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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

This post has been in the Strokers forum for years and is buried under 4 years worth of new posts. I copied it to the tech exchange where it may be of more benefit to others. Aside from the original post, i've provided updates throughout the years...enjoy!

I've wrote up my experiences with this stroker for anyone interested and to share information with my fellow FordMuscler's. It was an interesting project since my past experience has been with BBF and I had not built a SBF before. It's long, but I had a lot of things to cover.

During the process of restomoding my 65 Fastback Mustang, I had discounted the idea of stroking a SBF and settling instead with a somewhat larger displacement 302 engine and iron heads. Why?…primarily due to cost reasons since the entire restomod would approach $25K. Could I justify a $1200 stroker kit and $1200 heads? I was also concerned about longevity and oil consumption of strokers ( 331 and 347 stroker kits at the time had pistons with pins that intersected the oil ring...now we have 5.315 rod kits ). Restoring an entire car is not an inexpensive venture and I felt that sinking additional money into a stroker kit and aluminum heads could not be justified especially when I consider how well the car ran with the original A code 4 bbl 289.

I have to admit that I made this decision before I really seriously started building my engine.

Anyhow, the time came to start working on the drive train. Dave Williams has a site with some very interesting and informative engine information ( Dave Williams' Site ). In particular, one story discusses a customer's desire to stroke a 289 to a 366 using 289 rods. Dave went to great lengths to balance the custom ground crankshaft given that a whole lot of material had to be removed from the counterweights to clear the bottom of the piston. Honestly, I think this was an extreme case of stroking a 289/302 and I would not feel the investment would justify the performance gain. This story got lodged in the back of my mind and was recalled some time later while designing my engine as you'll see.

At some point, I was surfing the web and noticed how inexpensive the speedomotive 331 stroker Hi Nodularity crankshaft was…$189…Wow, a stroker crank capable of handling 450-500 HP for $189…what's the catch? Essentially there was none. Yes, the crank was cast in China, but the final machining and magnafluxing is done in the states. I figured that having my 302 crank reground and magnafluxed was going to cost me nearly $100 so why not pay $89 more for a new 331 crankshaft. The journals mic'd out right on the money.

Ok, so I had a potential stroker crankshaft, but I still don't like the idea of a SBF stroker that has the oil ring intersecting the wrist pin (at the time, the improved oil control stroker kits were not available). What to do? It hit me, a 289 rod is .065 longer than a 302 rod. Maybe I could use inexpensive, plentiful 289 rods and find an off-the-shelf piston with a longer compression height and skirt that would work. Given the 302 deck height, stroke of the 331 crank and the length of the 289 rod, I needed a piston with a 1.426 compression height…great!…that's a longer than typical compression height for a stroker piston so maybe I can find a piston that has the oil ring above the wrist pin! In addition, a longer skirt may be less prone to piston rock in the cylinder. What about the rod/stroke ratio? 5.155 / 3.25 = 1.59, the same as a 347 stroker with 5.4" rods…cool!…and better than several 351W based stroker combinations!

So my piston search began. Low and behold, KB had a piston for a 351W based 383 stroker with 1.405 height and +6.5 cc volume (due to two generous valve reliefs). The piston is the KB322 and the oil ring is above the wrist pin. A little math revealed 9.9:1 compression with 61 cc 351W heads…perfect for a semi long duration cam of about 230 duration @ .050 ( I was at the time considering the Comp Cams 280H or 282S cam and I finally settled on the 282S). Wait a minute though, the wrist pin is a Chevy size pin, .015 larger than a 289 pin! Can the 289 rod small end be enlarged? After a few calls later to a couple of reputable shops the answer was "no problem". The fact that the piston was a little shorter than 1.426 meant that I had room to deck and true the block. A local shop recommended the deck be milled for the piston to be .005 below the deck due to thermal expansion and rod stretch during engine operation.

I bought a set of .030 KB322 pistons and the 331 crank and it was time to mock up a cylinder to see how things fit. I mocked up cylinder #1 in the original 289 block which was bored to .060 over years ago. Since the early 289 and early 302 blocks are identical, the old 289 block would do fine for a mock up even though the piston was a bit loose in the bore. I was looking for major fitment problems anyhow.

