Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Peoples Republic of Vermont
The factors that come into play here are:
1. Is the original 289 block and heads serviceable for a rebuild? There needs to be enough cylinder wall thickness remaining after a bore and hone to provide strength and adequately absorb heat. The heads need to be undamaged and able to accept new valve guides and seats and to be resurfaced.
2. Beyond the above, it comes down to whether you want to use the original components or substitutes. Notice that I don't say "new", because almost all "budget" crate motors use seasoned (used) blocks typically bored .030" oversize, those that are stock rebuilds use seasoned (used) heads, they use reground (used) crankshafts and connecting rods that have been made serviceable through machining. Not that this is at all a BAD thing...there is plenty of life left in such components and the cast components actually benefit from the stability provided by the many heat cycles they have been through. It also comes down to your budget as well as your personal preferences.
I'd hate to scrap a decent 289 block.... it's virtually identical to the latest '01-produced 5.0 Explorer/Mountaineer block other than some minor revisions and, IMHO, benefits from a little more mass around the crankshaft main webbing. It can be machined to accept the later one-piece rear main seal and with "dog-bone" lifters or reduced base-circle camshafts can run roller lifters as well, if that's your thing.
What, me worry?
- Alfred E. Neuman