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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tunnel Port 302's

Were the Tunnel port head 302's, circa 1968, put into anything other than a Tran-AM race car?

I used to go to Speed-O-Motive quite a bit a few decades ago, and Rich mentioned "yes" they were. He was selling about 2 dozen of the engines that had never gotten placed under a hood. But I never seen nor heard of one.

Would there have been an engine I.D. code in the door tag?

I got a telephone call late yesterday of one for sale and am wondering if it is worth the effort to....

Am still looking for parts to a 1965 Indy Twin cam 265 engine and wonder if they built more to the 302's maybe.



Wm.
 

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Interesting stuff, I was looking into some Gurney Stuff a couple of months ago ($9500 for top end). Only problem is the stuff is way pricey and doesen't perform nearly as good as alot of the aftermarket stuff thats avaliable today. But if your looking for a period correct car, man its neat !!
 

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Basically, the 1968 302TP was the next step in performance over the previous 289HP mainly for TRANS-AM racing (so many would have to be made available production to qualify it). There were several versions, both intended street and racing. The head you see with the modified Y-BLOCK rocker shafts was for extreme racing.

There was a street version (8V-Dual 4300's) (smogged) to be released for the street but reliability problems led FORD engineering to use the upcoming 351 CLV design (BOSS 302) and the TP versions built for street useage were sold off.

This is why no performance 302 was offered for production in 1968 (J-CODE only). The BOSS 302 was released as a package in 1969.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What I often get confused on is that there were several designs of the engines/heads. Even a smog version was produced.

This fellow claims that one of the rocker arm studs pulled out, causing a valve to drop. I understood there were the heads with individual studs and those with FE type type shaft and rockers. From what I often see most people think only the shaft type was produced.


Wm.
 

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...sheesh...

Forgot to mention, the block used for the rocker arm shaft style had to be modified to bring oil to the stands.

...sheesh...

The race version had two HOLLEYS while the never released street version had two AUTOLITE 4300's and smogged (Thermactor).

I do not know the exact reason for all of the failures as the TP used the same short (basically) as the later BOSS 302. Maybe to get anything out of the heads, it had to be revved tight?
_________________
I Am Looking For Information Regarding Factory/Aftermarket High Performance Engine Parts For The MEL (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln) Engine Series 383-410-430-462 Produced From 1958 To 1968.

Also, older FORD Special Service Tools



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: KULTULZ on 12/7/06 1:15am ]</font>
 

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I've seen some good info on this recently, seems all 302TP engines were built on the regular production line and shipped sealed to the teams. A race engine that was built like the 289 for granny's Galaxy was obviously prone to blowing up, especially considering they spun these things 8500-9000rpm all the time.

Later on, as these things were failing in droves, Shelby said to hell with factory policy and hand assembled their 302TPs, and those engines did good, and right about then Ford pulled the plug.

Here's what I've read on them lately:

The tunnel port 302 never had a successful run due to them coming apart before the race was over. This was due to several problems.

One was the oiling system. Apparently they were starving for oil under the hard cornering they were capable of and sucked in a lot of air which caused the bearings to starve for lubrication. This problem was soon fixed when a dual-pickup system was used on the engines.

Another problem was that the cylinder heads were optimal for an engine speed around 9-10 thousand rpm and the bottom end just couldn't take that kind of abuse. Racers were warned to keep the rpm down.

The main problem, though, was that the engines were built on the normal Ford engine assembly line. No special attention or assembly like the 427 engines got. The racers were not allowed to rebuild or blueprint the engines - they had to run them as is. Naturally, these engines didn't have the care and perfect clearnces and assembly that such a high performance engine needed, so they would often grenade part way through a race.

The Ford racers asked to go back to the 289 engines they had run in previous years, but were not allowed to. Many of the TP302 parts were later incorporated into the Boss 302 engine, so it wasn't the design so much that was faulty, it was the poor assembly and quality practices that did them in.

Later Ford dumped the engines to a national speed shop, much like Summit is today, and they were sold in magazine ads for $895, complete crate engine with 2x4 induction.

I have never heard how many of these engines were built, but a lot of them were blown up in racing. Ford must have considered putting them in street cars because years ago I saw a setup on Ebay of NOS parts that included a factory prototype 3x2 intake manifold. Now THAT would make for a rare engine setup!
And...

I read in one of the Ford Racing histories that Shelby defied Ford and hand rebuilt the tunnel port motors. He actually did okay with them. If I recall correctly many of the those motors came off the line right before the strike in early 68 and were intentionally mis-assembled. When the Shelby mechanics took some of them apart, they found loose parts galore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't remember exact issue of Hot Rod magazine, but they were advertising not only the 302 engines, but 427's, and few more exotics at Speed-o-Motive in South Gate Calif. They had the 302s for $799 or so sitting on the floor on a pallet when we got there. We were told that not all of them were rocker shaft versions, a few had already been found to be individual studs. However the sales staff did not know how to recognise one externally. They originally had 20 engines and by time we got there about ten days later five were already gone.

My friend went there to get a new 351C as a spare for his Mustang, at around $500 for they supposedly had 50 of them. When we got it home, decided not to trust a motor sitting around for few years, uninstalled. So we took it apart about two years later to install into his 1970. Found cigarette butt crushed out atop one piston.

The store front wasn't all that big so if you didn't see what you wanted it was in the back. No standard 429's but mostly the Boss or Nascar versions. Several Boss 302's on pallet, with sticker of where to connect in the Rev. limiters. Nothing exotic on these, they were standard 1970 Mustang 4BBL versions. Rich said he had two 1965 twin cam engines but they went first day at about $1500 each.

Wm.
 

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I owned one of these engines at one time.

Someone installed a pair of Holley 660 center squarters on it. It also had the FE style rocker system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i have a tunnelport fe in my shed(396 cid,destroked 427 used on small tracks in the 60's and no its not for sale.
Was a write up in local newspaper in January 1966 before the Motor Trend 500 as to how the big engines were using truck 360 crankshafts in order to obtain required Cu. inch Max. They tried the 352 crankshaft and found the engine wound up too quickly and thus liked the heavier counterweights on the 360.

One competitor tried using the 1958 era 331 crankshaft, but it wound up way too fast and did not have the poop then. He did not try at qualifying.

As they used normal connecting rods, I wonder what pistons they used?

Wm.
 
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