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Top 10 Best Cylinder Heads for Ford 302 Review & Buying Guide

Ford 302 Lover? Looking for the best cylinder heads for ford 302? You know that ford makes robust vehicles, but the only challenge with the small block for the Ford 302, V8 engine.

Often, the engine is riddled with issues that make you want to think of another vehicle.

Common problems exhibited by 6.0L Powerstroke engines include head gasket and failures of the injection control module.

It also has oil cooler problems, the EGR delete kit valve problems, and a host of other issues. The bottom line was poor performance and frustration for the user.

Table of Contents

Top Rated 10 Best Small Block Ford Heads for 302

Photo Title Buy
2 x NEW...image 2 x NEW Improved 6.0 Ford Powerstroke Diesel LOADED Cylinder Head PAIR 03-07 No Core (20MM) Buy on Amazon
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder...image Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head Buy on Amazon
Flotek 203505 Aluminum...image Flotek 203505 Aluminum Cylinder Head for Small Block Ford Buy on Amazon
Edelbrock 60069 Performer...image Edelbrock 60069 Performer Cylinder Head Buy on Amazon
Speedmaster PCE281.2049 Ford...image Speedmaster PCE281.2049 Ford SB 289 302 351W 210cc 62cc Hydr-FT Complete Aluminu Buy on Amazon
Small-Block Ford E-Street...image Small-Block Ford E-Street Cylinder Heads 2.02" Buy on Amazon
6.0L Head Stud...image 6.0L Head Stud Replacement Kit for 2003-2007 Ford PowerStroke Diesel Cylinder | Installation Instructions with Assembly Lubricant Included CP874 Buy on Amazon

What are the best Ford 302 cylinder heads?

DK Engine Parts manufactures the most suitable cylinder head for the Ford 302. This product is the finest pick available in the market. However, if this does not meet your expectations, the Edelbrock Cylinder head is a great substitute for it.

Both the companies are fine performers and deliver the best only.

Why “DK Engine Parts” is the best cylinder head for ford 302?

We suggest DK Engine Parts for Ford 302 because its products are sturdy and deliver high performance. As well they ensure proper cooling and enable the engine to work better.

Also, its strong material prevents common annoying issues of the Ford 302. Altogether, the improved design and structure delivers the best and boost overall performance.

Top 10 Best Cylinder Heads for Ford 302 Review 2021

Thus, many Ford 302 owners were frustrated, which got the engineer thinking about a lasting solution.

And the answer is to find the best small block ford 302 heads to replace the troubled head. Below, we review some of the best 302 heads for ford trucks.

01. DK Engine 2 x New Improved 6.0 Ford Powerstroke Diesel Cylinder Head

If you need the best 302 heads for a Ford truck, this cylinder head is ideal. When installed professionally, the 2x new improved 6.0 ford Powerstroke engine will serve the intended purpose.

Of course, this is a DK Engine Part product known to make a good replacement stock for vehicles.

Findings show the 2x New Improved 6.0 Ford Powerstroke Diesel Engine is one of the best Ford 302 heads available. Indeed, the Cylinder Head is redesigned with new parts.

Yes, each head comes with valves, springs, and seals. In addition, it has seats, retainers, and keepers to overcome those pesky problems often experienced with Ford 302.

Material-wise, the 2X NEW Improved Heads carries cast iron, making it one of the best ford 302 heads around.

Its strengths, around the glow plug and seats, help prevent cracks and ensure durability. Therefore, 2X Improved 6.0 Powerstroke heads are suitable for the VIN Code ‘P’ type 6 liter Powerstroke V8 diesel engines.

Highlighted Features

  • Complete cylinder head pair of 6.0 Powerstroke​ 
  • Brand new valves, retainer, springs, and locks
  • Improved/redesigned head
  • No cores required

When discussing the best small block ford heads, it is essential to mention its performance for the engine. Thus, the compact specs of 2x Improved 6.0 Ford Powerstroke Cylinder Heads allow it to sit tight on the engine block.

Also, the O-ring heads option helps to ensure optimum pressure to catalyze combustion in the tightly closed chamber.

