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65/66 mustang the only stang worth a damn

12346

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  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I am in the planing stages of re-building my 1966 289. I have read conflicting articles over the past few years relating to re-building an older engine to meet with todays un-leaded gasoline. I know that they sell an additive you can add to your un-leaded gas, but stopping short of that does anyone know if there is a better way than purchasing additives?

    Thanks
    Bri66
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Well, since you are rebuilding it, all you need to do is use the proper valves and valve seats and you're done. I personally think that this worry over unleaded fuel is only a concern to older car owners who plan to use their vehicles for heavy duty work, such as towing or racing or mountain climbing. But if you are just putting to the next show, no problem.

    Other than that, you have to "do the math" if you are modifying your compression ratio in any way with special pistons or milling. If you end up with too high a compression ratio, you are going to find it hard to get the proper octane fuel.

    MODERATOR

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Mr. Shiftright, I'm glad you broached this subject, because I've seen several ads for older cars in which they state that a car has "hardened valves" thereby allowing the use of modern gas.

    Can you briefly describe what "hardened valves" means? While I'm not a mechanic, I certainly know what intake and exhaust valves are and their purpose. Thus, hopefully you won't need to "dumb down" your reply too terribly much.

    Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    It's not the valves but the valve seats, in the cylinder head, which are hardened using an alloy of cobalt, chromium, tungsten, molybdenum and iron, called Stellite. Without the lubricating properties of lead in gasoline, it was found in certain types of severe service that the valve seats would malform.

    So Stellite will prevent this from happening. Obviously, you are not going to be able to buy a lead additive for your fuel.

    MODERATOR

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Is Stellite an additive available in most autoparts stores?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    No, uh-uh, it's a metal alloy.

    MODERATOR

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I overlooked in your post #155 that Stellite is the alloy that's applied to the valve seats.

    Is hardening the valve seats an expensive process (what kind of shop does this?) and how does one know if its needed in their particular car?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think you just buy hardened seats and have them installed by a machine shop but Shifty can answer that better. You can't buy lead additive but as I recall you can buy lead substitute.

    My suggestion would be to see if there are any '71-up heads that will work on the cars you like. 1971 is the year they made engines compatible with unleaded and lowered compression ratios. These heads not only have the hardened seats but (sometimes) larger chambers that give a compression ratio that tolerates 91 octane.

    This isn't always an option--I don't know if '71+ Cadillac heads will bolt to a '62 390 block, for example, although they probably will--but it kills two birds with one stone.

    Later heads are a straightforward swap with the GTO and Mustang you've been talking about. With the '62 Cad it gets a little complicated. You'd want a machine shop to check valve-to-piston clearance, and make sure the large chamber 472-500 heads don't give you a 6:1 compression ratio with the 390's smaller cylinders. And there'd be a port mismatch but I don't think that's a big deal.

    On second thought, just yank that puny 390 and bolt in an Eldorado 500.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Yep, you just buy hardened valve seats.

    MODERATOR

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    While the link below is from a Pontiac-oriented website, it is germane to the most recent posts in this discussion forum. This link is for a detailed article that discusses the chemical composition of modern gasoline, engine compression ratios, the subject of gasoline additives and how well they actually work.


    This article may raise more questions than it answers, but it appears to be a pretty good technical reference source.


    http://www.wauknet.com/douthitt/octane.htm

  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    That's an interesting article. He seems to know a lot more about this than I do but I'll throw in my two cents worth anyway.

    He defines knocking as uncontrolled combustion *after* the spark plug fires. My understanding is that "pinging" can also come from "pre-ignition" which is uncontrolled combustion *before* the plug sparks. With pre-ignition you've got combustion pressure trying to drive the piston down as if it was on its power stroke when in fact the piston is on its way up on the compression stroke. This shortens the life of the reciprocating parts considerably.

