New owner of a 70 vert, advice needed

imecoli

New Member
Mar 18, 2012
10
0
1
San Diego
I just purchased my first mustang, a 1970 convertible 302 2v. Surprisingly there is very little rust for 42 year old car from Denver. My current plan is to pull the motor and transmission for a rebuild in April (240,000 miles). The original owner stopped driving and parked it in 91 due to a misfiring cylinder and had not touched it since. My question is on the rebuild of the motor, I'm looking for more of a occasional Sunday cruiser, not a 1/4 mile car. Any recommendations on a build? Stock? should I get the cylinders bored, or only if needed? replace with assembled aluminum heads? HELP!!!! I will address the bodywork in the fall (and have more questions then I'm sure).

It has been several years since I had done any real work on a motor, the last time was before this car was parked. I feel this car would be a good place to start since there are soo many parts and kits readily available. I was looking at an AMX since I had one long ago, but finding parts for it would be near impossible. Any advice on how I should proceed with the build would be greatly appreciated. I will get some pictures up in the next couple of weeks.
Thanks
Matt
 
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The_Dude

Member
Aug 17, 2004
137
4
19
Western Oregon
What are you looking to do with the car? Are you planning on doing this rebuild yourself? You'll still need machine work. I'd go with the machinists recommendations as far as boring. All the rest depends on what you want out of the car.
If you're looking to build a hotrod, I'd get a 351 and build that instead.
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
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nice job snagging a 70 convert. they are very hard to come by.definitly go with the
351, it already has more horse power than a 302,and its easy to gain more with
simple bolt ons such as a performer intake and i am partial to the holly 650, a good
set of headers ,i had headman on mine didnt have to modify they fit perfect, and
a cam wouldnt hurt comp cams 780 H has a fair idle and good sound,280 H if you want to roast the tires off if you use an automatic i would recamend 325 gears 350s for 4 and 5 speed the 280H would require a stall converter because of its rough idle
 

imecoli

New Member
Mar 18, 2012
10
0
1
San Diego
Thanks for the response and advice, Im glad I found the convertible, after seeing the production numbers I was pretty set on purchasing it. I'm looking to build it not so much for street power, more for cruising in the summer (spring fall and also winter since I live in San Diego :)) I was thinking about picking up a rebuilt 351 and storing my stock motor, but have read a lot of the advances that have been made with the 302s and getting better horsepower and mileage with simple mods. I would like to keep it stock looking however, not sure how far I plan on taking the restore. As much as I like the idea of pure power, and was looking on hiperformer, and for less than my discounted quotes I can get a rebuilt 351 and keep my motor for $300 more. but for some strange reason I would like to keep it a 302.

I plan on sending the block out to get cleaned and inspected to see if it needs to be bored out or not, and I would get the cam bearings installed but I plan on doing the rest of the rebuild myself.

here are 2 options I found last night;
http://www.ehow.com/how_7183821_do-ford-302-fuel-mileage_.html
or this one
http://www.popularhotrodding.com/enginemasters/articles/ford/0611em_ford_302_engine_build_up/viewall.html
Does this make me a:loser: if I want to keep it original as a 302?

Thanks,
Matt
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
3,347
233
Wile Coyote's stunt double
Thanks for the response and advice, Im glad I found the convertible, after seeing the production numbers I was pretty set on purchasing it. I'm looking to build it not so much for street power, more for cruising in the summer (spring fall and also winter since I live in San Diego :)) I was thinking about picking up a rebuilt 351 and storing my stock motor, but have read a lot of the advances that have been made with the 302s and getting better horsepower and mileage with simple mods. I would like to keep it stock looking however, not sure how far I plan on taking the restore. As much as I like the idea of pure power, and was looking on hiperformer, and for less than my discounted quotes I can get a rebuilt 351 and keep my motor for $300 more. but for some strange reason I would like to keep it a 302.

I plan on sending the block out to get cleaned and inspected to see if it needs to be bored out or not, and I would get the cam bearings installed but I plan on doing the rest of the rebuild myself.

here are 2 options I found last night;
http://www.ehow.com/how_7183821_do-ford-302-fuel-mileage_.html
or this one
http://www.popularhotrodding.com/enginemasters/articles/ford/0611em_ford_302_engine_build_up/viewall.html
Does this make me a:loser: if I want to keep it original as a 302?

