the month of July 1999 the Green Rover said good-bye to being
uphill by old VW vans and was converted to a Ford 302 V8. The design
and fabrication was done by Timm Cooper, then of Portland
Oregon with me assisting on disassembly and reassembly. I
have found that a basically stock 302 has plenty of power to do
anything I ask of my 5,600 pound 109. I never gear down on highway
grades, can easily climb any slope that my tyres can grip and go
through deep sand without bogging to a stop. A stock 302
from a 1970 Bronco has 8.6:1 compression (regular grade petrol),
205 HP at 4600 RPM, 242 lb Ft torque at 1200 RPM (vs. Stock LR 70HP at 4000 RPM and 120 lb ft at 2200 RPM).
This web page was originally written as a long
single page discussion on how to do a V8 conversion in a Series
Land Rover. I
have split out the information to several web pages and added additional
information to each. This page deals with choosing and setting
up a small block Ford V8 for a Series Land Rover and as such only
contains part of what you should know for a successful conversion.
It is not a stand alone how-to web page but part of a how-to group
to Series Land Rover conversions
discusses conversions in general and what a conversion usually
entails. It also provides suggestions as to which conversions
would be easiest for different models of Series Land Rover. You
will also find links to suppliers of adapters and drive train
upgrades that you will need.
about V8 conversions & body prep for the engine provides
a comparison between Ford & Chevy V8 conversions. The
page provides detailed descriptions of frame and body modifications
needed to fit a small block V8 into a four cylinder Land Rover
engine bay. There is also a discussion on radiators along
with some helpful charts for exhaust pipe diameters and intake
commonly used with V8 conversions deals with the various gearboxes
commonly used in conversions and has gear ratio numbers that you
will need in order to make the best choices for your new engine. This
page os one of a group of three dealing with gearboxes.
A high percentage of series V8 or V6 conversions seem to be poorly
done by good people who are a little unclear of what needs to
be done or what works. I'm no expert but what I have learned may
help someone who wants to design and fabricate their own conversion.
Here is a quick recap: The stock gearbox is not strong enough to
handle a modern V8, nor are the rear axles. A Series transfercase
has plenty of strength. Dana-18 and some Toyota transfer
cases can also be used. The rear axle should as a minimum,
be upgraded to a Salisbury 24 spline unit (Dana 60 built under
license) or stronger. You
can get by with a 10 spline front, but a 24 spline or stronger
is recommended. To adapt a small block Ford
engine into a Series Land Rover engine bay you will need to use the
same oil pan and pickup that a Bronco uses, change the oil filter
type or location and use an exhaust manifold that exits downward. All
else are just extra refinements.
The small block Ford V8
In 1962 Ford introduced a new lightweight 90 degree 221 cu in
that was to grow into the 302 and 351 engines. There were several
versions of this engine. The most common version was named after
the city in which the engines were built, Windsor, Ontario. The
302 was introduced in 1968 and was in production through 1995.
The 351 was in production from 1969 through XXX. Most
of the after market performance accessories are made to fit the
Windsor engines, also known as the 302W (5.0L) or the 351W, (5.8L).
These engines underwent a large number of changes over the years
to comply with ever stricter emissions requirements and evolving
technologies. Early emissions technology required casting changes,
detuning, retarding the timing and an array of vacuum controlled
devices which made the engine progressively less reliable and reduced
power. It wasn't until the vacuum control systems started being
replaced by computer controlled systems that the small block engines
started becoming more reliable and more powerful. In 1984 the carburetor
was replaced by throttle body fuel injection. For 1985 a
high output (HO) 302 engine was introduced with roller cam and
different firing order. The
roller cam was used through the end of 302 production. The
351 stayed with a flat tappet cam. In
1987 sequential fuel injection was introduced.
When choosing an engine there are a number of factors that
should be considered:
302 or 351?
