68 302 F code engine swap

The 302 in my 68 has gotten to the point where it needs to be pulled and either retired or completely rebuilt. It is not the original motor. I have a 93 5.0 that I’m contemplating replacing it with. My intention would be to swap intake and exhaust manifolds to keep my current stock appearance. However there are a couple of differences that I’d need to sort out and am hoping someone here has already worked through them.

A) finding a correct size 4 bolt/3 groove crank pulley

B) starter with 10 tooth gear

C) replacing the timing chain cover to accommodate a mechanical fuel pump and moving the dipstick tube from the side to the front

I’m sure there are other differences that I haven’t thought about yet and would appreciate any help or suggestions any of you might have. I’m not looking to make anything more than just a stock appearing 302. I enjoy my current cars performance and the 225 hp rating on the 93 5.0 is just fine with me.

I put a 5.0 from a 1987 Thunderbird in my 1968 XR-7, here is a list of what was needed.

Used original from my 302:
Valve covers, timing chain cover, water pump, oil pan, dip stick w/tube, intake manifold, oil pump pickup, starter and all pullies.

You will also need an fuel pump eccentric bolted to the timing gear to work the mechanical fuel pump.

Be sure to use a 302 water pump.

Need to use 302 pan and oil pump pickup because you need a front sump pan.

I changed the harmonic balancer and flex plate so I could use original starter and pullies. They have to be 50oz for a 5.0, if you use the ones for a 302 the engine will not be balanced.

My car is an automatic.

Harmonic balancer 50oz: Professional Products #80007

Flex Plate 50oz 157 teeth: American Racing, or Scat will work:
FP-302-157-50 SFI

Freeze plug to cover old dip stick hole:
Dorman #555-115

5.0 cams have a forged cam so you have to change the gear on the distributer if you want to use the same distributer. I converted to electronic ignition so I just bought a distributer with the correct gear already. I will see if I can find the # for the gear you need.

The threaded hole cast in the head for where the power steering pump bolts is larger. You will have to put an insert in there to convert the size. I will see if I can find out the part # on that.
ETA: This looks like the inserts: Threaded inserts.

There will be a large threaded hole on the back of each head that an emission tube goes too, fill with large bolt.

Depending on the cam in your 5.0 the firing order can be either the same as a 302 or the 351’s. Take note of the firing order of the donor car.

I hope this helps,

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Set aside your original 302. Find a 1990s “5.0” 302 block and have it prepped (cleaned and plate honed to 4.030). Then install a balanced 347 stroker kit by buying that engine stand and doing it yourself. It’s a tremendously satisfying project! Here are some pictures of me building my 355 (ignore that, it’s a 1972 351C crank machined to 3.48) then how it looks installed.
Girdle on Short Block

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This is exactly what I was looking for. Your information will help me tremendously. If you think of anything more I’d appreciate additional responses. Thank you again.

Here are two examples of the steel distributer gear, you must buy one with the same shaft diameter as your distributer:

0.531 Shaft
0.467 Shaft

The threaded hole cast in the head for where the power steering pump bolts is larger. You will have to put an insert in there to convert the size.

This looks like the inserts:** Threaded inserts.


Did you have to install an eccentric for your fuel pump and if you did do you remember that part number?

I used the eccentric from the 302 I pulled out of the car.

If you do not want to use the one from your 302, here is an eccentric kit at WCCC:
Used OEM Ford

You can buy new ones on Amazon or Ebay, but they are probably made in china:
Amazon Kit

If you get the used one, you will need to get a longer metal dowl that goes through the eccentric, timing gear to cam. The one already in the 5.0 is a little too short. You can see the dowl in the photo on the Amazon kit.


I measured the shaft diameter as .46 so I purchased the .467 gear. I had to use a gear puller to remove the old gear off my distributor. The new gear slides right on. I’m worried that the roller pin will not be strong enough without the forced contact with the shaft like the old gear.
Or am I wrong about the need for contact.

I had your issue with a replacement gear also - of 3 brands I bought, only the MSD gear was a press fit. Surprising in this age!

I share your queasiness about a slip fit gear…

I bought an FP302-157-50 SFI flexplate from Assault Racing Products that is externally balanced. Is there a way to align it, or does it matter? Did I purchase the wrong one? I see now that there are “balanced” ones also available. I don’t want to install it and find out I have a vibration issue. Any help would be appreciated.

Is this for the 93 5.0 you mentioned in the first post? Are you mating it to a c4 tranny? If so it will require a 50 ounce balanced flexplate with 157 teeth and a 50 ounce harmonic balancer. The bolt holes should be offset so it bolts on only one way. Set the flexplate on the back of the crank and rotate it till the holes align.

The flexplate you bought has 157 teeth and has a 50 ounce balance so it should be correct for the engine mentioned in your first post.

I just saw you post about the distributer gear. I would be concerned about it sliding one easy.

I hope this helps,

One thing I need to mention is firing order. Depending on the cam a 5.0 can have either a 351W or a 302 firing order.

The H.O.s usually have a 351W firing order.


Yes this is for the 93 5.0 HO. Ok I see now that the hole pattern on the crank is slightly offset. When I opened the box and looked at the new flexplate and the external weight, I thought it had to be mounted to correspond with the weighted harmonic balancer. I hadn’t attempted to install it yet so I didn’t notice the bolt holes are just slightly offset. I’m learning as I’m going. Just to be clear then, I’m good to go with the “externally” balanced flexplate I bought?

I went with an aftermarket distributor instead and replaced the points and condenser with my old Petronix

I thought I’d show you what a 93 5.0 HO looks like dressed as a 68.


Very clean looking.

All flex plates I have installed on 302s and ford 5.0s are externally balanced, so you should be fine.

On your distributer gear, what material?


Looks good except the exhaust manifold gaskets. I would lose those before they start leaking.

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Thanks Royce. Wrong gaskets?

No, Ford never used any gaskets there. If you use gaskets the cast iron block expands at a different rate than the cast iron manifolds, resulting in a leak. When you try to tighten the bolts the manifold snaps.

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