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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not planning on doing anything until the fall/winter, but I'd like to do my research and plan ahead. Going to pull out my 289 and do "something" to get more horsepower. I know I could drop in crate motor but what's is the fun in that. Looking to upgrade the 289, going to keep the C4 and the 8" but change gears. Need to get the 2:80's out.



Don't know anything about the engine other than it is a C code with the prior restorer put a cobra intake manifold and a Holley 4 barrel. Engine runs nice, great vacuum, just not peppy enough. Plan is for a street engine. This car will never see the strip and I drive it a lot. Don't need high rpm power, looking more for spirited driving from stop light to stop light.


So, if you were going to build your dream 289 street motor what would you do? And while were at it, what would you do to the C4 and what gears would you put in? Just remember, I plan on driving this car around town, back and forth to work (5 miles) 3-4 times a week and as much as I can on weekends.


I'm fortunate that I can spend some money but I don't want it to get so expensive that's its cheaper to drop in a crate motor. Also I know things may change when I get into the motor, but lets assume its a stock bottom end and is not max bored out.


lets have some fun and build me a kick ***** street motor!>:)
 

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22GT has posted the "recipe" for a hot little 289 many times. Maybe he'll come along and post it again. Basically a cleanup with port matching on the heads and a hydraulic version of the old solid 289 HiPo cam. Distributor tune-up by Dan at Mustang Barn. Tri-Y headers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
22GT has posted the "recipe" for a hot little 289 many times. Maybe he'll come along and post it again. Basically a cleanup with port matching on the heads and a hydraulic version of the old solid 289 HiPo cam. Distributor tune-up by Dan at Mustang Barn. Tri-Y headers.

So I read about Dan. Stupid question: I took points out and put Pertronix in, does the distributor still need to be tuned up?
 

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Yes, he can still set it up for you, give him a call and let him know the specs on the motor. I've put a Mallory Espark in my old dual point YL dist.
 

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Pertonix kit just gets rid of the points; the mechanical and vac advance stuff still needs to be set up right, as does the timing when you put it back in. Summit M-series 500 cfm carb, unless you happen to have a good 4100 1.12 lying around.

If having it look stock is most important to you, then the factory 4v manifold would be fine. Otherwise, I'd put on a Weiand Stealth, and (if money's not a problem) some AFR 165 heads.

When you ONLY drive around in-town, you can get away with steeper gears, and the 289 does not mind RPMs much with its short stroke. You could maybe even go with 3.73's if you never intended to get it out on the highway. They'd sure be fun! But if you occasionally get it up on the interstate, I'd keep to 3.25 or lower gears, just to ensure double-digit economy, and save wear on your u-joints, engine, and ears.
 

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I went down this road with my old 289 before I bumped up to a 347.

I agree that the "dream" engine has aftermarket heads, and in my case that was the aforementioned AFR165 heads with 58 cc combustion chambers.

HOWEVER...if you do change heads, you have to keep in mind that most will lower your compression ratio considerably and if you have stock C-code pistons WORSE the pistons will hit the new larger valves with any kind of useful cam at all as the stock C-code pistons in '65 didn't have any valve relief. They just have a little dish cut in the top of them.

SO...a perfect piston to use with a '65 289 and AFR 165 heads is the Keith Black KB116 piston. It's a pop up style that will get you right up to 10:1 CR. You can run that with the aluminum heads and mid-grade or premium gas just fine. They are hypereutectic...which is better than "cast" and cheaper than "forged" so kind of middle-of-the road in price and quality.

On top of that, you'll want a dual plane or dual plane hi-rise 4 barrel intake and a carburetor (or EFI unit) with about 600CFM (or a little less) capacity.

For the top end, I went with Comp stuff including a cam they recommended and their roller rockers....but some have complained about their quality as of late, so I leave that for further research.

Long story short...my 289 ran great with that stuff on it. Well enough that it destroyed my OEM C4 in about 2 weeks.

But you can fix that too. It's just time and money.

Phil
 

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Back when I first had my '66 Fastback, we rebuilt the A-code 289 with ported and polished 351W heads, Lunati cam and lifters (wish I could remember the specs, had enough thump to it to be fun), Holley 600 carb converted to a double pumper, Edelbrock RPM intake, 289 HiPo dist that was converted to elect ign. hooked up to a MSD 6AL box, Tri-Y headers and a 65 Shelby style racing side exhaust. Can't remember what else we did to it.

The 289 is a great little V-8. I wish that when I bought the car back in March that it was still in it. But that motor came out and was donated to another project and now has a crate 302 in it (not my choice)...
 

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3.55's in the rear will do wonders. I run my little 289 with Perfomer RPM heads (6025) and manifold. I bumped the compression up using domed pistons (Keith Black 116-030) and installed a Crowler 15208 cam and 1.6 roller rockers. The heads were also shaved a little to bump the compression. She's sporty from 1500-5500 RPM and gets 20 MPG on the highway with the T5.

I live at 8500' MSL and she runs great. At sea level she'll smoke the tires at every stop light if I push her.
 

