Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I need some advice. I bought a 1966 k code gt recently and drove it 1200 miles home with the only issue being a bad set of points.

I then have the first weekend home with it and I hear a loud clunking sound. I diagnosed it to a spun rod bearing. I dropped the oil pan and the number 5 rod was so loose I could move it back and forth, the rest seemed tight. I took off the cap and inspected the bearing and it is scored pretty good.

The rest of what I can see looks pretty nice.

I really want the engine to stay as original as possible but I also don’t know if it’s been rebuilt in the past.

Should I just go for a total rebuild or fix just the lower end? How much does a complete rebuild cost?

Originality means a lot to me so I don’t want to lose the original character of the hipo should I kept the solid lifters?

Any advice is welcome and any recommendations on a good builder/machine shop in the Madison, WI would be great.

I got a very general estimate from a builder around here and he said $7,000 to ten grand which seems way high but maybe that is what a quality build costs.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
First and foremost before I worried about originality I would verify that it is the original engine. Being a k code car the vin should be stamped on the block.

Unfortunately if it is, keeping in it's original state is now impossible. A total rebuild to stock specs (not including the crank and bore as those will need machine work) is very doable and if it were me I would want it built to stock specs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Huskinhano

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,282 Posts
I think it is time for a rebuild as you may have shavings everywhere.

Perkins Restoration in Juneau may be a place to call to discuss what you have going on. They may be able to point you to a good machine shop.

At least once it is one you can feel confident in what you have.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,802 Posts
Maybe it's just coincidental but your #5 (front left) cylinder is the one with the bad bearing. Your 289 HiPo's firing order was 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. For the 351W and the 5.0, Ford changed the firing order to 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. With the original firing order cylinders 1 and 5 fire sequentially. Cylinders 1 and 5 also share the same rod journal on the crankshaft. IIRC, part of the reason for the firing order change was to reduce the load on the 1 and 5 rod journal caused by those cylinders firing sequentially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,089 Posts
In light of what has been offered, are you handy with respect to DIY possibilities?
What is stamped on the back of the bearing? Have a spec?
There is no shame in keeping with originality, the shame is looking past it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,198 Posts
Blue paint over spray makes me think it was already been rebuilt once at least.

Did you say it was a HiPo so they gave you the up charge tax? Even so, ya 7-10K is a lot but i would think 3-5K is a lot knowing what the work is:) Thats what i would expect for someone to custom match a race engine with high dollar hot rod parts. Some people think they do magic when all you need is the job done right like the million times before.
Keep the solid lifters or those that know the right sound will laugh at you:grin2:
Shop around, look for a place that does some volume with a good turn around and a warranty or an old curmudgeon that might mic and measure everything and do as little as possible because i don't really see a lot of lost material.:shrug:
 
  • Like
Reactions: myfirstcar66

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,000 Posts
Yeah. Find an old man that has been building engines since he was a kid and smiles a little when he says, "289."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wiseguy59

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,514 Posts
If you are considering a "fix", pull the rod cap on a few other rods and see if they are clean or look like they have had metal in them. Then check the pan bottom and oil pump to see how they look. You could open up the oil filter to see what is in there. Next, see if you can inspect the cam lobes deep beyond the crank. IF you really want to be careful, pull the manifold and have a close up look at the lifter surfaces. Finally, pull the valve covers and check the rocker arms for evidence of junk. Feel the surfaces inside the block and heads to see if it feels like sand in the oil or is it clean.



If they all look clean, it is possible the metal was caught in the oil filter before running through your motor, you can pull the crank and have that journal brought back to original specs and replace the rod bearings. Perhaps the oil pump may need refresh since its south of the oil filter. First I would assembly lube everything back together and do a compression check to see just how good the motor is. Leak down would be better but either can be done without running the motor.



Bum way to start a relationship with a Mustang...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,534 Posts
I agree, jumping into a total rebuild is assuming way too much. Part of a "total rebuild" is boring the cylinders. An expensive waste of time, most likely.

A spun rod bearing could easily be fixed by removing and repairing the crankshaft, and installing new bearing shells.