Similarly, the cylinder head has hardened seats and injector cups for a complete engine solution and top performance. Of course, you should expect maximum performance from your new engine if you ensure a professional installation.

Pros

  • Complete head pair
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Precise match
  • Superior performance

Cons

  • Nothing out of place

02. Edelbrock 5089 Complete Pair Cylinder Head

If you need the best small block ford heads to enhance street performance for the entry-level head, this is for you.

For those with a budget concern and still want a head design an application that works, yes, this is it! Edelbrock 5089 work best for engines with less than 400 horsepower.

An engine running at a 5,500 rpm limit will find this head most suitable.

For the material, it features A356 aluminum casting suitably designed for superior T-6 specs. Edelbrock 5089 is heat-treated as the best 302 heads for ford truck with superior strength and quality.

It has a modern combustion chamber for improved combustion. Ideally, its extra-large stock intake and perfect exhaust port design provide sufficient air to the engine.

Though, this head requires a few more components apart from the original parts for a successful coupling.

Highlighted Features

  • Perfect idle operation up to 5500 rpm range
  • Entry-level street performance upgrade
  • Bigger stock intake and exhaust ports for increased power
  • 64cc combustion chamber volume
  • Complete pair of hydraulic flat tappet
  • 2. 02” Intake/1. 6” Exhaust valve diameter
  • 2. 02cc intake/60cc exhaust runner volume
  • 0. 562” Deck thickness

Take a closer look at the features, and you will see that the head is designed for efficiency and improved horsepower.

As the best small block ford heads, it delivers more torque with enhanced mileage. And this is possible because of the combustion chamber that allows more air intake and releases through the engine.

Pros

  • Torque peak of the engine at a lower rpm
  • Weigh less and make more top-end power
  • superior casting strength and quality
  • Improved mileage potential

Cons

  • It comes with skinny valve springs to limit cam selection

03. Flotek 203505 Universal Fit Aluminum Cylinder Head

The Floteck cylinder is one of the best small block ford heads for ford 302. Besides that, it’s an affordable option you can use to bring your vehicle back to life.

Thus, you won’t spend a fortune to have a top-performing top cylinder and get your vehicle in shape again.

Flotek is made with an aluminum cast and has 62cc exhaust with 180cc intake combined runners. With its several features, this best 302 heads for ford truck is a great street and off-road use.

Combining 1.94 inches intake and 1.54 inches exhaust valves with a 58cc combustion chamber makes the head suitable for broader application.

Ideally, Flotek high-performance springs are a good application for hydraulic roller cams. High points of Flotek’s head are the five angel valve jobs, not a common item found even in costly heads.

More importantly, Flotek heads are delivered complete and fully ready to run.

Highlighted Features

  • Spring seat pressure of 130 lbs
  • Most flat-tappet camshafts compatible
  • Hardened locks with retainers
  • High-temp exhaust seats
  • Head sold separately
  • Intake runners of 180cc
  • Exhaust runners of 62cc

A Floteck head is a complete, ready-to-run unit for Ford 302 application. Considered a mid-range power curve, it can deliver between 4000 and 5500 RPM.

Overall, the performance of Flotek at peak horsepower is excellent and compares favorably with the more expensive heads.

Pros

  • Improves engine efficiency
  • Increases power
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

Cons

  • Guide plates fit poorly

04. Edelbrock 60069 Exhaust Runners Performer Cylinder Head

Edelbrock 60069 cylinder is one of the best small block ford heads you will find around. If you want to go with the flow and restore your ford vehicle, this performer RPM head is your best option.

Of course, every ford owner wants a truck they can trust for daily actions on the streets.

But, without the proper head that performs at optimal fit, you wouldn’t be happy with anything less, will you?

As it turns out, a well-installed Edelbrock 60069 performer cylinder head delivers great throttle and power up to 6500 rpm. Isn’t that wonderful?

These heads have the best cylinder heads for ford 302 and exhaust valves and springs to be a top performer on the street.

Edelbrock 60069 heads rocker studs and exhaust manifold feature threaded insert to firmly hold together for strength and durability.

Also, they are complete heads with stainless steel, swirl-polished, one-piece, and hardened tip 2.09” intake and 1.66” exhaust valves.

