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Need Help--221 heads on 289 block

 
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hahnfam
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Joined: 17 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:03 am    Post subject: Need Help--221 heads on 289 block Reply with quote

Just bought a 65 mustang with 289 4barrel and 4 speed tran. I took the heads in for valve job and hardened seats only to discover that the heads are off a 221 cubic inch small block. Every hing else on the engine is 289 (4 inch bore). Well the machine shop went ahead and did the valve job before telling me the heads were 221 (%$#@&)....so I now have $400+ in these heads. The 221 has smaller valves than a 289 and the combustion chambers are 45 cc vs 54.5 for 289 heads.

I don't know what to do, should I put these 221 heads back on or should I bite the bullet $$ and try to find 289 heads?

Last question--is putting 221 heads on a 289 block very common--what is the purpose

thanks for any insight[/b]
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only two reason come to mind. Original owner carelessly destroyed original head way, way back when car was new enough to find 221 heads in the bone yard, and needed a replacement set; or he wanted to raise compression ratio higher than original 10.0:1.

If you want a numbers matching original then you will have to chase your goal. Otherwise, those heads will continue to work, just watch dynamic compression ratio to keep you out of detonation with today’s pump gas (it wasn’t a problem back in the seventies when high test meant something besides higher cost).

Since the 221 had only one year of production, and it was the original introductory motor back in 1961, it has not only historical value, but monetary value as well; to another numbers matching collector. I would go trolling on e-Bay and see what strikes at the lure. These are going to be calm waters so it will take some fishing skills to land your money and a potential profit from what ever time it takes to find the next sucker, er ... collector.

Big Dave
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hahnfam
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave....one more question--what do you think about adding another head gasket (2 total) to reduce the compression ratio--I read about someone doing this??

thanks

Kevin
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a quench issue. You want it around 0.035" to 0.045"total to create enough squish (turbulence, or mixing of the air and fuel) to get a nice clean burn without detonation. If you loosen up the quench you do lower your dynamic compression (the actual compression on the chamber, compared to the static pressure that assumes the intake valve closes at BDC), but you risk getting into detonation by having lean areas in the chamber that will autoignite.

Assuming it was running before, you should be able to get it running again; though you might have to pull some ignition timing out of the engine to prevent detonation with the smaller chambers. You do not always hear detonation, as the engine isn't necessarily in a death rattle to be causing harm to the pistons. In a properly muffled car you should be able to hear a slight ping (the knocking sound a diesel engine makes upon accelerating, just not as pronounced) if you are too far advanced.

Big Dave
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Dog Soldier
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother is into old Fords tells me that the reason for the head swap is likely that the 221 heads would give higher compression and that the 221 was suppose to have an adjustable valvetrain.

He also has a 221 that needs heads in an old Mercury Meteor. Someone stripped the sparkplug holes.
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jeep_406
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the early SBF had adjustable valves. It wasn't until later that they were made where you torqued the rockers arm to 35 foot lbs or whatever the spec was. The 260 and I imagine the 221 heads had peanut valves and weren't really suited for performance although I had a 63.5 Falcon Sprint with the 260 that was fun to drive, all 162 horsepower of it. The 271 HP 289 heads had screw in studs from the factory. I had three 271's. I had a Paxton Supercharger on one that really woke it up.
Nobody would put the 221-260 heads on a 289 unless they got them cheap. On the other hand if someone was looking to correctly restore a 221 I would think they are a very hard item to come by.
And if someone is looking tomake a 289, 302, 347 or whatever SBF perform there would be no sense in using factory heads when there are so many other much better flowing heads available today.
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