Examination of the rest of the engine for metal shavings could be very instructive. Most likely, all you need is a crank set and a good cleaning of the engine.

One thing I'd recommend, while it's apart, is port matching the heads to the exhaust. I did that to my HP, and it really woke it up. The exhaust ports in the head are the one weakness in the HP. The design is fine, but the casting quality is surprisingly poor. Takes about 2 hours with a die grinder.

Port-Matching
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice. This is all really helpful.

It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.

BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,282 Posts
No way would I go roller cam in a hipo. I would keep it as original as possible...or at least period correct. I would consider an aluminum intake as it is easy to switch back. I like headers...as did Shelby. ;) Depending on how much you mind screwing with points, an electronic distributor is an easily reversible mod.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stephen_wilson

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,534 Posts
First and foremost before I worried about originality I would verify that it is the original engine. Being a k code car the vin should be stamped on the block.
Well, even if it's not the original, it's a K code.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,534 Posts
It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.
Tedious, but wise.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down
I did my first engine R&R alone when I was 17. Seems I swiped my Dad's Corvette, and popped an oil plug on the back…

but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.
If not this, when? Follow the Ford Shop Manual. Incredible detail, written so that any novice who could read could do the procedures.


BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.
I suspected as much, from the photos. Be sure you install the rod bearing shells with the oiler hole lined up correctly in the top. When I had mine apart, they were not available, do I drilled standard shells.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?
If the valve seats are worn, replace them. I needed 5, so had 16 done. Hardened inserts have the classic 3-angle face. The port-matching made my engine run smoother from idle to 6000, power felt like a cam upgrade, and the shift lever is rock steady on the road.

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
He's an idiot. Find someone else. The K code engine is more than the sum of it's parts, it's a gestalt of things working in prefect harmony. Rarely has an engine come together so well. He's proposing to start over from scratch, just like you would with a C code 289 2V.

Once you have done the teardown and reassembly, you'll have pride in your accomplishment that no checkbook could provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,086 Posts
Hydraulic lifters in a K-Code? Blasphemy! Yeah, I would pull the crank and have it machined. That rod journal looks sketchy at best. Very likely you can install the machined cam with new bearings and call it done. I would install a new oil pump. Just don't ask if you should install a high-volume oil pump. One more discussion like that and I think we'd crash the VMF server. :surprise:

I would also take the heads to a good shop and have them inspected. If the springs were anything other than like new, I would replace them. No fun having a K-Code you can't wind to the moon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Thanks for all the advice. This is all really helpful.

It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.

BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
The problem you experienced is not uncommon. The problem arises from the factory rod nuts. They are soft on heat treat. The same nut is specified on the Boss 302 and it has the same problem. The threads "move" a little and clamping is lost . As you noted the nuts were loose. Well they were tight initially! Your engine appears to be in very good condition as the paint marks on the rods aren't terribly discolored from heat or dirty oil. "I" would remove the rod caps and push the pistons ( carefully) up into the cylinder so you can remove the crank and have it ground ( possibly the rods only). That shouldn't be more than $200-300 WITH new bearings. MAKE SURE they grind YOUR crank and don't do a simple exchange. That will eliminate the need to rebalance and keep your engine original. Now would be the time to change to a cast iron cam gear and replace the timing chain. Don't change the crank gear as it is unique to the HiPo as it is shorter to work with the "hatchet" counterweight. You might also was to replace the rear main seal too. NO need for a high volume pump. the lack of it did NOT cause this failure NOR would it have prevented it. Then you can "pull up" the rods onto the crank. I "strongly" recommend aftermarket connecting rod nuts from ARP or Mr Gasket. The bolts do NOT need to be changed. torque to 45 ft lbs and you will never have this problem again.
I believe total out of pocket costs would be less than $500 , a far cry from 7-10,000. IF your engine was in worse condition "I" might consider a complete rebuild , but it looks nice. Remember "pros" were amateurs once too. You can do this! Don't hesitate to "lean on me" if you need more help with it. I have 53 years of experience with 289 HiPos.
Randy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
501 Posts
Spun RB

Zun,

You obviously have some mechanical skills; troubleshooting your spun rod bearing.
A spun bearing could be a sign of a number of issues, non of which are positive.
You could just repair your #5 rod journal and wait for another shoe to drop.
So if you have the time and space, I would plan on going thru your motor now and sleeping well for the next 100k miles.

