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Technical Shelby 260 Performance Parts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Joe Travers, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. rr64
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 71

    rr64
    Member
    from Montana

    Bob Mannel had access to Ford engineering files while working on his book. He gave me a rather lengthy explanation of why the six bolt design was adopted and it was clutch size related. The whole discussion included legal and cost aspects of shipping ready to use anything across the border, along with what Ford had capability of making or having made in Mexico at the time. The short story, going to a six bolt block was the lowest cost path forward. The conversion to the six bolt process started about the time five bolt HP289 engines started in production. The serial number 1 prototype 1965 six bolt engine was started in April 1963. This engine is covered in Bob's online version of his book. The engine was an Experimental High Performance 289 assembly. The engine block carried a cast in "SK-" engineering number. It also carried a group of hand stamped "XE-" prefix numbers which is how one would look up details in the engineering data files.

    GT40s and Cobras used five bolt block in severe international racing 1963-65. Cars were developed to race up to 48 hours between overhauls and many engines just got freshened and reused. I have a few Shelby engine shop dyno test multiple pages reports of used Cobra and GT40 race engines as part of being freshened up as required. Five bolt engine strength was not an issue to Ford or Shelby that I ever heard of.. A friend dirt track raced for years with a five bolt block. He lost more than one flywheel and or clutch (in a COBRA lettered steel housing) at 9,000 rpm plus and the block never broke.

    Shelby American did have problems with cast iron 289 crankshafts breaking, often at the main thrust bearing location. One of the Shelby team drivers told us at a SAAC convention that he noticed that his oil pressure had dropped during a race. He said when the engine shop dismantled the engine the crankshaft came out in two pieces. It had broken at an angle under the main bearing cap with the thrust bearing. The pieces could not get out or didn't until somebody dismantled the engine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
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  2. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 932

    finn
    Member

    Did some checking and you’re probably correct. The 289, rated at 160 hp, was introduced in Mexican built trucks in 1965, including the F350 and F600 (!). The F600 in particular would need a larger clutch.

    I worked with Ford Engineering closely in the eighties and beyond, and driveline bending and stiffness was a hot point with them. They paid so much attention I concluded at the time that they must have gotten burned at some point in the past.

    Our own company paid similar attention to that joint on heavy trucks. Something most people would never consider, but just one of dozens of issues designers have to consider.
     
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  3. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,865

    Spooky
    Member

    Man, there is soooo much to love about this post! Love the FoMoCo history!
     
  4. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Checking available parts to build a 260 that will outperform the stock 2V engine that came in the car. Looking @ Miller's recommendations, the early HiPo 289 components fit the bill and some are still available w/o breaking the bank. The only concern I have is piston availability. Not certain of piston/valve clearance using the long-duration cam. Also have to crunch the numbers w/combustion chamber volumes to try & hit 10:1 CR for pump gas. May not be feasible w/o custom parts, making it an unreasonable proposition. Time to do my homework.

    Joe
     
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  5. The one thing not mentioned is do you already have a 5-bolt block motor in the car? If you don't, your current bellhousing won't fit. The one-year-only C4 bell isn't all that easy to find, and if it's a manual trans the trans may not fit a 5-bolt bell.

    And I strongly suspect that you'll need custom pistons because of the small bore if you want to raise compression. Being out of production for 57 years and a bit of an orphan even back then, I'd be surprised to find anybody that has an off-the-shelf piston for it.
     
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  6. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    No, I would be replacing a 6 bolt dual-pattern bellhousing. Five-bolt bellhousings are still acquirable but the only piston available is the Silvolite cast flat-top w/o valve reliefs. Haven't determined CR w/ those and available heads w/ appropriate valve sizes to fit 3.86" bore. Early 289 will be almost unobtainium.

    Joe
     
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  7. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,072

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    OK Joe,
    What do you want? Do you want it authentic to "1965"? This means using "the real stuff".....Do you want "period" but with period aftermarket parts? Do you want to do a mix...using some authentic stuff mixed with comparable aftermarket parts that offer the period performance but may not be totally authentic to 1965? Do you just want a 260 with comparable to a "Cobra Kit" treated 260 ....By Any Means Necessary?