I rotated the mocked up cylinder and the bottom of the piston boss was hitting the crankshaft counterweights just like the 366 stroker mentioned above. I had to loosen the rod cap nuts about ½ turn to get the parts to clear…now what? Can I remove material to get things to clear? I called Speedomotive immediately and they said that it is common for them to have to remove material from the crankshaft in strokers. They also said that I should have about .065 running clearance between the piston boss and crankshaft counterweights. It turns out that there is plenty of counterweight material on the speedomotive crank that a lot can be removed and the crankshaft will still balance out without using expensive heavy metal. I removed about .075 from the counterweight faces with an angle grinder and I removed about .015 from the KB322 piston bosses. The width of the piston boss at the thinnest point between the wrist pin hole and the bottom of the boss was .220. The piston can be as thin as .200 safely as told to me by a local shop so I settled for removing .015. Be sure to re-check clearance after your done.

Using Ford 289 rods will probably not require notching of the cylinder skirts to clear the rod nuts since there is adequate clearance. Every individual engine should be checked to be sure that adequate clearance of at least .065 is present. ARP bolts, magnafluxing, and shotpeening are recommended upgrades to the 289 rods for operation to 6500+ rpm. Polishing side beams is optional for added insurance. Be sure to check the rod nut to cylinder skirt clearance after ARP bolts are installed. It is NOT recommended that full floating bronze bushings be installed in 289 rods since too much material has to be removed from the small end. Instead, press fitting the wrist pins is recommended. If your going to be pushing some serious HP, aftermarket 289 I beam or H beam rods can be had. I took the H-beam route after I found a set of Hawks H beam rods for only $295 from the Mustang Depot on ebay which was probably not a lot more than the cost of improving the Ford 289 rods. Notching of the cylinder skirts was required with these rods.

The engine machining was done and reciprocating components were balanced. The short block was assembled with no problems. Speed Pro moly rings and Clevite 77 bearings were used. ARP studs were used on the main caps. Total cost of the Speedomotive crank, KB pistons, and 289 rods is about $650 ($750 for H beam rod kit), far less than any 331 stroker kit on the market. Rings and bearings are about another $100.

The heads chosen were early '70 351W heads. The intakes were ported and gasket matched using FelPro 1262 intake gaskets (2.10 x 1.28 port size) and the exhausts were ported and gasket matched to Copperseal gaskets (1.48 x 1.25 port size). Flow is approximately 220 cfm @ 0.5 intake and 175 cfm @ 0.5 exhaust. The intake volume was increased about 25% to 160 cc. The exhaust volume was increased nearly 40% (thermactor hump completely removed). I had 1.94 / 1.6 stainless valves and bronze guides installed, screw in 3/8 studs, and 5/16 guide plates installed in the heads. Total cost of machining and parts on the heads were about $600. Far less than aluminum heads and flow that rivals some off the shelf units. The benefit of using the 351W heads is the intake port volume and high charge velocity during engine operation promoting excellent torque especially at low and mid rpms. Final chamber volume was 60-61 cc. I had a little trouble finding headers that had inlet ports that were as large as my ported exhaust ports. Doug's Headers Tri-Ys were a perfect match. Grade eight 7/16 washers and ARP 7/16 bolts were used to fasten the 351W heads to the 302 block.

Heads were installed using the Felpro 0.039 thickness hi performance gasket. A 5/16 wooden dowel was used to determine the correct pushrod length by trimming the dowel with a bench grinder until the Comp Cams Pro Magnum roller rocker tip was in the center of the valve tip @ ½ of total valve lift. The valve springs on the test valve were replaced temporarily with a weak spring (inexpensive thin wire spring picked up at a local hardware store ) that would not break the wooden dowel. The optimum pushrod length was determined to be 6.950".

While installing and testing the valve train, it was observed that the pushrods were just barely coming in contact with the outboard side of the pushrod hole that goes thru the head. The valve train had to be disassembled and the pushrod hole slightly enlarged at the top outboard side of the hole. This problem is caused by the high lift cam and outward movement of the rocker arm pushrod cup as the valve opens. If you use a high lift cam and stock iron heads, open up the pushrod holes slightly BEFORE the heads are installed. It was tedious enlarging these holes and preventing metal shavings from falling into the engine when the heads were on the engine!

