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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, a drag racer friend of mine was going to let me use the build sheet from one of his old racing 289's, and I was wondering what heads I could use that are equivalent to the worked over '69 351w castings he used...

So I don't have the sheet yet, but he mentioned 12.5:1 comp ratio, .690 ish intake and .700 ish exh lift on the cam, Forged pistons, stock rods and crank (balanced of course), and a few other things that I can't remember exactly. Either way it pushed his 65 mustang into, I think mid 6's in the 1/8 mile.

So, from what I gathered you would need to spin the 289 7500ish to make that kind of power... So what kind of casting could I pick up and or clean up on my own to feed a .030 over 289 to 7500+? I thought gt40 heads, cleaned up, but what else would work?
 

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those old 69-70 351w heads are so obsolete its rediculous. a set of afr 205 heads , edelbrock victor intake , 800 cfm double pumper , 1.75" long tube headers , boss 302 rods , or 289 rods with arp bolts as a 2nd choice, 12.5:1 compression(racing gas required), solid roller cam in the .700 lift range will get it going. back in the 70's and 80's the 351w head was all that was available besides the 351c 4v and boss 302 heads. i wouldnt put a set of 351w heads on a stock 289 in this day and time , i would use the small afr 165 heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
those old 69-70 351w heads are so obsolete its rediculous. a set of afr 205 heads , edelbrock victor intake , 800 cfm double pumper , 1.75" long tube headers , boss 302 rods , or 289 rods with arp bolts as a 2nd choice, 12.5:1 compression(racing gas required), solid roller cam in the .700 lift range will get it going. back in the 70's and 80's the 351w head was all that was available besides the 351c 4v and boss 302 heads. i wouldnt put a set of 351w heads on a stock 289 in this day and time , i would use the small afr 165 heads.
It would be nice to be able to afford AFR's... but I don't want to drop 1500 on a set of heads alone.

Is a roller cam really necessary? Couldn't a flat tappit get there as well? I am not looking for a daily driver.

What octane of fuel would I need to run? Wouldn't aviation fuel work? how about a booster additive.
 

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I used to turn 12.2 in a 302 powered 84 mustang with a 3.08 rear and T5 got about 26 MPG hidhway. Heads were 69 351Ws pocket ported. Vr Jr and a 750 Holley full length headers daily driver compression around 9 9.5.

Heads are now almost fully ported wit ha fully ported intake mild cam in a 4000 lbs car. Have ported heads for 40 some years and leared most aftermarket heads are too big for 302 and lesser cubes. GT 40s and old 351W heads ported work just fine on them. Big heads air speed is too low. Most intakes wount out flow the iron heads done right.
I flowed 5 different intakes on a set of ported canfield heads A victor Jr would only flow 190ish. Same intake on my 351 heads ported flowed 190.
The canfields by them selves flowed 360 my 351s 235 cfm. 351 ports about 155 cc Canfields somewere over 200.
 

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289nate has very good results with Canfield 195s (the 2nd gen version which I consider to be one of the best heads that were made).

I wouldn't go any bigger, but would consider a little smaller on a high revving 289. If your building for race only, don't limit yourself to 7500. 8000 can be done without going crazy on a short stroke 289. I would use aftermarket rods though.

They used to rev 289s to 10 grand with stock Hi Po Hi Nodular 289 cranks and aluminum rods...no lie

GT40s are no better than '69 or '70 351w heads in term of their potential. You can get 220ish and 180ish from them. You have to do some major porting on these heads either way. Mine measure 160cc intake and 60cc exhaust after a ton of port work. Chamber design in either is the GT40 design (not a typo).
 

