Best up grades for 96 f150

Asked by Jul 31, 2015 at 05:05 PM about the 1996 Ford F-150 XL SB

Question type: Car Customization

I bought a 96 f150, the truck has been sitting for the past 7 years. I bought it for a toy. I
wanted something to play with.
The truck is all stock with 5L 302, automatic trans. 2 wheel drive.
I know I have to pull the engine and trans out.
So my question is: What should I do to make 400-500 HP and torque.

7 Answers


1996 was the last year for the 302 in the F 150. Equipped with an automatic transmission the engine was rated at 195 HP. You are looking to increase HP somewhere from 200 to 250 percent. Anything is possible, but also consider the cost of the engine and upgraded transmission along with the probably need for a custom made drive shaft and probably an upgrade to your rear end. Then, if you are considering using all that power you may want to consider an upgrade to the braking system.


Cold air intake with K & N cone air filter. A custom single 3" exhaust made at a muffler shop with a tube bending machine. A single 3" will flow more exhaust than duel pipes (& way better than aftermarket off-the- shelf like Flowmaster & probably cheaper). Use 3" inlet & outlet perf cat convertor. & 3" in & out muffler (Raven Products). Buy tube headers with a 2 into 1 Y pipe. The 3" header collectors into the 3" Y. Upgrade to a MSD ignition module, install a hydralic street cam, 10-20 degrees duration over stock specs, roller lifters, & matched valve spring kit for the new cam. Get some head work done at a cylinder head shop, 3 angle valve seat grind, replace seats if worn, porting, polishing, surface grind off a few thousandths. Solid center braided wires (Nology) E3 spark plugs. Look for an aluminum intake & upgraded FI like Holley. Staggered tires 255XR17X55 front & 275XR17X55 rear (Nitto tires shown on my 4- 6" lowered sb Chevy truck). Shop Jeg's catalog for parts. Wake up that 302, good luck.


* is 96' 302 a throttle body?

Yes it is.


Holley makes a high perf TBI. And I though 2 stock TB's would be a cool mod too. You would have to buy a aluminum 2, 4 bbl. inline hi-rise manifold from like Eldelbrock or Weiland & use 2, 2 bbl adapter plates. I always wanted to try this, & double the CFM's (cubic ft. of air per min.). And the aftermarket high perf cam will make much more hp. Oh & Cobra 302 big valve heads are the best too. You can buy some $$$, or turn your stock heads into big valve Cobra cyl heads. Last you're only limited by your low compression pistons. Skim grinding your cilinder heads will help raise your low compression. Your stock 302 is like 8 or 9 to 1. A Cobra jet 302 is 10 to 1.


* find & or use any Cobra 302 engine parts, OR a whole motor or short block. But $$$.


* a 351 high perf Clevland engine is better. I don't know what your budget is.

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