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Old 03-08-2012, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building up a standard 289 to K-code spec

Hi all,

I'm sure this has been asked a 1000 times. So let me make it 1001. How difficult would it be to build up a standard 289 engine to semi K-code specs? I know that's an open ended question so let me put some parameters around it.

Goals;

Looks reasonably like a K-code engine from the outside. I.E. no aftermarket heads, carborators, etc.
Date coding not important.
Using a standard 289 A-code engine that is due for it's first rebuild.
Solid lifters preferred because I like the sound.
No vacuum dizzy would be nice, Motorcraft replacement fine.
Use real or reproduction HIPO exhaust
Prefer to use 4100 Autolite carb. Rebuilt to flow 600cfm?
271 HP at flywheel or better

Essentially I'm looking for the look and feel of a K-code that would look period correct with a casual glance. I'm not interested in most horsepower for the dollar nor do I feel necessarily compelled to use real k-code parts due to the expense. Looking for a nice compromise.

Car would be a 65 GT coupe.

Since real K-codes came with the 9" rear-end, would that need to be upgraded as well?

I realize that more modern and aftermarket parts would make more horsepower and do it more cheaply, but that's not what I'm looking for. I like the idea of "old school" technology and want a vintage look and sound. Adjusting solid lifters doesn't bother me and the car isn't a daily driver anyways.

Here's a Mustang Monthly article where they did essentially the same thing with a modern block.

1965 Hi-Po Engine vs. Shelby 289 Short-Block - Mustang Monthly

I kind of like what they did but want to do it with a standard 289 block. The water pump and dizzy are ugly though in my mind.

Anyone game for this thought experiment?

Last edited by landmissle; 03-08-2012 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Kinda like asking how difficult it is to build an engine...

If "close" after market is used its really just another rebuild... may take a bit of time to find all the parts, but if money is no object they are out there. In todays terms it is a pretty mild engine and if date/part correct is not an issue, just "looks kinda like it" the exotic factor is gone.

Don't need to rebuild a 4100 to flow 600 (which would be hard as you would have to replace the venturis on a 1.08 - ~480cfm) just buy a 1.12 (rated at "about" 600cfm). A 4100 HiPo would be better than non, but they are pricey and hard to find, again if "correct" is not a concern a generic 1.12 4100 (pretty easy to find) will service the need pretty well.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Starting with an A-code, buy a 289 Hipo dress up kit and air cleaner sticker...get a set of 289 repo Hipo exhaust manifolds from Tony Branda and you are 90% there since most things K-code are internal.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=landmissle;4225848]Hi all,

I'm sure this has been asked a 1000 times. So let me make it 1001. How difficult would it be to build up a standard 289 engine to semi K-code specs? I know that's an open ended question so let me put some parameters around it.

Goals;

Looks reasonably like a K-code engine from the outside. I.E. no aftermarket heads, carburators, etc.
So far, pretty easy.

Date coding not important.
That helps.

Using a standard 289 A-code engine that is due for it's first rebuild.
Same block, so no problem.

Solid lifters preferred because I like the sound.
The C3OZ-6250-C 289HP cam is available, so go for it.

No vacuum dizzy would be nice, Motorcraft replacement fine.
These turn up all the time on ebaY.

Use real or reproduction HIPO exhaust
The 289HP repro manifolds are available, and very good quality.

Prefer to use 4100 Autolite carb. Rebuilt to flow 600cfm?
You can't bore out a 1.08 to 1.12, so you'll have to get a replica. Doable.

271 HP at flywheel or better
Too easy. If you port-match the heads to the manifolds, you'll exceed that.

Essentially I'm looking for the look and feel of a K-code that would look period correct with a casual glance. I'm not interested in most horsepower for the dollar nor do I feel necessarily compelled to use real k-code parts due to the expense. Looking for a nice compromise.
If you use upgrade connecting rod bolts, 289HP balancer and hatched weight, "thin" timing set, and get the assembly rebalanced, (which you'll do anyway), as well as the above mods, plus screw-in rocker studs, dual valve springs, big alternator pulley, special fan, and the chrome valve covers and air cleaner, you pretty much have a 289HP.

The only thing short of it at that point is the bigger con rod bolts, and thick main caps, and you've gone all the way.

These engines were more than the sum of the parts, they ran really well, because they had a balanced setup.


Car would be a 65 GT coupe.

Since real K-codes came with the 9" rear-end, would that need to be upgraded as well?
You will if you intend to beat the tar out of it. Or, if you get a Currie 4-pinion 8" Traction-Lok, your 8" will be stronger than many stock 9" rears.

I realize that more modern and aftermarket parts would make more horsepower and do it more cheaply, but that's not what I'm looking for. I like the idea of "old school" technology and want a vintage look and sound. Adjusting solid lifters doesn't bother me and the car isn't a daily driver anyways.
The 289HP duals with twin mufflers and twin resonators sound great, and are readily available. I drove my 289HP daily for years, and got to where I could adjust the lifters in less than an hour.

