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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1967 Galaxie 500 with a stock 289 with 62.5k original miles, only modifications are a set of headman shorty headers and a full dual series 40 flowmaster exhaust system with an x-pipe. The 289 just isn't putting out enough power for this huge car. I'm looking to get to around the 400 hp number without breaking the bank (I'm currently a junior in college and this is my daily driver at school). I'm looking for some ideas on achieving this number, I'm not opposed to engine swapping for more displacement or stroking out the 289 or anything in between.
(The picture of engine below is what it looked like day I bought it, still looks the same, just minus all the dirt)
 

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Just for laughs, what do you have for a rear end gear ratio now?

Although I agree with you that it could use more engine, as a college student it may be smarter to just gear it lower to make it feel stronger.

There is no easy answer for a bigger engine, but the cheapest is to swap a 351W, because your tranny and mounts will work, but your headers won't.

If you could find a complete donor car with a 390, that would give you the torque you are looking for, but that's a significant swap likely not done over the Christmas break, at best a summer project

A 460 based stoker, if you could find one is good, but because they never came with them, money will also add up quickly.

My recommendation would be to find our your rear axle ratio, see if you have some wiggle room, then maybe a crate 351W if you have the dough
 

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Looks good, sounds good. Some get up and go at stoplights would be nice, I agree with 427stang on the rear end. A nice 3.5 will be noticeably faster, until you have to drive home for the holidays, then it will be noticeably slower!

Know that even if you can put 400 hp in that old thang you will still get dusted by just about every semi-performance car out there, from KIAs to BMWs. Upgrading with the small block could cost $1000 to $2000+ (stroker) plus tools, would be a challenging project and might not give you the jump you think it will.

For that kind of money I once again agree with Stang. Start hunting for rusted out car or truck with no title with a working 460 and tranny. Something along these lines but cheaper ### 1995 Ford F250 ###

If you get the whole vehicle you get all the attachments like intake, PS bracket, 9" rear end and maybe even a good radiator. Then next summer you can start working on that 400 HP Galaxie.
 

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+1 to start with gears. Part of the reason is, unless you go with a larger engine, any 289 redone NA to actually make 400hp (double your existing power) will do it at elevated rpm. To reach those rpm quickly to get that monster moving will need deeper gears. The best alternative to the gears and engine up-sizing is to go with a power adder, such as supercharger, turbo, nitrous, etc. that can work at lower rpm and your existing gears. Still, any route you are talking is a sizable investment, even if going low-buck or DIY labor.

So, before going there, I'd pay extra attention to Puttster's comment of costs-vs-results and knowing what you really (and realistically) want out of the car, and weighing that against the costs of the various options. Anything is possible if you throw enough money at it, but personal satisfaction is found only when it meets your set goals. It's time to contemplate and make your personal choices. We can help you most effectively from there.

David
 

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+1, I didn't think of nitrous. Could be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure what the gear ratio is in it. I do know that it is a stock rear end that has not been messed with so whatever these cars would have stock. My roomate and I are going to have it jacked up probably this weekend and I'll hunt for the stamp on the rear end while I'm under it and let you know.
As for what I want at of it, I want to not have to worry about pulling out into traffic, whether or not it will be quick enough to get into traffic without getting hit. Its 0-60 is somethin' like 12 seconds right now (that's with just me in it and I have 6+ people in her all the time so its usually worse than that).
I had considered the 460 upgrade, would for sure have to be after I graduate though. A 460 on a stock 289 suspension with manual drum brakes all the way around would just not be a responsible idea.
Now, with a higher gear ratio, wouldn't that make it spin higher rpms than it does now at the same speeds? My concern there is it won't spin past 4200 rpms as it sits now, no matter how long I hold on the pedal and when I'm driving on the interstate, at 75-80 mph, it sits at around 3000 rpms. Being able to move her a little faster is great, but not at the possibly of blowing my engine on the freeway. And i only get 15 mpg right now highway, 8 in the city so those higher rpms wouldn't help much there either.
 

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While the Galaxie is no jackrabbit, your acceleration is lower than it should be. It's entirely possible you just need to give her a thorough tune-up. Realize, they also came with inline 6-cylinder engines in the same car, and felt that was enough power for 'normal' driving and 70 mph speed limits. While it wouldn't be a bolt of lightning, the 289 should move it into traffic just fine. it certainly doesn't sound like you need a full do-over and hotrod upgrades.

David

[EDIT] PS: Your rear axle gear ratio code is listed along with other codes on your door warranty tag. Look at the end of the driver's door for the riveted plate, and either take a photo to post, or write the info down and we (or various decoder sites) can decode it for you. Assuming it's all stock, you will know exactly what you have to work with.
 

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Using your estimate of 3000 at 75/80 mph makes it sound like you have a very common 3.00:1 gear ratio.

If that is the case, swapping to a 3.50, commonly found in junkyards, would get you to 3400 rpm at the same speed.

The acceleration increase would be significant, combine it with a very good tune up, my hunch is you'd be very happy
 

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Discussion Starter #9
PSIG, I had forgotten that the axle code was on the door tag. It's a number 6 so that makes it a 2.80:1 gear ratio and I have every reason to believe that those are the ones still in the car.

My427stang, I think your right that a better gear ratio and tune up will get me what I want for now. I know the carb needs to be readjusted, it threatens to stall every time I start accelerating and I have to take it back home for that because that is not something I know how to do yet (not from a car family, everything I know I picked in the past 2 and a half years since I bought my Galaxie).
But after college, she is definitely going to be getting a huge power upgrade. My end goal is a car that is a thrill rush every time I hit the accelerator, not exactly something a college kid needs or can afford. I will probably go with a stroked 460.
 
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