    He also talks about the advertised or nominal compression ratio usually being higher than the actual CR. Some engines came with two head gaskets--take one out and you've got a higher CR. Because of manufacturing variances, combustion chambers in the same head usually aren't all the same size. This means you can have a small chamber that starts to knock before the others do because that cylinder has the highest actual compression ratio. You can "cc" the heads to make sure the chambers are all the same size.

    He also talks about "lazy" ignition timing in '70s engines, something I had also mentioned (great minds thinking alike). I wish he had talked more about how productive it can be to recurve the advance and crank in more initial advance. That has a huge effect on combustion pressure and you can use it to compensate for a compression ratio that's too low or too high.

    He also talks a little about some of the other factors that influence knocking. He doesn't go into much detail so I'll try to fill in some of the blanks.

    air temperature (both ambient and underhood)--the hotter the temp the more prone to knocking the engine will be. And of course it's even hotter under the hood. Most factory "ram air" packages were actually cold air packages, since the scoop was usually placed in a location with little ram effect.

    head temp--how well the engine cooling system cools the combustion chamber. He also doesn't mention how cylinder head design (hemi or wedge, open or closed chamber) has a big effect on knocking.

    load--lugging an engine increases its tendency to knock, but where this really shows up is in cars with freeway gears (ratios less than 3:1).

    spark plugs--have different heat ranges. A colder plug lessens the tendency to knock, but a plug that's too cold will foul ("load up") with carbon and quit firing.

    I also wish he had talked about water injection. Most people think this is just a gimmick but I understand they used it on WWII fighter engines.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    used in my father's '50 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan. It had 331 c.i.OHV V8, 7.5/1 compression ratio and water injection. I remember he could never get it adjusted just right, but the engine could be started when the battery was dead under compression as the Hydramatic had 4 speeds then. Roll it over 35 and drop it into "L". Was it Charles F. Kettering who designed the transmission? He is considered to have authored the Rocket 88 and the Cad V8 in '49.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    yep, water injection works but it is very finicky and gives spotty performance for all the trouble it takes.

    MODERATOR

  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    A long time ago either I or my father had a water injection setup. The adjustment was pretty crude as I recall. Maybe there wasn't one, just a bottle, a hose and an orifice.

    Edelbrock made an adjustable water injection that I used in the mid '80s. It had two adjusting screws (can't remember for what now) and it worked.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I know we've covered this ground before, but in post #58, I never really did get an answer to my questions - which were as follows: Is hardening the valve seats an expensive process and how does one know if its needed in their particular car?

    To expand on this, is there an easy, sure-fire way to tell if the seats have been hardened? I'm thinking a seller could say he's had this done when he actually did not. How can you tell?

    And, how much should one expect to pay for this hardening process?
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Would a '68 Mustang coupe be any good with just the 200 six and 3-speed manual? I'm just curious because this model was my father's first car and he really would like another one for nostalgic reasons.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    My Dad had one of these. It was a 69, 200 6 with 3speed all synchro. I found it for him in 1970, with 15,000 miles, for 1500 bucks cash. The car was in like new condition. I drove this car many times, and found it to be quite satisfactory. The 200 six had seven main bearings, and so, while no ball of fire in acceleration, was quite adequate, smooth, and comfortable at highway speeds, and capable of keeping of with traffic. Heck, at the time, I was driving a 67 VW Bug, so this 200 Mustang was like luxury to me then. My Dad drove this car for nearly ten years, and sold it for 1,000 more than he paid. I've seen negative comments here about the 200 6 Mustangs, but really, compared to other cars at the time, they weren't that bad. And, as I remember, my Dad got 27-28 mpg on the road. So, overall, I'd say, if you find a good 200 6 Mustang in good dhape at a decent price, go for it. Unless you want a HP 289, or GT 350. But, that's another story...
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Parm, I'd call a machine shop about prices. Never believe anything a seller says unless he's got receipts. Then it might be possible. You can't tell unless you pull the heads. Worn valve seats would cause a low compression reading. If you squirt some oil in the cylinder (through the spark plug hole) and the compression is still low then the problem is a valve not seating, either because it's worn or because the seat is worn.

