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Old 04-16-2009, 04:59 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
Join Date: Jul 2 2007
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Originally Posted by Geo61bird View Post
I recently picked up a 66 Fairlane GTA and well now Im going to rob the TBIRD of its '69 S code 390.... guess what im looking for is some TECH advice on a small block Swap.
Hi and welcome

I can't offer you specific tech on the swap as I haven't done it or seen it done, but there's no reason why not - everything's feasible. I have had a 302/C4 '64 Fairlane, a '66 Fairlane h/t with a stock 390 and auto, a '36 Ford with a 302 and T5 five-speed, and a '62 Tbird, stock 390, so have had a little experience with both engines.

I guess it comes down to whether you're doing the swap for convenience, or performance/driveability.

If it's ease, go with the 390 for obvious reasons - everything will fit, it's a stock bolt-up that you could do in a weekend.

It's also nice to have that FE big-block torque in a heavy Tbird.

On the other hand, if it's performance you're after, the benefits would be less weight over the front axle, and it's easier to source performance parts. I'd like the idea of a high-revving 302 with a five-speed in a nice-handling T-bird, a kind of road racer deal.

Issues with a 302 swap would be fabricating engine and trans mounts, radiator hoses, throttle and kickdown linkages, shifter linkage (adapt to column, or mount a shifter on the console) wiring (gen to alt) fuel lines, trans cooler lines, speedo drive, possibly even driveshaft length/yokes(?), exhaust mods to adapt existing pipe(s) to the 302's manifolds, and probably a bunch more stuff I haven't thought of.

Personally, I'd stick with the 390 in the Tbird, and hop up the Fairlane with a 427 and four-speed. You'd have the Tbird as a cruiser, and a hot Fairlane to get your pulse rate going. Good luck either way, please keep us posted.


Last edited by Petrolhead : 04-16-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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