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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, just been fooling around with an engine I got laying around and I found some pretty neat things. It's an 87 HO mustang engine and I like what I'm seeing so far. It has forged TRW pistons and Forged I beam rods, so thats an upgrade I'm taking advantage of, According to Joe Sherman, the 302 crank is worth a few ponies too in the 289.

I also found that it has a Hydraulic roller tappet camshaft and roller tappets (roller lifters). I'm wondering if I can stick it in my 289. i sure beats the lame factory cam I got in there now. So far it seems like it fits right in but I'm not too sure about the difference between hydraulic roller and a solid roller or mechanical or anything for that matter. What affects if any? has anyone else done this?

whats your take on it fellas?
 

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Just so we are all on the same page, what your saying is;
You have an 87 5.0 engine, that has aftermarket pistons and rods, and is a roller block. Is that right? And you are looking at swapping in the 302 in place of the 289 that came in the car?
What you are describing is a very desireable swap. The roller cam gives you an oportunity to run a more agressive cam shaft, while having decent street manners.
Do you know for a fact that the engine was a runner before or not? while you have it apart, why not just replace the bearings and gaskets and run it? The only real concern is the front of the engine, I.E., water pump, timing cover, etc...In this case, it is the accessories that make it a do able swap.
 

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You can put it in the 289 but you will need a spyder kit for non-roller blocks. Comp cams sells them.
Also, remember that the firing order is different for that cam than your 289.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The 289 firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
The 302HO Firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8

So I'm guessing that the cam is what determines the firing order, so if its 302 cam, its 302 timing. I know the 87 302 is good for 225 HP and the 4 barrel 289 210hp, So I don't know if it will be worth all the trouble. I'm trying to add my bit of experiments to Joe Shermans 400 HP 289 build. I found some info here http://www.american-automobile.com/Erson%20ford.pdf

Quote from the site
" It is possible to put a hydraulic roller camshaft in an early pre-1985 block.
However, the following must be considered. This conversion requires the use
of a small base circle camshaft which properly positions the taller hydraulic
roller lifters in a non-hydraulic roller block. The block must be modified to
accept stock Ford hydraulic roller lifter retention hardware and the use of an
aluminum bronze distributor gear becomes mandatory. Due to the use of
dissimilar alloys in this area longevity becomes a concern. These types of
applications are special order items and can be ordered through Erson’s
Special Orders Department."

I dont quite understand what this means???
 

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I know the 87 302 is good for 225 HP and the 4 barrel 289 210hp, So I don't know if it will be worth all the trouble.
Only you can decide if its worth the trouble. But keep in mind that the 87 302 was rated at net horsepower, the 289 at gross horsepower. There's no exact conversion, but using a 10% rule of thumb, the 289 would be rated at around 190 net horsepower.
 

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The problem with conversions is that machine costs are getting very steep these days. You can buy crate motors that will turn circles around this for less that you could build one for. Plus you get the benefit of a warranty. I think your money is better spent there honestly.....especially when you factor in reliability.
 

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Is there a reason why you could not or don't want to use the entire 302 engine? That would (of course) be the easy way to use the parts you speak of.
 

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I've been down this road many times myself. Using the 302 block is by far the cheapest and easiest way to bolt on HP. Pretty sure your crank has a little to do with firing order as well ;) Anyways, a junkyard roller 302 with electronic ignotion is a safe bet to put you on the right track. Better yet...

A roller 351 out of a 94-96 5.8l ford truck is even better. Roller 351. Toss a 4bl intake on it with a 600 carb and you will get a good 25% kick in the pants over the 289.

PS: A couple of tips for anyone who hasn't done the 351/302 swap before or even any swap using newer roller blocks in older cars:
- loosen off the trans bolts on the tansmission crossmember and slide that puppy back a half inch or so. Gives you more wiggle room when lining up the swap in block.
- Check out the mounting points on your new block for alternator and power steering pump. (Lots of newer blocks mount the alternator on the oposite side and this messes with power steering clearances.)
- If doing a 351 swap be mindful of your hood clearance as it will raise the overall heigh of the block and make it snug. Usually not an issue but going with aftermarket intake, carb(s) and aircleaner you should double check clearances. Example, my edelbrock airgap and Holley 650 are adding just over 3 inches of clearance and thats enough that the ol hood aint gonna close. Time to find a ratty old hood and give er the chop treatment.

Engine swaps aren't bad if you plan them out. My record time for a re and re is just over 2.5 hours and that is solo using a hydralic engine hoist. Hardest part is lining that baby up to the trans/torque converter. Slow and gentle are the key words there :)

Have fun mate!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is there a reason why you could not or don't want to use the entire 302 engine? That would (of course) be the easy way to use the parts you speak of.
no reason really, I just wanted to build a Joe Sherman 289 but it doesn't seem to be very viable now that I think about it. I just thought that the older block had more iron in em so they could take more of a beating. I plan on supercharging later on...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So does anyone know where I can get a hold of a good rebuild kit? Any suggestions on how to get the rust and scale out of the water jackets other than hot tanking? Any ideas on how to get 450hp out of the 302 without it cracking in half like humpty dumpty.?
 