Such makeup offer improved torque all through the RMP with more fantastic throttle response. Edelbrock 60069 heads feature 72cc combustion chambers as replacements for valves.

Technically, this cylinder head design helps to deliver top street performance. More so, its makeup eliminates threat wears and keeps the top and bottom tightly together for action.

Highlighted Features

  • Flat Tappet Camshaft Type
  • Precision fit surfaces of parts
  • 72cc of combustion chambers
  • Complete head with 2.09 inches intake and 1.66 inches exhaust valves
  • 428 Cobra-Jet sized valves for excellent flow

Edelbrock 60069 heads featuring threaded inserts offer improved rpm range with incredible throttle response. Your truck with Edelbrock 60069 heads will become more street efficient and compete favorably with any car around.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Increases power
  • Efficient engine function
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • None

05. Speedmaster PCE281.2049 Premium Qualioty Ford Heads

When upgrading with the best small block ford heads, Speedmaster heads are a top choice. Ideally, you should consider replacing your cast iron heads with a lighter aluminum cylinder.

Your choice should be a better performing head to give you higher success in your upgrade.

Of course, the Speedmaster heads have a clear advantage when affordability and performance are your priorities.

Frankly speaking, you should get a better option than what you are upgrading from, hence the choice of Speedmaster. You need a head that allows more air and promotes more horsepower.

And this is why you need a Speedmaster aluminum head to give up to 700 horsepower engine.

You will get a complete cylinder head kit with a Speedmaster cylinder. Though available in cast iron and aluminum materials, you should choose as preferred.

You need to decide what you want. Note that the combined forces of bronze valve guides, hardened seats, valve seat design, and advanced port make Speedmaster heads a top performer.

Highlighted Features

  • Small Block Ford 289/302/351W w/Hydraulic Flat Tappet
  • 62cc Combustion Chamber Volume
  • 210cc Intake Runner Volume
  • Dual Springs Per Valve
  • Chromoly steel Retainer
  • 10 degrees Lock Style

If you need the best ford 302 heads, Speedmaster heads are super performers any day! With the small cross-section for improved airflow and horsepower, Speedmaster is indeed a top performer.

Pros

  • Superior longevity and dependability
  • Expertly Crafted using premium-grade materials
  • CNC-machined for a greater flow

Cons

  • None

06. Edelbrock 2.02 Inch Small-Block Ford E-Street Cylinder Heads

One best 302 heads for ford truck replacement components is the Small-Block E-Street Cylinder.

Yes, this component is a perfect match you can trust to give you an excellent upgrade for your vehicle. Small-Block E-Street heads are a popular ford replacement part since the 80s still a top performer today.

Edelbrock 5025 E-Street heads are proudly made in the USA designed as an entry-level engine for street performance. Ideally, it delivers up to 5,500 rpm with superior casting strength.

Small-Block E-Street cylinder features A356 aluminum casting material heat treated to T-6 spec.

Among its top performance features is a modern combustion chamber with larger intake and exhaust ports for improved combustion and horsepower.

Some of the E-Street cylinder head’s strong points include more horsepower, improved mileage, and top-scale efficiency.

Standard components of Edelbrock 5025 cylinder heads include (1) Powder-metal interlocking valve seats, (2) Manganese bronze valve guides, and (3) Stainless steel one-piece valves.

Similarly, it contains 3/8 inches or 7/16 inches of screw studs, 1.25 inches or 1.55 inches diameter valve springs, hardened tips, and hardened guide plates.

Highlighted Features

  • Entry-level street performance upgrade
  • Complete pair
  • Combustion chamber capacity – 60cc
  • Runner capacity of 170cc intake and 60cc exhaust
  • Valve diameter of 2.02” intake and 1.6” exhaust
  • deck thickness of 0.625”
  • Larger stock intake and exhaust ports

Edelbrock 5025 E-Street heads have a modern combustion chamber for combustion process improvement. Also, it includes larger intake and exhaust ports for efficient airflow.

Small-Block E-Street heads will deliver improved efficiency, broad torque, more horsepower, and more mileage with a perfect installation. 

