68 302 F code engine swap

After a day and a half of trying to install the engine and flexplate to the torque converter I’m exhausted and have been unsuccessful. I manage to get two nuts started but can’t get the other two bolts on the converter to pass though the flexplate holes far enough to get that nuts at least started. I have the flexplate lined up with the converter fill plug so that’s not an issue. Anyone know how to accomplish this while laying on your back under your car. Thanks

Usually it just the opposite, the converter sticks too far out. If two will ift, then there is something between the flex plate and the converter holding it askew.

Could be the engine has a pilot bushing or pilot bearing in the crankshaft from the previous application.

That’s it! I completely overlooked it. I’ll pull the engine tomorrow and remove it. Thanks, I was scratching my head trying to figure it out.

Those damn pilots need to stick to aircraft and not classic cars! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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While the engine is out measure the hole in the crankshaft after you remove the bearing / bushing and then measure the torque converter. Often they are the wrong size and need to be turned on the lathe to fit properly.

Both measure 1.36”. Too late to put the crank on a lathe.
Knowing how close I was before trying to get the flexplate attached with the bearing in, I think if I lightly sand the bell housing center stub and apply some grease before installing it just might be enough to work. I could also chamfer the inside edge on the crank.
( I measured my old crank and it measured the same as my replacement so l think I’m good to go without doing anything. )

No you would never put the crank in the lathe. The torque converter needs just the paint removed from the center nub to be a perfect fit.

Success! Tonight I put the flex plate back on after removing the pilot bearing last night. From what I learned after Sunday morning’s attempt, I rigged up a rope support 90 degrees off the lift to tilt the engine. Then just so slowly lowered it until it lined up with the transmission. Then I rotated the motor to align the flex plate with the converter. Then from underneath laying on my back I moved the whole lift to guide it into the converter holes! I can’t believe my dumb luck. It worked.

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Thats not dumb luck, thats experience and wisdom. Good job.

Getting closer! I have to prime the oil pump, reinstall the distributor, install the plugs and wires, then install the carburetor and radiator. Then cross my fingers and turn the key. :face_with_peeking_eye:

Just curious if MSD 8583 was the gear you used. It shows a slightly smaller inside diameter at .466. It’s a bronze gear though and says not for street use.

Yes! The 8583, It is a “sacrificial” gear, as you point out. But with the low mileage I put on the '68 and as often as I change oil, I plan to check each spring by yanking the distributor. I’d have used one of the other trick gears with my vintage 1087 Wolverine roller, but none were a press fit!

Yesterday I was looking at my old engine block and noticed “HENCHO EN MEXICO” cast in the valley.
Seems I had a 68 replacement 302 according to the internet, or did I. My car was built in San Jose so I’m wondering where Ford engines came from for that plant. Also the main caps are 1” width and that’s the same as Ford used on their HiPo 289’s. Any value in them?

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the mexicans are valuable, as they are supposedly high nickel content, but most windsor engines to 71 were made in mexico or cleveland, as windsor was not set up for the 302 platform. there are bumps on the front of the block from mexico on either side about the size of a quarter, if they are there, keep the block for future build, and yes, they are set up like the hi po, just different heads and connecting rods, (not 3/8) If you are looking for a back up block for a 331 or 347, that would be the block to use.

Nickel is an undesirable element in engine blocks so that statement is incorrect. It’s common to think such things - internet “knowledge”.

The Mexican 302 block has heavier main caps because the engines were thought to be used in a harsher environment. Casting quality is OK. The iron mix may be questionable. Overall I would say if it’s OK then use it.

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Nice Battery, overall, the engine compartment and engine look amazing. Even enviable. Good work