289 to 351W in a 1968 Ranchero 500

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by fust, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. fust

    fust In Third Gear

    Messages:
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    Nor-Cal
    Hey there Ranchero folks!

    So I'm now moving forward with my 351 swap. I'll have a million questions, so thanks in advance to everyone!

    Let's start with where I am.

    I have a nearly complete 1989 351W on a stand. Got it free when a housemate moved to New York and abandoned it. I am out of contact with him so I can't ask about the engine condition, but I think it's good because it has a Comp Cams 35-246-3 in it that was installed but never ran (has engine assembly lube on it). Looks like he started to put it together but didn't finish before he had to move for a new job and couldn't take it with him.

    I have a pair of 1987 truck heads without the rocker arms or their hardware. Springs are on there. Same as the block, no idea of condition, but they do have surface rust that will need to be removed.

    I have a 4 barrel Edelbrock Performer intake, but no carb.

    I know I'll need to buy an oil pan, distributor, carb, gasket set, fastener set, pushrods, freeze plugs... and more I'm sure.

    I'll be pulling as many things as I can from the 289 and slapping them on the 351. Here's where the questions start...

    Can I use the rocker arms w/hardware from the 289 heads with the cam that's in the 351? The cam has a lift of 0.519" in/0.523" out.

    How about the return springs? I assume they're stock, so will they be able to handle the lift on the cam?

    Will the flex plate work? How about the harmonic balancer?

    Any idea if the exhaust manifold will fit without modification?

    OK, enough for now!
     
  2. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    The oil pan, damper, flex plate and dizzy are not usable. You will want to check to see if the engine mounts are usable.

    What carb is on the 289?

    If you have power steering, the pump bracket is the same, but the bridging bracket, that goes between the water pump and pump bracket, is not, so you'll need one from an early '80s truck/van 351W. Alternator's the same, bracket and all.

    You should do an upgrade to a '92 and newer PMGR (permanent magnet gear reduction) starter, and the associated wiring to make it work. I sourced a cable harness from a '96 Explorer 4.0 V6, which gave me a positive cable to go from the battery + to the starter's own solenoid as well as a separate positive cable to the fender solenoid to feed the fuse links. The trigger wire goes from the fender solenoid output to the starter solenoid trigger. That's it, that's all you need for that to work.

    If you have an auto trans, upgrade the cooling.

    The valve train may be incompatible, maybe not, but if you do set up an adjustable valve train, you'll need rocker stud shims and pushrod guide plates. You'd also need a pushrod length measurement tool to determine the proper pushrod length you'd need, especially if the lifters are solid (though I doubt it). Otherwise, buy the factory stands, arms and bolts, which would be the simplest thing to do.

    The exhaust manifolds may or may not work, but if you have a nice cam, intake and 4-barrel carb, spring for headers. The other members can help you with selection.
     
  3. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,358
    Location:
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    OK. Rockers - no. Stud mount on 289, pedestal style on 89 351W.
    Valve springs - stock springs can only handle a max of .475 lift, so, no again.
    flexplate and balancer - yes, (both are 28 oz. in. imbalance) if you also use your early timing cover and water pump.
    Exhaust manifolds will bolt on, but the "Y" pipe will not.
     
  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
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    289 damper and flexplate will work on a 351W? And, I did read an article years ago about an adjustable 302 valve train using shims and guide plates, and it would be usable on the 351 heads.
     
  5. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
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    Location:
    central CT
    Yup, technically they call the later 351's 24.8 oz. in. imbalance, but the dampers are all the same imbalance, just like the flexplates.
    And I would guess the article you read was referring to the early to mid 70's 351W's which were also stud mount - 80's are all pedestal mount (bolt down style) rockers. There used to be some conversion kits to change over to stud mount rockers, they were Crane, I believe, and they included plastic inserts for pushrod guide plates. Now that you made me think of them, I'll have to go upstairs in the shop and see if I have any. ;)
     
  6. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    289 has a 2100 on it.
     
  7. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    Location:
    central CT
    HOLY COW!!! a small block kit (which also works on S.B. Mopars) and a big block kit too! :eek::cool: On the shelf.
     
  8. fust

    fust In Third Gear

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    @pmrphil The heads I have are from an '87 truck, per the code on them, not from the '89 351. Does that change the equation re: rockers? Can I use stock rockers from a junkyard 351W with the cam that's in mine? And am I reading this right, that if I use my early timing cover and water pump, then I can use my 289 harmonic balancer, flex plate, and starter, yes?

    @handy_andy_cv64 If I use my early timing cover and water pump, then the power steering pump bridging bracket will work too, yes?
     
