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Discussion Starter #1
I like to take things in waves and would like to have all the parts and battle plan ready for the next "segment" of the 67's build, the motor. This car will be a weekend cruiser for both the wife and myself so ridiculous cams are out of the question, it essentially needs to be a street car with a bit of giddyup. The 3.73s with the 4r70w I think will provide some gusto while keeping the rpms manageable for cruising at the 70mph highway speeds we have here.

That said, this is what the rest of the running gear is or will be:

Explorer rear with 3.73 and posi
4r70w (no Jmod, just a straight swap)

These are the parts I already have:

Block:
289 block
Planning on clean, magnaflux/inspect, hone if possible, bore as little as needed

Crank:
Stock crank, bring to factory tolerances

Heads:
GT40P Heads
Planning (3 angle valve job and M-6513-A50 springs, M-6514-B50 retainers, M-6571-A50 seals) and have them milled .015-.030 to maintain 54cc chambers.

Intake:
Professional Products Typhoon (similar to the Edelbrock Performer RPM)

Exhaust:
Sanderson GT40P Ceramic Coated Headers and Summit 2 1/4' dual exhaust

Carb:
Summit, 600 cfm, Square Bore, 4-Barrel, Electric Choke, Vacuum Secondary (SUM-M08600VS)

Distributor:
Pro Comp Electronics HEI Distributor



That covered, what I am still on the fence about is the following (and if going roller makes that big of a difference):

Cam:
Trick Flow Stage 1 or B-303
Will these keep it mild and still offer a decent profile? The only cam I have used was the Trick Flow Stage 2 and it was nice, but would be a little too lopey for what I want for this car.

Rockers:
Stay stock stamped or go with 1.6:1 Pedestal mounts? Will this offer smoother performance/cruising/durability? Has anyone gone this route on GT40P's? I can pick them up for around $200 shipped.

Lifters:
Comp Cams Retro Rollers 31-1000 with 851-16.
Same as above, has anyone used these, I can get everything for around $300 shipped.

Crank:
Should I just have the stock crank clearanced and polished or would switching to another crank offer a large enough improvement to justify all the rod/piston/clearance changes I would need to make over stock replacement/reuse?

Compression Ratio:
Should I maintain the stock 9.81:1 compression ratio of this A code? I am in SoCAL and 91 octane the top premium. Will this be a problem with cast iron heads, carb'd, on 100 degree days with load? I have never actually built an engine ground up, nor been involved much with carbs, so I need a no you're retarded it's fine, or are you crazy, of course that won't work type of answer.

Additionally, in about a month I will be taking the block apart and taking it to the machine shop, helpful wisdom from the knowledgeable sages here would be much appreciated. What are the things I need to ensure get done other than what I listed above, and what are those things that are money well spent I didn't list?

Thanks in advance......

Tony
 

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331 Dude...
I like Crane pedestal roller rockers. The 1.7's have a Ford part number (from a 93 Cobra).
Pro Comp is 100% Chinese crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Concerning 331's, 347's and strokers in general, there are two concerns for me. The first is drivability. I have had a professionally tuned 350rwhp efi roller 302 with 3.73s and my wife refused to even ride in it (albeit it did have full 2.5" exhaust with a stage 2 cam). Do you have experience with strokers? Is drivability maintained if the cam remains mild? As I said, never built an engine from ground up before. The second concern I have is clearances with a 289 block. I have read that the longer rods / throws don't work or require too much work with a 289. Consider, I only am looking at probably wanting in the range of 230-250 rwhp out of this thing, not 330-350.

I have used the FRPP 1.7 rockers before, but I think I will stay with 1.6's this time around to keep the "attitude" within tolerable wife driving limits.

As far as the Pro Comp goes, the dizzy is actually already installed and was a night and day difference between the original points. As to whether it maintains that status with me after the rebuild and concerning durability has yet to be seen though.
 

