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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
I will admit I am new to the forums and Mustangs in general (I am a mopar guy, please dont hate me) and I was looking for some advice / opinions on restoring my grandfather's '66 coupe starting with the engine. I've also never done any serious work on an engine before, so forgive my foolish questions.
Some backstory: He has had this thing sitting in his garage for about 30 years or so, loads of people have asked him to sell it but he won't, and I know he will never get to working on it (the job of clearing a path to it alone is quite a task). So I've decided since I am now done restoring my own car, to go there when he's not home and steal the engine, build it up as best I can and then give it back to him in the hopes that he will let me do the rest of the car. The guy's 85 years old and I'd like to have him be able to cruise around with his wife of 60+ years in it :)
I haven't pulled the engine yet so I don't know the code or condition, just that it's a 289.

What I am looking for in the end is somewhere around 350hp naturally aspirated if that's possible. I've read several articles that suggest stroker kits, carbs, gears etc. but I was hoping to get some feedback possibly from those who have done this project. I am (of course) on a budget but in the long term I am willing to spend what it takes to get an engine to be proud of.
For example, what exactly comes in a stroker kit - cam rods valves pistons? I know there are several different ones, any recommendations?

If anyone out there can give me a hand with their thoughts on which parts give the most bang for the buck and perhaps what i'd be looking at in terms of price for various upgrades would be most helpful. Also please let me know your favourite places to get these parts, would save me a ton of searching :)

Thanks in advance, these forums are a great resource. I can see I'll be spending far too many hours here buying random parts and looking up expert advice!
 

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The stroker kits usually consist of the rotating assembly which is the crankshaft,connecting rods and pistons....Those are the parts which will give you the extra cubic inches that a stroker is known for....The rest of the engine(heads,camshaft,valve train,intake) is something the individual normally buys seperately to get the desired power levels...
A more complete package with all the necessary parts is usually a complete assembled engine known as a crate motor..
You don't necessarily have to go with a stroker to get a nice 300-350 or so hp but a good set of aftermarket heads will make it much easier..

However just to clarify is this engine for you or your 80 year old grandfather! :eek:
 

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Listen to me and listen to me well.

If you want your 85 year old man to enjoy that Car, do NOT try and get 350 HP out of it. You will be wasting time and money.

Build that 289 up to stock bottom end specs, add a Good Cam from a local Cam Grinder, and a nice Aftermarket Edelbrock or some such intake with hedders and let him hear it ROAR one day when you plop it back in.

Believe me, the $2800 bucks you spend to give it 250 to 280 HP will seem like a $5,000 engine to him at 85 years old!

You will both appreciate it and NOBODY in the ENTIRE WORLD will be able to hear it or see it run and say there's not 350 HP in it.

And when it's your turn to own it, you can build it to any HP that you like.

It's the most expedient thing to do, and it's the most logical.


FE
 

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Most 85 year old men I've known like things done a particular way and would likely want a car like that restored back to stock condition. Besides, if that is an all original "survivor" car you may be ruining its value by just changing things haphazardly.

Do your research and find out what you're working with first. Then talk with your grandfather to see what HE would like done and get permission to do it.

To go in there and start doing things to HIS car the way that YOU want them without his permission and input would be very disrespectful.

If he ever gives you the car or you inherit it, then you can do whatever you want to it. You also might want to make sure that it is not already promised to someone else in the family.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Listen to me and listen to me well.

If you want your 85 year old man to enjoy that Car, do NOT try and get 350 HP out of it. You will be wasting time and money.

Build that 289 up to stock bottom end specs, add a Good Cam from a local Cam Grinder, and a nice Aftermarket Edelbrock or some such intake with hedders and let him hear it ROAR one day when you plop it back in.

Believe me, the $2800 bucks you spend to give it 250 to 280 HP will seem like a $5,000 engine to him at 85 years old!

You will both appreciate it and NOBODY in the ENTIRE WORLD will be able to hear it or see it run and say there's not 350 HP in it.

And when it's your turn to own it, you can build it to any HP that you like.

It's the most expedient thing to do, and it's the most logical.


FE
Ah listen Weedhopper and learn. Keep it the way it was as he remembered it as.
 

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Originally Posted by FEandGoingBroke
250 to 280 HP FE

That number(s) seem to be hoping an awfull lot then. Nearly doubling the H.P. is usually difficult under stock conditions. As mentioned, is easier to leave alone than go too far.

I think this auto has to be used onna street.


Wm.
Doubling the HP??? A 1966 289 A code is rated at 220 HP and the K code is rated at 271 HP. Then using an upgraded cam, induction, and headers as FE suggested, 250-280 HP is very realistic.
 

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It was a few years back, but H-R magazine ran a dyno on common Ford engines of the era and found the maximum Hp to be around 150-160 on cited. Was not based as per advertising, nor inuendo. The H-R title had something to do with advertised versus real Hp. I had wondered as to why certain engines were not as hot as others were.

Nor was above cited to be exactly at double the advertised Hp. figure. Untill you yank out the connecting rods and see how skinny they are, is dangerous to add in more Hp. then. Read again.


Wm.
 

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Don't forget that back then it was FLYWHEEL HP. No accessories other than water pump.

Still, he'd have exactly as I said, and it would make pop's think it was on Nitrus compared to when it was running 25 years ago!

I fully understand Perception and Reality. The reality is if you geve it a standard rebuild with a better cam and intake with hedders that car would be an entirely DIFFERENT beast than what Pop's remembered.

No reason in the world to give it 350 HP when 250 is super sufficient for an 80 year old fellow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies.
But to get back on track, I'm really just looking for some suggestions on for example which heads are good for this application (AFR 165cc?), which stroker kits are known to work well & not too crazy expensive, what other components have been worthwhile upgrades.

Thanks,
Grades
 

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Don't forget that back then it was FLYWHEEL HP. No accessories other than water pump.

That is EXACTLY correct for the era. Except I think they were blaming the poor performance upon sloppy carburetion maufacture and over the counter ignition. Things were not too accurate then, except for advertisements which said it the engine got X H.P. then, it ought to be good for X now. We have gone up in quality now too.

Wm.
 

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That is EXACTLY correct for the era. Except I think they were blaming the poor performance upon sloppy carburetion maufacture and over the counter ignition. Things were not too accurate then, except for advertisements which said it the engine got X H.P. then, it ought to be good for X now. We have gone up in quality now too.

Wm.
This is a subject that I've never been fully clear on.

On the one hand, many people and magazine articles say that they significantly under-rated HP during the muscle car era to keep insurance rates down. I even saw a show once where they were dynoing stock-spec engines and they were cranking out far more than the advertised HP.

On the other hand, I also realize that they started measuring HP differently at some point in the 70's or 80's. If I understand correctly, they started measuring with all of the accessories vs. without (as FE stated)

So the question is, how do we know how much HP those engines were actually making? And how would an engine rated at 400 HP from the late 60's stack up to one of the 400 HP engines coming out of Detroit today?

I always figured the reason muscle cars typically turned in 13 and 14 second time slips had more to do with the skinny, bias-ply tires and suspensions of the time.
 
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