The 302 and 351 share the same 4 inch bore diameter. The
351 has a taller deck height to fit a longer crank. This
means it is a tighter fit into a Series Land Rover engine bay.
There is enough space to switch spark plugs in
a 302 installed in a Series Land Rover engine bay with Series
inner wing panels. Working at the sides of the engine is tight
but doable. If
you install a 351 I strongly suggest converting to Defender inner
wing panels in order to gain additional clearance. This
isn't necessary but it would make working on the engine easier.
The left side rear spark plug might be really hard to change. Conversion
to power steering to get the stock steering box out of the way
is a necessity.
When swapping to a V8, most people overbuild engines
beyond what would work well with their Land Rover, then either
have no low end power or break a lot of drive train parts. A
bone stock Ford 302 with low compression heads and 500 cfm carburetor
has more power at idle than a healthy 2.25L petrol Land
Rover engine with 8:1 head does at peak. Bone stock the
302 will let your Land Rover climb paved roads in the mountains
at the speed limit and accelerate onto a freeway at very acceptable
rates. A 302 is a good choice for driving without a trailer
and for driving with small trailers in the hills.
If you plan to spend time towing large heavy trailers
in the mountains and feel a need for more power there are two
immediate choices: a 302 with stroker crank or a 351. A stroker
crank adds its power at the low end RPM, from idle to around
4000 RPM. A
stroker crank by itself brings the engine displacement up to 327
cu in. A complete stroker kit with crank, pistons & rods bring
the 302's displacement up to 347 cu in. All without reducing
engine efficiency or increasing the physical size of the engine. However,
a 302 with stroker kit is more expensive than a bone stock 351.
A 351 is basically a 302 with longer crank and
additional block height for the additional piston movement. It is a
good base engine if your plans include towing an airstream to a
base camp in the mountains. If you want to tow a really big
airstream a 351 engine with a stroker kit displaces 392 cu
in. Big block displacement in a small block form factor.
I suggest realistically evaluating your needs then
choosing the base engine and displacement that best fits your
needs, realizing that a bone stock 302 is more then enough engine
for any Series Land Rover not towing heavy loads through the
mountains or at really high altitudes. My suggested rule of thumb
would be a 302 for light weight towing or no towing and a 351
base engine if you plan on towing medium or heavier trailers. The
longer the crank, the more bottom end torque and the more apt
you are to break drive line components as well as make those
steep climbs or tow a heavier load. The smaller the V8
the easier it is to get better fuel economy. I have found
that my 5600lb Land Rover powered by a 302 set up for economy
can climb anything my tyres can find traction on and can go the
speed limit on mountain roads. I
no longer spend my mountain driving hours figuring the best
downshift strategies for tackling the mountain. I just
sit back and enjoy the scenery as I pass the slow vehicles on
Here's a quote from an article I once read: " Part
of building an engine is knowing exactly what you
can afford, then not giving in to ego and the temptation. And that’s the
mistake a lot of us
make along the way. We want to impress our peers. But these are the wrong reasons
an engine. Don’t build an engine to impress anyone beside yourself, because
you alone will
have to live with the result." This is worth committing to memory and
repeating whenever looking through a catalogue of speed parts and accessories.
What year engine should I choose?
There were a lot of bad things done to these engines
in the name of emissions compliance. It wasn't until the
late 1980's when computer control got good enough to provide
cleaner engines with increased engine power and fuel efficiency
that the engine became any good again. If you are uncomfortable
with fuel injection and weary of engine computers my advice is
that you pick an early base engine built before air injection
was added. 1968
through 1973 base engines do not need to pass any periodic
emissions testing in any State (as of 2008) so you can build
it any way that you wish. As a minimum I advocate having a closed
positive ventilation crank case system with a PCV valve (positive
crankcase ventilation valve), that you use a 180 degree thermostat
and that you build and tune your engine for best fuel efficiency
The closed crankcase system not only reduces emissions it keeps
the inside of the engine cleaner allowing you to drive more miles
between engine rebuilds. A warmer running engine reduces engine
wear and pollutes less. All
good things in my book.
you are comfortable with EFI or willing to learn how it works,
I suggest 1987 or newer engine, with the MAF equipped 1989
through 1993 Mustang 5.0 as being the best of the newer
engines, and newer distributorless engines being a bad idea.