Thanks,
Matt
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
3,347
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Wile Coyote's stunt double
absolutely not ,the 302 is a very tough motor,the sam mods. can be made
to it as well mild or wild, once tried to blow one up, poored oil under the tires
put it in second and lit them up did hear a big bang turned out to be a tire
the motor was fine ,go for it
 

Hack

15 Year Member
Mar 23, 2004
1,945
12
69
Minneapolis
I'm a little biased, but I would say since it is a convertible you should plan to keep it more of a cruiser. If you want something really fast buy a Fox Mustang and build that up. They are cheap and if you wreck one it's no big loss. You don't want to crash or twist up that convertible.

I'm running a roller cam 302 motor out of a '91 ex cop car in my '70 convertible. The motor cost me MUCH less than a rebuild and it works fine and has good power. If I ever decide to build something for mine I would probably just stroke the 302 to 347 with AFR 185 heads and just enough cam so the idle has a little roughness to it. Even with a 302 in there with untouched iron 80's Ford heads the car has plenty of get up and go for driving around town. With a 347 you can have plenty of power to get yourself in trouble if you want.

If you're short on money and not sure what to do right now here's my advice:
  • start with a compression test to determine if the miss-fire is due to a problem with sealing.
  • if you find a cylinder with low compression you can squirt a little oil in and if the compression doesn't improve it could be just a bad valve.
  • If compression is good then you might just have a bad wire or plug - replace and have fun driving the car
  • If it's a ring(or rings) then the engine needs boring and you need pistons. This is where you really need to think about what you want. I recommend if you don't have the money to do everything just throw in a junkyard motor and save up your money. The cost of a rebuild really adds up. Even gaskets and other minor "might as wells" will really get you. Do your homework before deciding on a course of action.
  • If it's a bad valve you could buy a good set of heads now and then build the rest of the motor when you have the cash. This never is the best way to go, but at least you would be able to drive the car in the meantime.
  • Another option is to have a valve job done on your current heads. I wouldn't recommend this because there are much better designed heads out there now.
The best junkyard options are things like a GT-40 headed 302 out of a 96-97 Exploder. I hope this helps your thought process.
 

bartl

Active Member
Feb 4, 2001
218
7
29
62
West Rutland, Vermont
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the '70 302. Have the necessary machine work done to your block. If you can keep the overbore at .040" or less fine, if not, sleeve it. Use your existing heads, probably D0OE at around 58cc, have the thermactor bumps in the exhaust ports removed and port match to a set of 351W exhaust manifolds or reproduction 289 HiPo exhaust manifolds, mill to 54cc, install hardened seats and upgrade to the 1.84/1.54 351W valves and 1.6 roller tip rockers. Use the C9OZ-6250-A camshaft, a Weiand Stealth manifold with the manufacturer name filed off and painted Ford blue, top it off with a 1.12" Autolite 4100 carburetor. It should make a snappy little 302 that looks very stock.
 

Couped Up

Member
Feb 3, 2010
92
4
8
Monroe, Washington
I agree with the others. If you want a nice driver, and aren't focused on Muscle as much as Pep, then stick with the 302! They're a great motor, and can obtain better mileage then one with a bigger displacement. Since you're not too sure how deep your going to jump at this time, Keep your modifications on the conservative side. This way, if you sell the car sooner then anticipated, it's closer to stock, and if not, It'll give you a chance to decide what direction you want to go with it. But first, Get a Marti Report!

my .02 sense....
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
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oh you have a very nice start, is that sunlit gold? find a body shop that will butt weld the patch panels in nothing looks worse than over laped panels,or holes drilled and bondo squirting through like spaghetti especially inside the trunk, all the lines look good every thing fits well, you got a keeper
 

