November 9, 2005

When it's time to rebuild your vintage Ford small-block, the long list of things required can have you examining the checkbook and those credit card balances. While it's true an engine rebuild involves a lot of time and money, you can still realize great performance and enhanced durability at a reasonable price if you plan and build wisely. Did you know you can build a 300-plus-horsepower V-8 for under $2,000?

Building this kind of power doesn't have to cost a fortune if you plan properly and choose the right combination of parts. There are also simple procedures you can perform during the building process that make light work of getting big power for the money. Horsepower and torque are like weight loss programs. We're so busy searching for the easy route that we forget the common sense approach. Diet and exercise is the surest path to weight loss. Choosing the right combination of parts and assembly procedures is the easiest path to making power. It's just simple common sense.

Today we're going to Trans Am Racing where Mark Jeffery will show us what's involved in a properly planned and executed Ford small-block build. We're going to show you how to get the most bang for your buck, and how we found stock replacement parts to be adequate for as much as 300-350 hp.

The engine we're working with sports a '68 C8OE 302 block. We're after a mild-mannered street engine that will still deliver 300-plus horsepower when the pedal hits the metal. To begin with, we will examine our selection of components for this budget build, and then look at some of the more important aspects of engine assembly where extra care will pay dividends in improved reliability and a longer service life.

Budget Parts That Work

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