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i am going to build a mild 289 for my 66 coupe when i get the energy to build it. it will have windsor jr heads, a comp cams retrofit roller cam with .480 lift/260 advertised duration with the 351w firing order(i was going to use the cam in a 351w but sold that engine), flat top pistons, tri-y headers. i havent yet decided on an intake, though likely it will be either an edelbrock performer rpm or a weiand stealth and it will be topped with either a 4100 autolite carb, a 600cfm edelbrock performer carb, or possibly one of the bolt on throttle body EFI systems on the market.

i figure this build will make about 325hp, and with a C4 and 3.25-3.50 gears will do very nicely on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the responses.......I have a lot to learn and read about. I'm kind of a newbie to all this. The 66 is the first classic car I've owned, but I'm learning as I go along. From what I've learned about myself, when i get into the engine, I will probably tear the whole thing down. Check the block and rebuild the entire thing from scratch. Just need to find a good engine shop in my area and have a plan before for every possibility before I get into it.

From what I found under the dash, I don't trust the prior "restorer". I had to replace the entire under dash wiring, so for peace of mind, I'll probably do a complete rebuild, so replacing the whole rotating assembly is a possibility. I'm fortunate enough not to have to worry too much about a budget.

thanks again for the info so far. Gives me something to read over Fathers day weekend!
 

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Thanks for all the responses.......I have a lot to learn and read about. I'm kind of a newbie to all this. The 66 is the first classic car I've owned, but I'm learning as I go along. From what I've learned about myself, when i get into the engine, I will probably tear the whole thing down. Check the block and rebuild the entire thing from scratch. Just need to find a good engine shop in my area and have a plan before for every possibility before I get into it.

From what I found under the dash, I don't trust the prior "restorer". I had to replace the entire under dash wiring, so for peace of mind, I'll probably do a complete rebuild, so replacing the whole rotating assembly is a possibility. I'm fortunate enough not to have to worry too much about a budget.

thanks again for the info so far. Gives me something to read over Fathers day weekend!
Do your self a favor and get the Tom Monroe book How To Rebuild Your Small Block For or google the free PDF ( I can't post it any more )
 

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I just went through the same thing-my dad gave me his 65 convertible 289 that we had restored back in the 1980's together. We were considering it pretty high performance-Erson flat tappet cam, 4 bbl holley 600 vac. secondary, dual exhaust, Mallory Unilite ignition, 3.31 gears. It was sure fun when I was in highschool. So, recently I wanted to do something different with it. Started out thinking I would do a 347 with the 289 block, but after talking to some engine builders sounded like the best idea would be to drop a 302 block in there and keep the matching 289 aside. I found a 1971 302 long block on Craigslist for $100 and sold the heads/etc. Thought about the Eddy stuff, but for a bit more you could get some AFR 185''s :) Then, for a bit more, roller cam with retro-fit lifters (I"m using a Bullet Racing 284/292 , .588/.585 lift LSA 109 cam). I'm also using a 750 Brawler race carb, you could use a 650 with less tuning I'm sure. Some dougs try-y headers that I got a good deal on at amazon I don't know how :0 And a 2.5 inch Magnaflow exhaust system. To me, it seems just right-I don't race but like power. In fact, I wouldn't mind more. I don't regret spending the extra her and there for the good stuff in other words.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Winter is here and the engine is coming out. I need to really start putting my list together. I've done a ton of reading in books and here in the Forum and now I'm thoroughly confused. I'm looking for a streetable engine. Shooting for 300-ish horsepower. No strip use. Don't need high RPM power. Something fun to drive around town. I found a reputable engine builder locally and after talking with him, he felt it was cheaper to buy aftermarket heads. By the time he ports them, screws in the rocker studs, and machines them, I'm at the cost of aftermarket aluminum heads. So I'm gonna go that route, I think.

Lots of people have posted here about which heads they like. Leaning toward AFR 165's. I do like the idea of buying a package from one source that is proven to work together. Takes the guessing out. Edelbrock has their E-street top end kit, but it's out of stock. The Performer RPM kit is available but I don't think I need that much HP at the rpm range.

Basically my head is spinning trying to put my list together and I need help. I'll run this question by my builder but I'd like to see what everyone thinks. Looking for something reliable and driveable around town.

Thanks

Peter
 

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I would have to agree with your potential engine builder.

If it were me, I would leave the stock 289 exactly that way and hunt down a late model 5.0 engine with a roller cam. Then, have it done up as a 347 stroker motor with aftermarket aluminum heads. 300HP will be no problem and honestly, neither will 350HP or more.

As for the heads themselves, I'd go with Trick Flow 11R 190s'.

The great thing about it is that the 289 will be on the stand if you need it.
 

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I would have to agree with your potential engine builder.

If it were me, I would leave the stock 289 exactly that way and hunt down a late model 5.0 engine with a roller cam. Then, have it done up as a 347 stroker motor with aftermarket aluminum heads. 300HP will be no problem and honestly, neither will 350HP or more.

As for the heads themselves, I'd go with Trick Flow 11R 190s'.

The great thing about it is that the 289 will be on the stand if you need it.
I have a 1991 5.0 HO I’m building. But I’m not stroking it out just trying to hit 300 and maybe try and boost it lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would have to agree with your potential engine builder.

If it were me, I would leave the stock 289 exactly that way and hunt down a late model 5.0 engine with a roller cam. Then, have it done up as a 347 stroker motor with aftermarket aluminum heads. 300HP will be no problem and honestly, neither will 350HP or more.

As for the heads themselves, I'd go with Trick Flow 11R 190s'.

The great thing about it is that the 289 will be on the stand if you need it.
People around here have said that, but for some reason I want to keep the 289 in there.
 

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Pick your heads and cam together. For example, I don't think the E-Street heads will handle much valve lift in fact I think they are recommended for flat tappet cams only. AFR or Trick Flow would be better for roller cam.
 
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