1989 through 1993 Mustang 5.0 engines, have more power then the
earlier factory versions, are more reliable than
the other heavily SMOG equipped engines, have a barometer that
allows the engine to tune itself for optimal driving at different
altitudes and a computer that self adapts for different engine
configurations, such as headers or non stock cylinder head.
It is generally a bad idea to use one of the newer
distributorless engines in a vehicle that occasionally is expected
to do deep wading. Distributorless
engines have a crank angle sensor down at crank level. This
is an essential sensor that will keep an engine from running if
it breaks. This crank angle sensor usually sits just above the
oil pan and tends to break when immersed in cold water. If
you have one of these engines in a vehicle used off road it is
a good idea to try to protect the sensor and to carry multiple
In some states the newer engine means
the a pre-SMOG vehicle is required to undergo periodic emissions
testing and pass at the levels in effect for the year the engine
was manufactured. This
could mean all new fuel tanks, charcoal filters and a catalytic
way around that if you live in a state that requires emissions
testing on old vehicles with early 1990's engines is to have
a base engine from a year that does not require periodic emission
testing and convert that engine to EFI. This
gives you the power and economy of a more modern engine along
with an engine that emits lower emission levels than when your
Land Rover was new and when your base engine was new. I'm
all for lowering engine emissions but there are practical limitations
when upgrading 40 and 50 year old 4X4's.
Your engine on Speed equipment
A pure stock engine will work just fine and
be a major power upgrade that can deliver the same or better fuel
mileage as the Land Rover 2.25L engine. However there is a
lot of highly visible speed equipment out there. One
look through the Summit Racing Catalogue can get you dreaming about
all kind of exotic parts that will produce a zillion horse power
and be the envy of everyone who sees it. BUT a lot of these goodies
will make your Series Land Rover less flexible to drive, less reliable
and almost impossible to drive past a gas station. Much of this
stuff is designed to dump more fuel into the engine and to provide
more power at high RPMs by stealing it away from the low end. Many
things that work well at high rev's such as long duration cams,
big valves and big intake passages just hinder power at the RPMs
most off road trail rigs live at. In most cases you can get more
low end power out a a bone stock 302 or 351 at normal off road
RPMs than you can out of a very expensive racing crate engine. Whenever
you want to evaluate a product, ask to see the power curve between
idle and 3000 RPM. Many manufacturer's curves start
at 3000 RPM and go up from there. There is usually a reason
for that. Forged pistons, crank and special lightened rods
are designed for engines that produce in excess of 500HP and rev
past 7000 RPM. They are both expensive and total overkill
in engines set up for trail drives and normal highway use.
That said, there are special parts such as high lift
shorter duration cams designed primarily for towing, aluminum
heads designed to flow well at low RPMs and headers that can improve
the low end power of your engine should you decide that you just
NEED more. And a good solid spark never hurts. If you don't
get carried away with high RPM speed gear, Ford Racing can be your
First some Ford small block basics: Flat tappet
302 & 351
cam shafts are interchange but they have a different firing order.
The Firing order for flat tappet 302's and non HO versions of
the roller tappet 5L engines is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. The
351 and later HO 5L roller tappet engines shared a firing order:
1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. This tidbit of information is of interest if you
are converting an early flat tappet engine over to early 1990's
Mustang 5.0 HO SEQUENTIAL EFI. If you replace
the early flat tappet 302 cam with a 351 cam and move the spark
plug wires around you will have a sequential EFI system
that injects fuel into the cylinder at just the right time for
the spark. The
old cam with work with Mustang 5.0 HO EFI but the idle will not
be quite as smooth and the fuel economy might not be quite as
good as it could be.
