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302 5L SVT Cobra motor install on an 89 Econoline #734676
April 04th 2018 4:23 am
April 04th 2018 4:23 am
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 2
PlusOrMinusDesign Offline OP
PlusOrMinusDesign  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 2
I just bought a 1989 Ford Econoline Extended 4x4 conversion van, this thing is sweet and in great condition and drives good.

I am going to build a new cobra motor so when its done I can swap motors and get the paint redone in the middle of that process. I am going to base the motor as much as possible on the 1993 Ford Cobra Mustang SVT Motor that also has a 302 5.0L V8. I want to know if anyone has any advice or issues I might come across, things like clearances for different parts, replacing motor mounts, and what ever else might want to be discussed. I am pretty knowledgeable on 80s and 90s Fords, and the specific diferences in the F150, E150, Mustang GTs, and Broncos who all had a very similar motor, so I know what I am getting into.

Lets swap knowledge, and feel free to ask me anything about my new rig.

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Re: 302 5L SVT Cobra motor install on an 89 Econoline [Re: PlusOrMinusDesign] #734684
April 04th 2018 10:53 am
April 04th 2018 10:53 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Reed  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
I also have an 89 Ford E150 that was built originally with a 302 and an AOD with 3.5 rear gears. I bought it used with about 150,000 miles on it. The previous owners were a retired couple who used it to pull a 30 foot trailer around the country, often in overdrive. When I got the van the motor was tired. I nursed it along for a couple years before it finally just gave out. I ended up swapping the engine and trans for a rebuilt 351W H.O. and C6 motor I had left over from an old 84 E150 I used to own. That was a whole long process involving upgrading the fuel injection system to the MAF based sequential EFI system off of a 93 Mustang, several trans swaps, exhaust modifications, engine computer reprogramming, and more. However, I am more than happy with the final result. The 351 is much better suited to a van than is the 302. It has a better torque curve which is what these big heavy bricks need to get moving. I would even pick the 300 six cylinder over the 302. Even as unaerodynamic as my van is I can happily cruise at 75 on the highway and even get 12-13 MPG. Someday, I might reinstall the AOD, but I need to rebuild it (again) before I do.

The most difficult thing is exhaust on the passenger side. The only manifolds I found that clear the passsenger side engine opening AND LEAVE ACCESS TO THE PASSENGER SIDE SPARK PLUGS are either the factory cast iron log manifolds or the unknown application shorty headers that were attached to the parts 351 motor I bought for the fuel injection hardware. The shorty headers I am using do have Ford part numbers on them, but i have not been able to accurately decode the part numbers. Closest I can come is a guess that they are 1992 truck shorty headers. They look like the stock 302 shorty headers used on Mustangs, but the routing of the pipes is different and they bolt to the stock truck headpipe (I had to use a truck headpipe because when I did the swap I couldn't find a new aftermarket Econoline 351 headpipe. The F150 headpipe is close enough to work).

Other than the exhaust, going from a 302 to 351 is pretty straightforward. If you keep the speed denisty fuel injection you also need a 351 computer.

Swapping a 302 for a 302 would be even easier. Just use the van motor mounts and oil pan and oil pickup and valve covers. One major difference between the motor you currently have and the Mustang motor will be the fuel injection system and air intake system. I assume you already know you will have to completely change the ECU and wiring when you do the swap, so I assume you know about repinning the ECU harness and layover harnesses etc... The van uses the truck intake which has the two barrel throttle body and air intake ducting. The mustang will have MAF SEFI and use the single barrel large throttle body which has a completely different air intake tract than does the van. You will be on your own fabricating that since there is almost no aftermarket support for 89 Ford vans. The Mustang exhaust manifolds also likely won't work in the van because the manifolds are shaped differently and might not let the exhaust pipe clear the floor.

Again, for the amount of money and effort involved in doing this engine swap, I would build a hot 300 or 351 and swap that in rather than another 302.

Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: 302 5L SVT Cobra motor install on an 89 Econoline [Re: PlusOrMinusDesign] #734689
April 04th 2018 2:58 pm
April 04th 2018 2:58 pm
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 14,019
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 14,019
Van Diego California
Welcome to the site + or - ...

'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB

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