Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

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Bill Cooke
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Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Bill Cooke » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:07 pm

Hello, I'm new to t289r, and in process of planning and budgeting for a Hawk 289 build. Would love the authenticity of a 289 block, but they seem very rare! Has anyone used a sleeved block (289 or 302) at all? I understand they have been used many times to allow higher power to be produced for racing and drag cars, but are they any use for "normal" running? - what is their longevity / reliability like?. Is a 289 block too much to hope for, and I resign myself to a 302 with +30 max?
Thanks for any advice and experiences shared

Regards
Bill

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Roger King
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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Roger King » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:58 pm

Hello Bill, and welcome.
289 blocks and 302 blocks are virtually identical and have only a very few visual differences in appearance. 302 blocks are more easy to come by, but you need to clarify what you are trying to achieve. Why do you want a 289 block, and what style of car are you building? If you are building a replica of a leafspring 289 (called 'slabside' in popular parlance), and you want the engine to look exactly right, you will need an early 5-bolt 289 which is a completely different casting having, as the name suggests, only 5 bellhousing bolt bosses instead of the much more common 6. The 5-bolt was only used from roughly '62-'64, in cars such as Fairlanes and Comets. The 6-bolt block was much more common and developed for the later Mustang and Falcon etc., broadly speaking.
All leafspring Cobras used the 5-bolt block apart from a handful (5 or 6) automatic cars. So for a 'slabside', if you want a 289 this is what you should be looking for - and they are now very rare, and not cheap in reclaimable condition, even in the States these days. If you're not going for one of these, you might as well go for the much cheaper and easier to find 302, as it's just as 'correct'. Forget the hipo bit - it's pretty much meaningless for the purposes of building a Hawk. The blocks for hipos were selectively taken from the normal production line, but the internals that showed it to be a hipo would never be used in a modern engine build unless it was for a museum piece - modern parts have moved on so much that far more power and reliability can be built in than you would ever get from period hipo parts.
As for sleeving, it works with any engine but is down to the quality of the workmanship. For rebores, the general rule for small block Windsors is that it's OK to go to +0.040" bore, but +0.060" is a risk that may not warrant the expense. The cylinder walls are getting towards marginal thickness if you take that much out and there are reports of excessive overheating, fragility of the castings etc. I personally wouldn't spend money on machining and parts to take an engine to 60thou. Sleeving is possible, but if done well it is pretty expensive and I would still think that a decent 289 block could be found - and certainly a 302 - without going to that expense.
You can find blocks pretty easily in the US and ship over quite painlessly. I usually get them sent to Florida, to Ron Fenton's STS shipping, and he sticks them in one of his monthly containers and delivers from Essex once they arrive. It costs, but probably not as much as a good sleeving job.
The cranks are a different matter - good 289 cranks of any size are getting hard to get now. Obviously the 302 crank is more common - you could look upon it as a stroked 289, I guess...

Bill Cooke
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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Bill Cooke » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:43 pm

Thanks for the quick and comprehensive response Roger.

I plan to build a Hawk 289 slabside, with a jaguar rear end, and am going through my budgeting phase, and want to work out how much a suitable engine would cost me or what a "cheaper" alternative may be. I'd guessed a "289" would have a 289 engine, but your point re 5 and 6 bolt housings and cranks add even more complexity to what I mean by authentic!

I'd got to the point where a 289 engine, with matching heads, and a 6 bolt housing would be as close as I could expect to get without breaking the bank! I'm not going to go for anything above +30 overbored, and wondered whether sleeving was a realistic option. I want to get to the point where I know what I'm asking for, and can get sensible quotes for the possibilities. I do know I want a carburettor engine, so pre mid '75

I guess I need to look a bit harder for a block, or US remanufacturer who can supply one. Is anyone willing to share contact details of suppliers used happily previously?

As a newbie, It's great to review the old forum posts, and read blogs of builds - there's clearly a lot of valuable knowledge here. I'm always up for a bit of creative swiping, and will happily learn from others experience to help make my project better

Cheers
Bill

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Roger King
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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Roger King » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:06 pm

Given that info, I'd go for a 302 block and crank. A 6-bolt 289 is just as 'incorrect'* as a 302, so why bother?

*from a purely authentic viewpoint - not meant as any criticism whatsoever of anyone's car!

