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Swap in Ford Racing’s 306 CID Crate Engine with help from CJ’s!

Swap in Ford Racing’s 306 CID Crate Engine with help from CJ’s!

A few weeks ago, Bill and the CJ team worked on our biggest install video to date: An engine swap!

If you're familiar with our YouTube videos already, you might recognize the 1967 convertible, owned by CJ's Doug Geyer. Doug decided that since his engine had over 100,000 miles on it, it was time to do an engine swap. For his new engine, Doug chose a “Ready to Run” 340 Horsepower 306 Cubic Inch Crate Engine from Ford Racing.

This engine is the one of the newest and most popular crate engines in the Ford Racing lineup, so it’s no wonder Doug and the CJ team were excited to install this in his ’67 convertible. Featuring a Holley carburetor, Edelbrock intake, MSD distributor, and even spark plug wires, this engine’s “Ready to Run” name means just that. This engine is the perfect alternative to avoiding a costly and timely rebuild of your original engine and comes assembled with most of the necessary parts for a full engine swap.

306 CID EngineAnd with this engine, you can be assured you’re getting top quality. It features an OEM precision remanufactured block, cast iron remanufactured crankshaft and steel connecting rods, forged pistons and Aluminum Ford Racing "X" cylinder heads.

While the engine ships “Ready to Run” and it’s the same size as the original 289 CID engine, there are some modifications Bill will need to perform for it to fit correctly in Doug’s Mustang. This includes adding the front accessories and a front sump oil pan. Furthermore, our install project requires a fuel line adaptor, MSD ignition box, and a 50 oz. flywheel.

The following items may need to be modified for proper installation:
- The timing chain cover will work with most standard rotation water pumps.
- The fuel pump eccentric, M6287B302, may need installed, which allows use of a mechanical fuel pump.

To Doug’s ’67 convertible, several upgrades were made, which you might want to consider since the engine bay is empty during the swap, giving you the perfect opportunity. We’ve upgraded to a Champion aluminum radiator, Flex-a-lite fan, a new thermostat housing and thermostat, a high-flow water pump, new motor mounts, and blue valve covers from Ford Racing.

Removing the Original Engine

The first step for installation is to take out the original engine. Bill begins this by disconnecting the battery, draining all of the fluids in the cooling system, engine, and transmission. Then, you will likely need to remove the transmission and drive shaft, which will make it much easier to remove the engine.

Engine Install Tech Tip: An install project this size will require you to remove a lot of hardware. Use zip lock bags and label them as you take your engine bay apart to keep everything in order.

Now, it’s time for the original engine to go. Disconnect the starter cable, fuel line hose, lower radiator hose and the bolts that hold the engine to its mounts. 

Then, you’ll want to lower your Mustang back to the ground to begin disassembling the engine from the top of the engine bay. At this point, you’ll remove the radiator, Monte Carlo bar, fan and fan spacer (for more room to pull the engine out), and the two heater hoses. Then, disconnect the wiring for the electric choke, oil sender, and temp sensor, and finish by removing the throttle spring and disconnecting the throttle linkage.

Tech Tip: You might be able to remove the original engine with the bellhousing still attached to it, if you plan on keeping your original bellhousing for your new engine. This is much easier than trying to detach and remove the bellhousing separately, but it will depend on your ability to clear the headers.

If you’ll be using a lift plate to take out the engine, you will need to remove the carburetor, since the lift plate will bolt to the engine where the carburetor is located. To do this, remove the fuel line and then the four retaining buts that hold the carburetor to the intake manifold.

Engine Install

Tech Tip: While it isn’t necessary to remove the hood from your Mustang, doing so will give you much more room to work with during your install project.

Assembling the New Engine

Once you have the old engine out of your Mustang, there are a few things you might want to transfer to your new Ford Racing Motor.

Tech Tip: Put the old engine on an old tire… It makes a great “bench” for this sort of engine work.

New EngineThe exact parts you’ll want to relocate to your new engine will depend on what is still in good condition versus what you’d like to replace. Bill decides to transfer the alternator, bellhousing, clutch, and headers. To dress up our engine a bit, Bill swaps the valve covers included with the new engine out for Ford Racing blue ones, which he adds to the engine first.

Then, he installs the rest of the engine accessories we’ll need for our ’67, including a new high-flow water pump, alternator, crank and water pump pulleys, a mechanical fuel pump, and a thermostat and thermostat housing. After this, a new oil pressure sensor and extension is added to our new engine, along with a new oil pan.

Tech Tip: Even though our Ford Racing engine comes with a brand new oil pan gasket, Bill decides to replace that gasket with the one from the new oil pan that will be going in the convertible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with a big install project like an engine swap.

After the new engine is all assembled with all of the necessary parts, you’re ready to install the headers and then lower it into the now-empty engine bay.

Putting the 306 CID Engine into Your Mustang

First and foremost, you’ll want to install the lift plate onto your new engine and get it off of the ground. At this point, you’ll want to pause before lowering it into your Mustang, as it’s now easier to install a few more parts while the engine is still out of the car. Bill uses this opportunity to install the flywheel, clutch, bellhousing, and starter before moving forward.

Tech Tip: For installing the new engine, you might want to get some help from a friend or family member, as lowering and lining it up correctly is often difficult.

Engine Install

Once you have your new engine lowered and resting securing on the motor mounts, work on getting the engine to line up with the bolts for the mount. Secure the bolts and then put the transmission back into the car, followed by the crossmember and drive shaft. Then, reconnect the speedometer cable and plug in the backup lights.

After this, you’ll work on the cooling system, installing the temp sensor and heater hose elbow onto the intakes. Then, since the lift plate isn’t necessary anymore, you can remove that and reinstall the carburetor.

Next, Bill installs our new Champion aluminum radiator, which bolts right to the stock mount, followed by the new water pump pulley, new fan, belt and upper radiator hose.

This will roughly finish up your work on the cooling system, at which point you’ll move on to all of the wiring. This process might be a bit confusing to follow, so make sure to pay attention to each step and watch as Bill demonstrates where each of the wires need to be either connected or reconnected. As mentioned previously, Bill added an MSD ignition box, which is required for the included MSD distributor to work. He also adds an MSD blaster coil, which works well with our new ignition.

After the wiring and cooling system pieces are connected, you’ll next tackle the fuel system by hooking up the fuel hoses, setting the timing, and priming the oiling system.

Engine InstallTech Tip: The engine has already been run by Ford Racing so while no break in oil is necessary, use about 5 quarts of standard 10-40 oil in the engine when filling for the first time. After around 500 miles, you can change to synthetic or another type of oil.

Make sure to reinstall the distributor, which might require an extra helping hand, and then hook up the throttle rod. When this is complete, you’ll finish up the engine swap by reinstalling your exhaust, suspension, and putting fluid into the transmission and radiator.

Tech Tip: When starting your Mustang for the first time after installation is complete, you’ll need to crank the engine a few times. It will take some time to get fuel bank into the lines.

Power and Performance

While this might not be the easiest installation to perform, we're confident you'll love this engine in your Mustang. It not only looks and sounds great in Doug’s ’67 convertible, but it also runs great, which is a major improvement over the original engine.

Want Ford Racing’s 340 HP 306 Cubic Inch Crate Engine? Order it today at CJ Pony Parts, set aside a weekend for an install project, and you’ll have it powering your Mustang in no time!



Installed this motor in a 1965 Mustang coupe with a TKO600 transmission. Was very easy and the motor fired right up and sounded awesome. I have restomodded the car so alot of modifications to the car were made but the engine was one of the easier things to do.

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