Other lessons learned were:

1. Do not adjust valve lash (solid) or lifter preload (hydraulic) until the intake manifold is installed and torqued. I adjusted my valve lash before intake installation and the lash changed about .004 tighter after the intake was installed. Had to do it again.
2. Don't use a high volume oil pump if your clearances are within the standard tolerances. I did and the pressure at idle was 70 lbs and high rpm pressure was almost 100 lbs. I replaced my oil pump with a standard one and pressure was 35-40 lbs at idle and 65-70 lbs at higher rpms.
3. Be sure the guide plates are aligned properly. The guide plates control the rocker arm alignment and the contact point of the rocker arm tip to the valve tip. I had a couple of misaligned guide plates that were causing the rocker arm tip to be dangerously close to the front or back edge of the valve tip. Had to remove screw in studs and realign the guide plates. Be sure to use a thread sealer on the screw in studs as they go into a water jacket.
4. If poly locks are used, tighten the set screw first and then give the nut a turn to really lock it into place. I set my lash to .019, but I have to adjust the poly lock for .023 and then tighten the set screw. Finally, I turn the poly lock nut down to lock it in and this closes up the lash to the final .019.
5. Be sure to fully install your intake manifold and torque it to specs before marking it's location for port matching the runners. Use the same manifold gaskets that you will use in the final assembly and throw them away and buy another set after matching the manifold.
6. Be sure to use thread sealer on the flywheel bolts since the bolt holes lead thru the crankshaft into the crankcase.
7. If you use a rebuilt stock Ford harmonic damper, check the TDC mark on the harmonic balancer for accuracy using a piston stop in cylinder one. My rebuilt stock unit was off by 5 degrees and I re-indexed the timing marks. Later, I changed over to a Pro Race Street model harmonic damper.
8. Don't forget to open up that top ring gap as specified by the manufacturer on Hypereutetic pistons.


Parts List:

'68 302 block ( this block and my old '65 289 block have the same cylinder length of 5 1/8 inches...the debate rages on).

Hawks H beam 289 rods (Ford 289 rods equipped with ARP bolts and shotpeened would have fit the bill but I found such a good deal on these H beam rods that I went for it)

KB322 pistons

Speedomotive hi-nodularity 3.25 stroke SBF crankshaft

Clevite 77 P series bearings throughout

Speed Pro file fit moly rings

New stock oil pump

Miloden windage tray

Canton 7 quart oil pan and pickup

'70 351W heads ported and 1.94 / 1.6 stainless valves

Weiand Stealth 8020 intake manifold port matched to 1262 Felpro gasket

Doug's Headers Tri-Y headers (in conjunction with 160cc intake runners should help promote good torque response)

Comp Cams 282S flat solid lifter cam and lifters

Comp Cams Poly Locks

Comp Cams valve springs, retainers and locks

Comp Cams Pro Magnum 1.6 true roller rockers

Ford Racing tall valve covers

Holley 770 Street Avenger carburetor

Cloyes true roller Hex Adjust timing chain

Pertronix ignition

Rebuilt and recurved Ford distributor (16 deg BTDC initial, 34 deg BTDC final)

Flame Thrower coil

Taylor 8mm spark plug wires

Pro Race Street model harmonic damper.


Engine Results:

The engine was built and test run on a modified engine stand. After the initial 20 minute break-in, timing was adjusted and the idle mixture was adjusted. It is a very willing and fast revving engine (granted my experience is mostly with big blocks). I have the engine in the car now. I hope to have the car on the road within a few months.

Engine power estimate at the flywheel:

417 Hp @ 6100 rpm open headers (see note)

418 ft-lbs torque @ 4500 rpm open headers (see note)

387 Hp @ 6000 rpm w/dynomax mufflers (see note)

394 ft-lbs torque @ 4500 rpm w/dynomax mufflers (see note)

Note: Estimates based on Engine Analyzer 3.0 and Dyno2000 simulations which were in agreement with each other to within 5 HP and 5 ft-lbs of torque. If i'm within 90% of this, i'll be happy. HP and Torque numbers revised on 11/15/03 due to incorrect cam duration used at .050. HP and Torque numbers revised on 7/20/04 to include tight quench increase. Actual Dyno numbers available below.


