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The point is that the person who asked the question doesn’t have to choose one over the other. I am suggesting taking better cylinder head flow while maintaining your compression. It would be foolish to take over a one point compression loss (difference between a 54cc combustion chamber and a 64cc one on a 289) when you don’t have to. The difference between 8:1 and just under 9.5:1 compression will be pretty noticeable.

This is what I did but used much bigger and higher flowing parts than what you suggest. 10:1 true compression, old style 950 Holley HP based carburetor, Parker Funnel Web intake, Canfield 195 heads with 2.02 intake valves, .650’ish lift 224 at .050 lift duration intake lobe cam, full length headers into 3” dual exhaust. Stock 1965 289 block bored .060 over, stock 289 crank, 289 rods with ARP bolts and probe forged pistons.

Lowest we pulled it on the engine dyno was 2,800 rpm where it was already making 274 lbs/ft. Made 400 hp by 6,000 rpm and a peak of 430 hp by 6,900 rpm. Street/strip toy. Not what I would recommend for a daily driver nor would I recommend this for the the thread starters needs. Just an example of can be done when you keep compression a priority

Taking it out for a cruise on the street. At about two minutes 10 seconds into the video I do a half throttle stab in first gear and then one in second gear from a roll. Low end torque was not an issue.

 

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The point is that the person who asked the question doesn’t have to choose one over the other. I am suggesting taking better cylinder head flow while maintaining your compression. It would be foolish to take over a one point compression loss (difference between a 54cc combustion chamber and a 64cc one on a 289) when you don’t have to. The difference between 8:1 and just under 9.5:1 compression will be pretty noticeable.
This is what I did but used much bigger and higher flowing parts than what you suggest. 10:1 true compression, old style 950 Holley HP based carburetor, Parker Funnel Web intake, Canfield 195 heads with 2.02 intake valves, .650’ish lift 224 at .050 lift duration intake lobe cam, full length headers into 3” dual exhaust. Stock 1965 289 block bored .060 over, stock 289 crank, 289 rods with ARP bolts and probe forged pistons.
Lowest we pulled it on the engine dyno was 2,800 rpm where it was already making 274 lbs/ft. Made 400 hp by 6,000 rpm and a peak of 430 hp by 6,900 rpm. Street/strip toy. Not what I would recommend for a daily driver nor would I recommend this for the the thread starters needs. Just an example of can be done when you keep compression a priority
Taking it out for a cruise on the street. At about two minutes 10 seconds into the video I do a half throttle stab in first gear and then one in second gear from a roll. Low end torque was not an issue.
Yours is not a daily driver, his is. Bottom line hasn't changed, what's your wallet's pain level? The difference between 54 & 58 is so small, just mill .010" off the head and you're at 54 with a much better flowing head.
 

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Just look at the Ford articles about using 351W heads on it. The HP gain from the head flow offsets the small compression loss. Or maybe you can explain how 429/460 D0VE heads ported and CJ valves installed with 3 CCs bigger chambers out flow 429SCJ heads with bigger ports and smaller chambers. Experts will tell you until you bump the comp up 2 pts or more from 9.5 or 10.5, you won't make that much difference as the better flowing heads will make.
Stock 351W heads are garbage, and only flow marginally better than 289 heads. 289 heads are only 126cc with a crappy designed intake port. FULLY PORTED... and I'm talking a GOOD port job with many, many hours invested and big valves, you're looking at 220-225 cfm MAX with either head. Plus, you're going to have massive time and tons of money invested in all the porting and machine work. FAR, FAR ahead to buy pretty much anything aftermarket.

I ported a few sets of 289 heads, and ran them for years. I did mine right before all the affordable aftermarket stuff came out. Ran pretty good with them, but after upgrading to aftermarket, there is no looking back. I had more money in those 289 heads with all the parts and machine work than what you can buy an aftermarket set for... and that doesn't count the countless hours of porting.

429/460 C9VE/D0VE heads aren't bad, and can be ported to be pretty good. However, they are NOT going to outpower a CJ or SCJ head with similar preparation. No way. Won't happen. The bigger and more powerful the engine, the more the CJ/SCJ is going to outpower it.
 

