302 Ford vs. 305 Chevy! Part 1: Intro and Baseline

Who did it best back in the late-1980s and early 1990s, the 5.0L Ford or TPI Chevy?


OK, fellow travelers, let’s crank up the DeLorean to 88 mph and venture back in time to the start of the modern muscle-car era. Some may not remember, but there was a time when production cars weren’t running around with 400, 500, or even 600 hp, to say nothing of 700-plus-horsepower Hellcats! Back when Billy Idol was dancing with himself and Cindy Lauper just wanted to have fun, the power outputs of the hottest Camaros and Mustangs were literally half of what they are today. The ponycars wars were still being waged, but many carbureted fans thought the introduction of (then-new) modern fuel injection would surely spell the end of performance. History has shown those doomsday predictions not only to be unfounded, but that the reverse was actually true. The injected 5.0L H.O. Mustang and TPI Camaro were the performance predecessors of the killer Coyotes and Z/28s we have today. To show our respects to all things 1980s (and early 1990s), we had a shootout between a 5.0L H.O. 302 and an LB9 TPI 305. We’d then use these humble beginnings to illustrate how to bring them up to the current level of performance, if such a thing is even possible.



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21 thoughts on “302 Ford vs. 305 Chevy! Part 1: Intro and Baseline”

    1. As much as I hate to admit, I’d take the ford 302 over a chevy.

    2. If we’re comparing strictly engines the 302 Chevy made 390hp+. The 302 Ford was a 350hp motor. The total package was Blue Oval, the 302cid in say, 69 was Bow tie power.

  1. Back in the day, the 302 was a lot stronger on the street than the 305. Facts are facts and I’m a GM guy

    1. I still have my 91 305 Camaro and you are right… Part of it I believe is the Mustangs usually had a manual and the Camaros usually had an automatic. Regardless, the Stangs won the stoplight to stoplight wars 30 years ago.

  2. It’s the century old question. Ford vs chevy? Chevy made it very easy to go into just about any vehicle. Hell, I have a small block in my 46 ford as do most street rods. But ford makes a hell of an engine but doesn’t make it quite as easy to work with unfortunately.

  3. I like the 302 bottom end the heads was shit they leak now the 305 Hp the block was shit but take the heads and put them on a 350 now u got some thing

  4. Try the l69 305 instead. They came with a 5 spd. And better cam

  5. The 302 destroyed the 305 in the 80’s !! A 5 speed Foxbody ate Camaros for breakfast and shit Monte SS’s for supper !!! The 5.7 IROC-Z had its hands full with a Stang also !! I owned a 5.7 , so I know what I am saying , however , I am a FORD guy today !! You get wiser with age !!! :) :)

  6. 302 Chevy was a pretty killer lil motor, much better than a 305 but it was a whole different era and had 11:1 comp from the factory

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