by Kenneth V. Oster
Ford Thunderbird image by George Wada from Fotolia.com
The 352-cubic-inch V8 engine was used in various Ford Motor Company models in 1960. The engine came in three different horsepower configurations designed to meet the needs of a wide range of consumers. The 352 engine was used from 1958 to 1967 in vehicles ranging from police interceptors to family cars to pickup trucks. The 352’s 10-year production was the result of its strength and durability.
The 1960 two-cylinder 352 carburettor engine achieves 220 horsepower at 4,300 revolutions per minute (RPM). The torque rating for the 220 horsepower motor is 336 foot-pounds. at 2,600 RPM. The second engine configuration has a four-barrel carburetor, with 300 horsepower at 4,600 RPM. The torque rating for the 300 horsepower engine is 381 foot-pounds. at 2,800 RPM. The third engine configuration, used in police interceptor applications, is rated at 360 horsepower at 4600 RPM. The 220-horsepower version of the engine was installed in full-size family cars and trucks. 300 and 360 horsepower engines were installed on the Thunderbirds and were available as an option on the Galaxie.
The Ford 352 is considered a big block engine. The bore and stroke are 4.0 by 3.5 inches. The compression ratio of the 220 horsepower engine is 8.9: 1. The compression ratio is a measure of how small of an area the piston compresses the air-fuel mixture before firing the spark plug. The compression ratio of the 300 horsepower engine is 9.6: 1 and the compression ratio of the 360 horsepower engine is 10: 1. Estimated operating oil pressure is 43 to 54 pounds. . The first versions of the engine had mechanical lifters. In response to consumer demands to avoid constantly adjusting the mechanical lifters, Ford redesigned the engine heads to facilitate the use of hydraulic lifters.
The firing order for the 352 V8 engine is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. Firing order is the sequence the ignition system uses to ignite each cylinder. The ignition timing for a vehicle with a standard transmission is five degrees before top dead center, and for a vehicle with an automatic transmission it is eight degrees before top dead center. Engines produced in the 1960s were made long before electronic ignition, so it is necessary to set the points on the distributor. The ignition point gap should be set to .015, and the dwell angle should be set between 26 and 28. Finally, the spark plug gap should be set to .034. Those rebuilding a 352 engine for high performance purposes will have custom tuning specifications.