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Hi everyone first I want to thank you for replying to this post. I’m grateful for this community. I have a 73 mustang with a 289 V8 engine in it. i wanted to look into taking out the 289 and putting in another engine. Does anyone know of an engine that I can put in that won’t allow me to make corrections to the frame of the car? Where I can just place it in with no modifications? Maybe a 90s mustang engine or early 2000s. I want a more reliable care and the 289 stocked is just going to keep having issues. Or if keeping the 289 is best then let me know. Thank you
 

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The 289 is far simpler and more reliable than a modern computer controlled engine that you'd swap into it.
 
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Andrem603, you've got a lot of very simple choices for this car!

The 289 is a "WIndsor" small block engine, and it was made in a lot of different flavors for a very long time. There are tons of donor vehicles and parts for your engine, or replacements, all the way from the early 60s to the early 2000s.

If your engine is in good shape, but just weak, you might be well served to upgrade your original engine a bit, and give it a tuneup. The 289 is a pretty good motor. I'm puzzled how it wound up in a '73, as your engine would probably have been a 302 or 351 originally (also Windsors). The 'weak point' of any stock Windsor engine is the heads. Whether early or late, they just don't flow very well compared to any modern engine. If you wanted to make your old 289 better, that's the best place to start. A good set of aftermarket aluminum heads.

If your engine needs a complete rebuild, and you just want something that won't take much work, the simplest solution would be a '96-2001 Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer with a 5.0 engine. The '96-98 motors used GT40 head that are pretty good, and the later version had GT40P heads. Both SUVs have very weak valve springs and a wimpy cam that is not very good for performance, but after replacing the valvesprings and cam with something better (even a stock 5.0 HO cam from a late 80s or early 90s Mustang) they perform very well.

To put one of those engines in your car, you'd need to use your 289's intake, carburetor, oilpan, sump pickup, and timing cover.

A 351 (or 5.8) motor from any car or truck all the way into the early 2000s might also be a good choice for your car, and are readily available in vans and trucks. It is very similar to your 289, but the engine decks are about an inch taller and wider, which makes its intake wider too. Motor mounts are the same as a 289/302/5.0, and the heads even interchange. However, your exhaust would have to be modified just a little in order to fit, due to the slightly wider block, and you'd have to find a carbureted intake, timing cover, and accessories that would work with your car. I think the oilpan and pickup tube from your 289 will still fit a 351, but I can't remember for sure.

Basically, Ford started out with a little 221 V8 back in '62, and then very quickly made it bigger (internally) by increasing the bore from 3.5" to 3.8", making it a "260". Then it grew again to a 4" bore, becoming a 289. The 289 was used from '63 until 1968, when it got a longer 3" stroke, and grew to 302 cubic inches. In 1969, its big brother, the 351 Windsor engine was introduced, with a heavier, wider, taller, stronger block, and longer 3.5" stroke. The 302 didn't stop production, and was carried until it ended production in the early 2000s. It did change names, becoming a "5.0" in '82 and getting a roller cam in 1985. All of the motor mounts for these engines, and all the heads can physically bolt up and work on each other - although there are some incompatibilities (due to the small bore) on very early Windsors. The bellhousing on early Windsors also used only 5 bolts up to 1964, but after that, they are all the same 6 bolt design, so all later transmissions can be interchanged too - and that bellhousing bolt pattern was also used on Ford's later V6 engines.
 

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It did change names, becoming a "5.0" in '82
All great info about the Ford small block. One minor correction though as the 302 actually first got the 5.0 moniker during the relatively humble Mustang II era in 1978 on the King Cobra.

The 1980/81 Mustang had no 302/5.0 available though. It was downsized to a weak 255 for those two very dark fox body years. As I recall reading it was the lowest hp Ford small block engine ever produced.

Agreed with others that an older carbureted small block is really the way to go in a 1973. If it is in fact a 289 in there then it wasn't original anyway though. How do you know that it's a 289 and not a 302?

You could buy a crate engine from Ford Performance or get a used or rebuilt roller block from 1985 onward and put on an aftermarket Holley fuel injection system or the like if you want it to run reliably.

Using the factory Ford fuel injection from a more modern 5.0 will be a daunting project that isn't for most people. It's very involved, time consuming, and trouble shooting will be difficult.
 

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If the engine itself is in good running order and you just want more reliable starting it in reference to the carburetor, an electronic fuel injection conversion may be the way to go. There are a few systems to choose from; Holley Sniper EFI, FiTech, Edelbrock EFI, MSD EFI.
 

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My suggestion is to rebuild the 289. In the long run it will be less expensive than swapping in another engine and be just as reliable.
 

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All great info about the Ford small block. One minor correction though as the 302 actually first got the 5.0 moniker during the relatively humble Mustang II era in 1978 on the King Cobra.

The 1980/81 Mustang had no 302/5.0 available though. It was downsized to a weak 255 for those two very dark fox body years. As I recall reading it was the lowest hp Ford small block engine ever produced.
I did not know about the King Cobra 5.0! Cool!

