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I had a 65 Ford Custom with a 289 w/ C4 transmission, 2V carb. It would get 22+ MPG on the highway consistently.
I don't want to hijack this thread. Is it cool if I pm you?
 

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How are you getting over 20 MPG? I did some calculating yesterday on mine and I'm getting about 11-12 with a mild build and 3.0 gears.
Many, many years ago, I got 28 mpg on mine while going on a day long cruise around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Now with a more built up engine, I get anywhere from 15 to 21 mpg with a 4 speed and 3.55 gears. Mileage depends on wind direction, air temperature, speed, and my ability to quit mashing the accelerator pedal to the floor.
 

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For the "performance" 289 (or 302) build that's going to see high rpm use the issue of "block stability" can be enhanced by having the main caps and bolt holes machined to accept ARP 351W main cap bolts (reproduction HiPo main caps also recommended) which will also require a line hone, but the end result is an increase in clamping force from 12,000 psi to around 19,000 psi at the cap and eliminates the deflection (about .040") allowed by the smaller 7/16" bolts. Keeping the crank in place will help prevent the block from splitting.
 

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What happened? Already sounds like a nightmare before you tell me.
 

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I had a 65 Ford Custom with a 289 w/ C4 transmission, 2V carb. It would get 22+ MPG on the highway consistently.
And @guitarman584 , I also have a mildly built 289 with C4 and 2.80 rear, and I have a 4100 4v that runs 22+ until I start liking the sound of the back barrels opening. I think it would actually get more mpg if I cruised a long distance at only 1800 rpm or so. I considered an overdrive trans if and when I ever blow up my C4, but it was built really well last time.
 

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Intersting subject.
In the early 70's we built a 289, used stock heads but machine it to accept bigger valves. Compression 11 to 1, balanced, 2 4's.
It would turn 10 thousand, ran it for a year in a 65 mustang. NO problems.
Maybe luck was with us, but these little motors will take lots of abuse, and beat a lot of Chevy's---Or Kick Chevy's A--.
I liked that!
 

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Intersting subject.
In the early 70's we built a 289, used stock heads but machine it to accept bigger valves. Compression 11 to 1, balanced, 2 4's.
It would turn 10 thousand, ran it for a year in a 65 mustang. NO problems.
Maybe luck was with us, but these little motors will take lots of abuse, and beat a lot of Chevy's---Or Kick Chevy's A--.
I liked that!
Dan, weren't you grunting when you said that?

BTW, when are you shutting down for the winter? I have a '69 gear box i need to send to you...

Allen
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Dear god. Good info man.
Dan, weren't you grunting when you said that?

BTW, when are you shutting down for the winter? I have a '69 gear box i need to send to you...

Allen
Same here Chock, we spoke previously about my gearbox. Car is at paint at the moment, as noted in the original post.
 

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Dan, weren't you grunting when you said that?

BTW, when are you shutting down for the winter? I have a '69 gear box i need to send

We are leaving the 18th of December, return March 1st.
So it might good idea to get in PDQ.
I'd like to get them done for Folks before the 18th.
THANKS FOR ASKING GUYS!
 

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CT, lots of misunderstanding here. S Wilson was the first to name the problem, its the 5/16ths rod bolts. We used to replace them, after reaming the holes, with 11/32nd bolts. The early 283 and 327 C engines had good aftermarket supply. Now you can buy ARP 5/16th wave locks, you don't have to ream. Woodchuck is also spot on. If you're looking 300-350 hp and 20-25 mpg, the 289 can do it easily.
Some of the guys have thought the heads a weakness. That is incorrect, or inaccurate at least. The SBF head design is fine. The modern 302 used almost the same head ( ports & valves ) till the 2000s. And the 289 heads are sought after for their excellent combustion chambers. One might not be happy with the 1.78 / 1.46 valve combo. If you want to call that a weakness, I suppose the valve size can be considered such. The head casting is fine, but needs some prep. I recommend hard seats in the exhaust and AFTERMARKET valves in 1.94 / 1.6. Don't let someone put in 'Chevy valves' that are 1.84 / 1.5, the actual Chevy valves are too short, and too small. If your heads have thermactor lumps, you have grind them out. Some attention to bowl shape and passage contours will help greatly. You want to get what the designer drew, which the casting is ready for, but there is usually some casting trash in the way. I can get you valve part numbers if you need them.

