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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm hoping you guys can help me with my 289 build. I also hope this post doesn’t make me come off as a long-winded *******, but I tried to be as clear about my goals for the vehicle to avoid as much ambiguity as possible and justify the decisions I’m making. Anyhow, here it goes:

Basic info about the vehicle: The engine will be going into my '65 Ranchero that has a T10 four-speed, 8" rear end with Truetrac differential and 3.25 gears. The weight of the vehicle should be about 3000 lbs. The vehicle is currently running around with a mild 302 that my pops 'loaned' to me.

Basic goals for the build:
1. Reliable and fun - the ranchero is my nice weather daily. Whatever I put in here needs to be solid/good quality. I will sacrifice peak performance if the tradeoff is increased reliability and longevity. And I plan on putting a lot of miles on the car, so it should be fun to drive, too.
2. I'm running Holley Sniper EFI (4150) mounted to an Edelbrock performer RPM intake manifold on the 302 that's currently in there, and I want to retain that setup on the new engine.
3. Make the motor as "rev-happy" as I can while still maintaining hydraulic flat tappet cam/lifters. My goal here is to make power at or above 6000 rpm without destroying the drivability. Don’t ask me why I have a thing for high revving V8’s - I don’t know, it just makes me happy. I know solid lifters would be better for high RPM's but I really don't want to be bothered with adjusting them.
4. Has to run on 91 octane or lower. I'd like to run ~10:1 CR with aluminum heads (right now I'm leaning towards AFR 165's but am open to suggestions). Also, I don’t think 10:1 compression is particularly aggressive, but if anyone knows that the higher compression might hinder the longevity of the motor, I’d appreciate any input.
5. I plan on reusing stock block, crank, and rods. I will have the rotating assembly balanced, journals polished, rods shot-peened, and will be adding ARP hardware for entire rotating assembly.

Areas where I'm looking for suggestions:
1. Selecting cam/lifter combo - I basically want the mildest cam that will make power up to/over 6k. The EFI seems to be able to smooth rough idles out fairly well, but halfway decent idle quality would be nice. Right now I’m looking at these two options, but I am very much open to suggestions:

Comp Cams FS XE274H-10
Duration at 050" Lift: 230 int./236 exh.
Lift: 0.520 int./0.523 exh.
LSA: 110

Or

Howards MC210951-10
Duration at 050" Lift: 221 int./231 exh.
Lift: 0.501 int./0.501 exh.
LSA: 110


2. Selecting rocker arms - I have never used anything other than OEM rocker arms, so I’m not sure what I need here. I plan on getting full rollers and retaining a 1.6 ratio. Who makes good quality arms or are there any that I should avoid?

3. Harmonic balancer questions - I am looking for 28oz External Balance, correct? Are the ATI/other more expensive ones worth the extra money or will the more budget-friendly ones serve me well enough?

4. Pistons - As I mentioned above, I’d like to hover right around 10:1 compression. With the 58cc chambers on the AFR’s, the calculator I used indicates that the Keith Black KB116KTM-030 pistons (2.6cc dome) will yield me ~10.0:1 with a .041” head gasket and .01” deck clearance. Do any of you guys know if I would have any issues running these pistons? The AFR165’s have 1.9” intake valves and 1.6” exhaust valves, for reference.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/input!
-Chris
 

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Race prep the crank
Get some forged rods
The AFR Renegade heads look like a good choice
you will need a roller cam for them, and you goal IMHO
Best to get shopping for that
Maybe this
Trick Flow Specialties TFS-51403001 Trick Flow® Track Max® Hydraulic Roller Camshafts for Ford 5.0L | Summit Racing

or larger



Something to think about is Quench. You need to spec the compression height of the pistons. Also I would not run a dome .
Best to get some slugs that will be in the hole only a few thou. so you can get a .045 or tighter quench
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses guys, but as I mentioned in the original post:

5. I plan on reusing stock block, crank, and rods. I will have the rotating assembly balanced, journals polished, rods shot-peened, and will be adding ARP hardware for entire rotating assembly.

I have most of the bottom end figured out, just looking for suggestions with pistons and cam selections.

Thanks!
 

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Forged flat top from DSS Pistons is an affordable option, just $349 set.
3cc valve relief and combined with 58cc chamber heads gets 9.4:1 compression. Deck the block .010" to zero deck it gets you 9.6:1

You will have to retain the slightly longer 5.155" 289 rod and 2.87" stroke 289 crank to get parts stack to come out correct.

8720-4000 289 / 302 / 5.0 SBF 289 - 302 E Series -3cc Flat Top Inline Piston Set. 4.000 bore (dssracing.com)

On the harmonic damper choice, Powerbond would be a good lower budget choice. Yes, your 289 would be 28oz.