A good flat tappet cam to use in a 351 or an early
302 that has been fitted with Mustang EFI is a COMP
# 35-255-5, grind # FW XE254H-14 Here
is a description of this CAM's performance provided by a COMP customer
it is going to improve performance all across the power band. It
is not that much larger than the stock camshaft, but has a more
aggressive lobe profile (which makes the valves open and close
faster, therefore increasing low to midrange torque), and has a
bit tighter lobe separation (which will tighten up the power band
a bit, therefore making it more responsive). With the more
duration it will make the application turn more rpm, and more upper rpm horsepower.
Effectively making the engine perform better all across the board. Where
your stock camshaft will work somewhere between off idle to 4500 or so. My camshaft,
the 35-255-5, will work right off idle up to if need be 5000 to 5200. It will
effectively produce more low end to midrange torque, and more upper horsepower.
It won't be anything super crazy that will give you any kind of problems in the
low and mid ranges." Sorry, since I don't own one, I have
not researched roller tappet cams.
The Ford 302 with cast iron cylinder heads is just
slightly heavier than a stock Land Rover 2.25L petrol engine. Replace
the 302's cylinder heads with aluminum heads and you have an
engine that is almost 50 pounds lighter in weight than the Land
There are a number of compression
ratio stock heads available from Ford plus several aftermarket
performance heads. As a rule the stock Ford heads
are not known for high rates of flow. The best of the factory cast
iron head is the is the GT-40 E7TZ with a flow rating of 187/129
(intake/exhaust) at 50% cam lift. That's about 30 cfm better than
the standard 302 head. They
have an aluminum version that flows about as well as the Edelbroch performer
head. The aluminum "street" heads flow on the average of
about 60 cfm greater than the stock 302 head (30 cfm better than the iron
GT-40 head). If you find yourself looking at the aftermarket heads,
don't forget that larger port passages and valves actually hurt flow and
power at the low RPM range where 4X4s live. High flow at 40 or 50%
of cam lift with the smallest valves and port passages are your best bet
for off road use. Most of that advertised performance boost from special
performance cylinder heads come
in at higher than 4000 RPM, often at the cost of less than stock power
at low RPMs. As an example:
The complete Edelbroch performer series package, cam,
aluminum heads, carb, intake manifold and headers (What about
$3500?) gets you an increase of only 20 lb/ft of torque over
a stock 302 at 3000 RPM. The real gain is above that RPM.
Aluminum heads cost in the $1200 to $1350 price
range per pair. I looked at air flow specs of about 10
different aluminum "street"heads. Of
the bunch the one that looks the best at low RPMs is the
Air Flow Research 165 head, cat # 1400. On
a stock engine they dyno'ed to 302 lb/ft torque, 119 HP at 2000
RPM and 311 lb/ft torque and 177 hp at 3000 RPM. That's
roughly about 1/3rd more torque than a stock 3.9L Land Rover
V8 puts out at those RPMs. When
in doubt ask the manufacturer how the head affects power curves
in the 2-3000 RPM range.
As a rule of thumb, figure about 3 percent extra power for each
higher compression point. Also higher compression helps long
duration cams work better. It is up to you to decide if that
3 to 6 percent extra power is worth the price of premium gas
every time you hit the pumps. I
went with the low compression 9:1 heads that allowed me to run
regular gas. And if you
are shopping for cams make sure the manufacturer knows your engine
will live below 3000 RPM and that is where the power needs to
Exhaust Manifolds or Manifold Destiny (required for swap)
manifolds almost all exit the rear of the engine. Series Land
Rovers have a vertical bulkhead with makes this style incompatible.
To the best of my knowledge there are only two stock cast iron
manifolds that can work in a Series Land Rover. One is a pickup
left side exhaust manifold. The other is the early Falcon V8
left side exhaust manifold. Ford exhaust manifolds can be mounted
on ether side. So you will need two left side exhaust manifolds.
