Mustang Motor VI

Mustang Motor VI

bare block

I finally had a chance to mount the engine block back on the stand the other day and it’s ready to go back together. The machine shop boiled the block, removed and reinstalled the cam bearings, r&r-ed the freeze plugs, and honed the cylinder walls 0.030 of an inch over sized. The crankshaft was also cleaned and machined 0.010 under on both rods and mains, and checked for fit in the block with new bearing shells.

The machine shop reconditioned my old rods by reboring the big ends and fitting 0.10 under bearing shells. They also fitted the new 0.030 sized pistons with new wrist pins to the old rods. The other parts they got for me was an oil pump, harmonic balancer, and gasket set.

My machine shop bill came to just under $1500 bucks, and that was without other machining options. Looking at Speedparts’ menu of options, I could see how thousands of dollars could be spent purely on machine work, but Dennis was very knowledgeable in advising me what was necessary, and what was just spending extra money. Whenever guys ask me why I’m not going all the way on this motor, I remind them of two things. First, this is a budget rebuild spending money in areas that I feel is wise, and yet saving where I feel is unnecessary, and second, taking advantage of some of the power available in a V-8 engine requires an avalanche of upgrades downstream. Better exhaust, stronger transmission, beefy rear end, and better brakes are just a few of the never ending upgrades once you want to build more power in an engine. My Mustang will be fine with the little bit of power I’m building!

The next step was to order the rest of the parts from Summit Racing. New fully assembled heads are the most expensive part of the this rebuild after the machine work, but I feel it will be money well spent. If I were to have Dennis recondition my cast iron heads, install new guides, valves and seals, I would have spent half the amount of new heads that are lighter, and flow better than the Ford pieces. My shopping list also included a new cam, lifters, timing set, rockers, push rods, and some miscellaneous  items like RTV and dowel pins. My total was about $1700 bucks.

With a rebuild price of $3200 bucks without including my labor to assemble the engine, people are also asking me why I didn’t go with a crate motor. Ford, and many other vendors offer complete engines where you simply bolt on an intake manifold/carb and install it in your car. These engines range from $3500 and up, but I decided to rebuild my 289 because I wanted to learn how to do it myself. I take great pride in knowing I can do things myself, and knowing I rebuilt my first V-8 in the basement of my house will be something I will be proud of…unless it doesn’t start, or blows up shortly after!

I’ll let you know when my UPS guy delivers my Summit order!

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