Ford Engine Swap Information

by Richard Rowe
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Generally speaking, Ford engines will interchange almost directly provided that they're within the same engine family. Switching from one engine type or family may require some fabrication, but may be easier on cars like the Fox-chassis Mustang, which used several different types of engine.

V8 Engine Families

Ford V8 engine families include the Y-block (239 to 312 cubic inches), Windsor V8 (221 to 351 cubic inches, includes the 302/5.0 V8), Cleveland V8 (the bigger of the two small blocks, 351 to 400 cubic inches) and 385-series (aka "Lima" big block, 370 512 cubic inches, includes the Boss 429). The FE-block V8 came in two generations produced from 1958 to 1971 (332 to 390 cubic inches) and 1962 to 1973 (406, 410, 427 and 428 cubic inches). The FE engine powered such famed Fords as the 427 Shelby Cobra.

Transmission and Crossmember

Even among vehicles that used several different V8s, V6s, inline-six or four-cylinders, switching from one engine family to the next isn't a straight bolt-in procedure. You may need to replace the front crossmember and transmission. All engines require a transmission with a bell housing bolt pattern that matches the engines. Swapping the transmission may require a new transmission crossmember and driveshaft.

Transmission Interchange

The "Late Windsor" pattern fits all Windsor engines except for the 221, 260 and 289s made before 1964, which used the "early Windsor" pattern. The Late Windsor pattern also fits Cleveland and M-block engines (except for the 351M), the 240 and 300 inline-six, early 4.6-liter modular engines (casting number F1AE and F2VE). FE-block engines, Ford Y-block, Lincoln Y-block, Flathead and 385-series engines all use a specific bolt pattern that won't interchange with any other engine.

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