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67 289 4 bbl 3 speed.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all i am pretty new to classic cars so seeking advise and help. I have a base model 289 4v cougar 3 speed auto with p/s. It is all original down to the single exhaust system. I would like to do a full restoration in the future, but for now am just researching options and ideas. the main use for the car will be a cruiser, something reliable to cruise all of route 66 once it is finished, however I would like to have some decent power out of it. it wont ever see a drag strip so really all I want is something that is responsive when I hit the gas, sounds incredible, and can at least not be bullied hard by the more modern cars. at the time of restoration I am unsure if i want to keep the car original and rebuild the 289 and squeeze as much performance from it as I can, or to make a GT clone and drop in a stroked 390. I understand that keeping the original engine will obviously be cheaper, but if i am tearing it down completely anyways, I might as well put in what I want. with both the 289 or the 390 I would want power steering, and air conditioning. power breaks would be great too. what kind of challenges can I expect to face, and what are some realistic power levels I can get from both engines? thanks for your help!
 

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You can get some pretty good performance from that 289. Personally, I would try to find out if the 289 is indeed the original motor and go from there.
 

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You can get some pretty good performance from that 289. Personally, I would try to find out if the 289 is indeed the original motor and go from there.
I agree with splinehead, stick with the 289 302 platform. Better gas mileage, plenty of aftermarket mods. A great engine weight balance for that unibody which = better performance.

If you go with the 390 everything is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

We have both, S-code 390 GT and a A-code 289.
 

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67 289 4 bbl 3 speed.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with splinehead, stick with the 289 302 platform. Better gas mileage, plenty of aftermarket mods. A great engine weight balance for that unibody which = better performance.

If you go with the 390 everything is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

We have both, S-code 390 GT and a A-code 289.
On that hand then, what csn be reasoably expected to squeeze out of that engine, without compromising longevity of the engine or making it unstreetable?
 

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hey all i am pretty new to classic cars so seeking advise and help. I have a base model 289 4v cougar 3 speed auto with p/s. It is all original down to the single exhaust system. I would like to do a full restoration in the future, but for now am just researching options and ideas. the main use for the car will be a cruiser, something reliable to cruise all of route 66 once it is finished, however I would like to have some decent power out of it. it wont ever see a drag strip so really all I want is something that is responsive when I hit the gas, sounds incredible, and can at least not be bullied hard by the more modern cars. at the time of restoration I am unsure if i want to keep the car original and rebuild the 289 and squeeze as much performance from it as I can, or to make a GT clone and drop in a stroked 390. I understand that keeping the original engine will obviously be cheaper, but if i am tearing it down completely anyways, I might as well put in what I want. with both the 289 or the 390 I would want power steering, and air conditioning. power breaks would be great too. what kind of challenges can I expect to face, and what are some realistic power levels I can get from both engines? thanks for your help!
I have a 67 with a 289 with quite a few aftermarket mods. I have yet to see a 289 in a 67 anything that doesn’t “get bullied” by a more modern car. I supposed you could set one up to be a small block drag car, but if you want all the creature comforts, my 2007 Mustang GT with minor gearing mods will destroy my cougar in any race. So, I would start with really realistic expectations. A 289 can sound great and parts are readily available, fun cruiser for sure, but it won‘t hold it’s own! Just have fun with it.
 

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What has not been mentioned here is that big block Cougars had re-enforced shock towers to keep the engine torque from cracking the metal of the shock tower. You can spot this in a big block car as one has an additional thick plate shape around the shock tower. The second thing is the weight of the big block in the front end versus the small block car. There were Muscle cars and Pony cars. Your 289 is a Pony car. What you might consider is doing some research on a 1990s Mustang GT 5.0 swap. It has been done.
 

