Ford 302 Boss Crate Engine: Features, Reliability, and General Use | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • The Ford Boss 302 engine is a powerful and iconic engine with a rich history and impressive reliability.
  • It beats the 2011 Mustang GT Coyote engine by an additional 32 horsepower and produces a whopping 444 horsepower.
  • The engine was built on the 5.0 Coyote engine block and features upgrades such as CNC heads, a high-flow intake manifold, and a forged steel crankshaft for increased durability.

After a difficult racing season in 1968, the brilliant minds of Ford were determined to bounce back stronger than ever. Their solution was the 302 engine, which changed the rules of the game and played a significant role in restoring Ford’s dominance on the race tracks. This compact and lightweight engine not only improved performance and weight distribution, but also improved handling, allowing Ford to regain its competitive edge.

Fast forward to 2012 and the 302 engine lives on in the beloved Boss 302 Mustang. But, of course, then not everyone could get their hands on the famous race car of factory production. As such, Ford Racing offered the Boss 302 5.0L engine as a stand-alone product for those wishing to use it in their project car. And, you guessed it, it’s been a hit ever since. Below, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about the 302 Ford crate engine, including its specifications, reliability, and general use.


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Production of the Ford Boss 302 Crate engine was small

In 2011, Ford created quite a stir when it introduced the much-anticipated Boss 302 engine.At $11,999, it was considered a worthy investment for those looking to associate with its rich heritage, power and performance. however, the engine was eventually discontinued in 2015as forum member Vintage Mustang mentioned.

What made the Boss 302 engine so special was its excellent performance. Its staggering 444 horsepower meant that the standalone engine beat the 2011 Mustang GT Coyote’s engine by an additional 32 horsepower.

Here’s how the Ford Boss 302 Crate engine compares to the 2011 Mustang GT engine:

Ford Boss 302 Crate Engine Vs. 2011 Ford Mustang Coyote Engine Comparison

Ford Boss 302 Crate engine

2011 Ford Mustang engine


444 hp

412 hp

A turning point

380 lb-ft

390 lb-ft

Total number of valves



Cam type

Double Overhead Cam (DOHC)

Double Overhead Cam (DOHC)

The price is like new


$6,999 USD

Features of the Ford 302 Boss Crate engine

2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Engine Compartment
Mecum Auctions


Ford Motor Company




90° V8


5.0 liters (302 cid)


92.2 mm (3.63 in)

A stroke

92.7 mm (3.65 in)

Compression ratio



Without supercharging

Cylinder head material

High strength aluminum alloy

Cylinder block material

Light aluminum

Firing order


valve mechanism

Double overhead camshaft (DOHC) with independent variable valve timing (Ti-VCT), 32 valves – 4 valves per cylinder

Fuel type

Premium unleaded gasoline with an octane number of 91+

Engine weight

444 pounds


444 hp

A turning point

380 lb-ft

The Ford Boss 302 Crate engine was built on a 5.0 Coyote engine block

Like the stock 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine, the Ford Boss 302 crate engine was built on the 5.0 Coyote modular engine block. However, it differs from the standard Coyote engine in several ways. One such difference is the use of CNC ported heads made from 356 aluminum for increased airflow and strength. It also includes a higher-lift exhaust camshaft profile, along with a forged steel crankshaft, forged aluminum pistons and upgraded forged connecting rods for increased durability.

The Boss 302 crate engine also features a high-flow intake manifold borrowed from the 302R race car to feed more air into the combustion chamber. Additionally, Ford engineers removed the reciprocating cooling nozzles that are standard on the standard 5.0 Coyote.

In addition to these upgrades, the 302 engine comes with an 80mm drive-by-wire single-hole throttle body, sodium-filled exhaust valves, and cross-bolt main bearing caps with thick main bearing baffles for added bottom-end strength. Thanks to these improvements, the Ford Boss 302 Crate engine produces a whopping 444 hp, which is about 8 percent more than the stock 5.0 Coyote 412 engine. However, it is a bit behind in torque compared to 2011 Mustang GT enginedelivering 380 lb-ft versus the standard 5.0’s 390 lb-ft.

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Ford 302 Boss Crate Engine Reliability

2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Engine Compartment
Mecum Auctions

There is not much information regarding the reliability of the Ford 302 Boss crate engine. However, since this is effectively the same engine under the hood of the 2012-2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, we can turn to that model to get an idea of ​​what to expect. According to one Carsurvey user, they had no problems with their 2013 Boss 302 at the time of review, giving it a perfect 10 out of 10 for reliability. The only concern was with the MT82 transmission, which Reddit users also agree that this can be a bit problematic. In fact, one Reddit commenter even claimed that the Roadrunner 5.0 engine (aka the Boss 302 engine) is more powerful than the 1st generation Coyote engine.

Review date


Site overview

Reliability assessment

May 1, 2021

2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302



on Edmunds, commenters generally expressed satisfaction with the Ford Mustang Boss 302. One owner even said, “I think this car will last hundreds of thousands of miles with proper maintenance,” underscoring its impressive reliability. However, the user also notes that potential buyers should be aware of costs such as oil changes, tires and higher gas bills.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ford 302 Boss Crate Engine

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine compartment
Mecum Auctions


  • Strong performance
  • A rich heritage
  • Impressive reliability
  • Strong after sales support


  • Gas guzzler
  • Expensive service

A high-performance machine that can fit in your pocket

Like any engine, the Ford Boss 302 crate engine has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it’s a powerful and iconic heritage engine that evokes the spirit of classic muscle cars. The Boss 302 also has strong aftermarket support as its high performance capabilities and rich history make it a favorite among car enthusiasts who want to be associated with such a storied heritage. Not to mention that users have praised its extreme reliability.

However, being a specialized powerplant, the Ford Boss 302 engine can hurt the finances, as noted by a Ford Boss Mustang owner on Edmunds. The engine has a tendency to absorb gas, which can lead to increased fuel consumption over time. In addition, maintenance costs can be higher due to the need for special parts, regular maintenance and the need for premium fuel.


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Application of the Ford 302 Boss Crate engine

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine compartment
Mecum Auctions

The Ford Boss 302 Crate engine was primarily designed as a powerful engine for custom or restoration projects where a combination of performance, power and a touch of nostalgia is a priority. Buyers could purchase it as a stand-alone engine for use in a variety of high-performance applications such as hot rods, custom cars, and race cars.

Enthusiasts and builders can choose to install a Boss 302 crate engine in a variety of vehicles to improve vehicle performance or to pay tribute to the famous Boss 302 heritage.

  • Custom projects
  • Restoration of classic cars
  • Racing apps
  • Rally cars

Sources: Ford, Self-survey, Edmunds, Reddit, Vintage Mustang Forum

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