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Concerning 331's, 347's and strokers in general, there are two concerns for me. The first is drivability. I have had a professionally tuned 350rwhp efi roller 302 with 3.73s and my wife refused to even ride in it (albeit it did have full 2.5" exhaust with a stage 2 cam). Do you have experience with strokers? Is drivability maintained if the cam remains mild? As I said, never built an engine from ground up before. The second concern I have is clearances with a 289 block. I have read that the longer rods / throws don't work or require too much work with a 289. Consider, I only am looking at probably wanting in the range of 230-250 rwhp out of this thing, not 330-350.

I have used the FRPP 1.7 rockers before, but I think I will stay with 1.6's this time around to keep the "attitude" within tolerable wife driving limits.

As far as the Pro Comp goes, the dizzy is actually already installed and was a night and day difference between the original points. As to whether it maintains that status with me after the rebuild and concerning durability has yet to be seen though.
Yes, I've put together several 289-302 and 351W based strokers. A stroker is as docile as the cam you use. 289 blocks present no more problems than a 302.
More cubic inches will smooth out a rough idle that you would have with the same cam with a small motor.
Clearancing the block is a 15 minute job with a carbide burr (or 30 minutes with a mounted stone) and die grinder. The rod nuts slightly touch the bottom of the opposite side cylinder walls.
Dummy the motor together with the front and rear main bearings, one piston/rod can be used in all the cylinders.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Art, I appreciate your taking time to ascert that my assumptions were wrong....I had a funny feeling they were.

I did some reading since my last post, and it seem as though the extra torque realized from strokers makes drivability better, rather than worse, maybe my assumptions are based on the fact I am thinking in terms of horsepower, when I should be thinking about torque for driveability. Thanks for that.

That said, I looked at that specific kit, and my limited additional readings pointed out that kits with wrist pin intersecting oil rings on the pistons in some of these kits (like this one) is what got stroker kits their initial bad raps. From what I saw, for longevity it is better to find kits with pistons with the rings above the wrist pins. Is this your experience as well? Spending a bit more for longevity in this scenario would be money well spent if that is the case.
 

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When stroker kits first came out, indeed the oil rings intersected the wrist pin hole. Without the support of piston material under the oil ring oil would get past the oil ring and would be burned in the combustion chamber. In a racing motor, a little oil consumption was a small price to pay. In a street motor it's a little harder to tolerate.
Now piston manufacturers have a steel spacer that fits in the oil ring groove that supports the oil ring over the wrist pin. With the steel spacer oil control is no longer a problem.

I've never used a stroker kit with the small wrist pins or the short rods. I think you give up performance for a problem that has already been addressed and rectified.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So do you think that is the case with this kit? As it states "Piston pin intersects the oil ring on kits with *" and all the 331, 347, 355 kits have stars. OR is what you are referring to in these steel shims what they are calling "PIN FIT PISTONS"? Thanks again.
 

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KB pistons come with the spacer ring.
If you have a good straight bore with less than .006" taper, the right cylinder wall finish and the right piston/cylinder wall clearance and assemble correctly you won't have an oil problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Art, I think I am at the point, concerning this portion of the build, that I am going to need to have the block in the machine shop's hands and get info back on it's condition and needed/allowed overbore. That said, I have watched a few videos of roller 331's with the Trick Flow Stage 1 cam and they seem to have the right mannerism I am looking for. I'll probably go with some 1.6:1 Scorpion Endurance Rockers as well as the Comp Cams Retro Rollers 31-1000 with 851-16 listed above.

I have detailed manuals and a video to assist with the rebuild, but just in case they don't cover it what is the Art definition of "right cylinder wall finish" and "piston/cylinder wall clearance". I read this article and assume you mean the machine shop's procedure is a multi-step honing process chosen for use with moly rings. I assume that if I found one that did, they would likely be of the same salt that would ensure clearances as it relates to the piston, ring, and cylinder walls.

.....now if I could only find such a shop in San Diego.....guess I got some leg work, as the shops I was considering are more engine remanufacturer machine shops than performance engine machine shops.