Of the two types the early Falcon one will fit better. You can use other stock cast iron Ford exhaust manifolds of you mount them backwards so that the exhaust exits at the front of the engine. This is a bad idea on the left side because it obstructs removal of the oil filter. It is a good idea on the right side because you can move the hot down pipe away from the front propshaft and starter motor. A
block hugging header can be made to fit but generates a LOT more heat inside your tiny poorly ventilated engine bay. Vapor lock easily becomes a major issue with steel headers.
This is my engine being built,You can clearly see one of the
early Falcon V8 exhaust manifold. This manifold easily clears the fuel filter area, most engine mounts and allows you to easily route the down pipe away from a left side mounted clutch cylinder & hose. I used a left side Mustang cast iron exhaust manifold on the engine's right side. This manifold is mounted on the reverse side puts the down tube at the front of the engine, allowing for a gentle bend and plenty of clearance for the engine mount, front propshaft and the starter motor. Whatever exhaust manifolds you use, it is important to mount them to the engine BEFORE fabricating the frame mounts. That way you can assure freedom from interference.
Also note the
oil filter aims directly at the frame side rail. The Ford
filter (shown) is too long to fit and be removable. A right angle
adaptor from Ford Racing is the best solution. A Dodge
318 V8 oil filter will fit the space between the engine and frame
and work well with the Ford engine.
There are a number of block hugger shorty headers that point
down instead of to the rear. One problem is that there are a large
number of engine mounts used with the Ford small block engines
and some interfere with different headers. Steel headers throw off a lot more heat than cast iron exhaust manifolds and the Series Land Rover engine bay is a very small box enclosed on 5 sides. Vapor lock can easily become a major reliability issue when you use headers. I have used both cast iron exhaust manifolds and headers in my truck. I did not notice any power or fuel efficiency differences. The advantage to headers is usually seen at high RPMs where my truck very seldom ventures. I found vapor lock plagued me with unwrapped steel headers. Header wrap drastically reduces the duty life of headers. My wrapped headers lasted about 2 years before disintegrating to rust flakes.
Ford SOV has a shorty exhaust header that will work. "Street
Rod Headers" #M-9430-S302. These require you to use engine mounts
270-2221LH and 270-2220RH.
Ford SOV block hugger headers
Headers currently available are designed to fit the newer heads
with the small diameter spark plugs. If you use the headers
with early heads that take the large diameter spark plugs, check
the spark plug to header clearance. You may have to do
a little grinding on the header mounting surface to get enough
clearance to replace the spark plugs. Also, you might
or might not get a good seal with a stock exhaust manifold gasket. Best
bet is to spring for the thicker higher quality header gaskets. They
do a much better job of sealing. This is very important
if you are using EFI as the O2 sensor would get incorrect readings
with gasket leaks.
You will need to fabricate new frame mounts and there are a
large number of Ford small block engine mounts to choose from. I
decided to use a mount designed for Baja racing Broncos and sold
Horses Four Wheel Drive. Of course this was
after my 302's fan went into the radiator during an off road
Extreme Motor Mounts. These will help keep your motor and
fan blade out of your radiator in extreme off-road situations.
The extreme motor mounts were designed to withstand the riggers
of Baja racing. They come complete with urethane bushings,
Wild Horses item # 8036
Oil Filters (required for swap)
The oil filter sits near the bottom of the
engine and points out horizontally.
Unfortunately this is at frame level and there is insufficient clearance
to remove the stock Ford oil filter. There are
a few ways to get around this problem.
One is to use a Dodge 318 V8 oil filter. This filter
uses the same mounts and sealing surfaces as Ford but is considerably
Ford Racing has an oil filter adapter for the hot
rod set. It is basically a right angle adapter similar in shape
to the oil filter adapter used on the Land Rover four cylinder
engine. This turns the spin on oil filter 90 degrees. The Ford
part number is M-6880-A50
Ford Racing right angle filter adaptor
Or if you have space you can go with a remote oil filter adapter
on the front left inner wing. I have a windscreen washer bottle
and a radiator recovery bottle in that location so no space for
a remote oil filter.
