Re: 289 Hi-po heads
Nice work! I did a set of 289 heads just like these years ago for a 351W. Compression was way too high and I had to use a copper spacer to dial it in to be more streetable.
I did all of the port work myself. Really opened up and contoured the exhaust side, and evened up, and smoothed out the runner curves on the intake with a healthy amount of bowl work and work around the valve stems on both the intake and exhaust sides.
The valves I used were a stainless Chevy 1.9" with a Ford 1.6" (that's what the Ford shop I worked with recommended). The heads were already slotted, and I had the machined for screw-in studs.
The intake was a Weiand Stealth and made outstanding power, but it was a 351W. On 302s I have always been very happy with the Offy 360 split-plenum intake.
The cam I really liked (way too big for your application) was a roughly 238 degrees at .050" with .535" lift and a 108 degree center line. I would say that based upon what you are looking for as far as your operating RPMs, the two cams you had listed looked good and pretty streetable to me. I would be tempted to get a slightly higher stall torque converter (1,800 or so like a Saturday Night Special for example) which should be a nice balance of stall speed vs. driveability. The cam might like just a little more stall, but the Fairlane isn't super light, so that should help push the stall up slightly as well.
The 3.25 gear might be a nice little bump as well. With your larger rear tires you have already effectively changed your rear axle ratio making it taller than the stock 3.00, so a 3.25 will put you a little ways back over the line in the opposite direction. This will also help wind the engine up into your torque curve and reduce/eliminate any bog out of the hole.
As long as you keep an appropriate sized carb on there, your car should really snap out of the hole!
NOTE ADDED: If you go with the AOD and a looser converter, definitely increase the rear gear or you can fry the converter in O.D.
Last edited by pvan; 01-29-2013 at 06:09 PM.