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Stock 351W heads are garbage, and only flow marginally better than 289 heads. 289 heads are only 126cc with a crappy designed intake port. FULLY PORTED... and I'm talking a GOOD port job with many, many hours invested and big valves, you're looking at 220-225 cfm MAX with either head. Plus, you're going to have massive time and tons of money invested in all the porting and machine work. FAR, FAR ahead to buy pretty much anything aftermarket.
I ported a few sets of 289 heads, and ran them for years. I did mine right before all the affordable aftermarket stuff came out. Ran pretty good with them, but after upgrading to aftermarket, there is no looking back. I had more money in those 289 heads with all the parts and machine work than what you can buy an aftermarket set for... and that doesn't count the countless hours of porting.
429/460 C9VE/D0VE heads aren't bad, and can be ported to be pretty good. However, they are NOT going to outpower a CJ or SCJ head with similar preparation. No way. Won't happen. The bigger and more powerful the engine, the more the CJ/SCJ is going to outpower it.
You just validated the reason to go with the FloTec heads and just have them cut .010" to get the comp back up a little. After owning a 429SCJ, 4 spd, 3.50 Torino Cobra I completely agree on the CJ heads needed a bigger engine. Mine was a dog under 3000rpms. Once above that, she screamed. I always, but didn't get around to it, wanted to make her a 460 with those heads. I replaced the 780 Holley with an 850 DP and she loved that to.
 

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I remember spending some thing like $1700 to have my 289 heads ported, new valves, valve job, and screw in rocker studs Installed by Valley Head Service in Northridge California (ported Shelby’s stuff back in the day). That’s with me providing the heads and it wasn’t their “race” port job. Shortly after I saw an ad for the first trick flow twisted wedge heads and about fell over.
 

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I remember spending some thing like $1700 to have my 289 heads ported, new valves, valve job, and screw in rocker studs Installed by Valley Head Service in Northridge California (ported Shelby’s stuff back in the day). That’s with me providing the heads and it wasn’t their “race” port job. Shortly after I saw an ad for the first trick flow twisted wedge heads and about fell over.
Well before the Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, were the Allen Root (AR) SBF heads. They were about $1,700, which was EXPENSIVE back then. I believe they came out in the mid 80's. These were later sold by Ford as the J302. Not a bad head. They had a weird exhaust port with a very wide floor. The exhaust flange was drilled with two different bolt patterns... one stock, and one splayed. You needed special headers with the splayed pattern to make full use of them.

When the AR heads came out, I would dream about owning a set! I mean, I was fixated over them! lol Way out of my price range at the time. :)
 

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Bottom line, heads are where the HP/TQ is. Big ports and valves don't always work the way you want them to. Even Shelby knew that. Comp does make HP, but at the expense of other factor. A 9.5-10.0 to 1 comp with good heads will always make more HP/TQ then 12.5 comp with crappy heads. Flow = Go.
 

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In reality it is not one over the other in this case. Stop acting like you have to choose one or the other. I’ve seen too many people screw this up when there is zero monetary difference doing it right the first time.

The same cylinder head on the same displacement will always have the potential to make more power and have better throttle response from idle to read line when you maximize the static compression goal for the fuel used. Especially when talking about sub 9:1 compression compared to say 10.5:1 compression on an aluminum headed 289 on pump gas.

Small displacement engines like the 289 are very susceptible to having static compression take a dump if you’re not paying attention. Darn near most of piston companies advertise the cc of their valve reliefs as much smaller than they actually are when measured. People don’t zero deck a block screwing up the quench and losing static compression. People look at cylinder head flow and forget about compression. It adds up. Leads to a gutless turd with no throttle response down low and a false impression of the actual compression they really have. Then everything else is incorrectly blamed.

Put a hydraulic roller cam in my engine and there is no reason why it wouldn’t be a far superior daily driver compared to my 289K code replica engine with ported cylinder heads and hopefully 9:1 compression. It’s superior to that engine in every aspect other than the question of how long solid roller lifters can handle daily duty which is debatable.
 

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Well before the Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, were the Allen Root (AR) SBF heads. They were about $1,700, which was EXPENSIVE back then. I believe they came out in the mid 80's. These were later sold by Ford as the J302. Not a bad head. They had a weird exhaust port with a very wide floor. The exhaust flange was drilled with two different bolt patterns... one stock, and one splayed. You needed special headers with the splayed pattern to make full use of them.

When the AR heads came out, I would dream about owning a set! I mean, I was fixated over them! lol Way out of my price range at the time. :)
I respect all those hours you put into 289 heads putting them yourself Mike. It’s an education that has served you well.Your stuff has always overachieved since I’ve known you on this site. Probably been 20 or more years now. LOL
 

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I respect all those hours you put into 289 heads putting them yourself Mike. It’s an education that has served you well.Your stuff has always overachieved since I’ve known you on this site. Probably been 20 or more years now. LOL
Thanks Nate. Your car has always over performed as well. Really gets the job done! Look forward to seeing more updates as you get it back out of the garage and start running it again!

