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I am buying 2 mercury Cougars and I cant find a forum for them so I figured I would join here. the cars come with one engine a 289 and I want to put something in there to make it a beast, I was thinking a boss 302 engine but I am not sure what number of horse power is just enough for a car to take to shows and to the quarter mile strip just for fun, I also plan on building this engine. I am thinking small block because I am not sure about room in the engine compartment. So what do you guys think? boss 302, boss 351? I dont know what other options are out there, and I dont know much on building engines but I plan on reading a few books and just buying parts and taking my time.
 

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The Cougars came optioned with 428 FE motors so fitting anything smaller than that isn't an isse. Building the 289 into a "beast" is going to take some money. What is your budget and what's the rest of the driveline going to be? Are you running a manual trans or automatic? If it's an auto are you planning on a higher stall converter? If the car has a small block I'm guessing they also have an 8-inch rearend and mostly likely something around 2.80 or 3.00 gears. If that's the case are you planning on changing them? Lower gearing alone can make an average car much quicker. Swapping in a set of 3.50 or 3.70 gears will make a world of difference.

If you are planning on some sort of Boss motor you'll really need to do your homework because this isn't just a 'bolt on the new heads' swap. Lots of other parts come into play and this is also an expensive modification. Getting 400HP out of a 289 is a tall order for sure unless you plan on reving it to the moon. This brings up all kinds of other issues that need to be figured out. High reving usually means a large cam that might not be too friendly on a street car with taller gears and so on.

If you're already thinking about a new short block (you mentioned a 351) how about a stroker small block instead. Easy and cheaper on hop up parts, more room to work on it later and you'll get your 400 HP goal, plus more if you want it. Making 450 HP out of a 347 isn't hard to do and it'll be as road friendly as you want. Several companies make complete kits and assembled short blocks. If you've never built the bottom end of a motor that might be a great idea. That's what I ended up doing and don't regret it. I bought my 347 short block (minus cam) from CHP in Torrance, CA and assembled the rest myself. That was a fun project and I don't have to worry that I screwed up a bearing clearance or whatever.

John
 

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Power Block TV just started episodes on Horspower using 351's. They built 2, one a stock stroke 351c w/2v heads, and the 351w. The windsor build wasnt a straight build, they used a stroker crank (4.00") for a 408 and made it a clevor build. Over 450hp 500ftlb tq. Not sure what year of Cougar you are working on, as the 67-68 is a little tighter fit than the later models....
 

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the car almost need to be completely restored, I got a pair of 67's for a grand my budget for the motor will be around 4 grand and another 4 grand for restoration. and a total of a max of 10 grand. I figure 2 grand for emergencies and un expected. It comes with a 289 and I plan on restoring one with the stock engine and selling it, the other I want to make mine and have become a eliminator even though they didn't make them in 67.



I wantit to look like this!!!!

 

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Power Block TV just started episodes on Horspower using 351's. They built 2, one a stock stroke 351c w/2v heads, and the 351w. The windsor build wasnt a straight build, they used a stroker crank (4.00") for a 408 and made it a clevor build. Over 450hp 500ftlb tq. Not sure what year of Cougar you are working on, as the 67-68 is a little tighter fit than the later models....
I watched that episode the other day too. It is a nice build but at what cost and how much better were they than a typical stroker small block? The answer is alot more money and not any more power. The Cleveland heads alone are going to set you back $2,000 which is $500 more than a nice set of AFR's. Then there's all the other little things that keep adding up. Sure, you don't see Boss 302's, 351 Clevelands or Clevors (Cleaveland headed Windsors) everyday but for the added cost and work I just don't see where it makes sense. As I said, getting 450 HP out of a 347 is common nowadays.

Your engine budget of $4,000 is reasonable enough if you do most of the work yourself and keep it simple. Too me this not simple and your budget will be eaten up really fast. You could pick up a decent 5.0 roller cam block and start there. They're cheap and boat loads are laying around the wreaking yards. Rebuild that with new bearings, etc. and throw on some decent aluminum heads, intake, cam and headers and you'll be making enough power. Add to that the right gearing, shift kit and a stall converter and you'll be smiling for sure. All that should be within budget and you'll have a lot of bang for your buck.