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the reason i siggested aftermarket heads is that they are already done. i know guys that vintage roadrace and they are always trying to find good 69-70 351w heads because they cant run aftermarket heads under vintage rules. magnafluxing , cc chambers , porting , new valves , new guides , comp valve job , screw in studs , guide plates , springs , etc. add up and. there are some guys that run afr 185-205 heads on street 289-302. victor jr intakes are very common on the street around los angeles. lots and lots of early small block ford hot rods around here. i suggested a roller cam and becaue you dont have to run zddp additives in the oil. for street driving use a hyd roller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My only reservation is I don't want to trailer it to the local track. Not a 'street' engine but street-able would be what I am looking for.

Now, if I use a booster additive in the fuel, can I get away with the 12.5:1 with the aggressive cam? What rating do I need to run?
 

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booster in a can wont work for 12to1. something i didnt mention was 9.5:1 compression with iron heads is the highest you can go on pump gas. 10.5:1 compression is the highest with aluminum heads and pump gas. anything higher will require av or racing gas. back in the 60's and early 70's we had 98-100+ premium gas. 12.5 and up compression was run in street cars including daily drivers. but that was then. thats another reason to go with aftermarket aluminum heads is you can run 10.5 compression on gas station premium. 10.5 compression will support a big cam. you cant run a big cam with 9.5 compression unless you got a supercharger. you can build a very powerful 289 with aftermarket aluminum heads , hyd roller cam and run it on pump gas. av gas and racing gas cost a lot more the pump premium and that cost adds up quick. you can drive it on the street , drive it to the track and race it. the only thing i dont like about driving it to the track is if something breaks i gotta go get a tralier and thats why i always trailer my street driven race cars to the track. u-haul has a very nice car trailer you can rent by the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
booster in a can wont work for 12to1. something i didnt mention was 9.5:1 compression with iron heads is the highest you can go on pump gas. 10.5:1 compression is the highest with aluminum heads and pump gas. anything higher will require av or racing gas. back in the 60's and early 70's we had 98-100+ premium gas. 12.5 and up compression was run in street cars including daily drivers. but that was then. thats another reason to go with aftermarket aluminum heads is you can run 10.5 compression on gas station premium. 10.5 compression will support a big cam. you cant run a big cam with 9.5 compression unless you got a supercharger. you can build a very powerful 289 with aftermarket aluminum heads , hyd roller cam and run it on pump gas. av gas and racing gas cost a lot more the pump premium and that cost adds up quick. you can drive it on the street , drive it to the track and race it. the only thing i dont like about driving it to the track is if something breaks i gotta go get a tralier and thats why i always trailer my street driven race cars to the track. u-haul has a very nice car trailer you can rent by the day.
I disagree, the stock 1969 351w 4bbl I had came stock from the factory with 10.5-10.7:1 comp ratio. I ran 92 in it an it never had issues. It had a retro roller cam in it, but other than that it was stock with an intake and carter carb.
 

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keep running that thing on 92 octane premium with the timing set where it needs to be for max power and you will eventually bust some pistons. call Roush racing, JGM , JE pistons , Tony ODDO racing engines if you want more info on how high you can go on comprssion with pump gas and iron heads. i'v ben building small block for racing engines since 1974. you can dissagree with me and whoever all you want but the compession ratio vs pump premium octane in and old ford windsor engine doesnt care. anthing over 9.5 with iron heads running on pump premium with the timing set where it needs to be is in danger of breaking piston ring lands due to detonation. the only way to run more then 9.5 is to back the timing down and that reduces engine power. you can run 12.5:1 with iron heads but you will have to back the timing way down to the point the engine may not make over 100 hp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
keep running that thing on 92 octane premium with the timing set where it needs to be for max power and you will eventually bust some pistons. call Roush racing, JGM , JE pistons , Tony ODDO racing engines if you want more info on how high you can go on comprssion with pump gas and iron heads. i'v ben building small block for racing engines since 1974. you can dissagree with me and whoever all you want but the compession ratio vs pump premium octane in and old ford windsor engine doesnt care. anthing over 9.5 with iron heads running on pump premium with the timing set where it needs to be is in danger of breaking piston ring lands due to detonation. the only way to run more then 9.5 is to back the timing down and that reduces engine power. you can run 12.5:1 with iron heads but you will have to back the timing way down to the point the engine may not make over 100 hp.
All I am pointing out is that ford (or any car company) wouldn't have made a street car engine that would kill itself with timing set to factory specs. Granted this was made in 1969 with leaded fuels, but somehow the factory pistons/rods made it til now running a 10:1+ comp ratio. In fact Right here on the FMF there are several postings that claim 11:1 is the limit for pump gas, so I am not going to take either number as a rule. It really has to do with the tune, cam and a number of other things as I have learned. you can also retard timing and advance it as fuel permits.
 

