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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm new here and I'm not sure if this is the right section, but I'll post anyways. So my very first car is a '68 Cougar and I'm not really good with engine specs and such. The engine is a 302 4-barrel V8 "J" code. I'm just wondering if at that engine size it would be fast or slow or in between. I'm pretty sure the J-code is 230 HP. I thought it would have been cool to have a 351, because that seems to be the more popular engine. So, what do you think? BTW the person who I got it from said it has Tri-Y headers and it also has flowmaster exhaust which I think looks a little chessy because they are turn-downs.
 

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The 302 V8 is probably the best bang for your dollar in way of performance. Parts are readily available everywhere thanks to the more modern Mustang 5.0's and you can easily push 400hp out of one of these blocks for a 1/4 of the price it would cost you to do that with most other motors. The bonus with these engines is also the fuel economy in comparison to others.

A cam, good intake, headers, pulleys, and carb will give you a great performance boost out of these engines for a lower cost. Want to get a little crazier then buy a nice set of aftermarket heads and a good electronic ignition system and distributor, change rear end gears, higher stall torque converter and a shift kit and you'll have allot of fun on your weekend race track.

Definitely if you are making this car a good performance driver I would think about investing some of that engine money first into a brake upgrade if you don't have discs, and front suspension/steering.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Definitely if you are making this car a good performance driver I would think about investing some of that engine money first into a brake upgrade if you don't have discs, and front suspension/steering.
I was hoping to keep the car original. What I mean is, in it's stock 302 form, would it be at all fast? I've seen some videos with people burning out with them. I also do have disc brakes.
 

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Fast means different things to different people. I bought my first car at 17 with the stock 351w rated at 250hp. At the time I thought it was fast but that only lasted a couple years before rebuilding up to 400hp. I would drive and enjoy it for a while and then figure out what you want, stock or fast or something in between.
 

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Jim is right and there is also allot of stuff you can do to a 302 that will keep it looking original but boost performance slightly. I am sure that if this is your first car the stock 302 should be plenty fast enough. If your hoping to keep the car original then there is no need to be worrying about putting in a 351W and if your not going to the drag strip the 302 would be perfect with tons of power for around town driving.
 

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My Dad had a 68 J-code Montego. It was plenty fast, believe me. I used to beat GTOs and Road Runners with it......
 

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Well if you mean fast by how high speed you get, or how quick it will launch 0-60 depends on the gearing in the rear axle, for high speed, a high gearing (low numerical # ) is the best, like 2.79 or 3.00:1.
But if you want it to get off quick then a low gearing ( high numerical # ) is the best, like 3.50:1 and higher #
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I'm not going to be racing around everywhere since it's my first car, I would probably kill me self with a bigger engine lol. I don't want it to be considered wimpy though since you always see other people with big block muscle cars flooring it down the street.
 

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I don't want it to be considered wimpy though since you always see other people with big block muscle cars flooring it down the street.
Trust me my friend, you would not be judged like that by any mature person as they will usually respect you for owning a nice classic. Those people who would judge you based on the motor in your car and who usually burn out leaving rubber lines on residential streets and racing on public roads are usually not worth worrying about what they think anyways and usually suffer from what we call, "Little Man Syndrome". :bloated:

A 302 J-Code has plenty of power and while those guys with the big blocks are racing around, you be driving past them at every gas station. :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the great reply. I feel much happier about what I chose. If it was a big block I would be paying for gas everyday lol
 

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Define "fast"...

I'd guess a good running stock J Code would turn the quarter in the sixteens, with 60 coming up somewhere between 8.0 and 8.5 seconds. It will feel plenty peppy underfoot and make great sounds, but honestly, a Volkswagen GTI will smoke it.

Modified? Sky is the limit, but some rather straightforward and cheap bolt ons (small tube headers, F4B intake, 600 CFM carb, mild cam) will easily get you well into the 14s, which is plenty fast.
 

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Originally Posted by KingRaccoon
since you always see other people with big block muscle cars flooring it down the street.
Seriously? Where the heck do you live?

Anyway, my '68 has the original 302 in it with TRW pistons, crane cam, headers, holley 600, and a few other things. It will glue you to the seat.
 

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bout as quick as a V6 mustang. just looks a whole hell of a lot cooler.
 

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:toung: I had a girl who was "fast" -- but mostly she was just a lot of fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So, it's been a while since I replied, but I've finally driven it a bit. I haven't even gotten to floor it because I've had some hesitation issues. Anyways, one question, do you think this would be something you could race against someone else or is it not worthy for that?(I mean the small street race where your at the red light...lol just wondering). I keep feeling like I want more power and a bigger engine...
 

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if u are stupid and immature enough to think about street racing from red lights then no. u dont need more power. you dont even deserve to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
if u are stupid and immature enough to think about street racing from red lights then no. u dont need more power. you dont even deserve to drive.
You really didn't have to be so rude about it. I only meant it as a hypothetical question...
 

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He's just saying street racing is really dangerous. It is very natural for someone your age to be super competitive and take lots of risks. You should assume other drivers aren't paying attention and will pull out in front of you all the time. Don't risk it. Take it to the track. We don't want to see you killed or in jail for vehicular man slaughter.
 

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By all means, take it to the track to settle out who's the quickest... I've spent 30+ years at the local dragstrips. I remember trying to get my '74 Camaro into the 15s! then 14s... The first 5.0 Mustangs were still 16-second cars. Cars are much quicker today that the height of the so-called musclecar era. One of the quickest factory-stock non-prepped musclecars was the 71 Boss 351 at 13.3 seconds in the quarter-mile. Now a 4.6L Mustang GT is a 13.6 ride that still gets 20+mpg. A Chrysler 300 is almost that fast today! A freaking Lincoln MKz is a 14-flat! We've come a loooong way.

Race at the track, not the streets. Besides, it is embarrassing when you get trounced by a family sedan!
 

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^^ AMEN Milo. Getting your fanny waxed by grandma in her grocery gettin' 6 popper is a bit shall we say dis-heartning! 300+ horsies out of a stock 6er ain't nothing these days. I have always been amused at people who come to the track and find the car they thought would turn 12's in the 1/4 can barely hit 15's! But, it is the place to do it. And plenty of guys to help and get pointers from while your doing it.....which is where the real fun is anyway.
 
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