Need help with engine upgrade - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with engine upgrade

I have a 1967 fairlane ranchero with a 289 and 3-speed top loader. 9" rearend with stock 3.23 gears. I have long tube headers and a new edelbrock performer intake. Other than the few aftermarket parts the engine is stock and runs well. I did order a cam kit:

HOWARD'S 289-302 Small Block Ford 269/269 475"/475" 110 Hyd. Cam Camshaft Kit

I am wanting to upgrade the engine and get a few more ponys. Am i going to right route? Should i be purchasing a roller short block? I have a fairly small budget and will need to pay for install. Any advice and rerection would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 05:18 AM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

I think heads are your next step. There are some decent options in the lower cost aluminum heads now. Promaxx has received some good reviews with this head.

https://promaxxperformance.com/product/maxx-180-sbf/

Most, if not all, of the aluminum replacement heads will have larger valves. And, with the higher lift cam you've ordered you'll have to check for valve to piston clearance with this swap. A 351W roller will bolt right in and you can still use the new heads on a 351 but not the intake.

Joe
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

right on Molon thanks. I have an option to purchase some GT40P heads in great shape for $250. I believe the headers i have will work fine with them. What do you think?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 10:03 AM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

Right now, I'm assuming you have the original 1967 289? If so, it will have rail rockers... or rockers that have two little fingers at the tip that straddle the valve stem to keep them centered. Updating the heads will require a few, small changes. I believe the GT40P heads are the ones that came on Explorers. They have a revised spark plug location, and usually require special headers. If you go with an aftermarket head, I would avoid the Chinese stuff. Usually more problems with them than the others. Edelbrock heads are made in USA, and have a lot more Quality Control. The offer a very inexpensive choice that would work just fine on your car.

You really need the full COMBINATION to make your car 'right'. I would install an Edelbrock 4bbl, Performer RPM intake, you cam is probably fine, the low cost Edelbrock heads, headers and at least a 2-1/4" exhaust.

The Edelbrock carb is nice, in the fact that it is easy to tune, provided great throttle response, and gets better fuel mileage than a Holley. The old Performer 289 intake is 50 year old design that is okay for putting a 4bbl on an otherwise stock engine, but the Performer RPM is better in every way. It's also not that expensive. The heads are the worst bottleneck on the small block Ford, and should be upgraded every build. Headers allow the heads to do their magic, and a decent sized exhaust allows all the other parts to do their thing.

These Edelbrock E-Street heads are set up for a flat tappet cam, and are the least expensive heads Edelbrock makes for the SBF. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/e...view/make/ford They use guide plates, which will require hardened pushrods, and you'll need different rockers. Scorpion makes an affordable high quality aluminum full roller rocker. You can also get the Comp Cams roller tip rockers if space under the valve cover is a concern. Either way, it's advisable to adjust pushrod length to get good rocker geometry.

I'd either keep it stock, or do the whole combination. Doing only part will leave a bottleneck somewhere, and it won't run as well as you hope. If you're having to pay others to do it all, have an engine shop do the entire engine. Most regular automotive/restoration shops don't know the ins/outs of old Ford engines.

Good Luck!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

Mike thanks a ton for the input. I do have a new 500 cfm evs2 edelbrock carb which I LOVE. Paired with that is the edelbrock performer intake. Also long tubes too. Sounds like the e-steet heads might be the ones and will be all i need - aside from hardened pushrods etc. Would it be wise for me to be looking at roller short blocks? Maybe a 331 that I can use my intake headers etc with?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 05:17 AM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

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Originally Posted by ianmattfairlan View Post
Mike thanks a ton for the input. I do have a new 500 cfm evs2 edelbrock carb which I LOVE. Paired with that is the edelbrock performer intake. Also long tubes too. Sounds like the e-steet heads might be the ones and will be all i need - aside from hardened pushrods etc. Would it be wise for me to be looking at roller short blocks? Maybe a 331 that I can use my intake headers etc with?
After 1981, Ford went with a different sized external balance weight. It went from 28 to 50 oz-in. The balance weight on the flywheel and harmonic dampner is almost twice as big on the later engines. All roller engines are the later balance. They ARE nice, as you can use hydraulic roller cams, and they have a one piece rear seal that isn't as leak prone as the 2-piece in the older engines.

IF you do switch, you may be able to use a rotating assembly with a 28 oz-in external balance if you go with a stroker kit. A 28 oz-in 331 in a roller block would be really cool, and would work awesome. You could use your existing harmonic dampner and flex plate. But, you have to resist the temptation to get too wild. If you get too many inches and rpm, you start needing different parts. Your carb is good for a mostly stock engine. Same for the intake. For a mild 5500-6000 rpm 331, the carb will still be okay, but you really do need to update to the Performer RPM intake. It's not that expensive, though.

If you go with a roller cam, the Edelbrock E-Street heads are only designed for flat tappet. They don't have the springs for a roller. For that, you'll need to upgrade the heads. As long as it's a fairly mild cam, you can probably change out the springs on the E-Street heads. Another option, is to go with AFR. They make some of the best quality/performing heads period. They are fully CNC ported, and you can get them with the springs you need for a hydraulic roller cam. That being said, your existing flat tappet cam can also be used in a roller block... as can your existing rotating assembly. You'll just want to use your original timing chain cover.

Building an engine can be a snowball effect. You start with a mildly warmed up stocker, and pretty soon, you're building a 600 hp 408. You just need to figure out your needs and budget from the beginning, and stick to your plan... else, things can spiral out of control. lol
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

What do you guys think about these heads for my 289
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-PERFORM...S/362445620641
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 07:01 PM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

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Originally Posted by ianmattfairlan View Post
What do you guys think about these heads for my 289
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-PERFORM...S/362445620641
Their 195cc intake ports are big for a street 289. Plus, they are generic Chinese heads with little quality control.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 09:39 PM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

I would go with the Edelbrock E-Street heads that n20mike suggested. They're perfect for a stock to mild street 289. They come fully assembled with 2.02 valves, and 60cc chambers. They run around $975 a pair just about anywhere.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

What are your thoughts on this cam i ordered? I was told would work well. Hoping for a bit of lope too hahaha.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HOWARDS-289...UZN~:rk:1:pf:0
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 07:14 PM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmattfairlan View Post
What are your thoughts on this cam i ordered? I was told would work well. Hoping for a bit of lope too hahaha.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HOWARDS-289...UZN~:rk:1:pf:0
Not a bad choice for a warmed up 289. It should pull up to around 5800 rpm, and should start pulling nicely from around 2000 on up. I would still recommend upgrading to the Performer RPM intake, and the E-street heads. Will make a nice combination that will work well with your vehicle weight and gearing. With the intake and heads, it will make a SUBSTANTIAL increase over the stock engine.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

Thanks Mike I cant wait to get the cam and heads in. Gonna be fun. I do have the standard performer intake on my 289 that i bought new 4 months ago. Is it really worth the $270 to go to the RPM version of this intake?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:25 PM
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Re: Need help with engine upgrade

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Originally Posted by ianmattfairlan View Post
Thanks Mike I cant wait to get the cam and heads in. Gonna be fun. I do have the standard performer intake on my 289 that i bought new 4 months ago. Is it really worth the $270 to go to the RPM version of this intake?
Wow, they've gone up a lot since the last time I looked at them! They were close to $100 cheaper than this. lol 'Worth it' is a relative thing. Probably worth close to 30 horsepower on that engine with the E-street heads.
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