Ford tends to mount both the alternator and power
steering pump down low where it will interfere with the
Series Land Rover frame and are likely to be submerged during
deep wading. I
recommend mounting the alternator at the top of the engine. Adding
accessories such as a power steering pump or air conditioning
is usually a matter of finding the right bracket and modifying
it if needed. There are a large number of accessory mounting
brackets available to choose from if you use stock accessories
in one of the stock locations. Most
small blocks go into engine bays that are a lot wider than a
Series Land Rover bay and the accessories may not be tucked in
are you will need to adapt or fabricate mounts for accessories.
This is my Delco alternator and mount. The top bracket
is an aftermarket GM V8 alternator top bracket. The bottom
bracket was fabricated from scratch.
This is an early Ford 302 power steering pump bracket that
has been modified to fit the GM "canned ham" style power steering
Balance factor: - harmonic dampeners
There were many versions of Ford small blocks manufactured
over 3 decades of production Some things can be mixed but
some parts can not. You need to have the right harmonic
dampener flywheel and bellhousing the the version of engine you
1868 - 1980 302 engines were built with a 28 ounce imbalance
1981 - 2001 302 engines were built with a 50 once
1969 - 1997 351 W & C engines were built with
a 28 once imbalance factor
Severe engine damage will result if you use the wrong flywheel
or harmonic damper on your engine.
Flywheels and Starters
Ford used two flywheels, 157 tooth and 164 tooth. You need to
match the flywheel with the starter motor and the bellhousing.
The starter motor is on the same side as the front prop shaft. I
recommend using a geared starter motor. They are smaller
than the stock type starter motor and will provide more clearance
for both headers and the front prop shaft.
If your engine is below 500 hp and stays below 7000 RPM, the
stock crank shaft , rods and pistons work just fine and are way
cheaper than the forged, lightened custom stuff. A stock 302 will
provide move torque than the Land Rover aluminum V8s. It
provides plenty for most all off road driving conditions and for
light towing. However sometimes you need more low end torque for
towing heavier trailers into the mountains or just because you
want to impress you buddies with how much of your expensive tyres
you can leave behind climbing a steep rock slope. The easiest
way to increase low end torque is to use a longer crank shaft. A
stroker kit consists of a crank, rods and shorter pistons. It
is cheaper to install a 351 engine but the 351 takes up a bit
more space in the small Series Land Rover engine bay.
A 302 with a 3.4 inch stroker crank kit with pistons can displace up to 357
cubic inches. The
extra length of the crank throw adds about 70-80 lb-ft torque
and lowers peak torque by about 300 RPM from the same engine with
a stock crank. (The stock 1970 Bronco engine would get about 320
lb ft peak torque at 2300 RPM) The stroker crank increases displacement
to 342 cubic inches using standard diameter pistons. 30
over pistons raises displacement to 347 cubic inches. All with
no increase of external engine dimensions! This combination
can provide you with axle breaking power at the low end, but
swapping in a 351 is cheaper and a 351 can be stroked to 392 cubic
inches giving you big block performance in a small block form
There are a lot of products and manufacturers out there. I
suggest doing a web search and compare products if you decide
to use a stroker crank.
Oil Pans (required for swap)
Small block Ford engines have the distributor at the front of
the engine and the oil pump is driven by the distributor. This
means that Small block Ford engines usually have oil sumps at
the front of the engine where they can be bashed by the Land
Rover's front differential. The solution is to source a
Bronco oil sump, dip stick and oil pump pickup up from a Bronco. I also suggest modifying the front right corner of the oil pan, making a 2 inch by 2 inch indentation in the corner. That's about the size dent the front diff made in my oil pan.