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289nate has very good results with Canfield 195s (the 2nd gen version which I consider to be one of the best heads that were made).

I wouldn't go any bigger, but would consider a little smaller on a high revving 289. If your building for race only, don't limit yourself to 7500. 8000 can be done without going crazy on a short stroke 289. I would use aftermarket rods though.

They used to rev 289s to 10 grand with stock Hi Po Hi Nodular 289 cranks and aluminum rods...no lie

GT40s are no better than '69 or '70 351w heads in term of their potential. You can get 220ish and 180ish from them. You have to do some major porting on these heads either way. Mine measure 160cc intake and 60cc exhaust after a ton of port work. Chamber design in either is the GT40 design (not a typo).
We do better than that with E7 heads and 351 valves. Ws 40s std job is 235 @.050. Sounds like someone took material out of the wrong place.

My once a pon a time 10K motors and car that I got 25K for on a trade for a boat.
 

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thats another reason to go with aftermarket aluminum heads is you can run 10.5 compression on gas station premium.
You may already know this, but if you had 2 identical heads except one set was aluminum and one set was iron, You would have to raise the compression about 1 point with the aluminum heads to make the same power with the iron heads.

Its the same with pistons too but of course nobody runs iron pistons...'cept maybe Briggs and Stratton :rolleyes:

As much as some people don't like hypereutectic pistons, they reflect heat very well and behave more like steel or iron. That's one reason why they can be run really tight and they require large top ring gaps...the piston does not absorb heat like a regular piston (it reflects it back into the chamber...more efficient). The top ring runs hotter and can't conduct the heat into the piston as well as standard aluminum.
 

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All I am pointing out is that ford (or any car company) wouldn't have made a street car engine that would kill itself with timing set to factory specs.
thats right. and they started knocking the comp ratio down below 10:1 in 1972 because of the low octaine fuel that was coming due to the arab oil embargo. people with 10 to 1 and higher comp engines were freeking out. water injuection kits and retarded timing came into play. the 69 ford 429 was a popular engine and had 11:1 comp from the factory. i installed a lot of water injection kits on those and chebbys and mopar family cars that had over 10:1 compression. i did a lot of timing retatrds to keep what peopel called valve clatter(detonation) from happening. no one knew the octaine was going to go to hell else the car companies would never have put more compression then the gas could handle. it finally got to the point where 9.5:1 is the max with the timing set where it needs to be with iron heads. with computer controlled ignition that senses knock and adjust accordingly along with variable cam timing and combustion chambers designed to help prevent detonation you can run 11:1 on 91 pump gas. but that requires a modern day engine not a 60's design engine. theres a big difference between a 69w and a 2012 enigne. a giant cam requires a lot of compression. you might be able to get away with 10.5 and iron heads with a big cam but the car isnt going to be a daily driver and driving to the track is gonna be a pain. i know , i'v done it. you must be a young guy otherwise you would know this. i'm and old guy and i worked as an auto mechanic from 1973-1983.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thats right. and they started knocking the comp ratio down below 10:1 in 1972 because of the low octaine fuel that was coming due to the arab oil embargo. people with 10 to 1 and higher comp engines were freeking out. water injuection kits and retarded timing came into play. the 69 ford 429 was a popular engine and had 11:1 comp from the factory. i installed a lot of water injection kits on those and chebbys and mopar family cars that had over 10:1 compression. i did a lot of timing retatrds to keep what peopel called valve clatter(detonation) from happening. no one knew the octaine was going to go to hell else the car companies would never have put more compression then the gas could handle. it finally got to the point where 9.5:1 is the max with the timing set where it needs to be with iron heads. with computer controlled ignition that senses knock and adjust accordingly along with variable cam timing and combustion chambers designed to help prevent detonation you can run 11:1 on 91 pump gas. but that requires a modern day engine not a 60's design engine. theres a big difference between a 69w and a 2012 enigne. a giant cam requires a lot of compression. you might be able to get away with 10.5 and iron heads with a big cam but the car isnt going to be a daily driver and driving to the track is gonna be a pain. i know , i'v done it. you must be a young guy otherwise you would know this. i'm and old guy and i worked as an auto mechanic from 1973-1983.
Yep, I ain't been around that long, but I like the how and why and to discuss them. We have also come a long way in piston design, ignition systems (retrofit ping detectors in some of the new ignition systems), cams and many, many, other improvements.

