View Full Version : 280i Ford 302 Conversion

04-08-2008, 10:14 AM
I am getting towards the end of this conversion. Would anyone like a “how to” guide on doing this conversion, or would I be wasting my time typing it up? Since I have done the hard part in trial and error fabrication, it would be an easy conversion for someone to do. The conversion does consist of the removal of 2 pieces of tube and the addition of 3 mounting plates. Everything ells came off the shelf. If I get some real interest I will look into posting a link to detailed instructions.

This will also work on a 289/302/351w

04-08-2008, 11:06 AM
It would make for an interesting article in the TVR Times. You should consider submitting it.

04-08-2008, 06:28 PM
Yes, I fully agree, and I would welcome the submission and applicable photos for a future TVR TIMES issue.

04-09-2008, 03:45 PM
i would be very interested to read whatever you have to write and see some step by step pictures too! i am considering the possiblility of a similar swap in the future if i buy the TVR i am looking at.

04-14-2008, 09:21 PM
I would be very very interested in a how to. It would probably give me the push I need to get going and would be much appreciated.

04-16-2008, 09:33 AM
If you do write it up, I hope you could share a final parts list and the templates for the above mentioned plates.

Too often these good conversions stories say "well, none of these parts worked but I finally found one from a (fill in the blank) that did" without giving away the secret part number or enough info to save reinventing the wheel.

Thanks Grady

04-21-2008, 10:53 AM
I will do PDF's of the frame mods, and mounting plates and I will give all part numbers and manufactures. I am only going to list the parts for the conversion. I think that I will have the car finished by the Smokey Mtn Show May 12 if anyone wants to put their eyes on it. I just need to find time to finish this. I am expecting this car to have better performance than a 400 or 420. 0-60 around 5.0 and a top speed around 160 mph. A Panoz Esperante is getting 5.1 and 155 mph with the same drivetrain and 900 more pounds. But we will see….

04-21-2008, 05:50 PM
I look forward to seeing the finished project at Springtime in the Smokies in a few weeks. I'll have my "barn find" 280i there as well.

04-21-2008, 09:59 PM
Ill give it about a 75% chance of getting there...

There was a very good tvr turn out there last year, I think there were 7. I think the TVR guys that were there were more intrested in "The Dragon" than the show.

05-01-2008, 08:14 AM

I have not touched the car since my last post... Therefore it will not be ready by May 12th.

07-10-2008, 01:58 PM
The car is alive….

It has just been the little things that have been so much trouble. I hope to get the slave cylinder on this weekend and then it will be time for the muffler shop. If anyone is trying this at home or is doing a t5 conversion. Make sure you get a t5 from a 94 or newer mustang. A vw slave is a direct bolt in to the bell housing and to the existing line. But in a 95 you have to build a mounting bracket. If I did this again I would buy a entire 88 mustang and then let the junkyard have what’s left after I am done. I am also playing with a cold air intake for the Holly.

07-10-2008, 11:04 PM
I'm only nitpicking because I'm interested:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]Make sure you get a t5 from a 94 or newer mustang[/QUOTE]

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]If I did this again I would buy a entire 88 mustang and then let the junkyard have what’s left after I am done[/QUOTE]

On the face of it, these two seem mutually exclusive.
Which is it?
Or am I having a senior moment?

07-11-2008, 09:32 AM
Sorry t5 from a 94 or older..... In 95 they updated the t5 in 96 they went to the cobra 4.6 engine. That makes a 95 5.0 a odd bird. Odd starter and odd bellhouseing.

12-26-2008, 12:58 PM
For some reason I could not make any power. It felt like my 302 was a 4 cyl. I started unplugging plug wires and found that I had 4 dead cylinders. So I revisited the firing order of a 302, and I was hooked up right. Just for the fun of it I looked up the firing order on a 351. Then redid my wires. WOW, I HAVE A 351! The head sits a little higher in a 351 and that explains why my exhaust was sooooo hard to fit. But now it is in and everything is looking better. So now I guess instead of a 280i I have a 580?

12-26-2008, 03:49 PM
I'll bet that was a tricky thing to figure out !!!! I've read that you can get aftermarket cams in either firing order and they fit in both engines, so, you could have even have a 302 engine with a cam that was made with a 351 firing order. Not being a follower of American iron, I would never have guessed that.
Isn't working on cars fun ?!!

01-27-2009, 11:53 AM
By the time I push my foot all the way to the floor I have hit 5000+ rpms. My left foot cannot keep up with my right foot (so I have to hold back). And the rear wheels could spin at any rpm even in 3rd gear at 3000 rpm on a straight dry road. And I have 245/45/17... I am still working out some electrical bugs.

04-20-2009, 12:44 PM
There is no substitute for cubic inches (maybe cubic dollars). Used to have a Griffith. Assume yours will blow by the old HiPo289 in a heart beat. Awesome endeavor!

04-24-2009, 01:39 PM
The Griff is a little lighter isn't it? Its a big sound out of a small car. The engine conversion is done now I am trying to get a top and some carpet in it before a local May show. I also need to redo the brake master.

04-25-2009, 07:06 PM
I would be VERY interested in seeing and reading what you have done. I believe I could use some of your tips for my own languishing project. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

08-10-2011, 11:12 PM
Any list you may compile would honestly be great to look at. I am considering one of these conversions on my 1985 280i and a parts list would be outstanding, just so I can get an idea of how much it may cost.

P.S. I really think that weber idf carbs would look great on a 302 conversion 280i.


10-30-2011, 02:22 PM
Sure I have had 280i for 10 years and still restoring what was your final cost in doing the conversion?

10-30-2011, 08:21 PM
Is there ever a final in a conversion?

12-04-2011, 12:37 PM
I have a list and some other thoughts that I came up with... Let me find it and I'll just post it on here. Sorry I have not been on here in months, didn't realize this topic was still being talked about.