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.
Jon Barrett Hot Rod EnginesJon 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.
Bennett RacingBennett 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.