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Thread: 1995 GT convertible 351 Windsor swap

  1. #1

    Arrow 1995 GT convertible 351 Windsor swap

    Explore Kenny Brown Performance today!!
    I did a quick search on the forum here and on the internets (yes, both of them) for info on doing a 302 - 351W swap for the SN95. In most articles, the swap has already been done and they have run into other issues with computers and electronics. I need to back WAY up. What's involved in a 302 - 351W swap? Am I looking at a new K member? Will I need new A frames, springs and sway bars? Does the stock 5 speed mate up or is a new bell housing in order? Driveshaft change? I know lot's of questions.

    Here's the deal, I already have a "spare" 302 and I have been told it's a thin walled casting and doesn't leave a whole lot of room if something goes wrong. I was thinking stroker but have seen many mixed reviews about 347 vs. 331 and some pretty remarkable horsepower and torque numbers from a 306. Almost too good to be true, so hence the 351 Windsor. I have had a number of people suggest putting one of these into my little baby but I haven't found any good info on how to and what's involved. I have about 4 different books on building and modifying SB Fords and SN95's. Is the a good book/manual for this kind of swap? Are there kits available? As for the top end I am torn between carb or TB (programable Holley perhaps). I believe I am no longer subjected to emmissions testing due to the age of the car and with the troubles with the computer I have read about.......

    Any information you kind folks can provide is greatly appreciated. It's not a done deal, yet, but I want to weigh all my options.

    Thanks in adavnce.

  2. #2
    the k-member is fine as is all the suspension pieces. you'll need 351 headers but other than its fairly straightforward. 351 lower intake, 351 distributor of course. the fuel lines between the rails will need to be manipulated a little bit to account for the larger distance. bellhousing will bolt up. a higher hood will be needed to clear it unless you do solid drop mounts, even then it isn't likely to fit under the stock hood.

    as far as carb vs. efi. personally i would stick with EFI and just have it dyno tuned.

    DSS 331 Super Pro Bullet, Vortech V-2 SQ w/ Power Pipe, AFR Comp 185 heads, Performer RPM intake, AFM B-21 cam, AFM PMS, T3550 tranny, Black Machined TSW Nurburgring wheels 19/20s and stuff....

  3. #3
    I have done a 302 to 351 swap in an 89 Mustang, and it is easy but not cheap. First the things that fit, front end, but a different belt will be needed because there is a difference in location of accessories due to higher cylinder head mount. The cylinder heads will swap, but as mentioned the intake (upper and lower) will need to be changed = $. The balance of the engine is different, therefore a different harmonic balancer and flexplate/flywheel are required (SFI approved is almost the same price as those that aren't) = $. The fuel rails are a pain to modify, but don't cost much. I have tried lowering mounts and the oil pan hits the rack (I have not found a mount or cross-member company that can assure me that it will work), therefore a new hood and paint = $. Most junkyard 351 are low performance engines and don't provide a performance improvement, also a note about the weight. The 351 is heavier so bring it closer to a stock 5.0L you will need aluminum cylinder heads = $ otherwise new front springs and struts should be used to restore handling, if that's important. The distributor on a 95 has a remote TFI module so finding a stock 351 distributor might be tough, easier method is MSD or equivlent = $. Then the question comes about if your putting in a 351 and having to rebuild it first, then why not stroke it for real power, fairly easy to get 500 flywheel horsepower with reasonable parts and a computer tune = $. Long tube headers and midpipe are a must otherwise don't bother = $.

    This is not to say it isn't worth the effort, it was and every time I floor the gas pedal it brings a smile to my face, but I just wanted to point out what is required and therefore you can set your goals with respect to your budget. If your just looking for a little more power (lets say 100 hp at the engine) then keep the 302 and add the parts required. If your going to a 351, you need to go big or not at all. Hard to brag about this sort of thing if it only gets you 50 to 75 more hp.

  4. #4
    Hey guys, thanks for the great advice. I see it's been a while since I posted or replied here, so I do apologize for that. The nice weather must have shown up and I got back on the streets. However, a year later I'm back. I missed some of the east coast events mainly because my baby is a P.O.S. in her current state. As of putting her in storage last fall, she has hemorrhaged most of what is left of the old oil out the rear seal.

    So I'm back and still undecided. I picked up a 1974 351w bare block for $50 and I still have a 1988 302 bare block $0 that I had cleaned, tested and magnafluxed. Both are good and both are stock bore etc. During my research for parts and ideas I found a company in PA, Whitehall I believe. Company is D&D Automotive Specialties, and Mustangs are what they do. I started a conversation with them and the suggestion is to go 331 stroker keeping the factory EFI and using a Painless Perf wiring harness. Which is not a bad solution, the HP and torque numbers are respectable and near where I want to be. Those numbers by the way 350 - 450 HP (I know, big range) and torque, lets say between 380 - 420. Ideally right in the middle would be great, right about that 400 mark.

    So now I defer to the expert knowledge and advice of the people on this forum. And I promise, I'll check for replies a lot sooner than a year later.

