Are there any issues re a 302 in a 1965 Mustang?

Alley Oop

Member
Mar 29, 2017
60
8
18
75
West Coast of Canada
I’m considering buying a 1965 Mustang. The 289 has been replaced with a 302, don’t know the vintage. It has a 4 speed manual transmission. The body looks good, pretty much rust free..

Are there any issues about the 302 that I should be concerned about? As far as I can tell, it is stock. I would probably want to replace the heads, cam, intake and carburetor just enough to boost it to about 300 hp. Comments please. Thanks in advance.

Mark
 
  • Sponsors(?)


Noobz347

Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor
Admin Dude
Jan 4, 1985
28,190
10,405
224
Box behind Walmart
www.stangnet.com
For every dollar you spend bringing that engine up to 300HP, you will spend 10 getting the rest of the car setup to handle it.

We'd really need to know more about the car and engine to be of help.

302s can range from 135HP up to the 230 range.
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
677
39
38
Nashville TN
what issues would there be to be concerned about? A 302 is simply a bored out 289 after all. If you want 300HP, start with a late model explorer engine(GT40p), change the cam, add some headers and you will already be pretty close to 300HP...thats the cheapest way to get there
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2Blue2

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
1,506
832
123
52
Oahu
289-302 Pretty much interchangeable.
Differences are based on 28.2 or 50 oz imbalance crank.
 

Alley Oop

Member
Mar 29, 2017
60
8
18
75
West Coast of Canada
Thanks for the input guys. I wanted to hear from someone with experience with this sort of combo.
If you had a choice between say a 1989 Mustang 5 litre with a 5 speed manual trans or a
1965 with a 302, 4 speed manual trans, both cars in good condition, which would present the fewest
headaches as far as reliability and availability of parts? Lets say I left both of them in stock condition.
They would only be driven on dry days, so maybe 5000 miles per year max.
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
1,506
832
123
52
Oahu
I'm a 65 guy

There both old cars and reliability would be based on state of repair.
 

Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
1,263
797
123
39
Enterprise AL
Old cars always demand love from time to time, so no matter which you went with you'll be working on it to a degree. If the 65 is mechanically sound I would think that it might possible give less issues and be easier to work on. Before I get blown out of the water for saying that I am basing that statement on the fact that the 65 is a much simpler design with fewer electronic parts and gizmos to malfunction. Both cars have a lot of aftermarket support in regards to parts. I dont think that would really be a part of the deciding factor.

I'd say in the end it would come down to personal preference. Based on your avatar it looks like you already have a Fox so maybe branch out with the 65!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2Blue2

Alley Oop

Member
Mar 29, 2017
60
8
18
75
West Coast of Canada
The avatar is a pic of my /90 7 up. Never should have sold it but I've made worse mistakes. I'm caught between maybe going with /65 - /66 or /89 - /93, but I am leaning more toward another Fox. Thanks for the help guys.
Mark
 

rustaddict

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
213
54
38
47
Thanks for the input guys. I wanted to hear from someone with experience with this sort of combo.
If you had a choice between say a 1989 Mustang 5 litre with a 5 speed manual trans or a
1965 with a 302, 4 speed manual trans, both cars in good condition, which would present the fewest
headaches as far as reliability and availability of parts? Lets say I left both of them in stock condition.
They would only be driven on dry days, so maybe 5000 miles per year max.
The 1989. Hands down
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
677
39
38
Nashville TN
Thanks for the input guys. I wanted to hear from someone with experience with this sort of combo.
If you had a choice between say a 1989 Mustang 5 litre with a 5 speed manual trans or a
1965 with a 302, 4 speed manual trans, both cars in good condition, which would present the fewest
headaches as far as reliability and availability of parts? Lets say I left both of them in stock condition.
They would only be driven on dry days, so maybe 5000 miles per year max.
The Toploader T4 trans is virtually indestructible(something you can't say about the T5). Availability of parts is going to be roughly the same, maybe tilting toward the old 302(they made a crap-ton more non-roller block 302s over a longer time span) but most parts between the 2 engines are interchangeable. I would even go so far as to say the reliability would be pretty close to the same as well, tilting in the favor of the fuel injected motor(carbs do go out-of-tune more often and run better on non-ethanol fuel). I drove my old 67 Mustang with a 289 for a decade....ended up being the most reliable car I have ever owned...and the simplest to work on.

As for your un-asked question of value...the 65 Mustang any day of the week...unless the 89 is a notchback in excellent condition, the 65 will be more valuable...even if the 65 is a coupe.

If you are waiting months between drives though, the foxbody will be more willing to start after sitting for long periods of time. I am not a fan of sticking ANY car in a garage and never driving it though...cars were meant to be driven, even if its only once a week.
 

Alley Oop

Member
Mar 29, 2017
60
8
18
75
West Coast of Canada
I drove my /90 on any day that was dry. I buy a Mustang to drive it, I'm not interested in only taking it on the road infrequently. My next Mustang will be
a driver as well. How can you tell the difference between a 4 speed trans and a top loader? The guy that's selling the /65 coupe has the trans listed as a 4 speed.
 

Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
1,263
797
123
39
Enterprise AL
I think the factory ford 4 speed that came in the first gen mustang is a top loader. I dont think there was another option. :shrug: