5 Best Cylinder Heads For Ford 302 (Detailed Buying Guide & Review In 2022)

Using the right cylinder head is the easiest way to increase efficiency and performance for the Ford 302 engine. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But, unfortunately, choosing the right cylinder head for your engine is not as simple as you might believe. That is the reason why you should not skip this article.

So let’s take a look at the five best cylinder heads for Ford 302, as demonstrated in the following sections

Buying Guide: What To Consider When Choosing A Cylinder Head For Ford 302

Currently, there are many cylinder heads available in the market. Therefore, there is always a chance of choosing the wrong cylinder head for your vehicle. To avoid such situations, you must check some basic features first to choose the most suitable one for your car.

1. Materials

In most cases, cold cylinder heads are made of either aluminum or iron

Iron heads are cheaper than aluminum ones; So they are a good choice for those who want to save a budget. Meanwhile, aluminum-based heads are easier to find, access, and buy. In general, the user’s budget affects this choice.

On the other hand, the material also dramatically affects the cylinder head’s performance.

Scientifically, aluminum handles heat better than iron so that aluminum models can generate more power output thanks to their combustion chambers. However, aluminum-based heads are considered less durable than iron heads.

To better understand the weight difference between the aluminum and iron heads, watch the video.

2. Compatibility

You can’t just walk into the auto parts store to randomly buy cylinder heads and install them in your engine. Therefore, it is best to check whether the selected cylinder bolts are compatible with your engine.

If you are inexperienced, you can ask the help from a seller or anyone with experience in this field.

3. Application

It is also essential to determine the main application you want your car engine to use.  Which one do you prefer? Circle track, road racing, or street driving? Find the answers to those questions yourself.

4. Combustion Chamber Size

You must choose the right sized combustion chamber to ensure your engine’s optimum efficiency. Remember to match engine components like head gasket, ring location, stroke, bore, and deck clearance.

5 Intake / Exhaust Port Volumes

Choosing the big-sized intake port volumes is not always best for your vehicle; sometimes, your engine works best with the small ones. It is best to compare the stock exhaust port volume and the valve size and then choose the most suitable one.

6. Maximum Valve Lift

It is one of the essential factors that can improve the quality of your engine performance. Maximum valve lift is indicated in inches; it can also be replaced by the term “coil bind.”

In addition, you need to avoid damaging the engine due to valves hitting the engine.

7. Valve Spring Diameter

Springs, which are located around the valve, play an essential role in the engine’s operation. Hence, it is essential to pay attention to the difference in their diameter.

Large springs certainly look more reliable; however, they are not suitable for small blocks. In addition, make sure they do not touch each other (or be too close) during the performance.

8. Price

The price of cylinder heads depends on many factors, such as brand, material, and model. 

The quality of the cylinder head is vital for a safer ride. However, as a rule, you get what you pay for; High-quality cylinder heads are often expensive. Therefore, if you want your car to perform better and last longer, try to buy the best model possible that fits your budget.

9. Warranty

Warranty is an element you will not want to miss when buying any product. You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on a cylinder head that could fail after just a week, would you?

Thus, it is wise to buy a product that comes with a good warranty. Fortunately, most cylinder heads come with a warranty.

Read more: Best Heads For 6.0 LS

Best Cylinder Heads For Ford 302: Top 5 Models Of 2022

Speedmaster PCE281.2049 – Best Overall

Via Amazon.com

Main features

  • Made of high-quality aluminum for lightweight and better performance
  • Perfect for a wide range of displacement applications
  • Packed with a 210cc intake runner and a 62cc combustion chamber
  • Enhance engine performance and maintain compression
  • An intake valve of 2,020 inches diameter and an exhaust 1,600 inches diameter included
  • Enhance airflow

Speedmaster is one of the leading companies in the field of aftermarket automotive components. They have produced many high-quality auto components to enhance the driving experience of car enthusiasts worldwide; The Speedmaster PCE281.2049 cylinder head is one of them.

The aluminum head became stand out thanks to its lightweight and better performance. So using this aluminum head is one of the easiest ways to upgrade the Ford engine.

This Speedmaster as-cast cylinder head is perfect for a wide range of displacement applications. These days, large displacement engines are becoming more and more popular. So, as a rule, the need for more airflow is increasing day by day. That is the reason why these cylinder heads are getting more and more popular.

This head comes with a 210cc intake runner and a 62cc combustion chamber to enhance engine performance and maintain compression. Also, this head has an intake valve of 2,020 inches diameter and an exhaust of 1,600 inches diameter, which enhances airflow.

GT40p 5.0l 4 Bar Cylinder Head Remanufactured Cylinder Head – Best For Budget

Via Amazon.com

Main features

  • New valve seats installed as needed
  • New valve stem seals installed on all heads 
  • All valve guides can be replaced if needed
  • All necessary parts are cleaned and inspected
  • JJ Original Equipment 90-day Remanufactured Cylinder Head Warranty

There is no denying that these remanufactured cylinder heads are the cheapest solution for improved street performance.

Most remanufactured cylinder heads are very cheap because they are remanufactured with still usable parts. In addition, some heads have been repaired or welded. 

This is a set of rebuilt GT40P 5.0L 4 bar cylinder head assembly. All necessary parts were cleaned and tested to meet AERA specifications. Besides, all valve guides can be replaced with new ones if needed, and more.

In general, these remanufactured cylinder heads will go through all the steps that it is supposed to be in factories. This process includes casting, machining, cleaning, installation of new parts, and testing.