As for cylinder heads: I'm not a big fan of the cheapest Chinese stuff. They will look like they have decent specs, but don't perform like you would hope they would. Comparable name brand stuff will run circles around that stuff... even sharing similar specs. If I were buying a new head for a mild 289/302, I would try to find something name brand. For a mild flat tappet cam, Edelbrock sells an affordable E-Street head that includes decent parts. If you want to splurge, it's really hard to beat a set of AFR 165 heads on a small displacement engine. They are top of the line on something like this. A carb with manual secondaries, a Performer RPM or Air Gap intake and a set of AFR 165 heads is about as good as it gets with a 289/302 street engine. NOT a fan of vacuum secondaries, as they rarely work right, and pretty much never open all the way. Plus, what opening you do get with the secondaries, comes on very slowly. Major performance gains to be had with manual secondaries.

Good Luck!
 

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"In reality it is not one over the other in this case. Stop acting like you have to choose one or the other. I’ve seen too many people screw this up when there is zero monetary difference doing it right the first time."

In reality with today's gas, you do. You keep contradicting yourself with heads or comp, you have to choose. I get the feeling you think I'm some babe in the woods. As he stated, "DAILY DRIVER". That means gas from Maverick's or Sunoco. Both with quality we didn't have in 1971 with leaded Reg or 103 octane Supreme when I started doing this. When factory heads was 95% of what we used. Ford's 429 is the prefect example, 2/4 bbl both in 69/70 had 10.5 comp but the carb made the HP (air flow). 429 Boss 10.5 but more then the 429SCJ with 11.3 comp, due to HEAD FLOW. Porting was done in "dark rooms far away from what anyone would talk about. Big trick back then was to put a 429 4 bbl on your little 289 to get the higher CFMs from the 429's carb.
Don't let the (months member) fool you. I've been providing tech on here for nearly 20 years when it started up with the older website of Ford Muscle, (dacofa). I remember when all these new alum heads and "improved" heads started hitting the streets and some were junk and some were great.
I respect the new hyd roller cams. But for someone just starting out with the older style block, they can be a headache, just as one on here had with the lifters bleeding off oil PSI and he burned up 3 sets of rocker arms before he found the problem, WRONG roller lifters in an earlier block.
By the way, I did get my 66 Stang back from Ratstang. It took 2 court appearances, a lawyer, State Police, 4 county deputies, and he now has an FBI # for life for felony VIN tampering. His business is no longer a business.
 

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You’re the only one saying it’s heads OR compression. My point is it’s about flow AND compression.

My 289 runs on crappy Cali 91 octane from ARCO on the street and at the drag strip. Always plan for the most compression you can safely get away with for the fuel you plan to use. Bad planning and I could’ve spent the exact same money and built my engine with 9:1 compression or less. Wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

I had to notch my solid roller lifters because the oil band was in the wrong location for my early block. Im curious what the problem the other member had ended up being? Definitely not all of them have an issue as there are many people running link bar hydraulic rollers successfully in early blocks.

I remember your name from the old site. I changed email addresses from when I first signed up on the site and it would not allow me to use my original user name which is 289nate. I also very vaguely remember the username ratstang. Sounds like you had to go through I hope bunch of garbage with him. I’m glad you got your car back! It’s looking good too!
 

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You’re the only one saying it’s heads OR compression. My point is it’s about flow AND compression.
My 289 runs on crappy Cali 91 octane from ARCO on the street and at the drag strip. Always plan for the most compression you can safely get away with for the fuel you plan to use. Bad planning and I could’ve spent the exact same money and built my engine with 9:1 compression or less. Wasn’t going to make that mistake again.
I had to notch my solid roller lifters because the oil band was in the wrong location for my early block. Im curious what the problem the other member had ended up being? Definitely not all of them have an issue as there are many people running link bar hydraulic rollers successfully in early blocks.
I remember your name from the old site. I changed email addresses from when I first signed up on the site and it would not allow me to use my original user name which is 289nate. I also very vaguely remember the username ratstang. Sounds like you had to go through I hope bunch of garbage with him. I’m glad you got your car back! It’s looking good too!
The other roller lifter problem resulted from using "off shore" roller lifters with a comp cam. Lobe profiles didn't like the oil grove where it was. The deputy one is one of my favorites. she actually is a stroker 331, with 302 heads with 1.94 int, 1.60 exh ported to the max. It'll light them up from a stand still with a 3.55 posi.
Remember the 70s smog engines with 8.8 comp? Couldn't pull a sick horse away from a water hole and always over heating.
 