    You can find the genuine stuff but....get your wallet out. A genuine dual point 289 Hi-Po distributor is very expensive. The same can be said for smaller Autolite 289 4100 4V. On the other hand you can find genuine Ford single to dual point conversion units on occasion. You can also find vintage Mallorys. For the 260, I would use a good stock single point unit. Especially if you not planning to go past 6K. Staying under 6000 RPM can really simplify this build all the way around. 5500K is nothing to sneeze at in a passenger car!

    I think you may be overthinking the head/piston issue.
    You should be fine with stock replacement flattops.[​IMG]
    This may be all you can find.
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/uem-1106-030/make/ford
    Of course always check but you should be OK with piston/valve clearance with stock replacement flattops. Fords performance cams of the period were long on duration but relatively low on lift.

    You should be fine with stock 260 heads even with pressed studs if the RPM is kept below 6K.
    [​IMG]
    Holman and Moody still offer the 1969 "Cobra Kit" cam xx 290H hydraulic.
    http://holmanmoody.com/cams.html
    The old Crane Fireball 294 is basically a copy of the '69 Cobra Kit cam...
    Here's what the Crane Fireball sounds like at idle in my old F1...Incidentally that engine is going in my '64. You can see a glimpse of it in front of the truck....

    This engine is a basically stock '68 302 with flattops and the crane cam...
    Holman Moody offers the "Cobra Kit Intake...
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    http://holmanmoody.com/Intakes1.html
    Summit Has the Scott Drake Cobra...
    [​IMG]


    Of course there's vintage and vintage aftermarket. I'm using a Weiand 8011. Good aftermarket candidates are the Edelbrock F4B, (the F4B is period) Performer and Weiand Stealth...
    The stock Ford iron intake is period it performs and it's fairly common and inexpensive...

    Exhaust....
    Ford recommended that the Falcon Chassis use the stock V8 exhaust manifolds....
    There has been some research to suggest that the Hi-Po manifolds do not flow that much better than the stock 260/289 manifolds. Too, short tubes do not flow much better either...
    So....might as well stick to the stock manifolds. That's what Ford recommended for a Falcon Chassis car...
     
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  8. Ford didn't recommend the Fairlane/Mustang HiPo exhaust manifolds because the driver's side doesn't quite fit. It requires some very careful grinding on both the manifold and the steering box to get minimal clearance.

    Years ago I saw a feature article on 'street sleepers' and one of the featured cars was an early Falcon. The owner had modified the OEM manifolds by extending the bolt bosses at the flanges so he could remove the 'dimples' for the bolt heads just inside of the ports then had them extrude honed to smooth the inside. Hell of a lot of work, but the owner claimed near-header performance and only the sharpest of eyes would notice the difference. The big problem was you couldn't remove or install them with the motor in the car...
     
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  9. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    You got it, because that is the only alternative available that is reasonably affordable for a $20K car.
    The goal would be to build a 6K engine w/ less torque than I have now to relieve stock driveline. Current peak torque is 50% greater than stock. I've owned and built many 289s since the '70s. Never ventured into 260 territory but it would be great if I could build a period correct hot rod engine. It's either that or fab & install 9" differential & Toploader. Frankly, I would rather build the engine & not cut up a nice car to hook it up.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  10. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,638

    raven
    Member

    Performance and FoMoCo 260 really shouldn't be in the same sentence. The heads have smaller valves and if I remember correctly, smaller cambers and ports. It's like a hypo flathead. It's going to take a lot of money to perform even close to say a hopped up 289 or 302. So. do you really want a 260 knowing that it's like pissing up a tree?
    r
     
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  11. So if I'm reading this right, you're concerned with driveline durability? FWIW, I used to own a '64 Comet with a 5-bolt 289 block that I transplanted a late 5.0 reciprocating assembly into. Ported 351 heads, snotty cam, Edelbrock Torquer intake, into the OEM T10 and 8" rear. I beat the hell out of it for ten years and never broke even a single driveline bit. The 8" eventually went bad when the pinion bearings failed, but that was an issue with the early 8" versions in any case. Ford upgraded the bearings a few years later, problem solved. As long as you stay away from power adders, a 302 doesn't produce enough torque to kill the driveline. This assumes street tires and no side-step-the-clutch launches.
     
