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Discussion Starter #1
So I’m about to rebuild the 289 on my 65 vert. It was originally a c code but has a 4 barrel on it now. I want to bump it up to 300+ horsepower. Planing on a new cam, port matching my iron heads that were rebuilt 3 years ago, try y headers, performer rpm intake, already have eldelbrock 600 cfm carb and hei distributor, and some other minor upgrades. My question is what should I look for in a machine shop. I’m in the Salt Lake City Utah area and I found a few shops that look good but I’m also on a budget and want to do this as cheap as possible. What exactly should I ask the shop to do? Should I compare various quotes?what should an estimate for this job look like?
 

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Trev, look for one that is willing to show you things they are working on, and willing to let you choose a few parts. A distressingly high percentage of shops choose the incorrect parts for a 289, or just take the easy way out and use the normal 302 rebuilder stuff that the wharehouse sends. I recently retired from an engine building shop and remeber lots. I'd be happy to recommend parts for your 289, glad to see that you're using the original iron heads ! I'll start you with the piston part number, you'll want to use Silvolite 3101HC pistons. Don't accept anything else. They'll do what you want, and are budget friendly. LSG
 

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Okay so as of yet these are the other parts I’m considering. I was recommended C90Z-6250-C camshaft by 22GT. Is this a good one? Would you recommend a different one? What other parts do I want to choose myself instead of having the shop choose?
 

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Your post raises many questions.
Starting with the old hot rodder's credo: "Speed cost money, how fast do you want to go?" lol
One of the initial steps is to define what you want the car to be when it is done. Next, develop your plan to achieve your goal (drag race, open track, cruise, show, or ??)
Overall, keep in mind that if you have the skill, tools, time, and space for assembly, outside labor costs can be trimmed significanlty.
Have you searched this forum for similar build questions? If so, did you come across GypsyR or Hunkinhano's posts? Very useful information for anyone considering a performance build.
For example: Got my GT40P up and running in my 66
To answer your specific questions:
The shop needs to know your budget before heading in a particular direction. Reason being is that part of what you are buying is the experience and expertise of the individual machinist and mixing and matching parts that work well together takes skill;
Parts costs will depend on what you specify in terms of quality, usually a wide range tied to price. Labor is usually a function of an hourly rate. Compare an efficient, skilled quote by a vintage Ford machinist against a Chevy centric machinist who will be learning Fords on your dime;
Labor cost will also be location dependent, with metropolitan locations generally being higher (cost of doing business) than rural.
As an anecdotal data point, the last 289 I had freshened up to stock specs cost me about $2500 by an experienced vintage Ford machinist about 15 miles away (Silicon Valley is an expensive place to do business) and about 8 years ago. I had the opportunity to ride in that car a week ago (owner is an old friend of mine) and it is still running like the proverbial Swiss watch.

Keep us posted on your build's progress.
 

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Have the shop hot tank or “dip” your block to start. That will clean out the crud. Some shops require you do this before they’ll do anything to it.

If you suspect there may be issues with the block have it magnafluxed to make sure. That checks for cracks. Usually not required if the engine has been yours and running before you started the rebuild. As long as you didn’t radically over heat or blow up rotating components you could forgo magnaflux.

If you tell them what you are building to engine to/for they should know what to do. If they don’t it’s not a place that would be on my list.

First they’ll measure everything. The cylinder bores, the plane and roundness of the bearing journals, the deck of the block. Since you are using your crank they’ll check that too. My guy retired and moved so I have different guys that are more expensive but good.

Depending on the condition of the block they may need to bore it oversize. If not they’ll still hone it. Best case is a tank and hone. Around here that’s about $250. For many of us that’s all we need. If it needs a bore that brings it about $400 for a torque plate bore. Add another $200 for a V8 deck. Add $250 for a line hone and add $50 each each main cap for a line bore. Add another $200 for a cam line bore. Crank polish is $85 or $165 if it needs a grind. That’s not including any head work.

Have them measure before you buy parts as you may need over pistons and rings and under main and rod bearings. I just tore down today to measure my holes and inspect the heads. I don’t have to change oil now I only have to add it. :LOL: . I’ve got a few holes that are worn. I’m hoping tank, bore and hone. I’m not going to do any line bore and I hope the decks are flat enough.

