66 Hipo spun rod bearing - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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66 Hipo spun rod bearing

Hi all,
I need some advice. I bought a 1966 k code gt recently and drove it 1200 miles home with the only issue being a bad set of points.

I then have the first weekend home with it and I hear a loud clunking sound. I diagnosed it to a spun rod bearing. I dropped the oil pan and the number 5 rod was so loose I could move it back and forth, the rest seemed tight. I took off the cap and inspected the bearing and it is scored pretty good.

The rest of what I can see looks pretty nice.

I really want the engine to stay as original as possible but I also don’t know if it’s been rebuilt in the past.

Should I just go for a total rebuild or fix just the lower end? How much does a complete rebuild cost?

Originality means a lot to me so I don’t want to lose the original character of the hipo should I kept the solid lifters?

Any advice is welcome and any recommendations on a good builder/machine shop in the Madison, WI would be great.

I got a very general estimate from a builder around here and he said $7,000 to ten grand which seems way high but maybe that is what a quality build costs.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 10:39 PM
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First and foremost before I worried about originality I would verify that it is the original engine. Being a k code car the vin should be stamped on the block.

Unfortunately if it is, keeping in it's original state is now impossible. A total rebuild to stock specs (not including the crank and bore as those will need machine work) is very doable and if it were me I would want it built to stock specs.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 10:46 PM
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I think it is time for a rebuild as you may have shavings everywhere.

Perkins Restoration in Juneau may be a place to call to discuss what you have going on. They may be able to point you to a good machine shop.

At least once it is one you can feel confident in what you have.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 10:56 PM
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Maybe it's just coincidental but your #5 (front left) cylinder is the one with the bad bearing. Your 289 HiPo's firing order was 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. For the 351W and the 5.0, Ford changed the firing order to 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. With the original firing order cylinders 1 and 5 fire sequentially. Cylinders 1 and 5 also share the same rod journal on the crankshaft. IIRC, part of the reason for the firing order change was to reduce the load on the 1 and 5 rod journal caused by those cylinders firing sequentially.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 10:57 PM
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In light of what has been offered, are you handy with respect to DIY possibilities?
What is stamped on the back of the bearing? Have a spec?
There is no shame in keeping with originality, the shame is looking past it.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:25 AM
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Blue paint over spray makes me think it was already been rebuilt once at least.

Did you say it was a HiPo so they gave you the up charge tax? Even so, ya 7-10K is a lot but i would think 3-5K is a lot knowing what the work is Thats what i would expect for someone to custom match a race engine with high dollar hot rod parts. Some people think they do magic when all you need is the job done right like the million times before.
Keep the solid lifters or those that know the right sound will laugh at you
Shop around, look for a place that does some volume with a good turn around and a warranty or an old curmudgeon that might mic and measure everything and do as little as possible because i don't really see a lot of lost material.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:48 AM
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Yeah. Find an old man that has been building engines since he was a kid and smiles a little when he says, "289."

My 1st car...
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 07:26 AM
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If you are considering a "fix", pull the rod cap on a few other rods and see if they are clean or look like they have had metal in them. Then check the pan bottom and oil pump to see how they look. You could open up the oil filter to see what is in there. Next, see if you can inspect the cam lobes deep beyond the crank. IF you really want to be careful, pull the manifold and have a close up look at the lifter surfaces. Finally, pull the valve covers and check the rocker arms for evidence of junk. Feel the surfaces inside the block and heads to see if it feels like sand in the oil or is it clean.



If they all look clean, it is possible the metal was caught in the oil filter before running through your motor, you can pull the crank and have that journal brought back to original specs and replace the rod bearings. Perhaps the oil pump may need refresh since its south of the oil filter. First I would assembly lube everything back together and do a compression check to see just how good the motor is. Leak down would be better but either can be done without running the motor.



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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 07:39 AM
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I agree, jumping into a total rebuild is assuming way too much. Part of a "total rebuild" is boring the cylinders. An expensive waste of time, most likely.

A spun rod bearing could easily be fixed by removing and repairing the crankshaft, and installing new bearing shells.

Examination of the rest of the engine for metal shavings could be very instructive. Most likely, all you need is a crank set and a good cleaning of the engine.

One thing I'd recommend, while it's apart, is port matching the heads to the exhaust. I did that to my HP, and it really woke it up. The exhaust ports in the head are the one weakness in the HP. The design is fine, but the casting quality is surprisingly poor. Takes about 2 hours with a die grinder.

Port-Matching
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. This is all really helpful.

It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.

BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 09:21 AM
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No way would I go roller cam in a hipo. I would keep it as original as possible...or at least period correct. I would consider an aluminum intake as it is easy to switch back. I like headers...as did Shelby. Depending on how much you mind screwing with points, an electronic distributor is an easily reversible mod.
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Last edited by 66coupe289; 08-07-2019 at 09:26 AM.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckgearhead View Post
First and foremost before I worried about originality I would verify that it is the original engine. Being a k code car the vin should be stamped on the block.
Well, even if it's not the original, it's a K code.

Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:03 AM
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It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.
Tedious, but wise.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down
I did my first engine R&R alone when I was 17. Seems I swiped my Dad's Corvette, and popped an oil plug on the back…

but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.
If not this, when? Follow the Ford Shop Manual. Incredible detail, written so that any novice who could read could do the procedures.


BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.
I suspected as much, from the photos. Be sure you install the rod bearing shells with the oiler hole lined up correctly in the top. When I had mine apart, they were not available, do I drilled standard shells.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?
If the valve seats are worn, replace them. I needed 5, so had 16 done. Hardened inserts have the classic 3-angle face. The port-matching made my engine run smoother from idle to 6000, power felt like a cam upgrade, and the shift lever is rock steady on the road.

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
He's an idiot. Find someone else. The K code engine is more than the sum of it's parts, it's a gestalt of things working in prefect harmony. Rarely has an engine come together so well. He's proposing to start over from scratch, just like you would with a C code 289 2V.

Once you have done the teardown and reassembly, you'll have pride in your accomplishment that no checkbook could provide.

Amateur restorer. Well, sometimes I have been paid for it. But not right now.

Last edited by 22GT; 08-07-2019 at 10:07 AM.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:19 AM
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Hydraulic lifters in a K-Code? Blasphemy! Yeah, I would pull the crank and have it machined. That rod journal looks sketchy at best. Very likely you can install the machined cam with new bearings and call it done. I would install a new oil pump. Just don't ask if you should install a high-volume oil pump. One more discussion like that and I think we'd crash the VMF server.

I would also take the heads to a good shop and have them inspected. If the springs were anything other than like new, I would replace them. No fun having a K-Code you can't wind to the moon!
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zunigd View Post
Thanks for all the advice. This is all really helpful.

It looks like at the very least I need to pull the crank and pistons to resurface them and install new bearing. If I pull the engine apart that much it seems wise to tear it apart completely since there may be something hiding somewhere else.

This would give me a better idea of the condition of the engine overall. If I’m lucky I might only need minor machine shop work. I feel comfortable removing the engine and the tear down but I’ve seen so many failed assemblies that I really want a pro to do that. I don’t want to learn on this engine.

BTW, this is the numbers matching hipo engine so originality is real important.

I think port matching make a lot of sense while the engine is apart. Any other minor upgrades that are recommended but will not change the original character of the engine?

The builder that I talked to wanted to do a roller cam, roller rockers, and switch to hydraulic lifters. That all seems a little to drastic of a change for me.
The problem you experienced is not uncommon. The problem arises from the factory rod nuts. They are soft on heat treat. The same nut is specified on the Boss 302 and it has the same problem. The threads "move" a little and clamping is lost . As you noted the nuts were loose. Well they were tight initially! Your engine appears to be in very good condition as the paint marks on the rods aren't terribly discolored from heat or dirty oil. "I" would remove the rod caps and push the pistons ( carefully) up into the cylinder so you can remove the crank and have it ground ( possibly the rods only). That shouldn't be more than $200-300 WITH new bearings. MAKE SURE they grind YOUR crank and don't do a simple exchange. That will eliminate the need to rebalance and keep your engine original. Now would be the time to change to a cast iron cam gear and replace the timing chain. Don't change the crank gear as it is unique to the HiPo as it is shorter to work with the "hatchet" counterweight. You might also was to replace the rear main seal too. NO need for a high volume pump. the lack of it did NOT cause this failure NOR would it have prevented it. Then you can "pull up" the rods onto the crank. I "strongly" recommend aftermarket connecting rod nuts from ARP or Mr Gasket. The bolts do NOT need to be changed. torque to 45 ft lbs and you will never have this problem again.
I believe total out of pocket costs would be less than $500 , a far cry from 7-10,000. IF your engine was in worse condition "I" might consider a complete rebuild , but it looks nice. Remember "pros" were amateurs once too. You can do this! Don't hesitate to "lean on me" if you need more help with it. I have 53 years of experience with 289 HiPos.
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