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The Ford Small Block Windsor V8 Engine
Not to be outdone by the Chevy Small Block for long, Ford introduced its 221 V8 in 1962. That same year, Ford increased the piston bore to produce the 260. It rose quickly in popularity and soon afterwards (1963), became the 289 and then the ubiquitous 302.
Small Block Ford V8 engines popularly include the 260, 289, 302, and 351 cubic inch engines. These Ford V8 engines are lighter and narrower than the Chevy V8 engines, however they are about 1.5" longer than the Chevy V8. This extra length presents a problem when doing a conversion on the Pre-1972, 80" or 81" wheelbase Jeeps.
It should be noted that the 351 CID Small Block Ford V8 is longer than other Ford engines of the Small Block series.
The 302 evolved into the 5.0 and 5.0 HO. These motors, especially the latter, were outstanding powerplants. With the benefit of fuel injection and other refinements these engines more than ever, gave Jeep-owning Ford enthusiasts something to get excited about in regards to engine conversions.
These motors recieved steady improvements throughout their 33 year evolution, and in 1996 they were OBD-II compatible. Regrettably, this would be the last real production year for the 5.0L & 5.8L Ford Small Block V8's. Many enthusiasts see this as a disappointment and the passing of an era at Ford.
The Ford Small Block becomes a particularly attractive option when one considers that it is readily compatible with the Ford T18 and Ford NP435 heavy-duty four-speed transmissions - popular gearboxes for swapping into Jeeps of all eras.
The Windsor V8's will feature one of two different size flywheels. The 10-1/2" clutch version is denoted by its 157 tooth ring gear count and 13-1/4" diameter. The 11" clutch version is denoted by its 164 tooth ring gear count and 14-1/4" in diameter.
Since Ford Windsor starters mount to the bellhousing instead of the engine block, and because these different flywheels require the starter at different distances from the engine crank centerline, there are two bellhousing sizes to choose from. Individuals installing these engines should be aware of this difference when matching clutches and bellhousings to the engine assembly. The smaller bellhousings measure about 13-3/4" across the opening and the larger bellhousings measure about 14-3/4" across the opening.
To keep things especially exciting for interchangers, Ford changed the flywheel balance from 28.2 oz. to 50 oz. in 1981. Early vs. late Windsor V8's must be matched with their respectively balanced flywheels.
In keeping with this tradition of difficult Ford-to-Ford compatibility and outright incompatibility, the Ford Modular series engines have a different block / bellhousing bolt pattern than these mainline Windsor motors.
Some popular Ford V8 transmission choices in Jeeps include:
|Ford T18 (*)||Ford NP435 (*)|
** Possible with modifications
** Possible with modifications
The Small Block Ford V8 can be installed in most Jeeps although sometimes not quite as simply or economically as the Chevy V8. Parts interchangeability is not nearly as good as on Chevy V8. However, Ford enthusiasts who know these motors and their parts interchange information well, swear by them and install them with good success.