You may find it from a good place for less. Those prices are about 25% more than my old guy.

To save dough assemble yourself. Have them install the cam bearings but provide the bearings. If they assemble the rest provide your own parts so you know they are right. You will spend several hundred in labor if they assemble.
 

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Trev, your 300 hp goal is easily do-able. What are you going to do with this car ? drag ? Autocross ? highway ? cruise to the dairy queen ? what rear axle do you have ? What trans ? LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Trev, your 300 hp goal is easily do-able. What are you going to do with this car ? drag ? Autocross ? highway ? cruise to the dairy queen ? what rear axle do you have ? What trans ? LSG
I’m going to be cruising mostly. It will be an almost daily driver in the summertime. I would like to go over 300 hp if possible. But not more than 350. I will be putting in a T5 at the same time. Rear axle is stock 3.00 but I may be changing out the gears to fit with trans and engine upgrade
 

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Trev, the C90Z-6950-C cam is decent, but I believe we can improve. I like, especially in the short stroke 289, the 35-255-5 cam from Comp, the lift is a little more, and the lobe spread is wider, which helps driveability, especially if you are going to run the T5 later. If you are porting the heads, and you should, I have valve part numbers you can use, instead of the 1.78 / 1.45 diameter stock stuff. You'll need springs to match the cam. LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Trev, the C90Z-6950-C cam is decent, but I believe we can improve. I like, especially in the short stroke 289, the 35-255-5 cam from Comp, the lift is a little more, and the lobe spread is wider, which helps driveability, especially if you are going to run the T5 later. If you are porting the heads, and you should, I have valve part numbers you can use, instead of the 1.78 / 1.45 diameter stock stuff. You'll need springs to match the cam. LSG
i haven't heard much about the 32-225-5 cam. after a little research i found this response from you, "how about a comp 35-255-5, you'll have to rewire dizzy for 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 firing order, 351W valves 1.84 in and 1.54 out with EPB 02-1005-16 spring ? Excellent street manners, but spunkier than you have now. You'll also need 8 extra retainers w/o rotators. You're having hard seats put under the exhausts, right ? LSG" so my question is my does the firing order need to be changed? that seems strange. also yes I'm planning on port matching the heads per described here https://cdn.website.thryv.com/7fc8b09813234ba0b3c5e3c0a1b8c109/files/uploaded/Port Matching.pdf , but i wasn't necessarily going to change up the valves since i had the heads rebuilt 3 years ago. to put in those different valves would the shop have to machine out larger holes and put new seats in? because idk if I can afford much head work right now... i will want new springs I figure and I will be changing over to threaded studs.
 

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Before you can ask the shop, ask yourself why you think it needs rebuilt. Is it knocking, rattling, smoking, ticking skreaching or just low on power...? Consider they still are relatively low on power when perfect and you don't need a rebuild to make it more powerful. :geek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Before you can ask the shop, ask yourself why you think it needs rebuilt. Is it knocking, rattling, smoking, ticking screeching or just low on power...? Consider they still are relatively low on power when perfect and you don't need a rebuild to make it more powerful. :geek:
it deffinitly needs a rebuild. the compression is quite low and varies way too much between cylinders. and it is just week on power. has stalled occasionally. it also burns some oil.
 

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Trev, changing the firing order is easy, and yes, I would recommend a valve job and adding something bigger than the 1.78 / 1.45 that you have now. Thats a big part of what holding you back. LSG
 

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it deffinitly needs a rebuild. the compression is quite low and varies way too much between cylinders. and it is just week on power. has stalled occasionally. it also burns some oil.
We have a 289 at the machine shop right now. It's a fairly low mile (53,000) block that is going .030" over (machinists recommendation... I would have specified .020" but...) new expansion plugs, cam bearings, inspect lifter bores, press new pistons on re-sized rods, inspect/grind/polish crank and, of course, a thorough cleaning. Cost will be approximately $1,100 (does not include pistons or ring set). The big bottleneck in getting power from the 289/302 is the cylinder heads... the exhaust side is quite restrictive and the valves are small. A bit of port-matching and minor work around the valve guide bosses will help some. You mention that the heads were fairly recently done so you probably don't want to spend the extra money installing larger valves, upgrading valve springs, etc.