JonK

Member
Jun 6, 2007
276
0
16
Nashville (Smyrna), TN
That'll make a very nice cruiser, especially for parades. I'm with bartl, have the 302 rebuilt, do a the simple mods that will add a little power to the motor for minimal investment - 4 bbl intake/carb, port/polish the stock heads or invest in a minor upgrade like the E-streets by Edelbrock (alum. and <$1K/pr.), dual exh. with better breathing manifolds, etc. I wanted to stay 'stockish' looking so I painted my block, alum. heads and intake all Ford blue, once all the accessories, brackets, pulleys, etc. are on it'll be hard to see any of the markings:
IMG_2280.jpg

I bought the heads used (AFR165 alum.) and a PO tried to grind the 'AFR' cast into the side off on one and it looks bumpy/wavy and is obvious, I didn't bother trying to grind any of the castings off the intake or heads as they didn't bother me. If someone knows ford well enough they'll know it's not stock but at a casual glance I think it'll pass.

If you can port/polish the heads yourself that will help them breath, if you have to pay someone ($500>) then you're better off stepping up to an alum. head for the cost. The heads are the restrictive part of the sbf. A lot of the accessories/brackets, etc. are different on a 351W since the motor is wider/taller so it'll be more $ to change just so you know.

You didn't mention the trans, auto I'm guessing? If you will be doing any cruising > 60mph for any time I'd look at an AOD upgrade, the C4 was designed for a 55mph speed limit and the RPM's start to climb at todays speeds. This would also allow you to up the rear gears from stock ~2.80:1 to ~3.50:1 for more fun snap off the line and ~2200 rpm 70mph cruising = better mpg. If it's a manual look at a 5sp. swap, same benefits and you can't see the trans without gettign under the car practically. The 4bbl will also give better mpg than the 2bbl if you can keep your foot out of it as the front 2 are smaller and the stock 2 bbl. tries to handle 1 mph >100mph so it has a much smaller window where it is actually efficient.
Jon
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
3,347
233
Wile Coyote's stunt double
the aod would be a great upgrade depends on the amount driving you plan to do, if you just plan on using it as an ocasional driver and plan on keeping the 302 there is no real reason for changing the c4, c4s are more than capable of speeds 70 or even higher depending on how heavy your foot is,the speed limit wasnt changed till the mid 70s so they did see speeds of 70,i have a c4 in my 65 drag car behind a 500 hp 351 w. lots of drag racers use c4s one of fords best trannys, for a daily driver you may consider an aod just for the fuel milage
 

imecoli

New Member
Mar 18, 2012
10
0
1
San Diego
Thanks for all the responses!!
Just getting back to it, really busy work schedule lately. I have a week of rest so back on the project. I have the motor and tranny out, sending it out to the shop next week for inspection and work.
The transmission is a C4, I mostly plan on short trips around town or some cruise nights. I was orignally thinking of just doing the valve job but decided to get it all done at once. with 240000 miles, I feel more confortable with a complete rebuild. Money isnt really an issue, I will get a good price break from my frinds shop. I squirelled some cash away before for a project car and will use it for this. I plan on getting the bodywork taken care of later in the year.
also.

horse sence, the paint color is Medium Gold Metallic /s/, that is what is listed on the windowsticker

I found these numbers stamped into my trunk deck lid 3 23 c2 zb 65 any ideas?

WP_000852.jpg

I am now looking into suspension kits, looking at mustangs unlimited or should I just go with individual components? (I have heard that urethane bushings may be too hard but I have no experience with them)

http://www.mustangsunlimited.com/itemdy01.asp?T1=FEKD9 01&Category=Suspension & Steering&subCategory=Front Rebuild Kits&SubSubCategory=69-70&CatKey=EMUSTANG


Once again, any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

@ The Dude, thanks, Im really bummed at that flat, that was OEM air in that tire :cry:
 

horse sence

That $5 hooker turn out to be a guy
Mod Dude
Nov 29, 1999
9,024
3,347
233
Wile Coyote's stunt double
nice ,had a 70 that was sunlit gold , no clue on the trunk #s
the urathane bushing have a beter handling than the rubber
but they tend to squeak, you can get urathane that are oil impregnated
you can feel the road more with urathane but it takes a little of the slop
and sway out