Wayne Cook
January 17, 2007

With so many players now in the Ford crate engine game, the market has grown by leaps and bounds. There's a larger selection of engines from a greater number of suppliers than ever before. For this overview of the market, we'll focus on the 302 and 351 Windsor-based engines.

Most engine makers offer their wares in both original displacement and stroker displacements. The popular short-deck engines can be easily expanded to 347 ci using a stock-block. If you're after a fresh engine for your classic Ford, the 351 Windsor can often be substituted into the same car for a big increase in displacement and hence power. The Windsor is also a natural for stroker applications with its sturdy architecture and extra internal room. It's relatively easy to reach that magic 427ci mark in a Windsor-based small-block package.

Both the 302 and 351 can use the same cylinder heads, so the latest in technology and design is available to both engines. A huge volume of cylinder-head research has been done for 5.0 Mustang racing, and it transfers directly over to the tall-deck Windsor. The result is that a bored and stroked small-block Ford engine dressed with modern aluminum cylinder heads can deliver big-block power at a relatively light weight. Both the short- and tall-deck small-blocks are less expensive to construct than an FE or 385-series engine, and they fit in applications where a big block won't.

In this guide we'll look at the most popular-selling, small-block-based crate engines from the 17 builders we spoke with. These builders offer many options, and some will even build a custom engine, so call them or check out their Web sites for even more engine packages.

This big Windsor uses a 3.85-inch stroke crank and a 0.030 overbore to arrive at a 392ci displacement. The John Barrett Hot Rod Engines 392W we looked at has good internals, including a Scat crank and 4340 forged rods.

Jon Barrett Hot Rod Engines
Jon Barrett Hot Rod Engines specializes in engine development using properly matched components for great power production and reliability. Barrett has years of experience as a crew chief in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Engine Name: Blue Oval Cruzer
Displacement: 302 ci
Block: Ford 5.0 roller
Cylinder Heads: GT-40P
Crank: Cast steel
Piston/Rod: Hypereutectic pistons/Ford rods
Induction: Polished aluminum
Warranty: 1 year/limited
Price: $2,695
Engine Name: Bow Tie Buster
Displacement: 392 ci
Block: Ford 351W
Cylinder Heads: Roush 200 aluminum
Crank: Scat cast stroker
Piston/Rod: Keith Black flat-top pistons/Scat 4340 H-beam rods
Induction: Edelbrock Victor Jr.
Warranty: 1 year/limited
Price: $6,495
In most cases both short- and tall-deck stroker engines will have notched bore skirts as seen here. The cuts allow the connecting-rod bolts to clear the bottom of the skirts as the reciprocating assembly goes around. As the displacement rises, the crankcase becomes increasingly cozy.

Bennett Racing
Bennett Racing has built a solid reputation for serious Ford stroker crate engines. These two engines are both sturdy combinations that use Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) blocks, a Scat crankshaft and forged rods. Ross pistons and Speed-Pro rings are also part of the package. The Dart Iron Eagle block is available at additional cost.

Engine Name: 302/375hp
Displacement: 302 ci
Block: 6010-A-50 Ford
Cylinder Heads: Stage 1 TFS or Brodix ST 50
Crank: 6303-A-50 Ford
Piston/Rod: Ross pistons/Scat I-beam forged steel rods
Induction: TFS EFI kit
Warranty: Per-case basis
Price: $5,795
The Bennett Racing Sportsman 408 engine is based on this FRPP Sportsman Windsor block. It's a better casting than the standard 351, with reinforced webbing in critical areas for extra strength.
Engine Name: Sportsman 408
Displacement: 408 ci
Block: Ford 351W Sportsman
Cylinder Heads: TFS Hi Port
Crank: Forged steel
Piston/Rod: Ross forged pistons/ Eagle rods
Induction: Edelbrock Victor Jr.
Warranty: Per-case basis
Price: $10,995