swapping a 260 with a 289 - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 17:45 Thread Starter
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swapping a 260 with a 289

I have a '64 Falcon Sprint with a 260 V8 in it. Has 90k original miles but I just did a compression test on it and got horrible readings. I'm no mechanic. This is my first project and first time dealing with a vehicle really. I'm wondering for one thing if the car is having a hard time starting, trouble turning over, would this affect the compression test?
If the engine is on the outs as I think it is then I'd rather do a little upgrade in the process rather then a rebuild. I've started to search around the internet a bit for a 289 and came across a long block 289 rebuilt by HiPerformer for around $1600. Any one have any experience with this company? They offer a 7 year 100k warranty.
I've also thought that I would switch out the 2 speed fordomatic auto tranny with a four on the floor. Originally the 4 speed Falcons came with a t-10 tranny but from what I've read it had some problems. The "top-loader" was recommended...any other opinions in this area? Other issues I'll have with this conversion? Read about a hydraulic clutch system that helps with fit issues.
I also want to get better flowing headers in this process but don't want to have to do any real modifications. I read an article that had suggested using k-code 289 Hi-Po Headers as a direct bolt on upgrade, offering significantly better flow then the stock without any fit issues. Any other headers that will fit right in? Would love to have some ceramic coated ones.
Lots of questions here. It's all exciting but also bewildering for a first time enthusiast. Thanks to all for any input.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 21:20
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Re: swapping a 260 with a 289

Don't take offence but have you done a comp test before. I'm just checking if it was done correctly. Assuming it was done with a small hand held gauge then it is better to do with all plugs out as it cranks better and you need to have the throttle fully open to get maximum air intake.

The 289 is an excellent replacement engine as it should fit up no trouble and there is aftermarket parts easily available. Do you really want a manual as there are plenty of good later model 3 speed autos that will go with your engine. The toploader is a strong box but I'm sure parts must be getting a little harder to find for them now.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 07:56 Thread Starter
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Re: swapping a 260 with a 289

Thanks for getting back to me.
I did indeed us a hand held gauge, removed all the plugs, and fixed the throttle open. It just seems that this test relies solely on the starter motor to create the compression, so in this case where I have difficulty starting the engine that it might be harder to know exactly what is causing the pour compression. More than likely it's built up carbons clogging the cylinders, or in some causes the valves may be burned out creating leaks. I also think that my power steering pump may be causing problems because once the engine is started if I crank the wheel over while the engine is at idle it will begin to seize as the pump goes to work, so this may be holding up the crank some. As you can see there are a number of items that need to be rebuilt in this old beauty. It was my aunts and she only took care of things when absolutely necessary.

As far as the tranny goes I'm not totally set on the manual 4-speed, really I would like to keep the original integrity of the interior, but the two speed isn't great with fuel economy and because the car is really a pleasure vehicle I wanted something fun to drive. What kind of modifications, if any, would I have to make to install a three speed auto? Would a c-4 fit in here? Thanks
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 12:22
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Re: swapping a 260 with a 289

Ok you have done the test correctly and as long as the engine did turn over a few times then I think the accuracy of the test will be right. As long as it went through a couple of compression strokes the it is most likely right.

There could be quite a few reasons for the low comp so we wont go there as you will be fitting a new 289 it seems.

I can't say exactly what mods you may need to do for a C4 to fit but I would think it would be quite easy to fit the 289/C4 setup without doing too much. These came out in Mustangs which are basically a Falcon with a different body shape. You may need to fit a new transmission cross member to suit the C4 . If you trans is a column shift then you will need to open a hole in the floor for the C4 trans shifter but you would have to do that for a toploader any way.

Headers a plentiful for a 289 so I'm sure there will be something to suit your needs.

If it was me I would go for the 289/C4 setup as it is a good combo and would make for a nice driver. You will have no clutch setup to try and do as your car is originally auto then you would have to set up a pedal and master cylinder to go for a manual setup.

Make sure your radiator is up to the task of the 289 and use a fan shroud as you will be surprised at the difference it makes at idle.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 17:18
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Re: swapping a 260 with a 289

just note that 221, 260 and early 289 have a 5 bolt bellhousing pattern and from later 289 on ward they changed to a 6 bolt bellhousing pattern. as long as you use the correct parts match you will be fine. toploader or C4 will fit ok with a x member swap.

Craig Johnston.
Ford, Performance & Vintage engine specialist.
email- cjperformance@lizzy.com.au
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