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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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289 with 351w firing order

Is there a significant advantage to changing the firing order of a 289 and using the 351w firing order? I've heard of power increases by doing this and wanted to better understand. I have a '65 289 to build, thinking maybe 331 and wanted to research inexpensive power increases. I had initially planned the Comp Cams 280magnum with about 10.5 compression. Using Edelbrock Performer RPM, Holley 570cfm Street Avenger, and Pertronix Billet distributor. It's a 4-speed car with 3.25 gear.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 08:01 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

I don't think there is any power advantage. I think the 83 5.0 got changed because they threw a 351 boat cam in it. It used the 351 firing order after that. If there is any chance you will use a Ford sequential injection system you want the 351 firing order. I have a Lunati cam in my 289 and the VooDoo only had the 351 firing order. If you can afford it I would use retro hydraulic lifters or a 5.0 roller block.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 04:20 AM
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What car is that motor for?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 07:26 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

Actually my cam grinder, Cam Research, preferred the 289/early 302 firing order over the 351w firing order when he ground the cam for my 351w. Something about the harmonics of no. 4 and 8 cylinders firing sequentially on the rear crank journal. However, with the 289/early 302 firing order, the front two cylinders fire in a row, so go figure. I don't think it makes a pinch of sheet difference in performance or reliability to the common street car.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:21 AM
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I've heard the 351 firing order is better. I also read an artical on switching a chev motor to that sequence. The newer gm's did switch to the 351 f/o.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:50 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

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I've heard the 351 firing order is better. I also read an artical on switching a chev motor to that sequence. The newer gm's did switch to the 351 f/o.
I saw an episode of Horse Power TV where they did the firing order switch on an SBC, with before and after dyno runs to measure the results. There was definite power increase in using what we would call the 351W firing order.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:57 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

years ago I recall ford saying it was to " revise main bearing loads.." the old SBF and SBC each has the same firing orders, they just number the cylinders differently..

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 10:42 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

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years ago I recall ford saying it was to " revise main bearing loads.." the old SBF and SBC each has the same firing orders, they just number the cylinders differently..
correct on taking the load of the 2nd and 1st mains
best order is the old one with 8/2 swap and a internal balance crank
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:10 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

If you can get a flathead firing order camshaft, that's the best. 2/8 swap. 15486372.

Kaase uses it on a lot of big blocks, but I don't know of anyone using it on SBF. IIRC, it's the similar to an LS-1 firing order just numbered differently.

I asked Scott about it when I had my last cam ground, but he said its a waste. Looks to me like that particular order would work very well, however I am not THAT deep into firing order changes and their affect on crankshaft harmonics, intake pulse tuning and exhaust pulse tuning. I wish I knew a way to try it without having to spend $750 on a custom core camshaft for my 438".

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 06:16 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

the old flat head/Y block (292) firing order is not the best for certain types of intake manifolds

Last edited by DanH; 07-06-2012 at 09:33 AM. Reason: add .. firing order
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 07:26 AM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

Ford changed to the 351W firing order on the 302 / 5.0 HO motors because of strength issues.
Around 78 Ford removed / thinned up material around the bores and removed about 8 or so lbs frome the main webs.
This caused some issues. Main web issue was that with the std 302 firing order no 1 main was highly stressed. By using the 351 firing order it reduced the stress on the front main brg.

For a while Ford used both firing orders depending on if it was a lopo or the HO motor.
Reducing metal in the motor was just a cost save
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 07:57 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

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Ford changed to the 351W firing order on the 302 / 5.0 HO motors because of strength issues.
Around 78 Ford removed / thinned up material around the bores and removed about 8 or so lbs frome the main webs.
This caused some issues. Main web issue was that with the std 302 firing order no 1 main was highly stressed. By using the 351 firing order it reduced the stress on the front main brg.

For a while Ford used both firing orders depending on if it was a lopo or the HO motor.
Reducing metal in the motor was just a cost save
Perhaps to gain fuel mileage as well?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 09:44 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

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Perhaps to gain fuel mileage as well?
you mean by the less block weight , yes for the mpg plus a few dollars in iron cost for the factory
no for the firing order
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-08-2012, 10:40 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

If you build a 331, I might be interested in your 289 stuff.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 PM
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Re: 289 with 351w firing order

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By using the 351 firing order it reduced the stress on the front main brg.

And that placed the load on the rear main bearing. NVH was what I was told for reasoning to change. Said the HO/351 order was supposedly smoother. I ASSume there was more to it than that...I'm not an engineer, just another backyard engine builder with no money.

I can see where crankshaft harmonics could be in play. With the old order (1,5 firing 90 apart) the crank has more of a tendancy to "whip" or twist. With 4 & 8 firing at 90 apart, there is less twisting of the crankshaft. Of the 3 crankshaft failures I've personally had with SBF engines, 2 were broken behind the #4 main journal and both of them were old 302 firing order camshafts-whether that makes any difference or not. The other crank failure was the block's fault. Spit the mains out and with nothing to hold the crankshaft securely, eventually it failed. I should have quit running it when the oil pressure was down but figured it was ok as it did not fluctuate; just consistently low. That was a direct result of a main web being broken away from the block.

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