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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As some here know I have posted a lot in the past few months about my 65 coupe with 289 over heating. I have narrowed the problem down to either a cracked or warped head. I have done everything under the sun to fix the overheating issue to include most recently installing a 24 inch aluminum radiator with dual 1 1/8 inch cores. Still overheating and getting worse to include that it slowly gets hot even as I drive. Finally noticed that the top hose is getting rock solid, I am losing coolant, and I can see and hear bubbles in my system and overflow tank. Apparently hot gases are infiltrating as I drive and over powering the cooling power of my system. I recently replaced the head gaskets. So I am sure it's not the gaskets.

So instead of getting the the heads rebuilt which btw, I was quoted like $750, or more depending on damage to the head. I decided to buy some twisted wedge 11R 170 heads. These are the 53cc version. I will not lose any compression and the engine will be able to breath a whole lot better. This process requires me to go to a roller cam. So I paired up a twisted wedge stage 1 cam and some retrofit roller lifters. I also went to full roller rockers as well. I am super excited to get all the stuff installed. I will probably replace the timing chain while I am at it. Will also probably just pull the engine as it seems easier to do that instead of trying to do it all while it's in the car. So will probably pop the oil pan and main caps to check the bearings as well.

Are any of you running these heads on a 289? If so what cam are you using? I am curious as to what kind of power I can expect. My desktop Dyno says 300 rwhp. Does that sound right? Only thing I have to do during the install is figure out pushrod length. Most others online say they use a 7.2in pushrod on a 302. I would think that wouldn't differ from a 289. Anyone have thoughts or experience?
 

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All I can tell you is to check piston to valve clearance when using TW heads and pistons without the Twisted Wedge valve relief. Call Trickflow for advice.

And be sure to follow the directions and drill the "steam holes" in the block!
 

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For what its worth, the valve angle on the 11R head offers quite a bit more piston clearance than the previous twisted wedge heads. But you still need to get some clay and check it out. I run 11R 190's on a stock 302 short block, have quite a bit more cam than stock and I have tons of room.
 

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I haven't run those heads but wanted to so researched them. The TFS cam is fine but probably would not take full advantage of those heads but should get you to the 300RWHP. You might need a different distributor gear as well if you still have the stock cast one. I think that TFS cam requires a steel distributor gear but I would verify with TFS. What intake and headers are you running? Most folks run a 1 3/4 header with those heads since they flow so well. When you get some awesome heads like that you have to upgrade all the rest of the stuff since you have to think of it as a whole package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bought the 11Rs because they offer enough valve relief with and flatop piston. I am going to have 1 5/8 headers on it. @Lightning did you keep the heavy springs and go with a roller cam or did you switch out the springs and go with a flat tappet cam? If going roller how long are your pushrods?
 

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Good to hear the piston to valve issue with my TW 170 heads has been apparently solved with the 11R heads! I'd invest in a little plumbers putty just to be sure.
 

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@PA_cob You'll want to get a pushrod length check tool to verify that you get the correct length pushrods for your engine. Don't rely on internet banter to get the right pushrods. You'll want to check them yourself to make sure the rocker arms are centered on the valves.
 

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Get out your drill bit to make steam holes in the heads to match your block....

Also, here's a "funny" video...
 

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Hi I run a 331 stroker with 170cc TW heads, setup with a 10.6 CR. I run Probe pistons with dual valve reliefs. If you plan to run over .550 gross lift (I run .570/.562), you may need the dual relief pistons. I you plan to run billet cam, then, plan on a steel gear or one of the newer melonized (?) gears.
By all means, check the PR geometry for the proper PR length.
 

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I bought the 11Rs because they offer enough valve relief with and flatop piston. I am going to have 1 5/8 headers on it. @Lightning did you keep the heavy springs and go with a roller cam or did you switch out the springs and go with a flat tappet cam? If going roller how long are your pushrods?
My engine is a roller cam block, so yes I have the heavy springs. I'm using 7.2" pushrods, but a retrofit roller cam in a non roller block may have a different base circle diameter requiring a different length pushrod.
 

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Watching that Vid Woodchuck offered, makes you want to tear the heads off this winter and find a competent shop. The key.....finding that competent chop!
 

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@Lightning this is not a retrofit cam. Its an actual grind for a 5.0 and the base circle should be normal. 7.2 seems to be the magic number.
You can't count on this. I have Lunati link bar lifters waiting to go in engine eventually and I also have some old stock 89 roller lifters that I replaced year ago and they are different sizes. I measured them since I also was curious what pushrods I would need with my Edelbrock heads and I can't go by what other people used. I will have to measure when I finally install them. Close but not exactly the same size.
 

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You're not going to have any piston to valve issues. I've ran those heads on several different setups with stock pistons. They've always been the best option for stock bottom ends because they have ALWAYS allowed you to run the 2.02 valve with a decent cam, on stock pistons. Any issues you hear about were due to the builder. The heads are great. They give the general guideline of .550 lift, but the duration has more to do with it than lift, so I'm not sure why they say that. They're great heads, with great potential.

I'm a little confused though. You said retrofit in the first post and then come to find out, it's not a small base circle cam. Are you having the valley machined for the spider/dogbones, or running link bars?
 

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I have not seen this mentioned but just a reminder that that camshaft is set up with the 5.0/351W firing order so you'll have to rewire your distributor cap as well. Sounds like a good combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The roller lifters are branded as Retrofit. Not the cam. All it means is that they are link bar lifters able to be used in a non roller block. Not the whole spider tray conversion using stock style lifters. With the link bar you are able to use any cam and don't have to use the small base circle like you would with the a stock lifters. Interesting point, I got the lifters in yesterday and they are actually Howard's cam and just resold by trick flow.
 
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