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I am planning to restore my father's 1966 mustang for him. I am planning a full rebuild including completely rebuilding the 289, upgrading to a 5-speed transmission. I would like to pull more HP from the 289. First, does anyone have suggestions for the engine rebuild? Boring the block, how far? Best piston types? Does anyone have a parts list for a rebuild that has worked well for them? Second, a manual 5-speed transmission that works well with the 289. Third, rear end gearing for a 289 with a five speed. I am restoring the car so my father can have it to drive for pleasure before he gets too old to enjoy it.

Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Tim
 

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I am planning to restore my father's 1966 mustang for him. I am planning a full rebuild including completely rebuilding the 289, upgrading to a 5-speed transmission. I would like to pull more HP from the 289. First, does anyone have suggestions for the engine rebuild? Boring the block, how far? Best piston types? Does anyone have a parts list for a rebuild that has worked well for them? Second, a manual 5-speed transmission that works well with the 289. Third, rear end gearing for a 289 with a five speed. I am restoring the car so my father can have it to drive for pleasure before he gets too old to enjoy it.

Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Tim
Hi Tim!

Congrats on the family treasure. With that, let me give you my thoughts.....

1. Let the machine shop decide on if the engine should be bored and if so, how much. Boring produces no increased HP/TQ because you are literally only increasing by a few cubic inches. For longevity, keep everything as thick as you can.

2. With using good ol basic hot-rodding techniques such as a good valve job, pistons (I prefer forged aluminum but hyperutecs are good as well) and a good cam grind and they easily can put out 300-350 hp and TQ. Without knowing your exact configuration, the oem gearing which is typically 2.80 to 3:00 gears are really nice for a spirited "Toy" and the tranny's were geared for that. In any case, the gears including the tranny should match the cam profile that you put in it..... the machinist and cam grinder will be your best information source!!!!!!! BTW, nothing wrong with the C4 auto or the manual 4 speeds..... they were well built and last a lifetime!!!!!!!

3. The 5 speeds are nice but you also have to remember these engines like and were designed to run at higher cruising rpms than our modern engines are... whereas a new gen engine likes to run both in the city and highway at 1500-2200 rpm, the windsor engines (especially) if you put a little bit of a cam in them like to run 500 to 1000 rpm above this.

4. Parts. Because so many part mfg have been bought out, moved, etc. it is really best to have the machinist make the recommendations as to what mfg to get what parts from.

Let me give a little advise on this and the heads.....

Considering the cam has such critical importance to the engines performance and life, to me it makes sense to use a cam grinder who will talk with you/your machinist directly- even modify the cam grind to fit your needs even better and to address the possibility of cam lobe and valve lifter failures with the new oils and manufacturing "defects". When it comes to making an engine breathe, there are so many variables including elevation, humidity, fuel blends/available octane, most cam mfgs will vary a "core grind pattern" to match the external impactors in addition to the internal impactors- which today IMHO makes the different between and engine that runs well, to one that just seems to run a little bit better, smoother and gets better mileage than expected.

With regards to price...the difference is nil- especially considering its cheap insurance to know exactly who is machining such a critical part for your engine. And remember, advertised lift/duration/lobe separation is just that- advertised and not the specific grind including ramp profile that is used on the cam.

I highly recommend Iskenderian (who I personally know to this day physically tests/inspects every single valve spring before it leaves the shop) & Crower & Chet Herbert & Lunati...all are family owned, been grinding cams for decades, and both will even re-grind your oem cam if possible- saving you even more $. AVOID Comp Cams like the plague!!!!

Cylinder Heads- Aluminum vs Cast Iron

You're going to "hear" alot about this, and everybody will claim to be an "expert", but here's my IMHO

In general...aluminum heads are lighter, dissipates heat faster which typically means can take a hotter burn/more advanced ignition timing, but the oem cast iron will handle a lot more heat longer without warping....and typically handle higher cylinder psi... longer life and much more durable!

If your heads are in good shape, just needing a rebuild, yes, you can probably get almost the same performance (as long as you are not turning over 5K rpm) for a lot less $ than the aluminum heads will cost.....but this is also area dependent too......

The 1964/early 65 heads flowed the "better" of most of the years as beginning in (end of year- depending on supplier) 66', they began slowly reducing flow. The oem heads are very, very capable of supporting up to 300+ hp...is it the most cost effective, not always however, with just about every one of the popular cylinder head (aftermarket) mfg going to china for their production, the quality is absolutely terrible...resulting in valvetrain failures, seat failures, etc. This vid by David Vizard validates everything I just said regarding the performance potential of the oem heads…. And that us old timers have known and done for years.

David Vizard SBF Ford Cylinder Head Shoot-Out PowerTec10 6.2 - YouTube

A quick opinion of what is out there.....

Edelbrock parts- nothing really good or bad about them, they are middle of the road as compared to what is available.
There is a reason the pricing is so "competitive", if you disassemble almost any of the brand new al aftermarket heads, you will almost certainly find valve surfacing is either poorly done or non-existant, seats....poorly inserted & finished ....and the ports.......not as bad a oe but has some unfinished business that when you pay $1k or more you should not be seeing.....and typically, if you take it to a machine shop for testing...most of the time there are defective machine work that is so bad, it requires re-machining the heads.

Please don't think for one minute, that any of the mail-order crap today is really worth the $ in comparison to buying a set of al heads and having them machined & built yourself. These vid’s really says it all IMHO........




In terms of specific part manufacturers that definitely make quality parts today, here is what I would ask my machinist about....

Mellings hi volume oil pump
Cloytes double roller nylon coated timing chain

The other FYI I will give you, as you will hear from "experts" that the 289's have to have 4 bolt mains, etc.... hogwahs.....The Ford 2 bolt caps are plenty strong for any street/strip applications. The 4 bolt mains came about from the GM main failures- One of Ford's strong points that doesn't need or ever needed upgrading

I know I threw alot at you but hopefully this will get you started down the right road and of course we will be here to help you through the build!

Jeff
 

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1966 Coupe, 289 v2, 3sp, Ivy Green, Bench Buckets, Rally Pack, Black Int
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Wow ... Beechkid's response was great. Not more to add from a technical POV - let me throw my 2 cents in from a more user-based perspective ...

I did my Dad's 66 (289, V2, 3sp) after he passed. Like you, I wanted something with a little more "oomph" so I worked with my team (Dan Nolan at Mustang Barn and American Classics) and we did a few tweaks, including:

4bbl carb​
Holley Sniper EFI​
Edelbrock intake​
Hi-po headers​
New cam​
5sp​
3.55 rear​
PB / PS​
Dual exhaust​
Our estimate is that while it pulled 200HP originally these mods likely push it up closer to 300 (but we didn't put it on the dyno). The end result from a user's perspective is a car that's fun to drive and turns heads with both it's classic styling and unexpected growl.

Dad would have loved it - although the feel is completely different from the original. Don't be surprised if he gets in and begins to make comparisons old vs new ... not to complain, but having had a car in it's original configuration for that long it's just natural to say "it used to ..." or, "why doesn't it ...". Basically it'll be his car as far as the VIN is concerned, but it'll be completely different from a driver's experience.

Sounds like a great project. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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So many guys "over cam" these engines and regret it later. Just fix what's broke.
 
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Wow ... Beechkid's response was great.
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So many guys "over cam" these engines and regret it later. Just fix what's broke.
Absolutely agree and it's not needed!!!!! An updated cam profile to work a bit better with the modern gasoline and let the fun begin!!!!!!!!!!
 
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