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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
I have a 66 coupe with a 1979 302 2bbl in it.
It was rebuilt 15 years ago but only has about 10k miles on it since. It runs great, gets 19 mpg and uses no oil. If I was wise I'd leave it alone but there is no fun in that and I would like more get up and go. The car is a weekend cruiser only. I can't justify a serious build with a bunch of expensive aftermarket parts so am considering the following old school budget build.

Use my short block as is assuming compression checks out ok
Pick up some C6OE 66 289 heads and port match the exhaust
Performer 289 intake
A suitable camshaft (suggestions please)
Hipo exhaust manifolds
4100 carb

Will this mild build get me to 300 hp?
With a pretty mild cam do I still need to have the heads machined to accept thread in studs for the rockers?
 

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A mild cam and factory iron heads will not get you 300 HP.
You’ll need a cam with about 280-300 degrees advertised duration.
You’ll need screw in studs for the rockers.
And a Performer RPM intake to feed it plenty of air.
 

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Consider the new Summit carb that everyone seems to like so much. If I had not bought an Edelbrock 1403 a few years ago, I'd probably get the Summit based on how much everyone seems to like them. By the way, the Edelbrock 1403 is working good for me, so no complaints there.
 

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A lot depends on what you are looking for in the way of performance.

To really know what direction to take it'd be good to know exactly WHAT pistons were installed when the engine was rebuilt. If they were "rebuilder grade" destroked 1.585" compression height dished pistons like the 272AP with 12cc dish then you're already at a big disadvantage. Even with "early" 289 heads with 53.5cc chambers your static compression ratio will suck as will "squish".

Ideally what you want is a flat top piston with 4 valve reliefs of 3cc and a 1.605" compression height, like the TRW L2482F or Silv-O-Lite 3101HC (the former is forged, the latter is hypereutectic). A good choice in iron cylinder heads, if you want to do your own mild porting and port matching would be a '65-66 head preferably PRIOR to those cast with Thermactor provisions or a late Explorer/Mountaineer GT-40P head without any port work, stock rockers on the intake side, 1.7:1 rockers on the exhaust side, Weiand Stealth #8020 intake manifold, Summit M2008VS500 carburetor, C9OZ-6250-C grind hydraulic flat tappet or M-6250-B303 hydraulic roller camshaft (and appropriate link-bar lifters), and reproduction HiPo exhaust manifolds. While I'm a big fan of the Autolite 4100 and have no problem "playing with them" to obtain decent "calibration" the Summit carb is much more "user friendly" with Holley-style jets and air bleeds, externally adjustable float levels but retains the nice Autolite 4100 features of no gaskets below the float bowl and annular discharge boosters. Last, but not least would be a performance re-curve of the stock distributor by Dan Nolan. I think you'd find it a pretty decent little motor.

If you DO have the afore-mentioned "sucky" pistons then I'd probably save my dough and look for a complete GT-40P that you could stick on an engine stand and build while you still enjoy the ability to drive your car.
 

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U Buck, are you running an automatic trans or a manual ? That'll make a difference in cam selection. And I'd skip the Performer 289, and get a Weiand Warrior 8124, or the Performer RPM, or the Weiand Stealth 8020. All are dual planes and will breathe better than the Performer. I think Summit makes a copy of the original Stealth under its own house brand. And on the heads, yes, I would do the thread - ins to allow a nicer cam, but don't stop there. When you are getting your heads ready ( the 66 289 head is a good choice, nice chambers ) have hard seats installed in the exhausts and get the larger valves installed. I'd run 1.94 intakes and 1.6 exhausts, but do NOT buy Ch-vy valves, the tip lengths are wrong. The aftermarket already makes EXACTLY what you need. Somewhere I have part numbers written down. Do the exhaust port match, open the bowls a bit, and you'll be well on your way. LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just dug up some paperwork from the PO. It's not super clear but it does look like the block was bored during the rebuild so it got pistons too. Maybe I can borrow an inspection camera and have a peek at the tops of the pistons to see if they are dish or not.

I may call the builder and ask them what was their go to pistons at the time. Turns out it's a 1980 engine and it was rebuilt in 2010.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's a C4 auto
Door tag says it has a 280 rear gear but I have not confirmed they haven't been changed.
 

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I would say you have a good plan. As far as a cam. Call a couple cam companies. You'll get FREE expert professional advice on choosing the correct cam. Give Howard's Cams a shot. They're a old, well established and well respected company. One reason why I like them is they design their Ford cams around the larger diameter Ford tappet. Usually cam companies use a generic lobe designed around a Chevy port and smaller tappet diameter which makes more compromise in the lobe.

The 4100 is a excellent carb. Unfortunately many are worn and frequently a mix of wrong parts. The Summit carb is pretty much based off the 4100. I'm running one currently and it's a very credible carburator.
 

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Afr heads is where I would start. Those, cam, and 4 barrel carb ( summit would be my choice, or holley quick fuel) would be a solid start. In my 68 running a comp cam XE274 in my 69 block 302 and I like it. Its a c4 as well
 

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Go for the TFS 170 11r heads with 53cc chambers, Performer RPM or similar intake, TFS Stage 1 cam with link bar lifters, headers and a 500-600cfm carb. That will be more than what you need but the question is, for the effort involved, why not do it once and do it right? I don't think you will be sorry. In fact you will probably thank me profusely.

If you really only want 300hp throw the HiPo exhaust manifolds on that combo to choke it down a little bit as originally planned. Headers are a pain anyway. Also a fan of the Weiand Street Warrior that LSG mentioned for a more mild intake. Never use the Performer 289.
 
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