Hence, if you want an economical solution to improve engine performance, this head is the way to go. 

Speedmaster PCE281.2047 Cast Aluminum Cylinder Head – Best For Improving Horsepower

Via Amazon.com

Main features

  • Made from aluminum for lightweight
  • Enhances the engine’s overall performance
  • Absolute beauty in boosting the vehicle’s performance
  • Increased 400-700 horsepower
  • It consists of 62cc combustion chambers and 190cc intake runners
  • The combustion chambers are CNC machined

As we know, aluminum heads have become quite popular as they come with many great features; The Speedmaster PCE281.2047 cast aluminum cylinder head is no exception.

This Speedmaster head is made from aluminum, so it is very light. As a result, it enhances the engine’s overall performance and does not slow down the car with any unnecessary load.

It is true to say that the Speedmaster PCE281.2047 is the best quality aluminum head for racing applications. It is an absolute beauty in boosting the vehicle’s performance, evidenced by its ability to increase 400-700 horsepower.

It consists of 62cc combustion chambers and 190cc intake runners. Furthermore, the combustion chambers are CNC machined, which can improve the flow.

In general, if you want to increase engine performance while also increasing horsepower and torque, the Speedmaster pce281.2047 is the most likely choice.

Speedmaster PCE281.2048 – Best For Small Block Ford Models

Via Amazon.com

Main features

  • Best for small block Ford models and the latest EFI models
  • Made from high-quality aluminum for lightweight and long-lasting durability
  • Packed with a 62cc chamber volume combustion, a 190cc intake runner, and a 2.020 inches exhaust valve diameter 
  • Optimize maximum intake of air as well as gas exhaust
  • Improved engine’s horsepower
  • The combustion chamber, intake ports, and exhaust chambers are CNC-machined

The Speedmaster PCE281.2048 is very useful for small block Ford models and the latest EFI models. This cylinder head is packed with the most advanced features; So it is an economical solution to unlocking the engine’s hidden power.

The best thing about this Speedmaster head is its reasonable price, lightweight, and excellent quality performance. It is even the best product in its price range.

Weighing at ‎72 pounds, this fantastic head is made to be very sturdy. It is made from high-quality aluminum for lightweight and long-lasting durability. Moreover, the cylinder heads are already assembled with a natural finish; Hence, you do not have to spend much time organizing them.

The Speedmaster PCE281.2048 boasts a 62cc chamber volume combustion, a 190cc intake runner, and a 2.020 inches exhaust valve diameter which optimizes maximum intake of air as well as gas exhaust.

So if you want a reliable aluminum head without spending a lot of money, consider the Speedmaster PCE281.2048. This amazing head will give you significant improvements in torque and improve the overall performance of the engine.

Speedmaster PCE 435.1066 – Best Performance

Via Amazon.com

Main features

  • Offers 210 cc of intake runner port with 62 cc of the combustion chamber
  • Creates wonderful airflow
  • It has a long life expectancy
  • Made of sturdy aluminum 
  • The build quality is excellent
  • Improve the performance of the engine
  • Improves performance and horsepower of engines

Although the Speedmaster PCE435.1066 is last on this list, it is not far behind the above-mentioned models. Using this cylinder head is one of the simplest ways to increase the performance of your engine. In fact, this head is not cheap; It is even the most expensive on our list. However, it is still famous for many good reasons.

This unique cylinder head is made of highly reliable aluminum to withstand extreme temperatures while maintaining excellent performance.

The Speedmaster PCE435.1025 gives you 210 cc of intake runner port with 62 cc of the combustion chamber. All those factors allow you to create excellent airflow and improve fuel consumption. Moreover, it also gives a significant enhancement to the engine’s performance and adds horsepower.

To sum up, this cylinder head is a reliable aluminum model. It is made of high-quality aluminum for unparalleled durability. In addition, it provides excellent performance for your engine by significantly increasing airflow. It is true to say that this model delivers fantastic results for the money.

Read more: Best Heads For 5.3 LS

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the pros & cons of iron and aluminum heads?

Iron (Cast  Iron) Cylinder Heads


  • Provide good thermal efficiency
  • Affordable rate
  • Highly durable
  • Heats up fast
  • Not expand with heat


  • Heavy

Aluminum Cylinder Heads


  • Lightweight
  • Heats up at a faster rate
  • Easy to weld
  • Easy to repair
  • Great performance


  • Lower thermal efficiency
  • Fairly expensive

2. Are rebuilt cylinder heads the same as remanufactured cylinder heads?

The short answer is no.

The rebuilt cylinder head is when a mechanic replaces what’s actually broken or out of spec components. Parts that are often replaced are injector sleeves, valves, guides, springs, and more. If the cylinder head is cracked, it will be rebuilt by welding the cracks. So it is the option that costs the least.

For the remanufactured cylinder head, the mechanic will replace every component. This remanufacturing process includes casting, machining, cleaning, installation of new parts, and testing. Therefore, remanufactured cylinder heads usually cost more than the rebuilt cylinder heads.

In general, both are cost-effective options.

3. Can a damaged cylinder head be repaired?

Repairing a cracked cylinder head yourself always comes with some potential risks. However, if you do this process correctly, you will save a lot of money.

Read more: Best LS1 Heads

Bottom Lines

So our article has mentioned the five best cylinder heads for Ford 302. It is wise to choose one based on your requirement and budget. Then, let’s grab the opportunity and get the right cylinder head for your engine. Hopefully, you will have a great driving experience.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: