While the 8.2-deck Windsor blocks used to be cheap and plentiful, their availability has started to wane. That fact led crate engine manufacturer BluePrint Engines to seek out new replacement blocks as the foundation of its line of 302-based crate engines. However, between a lack of availability from the company they were sourcing the blocks from, and a desire to control production more closely, BluePrint decided to just design and cast its own replacement block.
We designed this from the ground up for a roller cam setup with thicker webbing throughout,” says Daniel Gill, BluePrint’s Marketing Manager. “The more of the process we control, and the more parts we make, the less reliant we are on other companies for our products. It also lets us control QC to our exact specs.”
The Windsor blocks are cast for a 4.00-inch bore, but have enough meat in the cylinder walls for a 4.125-inch bore. When coupled with a 3.400-inch-stroke crankshaft, that nets you 363 cubic inches. However, don’t hold your breath waiting to purchase the blocks separately, as BluePrint Engines has no plans to do anything other than supply themselves for the time being. “[The new block] is in production right now, but will be filling all of our backlog stuff first and foremost,” says Gill.
Johnny McDevitt, BluePrint Engines’ Project Manager expands on that, saying, “The first couple thousand will be going into crate engines, and I’m not even sure if we’ll be selling the block separately. We might do a boost-ready long-block, like we did with the GM stuff, though.”
When asked about the new Windsor block’s strength, since the OEM block’s 500-horsepower limit — whether real or imagined — is still a concern among the Blue Oval loyal, McDevitt was hesitant to give out a firm rating, but was clear that BluePrint’s block is stronger than a factory piece. “We’ve built some test engines with them, and they are good to go. The casting itself is good to 800-900 horsepower, boosted, I would say,” McDevitt shared.
With the stout piece slated for use in all of the firm’s Ford crate engines, it’s nice to know that in addition to the 30-month, 50,000-mile warranty, the foundation of the engines can withstand some extra enthusiasm, whether it comes in the form of pressurized air or throttle in a bottle.