Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2004

Step By Step

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Mump_0404_17_z Ford_289_small_block Completed
She's not pretty just yet, but our completed 289 is ready for the dyno. After A&S Motorsports finishes twisting our 289 to the top of the tach, we'll truck our new engine back to the Mustang Monthly tech shop where we'll detail it for our '66 hardtop. Tune in for that story and more on the '66 in coming issues.
Mump_0404_1_z Ford_289_small_block Checking_piston_to_valve_clearance
1 When we last visited John Douglas and our 289, we had a stout short-block waiting for some equally promising top-end parts. In the interim, we sent our factory original 4V intake and reproduction Hi-Po manifolds to Extrude Hone for its Abrasive Flow Media process. AFM ported and polished the inside of the manifold passages without having to dissect or cut open the castings, perfect for our "hidden horsepower" theme. Here, John started building our top end by checking piston-to-valve clearance, then he degreed in our Comp Cams roller cam using checking springs on the intake and exhaust valves of the No.1 cylinder.

Getting the 289 together for our project car has given us a much needed boost of enthusiasm. While you're reading this second part of the engine buildup in early 2004, due to editorial lead times we're tapping away at the keyboard in November. We've completed the drivetrain installation, and the car is almost complete. Barring any major setbacks, our project should be running by the end of 2003 and any bugs worked out in plenty of time for a debut at the big 40th Anniversary bash in Nashville.

In last month's first half of the buildup, we discussed building a strong foundation, and showed you the parts and assembly of the "short-block" package. After a few weeks of scheduling difficulties, we were able to get back to John Douglas' place and complete our buildup into a "long-block" that would be ready for the A&S Motorsports dyno. Our long-block buildup utilizes the CNC-modified cylinder-head castings from Power Heads, valvetrain components from Competition Cams, and an Extrude Honed factory 4V intake. Arriving just in time for our dyno session, we also used a show-ready Autolite 4100 from Pony Carburetors, modified to complement our engine specs, and an Autolite distributor restored by Mike Ulrey, which was fitted with a PerTronix Ignitor (from National Parts Depot) and a custom advance curve.

Take a look at our small-block beauty and tune in for our next Project '66 article in which we'll detail our 289 to make the Mustang Club of America nod in approval.