289ci rebuild vs. crate motor... opinions please

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by Stang66swt, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Ok, so I pulled the heads on my '65 289 and found a couple things that I mostly already knew. The #4 cylinder has scoring on about a quarter of the cylinder wall from a broken spark plugs bits. Thus why the car has been sitting for 12 years. I also found a 60 on top of the cylinders indicating that my grandfather did indeed bore the motor.

    Now, everyone knows a new crate motor is sweet and a little costly but from y'all experience what am I looking at, cost-wise, to rebuild the numbers matching motor and am I just beating a dead horse trying to get this motor to be trouble free?

    My goal for this car is to eventually have a smooth running reliable car that I can take down the road a ways. I don't want a hotrod but I want a stong motor and eventually disk brakes and a T5: the classic look with modern, bolt-on, drive ability.
  2. this is the question of the ages, rebuild or buy a crate motor? both have advantages and disadvantages;

    pros for the crate

    you get a warranty
    you can have the car up and running over the weekend
    you dont need a lot of tools to install one
    some are broken in on the dyno for you already


    initial outlay of cash
    cant always get what you want build wise
    you dont know how well the engine was put together.

    pros for rebuilding

    you know what you have in the motor parts wise
    you can build as you have cash
    you know how the engine was assembled


    unless you have the parts you cant get the car running over the weekend
    you need some specialty tools to assemble an engine
    cost ends up about the same as buying a crate engine
  3. Isn't .060 over the max for a a 289? My 302 is .060 over and I thought that was the limit due to the water jacket wall thickness.
  4. +1

    One more pro/con to rebuilding:
    You get the satisfaction of building your own engine, but if you screw it up (it is very easy to screw it up, ask me how I know), you'll be doing it again, and again, and again...
  5. I bought a rebuilt 289 from PAW. They do all of the machine work and send it to you for you to assemble. I went this route because my old engine had been rebuilt before and it was too far gone for another, and PAW has a good reputation their kit allowed me to mock up the motor and check all of the tolerances. I also got to specify what parts I wanted, they balance the rotating assembly and match the pistons/rods to each bore, and that I specified I didn't want more than .030 over bore. When I got the engine I checked all of the tolerances and they were right in the middle. Now the engine runs very smooth and I know exactly what is in it and how it was put together. If you can handle assembling the engine yourself this is a good way to do it.
  6. I am working on getting all the parts that I will need little by little to rebuild / build mine.

    Going with a local shop that can machine and assemble it for me, can you say warranty :nice:

    If someone works with building engines all day every day I figure they are much less likely to make a human error sort of mistake in the assembly. I haven't done that sort of thing in probably 15 years so to say I am a bit rusty would be an understatement.

    I personally think crate engines (at least the ones that I have seen) are very overpriced. And by the way I have heard some real horror stories from people who bought crate engines, encountered major problems and had the engine builder pretty much say it must have been your fault.

    Prefer to have mine built local.
  7. I got my crate motor for $2695 to my door. It was full of brand new, brand name parts, had top-notch machine and assembly work done, and it came with a 12 month warrantee. I have put a few hundred miles on it and am impressed with the power, reliablity and quality. Two of my freinds bought from the same builder and they, too have been thrilled with the value. There's no way I could have had my original 289 rebuilt with the same parts for the same cost, and if I had it would have no warrantee whatsoever.
  8. $2695!? When did you get this price and who from? Long block or short block?
  9. there is truth in this statement, but before you write off the block, have it sonic checked for core shift. if there is no core shift you can actually go another .020 safely IF the cylinder wall thickness also checks out. some walls are thinner than others.
  10. wow! This looks like a good deal
  11. I stepped up a little with the 345 HP crate in my roadster. Never a problem.

    But, if you go with a new crate, be carefull on the year of the motor, as you will have some backwards compatability issues to deal with.
  12. Very good point.
  13. I'd also like to add this motor does not leak a drop, they evidently took great pains to make it oil-tight. Can't say the same for any motor I've ever built!
  14. I went the crate route way cheap and bought a 351w shortblock from City Motor Supply Catalogs

    I've got about 5000 miles on the engine now with no problems so far. I think I was out 750 with shipping. Crazy huh??
  15. I realize this is a Mustang forum

    But us Chevy guys go through the same debacle buy a crate engine or build a block I just scored a 1972 454 from an Impala that was never bored never touched. I got the whole pitch from my local Custom car classic guy today telling me buy a crated moter it will cost you around the same amount of money and you get the warranty in the end. Now I have a 283 in my car that was machined and built in a local machine shop ten years ago it was bore to the max and pushing 300 HP that motor has about 15K and no problems really. I looked at GM crated motors and if I am going to buy a crate motor it is going to be the king of big blocks the 427 rat now as far as I can see the only reliable source for these motors is GM by the time I get that with a 24 month warranty I am looking between 10-12 grand depending on options I order! At my local machine shop for 8 grand I can build my 454 block and choose the parts I want the cam I want. for 2-4 grand I can still blow that motor and not be covered under warranty I do not trust any of the big four to honor anything. I would rather deal with the guy who is building motors day in and day out and mostly building marine 454 blocks he has been building them for 40 years every day of his life. My opinion is do it the old fashion way and besides these blocks made today are nothing like the blocks made 72 and earlier that is a fact jack. Those little 289s rev I built one when I was about 18 and through it a Fairlane and drove that thing till the wheels fell off...This is a never ending topic which came first the chicken or the egg.