FORD WINDSOR SMALL BLOCK V8 BACKGROUND Ford Small Block engine family is also referred to as the Windsor engine family. Built by Ford for a wide range of passenger cars and light trucks the Windsor small block was produced from 1961 through the 2001 model year, although they remain available as crate engines from the Ford Racing & Performance Parts catalog. Ford so-named it after the engine plant that produced it in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and felt the need to name it to differentiate it from the Cleveland engine family (named for that engine plant in Cleveland OH) that had engines of similar displacement but very different configuration. The Windsor Small Block was intended as the follow up to Ford’s Y-Block V8, which had turned into Ford’s ‘small V8’ once the larger FE-series V8s were introduced. But, the Y-block followed old school design themes, including shaft-mounted rocker arms, now rendered obsolete by the Chevy small block’s stud-and-ball-style stamped rockers.
BELOW: This is a HiPo 271-horse 289, in a 1965 Mustang.
Ford introduced the new Windsor Small Block V8 in 1961 with all the best features of Chevy’s modern new engine and some of their own. Ford’s small block was even lighter and more compact than Chevy’s, already a class-leader in this area. It was introduced in 1962 with just 221 cubic inches of displacement (which, coincidentally, is the exact same as Ford’s first flathead V8 back in 1932). It was soon enlarged to 260 ci, and as such was the V8 engine option for the first 1965 Mustangs when they debuted in 1964. By 1965, it had been punched out again, this time to the time-honored displacement of 289 cubic inches. It came in 3 flavors: a 2-barrel version with 200 horses, a 4-barrel with 225 horses, and the “Hi-Po 289” 4-barrel engine with 271 horses. When Shelby got ahold of it, they squeezed 306 horsepower out with a set of headers and some special tuning. In 1968, Ford enlarged their workhorse Small Block V8 to 302 cubes, or 5.0 liters with a 4.00-inch bore and a 3.00-inch stroke. The 302 would be the most prevalent Ford Small Block V8 of them all, staying in production in Ford passenger cars until 1995 and Ford Trucks until 2000. It would be punched out one more time, to 351 cubic inches, a displacement that created still more confusion with the Cleveland engine family, which also has a 351 ci V8. So, there are 351 Windsors and 351 Clevelands. All Windsor and Cleveland small block V8 engines share 4.380-inch bore centers and the same cylinder head bolt patterns.