10/23/04 Update:

Went to a new dyno tune shop where they perform complete engine tuning. First run was 290 RWHP and 297 RWTQ. After adjusting timing and carb mods to correct a lean condition 308 RWHP @ 6300 and 307 RWTQ @ 3700. These numbers were at the rear after going thru a C4 auto trans and a 9" posi rear. The car also had a dual 2.5" exhaust system. A few days later, I found that my throttle was not opening all the way so maybe a few more HP were on tap. Estimating 20% drivetrain loss, it looks like its right in the neighborhood of 390 FWHP and 390 FWTQ. EA 3.0 estimate was 387 HP and 394 TQ with mufflers.

08/26/05 Update:

Installed a custom tuned holley 770 street avenger and returned to the chassis dyno for a new run. The vacuum secondaries were sticking and not opening completely so I asked them to open them manually to get peak HP and torque with the new carb. Peak HP was 313 @ 6300 and peak torque is unknown because they didn't manually open the secondaries until 4500 rpm. The new torque curve was significantly higher than the old curve from 4500 to 6500 so the new peak torque figure could be approaching 315 to 320. The new HP curve was also higher by as much as 10 HP from 4500 to 6500. I fixed the carb and also put a 1" spacer under it. Someday i'll get it back to the chassis dyno.

12/10/05 Update:

Converted from the problem plagued C4 to a T5z and the car runs excellent. What a difference a transmission makes. It really feels like more power is getting to the ground now. I hope to have a new chassis dyno done sometime before the new year.

1/11/06 Update:

It's time to chassis dyno the car since the T5z conversion. I have also added a 1" spacer since the last dyno (elongated 2 hole with center separator). The new dyno numbers are:

335 [email protected] and 337 [email protected] 3900 (SAE correction)

STD correction numbers were 345/347. I understand that magazine articles tend to use STD correction so I provided both corrections here. The dyno was the same dynojet used with previous chassis dynos.

I am very happy with these results. This puts me right at or very close to 400/400 at the flywheel (SAE correction) using a 15% or 16% drivetrain loss factor.

The vacuum secondaries were still opening too slow so during the second dyno run they opened them up manually. Here is the dyno chart and the dip around 3800 is where they opened the secondaries manually causing a momentary rich condition. This is the STD correction chart. The lower numbers are from the previous dyno while I still had the C4 auto.

I may have to dump the vacuum secondary carb in favor of a 750 DP. Everything has been done to the carb to make the secondaries open as quickly as possible. The dyno guys mentioned that they have seen coated carbs (nickel or chrome) have partially blocked passages in the carb body where you can't get to them...lucky me...<IMG SRC="/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif">

9/14/06 Update:

Could not solve the slow vacuum secondary problem so a couple of months ago I converted the carb to mechanical secondaries by putting a small nut and bolt into the linkage slot. I didn't have much hope of this working since there is not accel pump on the secondary side, but guess what...it worked great. The only time I get noticable hesitation is when it's cold...problem solved.

Crank was dropped a week ago to get it resurfaced. I visited a road course in late June (2nd time out) and oil starved the engine and wiped a couple of bearings. Warning...the Canton 7 quart pan is not a road racing pan. I bought a new 9 quart Canton road race pan to replace the existing pan...live and learn.

6/25/2010 Update:

This thing is overdue for an update. The engine had to be rebuilt due to oil starvation while on a road course in 2006. Got a new Scat 9000 Hi Nodular crank since the old crank not only got scored, but it had 2 cracks in it. Pistons, rods and cam were just fine.

Engine was rebuilt with the following mods:

new Scat 9000 crank prepped like the old one was as discussed above

New valve guides and a bit more work on the heads to make each port more uniform

1.7 Probe shaft mount rockers

26986 Comp Cams Beehive springs

Pro Products Hurricane single plane intake (I still feel kinda guilty buying Chinese, but it was easily available at a local shop).

Port matched the ports and knife edged the runner dividers in the Hurricane manifold.

and most importantly...Canton 9 quart road race oil pan

I've been driving the car with the new engine for 3 years now. Had it dyno'd again...357 Rear Wheel HP at 6500 and still making 330 RWHP at 7000. Engine was a tad lean and the timing was a couple of degrees retarded. Re-jetted the carb and set the timing to 36 total and it's probably at or over the 360 RWHP mark now.

Flywheel HP is somewhere in the 425 range. I take it up to 7000 just about every time I take it out.