Pros

  • More horsepower
  • Improve efficiency
  • Broad torque
  • Improved mileage potential

Cons

  • None

07. Xotic 6.0L Head Stud Replacement Kit for PowerStroke Diesel Heads

Replacement studs are valuable vehicle components, and the 6.0L stud replacement kit plays a vital role in your ford engine.

What if we told you this component would increase the stability and performance of your vehicle? However, there is a caveat.

You will need a professional hand if your car runs on a heavy-duty Powerstroke engine. Installing this kit will need a workshop to ensure a proper installation.

However, when choosing a brand, you need to go with a leading industry maker for the best design and quality.

Stud kit features high-quality 8740 alloys designed for the Powerstroke engines for impressive tensile strength of about 200,000psi.

Each heat stud is equivalent to 700 horsepower, a perfect fit for heavy-duty vehicles. Using a stud head replacement kit allows for proper alignment of the cylinder heads and gaskets.

Stud kit component gets black oxide coat to reduce wear.

Highlighted Features

  • Direct fit replacement
  • Ultra strength
  • Easy installation
  • Essential kits included

Diesel truck owners prefer stud head to head bolt because of the stud head’s resistance to fatigue.

Similarly, getting the cylinder head to clamp down fittingly and creating the desired engine pressure is another reason.

Of course, you want high horsepower, and stud heads can deliver up to 700 ratings. Interestingly, stud heads will give your redesigned engine more power than the 6.0 Powerstroke engine.

When you need performance, the stud heads are replacement components to trust.

Pros

  • High horsepower rating
  • High tensile strength
  • Made with durable alloy
  • Have higher clamping force

Cons

  • The top black oxide coating could rust

Cylinder Heads Buying Consideration for the Best Cylinder Heads for Ford 302

So that your vehicle can deliver superior performance, you need the best cylinder head. My guess is you already know that the head is beyond the casting on top of your engine block.

Essentially, you need the best ford 302 heads to get the performance you desire. A cylinder head keeps the valves and vital parts to give your truck the life it deserves.

Yes, it houses the combustion chamber where the ultimate job of powering your vehicle takes place.

Without the head, a vehicle’s camshaft, exhaust, and induction systems will have no way to breathe. You could liken the head to a human body’s vital organ that gives your vehicle engine its power and personality.

As you can see, the right cylinder head helps to actualize your dream of high performing street vehicle. Therefore, it is well worth the time to know what to look for when buying a cylinder head.

It would help if you considered the following factors when shopping for the best ford 302 heads.

Know what your budget can get

Your budget is a factor when shopping for a cylinder head. Since there are various heads on the market, your budget will serve as a guide to get what you want.

Choose compatibility

In this case, you need the best 302 heads for Ford trucks. Go for a cylinder head that fits. You can choose cast iron or aluminum head but ensure it’s compatible with your brand of the engine (6.0 Powerstroke).

Note that the cylinder head may crack if there is a mismatch, so choose cautiously.

Consider intake and exhaust port size

It will help if you get expert advice before choosing the right head, considering the intake and exhaust port size. Your choice depends on the engine size and your need.

For instance, if your vehicle is a street application, then a smaller port is perfect! Likewise, you should go for a bigger port if you aim for a high revving throttle response and more airflow.

Consider the combustion chamber size

An engine chamber is where the powering action starts. Choose a chamber that supports a high compression ratio. Such a chamber will deliver an engine with high efficiency as the head’s components will match the output.

Consider the purpose

A Ford engine can go for street or off-road applications, or even drag and other uses. You know what you need, and let your purpose guide your choice of a cylinder head to pick.

Verily, you will achieve your goal if you consider choosing the best ford 302 heads.

Consider the seller’s reputation

After reading several reviews from Ford car owners, it is safe to conclude that you buy from matters! Don’t take this factor lightly.

A reputable replacement heads dealer is as crucial as all other factors aforementioned. Therefore, if you desire the best small block ford heads, you must do your due diligence!

Crucial FAQs About theBest Cylinder Heads for Ford 302

What is a cylinder head?

The part located on top of your engine block is the cylinder head. It is a protective component covering the cylinder and makes up the combustion chamber.