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hey all i am pretty new to classic cars so seeking advise and help. I have a base model 289 4v cougar 3 speed auto with p/s. It is all original down to the single exhaust system. I would like to do a full restoration in the future, but for now am just researching options and ideas. the main use for the car will be a cruiser, something reliable to cruise all of route 66 once it is finished, however I would like to have some decent power out of it. it wont ever see a drag strip so really all I want is something that is responsive when I hit the gas, sounds incredible, and can at least not be bullied hard by the more modern cars. at the time of restoration I am unsure if i want to keep the car original and rebuild the 289 and squeeze as much performance from it as I can, or to make a GT clone and drop in a stroked 390. I understand that keeping the original engine will obviously be cheaper, but if i am tearing it down completely anyways, I might as well put in what I want. with both the 289 or the 390 I would want power steering, and air conditioning. power breaks would be great too. what kind of challenges can I expect to face, and what are some realistic power levels I can get from both engines? thanks for your help!
I have a 68 XR7 that has the 302, AOD tranny and 3:00 rear end. I balanced and blueprinted the engine with roller rockers and cam. Dual exhausts flow freely out the back. I dare not start in drive or the engine will run away from me. No, you do not need a 740 pound anchor in front of your car. AC is impossible to install not to mention replacing plugs or installing headers. Stay with the extremely reliable small block. You will be miles and smiles ahead. Dump the C4, go with an AOD. Make sure you install an aluminum radiator with an electric 3000 cfm fan setting behind the radiator. Not in front. A puller is more effective than a pusher working with a fan that causes turbulence. Dual fan control, set the auto fan control on the inner fenderwell away from radiator, use a strong relay. The second control is in the cockpit, manually running the fan incase the automatic one dies on you. It happens and it will always be at the wrong time and place.
Col Steve
 

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67 289 4 bbl 3 speed.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What has not been mentioned here is that big block Cougars had re-enforced shock towers to keep the engine torque from cracking the metal of the shock tower. You can spot this in a big block car as one has an additional thick plate shape around the shock tower. The second thing is the weight of the big block in the front end versus the small block car. There were Muscle cars and Pony cars. Your 289 is a Pony car. What you might consider is doing some research on a 1990s Mustang GT 5.0 swap. It has been done.
I have heard of replacing them with a more modern engine and i do understand the benefits. But i am uncertain how it will look in an older car. I like period correct which is why a 390 was considered in the first place.
 

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I have heard of replacing them with a more modern engine and i do understand the benefits. But i am uncertain how it will look in an older car. I like period correct which is why a 390 was considered in the first place.
My '67 HiPo 289, Custom built with the C4 tranny is a little unique. I have an original Buddy Bar intake and three Holley carbs sitting on top. A period correct six pack/tri-power. Buddy Bar was the man in charge of the Cougar racing team in the 1960s. The Cougar Team was making the Mustang Team look bad. Anyway, I have mine setup to run on the middle carb for normal driving. The kick down is attached to the outbound carbs. Which when kicked looks like someone opened a squirt gun on each. I got it up to 130mph one day and it was still accelerating strongly when I decided things were getting dangerous and backed off. I have never driven it that fast again. I did race a new Mazda and out ran him light to light. You need to decide what you want to do with your Cougar. You want it for racing? You want it for just cruising and an occasional car show/meet?
 

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My '67 HiPo 289, Custom built with the C4 tranny is a little unique. I have an original Buddy Bar intake and three Holley carbs sitting on top. A period correct six pack/tri-power. Buddy Bar was the man in charge of the Cougar racing team in the 1960s. The Cougar Team was making the Mustang Team look bad. Anyway, I have mine setup to run on the middle carb for normal driving. The kick down is attached to the outbound carbs. Which when kicked looks like someone opened a squirt gun on each. I got it up to 130mph one day and it was still accelerating strongly when I decided things were getting dangerous and backed off. I have never driven it that fast again. I did race a new Mazda and out ran him light to light. You need to decide what you want to do with your Cougar. You want it for racing? You want it for just cruising and an occasional car show/meet?
That sounds pretty awesome!
 
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