Ford V8 Discussion Discussion relating to getting the most out of your Ford-based V8 Miata's engine

Ford 302 (306) - how to understand what you are looking at

Old 11-20-2013, 03:05 PM
  #1  
V8 Miata Noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Golden,CO
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Ford 302 (306) - how to understand what you are looking at

Hi Folks,

I'm a bit new to the forum and I need some quick-ish help understanding what I should pay for a rebuilt 302.
I am not even sure what kind of documentation/ observances I should be checking out.
Thanks so much for your help.


Background:
I'm a complete newbie. I've got Martin's Monster Miata Kit and a 95 R-package almost ready for the swap. I am 100% ignorant when it comes to Fords or V8s.

I have a trusted mustang shop that has a line on a re-built 302 that he did the rebuild on for a previous customer that only has 3K on the rebuild. It's been overbored .30 and is now a 306. It comes with GT40 heads (long block). It's actually still running and available for test drives in customers mustang! I'm trying to arrange a time to drive it.
I asked if I could have everything (drive shaft, T5 trans, clutch etc) as well as all the ancillaries and he stated yes.

Summary:
Can someone make suggestions what I should visually check while on a test drive and what documents I should request. What's a good price.... DOH!.. I just realized I don't know what the exact year this motor is.

R,
Chris
SC 97 M is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 08:19 AM
  #2  
Jim Stainer
 
charchri4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny SW Minnesota
Posts: 2,462
Received 56 Likes on 50 Posts
Default

This is a Jason question if I ever saw one but I'll chime in too. I always tell them not to start it before I come because I would like to have the car cold. That way you can pull on stuff and crawl around things comfortably.

Start with the basics looking at over all condition. Look for leaks, loose wires and general disorganization under the hood and under the car.

From there I get dirty and start picking on it. Put your pry bar on the crank pulley and push it front and back looking for crank movement. I did that on a 350 once and it moved about .030! Look at the inside of the tail pipe to see what color it is. Light color ash is ideal, black or slimy not so much. Push the drive shaft yoke in the trans up and down looking for movement in the trans bushing and slop in the trans.

When ready have him start it while you have your head under the hood. I usually put my listening tool on the block by the timing cover if you can get at it on cold start to listen for rod or bearing knocks. I always bring a mechanics stethoscope but a long screwdriver works too. You know the trick where you put the handle of it up to your ear closing off your ear and the tip on the engine? If not try it on your car before you go and you will be amazed at what you hear. Anyway I check over everything I can hear with it on the engine. Found more than one bad power steering pump that way.

On the road test drive it both nice and like you stole it. Watch the temp gauge when you flog on it. I found one with the ring end gap too tight once and it very quickly overheated when pushed. Go for a least 20 minutes and get it good and warm and when you get back don’t shut it off. Listen again to the engine and look for leaks. Pop the oil fill and look for steam, check that the radiator hoses have pressure in them. At this point I usually pull the plugs and do a compression check but I have had owners not let me do that too.

Well you get the point. Look at everything, tug on everything and question everything. If you have to pay a shop a few hundred bucks to do all of the above and to do a compression check on it it's well worth it. And always be ready to walk away!

Last edited by charchri4; 11-21-2013 at 08:25 AM.
charchri4 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 09:25 AM
  #3  
V8 Miata Zealot
 
tbone heller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Canton, Georgia
Posts: 1,167
Received 42 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

I, myself, go at it differently. I would much rather purchase something new (or rebuilt with a warranty) than get stuck with something that I do not know the complete history of. I rebuild everything that is not brand new before it goes onto any of my project cars. I learned this the hard way. I would recommend getting a good reconditioned short block & installing a new set of heads. I also recommend a new T5-Z transmission. It will have the desired ratios,& it won't be ragged-out.
tbone heller is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 09:27 AM
  #4  
V8 Miata Follower
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

SC 97,
Jim is correct in what he has stated. he has helped me a great deal. On the price, that will vary depending what the owner paid for it or how much time he has in the rebuild. If it is a garage, he will more then likely charge you more as he may have a lot of shop time in it. If it is a private builder, he may figure that he enjoys the build process and only charge a minimal amount to try to recoup what he paid for the parts. Many sellers sell their cars for much less then they have in them. Some builders are lucky enough to get a motor for free or a minimal amount others may get a junker for a couple hundred. Jim is correct in that Jason will know what a fair price is.
Old Chuck is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:19 AM
  #5  
Jim Stainer
 
charchri4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny SW Minnesota
Posts: 2,462
Received 56 Likes on 50 Posts
Default

tbone has a good point as always but a lot depends on your budget and so much of it depends on the part too. I put a used clutch in mine that was easy to see only had a few thousand miles on it and it was half the cost of new and well worth it to me. I’m not suggesting this but say you put in a $10 U pull it bone yard starter and it only lives a few years so what? It’s not going to leave you stranded and for 10 bucks you can put another one in easy enough. But it could have just as likely lasted the life of the car so in that case is the NAPA reman starter really 130 bucks better than the 10 dollar bone yard one?

Granted an engine is not as cheap or easy to replace and no I would never put a bone yard starter in my Miata either. But the point is somewhere there is a threshold of risk to cost benefit in this used engine and only cost, condition and your comfort of risk can determine where that threshold is.