Engines air and fuel to mix for combustion; the cylinder head makes it happen. A cylinder head is sealed to the body of the engine by the top gasket. 

What is a cylinder head used for?

There are many cylinders in a vehicle’s engine, and the top part is referred to as the cylinder head.

Inside, the cylinder head contains several components, including valves, lifters, springs, and the main combustion chamber.

Controlling the Inflow and Outflow of air, where gas mixes with air for combustion, is the role of a cylinder head.

Essentially, the cylinder head closes the combustion chamber to create the correct ignition to power the engine. In a diesel engine, one of the functions of a cylinder head is to cool the engine by circulating coolant.

What are the common symptoms of problems a cylinder head has?

There are signs to detect possible cylinder head problems. A few are listed below:

  • Overheating: A common symptom of cylinder fault in a diesel engine is high temperature. As the cylinder head comes under pressure, the combustion chamber’s components overheat because the problem hindered coolant passage. If you notice overheating, ensure that the radiator has sufficient water and is serviceable to reduce overheating.
  • Poor engine performance: When your engine misbehaves and wouldn’t perform to expectation, it’s likely a cylinder head problem. There are several culprits to this, but usually, it could be due to a cracking or breaking head. Noticeable symptoms will include the vehicle not moving accordingly or frequent restart.
  • Oil leaks: Another sign is your engine will start to leak oil due to a cracked cylinder. You may or may not see the leaking oil immediately. However, you will notice an oil shortage, and the oil indicator will likely display.
  • Coolant level drops: There will be a leak if the engine coolant level drops, and you will notice this on the top cylinder. Of course, one of the causes of leakage is a cracked cylinder. A cylinder crack may be due to extended and unattended overheating due to inadequate coolant or the lack of it.
  • Smoke: Once a vehicle engine begins to wear, it shows with smoke from the exhaust. Likewise, a cracked cylinder head could cause a vehicle engine to smoke. What differentiates smoke caused by cylinder problems is the severity. When you notice this, contact an experienced mechanic to get it fixed immediately.

How you can replace damaged components of a cylinder

You can replace any damaged component of a cylinder head. But first, you should determine the problem and the cause before effecting a replacement. As soon as you pinpoint the issue, contact a Ford engine expert to resolve the issue.

What causes cylinder head failure?

Overheating is the common culprit why cylinder heads fail. You have to understand common causes of overheating and avoid it where you can.

An engine will overheat if there is coolant loss or restricted flow, or head gasket collapse. You will avoid unnecessary expenses if you are observant and maintain your vehicle regularly.

How does a cylinder head work?

A cylinder head helps a vehicle to perform at optimum potential. Ideally, it connects the intake and exhaust ports for sufficient air and fuel mix to facilitate combustion.

The head receives air through the intake manifold and ignites combustion, which goes through the exhaust port.

Essentially, the intake and exhaust valves open and close on a timely basis for the engine to run optimally.

What materials are used for making cylinder heads?

Cylinder heads come in either aluminum or iron cast. Though producing cast aluminum is quite costly, the advantage in weight and heat saving make them a better option.

What are the types of cylinder heads available?

There are three classifications of cylinder heads categorized according to valves and port layout. Thus, you will come across Loop-flow, Offset cross-flow, or in-line cross-flow type of cylinder heads.

What component of a cylinder head is most important?

A cylinder head’s main job is to sit on top of the engine to close the combustion chamber. Hence, the top of your engine is called the cylinder head, while the engine block is lower.

Cylinder parts close the combustion chamber for optimal performance. Note that any failure to perform this service renders the head useless.

How can I identify a Ford cylinder head?

There are three locations that your Ford Cylinder had a code number is written. You will need to remove the valve cover to locate the number as it’s written under the valve cover.

A number is also at the bottom of the cylinder. Lastly, the lip of the valve cover bears the third number on its side.

Final Words

By finding the best Cylinder Heads for Ford 302, you can return your ford to its rightful place on the street.

Your success at choosing and installing the best small block ford heads for your vehicle is a goal you cannot afford to miss.

If you need more power and drive efficiency, go for the best 302 heads for your ford truck.

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