Thanks again,

Tony
 

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what is the Art definition of "right cylinder wall finish" and "piston/cylinder wall clearance"

I really can't add much to that engine builder article except to try to get the machinist to follow the ring manufacturers recommendation on cylinder wall finish, I've always had the best luck with a plasma moly ring with a rather smooth finish (400 grit hone).
Piston/wall clearance 99% of the time built into the piston, meaning if you bore a block 4.030" and the recommended clearance is .003", then the piston will be 4.027". Again, go with the manufacturers recommendation on clearance. A cast (hypereutectic) piston requires less clearance than a forged, a cast piston will run quieter than a forged but a forged is stronger.
HERE
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Last question.....Do I buy the stroker kit after the machine shop recommends what my overbore should be, buy it before so that I can tell them what it needs to be, or buy it after they have the final clearance to tell me? Seems like to get it the most accurate I would do it either at the very beginning, or the very end, and in all actuality, I would assume having the kit beforehand so they can ensure the tolerances are spot on would be the ideal scenario. I am about 99% certain that this block has no issues as it has never been pulled apart, doesn't have any overheating or cooling issues and didn't knock or smoke. The block has approximately 90,000 miles on it so I would assume going with one of the 331 kits with the .030 overbores would be the smartest if I was to do it before.
 

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Last question.....Do I buy the stroker kit after the machine shop recommends what my overbore should be, buy it before so that I can tell them what it needs to be, or buy it after they have the final clearance to tell me?
Take the block to the machine shop, ask them what overbore it will "clean up" on. .030" is usually the first overbore. If it'll bore .020" make sure you can get the pistons you want for that oversize. 331 is based on a 4.030" bore.
Seems like to get it the most accurate I would do it either at the very beginning, or the very end, and in all actuality, I would assume having the kit beforehand so they can ensure the tolerances are spot on would be the ideal scenario. I am about 99% certain that this block has no issues as it has never been pulled apart, doesn't have any overheating or cooling issues and didn't knock or smoke. The block has approximately 90,000 miles on it so I would assume going with one of the 331 kits with the .030 overbores would be the smartest if I was to do it before.
I've seen motors that ran perfectly have to be bored .040", OTOH some smoke like mad that don't even need boring.
 

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Call me crazy, but why wouldn't you just get a 351W and do a mild build on it? Should give you all the power you want and them some, on a budget without stroker kits, wacky pistons, etc...

Just a thought.

Regards,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Call me crazy
You're crazy!!

but why wouldn't you just get a 351W and do a mild build on it? Should give you all the power you want and them some, on a budget without stroker kits, wacky pistons, etc...
No I see your point, but I already have the intake, carb, and K&N bought and clearance is an issue (from what I have read everywhere). I already have the heads as well, so I would have to have them machined for 7/16 bolts and get a new intake manifold. I just think that it would be a lot of work trying to make it fit.

Thanks,

Tony
 

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I would do the W too. A 351 based engine will give you more of everything that you need and want, without as much compromise. More torque, more peak power, more driveability, etc.
However, the 289, stroked, will still work.
As far as clearance, I'm not really sure what you mean. There's enough clearance in your car to fit a 428 or a Cleveland. It's not like a 69 Chevelle in there, but a W leaves enough room to change plugs and header gaskets, etc.

And I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Art about ProComp. They take someone's good part and rip off the design, make it cheaper, then sell it as a "just as good as XXXXX" part for a low price. Of course it's better than points. But, wait til it shears the shaft and leaves you on the side of the road. ProComp dizzy + tow bill= about as much as an MSD (without the embarrassment of a breakdown/tow)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies, but I think I am going to stay with the 289 block, I have a bad habit of letting things spiral out of control and I can see a 351w going that route. At least with the 331 I am not changing parts I have already bought.

That said, the Pro Comp issue I can't agree with you on. If I Google search "Pro Comp Distributor problems" I see comparable issues (in number and severity) to a Google search of "MSD Distributor problems". I see way more positive than negative on Pro Comps things and those negatives are generally from extremes, like the 408 stroker off-road truck that sheared a shaft that has almost an entire response list of "Dude, hope it was just yours because I am running the same thing and have had no problems....." Sounds like a lemon. Anyways, people said the same about Professional Products too, and part of it is probably true, but go look at their Powerjection III setup and tell me who they copied it off of. Then tell me who has a system that comes even close to it (in price, quality or design). Some things will always be inherently copied and that is the name of the game. I am just a player, not a referee.

