Chevy 350 and Ford 302 Performance Upgrades
Here at Speedway Motors we offer a variety of crate motors from trusted sources such as Blueprint Engines. One of the great things about the BluePrint engines is that each one will come with a dyno sheet for that specific motor. That being said, just because you bought it bone stock doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. After all, we are all into making something just a bit better right?
In this article we will touch on a few upgrades you can do once you have that new crate motor sitting in your garage, or better yet, in your car. We chose to focus on the two most popular engines around. Yes, you guessed it; we used the small block Chevy 350 and the Ford 302.
Intake manifolds are your engines’ primary source of air. While the majority of crate motors we offer here at Speedway Motors already have a performance intake installed, some of the crate engines we offer do not. We have a solution for that. Your selection will depend primarily on your driving intentions.
On the same note, allowing your engine to exhale easier will also boost power. Running aftermarket headers and a properly selected mandrel bent exhaust system will commonly result in a substantial increase in horsepower and torque. Most engines of that displacement range will be best served by a header with a maximum primary size of 1 5/8” inches. We have over 800 different applications for headers and exhaust kits in all sizes, from DIY kits to prefabricated options.
Getting fuel where it needs to be is next. BluePrint uses a Holley 600cfm carburetor (the Holley 4160) during their dyno tests. They used to use Edelbrock carbs, such as the 1406, before switching to the simpler “out of the box” Holley. You can go the traditional route with a carburetor, mechanical or electrical fuel pump and pressure regulator, or you can go with fuel injection. Properly fueled and tuned carbs are great, but if you don’t want to tackle the tuning, an electronic fuel injection system is also a great option, although they are quite a bit more expensive. Several options are available to fit your needs.
A solid electronic ignition setup is a must, especially now that you have all that fuel coming. Transitioning to an electronic system over a mechanical system will reap the benefits of not only increased power, but increased fuel mileage as well. Most of our crate motors include an HEI distributor, but you can upgrade plugs, wires, cap and rotor, or coil, or add an ignition control box. Nothing is stopping you from upgrading to a different distributor either. Located at the bottom is a quick chart with some ignition system recommendations from of our Tech staff.