    Considering how cheap and fun a 289 Mustang is, I don't understand why anyone would buy a six-cylinder Mustang. They're not bad cars, but a little extra money for a 289 gets you a faster, smoother, quieter car with more appreciation potential.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I purchased a pair of headers 20+ years ago and had to customize the flanges to get my spark plugs on. I just finished rebuilding my engine and before I set it back in my 66 pony I am considering on buying a new set of headers. My 66 pony has the 289 with a 3 speed manual. Does anyone know if there is a header on todays market that I can purchase without going through the same problems of having to cut the flanges? Any advise would greatly be appreciated.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Thanks to everyone who advised me of the hardened valve seats. The old seats were quite worn so I replaced them during the rebuild with hardened ones. Can't wait to drive it. Thanks again for everyone's input.
  • I used Headman headers on a 66 fastback with a 302. I didn't have too much trouble with plugs. The back plug on the passenger side was a pain, but do-able. The header bolts themselves were the worst part but also not too bad.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I'd just use a set of the hipo cast iron headers. I think they reproduce them. That way you don't get that tinny sound (although some people probably like it), they last longer and you don't have any access problems.

    The only headers I ever had were some museum pieces I found in a wrecking yard around 1971 and bolted onto a '61 Impala 348, so I'm not a leading authority on them, but I can tell you that they made a big difference open and absolutely no difference after I had the exhaust system hooked up.
  • Makes some nice headers. I have a set on my galaxie and they fit and look great.
  • Get them ceramic coated. They look nice and stay looking nice.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I went with the Hooker brand headers and had no problems with the flanges and spark plugs. A few of the bolts were tight, but do able. Looks good. I'm going to leave them the high temp black they came with, looks good with valve covers and trim. Hooker does make one to fit a 289 if anyone else was considering.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Last night I got a good look at a friend of my mom's GT. He claims it's a completely original (owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church) factory GT. It's a 2 door hardtop (non fastback), I'm not sure on the year. I'm guessing 66-67? It looks to be in really nice shape, and it's in red. Anyway, it has the 289 with a 2-bbl carb and an automatic. Did they ever make GTs with that engine? It smelled kinda funny to me. Also, what kind of coin is it worth if it's legit?

    -Jason
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Front disc brakes, dual exhaust, grill lights, and 3:1 axle ratio amoung other things. If the carb is just a 2 bbl, it's a fakerooo. The only two engines coming with the GT was the 4 bbl, 225 hp and the 4 bbl 271 hp. The 225 is the 'A' engine and the 271 hp is the 'K' engine with solid lifters.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Installed engine back into Mustang last weekend. Had about 1\4 of and inch of space on passenger side and zero on drivers side. Hooker tack welds an emblem tag to their headers (drivers side) and I had no choice but to pry off and bend tubes to get an 1\8 of an inch of space between header and inside fender. Here I was worried about the spark plug flanges. Never thought it would be the inside width. Well anyways their in and their going to stay a long time I hope. Thought I would pass this info along in case someone else was considering on headers. Started motor for first time in over 10+ years, sounds just as sweet as I remembered. Can't wait to get her on the road and see what this rebuilt 289 can do.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Hooker has made how many headers for early Mustangs and they still don't fit?
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    wasn't worth a damn. Saw it on the way home from the swapmeet today. Towed from a trailer. A fastback, so rusted out there was hardly anything left. Right rear panel behind wheel covered with a crude, unfinished bondo job, with the edges of the fender rusted. Front fenders and hood just hanging on, interior completely gone and gutted. Looked like it had already done some time in a junkyard, and maybe someone drug it out to the swapmeet to see if they could get a few bucks out of it, at today's values, and gave up and just towed it back home. Only usable parts I could see were the taillights-but then you can buy new replacements anywhere, so why bother. Probably the roughest Mustang I've seen, in or out of the junkyard.
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