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Discussion Starter #1
I have been pondering options for getting some more grunt out of the motor in my '65 and find I have 2 directions I can go. The plan is to budget-build something with some added horsepower over what is currently in the car. I am not looking for big horsepower, just added power in the rpm range I would typically be in running around town (500 - 5000 RPM give or take). I am interested in thoughts from people with more experience then me with cost being a key driver (i.e. I am not interested in dropping $1500 on new heads, etc).

OPTION 1
I recently picked up a bunch of parts from a fellow forum member (thanks Dave) that would be a good head start on building something new. The parts included a 289 block already bored .30 over, crank, pistons and E5 heads that have been decked to 63cc combustion chambers with larger valves (190/160). I will use an Edelbrock intake, 1406 carb and Sanderson Shorty headers that I already have and will be buying new pistons, a cam, rocker arms, all of the other bolt on stuff needed to complete an engine build and some porting of the heads.

OPTION 2
The motor currently in the car is a D8 302. I recently put a new rear main seal in it and noticed the bearing in the rear main cap was showing some wear. Other than that, the engine runs well - compression test has all cylinders around 130 with the difference between the highest and lowest cylinder at 6%. At idle, oil pressure sits steady just above 25 lbs and 48-50 lbs when running down the road. This option is keeping this motor but adding the E5 heads from Option 1 and a hotter cam. The carb, intake and headers mentioned above are already on this motor and will remain. I believe the current motor is all stock internally with 68cc combustion chambers, so adding the E5 heads (after some porting work) would lower the compression and allow better flow due to the porting and bigger valves. Seems to me that, combined with a nice cam may be a pretty budget friendly way to achieve what I am looking to do.

Please let me know your thoughts on these options. Also, I would be interested to hear opinions on a good cam as well as pistons for Option 1

Thanks - Farrell
 

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You can start here...Compression Ratio Calculator - Wallace Racing

I think you will find the heads you have are of little to no use. Small block Ford’s like two things...compression and RPM. If you aren’t going to give it either of them, you are better off builder a stroker...at least for street fun. Several members here like the GT40P heads and the complimentary roller cam.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can start here...Compression Ratio Calculator - Wallace Racing

I think you will find the heads you have are of little to no use. Small block Ford’s like two things...compression and RPM. If you aren’t going to give it either of them, you are better off builder a stroker...at least for street fun. Several members here like the GT40P heads and the complimentary roller cam.
Thanks Patrick. If my goal is 'better than what I have now' and I am moving from 68cc to 63cc, would that not be better?
 

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I'd pick "Option 3", the "budget" alternative....

The 302 bottom end, a set of F77E-AA (GT-40P) heads with stamped 1.7 rockers on the exhausts, Weiand Stealth 8020 intake, Summit M2008VS500 carb, Dan Nolan blueprinted distributor.

...or "Option 4", the not-so-budget alternative...

The 289 block, 347 stroker rotating assembly, AFR 185 58cc heads, M6250-B302 roller cam with link-bar lifters, stamped 1.7 rockers on the exhausts, Weiand Stealth 8020 intake, Summit M2008VS600 carb, Dan Nolan blueprinted distributor.

...or "Option 5", the "tax return special"....

The 302 setup you currently have, the C9OZ-6250-C cam, and a blow-thru Paxton set-up.
 

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You should really reconsider dropping money on new heads as they're going to give you the best bang for your buck. If your current motor is running well, a set of Trick Flow 170 heads should bolt on and give you the power you're looking for. You can often find some used aftermarket cylinder heads at an affordable price as well.

While GT40 heads are an improvement over E7's, the fact of the matter is that literally ALL factory Windsor heads suck and will still never come close to the capabilities of an aftermarket cylinder head- even with port work and bigger valves (not to mention the weight savings alone). Any potential compression ratio loss will be made up for in flow.
 

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More oomph ???

I'm a big fan of going with a vintage Paxton ball drive supercharger vs any striker kit, or vs. fancy aluminum cylinder heads.

1). With the Paxton you get can put around town and still get really decent gas milage. On the highway you'll be running off the idle circuit most of the time with the throttle barely, and I mean barely cracked open a hair above closed.

2). You can run a 3.00:1 rear end gearing and still have decent acceleration, and won't need a 5 speed to keep the highway rpm down (if that's bothers you as it does some folks).