Here's a Mustang Monthly article where they did essentially the same thing with a modern block.

1965 Hi-Po Engine vs. Shelby 289 Short-Block - Mustang Monthly

Not sure I'd use that as a guide. They used the wrong valves.
I'm not using the stock rockers in my 289HP, though, the uniball fulcrum style was a problem, even Ford dropped them fairly quickly. This article explains what I did-

289 High Performance Valve Train Upgrade

I kind of like what they did but want to do it with a standard 289 block. The water pump and dizzy are ugly though in my mind.
The 289 2V and 289HP had the same block. Really. The 289 2V and 289HP water pumps were externally identical. You can use the regular water pump and you'll never know.

Dunno why you would think the pump and distributor are ugly-


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Last edited by 22GT; 03-08-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Everything that 22GT said but I started with a 302 Mexican block that has the hipo style main caps. Built mine to hipo specs using Dart windsor jr heads, solid lift comp cam, TRW forged pistons, comp full roller rockers, cobra intake, holley 600, hooker super comp headers.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi 22GT,

Thank you for the very useful information! I really appreciate it.

Maybe I didn't make myself clear regarding the water pump and dizzy. I wasn't referring to the stock K-code setup, but rather I was referring to the water pump and dizzy used in the article I linked too.

BTW, that's a beautiful K-code engine bay!
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landmissle View Post
Hi 22GT,

Thank you for the very useful information! I really appreciate it.

Maybe I didn't make myself clear regarding the water pump and dizzy. I wasn't referring to the stock K-code setup, but rather I was referring to the water pump and dizzy used in the article I linked too.

BTW, that's a beautiful K-code engine bay!
Oh. The pump is an electric no doubt used for dyno work. The big distributor could be too, or maybe he just likes the big cap.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd make the outside look "K" code (chrome valve covers and air cleaner), C3OZ camshaft & solid lifters, screw-in studs in decent heads (can be made to look near stock) with good rockers, large HD balancer and a 347 stroker kit, Stealth manifold with the Weiand ground off and painted black, repro HiPo heads, 1.12" Autolite 4100, larger diameter alternator pulley, mechanical-only distributor. It will look like and sound like a 289 HiPo. It will run like a scalded cheetah.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The first thing I always look for when I see the HIGH PERFORMANCE badges on a mustang is the harmonic balancer. The HP289 had that nice fat one that very few choose to replicate because of the $. Slap an original style chrome air cleaner, mechanical advance disti, repo exhaust manifolds and then somehow add some lines to the "A" on your fender apron to make it look like a "K" and you are golden.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is it even possible to find this much wealth of knowledge on any other forum?

WOW!

Now this is why, I had to join this forum.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The first thing I always look for when I see the HIGH PERFORMANCE badges on a mustang is the harmonic balancer. The HP289 had that nice fat one that very few choose to replicate because of the $.
They aren't that bad. How many you want?

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Old 03-08-2012, 11:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lee Holman sells hipo 289 cams. not hipo cam replacemants BUT real brand new hipo 289 solid lifter cams ground to the original ford specs. Lee Holman of the Holman/Moody family. phone 704-583-2888. this is where your gonna get the real feel oh a hipo 289 engine along with the ford intake and carb & compression at 10.5. put tri-y headers , edelbrock f4b intake , 715 or 700 cfm holley and you pretty much have the gt350 engine as far as power feel goes. the hipo heads and standard heads flowed the same and have the same valve size. that hipo 289 cam is the real ticket. a lot of the 69-70 boss 302 guys put the hipo 289 cam in the b2 engine and it runs a lot better. could never figure out why ford didnt use it . the b2 cam is the ideal cam for a stock b2.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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A couple of extra things as everthing has already been covered:

Oil, or oil additive. Make sure you use an oil the will protect the cam. They took out or lessened the zinc stuff in regular oil.

Adjusting the lifters: I don't know how often you plan on doing this. I don't drive my Shelby enough to have even done it within the past 5 years. Every 5000 mile should do, if not longer. "They ain't supposed to sound like sewing machines."
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quick list, missing some I'm sure and other cost, like lifters, cam would need to be replaced regardless of doing hypo look motor. Ignoring the carb as you have it.
Exhaust Manifold $300
Dress up kit $260
Disti $325
Generator pulley $50
Counterweight $90
Harmonic balancer $310

So, round it to $1500 or so.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landmissle View Post
I kind of like what they did but want to do it with a standard 289 block. The water pump and dizzy are ugly though in my mind.
If you mount all the outside parts from a 289"on the 5.0 shortblock it will look 99% identical and the differences will be very difficult to see with the engine dressed up and mounted in the car.

The distributor and waterpump in that article was only "tools" used for making the work on the dyno easier.
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