One last thing, anyone that thinks there is an association with Brand name and "Made in China" or "Made in America" needs to wake up and smell the coffee. MSD itself takes advantages of the benefits to manufacture in China. MSD and other manufacturers are in for a rude awakening if they think future generations will buy MSD products because "most" of their parts are made in America and they only make stuff in China when it makes them competitive. I will credit them with not infringing on patents, but what I bought was not a copy of anything with a patent.
 

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Call me crazy, but why wouldn't you just get a 351W and do a mild build on it? Should give you all the power you want and them some, on a budget without stroker kits, wacky pistons, etc...

Just a thought.

Regards,

Bob
I would do the W too. A 351 based engine will give you more of everything that you need and want, without as much compromise. More torque, more peak power, more driveability, etc.
However, the 289, stroked, will still work.
As far as clearance, I'm not really sure what you mean. There's enough clearance in your car to fit a 428 or a Cleveland. It's not like a 69 Chevelle in there, but a W leaves enough room to change plugs and header gaskets, etc.

And I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Art about ProComp. They take someone's good part and rip off the design, make it cheaper, then sell it as a "just as good as XXXXX" part for a low price. Of course it's better than points. But, wait til it shears the shaft and leaves you on the side of the road. ProComp dizzy + tow bill= about as much as an MSD (without the embarrassment of a breakdown/tow)
^What I did^
Except I stroked the 351W to a 393W. No block clearancing needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the rant earlier.....enough on that. This week was full of 5 Mondays for me.

Art,

Thanks for your help on all of this. I just don't see the end justifying the means with changing from a 331 to a 351w in my particular scenario. I would have to pay more for machine work to the heads, replace my headers, replace my intake, replace my intake setup, front springs, etc. etc. The original plan was to stick with the 289 and as far as I see going 331 will net me the results I am looking for, at a lower overall cost (since I would take a loss on all the parts I have), without creating any issues.
 

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I'll be interested in how this turns out as I have been recently playing around with the idea of doing a 331 stroker kit on the 302 in my 73 Mustang after I've finished with the Cougar. If the rebuild wasn't already complete for the 351C-4V in the Cougar, I might have considered a 383 or 393 stoker kit in that one too. Lots of 331 kits out there. Have you decided on one yet?
 

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That said, the Pro Comp issue I can't agree with you on. If I Google search "Pro Comp Distributor problems" I see comparable issues (in number and severity) to a Google search of "MSD Distributor problems". I see way more positive than negative on Pro Comps things and those negatives are generally from extremes, like the 408 stroker off-road truck that sheared a shaft that has almost an entire response list of "Dude, hope it was just yours because I am running the same thing and have had no problems....." Sounds like a lemon. Anyways, people said the same about Professional Products too, and part of it is probably true, but go look at their Powerjection III setup and tell me who they copied it off of. Then tell me who has a system that comes even close to it (in price, quality or design). Some things will always be inherently copied and that is the name of the game. I am just a player, not a referee.

One last thing, anyone that thinks there is an association with Brand name and "Made in China" or "Made in America" needs to wake up and smell the coffee. MSD itself takes advantages of the benefits to manufacture in China. MSD and other manufacturers are in for a rude awakening if they think future generations will buy MSD products because "most" of their parts are made in America and they only make stuff in China when it makes them competitive. I will credit them with not infringing on patents, but what I bought was not a copy of anything with a patent.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that you don't work in manufacturing or engineering.

There is absolutely a difference in quality between ProComp and products made by manufacturers who do their own R/D work.
You'll find that out. Everything isn't on Google. And I mean that with all due respect and as little snark as possible. Learning to buy quality parts is part of the learning curve of hot rodding. We all go through it.
 
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