Scoring a Deal on a Used, Legal Race Engine | Project Vintage Race Mustang

Once our Mustang arrived at Cobra Automotive, shop owner Curt Vogt called us and said that we had made a good buy. He felt that, this time, we had a good starting point for our vintage race project.

He had more good news for us: How about an engine? Curt had just pulled a Group 3-legal Ford 302 V8 engine out of a 1967 Cougar as the owner wanted to move up to the faster Group 5 class.

This engine, based on a Dart SHP block, featured a number of useful upgrades like a Victor JR intake, MSD distributor and SRP pistons.

We were offered that engine for $7500–and also promised that it was still relatively fresh and made 500 horsepower and 393 lb.-ft. of torque. Going with the used engine would quickly solve one of our biggest hurdles. We did the math and realized that we couldn’t duplicate that vintage-legal engine for that sum. We just needed a Holley carburetor–easy.

So, our plan: Drive up from our Florida base to Curt’s Connecticut shop. Once there, we could scavenge used parts from his multiple warehouses and then strip the Mustang’s interior so we could finish the roll cage. Then we’d take the car home for assembly and final prep.

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Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
1/21/21 1:52 p.m.

So in a separate post I'm questioning $7800 for brakes but then I read this and find $7500 for a race engine to be a pretty good deal.........I'm so fickle.

Realistically you could spend 10-20K (or more) for a race motor so yeah that's a pretty good deal. 

HotNotch
HotNotch New Reader
1/21/21 5:02 p.m.

What's up with the funky, extended water pump and accessory drive on the crank pulley?

jfryjfry (FS)
jfryjfry (FS) Dork
1/21/21 5:59 p.m.

Let me know when you're going to Connecticut - if the timing is right I might be able to meet up and lend a hand

 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
1/21/21 6:06 p.m.

In reply to HotNotch :

Dry sump crank pulley location? 

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/22/21 12:13 a.m.

In reply to HotNotch :

Looks a lot like a Jones Racing belt drive system (or similar) where the alternator is driven off of the water pump instead of the crank.  

350z247
350z247 New Reader
1/22/21 8:10 a.m.

This project is really shaping up nicely, and it's only just begun!

spmdr
spmdr New Reader
2/14/21 11:20 a.m.

As a 1965 Mustang Fastback owner and Vintage Racer for 40 years (on and off),

I'll enjoy your efforts with the Mustang.

However, I will not buy the suggestion a 500HP 302 (W) Ford engine  is "Vintage Legal."

....maybe "Vintage" 1995....Maybe...

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
2/14/21 5:42 p.m.

Yeah call me curious on that engine.  Hot Rod made 500HP to the crank on an iron headed 302 - but it took a 150 shot to get there.  Otherwise best they were able to get was around 375 at 6000 RPM.  I guess if you are spinning it to the moon that will help, but by 6500, the horsepower was already dropping off.  

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/14/21 5:51 p.m.

I am guessing that will spin closer to 8000  to make that kind of power. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
2/14/21 10:19 p.m.

Can't speak to the improvements on Fords but Datsun engine builders are now getting 10-15% more than they did back in the day and all all of the mods would / are 100% legal with the rules of the day. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
2/15/21 8:29 a.m.

I would probably make that purchase with a contingency based on a couple dyno pulls backing up the claimed HP and Torque numbers. 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/15/21 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Again, the engine wasn't new, but I thought we got a good deal. Another thing to consider, our expert, Curt Vogt from Cobra Automotive told us a crate motor just won't hold up under racing conditions.

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/15/21 9:18 a.m.

In reply to jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) :

Exactly and a buddy just found me the power steering set up for free!

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
2/15/21 9:20 a.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo :

Its all about compression. Most street engines run less than 11:1 compression.

stukndapast
stukndapast Reader
2/15/21 9:25 a.m.

Are those N351 heads?

asphalt_gundam
asphalt_gundam Reader
2/15/21 1:25 p.m.
93gsxturbo said:

Yeah call me curious on that engine.  Hot Rod made 500HP to the crank on an iron headed 302 - but it took a 150 shot to get there.  Otherwise best they were able to get was around 375 at 6000 RPM.  I guess if you are spinning it to the moon that will help, but by 6500, the horsepower was already dropping off.  

Looks like aftermarket heads to me. 500 is doable. I've built and dyno'd a few pump gas engines that made 500 and were under 350 cubic inch. Also don't forget that Hot Rod and all the other "car shows" are just slapping together donated parts with no real planning of a build. Crate engines are not optimized by any means all the same. Take a brand new 375HP crate apart and open up the clearances, change the cam, port the heads, maybe a compression bump, port match the intake and a few other things and suddenly you have another 100hp just because you picked parts and did machining to make everything work together instead of a big miss match.

500hp with stock SBF heads...yeah not likely because they're so choked (shockingly small ports). Aftermarket head with larger ports then its not too hard. Ported head 5.3 can make 500+. Ported iron J head 340 mopar can make 500+. Aftermarket head 347 ford can make 500+. And all these engines were pump gas builds. Race engine compression makes it even easier.

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