I do remember reading about the pinging issues in the early '70's, and am not arguing that the 12:1 engine I have asked about cannot run pump gas without at LEAST some additive.
On that same note, I have noticed other forum members contradict you on your suggestions for cylinder heads, so there is a lot of different opinions being thrown around here, compression being only one.
 

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I have noticed other forum members contradict you on your suggestions for cylinder heads, so there is a lot of different opinions being thrown around here, compression being only one.
i suggested the afr or other similar aftermarket aluminum heads becaue they will have better ports , bigger valves and will be more cost effective and produce more power. also if you have a 69-70 351w head crack you'll have to find another one and they are getting scarce. if an aluminum head cracks it can easily be heliarced. i wish we had had the heads we have today back in the 70's.
 

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My only reservation is I don't want to trailer it to the local track. Not a 'street' engine but street-able would be what I am looking for.

So...

you don't want 12+ compression.
You don't want aftermarket aluminum heads
you don't want a choppy camshaft that has low vacuum
and you want it streetable.

You have 3 choices:

Forced induction
Nitrous
or run (much) slower than mid 6's.

Keep in mind....with only 289" of engine displacement, you aren't going to have much torque to deal with. Because of that, you'd have to spin it 7500 or more to make any appreciable power. And because you'd have to wring the snot out of it, a camshaft that compliments that RPM range would be slightly choppy (to say the least). And iron Ford head castings aren't going to help you any either. In laymen's terms, if you're after mid 6's or low 7's with only 289", you can make it weigh 1500 lbs or you're goign to have to spend some money.

With forced induction, you could have a streetable ride yet still pound out some good power. Turbos are great for this (smooth & quiet until the pipes are packed and then it's a different animal). Can be done cheap too.
 

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All I am pointing out is that ford (or any car company) wouldn't have made a street car engine that would kill itself with timing set to factory specs. Granted this was made in 1969 with leaded fuels, but somehow the factory pistons/rods made it til now running a 10:1+ comp ratio. In fact Right here on the FMF there are several postings that claim 11:1 is the limit for pump gas, so I am not going to take either number as a rule. It really has to do with the tune, cam and a number of other things as I have learned. you can also retard timing and advance it as fuel permits.
your right Ford didnt sell 351W that would kill it self .

Now what Ford did do is LIE about the compression ratio .

yes , you can do this and do that to make it work , BUT do you have a good engine
 

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12:1 will require racing gas or alcohol. Pump gas with octane booster won't be happy in that engine.

Stock heads can be made to perform with a LOT of work. The only reason to run stock head castings any more though is if you have to or you just happen to have a pair and want to learn how to port them.

The Victor Jr heads look like a good deal for the money to me. If I had the bucks I would probably try a set of those Kaase P38 heads.



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