Assembly is rather logical and straight forward, you just need to take your time and not cut any corners.
A 289 can be made into a reasonable fun engine in a stock format.
Job #1 would be to locate a very good machine shop too be sure.

I always look to make the most efficient engine, for the intended application, when putting an engine together.
Which is to say just means paying attention to the little details that in their combined sum make a very measurable difference.
A $1k of quality machine work now will pay a lifetime of dividends.

Things to consider;
1) When your have your crank mains and rod journals machined think about having your crank indexed as well.
Most cranks did not leave the factory with the throws at exactly 90 degrees from each other.

2) Have your blocks mains checked and line honed if needed.

3) Then have your block decks checked off the mains for square. block head surfaces can be + or .000's off front to back and + or - 90 degrees off the crank side to side.

4) Have rod's inspected and if in good shape reconditioned, parting lines ground smooth, big and small ends bored/honed then rods shot peened.
Stock sbf rod bolt is only 5/16" but if you don't plan to spin it up over 5k a bunch you should be fine.

5) If your block is in need of boring, BE SURE THE SHOP EMPLOYS A TORQUE PLATE. This ensures your bores will be remain perfectly round when you torque your heads.

6) Once the pistons have been cleaned up or replaced and rings selected, have the crank, rods, piston assembly balanced.
The shop will weigh each of these pieces to determine the weight of the lightest rod, piston and piston pin.
Then remove the required amount of material so each will now weigh that amount.
They will then determine the average weight of a ring pack, add that to the total weight of on rod, piston and pin and balance the crank to that number.
This process allows the motor to use the least amount of energy over coming harmonics and fiction.

7) A 4 angle valve grind while there is never a bad idea, not much cost and that additional back cut does help flow in a stock format.


I created a couple of excel spreadsheets for my 289 build;
-An engine torque specs checklist
-An assembly measurement checklist. e.i. measured each bore and each piston then numbered each piston to it's closest bore in size (always a .0000's or so delta).
Plasti-gauged each main bearing and rod bearing crush,
ring end gaps etc.
If you are interested in copies of these to note your build specs just pm me. I would be happy share them.


Anytime taken now to massage these pieces now will be enjoyed down many roads.
It is not rocket science, you just need to take your time and have fun.
And if you do not have all the required tools, not to worry, it is a great excuse to acquire them!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Yes and the engine was "mass balanced" by the Cleveland engine plant BEFORE it left there 50+ years ago. Ford blocks RARELY need line honing as opposed to a GM engine that nearly always needs it. Index grinding is fine for a "race" engine but shows nothing in the way of performance on a street engine. As I stated before the problem IS the factory connecting rod nuts , NOTHING more. No theory. Hands on experience from my first one built in '66.
Randy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
501 Posts
Randy,

Factory "MASS BALANCED" and 50+ years ago is cost efficient not harmonic/performance efficient. And it is just not that expensive to get it done right.
I always have the mains checked, if they are fine great, cost little if any to have it checked? And decking and or boring if needed are done off the mains.
Indexing cost 125 to 150 is just cheap harmonic insurance to me.
I don't flip my stuff so it is built for the long term, my lads and grandkids.

Always been a Ford guy with a couple of jeep motors thrown in so I have no hands on with GM's so can't say.

My .02.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
This forum is awesome! So many knowledgeable people willing to help. I just wish you all were near to me.

Well I think you all have convinced me to go forth with the tear down and assembly myself. Now I just have to find a machine shop I can trust.

GT350HR, I will definitely be taking you up on your offer for help as I go through this process. I will be pulling the engine this weekend and let you know what I find as I go.

66_72Stanger, I will PM you for that checklist and thanks for the offer and info.

I thought I’d include the only picture I have so far. God I love nightmist blue.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top