Will It Run and Drive? Lawn Mower Carburetor on a Ford 302 V8 Engine


Luke Finley, ThunderHead289 on YouTube, is clearly fascinated with the science behind things and arguably could be described as an automotive technical geek. He of course likes fast and loud but is often more interested in what gets you there.

In this video, Luke steps way off the beaten path and attempts to adapt a float bowl-style lawn mower carburetor to the 302 V8 in his 1974 Ford Maverick with a four-speed gearbox. With gas prices what they are, his interested mind wants to know if this is practical, or even possible.

To make this work, Luke designed a lawnmower to 4 barrel square bore adapter designed with Fusion 360 and 3D printed over the course of 34 hours with PETG filament, a fuel-friendly plastic. He’s also 3D printed an air filter housing that works around Ford’s front-mounted distributor.

Will it RUN? Lawn Mower Carb VS Ford 302

He clearly states that “this should not work, on paper”, will his determination to make it work pay off…

Will it DRIVE? Lawn Mower Carb VS Ford 302

So, it idles, runs, and revs well and Luke now tries to drive his 302-powered Maverick fed by the lawnmower carburetor in place of the typical 390 4 barrel Holley.

He explains some of the theories behind why this may or may not work when trying to drive this configuration on the road.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t do it myself…”

Luke Finley, ThunderHead289

Many viewers have commented that they believe this setup will be far too lean to run and drive practically, while Luke believes it will actually be rich, and clearly demonstrates why.

He also describes adjustments made to the ignition timing specifically for a rich scenario. This is very interesting stuff…

MPG Testing in a Lawnmower Fed Ford 302 V8 Engine

So, what kind of fuel mileage is this setup going to achieve? Luke points out that he did this initially for the absurdity, not necessarily the practicality of it, but ironically, it’s turned out to be pretty darn practical! In this video, Kuke hits the road in his lawnmower carb-fed ’74 Maverick to see just what type of fuel economy can be achieved…