Tracy Blackford: Anaheim Hills, Ca
www.pacificthunderperformance.com
65 Mustang, 331 custom built with 289 H beam rods and 383W piston, 282S cam, self-ported '70 351w heads, T5z, 9" w/3.89s. 430 [email protected]
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 03:24 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

tripped out !

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 03:43 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

great write up , thanks

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:17 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Woundering about a couple things.
I have built a lot of SBFs with much wilder cams than yours and never had issues with pushrods coming close to the push rod holes. On Clevlandheads have had issues with that and cams close to .600 lift and above.

Your intake although a bit better than a Performer RPM mostly due to a larger plenum dosent flow enough to take full advantage of your cylinder head flow. I have flowed a lot of SBF intakes bolted to SBF heads some of the heads flowing over 300 CFM by them selves. Intakes such as your using usally tank out at around 170 CFM just under .500 lift.

Not shure of your cams exact lift. If its .500 give or take a bit I have found the Torqer II to work well with 220 CFM at .500 lift. This might be were your estimated HP vs actuall was off a bit. Remember to on solid cams to subtract lash from cam lift numbers for actuall lift at vavle assembled.

Good build though.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 06:01 PM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

i got a brand new never used set of these no longer available Crower heavy duty rods with sps bolts from Bud Moore(see foto). they are 5.15" , use a 289/302 bearing and full floating .912 pin. i was gonna use them in place of the factory b2 rods BUT ! and thats a BIGG BUTT ! i got to thinkin ! and when i get to thinking my mind trips out like a circut breaker ! i wondered if i could use them with a 3.25" stroke crank in an 8.2" block. so i was searching the web and found this post. seems that no one has made a racing aftermarket 5.15" ford rod in years. i dont want the pin in the oil ring on a daily driver. so i'll get a cutom set of je pistons with a ch of 1.425" to match the heads(thinking of using c302) and the pin will be below the oil ring. i'll get a custom crank and have it internal balanced after i check the counterweight to skirt clearence clarence ! just think , the chubby boys will think i put a chubby engine in it when i tell them its a 327 ! using a new block so it will be a 4" bore.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 07:11 PM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

5.15 rods were used in SBF up to the 289 also in the stock Boss 302s.
Compitition Boss 302s used 5.315 rods. I have a set of Boss 302 STD bore TRW pistons dont know if they would help think there 12.5 to one on closed chamber Boss 302 heads. They would work quite well on a SBF using 351C 2V heads. Think the comp height is 1.529. Full floating if I remember correctly.
Weisco used to have blanks for a lot of SBF configurations.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 09:33 PM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo2256b View Post
Compitition Boss 302s used 5.315 rods.
thats the old t/a rod. i know a guy that has a set. i was going to buy them until i found out you cant get bearings. the bearing shell is different from then 289/302. the crank journal dia is the same. i checked with the b2 guys and some others that raced in t/a. the inserts were only made by ford and are long gone. the t/a rods were real heavy and wernt popular. most of the teams used lighter sftermarket rods back in the day. according to crower the rods i have were discontineud back in the 80's. these crower rods i have weighed in at a wopping 635 grams. a little on the heavy side. iirc the t/a rod was around 700 grams.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:56 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Total Performance in Clinton Township, MI
Is one place I found a lot of discontinued stuff
They are also the tech line guys for FMS.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 11:00 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