    400 HP out of 331? That would be pushing it, wouldn't it?
    347, 400 HP is doable, but it pushing the limits of the block?
    Main bearing girdle, worth it or a waste?
    Use one of the blocks I have and build it myself or have a shop do all the work? I'm in So. NH, not too many engine builders around the area that I know of.
    Or, crate engine? Who do you trust? ATK, Blue Print, Coast Performance, another one?
    Factory style EFI using Edelbrock or Trick Flow? I like the F.A.S.T. and Holley style TBI systems and the clean carb look they give. Thoughts on those?
    Part of the upgrade/update plan is to replace the hood anyway, so fitment under it is less of a concern. Knowing that and staying with the factory EFI, would using an aftermarket pre-1994 upper and lower be worth it? Reason is, long runners and the 10-15 HP that was robbed from the 94 & 95 when it was changed.
    Weber makes a real nice 8 stack EFI setup for both the 302 and 351w, but that might put me too far over budget.
    I'm also curious what people's thoughts are on mechanical versus electric water pumps.

    I know there are Pro's and Con's to each engine and fuel delivery set ups. I'm not looking to turn 9's or 10's at the track, but I want to feel something when I put the pedal down. At the end of the day, I would like it to be simple and reliable.

    95mustangGT, the whole car needs to be painted and the interior needs to be completely done over, so although you bring up valid points regarding paint, it becomes a non issue at this time. If I do go 351w, it will definitely be a stroked 351w, most likely up to a 408 with an aluminum top end, heads, intake, etc. It's also good to know that the 351w will fit without too much if any mods to the engine bay, so thanks to both of you for that. MSD is is an absolute must for the ignition, so that shouldn't be a problem. Long tubes are on the someday list. I already replaced the stock "H" pipe with an "X" pipe with single cats (one on each side) and am running a Flowmaster Force II cat back system. The factory headers are out for sure at swap time.

    I have done some research and found that the price for me to build the engine, except for machine work and balance, versus a "complete" turn key crate engine, with a F.A.S.T. TBI is only about $500 - $900 more. If I gave it to a shop, it might cost even more, where a crate already has the labor and machine work costs built into the price. Even to just overhaul and rebuild the leaky 302 in the car now with upgraded components is the same price as some stroked 302's.

    Thanks again everyone, I really do appreciate your input.

  5. #5
    Smokin 1500HP - Member ToplessPony94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hudson, NH
    Hi. I have a 94 GT vert with lots of the parts you mention.

    If I was doing your project with a 302 block, I would opt for a BOSS block with the 4 bolt mains rather than messing around with a girdle and a standard block. I saw some at Carlisle last year in the $500-800 range. As far as power goes, my car is just under 300rwhp and about 315 rwtq and you definitely "feel something" when you put your foot in; perhaps not enough for you, but I'm fine with it.

    I looked into crate motors and decided I would rather build it myself or have someone I know do it. (Too many horror stories, even with Ford Racing crate motors.) There are engine builders in southern NH if you look for them. The Prez of the NH Mustang Club, Rick LaCourse builds motors in his shop in Weare, NH. He can be contacted through the NHMC Facebook page. Another engine builder is Granite State Dyno & Tune in Hudson, NH. They can be contacted at 603-886-1800 or 603-886-0827.

    Since you say you're not interested in 9's at the track, I would go with the EFI with DeatschWerks injectors and some flavor of MSD ignition. But I went through 3 of MSD's distributors for my car and none of them worked worth a damn, so I would probably go with a Mallory if I did it again. Right now I'm using a stock dizzy out of a Bronco because it's taller and I need the height to clear the Aeromotive fuel rails.

    An after-market intake, upper and lower is definitely worth it. I have a Trick Flow and would recommend either that or the Holley SysteMax. They are very similar. As for runner length, Trick Flow offers a phenolic spacer to put between the upper and lower that lengthens the runners and isolates the upper from engine heat to some extent for denser air. The spacer comes in 3/8" or 1" thickness. The 3/8" keeps everything fitting under the stock hood (this is what I have) and definitely makes a hp difference as well as moving the torque curve down some - always a good thing in a Mustang engine. Holley may offer something similar - I don't know.

    The BBK equal length shorty headers are a good choice if they are big enough for the heads you choose. I have Trick Flow Twisted Wedges on my car and they work well together.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to take a look at my setup for ideas in making your own decisions. I'm in Hudson.
    Last edited by ToplessPony94; 03-12-2014 at 11:49 AM.
    Bruce (aka: "Stealth Fighter Pilot")
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool radiator, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil,alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, bumpsteer, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB, all LED lights

  6. #6
    Home of the SmokinStangs - Northeast Mustang Rally!
    Thanks ToplessPony94, this is the kind of good info I was hoping for. I couldn't think of any other names yesterday when I posted, but some form of after market ignition system is in order. I had upgraded to some MSD ignition parts, which ran for a while, then I started having problems. Long story short, after much troubleshooting, a couple trips to Granite State and lots and lots of research on the web, it turned out to be my 1 or 2 year old MSD coil that I burn my hand on that was causing 99.9% of my problems. A $15 AutoZone coil replacement and all the issues were solved. I think I downloaded a Mallory catalog a while back. I would look at Accel but it reminds me too much of using GM products... I have also read that MSD's quality has gone down hill.

    I'll definitely PM you so we can talk, but I'll wait for the weather to get a bit warmer. BTW, your ride looks really nice, stealth is a good name for it. I'll have to watch out when I get mine done.

    Thanks again.
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    Last edited by Vimana; 03-12-2014 at 08:25 AM.

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