question about 86 f150 5.0 and cam options


Dirt-Old 20+Year Member
Oct 17, 2003
Richmond, VA
friends got an 86 f150, 5.0. hes wanting to use a cam but not change rods. im guessing its going to be like the 86 mustangs right?

can he use a b or e cam and not touch rods and still not hit his valves ?

what are options? hes using stock heads also. if he has to change roller rockers he can do that too.

edit: his name on here is zfink. his thread is this one.
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Duration ie: how long the valves are open would be your enemy on this one. I would think the E303 would have a better chance of clearing because although more lift, it has less duration. That's just an opinion though. Maybe someone who's done this can chime in.
he is not going to be able to change it. the f150 is not a roller block. also he will have to change the dist gear to work with a roller cam. i had a 82 f150 and it ate the gear off the dist in about 10 miles. i put a mustang motor in it.
he is not going to be able to change it. the f150 is not a roller block. also he will have to change the dist gear to work with a roller cam. i had a 82 f150 and it ate the gear off the dist in about 10 miles. i put a mustang motor in it.

Not only that but it's speed density the computer will go nuts with a cam change, also I may be wrong but I don't think it is an H.O., it might be EFI firing order.
I swapped in a 1993 Mustang cam into a 1993 F-150 and couldn't be happier. But I also put on some heavily ported heads and headers at the same time.

With the stock heads, I would not waste time and money changing the cam in that truck. More lift and more duration will do nothing if your heads can't flow any more air.

I'd spend my money on some gears and a set of long tube headers - those will give you, by far, the most bang for the buck.

Good luck...
I need an answer. Summit, edelbrock, and comp cams offer cams for an 86... Why are you stating none of them will work. 116degree lobe space and increased cam durations. I just need an answer if anybody has put a cam into an 86 non H.O. non roller and what were the results... If nobody knows I guess I may be the first person to experiment with this motor. If that's the case Watch my other forum and i'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!
In terms of explaining MAF vs SD. Use the search function and google and do some learning before you attempt a cam swap. Also, no offense to you, but I wouldn't waste my time modding a non-HO 302.
Also to fivespeedsteed, I believe you're confusing rods with valve springs. I'm not sure the specs for non ho heads ( unless they're e7s , Ithink they used on the f150s first before the mustangs got them in 87, could be wrong) but the valve springs is what he'd need to swap to handle the added lift. But,as stated duration is the concern when it comes to PVC, and you'll have a hell of a time finding a non-roller, non-HO, performance cam.
93 is MAF and H.O. 86 is neither.


My 1993 Ford truck is neither MAF nor H.O. - nor are any other 1993 models IIRC - except maybe California models. 1994, yes; 1993 no.

My truck has a good ole speed density and it had the non-HO firing order when stock. I did get lucky and get a roller block (not all 1993's had roller blocks) - hence my ability to swap in the Mustang H.O. cam.

I did re-wire the injectors, but contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary - as I figured out after re-wiring them.

Granted his 1986 will not be a roller block - but the point of my post was for the OP not to fool with a cam swap, simply not worth it for stock heads.

Good luck...
Can any of you direct me to a thread or forum that builds non H.O. Non roller engines?

I can't afford to buy another motor, I now have two 86 302's. But it seems like they're good for nothing but a scrap yard. :notnice:

you'll need to convert it to HO and convert it to roller.

neither one of those is NEARLY worth the money it will cost you to do when you can pick up a roller motor for $200.

bottom line is, YES you can MILDLY upgrade your non-HO 302, but its not going to amount to much. And a cam change just really isnt an option, unless you can find someone to custom grind you a non-HO cam ($400+)

someone please correct me if i am wrong here.
Tanner you are way off, the OP can build a 400hp screamer if he wants with the block he has.

The block is either roller or not and all that affects is cam selection. HO or not does not matter to the block or the build.

OP, all 302 builds are basically the same. The heads are interchangeable as are most of the internal parts. If you decide to put a new cam in your motor, you will need a flat tappet cam - there are literally thousands to choose from, and they are cheaper than roller cams. Again, I don't recommend it with stock heads, but they exist in huge numbers.

If you must have a new cam call summit or jegs and tell them what you have and what you want to do and they will recommend a cam for you. Same applies for any of the major cam companies.
Yes he can use the block. no he won't be building a non-ho 400hp "screamer using non-ho HCI. You essentially told him his motor is fine to use, as long as he replaces everything.

He's asking about installing a cam, not building a hot rod. Obviously it wouldn't be a concern if he replaces everything with aftermarket parts.
He can build a 400hp motor with that BLOCK but not that valvetrain.

Since you asked this question and no one has answered yet:

Speed Density: does not use a sensor in the inlet tract to measure intake air, temp, etc to calibrate air/fuel mixture. It uses pre-programmed tables to adjust the mixture. Pros: It has has no obstruction in the inlet tract (horsepower robbing). Cons: It does not properly self adjust for serious HP gains, i.e. cam swap, and will have major idle/driveability issues if not converted.

Mass Air Flow: does use this sensor in the inlet tract. Pros: This allows for self adjusting when serious upgrades are made (i.e. cam, power adders, etc.) Cons: It adds the sensor to the inlet tract which does take away a few HP.

Converting an SD H.O. motor to a MAF is fairly simple. However, since I believe your non-H.O. motor uses a different EEC-IV, I'm not sure if you can transplant an H.O. MAF EEC without running into problems.

IMO, I would find yourself a good H.O. block to work with. In the long run, you will save $$$ over trying to convert the non-H.O. to H.O./roller specs. Flat tappet cams also have wear drawbacks (need to use oil with ZDDP-zinc additive) and can fail prematurely if not using an oil additive.

What I am suggesting is that he put on some long tubes and gears and get the most gain for the least cash and struggle.

What others are suggesting is that he swap blocks just so he can swap cams. This is crazy.

There are several cam manufacturers that have off the shelf flat tappet truck cams known to be SD friendly for Ford trucks.

So what if he has to be more careful on break in with the flat tappet. Get some good lube and break in oil and go to town.

The OP would be wise to ask this same question at F150 dot net. Plenty of guys over there that have done what he is trying to do with their stock blocks.