Get the heads well prepped and they will happily support 450 hp. Is that enough ?
Another 'weak point' if you want to call it that, is the piston choice. A great many 289s get built with the wrong pistons. Frequently 302 dish pistons are used, and even when flattops are used, it is frequently the wrong ones, common 289/302 rebuilder pistons are only 1.585 tall. The correct pistons are 1.605 tall. The best 289 piston for 99% of us is the 3101HC from Silvolite.

If you're going to be over 450 hp, consistently, you can think about upgrading the mains as Woodchuck described.

Guitar, my first guess is that your 289 has the wrong pistons, a cam with too narrow of LDA, and perhaps the wrong Holley carb and maybe the vacuum is not hooked up in the best way. Watcha got ?

And, Ct, if you build something other than your 289, there are guys looking for the 289 block ( better than the new ones ) and the cranks and rods and the small chambered heads. Guys like me.

LSG

and a PS, if you want to run a HV oilpump, go ahead. They cause no problems. There are some Senior Married Womans Stories out there, but they are just that. If you want one, fine, we'll tell you how to do it. If you don't, thats fine too. I use them in everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I'll keep in in mind when I make my final decision. I'd love to see 300-350 in the mustang. I think that would be plenty for a streetcar.
 

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Senior Mariied Woman Stories = Old Wives Tales LSG
Never had problems with high pressure high volume oil pumps......
Never seen a factory crankshaft that wasn’t cracked though. We generally went with a Crower crank & rods on any serious builds (i.e.- stuff we didn’t want to break)
 

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From it's inception, the 289 suffered from the same basic head introduced on the 221 in '61. Yes there were some valve diameter increases , but a "ported" head in the day with 1.875 intakes and 1.625 exhausts would only flow about 220cfm. Ford realized this when they tried to race at Indy and couldn't make power so the aluminum "Pushrod 255" was created. That never released to the public head flowed almost 280 cfm in '65. But "we" never could buy it. Later that head was replaced by the DOHC which would eventually win at Indy. The next time a "good" flowing head was needed was LeMans. An improved "GT40" head was created that would flow 240 or so CFM and "some" were sold through Shelby American , but very few in reality. The next head with performance potential ( I am purposely avoiding the Tunnel Port 302) was the 351W. It could be ported to nearly match the GT40 head. This was quickly followed by the TOO big Boss302 head which could flow over 300cfm. That head was poorly supported in the aftermarket ( intake maniold wise) and it headers were always a challenge. After that , NOTHING was made and we suffered until the 5.0"revolution" of the early 80's when Rick Smith created the TFS head. That "kick start" has resulted in over 30 aftermarket head styles with all kinds of valve angles. If that had happened 10 years earlier , things would have been different now. Aftermarket cylinder heads would my most important component of any build.
Randy
 

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"Now you can buy ARP 5/16th wave locks, you don't have to ream."

Do the big ends have to be resized?
 

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I'll agree with the heads. The stock iron head exhaust sand core sucked, and when the emission injectors came along they got a lot worse. However, the original design was good, so there's iron there to make it right. Two or three hours with a die grinder and even an amateur can do it. I once had a fellow who wanted to port-match his heads bring me one, to show him how. I did one port, he went home and did the other seven. When assembled, his formerly strangled 67 289 2V, upgraded to a C9OZ-6250-C hydraulic cam and 4V carb turned 323 hp on the dyno.

Port-Matching
 
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