Bringing an old 289 back to life

ChrisHall4777

Member
Jan 13, 2013
4
2
13
37
Hey guys,

Long time lurker and a first time poster here. I have a 66 that I put in storage 10 years ago when I assume I blew a head gasket (water in oil). Before storing I disconnected the radiator and changed the oil And ran the engine with new oil and filter. I then did it again and cranked it to lube everything and then put her in the garage. Now that I have a little time and extra money I am seeing if it’s going to worth fixing or doing a rebuild. i would like to do a fix to make it drivable and do a rebuild slowly with my extra 289 block I have.

So here is what I have done. I cleaned and drained the fuel tank and flushed the fuel lines. She cranked right up. Actually sounds really good. I do have a little smoke coming out of my driver side exhaust. Not much though. I did a compression test on the cylinders and Im sitting at 145-160 on driver side cylinders and 130-150 on the passenger side. three of them were in the 130's. What does the gallery think. Head gasket issue? I am going to pull my manifold slowly and see if I can see any issue with that gasket. What am I missing? Thanks for the replies and Ill keep y'all posted. Its been a long time since I did any work on cars so Im excited to start doing it again.

Chris
 
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rbohm

SN Certified Technician
Apr 12, 2002
6,586
526
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tucson,az
it sounds like its rebuild time. you have too much discrepancy between all the cylinders. if there is a head gasket issue, then you need to make sure the block deck and head surfaces are as flat as possible to prevent future such issues.
 

ChrisHall4777

Member
Jan 13, 2013
4
2
13
37
I was afraid you would say that. Was hoping to get maybe year out of it and take my time on a nice rebuild with the other block. O well
 

rbohm

SN Certified Technician
Apr 12, 2002
6,586
526
204
61
tucson,az
well assuming the engine isnt overheating or knocking badly, you can nurse it along for a year or so with continued maintenance. just keep a sharp eye out for signs of water in the oil, like milkshake colored sludge, losing coolant regularly with no observable leaking, etc. auto engines are precision instruments that can handle the same level of maintenance that most people give a sledge hammer and still run reliably.
 

Mendezinc

Member
Feb 14, 2020
4
1
13
90604
Hey guys,

Long time lurker and a first time poster here. I have a 66 that I put in storage 10 years ago when I assume I blew a head gasket (water in oil). Before storing I disconnected the radiator and changed the oil And ran the engine with new oil and filter. I then did it again and cranked it to lube everything and then put her in the garage. Now that I have a little time and extra money I am seeing if it’s going to worth fixing or doing a rebuild. i would like to do a fix to make it drivable and do a rebuild slowly with my extra 289 block I have.

So here is what I have done. I cleaned and drained the fuel tank and flushed the fuel lines. She cranked right up. Actually sounds really good. I do have a little smoke coming out of my driver side exhaust. Not much though. I did a compression test on the cylinders and Im sitting at 145-160 on driver side cylinders and 130-150 on the passenger side. three of them were in the 130's. What does the gallery think. Head gasket issue? I am going to pull my manifold slowly and see if I can see any issue with that gasket. What am I missing? Thanks for the replies and Ill keep y'all posted. Its been a long time since I did any work on cars so Im excited to start doing it again.

Chris
During your disassembly, please take pictures . . . I'm sort of in the same boat as you.
Heads off, small cam in place, somewhat cleaned up. I attempted head porting . . . Now I need to replace a head. I thought I'd replace one head, meanwhile going with larger than stock valves for both and updated seats.
Along with loads of other stuff to do, my goal is to put a driver back on the road.

Good Luck with your build, and keep posting.

:D
 

NIFTY-b

New Member
Jan 15, 2020
1
0
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68
AUSTRALIA
Hi Chris , I'm only a Mug-anic so I could be wrong , but the different compression readings could be valves need re-seating or replacing , a Head Gasket leak may only show up when the motor is Hot at operating temp , & IF it is blown into an Oil port ( which puts water in oil ) it may not show a loss of compression !! , Water in oil is Bad , get professional advice , I think it will be take your heads off , get them serviced & surface ground ( I think maybe also your intake would also need surface ground to match heads !! ) just an up-professional's thoughts . good luck
 

Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
1,275
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Enterprise AL
If it was me. I'd be pulling heads and taking them to get them checked. The whole motor in those old cars is not hard to pull. If you have the time and space if necessary you could pull the motor, remove the intake and heads and have a shop check everything out. They could fix the heads if needed and deck it again if needed. This could all be done pretty quick. Do what you have to, put the motor back in and enjoy the car while you build the motor you want. This is all non-professional advice and should be treated as such!
 

ChrisHall4777

Member
Jan 13, 2013
4
2
13
37
Thanks for the replies. I’ve decided I’m going to pull the manifold and heads. Send the heads to a local shop to inspect and see where I go from here. Kind of a work in progress.
 
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