Jim Smart
September 9, 2003

Have you ever been in a pickle over parts for your vintage Ford like courtesy lights for your '65-'68 Mustang fastback or front disc brakes for your '63 Galaxie? So have we. This is when thoughts turn to interchangeability of parts. What fits? What doesn't? And how can we do it cheaper? We have looked to our own experiences, plus feedback from our readers, to come up with some of the most popular component swaps going in the world of Fordom.

Heads Up!
You may sigh on this one, but it remains one of the most popular swaps going. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to get more power from your 289/302ci engine is early 351W cylinder heads ('69-'71). They're plentiful and cheap. You can find them at virtually any junkyard or swap meet. It doesn't take a credit card with high limits to get into them. And all you have to do is clean them up and bolt them on. At the most, you might have to do a valve job. In theory, you can bolt them right on and gain power immediately. Ideally, your 289/302 will have flat-top pistons to help compression because 351W heads have larger 60cc chambers. Milling them will reduce chamber size and increase compression ratio.

We suggest sticking with early 351W heads due to chamber size, plus later-model 351W engines had 302 heads. Don't get tripped up on this one.