With good pushrods and full roller rockers using polylocks, solid lifter maintenance becomes a lot less of a chore.....might only have to do it a couple times a year is what I've experienced, even with stuff turning 7000 rpm.
If it needs adjustment all the time something is coming loose or something is wearing too fast.

The only way you make stout power with a 289 is rev it up....hydraulics have a problem doing that.....
Mechanical cam all the way to go with that 4 speed for some real fun.

For rocker arms, Scorpion is a solid choice, they are guaranteed for life. howards is another, made by Scorpion for Howards.
Comp Cams Pro Magnum steel bodied are another good choice.
You should consider a 1.7/1.6 split ratio set, with the 1.7 on the intake side...especially with a good aftermarket head, to get the lift up into the peak of the flow curve.

Trick Flow makes some very good SBFord heads too.
 

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I had a friend back in the day who owned a mid-late 60s Mustang with the 271 hp 289. That was a seriously fast car for the times, would rev like crazy, and had a cool-sounding, but not crazy idle. If I were building a 289 today, I'd try to mimic that engine as much as possible.

Interesting info:
The original 289 HiPo cam (PN C30Z-6250-C) had 310 degrees advertised duration (194 degrees at .100-inch lift) with a .460-inch total lift at the valve and lobe separation angle of 114 degrees. The problem with comparing modern cams with those from the ’60s is that SAE hadn’t implemented the standard .006-inch valve-lift spec for advertised duration, and Ford didn’t list duration at .050-inch lift, which is today’s most-used comparison tool.

According to Billy Godbold of Comp Cams, however, the velocity limit of the Ford .875-inch tappet means that the .050-inch lift should be 30 to 40 degrees more than the .100-inch lift listed by Ford for its performance cams in the ’60s.

“The 194 at .100 is more in the 224-234 at .050 range,” estimates Godbold.

By comparison, the Comp Cams Nostalgia Plus 271S cam is designed to replicate the original HiPo camshaft “character” with a more aggressive, dual-pattern lobe design. This cam has a lobe separation of 112 degrees and gross valve lift of .495-inch intake and .490-inch exhaust. Duration at .050-inch is 225 intake and 232 exhaust–so it’s very close to the original HiPo cam.

The entire article:
 

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ERic nailed it imo. Solid cam no excuses. Hydraulic flat tappet cams just suck in a 289 rpm monster. AFR heads great choice. If you want a smoother idle get a wider LSA ( lobe separation angle) say around 112º. In a solid flat tappet maybe as high as 220º duration or 210º if you insist on using a crappie hydraulic flat tappet cam.
the 165 cc AFRs advertise 250 cfm @ .500 lift . That is a lot of air for a small engine. Those flow numbers are on a 4.06 bore. Even with your smaller bore you will have lots of air.
 

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Most shops don't have a Wheelabrator (shot-peening system). Its a much more complex (expensive) process than just sandblasting. In order to get the compression of the steel "skin", you need a LOT of velocity. Long story short, I'd hate to see you spend money for Shotpeening and get glass beading or worse. If you can't find a shop with the correct equipment; its usually cheaper to get some Eagle or Scat rods, which are stronger, more durable and dont have an unknown number of heat cycles under their belt.
With a 289 and a 3.25, I hope you have a steeper 1st gear than the 2.43.
Theres a rule of thumb that I use with clients: (rear gear) x (1st gear) = 9 or 10. This works well if your tires are 28" tall or lower, for a street/strip car
A 2.64 T10 for example, would pair nicely with a 3.50 rear (9.25 total gear reduction). Its less effective in daily driving (stop and go) when you get into the 8.0 territory. Rancheros dont weigh a whole lot, and if you have realistic expectations; it'll last a good long time. Just be mindful that having a lack of gear reduction means slipping the clutch and the flywheel and clutch disc life can be shorter than anticipated.
Im not trying to upset you. I build custom gearboxes for a living, and I have a customer in norway right now who has a 2.20 1st trans with a 3.08 rear. The car is barely driveable (think NASCAR-leaving-the-pit-box starts). We are going to a gearbox with a 2.98 1st (2.98 x 3.08 = 9.17) to solve his problem.
I think you'll be fine, but it bears mentioning; and no we don't do T10s here so Im not trying to sell anything.

Make sure you pilot bushing is non magnetic, and mock up your bellhousing before the trans installation. Check the INSTALLED bellhousing for runout and parallelism.
I'd give Ram a look for a street clutch, and if you have a Hurst shifter, I'd reach out to Crash Enterprises or ShifterDoc and look at a refresh, buying a refurbished shifter, or buying parts to refresh it yourself. Im not a fan of the brand new Hurst shifters, they are asking a kings ransom for relatively poor quality.
 
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