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Discussion Starter #1
I've got my original 289 out of my 66 sitting in the garage and I'm dreaming about how I might rebuild it. Thinking seriously about doing a 331 stroker kit and going with some better flowing aluminum heads (with roller rockers) and a dual plane manifold and a matching carb. How much would I gain by adding a roller cam? I want it to have good manners on the street and I know you can go for a little more bang in a cam if its a roller rather than a flat tappet while still keeping the good street manners. Any opinions or thoughts? Not looking to spend a fortune but kind of like the idea of keeping the original engine but getting some more performance from it. The 331 option seems better for overall reliability and durability than going all the way to a 347
 

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I went to 333 for the same reasons (would have been 331 but had to go .040), I wanted to reuse my original motor but didn't want to push it to the very limit by going 347. My cylinder skirts barely needed notching to clear the rods, 347 need notching as the rod angle gets more aggressive/horizontal.

I would look up all the parts that you would need to make your 289 a roller (small base circle cam, etc.) and compare that cost to staying hyd. flat tappet. I did (I only put new parts in my engine) and the roller cost was >$500 more just for the roller lifters/ keepers and cam. I decided to put that $ elsewhere. If you find a complete roller and are comfortable reusing some of those parts you may cut that cost down.

From asking and reading I could only find *maybe* a 15HP difference in going roller due to less friction. I minimized that diff. by using full roller rockers and having my cam nitrided (hardened)

The roller makes break in easier and oil changes easier. I decided that doing a correct break in and adding a <$10 bottle of ZDDP additive every oil change (2X/yr?) was worth it to keep my original block in the car. Nearly every classic at the cruise ins and shows I go to has been converted to roller and/or EFI, I like being different and having more of an original/sleeper look.

I also added AFR 165's, Weiand Stealth and Demon 625 but the heads and intake will be painted ford blue to match the block. If you look you'll know they're alum. but to a casual observer they won't notice i believe. I'll find out if the roller blocks have anything on me once I get it back on the road and out to the strip.

I know that a roller block externally looks like the 289 but I will enjoy saying it's the original 'little' 289....I went with a CompCams XE262 after downloading the FREE CamQuest program and playing with the different variables to see what difference it'd make on cam selection, then I sat down and spoke with my engine builder and we both agreed the 262 would fit my intentions for the car (dd-90% of the time, PB, A/C, AOD).
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the great feedback Jon! Like you, I'd like my ole 289 to be a bit of a sleeper and the stroker is perfect for that. Funny, I was also thinking about AFR165s and a Weiland Stealth - haven't decided on a carb. But I don't plan to hide the aluminum heads - I like the look.

If the roller cam is only going to add 15 HP or so it doesn't sound like a good investment other than the break-in and maintenance issues. I've been looking at the Comp retro roller kits and it runs about $700 new - and that doesn't include the distributor gear upgrade and the additional machining for the keeper. Maybe there are cheaper kits out there. I did also plan to go for roller rockers and thanks for the tip on hardening the cam. Maybe I'll save my money and have the machine shop dress the block for a one piece crank bearing.

Got any idea what kind of torque and HP increases you are looking at with the 333 stroker?

Steve
 

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The Rolle cam has many benefits Steve, you can run a much more agressive profile and maintain good vacuum and idle which with a flat tappett cam with the same profile you could'nt do.
The real benefit is heat control and parasitic losses from friction. If you dont it for any othe reason do it for reduced friction and heat controll
 

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Hey Steve,
'Got any idea what kind of torque and HP increases you are looking at with the 333 stroker?'

I'd hate to even guess, if stock was 200hp, I'm guessing in the 325+ range. I'll wait to see what a real dyno says before I get myself worked up but the AFR's should be good for close to 100hp increase from magazine articles I've read.

I tried to do every 'little' secret I could find like windage tray, port matching for the intake to heads, etc. I didn't want to leave any easy hp on the table. I also picked up an alum. driveshaft to go with my AOD. I know the AOD will suck up some power so trying to limit my loss as much as possible.

I don't want to loose driveability to have a max hp car either, looking for that middle ground with PB and A/C!
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sound like you are doing a really smart build Jon. I just downloaded the CamQuest program to play with some variables. I think I am going to keep the roller cam option in the playbook for now - I like the idea of being able to go a bit more agressive on the cam. I plan to do a lot of the work myself to keep the cost down. Of course this all depends on whether the block is usable - has 140K on it and never bored. Looking forward to a few more horses!
 
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