331 Stroker Home from the Machine Shop

After an extended period of time, I was finally able to pick up my engine from the automotive machine shop. Unfortunately, they started backed up when I dropped it off, then the owner (one man shop) had some health issues, backing up everything. He is doing well and finally caught up with some projects. There is always a wait and I was a few months in line before I could drop it off, which I read as a good sign for quality output. Based on the engine in the coupe with no issues, I am 1 for 1, with #2 looking like a win.

This motor is much more aggressive than the last one. First, I started with the ’89 5.0 HO that came out of a mustang GT. The engine itself came with the project, and is a good start. Once I had so much invested in getting the body right again, I decided to spend a little more on other areas, and the engine was definitely one area I didn’t go cheap on. This one is going to be a good bit more power than the last.

I will leave a detailed list of parts at the end, but generally, I went with Paul’s choice of a stroker kit with forged pistons. He felt the 331 was a little better option for a driver since his opinion of the 347 was it burned a little more oil and other factors that made him inclined to the 331. The down side was the saying cubes are king, and we were going with something with less volume. I felt it was all overkill, so going with a little overkill in this aspect for something he felt was a lower maintenance, or less aggressive option was fine.

I used stock heads last time, so this time I wanted to use aluminum heads. I have heard good things about the TrickFlow Twisted Wedge 11R 190’s so after doing a bunch of back and forth, that’s what I went with. Shiny new parts, which got dropped off with Paul right away to avoid questions at home.

Later, Paul and I were talking about what I plan to do for the rocker arms and head bolts. He said I should probably just buy things from Summit Racing so he didn’t have to upcharge me. Kind of refreshing, but it also means he doesn’t have to stand behind parts if they go bad. I looked up what Trick Flow recommends, and it turns out they sell everything. I picked up their 1.6 roller rocker arms after finding them in a kit with the heads I chose.

With the difference in the head bolt size and the hole size in the heads, I needed a bushing. Turns out Trick Flow had those in that same kit, making the part selection easy. This is about the time I realized I should have just bought the kit as I was going to buy all the parts anyhow. I added the head bolts to the order. In talking push rods, Paul said he would have to research which ones to get. Shortcut, I bought the ones from the kit. Another trip to the shop to drop off parts.

Next step was getting the engine blanced. In order to do that, I needed the flex plate. Since I shifted gears earlier, I needed to order one that will work with the automatic. In a bind, I probably spent too much, but I didn’t want to lose focus and slow things down so I went with the Performance Automatic Platinum Xtreme Series. Even the name says expect to pay more. Two days later, Summit delivered, and again, I am dropping off parts for Paul.

When it gets back from balancing, it will need to be assembled. The missing parts are the cam and timing chain, plus lifters. I went ahead and ordered the rest of the parts from the Trick Flow stage 1 kit.

While getting ready to put the bottom on, Paul noticed my 89 timing chain cover doesn’t have the oil dip stick tube hole cut out. I was going to do that, but I forgot. Rather than mess with it now, I just ordered a new one with the hole at the correct angle and right size. I couldn’t find one without the mechanical fuel pump, and with a dipstick hole, so I got a boss cover as well. I shot some black on it quick before heading back to Paul’s.

Since this is a 65, I thought I would go with the black block color scheme of the early 65 mustangs. While I couldn’t get it back to paint it before he built it, I figured I could do the same as before and just mask it off and paint it on the stand with some high temp engine paint. maybe cover up some of the blue gaskets as well.

From previous experience, the first thing I did was put the timing marker on and find TDC. I used the original marker, which fortunately fit on this new timing cover. I also used the piston stop to make sure the marked TDC really was right for cylinder one. Fortunately it all lined up. I also used my silver sharpie to high-lite TDC on the balancer so its easier to read later.

Ignore that the mark is off by a tick. Once I saw the blown up picture I realized the mistake and miss the eyes of my youth

With it at the 10 o’clock position it looks like I will be needing a driver side water pump, like the original 89 GT. That should make it easier to get a new one. Before I do, I need to figure out my plan for the pulley system to make sure it’s all good, and I don’t need a reverse or something.

That’s it for now. Lots of progress, and more projects dropped in my lap. I also spent some time cleaning up the motor mount brackets and order new mounts, so I should be able to see how it fits once the headers get here. Rack and starter are a couple things I need to get installed to see how everything is going to come together as well.


3 thoughts on “331 Stroker Home from the Machine Shop

  1. brad Weilmuenster

    Im also a Brad! Also just getting my 331 back for my 89 gt convertible. I just bought the kit, but in the 170 version. 11R with Holly Systemax upper and lower. 30lb injectors and went with blue on the block . I also had a 5 speed Berg Warner built for a swap. I had the automatic, but I like the gears when I want them. Im hoping you post some hp/torque readings!


  2. The earlier 65’s had a black and gold engine. Check out the pics from the 65 coupe here. Eric’s car has that scheme, which is a black block, and gold valve covers/air cleaner. Not looking for original, but more of a theme. May not go that way though, depending on how it looks.

    I have been looking at the original serpentine setup since the CVF version is really expensive. Not a huge fan of the big block of aluminum for the alternator, but for the price, I may just learn to like it. Water pump is on it’s way, so im getting close to seeing how all that goes back together.

    For the radiator, I had to do that with the coupe too. the 70 radiator is opposite for the outlet, but same size. At least it was on a 67. I need to make sure I can do the same on the 65. I hope I don’t have to go with a big silver brick for a radiator. never was a fan of how that looks.

    Thanks for following along. It’s getting there.


  3. mmcshoup

    Looks great Brad. I like the heads you chose. I think the color scheme would be from lat 1965 though. She didn’t have the original motor when I bought it so I don’t know what the original color would be. I was planning on using the 1989 serpentine system, but that means you need radiator with the opposite side hose connections. Keep it up!



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