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So does anyone know where I can get a hold of a good rebuild kit? Any suggestions on how to get the rust and scale out of the water jackets other than hot tanking? Any ideas on how to get 450hp out of the 302 without it cracking in half like humpty dumpty.?
You could soak the heads in a mild acid (not sure what my friends plumber father used to use for marine manifolds, muriatic? hydrochloric?), the block you would have to block the water pump passage per cylinder bank, prop the block up so that banks deck was horizontal and fill. Tanking is usually close enough. What I did was ran the car/engine for about 1500 miles and when the antifreeze became murky looking (not sure if it was from the Hard-Blok concrete half-fill or junk in the jackets), I thoroughly flushed the system until the water that came out was perfectly clear (I do this by loosening the lower hose, running up to temperature, shut off engine and pull the lower hose. Drain and repeat until what comes out is clear). Then put in fresh 50-50, done.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ah okay so it's something I can do after everything is all bolted up. I'll just try and get as much of the loose stuff out now as I can now and do a flush later on. I'm stil trying to get the harmonic balancer nut loose haha, I can't even get the crank out. the bearings are worn and the crank has scoring, can a machinist take them out with reducing the size too much (polish out the scratches)
 

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Pulling 450 horse out of a 302 is going to cost you a lot of money.. No junk yard mods in the world will help with that ;) Pulling 450 horse with a 351 is going to still cost you a few grand. You wont pull anything even close to 400 horse on a 302 with stock heads even if you ported them. Only way I can think that you could even come close to 450 horse with a 302 is stroking it to 347. A guy here localling did one up for last season. He wanted to do it on the cheap and it cost him approx $7000. Made ~390 horse at the wheels. Had cheap aftermarket heads, scat stroker kit, healthy cam, machining on the block. Dont recall what intake he ran but he upgraded the top end (intake, carb) and had some additional work done to the heads.

I have been designing a 351 windsor build. I've got a non-stroked version that should be right around 320-350 HP at the wheels. (RPM Air Gap Intake, Edelbrock 650 carb, Patriot 185 alumn heads, Comp Cams 282 cam(currently own all the parts and the block and total investment is under $1000. All parts were bought used.)
The stroked version should dial in at 420-450 horse. (Same as above with a Probe 408 stroker kit ~$1300 and some random engine work tanking, line boring etc ~$700)

Trying to achieve 1hp per cubic inch isn't too terribly difficult. Beyond that you got to pony up the cash :) Keeping in mind that 450 horse is more than double what your 302 put out initially.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah your right Spartikus, it does seem like it would take a lot of money to do it N/A but I'm thinking about supercharging it to see how much it can take. Maybe stick a girdle on there or something, see how much abuse it can take before it cracks...
 

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I did a 331 stroker using a F1SE block (91 Bird, Mustang etc) for about $3000-3500. Aluminum Ford Motorsports Y303 heads (not the craziest, but I wanted reliability!) with flat top pistons for about a 10.5:1 compression. I believe the F303 Cam, and a self ported Edelbrock RPM intake, 580 CFM Holley and squeezed 315HP out at the rear wheels. (est' over 400HP at the crank) Optimizing the jetting (cross jetted for proper fuel mixture side to side) pulled it back just a tad to 305ish. What a kick in the pants.....all the way to 6500rpms! Smooth idle and just pulls and pulls!!! Next gear please! ....and again!!!

The beauty is, if I crack a block, there are a bazillion more just like it.....for $75 a pop...and some time! But I won't try to go there!
Watch out for changing your balance!!!!!

Your 289 would do well with a set of 351W heads, a good cam, and similar intake...! Think hipo's!

Steve
 

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The AFR heads alone on anyone of those builds cost 1800-2200$ Now toss in the carb, intake and cam for another $1000, a fresh 302 rebuild and "Ideal" conditions.. You still have an engine that has cost you at least $5000 to put together and it's getting 400 at the flywheel.. That still just barely over 300 at the wheels. The 450 horse version is a stroker so throw in at least another $2000 for that engine.

It's not that it's "Hard" it was just a matter of junkyard modding to get 450 horse out of a 302/289. Heck if you just want to flog it till it dies spend $500 on a 150 nitrous shot and git er done ;)

Anything is possible if you have enough time and money. For my dollars there is no replacement for displacement. The 351 fits just fine between the towers and gives an immediate ~20% increase in cubes over the 289/302. You should be able to get those blocks for $200 a piece out of any wrecking yard still running.

Anyways whatever he does I hope he has fun doing it :) Might be wise to read what Steve posted above though, ~$3500 for 315 at the rear wheels. I personally think he could do with a fatter carb and get a little more out of that but like he said that is more than enough to put a smile on his face and pull hard through the gears. Why mess with it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I totally get where you guys are coming from, but your right about displacement. I haven't been able to track down a 351 out here as of yet, their reputation is uncanny so its a needle in a haystack. Folks have been ditching their 302 for 351 which weren't in production long enough. In reality, I'm trying to get that same raw feeling I had when I was in my buddy's Mustang GT over the summer in Detroit. His car is newer (2006) but he's running about 390 hp at the rear wheels! It felt like a roller coaster and thats what I'm looking for. So whatever number will provide that feeling is okay with me. I had never been in anything that fast and now I'm addicted. I got back in my Cougar when I got back home and realized it wasn't as fast as I thought it was. I feels like a tank and I kept getting passed up by new model vehicle which really pissed me off! So that why I'm trying to get some real power going so that some guy with a Honda and cheesy spoiler doesn't give me a run for my money at every stop light.
 

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Not that there is anything wrong Cleveland blocks but I'm a huge fan of the windsors. If you can find a largish wrecking yard mid 90s 94-96 F-series ford tracks had a high percentage of 5.8l (351 W) blocks. Easy mode to yank them out and they make a nice starting point.

Good luck.
 
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