Dealing with the engine length
The small block Ford engine is longer than it's Chevy equivalent
because of the space needed for the front mounted distributor.
A Series Land Rover 4 cylinder engine bay does not have enough
space for the average 302 with mechanical fan and a vertical
flow radiator mounted behind the front cross member. There
are a number of ways to deal with this front to rear space
One is to leave off the mechanical fan and switch to electric
fans mounted in front of the radiator. This has
a couple of advantages. The mechanical fan
makes a lot of noise at medium to higher RPMs. At open highway
speeds the fan becomes a very significant source of noise
and is seldom needed. A mechanical fan also takes in the region
of 5 to 7 HP to turn at engine cruise speeds. So a thermostatically
controlled electric fan will provide a much quieter ride and
you will pick up a few HP. You can wire an electric fan to be
switched off when you wade and eliminate fan splash inside the
engine bay. Your
best bet for a wrecking yard fan is a 2 speed electric fan
off a V8 Ford Taurus or a V8 Mercedes.
Another answer to the space problem is to move the radiator
forward. There are two ways to do this, one is to convert to
a cross flow radiator mounted farther forward
on top of the front cross member. This will add a few inches
of available space and eliminate the need for special short water
My custom aluminum cross flow radiator sits on top of the front cross mamber is the same height as the radiator bulkhead, sits against the power steering box on the vehicle left side and has enough space on the otherside for the bonnet prop rod and for wires to pass
A method for increasing the engine bay length that works with
a top tank radiator is to cut the radiator cross member off,
move it forward one inch then reweld it. This will work in combination
with a early stock water pump. You will need to heat up the
top steering relay lever and bend it rearwards one inch for the
stock steering to work. It does not affect a power steering conversion.
Moving the radiator cross member forward an inch and using
the early water pump will provide enough space to put a top & bottom
tank radiator into the stock LR location and have enough space
for a mechanical fan.
When you move the cross member forward an inch you cut the radiator
bulkhead mounting tabs off one inch and drill new mounting holes
1 inch to the rear. The end result is you have an inch more space
and everything looks totally stock.
A 302 from a late 60's Ford Econoline used a shorter water pump
than later engines. It is your best bet for the water pump,
brackets & other
things that hang off the front of the engine. You
have stock parts prices and the shortest engine available form
If you find you need a little more space to fit a wider core
radiator, Ford Racing has a short V-belt water pump that is only
4/3/8 inches long from casting base to the pulley flange. This
pump requires a special pulley kit to keep the belts in line. Edlebroch
makes a short water pump. I do not have the dimensions, but
it is worth checking into when deciding how to build the engine.
Here is where the Ford small block conversion really shines.
The distributor is in the front and very easily accessible.
The GM distributor is in the rear tucked up against the bulkhead.
This means you have to remove any bonnet mounted spare and lift
the bonnet to vertical to begin to get access to the GM distributor. Ford offers a rubber boot that covers the top of the distributor
providing splash protection. There are in the $15-$20 cost
Ford offered a Duraspark II system during the seventies that
provides a breakerless very high voltage ignition system.
It provides good spark and you don't have to worry about point
slippage or wear. I mounted the electronic box on the inside
of the right inner wing at the very front. It was the coolest
out of the way spot I could find and is close to the distributor. You want to mount the control box in the coolest part of the engine bay.
The Duraspark II unit needs a starter circuit sense wire for cool
weather starting and there is no place in a stock LR positive
earth wiring harness to connect this line to. The sense line bypasses
the resistor wire for higher voltage to the ignition during start
and it retards the ignition slightly for easier starting.
I ended up getting a late seventies Ford starter relay and wiring
it in next to the stock positive earth starter button. The Ford
relay has special connection for the electronic box sense wire.
I wired the Ford relay activation wire to the stock positive earth
manual starter switch so that the stock starter switch activates
the Ford relay. So I start the engine the same way I always have.