As far as ricipracating weight I first look for the lightest wrist pins that fit the application
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:52 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Hi
Just a few comments on your 331 build, I think it was a good build but IO don't see where you saved much money buy using the 289 rod? And 289 Rods are getting very hard to find! Also, for me: I know the KB pistons are far better then the stock cast pistons but they are still cast! and when something bad happens to them they will brake like glass! I would never run them other then a stock engine! But that just me (o;
First I have been racing 289's for over 50 years, from back in the good old days with the Ford boys!! (o; I can tell you that "YES" to the one guy that wanted to try a 302 with 289 rods and Chevy 350 pistons! It works great! Rod length is all important to hi RPM HP! Ford knows this and since they had to make a new piston for the BOSS 302 and the Cleveland Head! and knowing it was a high RPM engine they put a 289 HP rods in it! and I remember we waited what seemed like an eternity for ford to release the 302! Only to find out that they put a shorter rod then the 289!!! everyone was very disappointed! So the work around started, I have one that I am getting ready to put back together and race it again in my 66 fastback! Its an Indie 289 steel crank that was a little offset ground and used a small journal SBC Aluminum Rod at 5.548 give or take a few! and the piston is for a sbc 383cid with a 6" rod! This combo clears everything in an old stile 289 or 302 block, except the very bottom corner of the cylinder you have to grind about an 1 8th natch in the outer bottom edge of the cylinder for rod bolt clearance, most likely because of the aluminum rods! But, Its not much, The pin is NOT in the oil ring! and it ends up being a 312cid! with a 4.030 bore.
It put out over 500 Flywheel HP naturally asperated! (o; I used a flat top piston but with any of the new aluminum heads the valves and chambers are very close to sbc!! There is very little modification that needs to be done for V-P clearance mostly none, on one of my engines with 350 pistons I had to open up the intake valve cut but that was because I was running twisted-wedge heads! (o; I have run sbc domed pistons in a ford aluminum head with very little modification.
The last 331 or 327 SBF's I have built with the 5.400 rod I did not have any problem with the wrist pin in the oil ring ether? they make a nice plug the goes in between the oil ring over the pin and fill in the hole and stops the oil usage on the 347 very well, But again if I was going to spend the money on a 347? why not just build a 351 W?? more power all the way around and you can build a 393 with stock 351 Rods and 289/302 pistons!! (o; I build engines to last and durability, with a forged piston a valve stem can poke holes in it and bad things can hit it and it will stay together most times! and save most of your engine! Aluminum rods are the same I have broke more Steele rods over the years then aluminum and with aluminum if it brakes the crank just cuts it off at the pan rail! you can usually save the block and crank and run again! (o; Also, FYI: Do not use "H" Beam Rods! The quality "I" Beams are much stronger! Ever look a Crower or Oliver Rod? and NASCAR are all "I" beam rods, the resin I say this is because on a 900 HP 347 on N2O and 13.5 to 1 we started braking first eagle and last Scat "H" Beam Rods!! If you just have to have an "H" beam rod cuss they look cool? Molnar Makes a nice set that does hold up! very good, but you pay for it also! (o; But it will run 9,500 all day! the weakness was in the middle of the "H" beam the ( - ) part is weak and the ( l l ) part starts to flex and then the center snaps if you do not catch it in time! )o; does bad things to a SVO or Dart Block!! )o; Hope this helps someone, I race old 4 speed gear banging top-loaders, the 289 in my 70 Maverick 278 first gear wide ratio 4 speed and 4.33 rear gears 75 HP N20 ran 10.60 @ 137 mph street trim! made 400 HP rear wheel HP (o; Have fun, love to hear the combos people come up with, thank you (o;
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick289 View Post
Hi
Just a few comments on your 331 build, I think it was a good build but IO don't see where you saved much money buy using the 289 rod? And 289 Rods are getting very hard to find! Also, for me: I know the KB pistons are far better then the stock cast pistons but they are still cast! and when something bad happens to them they will brake like glass! I would never run them other then a stock engine! But that just me (o;
First I have been racing 289's for over 50 years, from back in the good old days with the Ford boys!! (o; I can tell you that "YES" to the one guy that wanted to try a 302 with 289 rods and Chevy 350 pistons! It works great! Rod length is all important to hi RPM HP! Ford knows this and since they had to make a new piston for the BOSS 302 and the Cleveland Head! and knowing it was a high RPM engine they put a 289 HP rods in it! and I remember we waited what seemed like an eternity for ford to release the 302! Only to find out that they put a shorter rod then the 289!!! everyone was very disappointed! So the work around started, I have one that I am getting ready to put back together and race it again in my 66 fastback! Its an Indie 289 steel crank that was a little offset ground and used a small journal SBC Aluminum Rod at 5.548 give or take a few! and the piston is for a sbc 383cid with a 6" rod! This combo clears everything in an old stile 289 or 302 block, except the very bottom corner of the cylinder you have to grind about an 1 8th natch in the outer bottom edge of the cylinder for rod bolt clearance, most likely because of the aluminum rods! But, Its not much, The pin is NOT in the oil ring! and it ends up being a 312cid! with a 4.030 bore.
It put out over 500 Flywheel HP naturally asperated! (o; I used a flat top piston but with any of the new aluminum heads the valves and chambers are very close to sbc!! There is very little modification that needs to be done for V-P clearance mostly none, on one of my engines with 350 pistons I had to open up the intake valve cut but that was because I was running twisted-wedge heads! (o; I have run sbc domed pistons in a ford aluminum head with very little modification.
The last 331 or 327 SBF's I have built with the 5.400 rod I did not have any problem with the wrist pin in the oil ring ether? they make a nice plug the goes in between the oil ring over the pin and fill in the hole and stops the oil usage on the 347 very well, But again if I was going to spend the money on a 347? why not just build a 351 W?? more power all the way around and you can build a 393 with stock 351 Rods and 289/302 pistons!! (o; I build engines to last and durability, with a forged piston a valve stem can poke holes in it and bad things can hit it and it will stay together most times! and save most of your engine! Aluminum rods are the same I have broke more Steele rods over the years then aluminum and with aluminum if it brakes the crank just cuts it off at the pan rail! you can usually save the block and crank and run again! (o; Also, FYI: Do not use "H" Beam Rods! The quality "I" Beams are much stronger! Ever look a Crower or Oliver Rod? and NASCAR are all "I" beam rods, the resin I say this is because on a 900 HP 347 on N2O and 13.5 to 1 we started braking first eagle and last Scat "H" Beam Rods!! If you just have to have an "H" beam rod cuss they look cool? Molnar Makes a nice set that does hold up! very good, but you pay for it also! (o; But it will run 9,500 all day! the weakness was in the middle of the "H" beam the ( - ) part is weak and the ( l l ) part starts to flex and then the center snaps if you do not catch it in time! )o; does bad things to a SVO or Dart Block!! )o; Hope this helps someone, I race old 4 speed gear banging top-loaders, the 289 in my 70 Maverick 278 first gear wide ratio 4 speed and 4.33 rear gears 75 HP N20 ran 10.60 @ 137 mph street trim! made 400 HP rear wheel HP (o; Have fun, love to hear the combos people come up with, thank you (o;