... we do not talk about the 255. The 255 did not exist. ;)
 

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Andrem603, you've got a lot of very simple choices for this car!

The 289 is a "WIndsor" small block engine, and it was made in a lot of different flavors for a very long time. There are tons of donor vehicles and parts for your engine, or replacements, all the way from the early 60s to the early 2000s.

If your engine is in good shape, but just weak, you might be well served to upgrade your original engine a bit, and give it a tuneup. The 289 is a pretty good motor. I'm puzzled how it wound up in a '73, as your engine would probably have been a 302 or 351 originally (also Windsors). The 'weak point' of any stock Windsor engine is the heads. Whether early or late, they just don't flow very well compared to any modern engine. If you wanted to make your old 289 better, that's the best place to start. A good set of aftermarket aluminum heads.

If your engine needs a complete rebuild, and you just want something that won't take much work, the simplest solution would be a '96-2001 Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer with a 5.0 engine. The '96-98 motors used GT40 head that are pretty good, and the later version had GT40P heads. Both SUVs have very weak valve springs and a wimpy cam that is not very good for performance, but after replacing the valvesprings and cam with something better (even a stock 5.0 HO cam from a late 80s or early 90s Mustang) they perform very well.

To put one of those engines in your car, you'd need to use your 289's intake, carburetor, oilpan, sump pickup, and timing cover.

A 351 (or 5.8) motor from any car or truck all the way into the early 2000s might also be a good choice for your car, and are readily available in vans and trucks. It is very similar to your 289, but the engine decks are about an inch taller and wider, which makes its intake wider too. Motor mounts are the same as a 289/302/5.0, and the heads even interchange. However, your exhaust would have to be modified just a little in order to fit, due to the slightly wider block, and you'd have to find a carbureted intake, timing cover, and accessories that would work with your car. I think the oilpan and pickup tube from your 289 will still fit a 351, but I can't remember for sure.

Basically, Ford started out with a little 221 V8 back in '62, and then very quickly made it bigger (internally) by increasing the bore from 3.5" to 3.8", making it a "260". Then it grew again to a 4" bore, becoming a 289. The 289 was used from '63 until 1968, when it got a longer 3" stroke, and grew to 302 cubic inches. In 1969, its big brother, the 351 Windsor engine was introduced, with a heavier, wider, taller, stronger block, and longer 3.5" stroke. The 302 didn't stop production, and was carried until it ended production in the early 2000s. It did change names, becoming a "5.0" in '82 and getting a roller cam in 1985. All of the motor mounts for these engines, and all the heads can physically bolt up and work on each other - although there are some incompatibilities (due to the small bore) on very early Windsors. The bellhousing on early Windsors also used only 5 bolts up to 1964, but after that, they are all the same 6 bolt design, so all later transmissions can be interchanged too - and that bellhousing bolt pattern was also used on Ford's later V6 engines.
Actually you are a little off, you can use the 289 timing cover and balancer and pulleys on on a 351 the oil pan and pickup does not interchange the 289-302's prior to 1980 use the same balance factor 28 ounce as later 351's aka 5.8's. If you use a 1980 or later 302 aka 5.0 the oil pan from the 289-302 can be used but the balance factor changed to a 50 ounce more on that here. See Post #5 sbf/short water pump/pulleys
 

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Actually you are a little off, you can use the 289 timing cover and balancer and pulleys on on a 351 the oil pan and pickup does not interchange the 289-302's prior to 1980 use the same balance factor 28 ounce as later 351's aka 5.8's. If you use a 1980 or later 302 aka 5.0 the oil pan from the 289-302 can be used but the balance factor changed to a 50 ounce more on that here. See Post #5 sbf/short water pump/pulleys
Thanks, Jeff! Couldn't remember which way it went with the pan. I do know that with the taller deck height, the typical AC and alternator bracketry is different for a 351/5.8 compared to a 289/302/5.0 (there's a bigger gap between the timing cover and head). The later timing covers do not have a provision for a mechanical fuel pump or dipstick, which is why you might want to find an earlier cover for a carb conversion. The 'short pulley' waterpump setup used on explorers and mountaineers uses a very different timing cover as well.
 

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Thanks, Jeff! Couldn't remember which way it went with the pan. I do know that with the taller deck height, the typical AC and alternator bracketry is different for a 351/5.8 compared to a 289/302/5.0 (there's a bigger gap between the timing cover and head). The later timing covers do not have a provision for a mechanical fuel pump or dipstick, which is why you might want to find an earlier cover for a carb conversion. The 'short pulley' waterpump setup used on explorers and mountaineers uses a very different timing cover as well.
After 1985 the 5.0 timing covers were thinner my donor 1984 5.0 came from a Lincoln MK VII I was able to drill it for a front sump dipstick but I did convert to an electric Carter fuel pump.
 
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