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Worth spending money on a 289 for power?

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--- Quote from: Jeff73Mach1 on April 13, 2010, 03:41:13 PM ---A 289 is not a 5.8, it is closer to 4.8 liters in displacement.

That being said, you have to define your goals.

If you want a 10 second drag car, you could do it with a 289, but it would be a high dollar specialty build.

If you want to take a light mustang and drive it aggressively from time to time, but don't need to run 0-60 in under 7 seconds or 13 second quarter miles, then building that engine up makes sense.

First and foremost, before adding parts to make an engine stronger, you have to be sure the bottom end is in good enough shape that the additional power won't break something.

Headers are good, better intakes are good, larger valves and mild port work is good-all of these improve airflow and allow your engine to get more fuel and air in and out.  However, unless you have a good performance camshaft-all these modifications are reduced in value.  Also your carburetor will need to be rejetted by someone that knows how to work on these carbs in order to be able to keep up with the changes.

Keep in mind that while these modifications might help you gain 75-100 horsepower, you still will have your stock transmission and rear end-if they aren't up to snuff, they will quickly let you know behind a fresh and more powerful motor.

Aluminum heads are nice, they are lighter and have revised porting and modernize your engine to some degree.  I think lots of folks use them because they are easy to buy, complete and ready to go.  But a good head builder can port and put larger stainless valves (and hardened seats) into a set of iron heads for somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-700 bucks.

Also cast iron heads seal better and are less prone to head gasket failure under hard use and because they retain heat, they actually make an engine more efficient.  Beware of cheap aluminum heads.

Ford made some good later model heads for the 5.0 I believe they are the GT40P heads and they flow very well and are easy to find at a good price and will bolt to your engine, though you will need to find tri y headers or stock manifolds for clearance of the revised plug location.

All of the modifications have to work together though and you will want to plan all of the work before doing the first thing.

Good luck

--- End quote ---

I had my lil 289 rebuilt, blueprinted, and balanced with: a nice warm cam (Crower Baja Beast Level 2), hypereutectic pistons .030 over stock (10.5:1 compression), forged con rods, nice stainless steel valves, hard valve seats, a high volume oil pump, roller lifters, roller rockers, and an edlebrock performer intake with a 500CFM performer carb. I then had a shift kit put in the tranny. It is nice lil rocket. Totally mellow when driving on the street, but it launches qhite well when I want it to.

That 289 is not as little as you may think.  I have a 4.6 liter in my 03 Mach, and that little 289 in my 65 will set you back in your seat even as a stock engine.  If you need more power in a 65, then you need to buy a newer Mustang, 

It really won't take much to make a big difference in power. Just take it one step at a time so you can see/feel the difference. For example just start with something simple such as an electronic ignition or headers and work your way from there.

The pertronix ignition made a big difference in my old 289 alone.  Try that, then see what you think.  If you get too radical, you will need to add body structural add-ons to support the extra horsepower. 

Yeah the petronix electronic ignition module is a great bang for the buck. I had one put in my stang during the rebuild along with one of thier flamethrower coils and my stang idles smoothly and has very crisp acceleration, and throttle response.


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