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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've known it to be the case for a long time. Now I'd like to know why. The 289 is smaller and better on gas, but puts out more horses. WHY? I assumed that Ford was able to tune the 289 better, without worrying as much about gas mileage as they did on the 302. A close friend of mine says that Ford saw the 5.0 as an engine that could be tuned very easily, and viewed the 4.6 as an engine that didn't need to be tuned. Can anyone answer this question better? Just for the record, I don't think I would dream of trading my 5.0 for a 4.6. The 5.0 just has the right sound to it. You don't have to constantly drive it fast, it sounds cool regardless. :cool:

T-Bird Joe
 

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Because cubic inches aren't the end all be all of generating horsepower or getting better gas mileage. They are completely different engine designs. Sorry if thats not the technical explanation your looking for. I think it's comparing apples and oranges and wondering why they're different. Because they are. Ones an apple, the others an orange. All they have in common is they're both fruit. (or engines) lol
 

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289?

They built the 289 (with 4.0" bores) from about late '63 through '68 (was a 221 in '62 with a 3.5" bore and then a 260 in '63 with a 3.8" bore). The 302 was first released in the 68 model year with a 4 bbl carb, then in 69 it was offered in a 2 bbl version. The 302 continued through 1995. The 302 will, all things being equal otherwise, make more power. The 302 is simply a stroked 289, as the 289, 302, 351W, 351C, and even the 351m&400 all share that 4.0" standard bore, the longer strokes account for the increases.

Now likely as not, you mean the 4.6 (it's 281 cu in), it's a totally different design, heads, block, you name it. It also has either SOHC or DOHC setups. It has narrower bearings to shorten it up as it was first used in a Lincoln FWD car.

Both are "V-8"s however. :)
 

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lol I have to pay more attention, when I posted at 2:30am I thought he was talking about the 281 vs 302. the 289 is indeed a much more similar engine to the good ol' 302. It's been a long time since I've even seen a 289.
 

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southpaw the 289 & 302 are the same. The differentiation being a 2.87” stroke for the 289 compared to a 3.00” stroke for the 302 both with a 4.0” bore. Same block , 4.38” cylinder bore spacing (the 302 block has been refined through the years though for such things as roller lifters, which is a couple of threaded holes) If we do some basic comparative analysis we will see that 1) a 289 has no weight advantage over the 302. 2) the 302 has become one of the most refined engines ever (compared to the 289 discontinued in 1968) there is infinitely more performance potential in it. 3) There is no substitute for cubic inches.

My slightly oversized 302 (a 331 actually) gets 25mpg on the road. I can’t think of too many 289 equipped cars that did that. None in fact, that I have ever seen or even heard of. Every 289 that I have seen has been, at best, 20mpg when driven nicely (18ish normally).

The 4.6 and 5.0 do have a similar sound when equipped with comparable exhaust components. Is the 4.6 the friendliest engine to hot rod? Heck no! For the most part I’d rather spend the week chasing chickens and catching greased pigs but that is life. You just have to swap a set of cams in a 4.6 equipped car 1 time to swear off ever doing it again. The other option being to pay someone to do it for you.

In terms of tuning, Ford has never endorsed anyone tuning anything! The only tuning that was available to the average person on a 302 was to adjust baseline timing. Nothing else. By comparison, you can now spend about four hundred hard earned dollars and buy a magic nifty handheld box that will allow you to download a custom tailored tune (from Lonnie) to your 4.6 and that even affords you the opportunity to control many other functions, even such things as transmission behavior. I’d love that. That is almost worth the price of admission by itself, Add to that data logging function & error code reading!

We own boat anchors. Long live these boat anchors!
 

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As I said while you were probably writing up your own reply. I had thought he was asking about the 281 vs. 302. The 289 and 302 are indeed the same family of engine, just different iterations of the design.

Whether he is actually asking about the ol' 289 or the modular 4.6L is still ambiguous to me…

I'm not used to people referring to the 289 as a 4.6L engine, which he does. I'm used to people calling the 302 a 5.0L because it's survived to the modern era of referring to displacement in liters. the last 289ci was in '68 right?