Good job we didn't get on to gearboxes...

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Roger King » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:56 pm

If you really fancy a 289 (albeit 6-bolt), they are common enough on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ford-289-engine ... ake%3AFord

Just change your shipping address to Ron's depot in FL (or the shipper of your choice) and hit the button. Yes, you'll have shipping charges, duty and tax to pay, plus probably another £80 to get it from Ron once it's in the UK, but if it's std bore now and complete, so you get rods and crank and all the little bits, I'd say it's a good bet. Do you do your own engine building? They're very easy once the machine shop has done its work. You just need to be sure it's rebuildable (i.e. not already at 40 over, etc.). This is what I've done on a number of occasions. Not easy to find here now, and if you're shipping one in it might as well be a 289 as a 302 - although a US-sourced 302 would be even cheaper.

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by StewbieC » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:07 pm

Everything Roger has stated is correct.
Just remember that you will need an engine age certificate from someone who VOSA has approved to issue one when you present to The IVA test. When I went for my test a letter from Ford technical in the US was OK and prior to that a photo of the block casting number with an engine rebuild book to help decipher the number was accepted. This isn't the case now! So do some research about how you are going to get that tick in the box before you start bidding on engines stateside. VOSA used to have a list of approved people on their website. I know Real Steel are approved, Mike Huddart used to be but I don't think he does it anymore. Getting the certificate may influence where you get your engine from. If you want to assemble the engine yourself you only need a crack tested and machined short engine that is max 30 thou over.
I got my 6 bolt 289 long block from S&J engines in Spokane US. Casey was very helpful and 7 years in, only a very minor weep from the gearbox end (not even a drip) so more than happy. They do an option with a slightly hotter cam for ca. 1500 dollars. As stated, I didn't need a certificate when I went to IVA.
VOSA are fairly helpful on the phone, you just need to say you want some advice about IVA tests and engines.
Good luck what ever you decide. It's your money and your choice!!
________________________________________________
Stu
Hawk 289, maximum smiles per mile..

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by IainS » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:16 pm

At this stage in your build/planning think registration too. You'll spend at least £35k and suspect you'd rather not have a Q plate?

Iain

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by Bill Cooke » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:39 pm

Thanks Stu and Roger,

I found sandj online after reading STU's build blog, and that's where the sleeved 289 idea started! They have one with matching heads at present
I guess there would be enough unsleeved, rebuildable blocks at reasonable prices - the one on e-bay you referred to being a prime example, so thanks

I've not re-built an engine for almost 30 years (1725cc Humber Sceptre!) - not had the need, and work commitments have seen to that, but am now able to put time to do as much as I can and want to my project. I would love to build one from the block up though!

The engine age certificate is something I'll need to get deeper in to, and it may be better to get a rebuilt short block, with some US paperwork, as Stu did, so will discuss with VOSA before pressing any "buy now" buttons! Still work to do.

I'll contact Ron too to seek his help.

Gearbox is straightforward for me - T5 World Class - at Gerry's recommendation

Iain,
Thanks for your note too. I have done the prelim budget - quite a bit over the figure you mentioned, and am conscious of what I'm getting into, hence my work on knowing enough to ask the right questions about engine spec. I had thought a sleeved block may be cheaper than one rebuildable to +30, so all this advice is really helpful
Yes, I don't want a q-plate, and will explore that too soon. More than one major part from a donor, V5 from the donor etc etc. It's fascinating to unravel all these hurdles, and great to be able to discuss with people who have done it, even if the rules sometime get reinvented!

Thanks again everyone,
Bill
Building a Mirage GT

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by chriskcode » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:17 pm

I have a '66 dated coded 289 block that I'm stripping down at the moment.

I'm undecided what to do with it as was looking to build a spare engine for my '67 mustang but probably going down another route.

Just stripped it down at weekend, The pistons are at 30thou and crank at 10thou. Not had it professionally inspected yet.

If you want to know more then please email me at silverfox@fmail.co.uk
Chris

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Re: Experience of Sleeved 289 block?

Post by peterc » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:52 am

Hi Bill,
Are you looking forward to the challenge and satisfaction of building the car yourself or just want the finished product. If you are budgeting more than £35K then this is close to a good finished car. Personally I didn't want to fix other peoples little errors so built my car but its just a thought you might want to consider.
Peter C

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