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Stock 289 Head Upgrades

12944 Views 82 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  patrickstapler
Looking for suggestions on upgrades please.
(and apologies - i know this question will have been asked several times in similar fashion)

I have a fairly stock 289, which is still getting hot on the passenger side. I've got the citric acid flush left to try, but pretty sure i've narrowed it down to being related just to that head (whether the passages are all blocked up or something). Judging by the oil condition when i got the car, i dont think the PO was that into changing fluids. :/

Oil pressure is also quite low when hot - at idle, the needle is barely lifted off the stop. It's about 1/4 way up the gauge when cruising, and 3/4 of the gauge when cold and first started.

So, im thinking some worn bearing shells probably cause of this. No knocking, but thinking still due a rebuild. Also, get a reasonable amount of breathing out the rocker cover filter.

So, thoughts while i'm at it, is that maybe just replacing the heads is the way to go.

Current specs are:
Stock 289, with Edelbrock Performer intake, and Edelbrock AVS2 500 CFM carb. "High rev" hydraulic lifters, uprated springs (inner & outer), new Cloyes timing set, and changed the cam (which was meant to be a Performer, but got something different - but is about 1-2 levels above stock). Standard exhaust headers, with 2" dual exhaust. Stock C4 trans, and stock rear axle/diff.

Not after anything too fancy - just street use for a bit of fun, and a bit more noise/choppier idle.

After suggestions, please, for suggested mods? I.e. new heads (or should i just strip and completely refurb my stock heads?), plus cam (i'm not against changing this again), and others?
I'm allowing for crank grind, new bearing shells, cylinder bore hone (probably), and set of rings (hopefully dont need new pistons), new oil pump. Would i need new push rods?
And ideally, i guess i should change stock headers (and hopefully could just change the headers and adapt my current dual exhaust to mate up to the new ones).

Probably budgeting around 2500. I know heads would eat quite a lot of this, hence the question about refurbing current heads. But if i'm wasting my time doing anything else until the heads are changed, then maybe budget needs to increase a bit..

Any thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.
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Go big or go home!
Now that's a real man talk'in 4 ya!
A "One size fits all, scenario!"
Common sense? Outa the question! 馃
Now that's a real man talk'in 4 ya!
A "One size fits all, scenario!"
Common sense? Outa the question! 馃
Yep! I use common sense while balancing the checkbook and on retirement strategies. Not on the Mustang.
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BUT YOU GUYS ARE CLUELESS AS TO WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET ACROSS TO U!
Communication is a a two way street. There are some very smart people here. If they are clueless as to what one is trying to convey, then maybe it is the one conveying the message that could take an introspective look.

What I get from your posts is:
1.) Buying aftermarket heads is taking the easy way out to make more power.
2.) Your 330+ HP is all you need (from the tone, apparently it's all anyone needs)

Great if that's YOUR preference and absolutely nothing wrong with it.

The fact is that unless one has their own machine shop and is an expert porter, it is typically more cost effective to increase power via after market heads than to rework factory heads. People have listed costs. Dyno tests are readily available. Those facts should not even be in dispute. Dispute them? then go to AFR's site and see what flow they get out of their smallest head, the 165 (260/215) and compare it to just the LABOR to work a set of 351w heads to get to a measly 210/160 cfm.


Heck even out of the box Flow-Teks for $1,000 out flow $1,700+ labor + $500-$800 worth of par

Hey, people spend mega bucks to make a 6cyl concours correct, because that's what they want. Great

Others want to improve performance and horsepower on a budget. What's wrong with that? Taking the $1,500 saved vs a nostalgia head will allow one to upgrade suspension to go with the extra horsepower. You call it easy, I call it smart.
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It鈥檚 your money and car, spend and build it however you want to. How much horsepower and whatever detail or luxury you want is your business.

Rusty
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Then you have my situation. I started my engine build 10+ years ago, along with the 65 coupe. Simple 306. I had a set of C5AE heads cut for 1.94 / 1.5 Chevy valves, milled flat, bronze guides installed, screw in studs and plates installed for ...... $200. Yeah, crazy cheap, even for 1999. A set of Manley Race Series SS valves (Yeah, I was reading all the magazines back before the Internet took off.....) and I believe Crane Al full roller rockers , all sitting in the garage. Life got in the way, and the car was on hold.. Fast forward to today, all the money is water under the bridge for me, long gone. Could I spend $1,200, or less on some imports and get better performance, probably, but I have all the parts, all the machine work, minus hardened seats, is done. All I need is a few carbide burs and some sanding rolls, and I'll experiment on the ports. I full well know it wont be a stellar performer, but I like learning by doing. At some point I know I will want more, so I will build something better, 331, 347, 363, who knows, but then aftermarket Al heads will be the only option.... but for now, I want to see what I can get out of the stock heads.
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Have you noticed that these types of thread evolve into a 'Do what you want with your car, its your money."

