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Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

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  • Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

    I have a Mercruiser 188hp with a Ford 302 V8 and 2 barrels carb, is it worth to find a manifold and 4 barrels carb to upgrade HPs ?If so, how much of a gain can I expect ?Thanks.Val
    1992 Silverton 34 Convertible w. dual station
    1990 Baha Cruiser 260 Fisherman


  • #2
    Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

    I,m not an expert on this but let me throw out a few ideas and see what happens. First, a lot would depend on what you use the boat for. The 4 barrel will get you out of the hole faster if you are pulling skiers which is generally a good thing, but if you run the boat at WOT all the time, your fuel consumtion will double, that,s not a good thing. Anything under about 2500-3000 RPM and the other 2 barrels on a 4 barrel are not working anyhow so nothing will change it is only when you get close to WOT that the 4 barrel is an advantage as far as power goes. all in all, you may see 15 or 20 more horsepower at top end..The cost, if you went with new parts would most likley be in the range of 800 to 1000 dollars. hope this helps in your decision....
    The Devil to pay, and no pitch hot!

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    • #3
      Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

      Wow, 800 to 100 dollars. What are the parts made from, hardtogetium? I did exactly what you are talking about on my 190HP OMC. I do enjoy the difference and being able to hear the secondarys open. I used a Weind Stealth Man. And a Holley 4160. My total investment is $250, and worth every penny. I can hear the sec. close at about 4200 RPM, at that point I am cruising on less gas than with the 2 bbl. GO FOR IT, www.ebay.com is a wonderful place...Al...

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      • #4
        Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

        Well since we are in a money spending mood I would also suggest that if the carb and manifold is changed go with a better camshaft. The 302 is a very capable motor and depending on it's age depends on how far you want to push it. Boosting an older motor without a full rebuild could drastically shorten it's lifespan. The carb and cam combonation will certainly raise the hp. We all enjoy more power.Bob
        This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
        Please, shop iboats first!!

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        • #5
          Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

          what EXACTLY do you do on a rebuild?just pistons and rings? or could you list some specifics?thanks

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          • #6
            Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

            Hey Bob I agree with the 4bbl. upgrade but ive found changing to a auto cam can actually lose mph. these engines are made to run at4200-4600rpm. If you do a cam change you better do your homework. you may defeat the purpose.

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            • #7
              Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

              Thanks guys, I just bought this older Century 24ft. with rebuilt motor and drive, I was just wondering if with few hundreds I could squeeze some extra power for better cruising, I am afraid 188hp will have to be almost wide open to obtain plane anddecent cruising speed, and gas mileage won't be good. I was actually thinking at a Holley carb myself.
              1992 Silverton 34 Convertible w. dual station
              1990 Baha Cruiser 260 Fisherman

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                FYI Crane cam's have specific cams designed for marine use.Bob
                This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
                Please, shop iboats first!!

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                  If You can find a NEW carb for less than 450.00 dollars, let me know......
                  The Devil to pay, and no pitch hot!

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                    and switch to 351 heads..... they breath better>>>Bigger vales ....just make sure the Marine Manifold will line up.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                      The old 188 uses 351 heads and 351 cam. If you change to a 4 barrel, you'll need to find a marine 302 manifold, which is getting hard to do. Then find a marine holley to fit it. If you can do it for several hundred dollars, you'll be lucky. Then you'll have you a 233 Mercruiser. Being Mercruiser quit using this system in 77, your engine is at least 25 years old. I'd leave it alone and baby it or your next post will be under the "I need a engine" heading.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                        Listen to capt ken...its not worth the bother to screw up a running package....dont listen to these guys about cheapo aluminum manifolds, they were meant to have antifreeze run through them, not raw water! they corrode away in short order, dropping water in the oil pan...mercs 4 barrel 302 was rated at 225 hp...and I always thought it was a little generous.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                          Wow, thats a new one to me. You mean the cast iron 2 BBL Ford manifold I took off my boat was a "Marine" manifold. Looked exactly like the one on my old Mustang. I am astounded by the responses I see here. There is a marine holley on ebay at $50 right as I am writing this. Your motor still has a Blue Oval on it a 302 part will fit a 302. Don't be afraid...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                            Article about marine carbs. Marine and auto carbs have major differences, both legally and operationally. Yes an auto style carb will work but not advisable.When you run a 4 barrel as opposed to a 2 barrel, you will normally get better mileage with the 4 at lower rpm as the primarys are smaller than the 2 barrel. The 2 barrel has to operate at all rpms. Not very effecient.Try a Holley Marine carb, 600 cfm, mechanical secondarys.As to the intake I would suggest an intake from a "Boss" 302. They breath a little better than most stock iron manifolds. Aftermarket intakes are mostly aluminum and will not hold up in salt.

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                            • #15
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                              Re: Ford 302 from 2 barrel to 4 barrel, is it worth it ?

                              If you are running non-cooled Cast iron Manifolds......>>>>make sure you Insurance premium is Paid.....

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