If you are building up a Fox Body Mustang, chances are that you’ve heard of the Ford Racing cams (E303, B303, ETC.), commonly referred to as the “alphabet cams”. But, which cam is best for your application?
Before I tell you about the alphabet cams, know these cams were all designed over 20 years ago, and designed for the masses. They are also known for poor quality control and are lacking in power output compared to modern aftermarket cams. Modern age technology has allowed companies like Anderson Motorsports to develop cams strictly using computers to figure out what performs and what doesn’t.
With that said, Alphabet cams are still good cams, especially if you’re on a budget.
The E303 camshaft is the mildest of the Ford racing cams as you might see from the specifications. It’s known for its excellent street ability and decent track performance. I ran the E303 cam in my Fox Body for a very long time and loved it. It makes a ton of torque down low which makes it very street friendly, but it still makes decent top end power.
The E303 cam also has that lopey idle that we all know and love. If you plan on using your Fox Body for street use I would strongly recommend this camshaft.
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The B303 camshaft is a nice step up from the E303 cam. It’s still street friendly but moves the peak power up a little higher. I’ve helped build a couple Fox Body Mustangs with the B303 cam and it always surprises me. It’s not as street friendly as the E303, but it makes more peak horsepower. If you plan on using your Fox Body on the street and track, we would definitely recommend the B303 cam.
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We loosely refer the F303 camshaft to as the “boost” cam. This is because it makes amazing power under boost, especially compared to the other “303” cams. We think it makes good power because it’s a happy medium between a high lift and long duration. The F303 cam is a decent naturally aspirated cam and some truck guys even love it, however, it performs best under boost. We don’t have hands-on experience with the F303 cam, but if you plan on boosting your Fox Body, this camshaft is for you.
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The X303 camshaft is basically a dedicated track cam. It has less duration than the F303 cam, but it has the most lift out of all the alphabet cams. This cam makes most of its power way up high and is not very street friendly. You may also need to use different pistons because the X303 has so much valve lift. This cam won’t perform all that well without a set of high flowing aluminum heads. I wouldn’t recommend running this cam unless your Fox Body is strictly a drag car and nothing else.
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Last but not least is the Z303 camshaft. This cam is a lot like the X303, but even more extreme. This came has a ridiculous 552 intake and exhaust lift. You will definitely need to notch your stock pistons or buy aftermarket pistons that can even clear that much lift. Aftermarket heads are strongly recommended with this cam, otherwise, you’re just wasting your money. If you need the best drag racing cam possible, then the Z303 cam is for you.
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The E303 is an awesome street cam, making power down low. The B303 is a good motorsports cam, making power in the middle. The F303 is an awesome cam for sub-600hp forced induction engines. The X303 and Z303 are a great drag strip cam, making lots of power up high. The reason these cams are popular is that they’re dirt cheap, ranging from $100-200, and make decent power especially when paired up with a set of high flowing aluminum cylinder heads.
However, we recommend spending the extra money and getting a modern camshaft that has a dual-plane lobe design. Or better yet, a custom-made cam to match your driving needs and cylinder head flow.