You mentioned in your post this is a trusted Mustang shop. So do you really trust the work they do? To the level of basically buying it sight un seen? I think at the very least you should ask them to do a compression check on it while you watch. (A 3000 mile engine will have readings around 180 psi and all with in a few lbs of each other) You could ask if once the engine is pulled if they would be willing to pull the pan and plastigauge a few bearings before you buy it. If they said yes to that I probably wouldn’t actually make them do it. If the oil pressure is good and they are confident enough in the engine to show you bearing clearances it’s probably going to be good.

Oh and the 3000 miles on the engine not all at a drag strip right?

Last edited by charchri4; 11-21-2013 at 11:32 AM.
charchri4 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:26 AM
  #6  
V8 Miata Noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Golden,CO
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I love you guys!
You're help means so much to me.
The advice is gold!
I wish some you lived in the Denver area and I'd take you to lunch enroute to see what I am seriously considering buying.

R,
Chris
SC 97 M is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:41 AM
  #7  
Jim Stainer
 
charchri4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny SW Minnesota
Posts: 2,462
Received 56 Likes on 50 Posts
Default

Ha nothing would be more fun Chris! You might send a pm to .boB he is just down the road from you and would be a good one to look this over.
https://www.v8miata.net/introduction...race-car-1336/

So what are they asking for the engine anyway?

Last edited by charchri4; 11-21-2013 at 11:44 AM.
charchri4 is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 04:48 PM
  #8  
V8 Miata Zealot
 
tbone heller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Canton, Georgia
Posts: 1,167
Received 42 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

I have never had good luck with any mechanical part from a junkyard. I was an auto mechanic for 27 years, the last 17 with Ford. I do not mind installing used parts, but I will totally rebuild them before doing so.
tbone heller is offline  
Old 11-21-2013, 06:18 PM
  #9  
V8 Miata Noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Golden,CO
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by charchri4 View Post
Ha nothing would be more fun Chris! You might send a pm to .boB he is just down the road from you and would be a good one to look this over.
https://www.v8miata.net/introduction...race-car-1336/

So what are they asking for the engine anyway?
Thanks for the tip about a private message to Bob.

He is asking $3,500 for everything. I asked if everything includes a long block (complete engine/belts/hoses/ECU/wiring/ejectors/etc), the trans, clutch and drive shaft. He said yes. I failed to ask if 'everything' means the car too.
SC 97 M is offline  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:28 AM
  #10  
Administrator
 
MRM331's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 1,120
Likes: 0
Received 33 Likes on 31 Posts
Default

Make sure you get all of the needed harnesses:

The main harness-connects to ecu

The injection harness-connects engine to main harness

The canister purge harness-connects injection harness to purge canister

The HEGO harness - connects the main harness to the HEGO sensors

The ac harness - connects the main harness to the ac compressor

The ac and purge harness are very small and easily overlooked.

-Jason
MRM331 is offline  
Old 12-14-2013, 03:15 PM
  #11  
V8 Miata Noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Golden,CO
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by MRM331 View Post
Make sure you get all of the needed harnesses:

The main harness-connects to ecu

The injection harness-connects engine to main harness

The canister purge harness-connects injection harness to purge canister

The HEGO harness - connects the main harness to the HEGO sensors

The ac harness - connects the main harness to the ac compressor

The ac and purge harness are very small and easily overlooked.

-Jason

Jason,
Thanks for the input. I went with my gut and bought half of it sight unseen. I've been working with this shop for a bit more than a year. As mentioned earlier, It's in '68 mustang currently. It's got 3k on the rebuild from my mechanic at the same mustang shop. It was a 302 and currently is a 306 with a hot cam. I'll give them the other half after i get to hear it/ride in it etc. The current owner wants more whp in his mustang and bought a built motor from my current mustang shop.
I'll post some pics up under my profile that I was able to get off the shop computer.
We agreed I would get everything from the radiator back to the diff.

I'll follow up with them on Monday and confirm I'm getting everything you listed.

Thanks Team.

R,
Chris
SC 97 M is offline  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:41 PM
  #12  
Jim Stainer
 
charchri4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sunny SW Minnesota
Posts: 2,462
Received 56 Likes on 50 Posts
Default

Outstanding! Can't wait to see it!
charchri4 is offline  
Old 07-07-2014, 07:38 PM
  #13  
V8 Miata Fan
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 63
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Wow what a great post, very informative. I'm just about to get into my V8 302 conversion, but was very scared. I was trying to decide on a rebuilt or new setup. Although a new setup is more expensive, I was basing my choice on reliability. As I don't have any history with any shops besides the local shop in my small town, I want to keep the large $$ maintenance to a minimum. I was looking into the Ford racing parts, but wanted to hear opinions. Am I wasting my money on brandname parts or is the warrenty worth it. This will be a weekend get away car for the wife and myself.
MLKNR is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
fordpoweredroadsters
Ford V8 Discussion
7
03-11-2017 08:43 AM
charchri4
Anything Goes
1
08-07-2015 10:16 AM
fordpoweredroadsters
Parts For Sale
9
12-31-2013 04:29 PM
six
Ford V8 Discussion
15
08-12-2011 11:11 AM
MRM331
V8 Miata Dyno Results
10
01-22-2010 10:23 AM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:
You have already rated this thread Rating: Thread Rating: 0 votes,  average.

Quick Reply: Ford 302 (306) - how to understand what you are looking at


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.