I just saw your post. Good info! You have a lot of valuable experience.



I used the 289 rods because of the KB322 compression height. Its compression height plus the 289 rod length gave me the stack up numbers that came out just shorter than the 8.206 deck height of the block so that I could deck it and have the piston at deck or .005 below. H beams were just a bonus...I didn't feel like using stock 289 rods so I got the H beams and the price was attractive back then. If I did it again I might have used I beam aftermarket 289 rods if anyone makes them. There are opinions on both sides of the Hyper piston dialogue. Some of it came about because people didn't gap the top ring properly. They have been fine under quite a bit of abuse so i'm good with them. There was no forged piston that was off-the-shelf that met my requirements for compression height. Silvolite no longer makes the KB322 so I bought one of the last sets in case I ever needed some pistons.


I plan to take my 351w heads off and have them flowed to finally see what kind of flow I got. I will probably replace the heads with AFR 185 renegades or something and raise the compression to at least 11:1. I drive the car very infrequently and if I have to put a can of Torco in the tank at every fill up then so be it...it won't be a big deal. If I have to back off timing a bit i'll do that too, but I want to get the compression up some. I've heard that aluminum heads and a tight quench can allow for higher compression than iron heads. I've also heard from Joe Sherman that if nothing else changes except that iron heads are swapped with aluminum heads with the same flow characteristics, you have to raise the compression ratio about 1/2 of a point or you'll lose power.

