200 inline 6 vs. V8 in Ford Falcon


Active member
I just bought a 68 Ford Falcon. I am doing some body work on it right now, but when it comes to the engine, I thought i would jerk it, and put in a Ford 302 or 351. then i came across this site. Why should i build my 200, versus building a V8?

What are the pros and cons of each.

Im just a newbie, so fill me in.

I want to have a street car that i can take to the drag strip and get a decent time.
biggest factor is $$ and finding all of the necessary parts. You do not just jerk out a 200 and put in a V8 and go.


You wind up replacing most of the front suspension and brakes and in the end it is usually cheaper to buy a V8 car.

And read many of the posts and ask questions.

You can build the inline to about 150-170 crank horespower and the car is about 200 lbs lighter. With the right parts and gearing it can be made to run as good as a stock V8 car, but it wont be as fast as a built up V8 without application of more money and custom parts like a Australian or Argentinian Inline six head to overcome the log heads breathing problems.

Then there are the I6 mages like Mustang Geezer who have a I6 that would shock many a V8 owner.
The six cylinder is almost a state of mind, I'd say. Most on these forums would probably agree (from what I've read). There's a certain amount of pride these guys feel when they pop the hood & theres a hopped up six and everyone gawks. I personally like the idea of a unique car. Surf the Falcon sites & you'll see mostly V8 powered hot rods (not counting the "restoration" crowd). The bottom line is build what you want & be happy with it. Theres alot of headaches when you swap to a V8, but if you must have the raw power of "the dark side" then go for it! But I guarantee that if you build a 6 there will be a crowd when you pop the hood. If you need any advice on how to do it, you've found the right place. Also, check out Dennis & Dave's "Falcon 6 Performance Handbook"- its full of great info, too. The site is-- falconperformance.sundog.net Good luck.
I have a 65 currently with a 302 out of an 83 mustang (previous owner). admitedly there are differences between our cars, but I'll let you know what I've discovered.

The 302 is heavy, this not only affects your take offs but your handling too. With a v8 my car is just a fat cow. Also (this probably isn't as big a prob for you) room under the hood is non existant. I have to use special tool and make "adjustments" to the car to just get to the spark plugs. Lets also not forget the gas milage advantages...

However, the 302 has power, and can make lots more, if all you want to do is go straight, and not use it as a daily driver, the i6 can't compete. I was looking at rebuilding the 302 and easy 300HP plans. I had to restain myself to 300 cause its a daily driver.

And to add to your confusion... don't forget the 2.3turbo. Its a 4 cylinder, but its even lighter than the 6 and can also make 300HP, not to mention the even better gas milage.
the 2.3L turbo is not a light engine...weights in around the same as the 200 BUT has a better volumetric efficency and more aftermarket. they can be made to make sick power and be completely streetable and have good manners. I had a 84 TC that was running low 14's and still got 25 mpg. the 2.3turbo is cheap to hop up but $$$$ to rebuild (forged pi$ton$) the only problem is sticking it in the car. you can get a cable clutch conversion from several venders then a t5 crossmember and that leaves you with just getting motor mounts to fit it. there is a guy a couple hours away from me that builds custom log manifolds for them for around $200 and he could move the turbo forward or back for you. the real gain is that almost all of the weight from it is closer to the firewall yeilding a better weight balance and a t5 will bolt in easy. a front sump oilpan can be found off a pinto or mustang II or courier pickup. the hto setup would prob be to find a pinto motor and just swap the turbo pistons/rods into it and run the oil return into the pan (pintos had the same chamber as the turbo cars with larger intake ports)

I just put a 302 into my 65 Mustang. The only reason i did this is because the 6 had blown up. But trust me, in the end, it would have been cheaper and eaiser to fix the 6. Not to mention that I still don't have to car running because I have to now modify the wiring to fit the electronic ingition. And looking back at it, i would have kept the 6. If I was to get another car, I would get it how I want it. 6 or 8, both have there advantages, but don't throw yourself into anything that isn't worth it. Cause believe me, it isn't worth it.