289 Assembly – Part 3: Accessories

After a break waiting for the push rods and other various parts, its time to make some more progress and actually finish the long block by setting the valves.

To make sure I was able to set things up properly for first firing, I ordered an oil can so I could pre lube the hydraulic lifters before installing them. This is just an inexpensive Amazon order, but its built well, and gets the job done. I continued to use the quart of engine oil that I will be using once I break it in. The lifters are what the machine shop provided with their kit.

There is a hole in the top where the pushrod goes and one in the side. I started filling from the side, but it quickly just ran down the outside. After that, I filled from the top and topped it off on the side. I also rolled them around in my gloved hand to ensure they were well lubricated before installing them.

The next step was to place the push rods. Since I bought new ones, I didn’t have to worry about orientation or order.

I reused the original rockers and hardware. I don’t know if that is advised, but they were still good and the machine shop didn’t say not to, so I decided not to spend more money on parts I already have.

This is yet another area where the book was handy. It mentions the 3 clocking positions for the crank and when to tighten down the rocker nuts so you don’t have to clock it at TDC for all 8 pistons. I followed the directions for my style of rockers and wrapped it up. It was less complicated than I expected.

So now I finally have a long block, plus a water pump and exhaust manifolds.

This is where I start deviating from stock a bit. I really didn’t want to find a cast iron 4 barrel stock intake. I went with the Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum intake. I also don’t have a stock 4100 carburetor, but I am keeping it close with a Holley replacement. The key here is I may get a bit more performance, but I should not run into issues with parts so much in the future, like when I was having issues with the front brackets on the 70+ that came in the car. Once I get this connected, the intake should operate without needing modifications.

At this point, after torquing down the intake bolts, I took the time to do the same for the exhaust manifold bolts before I forgot. I bought some Autolite 45 spark plugs and made sure they fit and were serviceable before locking the exhaust down since there is some float I could adjust if I needed to.

By this point, I would really like to put the valve covers on. Unfortunately, they are on back order with the best date at the end of the month if it doesn’t keep slipping. I may temporarily cover them with an old set I have just for protection while I work on it.

I decided to build it out as much as I can while its on the stand, then take off the parts that will get in the way of putting it in the engine bay. That way I can make sure I have everything and it fits correctly. First step on this path is the little parts of the intake; I placed the temperature sending unit, and plugged one of the accessory holes in the back.

I will probably plug the vertical one as well, but I am waiting to see what the carburetor provides for the PVC connection.

I cleaned up and painted the oil sending unit extension and put that in place. This is one part I may need to remove to install the engine. It seems like it would be easy to break off when lowering it.

I used the water neck/thermostat housing I had left over from the last engine. This is the right shape, but I would have preferred natural aluminum. Oh well, it does the job and it will match the rest of the black brackets and such that go on next.

Next, I recovered the original bolts for the crank pulley and cleaned those up before installing that. Same deal with the original fan, hardware, spacer, and pulley on the water pump. I am torn with the original 4 blade fan vs a new 6 blade I have (sitting on the floor in the background even). I will start with the original and see how it cools. I also have a couple spare shrouds that are stock looking. I expect if I get it back to stock, it should work, like it did for millions of them off the assembly line.

To make it easier to access the alternator and power steering brackets, I removed the fan an pulleys. More experience installing them.

The power steering pump was rebuilt by Chockostang, and it looks incredible. I cleaned up the original aluminum bracket and steel plate to get them like new. I ordered the AMK installation hardware to replace some damaged bolts and keep it looking nice. Installing the alternator brackets, I realized I don’t have the long mounting bolt, so I am waiting on parts for that as well. At least the brackets appear to line up, not like on the coupe.

With the brackets in place, the pulleys and fan went back on. I still need to press on the right pulley for the power steering as well as make sure the alternator has the proper pulley. I am going to roll the dice and see if the stock belts fit as well. If I did everything right, they should. I will leave that for a little suspense for the future.

The carb came in, so I put the studs in and temporarily put it on the engine. It’s as good a place as any to store it while waiting for parts.

As for the distributor, unfortunately I ordered the wrong one somehow. I had issues dropping it in and realized I had the 390 version, which has a slightly larger diameter opening on the engine, so it wouldn’t drop in. The correct one is on the way. Along with that, I have the fuel pump, but no bolts. I need to also dig those up so I can install it. Looking into that made me realize I don’t have the line from the pump to the carburetor, or the filter. I added those to the list.

Once I have the distributor and assorted small parts, I should be pretty close to done, with the exception of the back ordered valve covers. I have a new radiator since the inlet is on the opposite side from whats in the car now, including the hoses. As I think about it, I may also get the engine wiring harness so I can just plug it in to the firewall and know all the electrical is correct and functional. Let me add that to the list too.

I am getting dangerously close to being able to pull the engine and drop this one in.

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