By the way, just for the heck of it 281ci = 4.605 liters while 289ci = 4.736 liters and 302ci = 4.949 liters. I would think they would refer to the 289 as a 4.7L ;)
 

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Regardless of the engine platform, I think the thing missing here is whether or not we are talking about stock engines or modified engines. When you think about stock engines you have to remember things like CAFE requirements, engineering per model year, marketing, sales, etc.. Many manufacturers change(d) the designs from year to to accommodate various required changes based on those things listed above.

Since these engines were not built for race cars, you have to remember that Ford and every other manufacturer are not motivated by performance alone.
 

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"I'm not used to people referring to the 289 as a 4.6L engine, which he does. I'm used to people calling the 302 a 5.0L because it's survived to the modern era of referring to displacement in liters. the last 289ci was in '68 right?"

Yeah, as y'all say, he's probably and almost for sure talking 4.6 (281) vs 5.0 (302).

In '68, 289 was 2 bbl, 302 was 4 bbl. I loved those Mustang GTs in '68, 302 4bbl, fast ratio manual steering, 4 speed wit that long bent back shifter that sat right beside the thigh, favirite color was red with a white "C" stripe, black int. 390 cars were nice too and more rare, but nose heavy and really hard to drive at low speed with that fast ratio steering option.


I did enjoy looking back at some files and checking my memory against them.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Next best upgrade?

Lol, I inadvertently found an answer to another question by posting this thread. I tried for a long time to figure out exactly what a 4.6 would be in cubic inches. I thought it should be smaller than a 289, but my friends swore it was a 289. Now I know--a 281. Thanks for the info. For the record I was talking about the 4.6 when I said 289. So, a 5.0 is a 302 right? I've always been told they were the same thing. If I'm wrong correct me now. My main reason for posting the initial thread was this philosophy--the 4.6 is smaller, why couldn't they just build the 5.0 with the same technology or whatever but bigger. I know the answer to that is a bit complicated, but I just wanted some thoughts and observation. I don't really know all that much about the inner workings of engines, but I'm very intrigued and would like to know more. Some of my postings make me feel like a complete jackass, but if you don't ask you'll never learn. I drive a 5.0 btw, and the only upgrade I've done as far as HP is a K&N air filter, which is why I'm now so interested in the 4.6V5.0 subject. I raced a mid-nineties GT right after I got the car. I got beat as I had expected, pretty bad to boot. After I got the K&N, I raced another mid-nineties GT. Once again, I got beat, but not nearly as bad. The K&N has definitely made a difference. What's the next best bang-for-the-buck upgrade to get me closer to beating a 4.6?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tbirdbrain said:
southpaw the 289 & 302 are the same. The differentiation being a 2.87” stroke for the 289 compared to a 3.00” stroke for the 302 both with a 4.0” bore. Same block , 4.38” cylinder bore spacing (the 302 block has been

In terms of tuning, Ford has never endorsed anyone tuning anything! QUOTE]

I'm not suggesting that Ford made posters that said "You can tune the hell out of the 5.0." But I read in some sort of history of the Mustang book, that the 80's incarnation of the 5.0 saved the Mustang because it was so easy to mess around with the air intake and whatnot. I've heard people rave about the mighty 5.0, but that I know of they only put out (depending on the year and car) 200-225 HP stock. I've always thought their tunability is what made them such a sought after engine.
 

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they do have their good points as far as tweaking goes... As far as being highly sought after - For quite awhile you didn't have a whole lot of choice if you wanted a Ford with a V8 in it. And if you where looking for a Ford engine to start building there's only like a zillion of them out there to start with and a huge after market to support it because it's been around next to forever.

And btw I still haven't a clue if your talking about the modular 4.6L or the 289ci compared to the 302. You seem to use 289 and 4.6L interchangably yet the 289 is over 4.7L in volume. the mod 4.6L is often mistaken/absent minded mixed up with the 289 number as well when they ment to say 281. been there, done that myself.

