67 289 heads

Just bought a 67 cougar with a 2V 289. Would like to bump the hp up some (not a racer, daily driver). I am looking at An Edelbrock performer intake and matching low end cam. Edelbrock 600 cfm 4 barrel carb. I want to stay with the stock heads but will port and polish with roller rockers. Do you guys recommend rotator or non rotator springs? And is there anything special I have to do to switch to non rotator other than larger retainers?

Welcome to the CCC board and congrats on your purchase. We like picture here…
A lot of different options for aftermarket heads now which make port and polishing stock heads a thing of the past. The only reason would be to maintain the stock appearance, but if you’re going with an aftermarket intake that shouldn’t matter. What do you mean by rotator springs? All gas engines are setup to allow the valve to rotate. This will keep carbon from building up on the valve seat and creating a leak/burnt valve. Most V8 engine run a single groove keeper. This locks the valve to the retainer and rotation occurs at the spring to retainer interface, or spring to cyl head interface. Most smaller engines and newer V8 use triple bead keepers which promote rotation at the keeper groove.

Edelbrock offers rotator and non rotator springs for the exhaust. I have never changed to non rotator and wondered if there was an advantage. Been reading a lot about people changing to non rotator to even out the valve stem length with the intake valves.

Ordinarily the exhaust valve is slightly longer than the intake.

Ok I see they are referring to the spring seat at the cyl head to promote rotation not the spring it’s self. Both system will allow rotation so your choice is between rotation and more rotation. If you have harden valve seats I don’t think it would matter which way you went. With non harden valve sets less rotation would be better to slow down wear on the seats.

Ok, wasn’t thinking of it that way. I’m used to GM. Haven’t had a FOMOCO vehicle since 97 and that was a 79 Cobra 2.3 turbo.

This is it. Been looking for a 67-69 for years. Gonna take a lot of work, but looking forward to it.

I wouldn’t waste time/money with stock heads.
Get some aftermarket heads. Port size, shape, and every metric possible is better in the aftermarket. Stock heads are literally the bottleneck to sbf performance.

Looking at GT40 heads on the net and what I’m seeing is the compression on these are 9.0:1 while stock heads are 9.3:1. Are you guys shaving the GT40s down?

Where’d you get those numbers?

Off the site I was looking to buy them. They are 302 heads. Larger combustion chamber. It stated on ther it would drop a 2v 289 from 9.3:1 to 9.0:1 and a stock 289 4v from 9.8:1 to 9.4:1. These are 1967 289 engines.

By this site home ported heads are getting numbers above 302 heads and close to 351 heads. http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2000/05/heads/index1.php#gt40p

Yeah, but the “P” heads require a different header flange than the usual stuff for the classic Cougar. For hp:$ benefit, it’s usually better to stay away from the P heads.
To the point though, yes you can port your own heads at home. And you can do a fair job of it your first time, provided you take your time. The big problem with home port jobs is not having a flow bench to make sure you’re getting equal flow from each port relative to the rest. That can mean a lean/rich cylinder somewhere, idle problems, fuel falling out of suspension, etc.
So, it’s not like falling off a log.

You can calculate the compression ratio of any head using fairly basic math, instead of taking someone’s word for it. There are also calculators out there where you can plug in the factors of the various pieces that go into the equation, then click a button and get a fairly close ratio.

If you just want to up your performance, the GT40 heads are a good deal. Ford sold them for years as a basic upgrade to the 5 liter engines over the counter at dealers and by mail order. There are eleventy jillion sets out there. You can probably get a set cheap that haven’t been worked on or ported. Maybe even a new set sitting around and gathering dust. I do a lot of bartering with people for parts. If you have some life skills to trade or some junk in your basement, you can probably make a trade and keep your $ in your pocket.

Before we can give a lot more advice, we need to know more. Is the 289 stock, has it been rebuilt, any upgrades if it has. What is the ratio of your rear end. There are numerous things to do it all depends on your budget.

Stock 289 2V, Stock Rear End 2.80:1 8". Never rebuilt. Not looking to build a drag car, just looking to boost hp a little and get better cam sound (lope). I have done a few rebuilds before. Last was a 400 hp Chevy 350. Haven’t done much with Fords. A 2.3 liter Ranger and a 5.0 1986 Mustang. My project here is bumping the cam up a notch (street cam) 500-600 cfm carb, .030 over bore, Edelbrock Performer intake (not RPM intake) port match the heads, polish heads for carbon reduction and headers with true dual exhaust. The Cougar is rusty but I grew up doing body work, (I am 42 years old). Looking right now at $15,000 going into it. Bought the car for 700.

Crane and Comp make a kit that will allow you to eliminate the rotator and different valve heights with custom locks on later model 5.0 heads.

Edit-I don’t think 67 289 heads came with rotators.
289 is a small motor, 67 Cougar is a big car. Think about it.

OK here’s a thought. Why not get a 351W? It bolts up to your transmission and motor mounts. A crate 351W will outperform anything you can do to the 289 for less money. You can sell the 289 and recoup some of the money. You won’t have to worry about component compatibility or machine shop expenses. And the car will be faster and more fun to drive.

Link: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hpe-hp11c/overview/make/ford

I like the 289. At first I was thinking about getting a 428 and building a GTE clone. But I am gonna stick with the 289 .

Nothing wrong with stock 289 heads except the exhaust ports being puny! (Same on 302 and 351W and GT40’s!!) If you look at side by side pictures of the new GT heads, and compare combustion chamber shape to the hi-po 289 heads, you’ll see an amazing similarity…do it…!

Port your 289 exhaust to match your headers, stay out of the intakes unless you do bowl porting…but leave some roughness on the passages to promote fuel mixing vs clinging to the walls. If you want a larger intake valve, go to 351W heads (still port the exhaust) and continue reading. A good Comp cams with lift up to .500 will be fine. 1.7:1 ratio roller rockers will cheat you up to a .530 lift… You’ll still have good idle and performance up to about 5.5-6K rpms. For the extra $25 I’d go with the RPM intake. Have one on my 331 and love it. Yes on the port matching the intake to the heads. Just be careful…aluminum disappears quickly!!! If you go with new pistons, go to a flat top with valve reliefs and run the stock ‘almost’ closed chamber heads. Aim for the 9.5 CR and you’ll be fine with cast iron heads and regular gas. 10.0:1 may require premium but you will love the performance. Solid state ignition like a Duraspark II will work forever. Open the plug gap up a bit to about .040-.045". Carb- 600 vac secondary Holley or AFB will be fine. You should be able to pull easy 325-350hp or so at the flywheel, ending up with about 275 at the rear wheels… FUN! You will want to dump the 2.80 gears for some 3.25’s for either an AOD or a T5 manual. They are good drivable well mannered gears (with an attitude) around stoplights, with the OD for the long hauls! You no longer need a 9" to have a strong rear gear set. Aftermarket has stepped up for 8"ers with stout improved parts! Why haul cast iron you don’t need! Same axles…!

My next 302 will be similar to this. But down-under heads…

PS: Keep in mind that cubic inches is cubic dollars when it comes to fuel conservation too!

I’d have to agree with Andy on just getting aftermarket heads. When you add up the costs to refurb the stockers you are just about there anyways. The Gt heads are much better flowing but you may run into header angle problems depending on what you want to run for headers…doable, just not as many options.