  9. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    Location:
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    I'm not sure I follow here. Is it that the exhaust pipes that connect to the manifold (and down stream merge at the "Y") are routed in such a way that they won't mate with the manifold anymore? If so, will "shorty headers" like these solve the problem? Or do I need to get this done at a muffler shop?

    I really need to do this budget budget budget!

    This project went from a water system flush to an engine swap... I thought I was just sprucing things up before a dump run, now it looks like it'll be a minimum $500 dump run!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's finally happening, just wasn't in the budget...
     
  10. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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    What all do I have to replace in my engine for this cam to work?

    Asked by LIAM on November 04, 2018

    A:
    Thank you for your question. COMP Cams 35-246-3 camshaft will require new pushrods, lifters, and valve springs as the main components. These part numbers are listed below. This camshaft with changing the lifters will require you to use a pushrod length checker to measure for the new pushrod length. Please see our Suggested Parts tab for other components used to ease the installation of this camshaft.

    Pushrod length checker: COMP Cams 7901-1
    Lifters: COMP Cams 832-16
    Valve springs: COMP Cams 986-16

    [​IMG]Summit Racing Answer - November 20, 2018
     
  11. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The 351W has a taller deck than all the other Windsor engines, so if you did use the 289 manifolds, what will happen is that the ends of the Y-pipe will not reach the manifold flanges. But, the cure is a competent exhaust shop, who would cut and section each downflow pipe to fit it correctly. Otherwise, I think you have to use '74-'79 intermediate car manifolds (T-bird/Cougar/Torino/Montego/Ranchero with 351W, including all wagons), and still have to have the pipes re-sectioned to attach and properly fit.

    Dude, there is almost never a budget. But we're here to help, to see you succeed.
     
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  12. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    Truer words were never typed! I appreciate everyone here giving me their advice and helping me out!
     
  13. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the reply. Definitely will be re-springing. I need lifters too, so that's a good bit of info.
     
  14. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    Location:
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    What do you all think of this cam, anyway?
     
  15. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

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    Doubts ... from what I read, there is little value in raising the valves above a half-inch (i.e., no more flow) on a small block motor.

    The later truck heads used a different rocker gear, with miniature pedestals. Doubt that older gear would fit it. I ran into that problem here when I wanted the later parts to fit my 1982 heads.

    Don't know where you are, but I have a couple of nice DO0E heads, came from a 351 motor, has pushrods and rail-type rockers. Better chambers than the newer heads, and larger valves. Email me if interested. I'm in Hayward. Also have an '86 Bronco motor with stock exhaust manifolds (small size).
     
  16. fust

    fust In Third Gear

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    120
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    Hey so it looks like the
    So can I use any pedestal rocker arms for a non-roller 351W? I'm going junkyard, assuming they will work with the cam. I've seen some on ebay for $30 a set with the pedestals. My heads are '87 truck heads, but the listing didn't have '87 Ford truck as compatible, only as far back as '88. These will work though, right??
     
  17. fust

    fust In Third Gear

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    Thanks for the help! Thing is, I already have the cam. It came free along with the motor. I'm not opposed to something like getting a stock junkyard cam/lifter set from a stock 351W, since this is a budget build to the extreme... unless that's a hard no, even for an "emergency" build like this? But if there's a performance gain over stock with this cam, then I'd rather use this one.

    Are there any disadvantages to using it, even if it's pointless to go over .5?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  18. fust

    fust In Third Gear

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    Close enough!

    Would using these manifolds allow the 351W to connect to my existing Y pipe?

    Thanks for the offers, much appreciated!
     
  19. Dyno

    Dyno In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    Croydon, Pa
    Comp extreme energy , run that cam! The extra duration on exhaust definitely helps the SBF . The lift will have you hear a slight ticking sound if using stock valve covers, rub of rocker arm to VC baffle. Use extra thick VC gaskets or deform the baffle.
    Exhaust don't bolt due to the 351 being an inch taller than 289 so spreads the heads out farther.
    Figure out how you want to block air injector port at back of heads. Low buck weld tubes shut on crossover tube other way is get the screw in plug from ford . Pay attention where these are when orienting heads if on backwards no way to bolt alt to heads.
    289 motor mounts should bolt right up.
    Best part of swap bowtie guys still think it's 289 or 302, don't tell them different.
    Have fun with it nice power improvement.
     
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  20. fust

    fust In Third Gear

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    All great info, thanks!

    For the exhaust, can I jerry rig it with a piece of flex exhaust repair pipe to get 'em to interface with the Y pipe until I can afford some proper exhaust work? Welding is not in my wheelhouse as of yet, but I'm guessing it's high time learned!

    Also still wondering if anyone knows if stock non-roller 351W rockers will work with the cam. They all have the same 1.6 ratio, right, so it seems like they would, but I'm learning here... I posted the question to Summit too.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020

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