John
 

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Power Block TV just started episodes on Horspower using 351's. They built 2, one a stock stroke 351c w/2v heads, and the 351w. The windsor build wasnt a straight build, they used a stroker crank (4.00") for a 408 and made it a clevor build. Over 450hp 500ftlb tq. Not sure what year of Cougar you are working on, as the 67-68 is a little tighter fit than the later models....
I watched that episode the other day too. It is a nice build but at what cost and how much better were they than a typical stroker small block? The answer is alot more money and not any more power. The Cleveland heads alone are going to set you back $2,000 which is $500 more than a nice set of AFR's. Then there's all the other little things that keep adding up. Sure, you don't see Boss 302's, 351 Clevelands or Clevors (Cleaveland headed Windsors) everyday but for the added cost and work I just don't see where it makes sense. As I said, getting 450 HP out of a 347 is common nowadays.

Your engine budget of $4,000 is reasonable enough if you do most of the work yourself and keep it simple. Too me this not simple and your budget will be eaten up really fast. You could pick up a decent 5.0 roller cam block and start there. They're cheap and boat loads are laying around the wreaking yards. Rebuild that with new bearings, etc. and throw on some decent aluminum heads, intake, cam and headers and you'll be making enough power. Add to that the right gearing, shift kit and a stall converter and you'll be smiling for sure. All that should be within budget and you'll have a lot of bang for your buck.

John
 

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I agree 65, but when the episode part one started i was thinking that they were going to do a true W / C comparo... I was kind of miffed at the trickery they did to make the W motor the 'winner'... Enough of my whining tho, and you are right the 347 would be easy enough to do... but what about a W headed 408? as done on PB TV cost would be about the same i am thinking....
 

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The 67-70 cougars and mustangs share the same engine compartment and most mechanical componants as well..Parts like brakes,suspension and rear ends can be swapped between them...They have a decent sized engine compartment so smallblocks fit pretty easily..Big blocks fit as well but are a pretty tight fit and parts cost more to get them swapped in...If it were mine I would go with a 351W based motor..A good set of heads and top end can get you your goal pretty easily..Stroking one to a 408 will get you boatloads of torque and a lower rpm range but it can get pretty pricey as well..

As for going to car shows and having fun at the track you don't really need any specific power number to have fun...Most guys get bit by the go faster bug though once they start racing..Its great to set a new personal best time each time you go out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I found a local shop here in IL that is 15 minutes away and they sell 331 engines. I am thinking about going that route.
 

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That's a good choice, but if I had had the room in the Falcon I would have built a 408 like frdnut mentioned. I had both a 351 and a 5.0 and a older 306. I could have built the W for about the same as the 347, but I had a set of new $600 headers and more in other parts for the 5.0, so I went that route.
 

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Lucky, it sounds like you're more into the small blocks (probably stroked) than the big blocks and IMO that's a smart move. Keep in mind 400hp is pretty much as high as you can go on an 8 inch rear. Personally, if I was into racing I'd swap to a 9 inch ... I'm not big on embarrasment. Good luck.
 

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can you explain the 347 stroker to me I like the thought of it?
'

It's a 5.0 block with a different crankshaft, rods and pistons that increase the stroke giving more cubic inches. You do need to have some light machine work done to the block for crank/rod clearance but otherwise that's about it. The 331 is about the same deal. There used to be issues when going up to 347 cu. in. Where the rod attaches to the piston they had ring issues but most builders have found ways to improve or eliminate that.

John
 

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lucky, if you go Here with your 4k budget you could easily reach your goals, Now to choose your poison... The completed shortblock price isnt to bad...
 

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lucky, if you go Here with your 4k budget you could easily reach your goals, Now to choose your poison... The completed shortblock price isnt to bad...
That's where I went. They're local to me so I drove over and picked it up directly. Really nice people and helped me all the way through building the motor up from the short block. It was my first build (without hands on help) so I called a few times asking stupid questions. They also recomended the cam I went with and think they did well on that too.

As I mentioned, mine is their Pro Street short block but it had been ordered and not picked up so they made me a good deal on it - not much more than the Street Fighter series. It happened to be exactly what I wanted so I jumped on it.

John
 
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