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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to poll the Cougar community. I have a '67 Cougar XR-7 GT 4-speed manual. Unfortunately, a previous owner had long ago replaced the original 390 with a 289 so it's no longer a # matching car. Supposedly, the previous owner was a Ford mechanic, and preferred the lighter (and slightly modified) 289. So here's the question. Do I replace the perfectly fine and strong running 289 with a freshly rebuilt 428 cobra jet engine? Or do I keep the 289 and sell the 428 CJ? What would you do?

Additional question: what would a freshly rebuilt 428 CJ engine sell for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate the advice! Despite the fact it was originally equipped with a 390, I'm surprised to hear that a non-matching 390 would increase the value more than a superior performing (and still 1st gen cougar appropriate ) 428CJ.
 

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Appreciate the advice! Despite the fact it was originally equipped with a 390, I'm surprised to hear that a non-matching 390 would increase the value more than a superior performing (and still 1st gen cougar appropriate ) 428CJ.
I think it would also be easier to sell with a non-matching, yet correct, 390.
 

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The XR7-GT package isn't all that common. But I think there is more to the labor here. If the car still has the 4 speed, but with the 289, you will need to find a bell housing to go with the 428.
And even though both 289/428 are wrong, a correctly date coded 390 might be found.
Personally, if the car was meant to be driven, and I had it to keep, I would lean more towards the 289. Less expensive overall to drive daily. If the car is now planned to be more of a trailer queen, or an "investment", then the more original the better.
Was it a 2 or a 4V 390 from the factory? What rear gear does it have?
 

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Maybe a dumb idea but if I had both but not a 390 I would put the 428 in there and make it look like a 390. Sleeper and cheaper with the extra gas pedal smile to boot.
Its not numbers matching and not a super rare high $$ car. If I was the buyer down the road the CJ would get my attention. What did Tasca do with 390s after all?
You have one of the best put that jewel in there and drive it! I wish I had a 4 speed behind my CJ!!!
 

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Most people would prefer the 428. If you want, it can easily be dressed like the original 390. Externally there are very few ways to tell a 428CJ from a 390GT.
 

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There were only 905 XR-7 390 4 speed cars built. Even fewer with the GT package. That makes your car very rare, and also very desirable. In 1967 they had not yet started stamping partial VINs so the only thing that makes an engine correct for a '67 is having the appropriate date codes.

A '68 428CJ is also very rare and very desirable. In particular to some one building an original R code car that is missing the engine. Since it never came in a '67 Cougar, ANY 428 would add the same value.

If it were me, I would stick a 67 390 in it, and if you want to go fast, stick some Edelbrock aluminum heads on it with a performer RPM and a slightly hotter cam. OR if you want to do period correct mods, you could follow the Ford Muscle parts book approach and stick CJ heads and an aluminum PI manifold on it with a set of CJ exhaust manifolds. All of this will cost less than what you will get out of the 428 you have and the value of the Cougar will go up at the same time.

One other thought, since is has a 289 in it now, it would be very easy to drop a stroked 351 in there and that would be a lot of fun too.
 

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I'd put in 427 stroker motor. The 351 windsor based dart block. Hot Rod magazine had 3 part article on build up. Weight benefits of lighter small block in iron or aluminum. Less weight on front end. It's your car so do what you want. If your looking to sell Royce's idea of CJ dressed as 390 would be better..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really appreciate all the advice from everyone. There seems to be valid reasons for each option. A date correct 390 seems to be the way to go in terms of value. How difficult would it be to find a rebuilt date correct 390? Any ideas on what the cost would be and the potential increase in value vs. the current 289 setup?
 
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