3). They are very reliable, and with a fluid cooler and synthetic fluid, you can literally have zero measurable wear of the supercharger, right up to the 100,000 mile mark. It take s most people a few decades to put that much milage on a vintage car.

4). You don't have to change the bottom end, and your stock heads will be fine with it. In fact, a freely breathing head actually will reduce the boost, so our vintage iron heads are a good match for the vintage supercharger.

5). It's decent eye candy to open the hood and have your pals see that big blue blower unit screaming "power".

Z
 

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I bought a 97 GT40P with the trans and efi stuff for $450. Sold off what I didn’t want for $175. Net cost for motor $275. Bought a swap meet Wieand Stealth and USA made to boot for $80, used 91 Mustang 5.0 cam $60, used 600 Edelbrock from someone’s yard shed $125. No idea on hp, maybe around 270ish? It runs real well! The P heads are very combustion efficient, need only 28 to 30 degrees total timing. They are probably the best sbf Windsor head. A lot better then typical sbf head but not as good as aftermarket. Still a significant improvement. With 9.5:1 advertised compression I can’t get it to rattle no matter how hard I lug it with the cheapest gas I can buy.

A big advantage of roller cam motors is a cam swap with a used cam is way cheaper then a cam swap on a flat tappet block. No issues in using a used cam or putting used roller tappets on a new or used cam.
 

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My current 302 block is one of the tall ones. Piston to deck clearance is 0.030”. So I went with gt40p heads and the thinnest head gasket I could find 0.027”.
Static compression is now about 9.1:1.

Sure, I could have had the block decked but I didn’t want to deal with hauling it off to a machine shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the feedback, but as stated above, I am not interested in spending money on new heads, etc at this point. So back to my original question, which of the 2 options, although not awesome, would be a better route. It seems Option 2 would be the easiest/cheapest, but I will do Option 1 if there are distinct advantages to it. Either way, I feel like the result, although no where near the potential of new heads, superchargers, etc, would still be better than what I have currently.

Thanks again - Farrell
 

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Given what you’ve got, I’d probably use the 289 block with the e5 heads.
The 302 crank, rods, and pistons will all fit in the 289.
Inspect all the parts to see if any additional machine work is needed.
If getting new pistons, you might benefit from a -3cc domed piston.
A cam with no more than .500 lift will maintain piston to valve clearance. Although you should still check for that during assembly.
If porting the e5 heads, focus on the exhaust side. Search the internet for porting tutorials and use the other heads for practice.
DIY porting is cheap but time consuming.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Given what you’ve got, I’d probably use the 289 block with the e5 heads.
The 302 crank, rods, and pistons will all fit in the 289.
Inspect all the parts to see if any additional machine work is needed.
If getting new pistons, you might benefit from a -3cc domed piston.
A cam with no more than .500 lift will maintain piston to valve clearance. Although you should still check for that during assembly.
If porting the e5 heads, focus on the exhaust side. Search the internet for porting tutorials and use the other heads for practice.
DIY porting is cheap but time consuming.
Thank you Flash
 

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And you don’t have to used domed pistons. They will increase you compression which is good but you will probably have to run 93 octane.
Flat top pistons with valve reliefs will keep compression close to 9:1 and give you some more piston to valve clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I dropped all the 289 stuff and heads at the machine shop this morning to give it all a good once-over. Looking forward to the results

- F
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Word back form the machine shop - crank good, pistons good, block to be rehoned and decked, 1 head is cracked. So , now the search for some budget heads...
 

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Just a thought. If one the available cam grinds suits you, you can score a bargain flat tappet cam from Summit for around $65-75. Add a set of house brand lifters and you're in for under a $150. Back when PAW was still doing Ford stuff they used to sell house brand cams for $50 and a matching lifter set for another $50. I still have those parts in my '67 from like 15 years ago and still like it just fine. The world didn't always revolve around $200 roller cams.
 

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For cheap heads of good quality, it's mighty hard to beat GT40P's. If you're wanting headers though, keep in mind you will need to deal with the weird plug angles.
 

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For cheap heads of good quality, it's mighty hard to beat GT40P's. If you're wanting headers though, keep in mind you will need to deal with the weird plug angles.
 
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