer's Guide
Chap. 8 - Engine Math
This is one of the best reference books available for rebuilding the small
block Ford and something that any enthusiast will love!
How to Rebuild
the Small Block Ford
by George Reid
Condition: NEW
8-1/2 x 11"
Softbound
144 pages
495 Color Photos

Item: SA102
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!

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How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
By increasing the bore and stroke of your current
engine, you can add those cubic inches without the
hassle of switching to a big block. George Reid
thoroughly explains the building of a small block Ford
stroker, paying special attention to the effect that
increasing the bore and stroke have on the engine as a
whole. Also included is a complete guide to factory head
and block castings, as well as aftermarket block and
head guides, so you can choose exactly the right parts
for your project.
How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
Price:
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How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget
This book addresses high-performance V-8 engines
such as the 289, 302, 351ci small-blocks found in
Mustangs, as well as the FE series of big-blocks.
Emphasis throughout is a budget approach to building
high performance power plants through the use of
over-the-counter factory components and selected
aftermarket pieces. Includes realistic, low-cost formulas
for building serious horsepower in Ford V-8 engines.
How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget
Price:
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High Performance Engines The Ford Small Block
This book is a collection of 29 Hot Rod magazine articles
covering the building of a 400 HP 302 Windsor, a 600 HP
Cleveland, a factory cylinder head guide, 397 and 416 cubic
inch stroker Windsor build ups, building a 351W on a budget,
and street performance combos.
High Performance Engines The Ford Small Block
Price:
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