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The other roller lifter problem resulted from using "off shore" roller lifters with a comp cam. Lobe profiles didn't like the oil grove where it was. The deputy one is one of my favorites. she actually is a stroker 331, with 302 heads with 1.94 int, 1.60 exh ported to the max. It'll light them up from a stand still with a 3.55 posi.
Remember the 70s smog engines with 8.8 comp? Couldn't pull a sick horse away from a water hole and always over heating.
Later 5.0 blocks have longer lifter bores that work with the factory roller lifters and hold downs. To use a hydraulic roller cam with an early block you either have to use a reduced base circle camshaft or aftermarket link bar lifters.

This being said, especially with solid rollers and big lift... the oil grooves in the lifters don't always line up with the lifter galleries just right, and the oil supply is cut off when the cam is at zero lift. This also cuts off oil to the other lifters. To cure this, a chamfer can be ground into the lifter's oil grooves. The oil grooves for the lifters in the 363 I'm building were 'almost' cut off with the cam on the base circle, so I chamfered them. All is good now.

I'm not trying to butt heads with you. Just giving sharing my experience. I do remember your old user name, and am glad you're back on the site!

Below is my car at the drag strip. This is with the pump gas 306 and a 200 hp nitrous plate. Car has a stock toploader 4-speed and a 4.30 Detroit Locker. Best is 6.26 @ 109 in the 1/8 and 9.87 @ 136 in the 1/4. Vehicle is mainly a street car, and goes to the track 3-4 times per year on average.

Currently building a pump gas 363.







 

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When the guy first started o here with his oiling problem burning up rocker arms, and he finally gave the cam/rocker arm combination along with the block it was in, I told him the lifters were the wrong ones for that cam's lobes.
Bad part was he had to pull the heads to get the old lifters out.
 

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When the guy first started o here with his oiling problem burning up rocker arms, and he finally gave the cam/rocker arm combination along with the block it was in, I told him the lifters were the wrong ones for that cam's lobes.
Bad part was he had to pull the heads to get the old lifters out.
That's what bites about roller lifters in a 8.2 (289/302) SBF... You have to remove the heads to take out the lifters! I'm using solid rollers in the 363, and am hoping they hold up well. lol 351W based engines, no problem... Plenty of room between the lifter and head for removal.
 

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Loved the videos Mike. You sure can bang gears at the track! You certainly have some fun on the street too. But my favorite is the one your son filmed and nodded in excitement and appreciation about. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Cool beyond words from one father to another. 😎
 

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Loved the videos Mike. You sure can bang gears at the track! You certainly have some fun on the street too. But my favorite is the one your son filmed and nodded in excitement and appreciation about. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Cool beyond words from one father to another. 😎
Thanks for the kind words in regards to my son! He is now 15, and has been on a few passes down the track in the passenger seat! The two personal best 60ft times are actually with his 160 lb self riding in the passenger seat! (1.31 and 1.32). Best it has done with me alone is 1.33. lol. After some of that, he is HOOKED. He was in udder disbelief that the car didn't somehow break launching on the nitrous like that. He definitely loves the wheelstands! (only one track let him ride, which I am thankful for)

As for the trans... I've been banging gears on Toploaders in that car since I was a teenager, and am 52 now. That's about as fast as a stock Toploader is going to shift. You can feel the cogs slip out and into the next gear. Clutch timing is paramount. It is sometimes shifted without lifting... even with the nitrous on... especially if I'm losing. lol Very impressed with the Ford Toploader. Fantastic units, but they do have their limits. Technique goes a LONG way in stretching a good service life out of them, but it is possible to twist the input yoke splines and rip the teeth off 4th gear... especially in heavier vehicles. 4th is the input shaft, and is always under load... and generally shears on launch. I've broken one input (sheared 4th gear teeth), and Dennis has broken many more with his heavier car. I recently upgraded the input and main shaft to the larger 1-3/8" input and 31 spline output, but still think the trans is at its limit with the nitroused 306.

I kind of hated to do it, but made a judgement call and upgraded the trans for the 363... Bit the bullet for a GForce G101A 4-speed. It has the potential to shift faster, but was done mainly for durability reasons. I bought it now instead of waiting to trash the existing toploader. Good thing, is that the Gforce has the same 1-3/8" input, so it can be swapped back and forth with the Toploader if there is a lot of street duty... which is a fairly quick operation since the clutch and bellhousing do not need removed. The potential is there to shift the GForce clutchless, but it puts a lot of load on things, and will probably just knock the tires loose. (28x9) ....so we'll see.

This car will NEVER have an automatic... at least not permanently. lol If the local guys start outrunning me, I have a really nice C4 here I could insall long enough to make a point with an ample shot of nitrous... then it's back to banging gears. lol. It's yet to be seen how much nitrous the car will be able to hook with the new engine and trans. Pretty much starting over!
 
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