302 flat tappet distributors
used an iron drive gear. 302
roller cam distributors used a steel drive gear. If you are converting
a early 302 engine with flat tappets to EFI you will need
to fit the EFI distributor with an iron drive gear.
Carburetor are jetted for a single altitude and can only respond
to 3 basic conditions or a mixture of the three: wide open throttle,
cruise and idle. You can set the amount of fuel delivered
under each of those three throttle conditions for a given altitude
and expect the carburetor to provide you with ball park air to
fuel ration delivery over all your driving conditions. A
carburetor will not deliver the best power under all your normal
driving conditions Nor will it give you the best fuel economy. It
is a compromise at best but many people like it because it is mechanical
and it is relatively easy to diagnose problems. But it is a solution
who's day has passed. Most people tend to over Carburete
for normal off road or highway driving with makes the carburetor
even less suited for all your normal driving conditions. A
good 500 CFM carburetor is plenty for a small block engine
that is not going to be used in a mud pit racer.
When my 302 engine was built in 1999, I used an Edlebroch 500
CFM four venturi carburetor that is a copy of the old Carter
AFB. It is a simple carburetor and is easily jetted for economy. In
my 109 Dormobile I achieved 15-16 miles per U.S. gallon highway
and around 8 MPG stop & go. This
is identical to what I got out of the 2.25L petrol engine with
Rochester carb, only with WAY more power. The carb worked
OK for me but needed to be rejeted for large changes in altitude
so I carried a spare set of jets with me when I was expecting
major elevation changes. I mounted my carburetor on a
Edlebroch Performer manifold. This is their design for maximum
low end power and torque.
Timm Cooper likes the Rochester Quadrajet carburetor because the
float design lets it work properly at steep angles. I didn't use
it because it is also one of the most complicated four venturi carburetors
on the market and I personally prefer simple.
The Holley carburetor float arrangement generally tends to make
it a poor off road carburetor. They do make a special off
road version with a better float arrangement.
Factory fuel injection has become too efficient and reliable
to ignore. It is a lot more complicated than a carburetor and
distributor with points but it will allow your engine to produce
more power using less fuel while running cleaner. Anything
that is reliable, pollutes less and allows me to drive past a couple
extra fuel pumps is OK in my book! Ford has one of the most reliable EFI systems available. I
suggest that stock EFI system will provide fewer headaches at
a lower cost than the aftermarket EFI systems. The best Ford
EFI system is the one the factory used on the 1989 through 1993
Mustang 5.0 engines. They provide the most reliable HP, self
adapt to a number of engine variations and they are constantly
retuning the engine to compensate for altitude, air temperature
coolant temperature and even engine wear. In short
they will give you the best combination of power and fuel economy
under most all normal driving conditions and will work at steep
angles where carburetors run into trouble.
A Series Land Rover engine bay is a lot narrower than a Mustang
engine bay which means you will need to get creative with where
you place the air cleaner and make an extra loop of the EFI electrical
harness somewhere between the back of the engine and where the harness
enters through the bulkhead. I ended up hanging my air filter & prefilter on the right side wing and looping the main EFI harness once around the Kodiak fan housing. The EFI harnesses mostly works fine
but you will need to move the ground and 12 volt supply wires around.
EFI computers do not like to get hot or wet. A Series
Land Rover has the perfect place to mount one. The right side
instrument shelf area.
Ford EFI computer mounted on its side with rubber padding on top,
bottom, side, front & back
There is a hole already at the correct location. The
factory bulkhead hole for a RHD steering column. I just removed
the cover and enlarged the hole a little to fit the Mustang bulkhead
gasket. Then I added a sheet metal plate in front of the
EEC. The EFI main power relay sits inside beside
Main fuse panel mounted to cover in front
of the EEC. The big
60 AMP fuse is for the 4 roof lamps
I will try to add a web page about 302 EFI conversion
sometime in the future.
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