I would go with 22GT's oft-quoted proven recipe for a 300 hp 289....

  • C9OZ-6250-C camshaft
  • Cobra or Performer RPM intake manifold
  • Autolite, Summit, or Edelbrock 600 cfm carburetor
  • 14" open air cleaner
  • Distributor recurved to BOSS 302 specifications
  • Dual valve springs (recommended)
  • Screw-in rocker studs (recommended)
  • Heads port-matched to exhaust (or aftermarket heads)
  • 289HP exhaust manifolds or headers
The items marked "recommended" would be nice but not required if you're not going to exceed 5,500 rpm on a regular basis. My own choice for an intake manifold is the Weiand Stealth, but we all have our personal preferences. Dan Nolan at The Mustang Barn in Harleysville, PA can do the distributor blueprinting for you. I also recommend either a 1.12" Autolite 4100 or the Summit M2008VS600 carburetor. The camshaft choice is up to you... LSG's suggestion is a good one. You can also try a 1.7:1 rocker arm on the EXHAUST side to improve exhaust breathing and "fool" the engine into thinking you're running a cam with longer exhaust duration. Not a huge ROI though.... you might pick up an extra 10 hp at best. I also recommend the cast HiPo exhaust manifolds (reproductions are fine) over tube headers for underhood heat management and, especially, if you have power steering.
 

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...then ask the machine shops when was the last time they did a hone a ring job with a side of cam and bearings.
 

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One mistake we see over and over is people getting a rebuilt engine and finding out the compression is way too low for performance.

I'm having a 200 six rebuilt right now. After meeting everyone at the shop I feel confident that all the machining will be done well. But I'm not taking any chances with the compression. I cc'd the heads myself and measured distance of the stock pistons from the deck. Then used an online compression calculator to find out where I'm at and how to get where I need to be. I found a different piston that will get me to 9.22/1.

I told the shop I want to be around 9.2/1 or higher so order these pistons and feel free to deck the block and shave the heads to clean them up.

I'm also getting arp rod bolts. A 289 could use them even more.
 

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In your case at least make sure you still have 1965 heads. They could have been swapped out with later large chamber heads. LSG will steer you right on the pistons.
 

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One mistake we see over and over is people getting a rebuilt engine and finding out the compression is way too low for performance.

I'm having a 200 six rebuilt right now. After meeting everyone at the shop I feel confident that all the machining will be done well. But I'm not taking any chances with the compression. I cc'd the heads myself and measured distance of the stock pistons from the deck. Then used an online compression calculator to find out where I'm at and how to get where I need to be. I found a different piston that will get me to 9.22/1.

I told the shop I want to be around 9.2/1 or higher so order these pistons and feel free to deck the block and shave the heads to clean them up.

I'm also getting arp rod bolts. A 289 could use them even more.
Just a note about 200 six rebuilds... The original head gasket was a steel shim gasket with a compressed thickness of around .025 inch. Today's replacement gaskets have a compressed thickness of around .050". Once you select your head gasket you should have the head surfaced by the difference to maintain not only compression but also to maintain valve lash... the hydraulic lifters should be able to compensate for the additional distance but why mess with it?
 

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Thanks. I used the crushed thickness of my felpro gasket for the compression calculator but didn't think about valve lash.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Trev, changing the firing order is easy, and yes, I would recommend a valve job and adding something bigger than the 1.78 / 1.45 that you have now. Thats a big part of what holding you back. LSG

Okay so i went to the machine shop and they gave me a basic quote for what they do on a 289. Do these prices look normal. they offered to buy this standard kit for 486$ but i looked up the part number and its only 376 online... but anyways i told them i was going to choose my own parts and they said that was fine. what all do i need to get and where should i get it from?
I already know to get the silvolite 3101 HC pistons
I will buy the performer rpm intake
still debating on the cam between the C9OZ-6250-C or the 32-225-5
the shop said it wouldnt be too much more to go to the 351 w valves so where should i buy those and what other parts do i buy? do i get them all individually or is there a gasket kit?
 

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I'd be Leary about asking and taking advice from strangers on an internet board on what individual parts may or may not work together.

Research and make your own choices. Edelbrock makes a Top End kit with dyno proven parts, pre assembled into a kit.
 
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