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I am building an old 289 and am looking for a source for a few parts, including the timing cover and water pump. The question I have is whether a 1965 and later type timing cover and cast iron water pump is better than the aluminum cover and aluminum water pump.
 

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Hello, I just picked up my aluminum timing cover and water pump from Summit Racing, but they are often easily found used. You could try craigslist or other classifieds.

IMO if they need replacing, I'd prefer aluminum, which dissipates heat better and offers both weight savings and potentially a performance increase. That also depends on what you want out of it. There are high-flow water pumps in both cast iron or aluminum that offer improved cooling. I had a tuff-stuff brand high flow cast iron pump in my 289 that worked great.

I would avoid a used water pump just because there's always a risk of premature failure, and the cost difference would more than justify the additional expense for another one if it ever went out. Used timing covers can also have warps, cracks, or stripped threads that are important for proper water pump sealing. I'd also recommend checking national parts depot for some decent prices on new stuff.
 

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can you link me to the alum waterpump you used? Does it have the exact dimensions of the early one? Link to the timing cover you used too? Thanks
 

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if you guys really want a benefit use all aluminum and try to get an electrical water pump for even better performance. (If not getting electric pump check out an electric drive as they are cheaper.) Aluminum also because you can polish it with a simple drill bit if wanted.
Warning: when going to automotive store bring old pump with as ford supplied two different timing covers. One meant for backing plate and one not.
Good luck
Monstrou
 

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water pump: Edelbrock 88413 - Edelbrock Victor Series Mechanical Water Pumps - Overview - SummitRacing.com

and timing cover: Ford Racing M-6059-D351 - Ford Racing Timing Chain Covers - Overview - SummitRacing.com

As far as exact dimensions to the original, I'm not sure. I assume you are probably concerned about the length to the front of the radiator. I'm concerned about that too, but planned to work around it when I get the pump. It's on backorder til early Feb. I do know from research that there were two primary choices for water pumps that fit the small block: driver side inlet or passenger side inlet, and 2 sub-choices: standard rotation or reverse rotation. I chose passenger side inlet, standard rotation, because I already had a passenger side inlet radiator and will be using a V-belt, not the modern serpentine. I believe the reverse rotation is ONLY for serpentine systems.

The timing cover is a direct replacement Ford part, but also have other options like with or without a fuel pump boss (for EFI). The one I got is with. I will say this concern, since I haven't attached it yet- there is a strange circular mount of some kind cast into the timing cover just above the dipstick hole and facing front. I'm not sure what it's for, but my original timing cover didn't have it. I don't know if there will be clearance issues yet, but it looks pretty close to where the lower radiator hose will attach to the water pump...
 

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The aluminum does not use the backing plate, the cast iron does use the backing plate, they will not interchange. I run the aluminum one on my 65 289 FB. Good Luck.
 

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Some aluminum need the backing plate. Mine does. But mine might be aftermarket.
 
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