Tracy Blackford: Anaheim Hills, Ca
www.pacificthunderperformance.com
65 Mustang, 331 custom built with 289 H beam rods and 383W piston, 282S cam, self-ported '70 351w heads, T5z, 9" w/3.89s. 430 [email protected]
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 10:59 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Tracey,
I may have already told you this but my current ( in my 66 GT350) engine started life in 2000 as a Tunnel Port 302 ( 331ci). Like Rick289 , I have been racing since the day OCIR opened in '67. When i found a pair of "street" Tunnel port heads and a dual four intake in 2000 , I decided to used some leftover parts and build it. The street head had smaller intake valves and stud mounted rockers instead of the shaft mounted "race" heads. I had a hipo 289 block , a set of 13-1 custom pistons and a set of 5.315 length Carrillo rods that were not being used so I bought a crank from Eagle. I used a Crane TR252-2 solid roller , cut down some used Boss 302 titanium valves and "threw" together this engine to see how it would run. First outing at the track was way up at Sears Point for a Nor Cal SAAC event that featured drag racing. It ran consistent 11.70s @ 119mph which is around 500-510 flywheel HP, The ET was slow as the lack of bottom end and an automatic ( despite a 5,000 stall converter) trans was not the best off the line. I ran it ( trouble free) for the next five years until a friend "had to have" the tunnel port heads. A deal was struck and away went the top end of the engine , leaving a roller cam short block.
I bought a set of Vic Jr heads , added Ti valves again and used the '67 T/A 289 dual quad intake ( for nostalgic purposes) the chambers were bigger resulting in a 2 point loss of compression ( 11.5 now) The simple heads and intake change went 11.20s @ 120+ @ Fontana which is slower than Sonoma. Since then it has run 11.04 @ Sonoma and some 11teens @ Fontana at 122+. "I" feel the power is only about 530 at the flywheel bu tthe bottom end torque difference is extreme. N20 Mike has suggested ( and i will soon do) to use a ported Vic Jr intake that I already have and I'll throw a double pumper on it so I can go into the 10's . This was not a street build by any stretch of the imagination but it was really an inexpensive build because of the use of used parts. The "high buck" engine waiting to replace it ( when it fails) is an all aluminum 374 ci Boss 302.
Randy

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:01 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Sorry meant Tracy , it wouldn't let me correct.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by GT350HR View Post
Tracey,
I may have already told you this but my current ( in my 66 GT350) engine started life in 2000 as a Tunnel Port 302 ( 331ci). Like Rick289 , I have been racing since the day OCIR opened in '67. When i found a pair of "street" Tunnel port heads and a dual four intake in 2000 , I decided to used some leftover parts and build it. The street head had smaller intake valves and stud mounted rockers instead of the shaft mounted "race" heads. I had a hipo 289 block , a set of 13-1 custom pistons and a set of 5.315 length Carrillo rods that were not being used so I bought a crank from Eagle. I used a Crane TR252-2 solid roller , cut down some used Boss 302 titanium valves and "threw" together this engine to see how it would run. First outing at the track was way up at Sears Point for a Nor Cal SAAC event that featured drag racing. It ran consistent 11.70s @ 119mph which is around 500-510 flywheel HP, The ET was slow as the lack of bottom end and an automatic ( despite a 5,000 stall converter) trans was not the best off the line. I ran it ( trouble free) for the next five years until a friend "had to have" the tunnel port heads. A deal was struck and away went the top end of the engine , leaving a roller cam short block.
I bought a set of Vic Jr heads , added Ti valves again and used the '67 T/A 289 dual quad intake ( for nostalgic purposes) the chambers were bigger resulting in a 2 point loss of compression ( 11.5 now) The simple heads and intake change went 11.20s @ 120+ @ Fontana which is slower than Sonoma. Since then it has run 11.04 @ Sonoma and some 11teens @ Fontana at 122+. "I" feel the power is only about 530 at the flywheel bu tthe bottom end torque difference is extreme. N20 Mike has suggested ( and i will soon do) to use a ported Vic Jr intake that I already have and I'll throw a double pumper on it so I can go into the 10's . This was not a street build by any stretch of the imagination but it was really an inexpensive build because of the use of used parts. The "high buck" engine waiting to replace it ( when it fails) is an all aluminum 374 ci Boss 302.
Randy

That is a great story! Just having the TP heads would be a once in a lifetime experience, but it sounds like they suffered from low air speed at low rpms probably due to the large intake port volume. Did you ever measure the cc's of the TP ports? Did you or your friend go to the FFF show? I remember a car with a TP 302 at the show. This would have been some 8-10 years ago.

Tracy Blackford: Anaheim Hills, Ca
www.pacificthunderperformance.com
65 Mustang, 331 custom built with 289 H beam rods and 383W piston, 282S cam, self-ported '70 351w heads, T5z, 9" w/3.89s. 430 [email protected]
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:02 AM
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Re: Lessons learned from 331 build using 289 length rods

If you saw them on a white 66 GT350 at FFF that was me and my GT350H as I took it there once with those heads. The guy I sold the heads to never did anything with them and last time I heard they were at JBA in San Diego.
I considered filling the port floors but the sale came before i got around to it. There was a better ( single plane) dual four that I never got to try because Bittle borrowed it before I could and was still using it when the sale happened . I also wanted to try a single four intake I used to own but didn't do that either.
Randy

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