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Discussion Starter #1
This is sort of a preliminary thread to get a feel for what might might actually be worth doing and what's probably not on the 260 in my '64 2-door granny roof. Currently, it's a stock (AFAIK) 260 w/2100 2-barrel. It's exhaling through a 2.something" dual exhaust backed up by a T-10 and a 2.80:1 rearend. The high gearing is b/c I commute 41 miles each way on the freeway with no traffic.

Heads probably wouldn't work, as the 260 heads have tiny 54.5cc compression chambers, so anything aftermarket (typically 58 or 64cc) would drop the already low 8.8:1 CR. To run newer heads, I'd need to run new higher-comp pistons, which gets into basically building the whole engine.

Given that, it seems the next best hope is to help it be happier at higher RPM (3500-5500), while still reaping the benefits of being small while just cruising around under 3k rpm.

So...outside of that, I'm thinking of the following as a round of upgrades that'd help:
  • 4V intake, ~400cfm 4V carb. There are a few 4100 models out there in this range, and both Edelbrock and Holley make "kiddie size" 4-bbls as well. Generally want something with tiny primaries for good throttle response and mileage, but decent sized secondaries for when things get revvy.
  • Points-to-electronic conversion on the distributor and a new coil.
  • Fan clutch (mostly just saves gas on the freeway)
  • Slightly angier cam (any recommendations?)
  • Hydraulic roller lifters
  • Roller rockers
  • Roller Timing chain
  • Are new valve springs needed with these other upgrades?
  • What about new pushrods?
  • Anyone know of any headers that don't want to go right through the stock Z-bar?
What I'm looking for is some insight as to what here is or isn't really worth doing, if I'm missing something or what. Also, recommendations for any of the above.

The list above looks like it'd add up to about a grand with some careful shopping, which gets dangerously close to "just find a 302 or 289 to swap" territory. I've got an early 5-bolt block, so I'd need to find a 5-bolt 289 or find a 6-bolt T-10 bellhousing to make that swap work.

Also, given the daily driver/weekend tourer thing I'm going for with my car, I kinda like the idea of building the smaller motor, rather just doing the swaps that everyone else does.
 

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You could go with a stock H.O. cam and a set of (somewhat pricey) retrofit roller lifters, do a little port work on the stock heads, some used chevy LS valve springs (beehive), a set of roller rockers and a 4v intake with a small carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You could go with a stock H.O. cam and a set of (somewhat pricey) retrofit roller lifters, do a little port work on the stock heads, some used chevy LS valve springs (beehive), a set of roller rockers and a 4v intake with a small carb.
I do like the idea of sourcing my upgrades from other cars' stock parts.

I know I could easily get a 5.0 roller cam at the junkyard for like $13 on half-price day. LS engines are very short-lived in the yards around me.
 

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The LS springs are nice because theyre beehive (reduce retainer weight) and good to at least .500 lift, but theyll most likely require you to machine down the guide boss. Not a big deal, just be aware of it. Actually if you can find an 80s Mustang 4v intake that would probably work well, and maybe even the carb too. Im not sure how big it is, though 600cfm comes to mind. The carb and especially the intake you can find all day long on ebay. As for headers, the Hedman 88400/88408 is a common cheap shorty header with smaller 1½" primaries, but I dont know offhand if they fit around a z-bar. Stock manifolds should be fine for what youre doing though. The pertronix ignition is great, or if you have a junkyard with older fords, the Duraspark is a great setup too. When youve got the heads off, dont forget to mill 'em. When youre done buy a pushrod length tool rather than guessing what length you need. For an electric fan you can use one from an older Taurus or Windstar with the 3.8L, though the 3.0L is very close and should still be capable of more than enough air to keep the engine cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Reviving an old thread...

...my 2V is getting leaky and I have no intention of spending any time/money on it, so it's 4V time.

I'm looking around at small 4Vs, here's what I can find:
  • 390CFM Holley
  • 450-465 CFM Holleys that are usually set up for dual-quads, but occasionally get retrofitted with e-chokes and vacuum secondaries
  • 500CFM Edelbrock/Carter
I'm most familiar with the Carter/Edelbrock, but I'm a little concerned 500 CFM is too big, leading to no throttle response.

If I run a stock-type or Performer dual-plane intake (basically stock in Al), will it be ok?

The flipside would be the Holley 390 (borderline too small at higher RPM) and then a single-plane, more open intake (TorkerII or the like?).

It's stock (AFAIK) right now, but will get ignition, a cam and various roller-y bits as time goes on. Maybe a set of HiPo 49.2cc heads for a bump in CR if I ever find a decent price on them.
 

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How do you use the car? The reason I ask is originally you said it was a bit of a highway cruiser?..Those rear gears are killing you unless like to drive around at high speed rather than looking for acceleration from a stop light...Most modifications to increase hp also raise the rpm at which you need to run the engine to get that hp..It also hurts bottom end which would be a real killer to your setup with those highway gears....Having said all of that a small four barrel carb and a set of headers and good flowing dual exhaust should help out a little and properly tuned might even get you a few more mpg.....I have heard the torker II is a real dud for the 302 and I don't recommend a single plain for your combo anyway..I think the performer is probably the best for low rpm power...If the carb is a vacuum secondary it will somewhat size itself to the engine..Basically the secondaries won't open until or if the engine can use the extra flow...
 

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I would do things that could be migrated over to future engine upgrades to 289,302,347.. Example Headers, Exhaust.. Better gear choice for rear end.

Doing cheap upgrades like electronic ignition to get rid of the old school stuff.

This will prolong the decision making.. But before I spend big money I would consider a 5.0 with EFI.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How do you use the car? The reason I ask is originally you said it was a bit of a highway cruiser?..Those rear gears are killing you unless like to drive around at high speed rather than looking for acceleration from a stop light...Most modifications to increase hp also raise the rpm at which you need to run the engine to get that hp..It also hurts bottom end which would be a real killer to your setup with those highway gears...
Good point, and funny you should ask. I just moved and my commute went from 40 miles of freeway each way to 5.5 miles of surface streets. For the sake of the clutch (and my sanity) the 2.80:1 rearend has gotta go. (3.55 or 3.80:1)

I drive it to work (almost) every day, but the real goal is to have it set up for back-roads touring. In the end, I'm fine with lower torque, if I can get decent HP at the top end (4-6k).

I'm not super concerned with having tons of low-end torque for the around-town stuff, so much as it still has decent driveability. Assuming the primaries aren't so big that it won't idle, I'm leaning towards the 500cfm Edelbrock on a basic Performer intake.

I'm guessing a Performer RPM or Air Gap would be useless on a small engine like this?
 
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