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Are ford 255cid engines a good choice for my rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by deluxester, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. deluxester
    Joined: Mar 14, 2004
    Posts: 474

    deluxester
    Member

    How do 255's compare to a 302? Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with these engines? Bolt ons? Fuel efficiency?? Let me know, Thanks!
     
  2. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    You're talking about the early '80s 255? What with garden variety 302s practically falling out of trees, I never heard of anyone bothering with a 255. I really doubt that it would get much better mileage than a well tuned 302.
     
  3. Greasy64
    Joined: Nov 1, 2008
    Posts: 198

    Greasy64
    Member

    Theres more to life than miles per gallon.... I hope I didn't quote someones sig. line here. :eek:
     
  4. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    tjm73
    Member

    255's are good for scrap. That's about it. Just run a roller cam 302. Parts are cheap and they're everywhere.

    You can make around 400 crank hp with an OE Mustang H.O. roller cam with the right heads and intake. Since it's a OE cam it should get decent mileage.
     

  5. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers
    Member

    255 is almost a total waste of time, money and energy. That engine couldn't even sniff where the 302 had been. 302s are plentiful, reasonable to get, are damn near bullet proof and with alittle work can run strong and still get good mpg.
     
  6. concur with all the above negs about those POS 255s. Was working at a Ford garage when they were out - next to those idiotic V6s they stuck in F150s about the same time, those 255s were boat anchors. Both engines lasted in production only a year or 2, they were gutless and nobody liked 'em even when they were new.
     
  7. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    My response is very basic. Being a tightass with money because I live on limited means, I see nothing wrong with a person working with what they have. I would not throw away a good motor that I already had and go looking for some other. Almost all production motors that are plentiful are, in my mind, just as good as others that are rare. That said, my next rod will be powered with a banger or a v8-60. Hea, I know, it'll be a cold day when I get one in running condition for cheap, that's why I am not going to box myself in and buy anything else until my dream is realized! Not even another L-6 chivvy!
     
  8. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S
    Member

    I used a 255 in a project (I got it for free) just to get the car running untill I finished building the 302 for it, it was a slug (but reliable), but atleast I got to drive the car instead of looking at it just sitting there after working on it for 3 years, use it for now if it's all you got, till you can find a 302 for it. My .02
     
  9. deluxester
    Joined: Mar 14, 2004
    Posts: 474

    deluxester
    Member

    Thanks for the your opinions, veryone. I think that answers it. If the 255 was already in my posession or if it was offered to me, I would probably use it just to get the car running. I don't mind installing another engine in the future when a better one becomes available.
    But since this one is not free, I think I will stick it out for a 302. By the way, I like the OE roller cam idea for adding HP.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  10. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,437

    George
    Member

    There is a thread on why/why not to run a small displacement V8. The OEM 302 roller cam would run "big" stuck in a 255! What were you thinking of putting it in?
     
  11. Kevins89notch5.0
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 105

    Kevins89notch5.0
    Member
    from Orlando


    Yup! I wish more guys knew this, and stopped putting chevy 350s in everything.
     
  12. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    Duration
    Member
    from Wayne, MI

    255 is just a 302 on the outside. manifolds and headers and cams are bolt on items that fit. it fits where a 289 or 302 fits. they run okay. my daughters new winter car is a 1980 mustang. it has a 255 and runs great. if you dont tell anyone it isnt a 302 they wont know. some even argue with you!
     
  13. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers
    Member

    If the SBC engines weren't so plentiful and made to run strong more on the cheap than the Ford , there wouldn't be so damn many of em out there:rolleyes:. Don't get me wrong I like the 289 and 302 as much as the next former Ford owner but you can't argue the money differances between building the 2 versus what you can get out of them for LESS money if that's an issue:D. I had great running small block Fords that would rev to more than 7k without even straining at all but it did'nt happen as cheaply as the sbc.
     
  14. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,140

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The problem is that it's not a 302 on the inside. The reduced bore requires smaller valves that can't breathe. Whatever parts you throw at it, the heads won't flow enough to make worthwhile power.
     
  15. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    tjm73
    Member


    25 years ago it was cheaper to build equivalent powered engine. With the extreme proliferation of the 5.0 Mustang the cost difference has evaporated or even switched to favor Fords.

    BTW - Car Craft built the 405hp/380ft-lbs true 302 V8 on the cheap I eluded too.
    http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/116_0307_ford_302_v8_engine_buildup/index.html
     
  16. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    Duration
    Member
    from Wayne, MI

    with a rebuilt holley 350 cfm 2 barrel carb on it and dual exhausts with shortie headers my daughters mustang runs real good. smokes the tires from a standing start and has good torque. runs out of steam at about 4000 rpms but pulls good to that. sure it isnt a 302 but its reliable and quick on the cheap. bet she breaks the 4 speed trans soon!
     
  17. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    The 255 is to the Ford guys what the 305 ond 307 is to the Chevy guys. There's no nostalgic, mythical air about it like a "magic" 283 or 327 (or in the Ford camp, 289 or 302), so they thumb their noses at it.

    Ford was doing what everyone else was doing when they penned the 255 design...taking an existing V8 and making it in a smaller displacement with lighter internals. They didn't go as crazy as Pontiac did with their 265 and 301 motors, though...the 255 still accepts standard 289/302 parts for almost everything but the pistons. The crank and rods are lighter in a 255, but will work fine in a mild street engine kept under 5000 RPM. The heads do have small valves, but they're feeding small cylinders, too...kinda neat, huh? That whole relativity and proportion thing at work!

    You'll find the 255 in the "boxy body" (1980-82) T-birds and Cougars, as well as some Fox based Mustangs, Capris, Zephyrs and Fairmonts of the same years.

    Being that the engines can be had for FREE or damned close to it...common, cheap 302 speed parts bolt onto them...and they weigh in even slightly less than an already svelt 302, I think they make okay motors for use in cruisers and lightweight rods! They also work great on unleaded, low-octane gasoline, too...since that's all they were ever engineered for!

    Just as if you're a Chevy guy running a 262, 267, 305 or 307 who's tired of the stigma wrongly associated with the smaller mills...just tell the ignorant masses that your 255 Ford is a 289 or a 302 and they'll never know the difference! (Chevy folks have been doing that for years with their small displacement small blocks! The only time it's fun to tell someone that it's really a 305 in your heap is after you've just dusted their 454 El Camino!)

    Ha Ha...funny that Ford guys will generally regard a 260...or even a 221 as 'kinda cool'...just like the Chevy guys would rather give up cubes to run a mystical 283 instead of a 305 or 307...but show a Ford guy a 255 and they whine about how 'wimpy' they think it is!

    Nothing new under the sun!
     
  18. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member

    If it's a 255 Foyt-Ford V8 then it's cool. Or you want a cheap "E" motor for SCTA lakes duty. Otherwise if you will be in the SDF Bay Area sometime, PM me and I'll give you a 302 core. Add your accressories and pick up a 20% increase in cubic inches.
     
  19. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,895

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    I was on Edelbrocks website last night they say :"intake will not fit 255's" so no interchange there,probably ports are mismatched.Kinda like old Y-blocks they will bolt up but the ports are way off.
     

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