Oh and besides all of that alot of no-nothing kiddies think Mustangs are F A S T and being as they had 5.0L HO's in them for like forever it must be a legendary motor. I mean they put it in the Mustang so it must be right!? lol ;)
 

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T-bird, as I mentioned earlier, the 4.6 was initially built with consideration towards efficiency and space savings, hence narrow bearings to shorten it lengthwise and a deep valley to hang part of the intake runners into to lower the profile, all so it would work in a Lincoln FWD. Ford knew the savings in size, and weight, would come in handy someday I suspect.

You might also ask why they didn't just take the old lat Head V-8, stroke it and and add overhead cam heads to it? It too was "King" in it's day, at least Clyde Barrow swore by it.


Technology.
 

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and crystal your facts are wrong 302 died in 2001 they used them in explorer till the end of the old body explorer , 289 did have 2 barrels if they were not a hi po just depended how it was optioned out
 

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Southpaw said:
I'm not used to people referring to the 289 as a 4.6L engine, which he does. I'm used to people calling the 302 a 5.0L because it's survived to the modern era of referring to displacement in liters. the last 289ci was in '68 right?
For what its worth as far as what they are called. And this is just my opinion and a way for me to keep track of things.

Anything that was originally named by Cubic Inches is (in my book) still named by cubic inches. Hence a 289 is still a 289, a 460 is still a 460 etc.

There are two exceptions. One being the 428 that Ford put in some cars and put "7 liter" badges on them. (I saw one in a salvage yard and shoulda snagged at least the badges).

The other is the 302. If it was built with a carburetor I call it a 302. If it was built with EFI I call it a 5.0. It just keeps things clear in my head of what era I'm talking about.
 

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jk89cat said:
and crystal your facts are wrong 302 died in 2001 they used them in explorer till the end of the old body explorer , 289 did have 2 barrels if they were not a hi po just depended how it was optioned out
I forgot about the Explorers, you are correct on the 302.

The HiPo 289s with 4 bbl carbs were 1967 and before. In 1968 the 289 had a 2 bbl, the 302 got the 4 bbl. In 1969, there was no 289 as the 302 replaced it and the 351 came out as well.

It was a time of many changes.
 

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ok, i parted out a 63.5 galaxie with a 289 , had a 2 bbl stock
 

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I have built at least a dozen 289 motors. They had both 2 and 4 barrel intake options for all but the last year in 68 like the above poster stated. They use the same piston as the 302, the 289 rod is a bit longer and a bit stronger, and the Boss302 used the same rod length as the 289. The absolute best year of the regular 289 (not HiPo) was 1965, this motor had the close tolerance pushrod heads with the last exhaust ports before the flow robbing thermactor bumps arrived. This was only one good year for the regular 289. I even used to rob the spring retainers off the older 289 to convert Chevy motors to dual springs for cheap. The 5.0 trend in the 80's got a boost from early 69-73 351W heads with Chevy 194/160 valves as there was nothing else readily available, I had a pair on my 289 Mustang as well. I remember the day with Dart announced their cast iron heads and I was one of the first to buy a set. Things have really changed alot since then, you had to make due with alot of stock stuff (cranks, rods, heads, etc) that today people throw in the trash really quick. Also alot of the parts are cheaper today than they were 20 years ago, especially with Ebay.

BTW - My 65 Mustang Fastback with a 3.00 8" gear, 4 speed, and decently modded 289 pulled 22MPG on the highway. My 66 Mustang coupe with a large solid cam, 4.11 9", and 4 speed was lucky to get 10MPG.
 

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One thing that I don't see mentioned in this post is the change from SAE Gross horespower to SAE net horsepower rating in 1972. That is usually the reason the early engines seem to have such higher ratings, where as in reality they are down on power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepower

Just my .02: :thumbsup:
 

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Traveler said:
If it was built with a carburetor I call it a 302. If it was built with EFI I call it a 5.0.
Yeah, that does make it simpler to understand which era you're talking about. I still like to refer to my 5.0 as a 302 though. I think it sounds cooler.;)
 
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