It usually takes 4-5-6-7 pages to arrive at that conclusion.

My .02 is always if you want to go insane fast and try and kill yourself, buy a new Hayabusa for 15k. That will accomplish both goals real quick. Its cheaper too.
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Sure. Roger that 馃憤
When EGO enters the scenario , COMMON SENSE goes out the window. You can "preach common sense" until the cows come home but you will never convert the heathens that LIVE off of power and speed. It been this way since the time of Roman chariots. "You" will not change it , sorry.
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My Daily driver is BORING and gets 22 MPG. My GT350 at the drag strip "might" get 1 MPG but I have a HELL of allot more fun doing it. Do I need a 700 HP "sunny day'' street car ? NO , but my EGO says YES. I have worked 50+ years to get what I have and do what I do. I plan on enjoying to the fullest before I CAN'T. Others can penny pinch all they want , I'm spending MY dollars , not leaving them to someone else.
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My Daily driver is BORING and gets 22 MPG. My GT350 at the drag strip "might" get 1 MPG but I have a HELL of allot more fun doing it. Do I need a 700 HP "sunny day'' street car ? NO , but my EGO says YES. I have worked 50+ years to get what I have and do what I do. I plan on enjoying to the fullest before I CAN'T. Others can penny pinch all they want , I'm spending MY dollars , not leaving them to someone else.
Exactly. Just because it makes that power, doesn鈥檛 mean I have to use it when I go to the grocery store. But it sure is fun on saturdays. On weekdays, it would drive around just like any other car, because it was a good combo. There were no race car manners, but when it would go to the track, it did juuuuuust fine there too, and was a ton of fun.
Car Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle
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Exactly. Just because it makes that power, doesn鈥檛 mean I have to use it when I go to the grocery store. But it sure is fun on saturdays. On weekdays, it would drive around just like any other car, because it was a good combo. There were no race car manners, but when it would go to the track, it did juuuuuust fine there too, and was a ton of fun.
View attachment 790045
Yes, I can see your point!
I wish somebody would see mine!
I'm NOT TRYING TO TELL ANYBODY WHAT TO DO, at least not intentionally.
I'm mearly attempting to inform you folks that there are alternatives and other options for a moderately performing street machine, when someone is not looking for all-out street performance. I've also pointed out options that may save said persons some money!
I hope U all understand what I'm saying and the point I'm trying to make! 馃
We got it. We ALL got it. Now can we get back to all the benefits of upgrading SBF heads and running 3/4 race cams with hydraulic lifters and shallow compression deep dished steel pistons.
We got it. We ALL got it. Now can we get back to all the benefits of upgrading SBF heads and running 3/4 race cams with hydraulic lifters and shallow compression deep dished steel pistons.
I鈥檓 going with 5/8 cam. 馃槣
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I鈥檓 going with 5/8 cam. 馃槣
I've got a 2002 F150 7700 to tow the Mustang. A 5/8ths ton truck. Perfect!;)
I鈥檓 going with 5/8 cam. 馃槣
Sure, you can always upgrade to an 11/16 grind later.
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Sure, you can always upgrade to an 11/16 grind later.
I don't know about that? The 13/16 cam might give up a bit on the low end but makes up for it on the top end with the right gearing.
We got it. We ALL got it. Now can we get back to all the benefits of upgrading SBF heads and running 3/4 race cams with hydraulic lifters and shallow compression deep dished steel pistons.
I understand that U lucky guys, with deep pockets and bottomless bank accounts, I completely understand U don't appreciate having to settle for less than the best.
But for the ones that have been there and the ones that still are, at least they know there are some thrifty options available to them.
U R Welcome! 馃槒
I understand that U lucky guys, with deep pockets and bottomless bank accounts, I completely understand U don't appreciate having to settle for less than the best.
But for the ones that have been there and the ones that still are, at least they know there are some thrifty options available to them.
U R Welcome! 馃槒
What makes you think people didn鈥檛 know that? What makes you think spending less money on aftermarket heads, instead of pumping into stock heads is 鈥渢hrifty?鈥 Why do you value your opinion so high, and trash everyone else鈥檚?
I understand that U lucky guys, with deep pockets and bottomless bank accounts, I completely understand U don't appreciate having to settle for less than the best.
But for the ones that have been there and the ones that still are, at least they know there are some thrifty options available to them.
U R Welcome! 馃槒
Do you have a website for the bottomless back account? I'm all over that! My car was purchased and built 100% on working overtime and not a penny from the family budget. You fly in from nowhere and try to tell us all how it should be knowing nothing of the path we took.
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Sure, you can always upgrade to an 11/16 grind later.
I got my cam from a European grinder... it's a 22mm.
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I got my cam from a European grinder... it's a 22mm.
Aways trying up me by a mm Bart!
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