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2013 BOSS 302 Laguna Seca
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning my kit order and am trying to determine what engine I will use. This will be a 3 generation build between myself, my 12 yo son and my dad who’s retiring :cool:.

We want to build something that is period inspired. It doesn’t need to in our minds try to be original,…… because it’s not. But it will look the part with cobra badging, comp dash layout Halibrand style wheels etc. Im researching either a 289, 302, or 351 based engine with a carb looking efi. The car will be driven anywhere from sea level to 7000+ elevation. As much as I love the Coyote, my son claims it just doesn’t look right. While I personally dig the restomod look in other era cars, I do like it here as well but, I’ll agree with him for this car. I’ll even try the turkey pan air cleaner if I can find one and it clears depending on intake/engine setup.

I want to drive this car, summer trip it on 1500-2000 mile trips and take it to a road course occasionally each year. I’ll never drag it, not my thing, carving corners is what thrills me. The engine needs to be reliable and last, I will put a lot of miles on it, id expect at least 5k a year and 60k over the first decade of the cars life, I’m not building it to park it or continually work on it either. With 300 days of sunshine where I live, I’ll almost daily drive it to the office half the year!

For nostalgic performance reasons I’d like to explore 427cu and the original 427 s/c benchmark of 485hp/480ft lbs, even if it is a small block, the lighter weight won’t hurt the handling.


Go the 289 route and build it up with some aluminum heads like Shelby would have if he could have and maybe stroke it and get 350hp+. I’d sentimentally prefer the block/intake be a 289 or stamped as such if we go this route, they didn’t use a 302 in the original cars.

I’m not looking to over power the car. Off the shelf 427w crates make way over 500hp, it’s a waste in my opinion, I’d rather spend that money on IRS. I’d happily build a 427 that hits 485 with smaller less expensive components, even if the engine is capable of more. Not looking to have a pissing contest over HP, simply chasing nostalgia/ tribute.


1. I also have a 2013 BOSS 302 Laguna Seca in the garage, I love the rpms being high I can’t imagine shifting at 5,000rp, will the 351 based engines have a lower rev limit than the 289/302?

2. What’s the best value and reliability to make the 485hp?. If I could make it with no or lesser stroke in the 351 that would be fine, no one can tell weather it’s 351,408,or 427. The 351 looks closer to the big block and I’ll state whatever it actually is on the show car poster specs. I likely won’t use the 427 badges if I go the short deck route. I don’t want to push the engine components to the limit to get there, thus I’m not sure a 347stoker is a top candidate. 331 seams more popular

3. How does building these engines up affect “pump fuel” I want to drive this thing and being able to run it on 91 octane or less is essential.

I’d appreciate anyone’s thoughts, I’d like to spend as little achieving engine goals in order to funnel $ to other parts of the build.

I’ll likey put a brand new Tremec behind it.

If anyone has a recommendation for an engine builder specified in Oregon or Washington I’d appreciate it. I’d be interesting in assembling the top end of a properly balanced and prepared short block, with knowledgeably specified components and advice/guidance.

The building is after all half the fun!
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle

36 Posts
A bored and stroked 351 for 427 cubes is going to be the simplest way to get your horsepower desired. Personally I have a 347 with 4x2 Webers and love it, horespower wise around 400+. Runs fine on 93 octane fuel. No longer available but this is my Ford crate engine installed by PO 347 - 450 Horsepower M-6007-Z347 | Ford Racing | Crate Motors | Crate Engines | FordPowerShop.com IMO thats plenty of HP for a car this size/weight. I also think either way go with aluminum heads to reduce front end weight also. I've never driven a BB Cobra but can't imagine it handles great with all that front end weight. I would also recommend a rear IRS over the 8.8" rear. My car has a 8.8" with 4 link but I am converting it to a 3 link for auto crossing this summer.

Car Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design

Not a waxer
12,129 Posts
What makes you think that you need 485HP? Have you ever driven one of these cars? Let’s do some comparison; your Boss 302 weighs about 3,700 pounds makes 444HP. That’s about 8.3 pounds per HP. A Mk4 is going to weigh 2,300-2,400 pounds. 485HP would =4.7 pounds per HP. Even 300HP would be about 7.6 pounds per HP. You might want 485 but you don’t NEED 485!


Premium Member
18,206 Posts
With today's technology, you're really not asking for much. Back in the olden days (when I was young), the magic combination was 1hp per cube. These days, your average rice burner does better than that. :)

If you want it to look like a 289, then stay away from the 351W based engines. The difference is obvious at a casual glance.

Trying to find an actual 289 can be difficult. Those blocks have not been cast in over half a century.

So that leaves you with a 302/5.0 Windsor based engines.

347's can be built on a stock block. Some people believe you need an aftermarket block (Dart) for a 347, and some people don't. Do your research. You can also go slightly smaller, at 331 cubes. Might be a safer bet for longevity on a stock block.

Since you're planning ahead, proximity to you is really not that important. You can have just about anything shipped right to your doorstep in no time at all. But here's a company in your neighborhood:
347 Stroker "Balboa" - West Coast Engines

I would strongly recommend the following builders. All are pretty well known around here.
Forte's Parts Connection (fortesparts.com)
Performance Parts in Maricopa, AZ | LR Classics, LLC (lrclassicsllc.com) Previously known as Levy Racing.

You don't need a forged rotating assembly. It won't hurt anything, but it's not money well spent.

Keep static and dynamic compression reasonable. Use a fairly mild cam. Set the quench pretty tight. Use small heads. All that will make an efficient and fun engine that will run excellent on pump gas.

Keep in mind that a NA engine will lose 2-3% of it's power per 1,000 feet of elevation gained. Your 485hp engine will "only" make 390hp at 7,000 feet.

One last note. Like everything else these days, performance parts are kinda hard to come by. Engine builders are saying there's a 3-4 month back log, because they can't get the parts. That's stock blocks and aftermarket blocks.

Charter Member
1,746 Posts
I’ve had 3 engines in my MK1 build over its long life. A 350hp 5.0, a 450hp 363, and now the 500hp/600tq 454 Dart Windsor Stroker. The 7.4 L is hands down the most fun of all of them. Would it have been the ideal engine to start with? I really don’t know. But it is now. Never regretted getting the 7.4
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