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  12. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,380

    vtx1800
    Member

    This info is from the February 1964 "Shop Tips from Ford" that I picked up at the Ford Dealership where I purchased a new 63 Fairlane. It will give you an idea what the hot setup was in 1964:) I penciled in the prices but I don't remember when I did that. 260Forda.jpg 260Fordb.jpg 260Fordc.jpg 260Fordd.jpg
     
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  13. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    I suspect you penciled in those prices shortly after you picked up the brochure :)

    I got the phone number of an old Ford acquaintance today, plan on calling his shop Monday morning. He's been a big FE guy all his life but may have what I need.

    Joe
     
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  14. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 2,004

    RmK57
    Member

    Sometimes it's not all about what or who makes the horsepower. More about building it just because none else does. I've been following this thread and have learned quite a bit about the little 260, Cobra connection.
     
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  15. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,894

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    I have the Carroll Shelby "bikini catalog"
    If it will help I can dig it out.
    upload_2021-11-26_22-11-46.jpeg
     
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  16. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    After a good bit of deliberation, I've come up w/ a plan to implement sometime next year for the 260 build. I'm going to try and pick up the heavy stuff locally to avoid excessive shipping cost, if possible. It's getting crazy out there right now and cost prohibitive. Have found a complete engine locally but I haven't inspected it yet. The plan-

    1.) 0.030 over Silvolite flat-top pistons, should yield just over 9:1 CR
    2.) HD connecting rods
    3.) '65 289 heads, mill to bump compression up to 10:1, screw-in rocker studs
    4.) 289 HiPo cam, lifters & springs
    5.) Eddy aluminum hi-rise intake
    6.) 500 cfm Carter 4 barrel carb

    Most of the expense will have to go into the heads. Have to have spring pockets and stud mounts cut, hardened valve seats installed, then porting & polishing. Will use current Hooker Super Comps until I can get a custom set made. :)

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  17. My 260 I put together last year.
    A lot of love/hate and frustration putting together one of these.

    90ED21BB-8AEA-41F1-B8A9-6F0B26CB36B1.jpeg
    A91B65A7-AAA6-4057-9A41-13506F71FE4B.jpeg
    BF60F9CF-7379-4948-A97C-02FCD8E07728.jpeg
     
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  18. hipojoe
    Joined: Jul 23, 2021
    Posts: 298

    hipojoe

    I have been following this thread since the beginning, and enjoy the DARE TO BE DIFFERENT attitude. Heres a little of my own thoughts on this. You will be putting a chunk of money into something because you want to have something that NO one else will have, check... but just because you feel like punching a wall doesnt necessarily mean its a good thing. For about the same money a well built readily available 289- 302 -331- 348 will tow that 260 every which way possible, so since you stated its a 20k car why put a bunch of $$$ into it and not get the bang for your buck you are looking for. I may be wrong but I think a big selling point, and huge good time point, would be a strong running bigger engine! Most people would be willing to pony up for it, not the littlest guy in the herd. Badger and Silvo lite pistons are a weak ling in any engine... Good for easy cruising not any real performance. Good Luck on moving things forward im pulling for you!!! I did the same thing decades ago and learned the hard way... There is NO replacement for displacement.
     
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  19. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Joe, I already have a 400 hp engine in it now. It has more bang than the tires & suspension can handle. If I hook it up, something is going to blow and finding those parts is just as hard or harder to find than a milder 260. I don't currently have a shop to fab in but I have all I need to build an engine. I'd love to build one more SBF while I can & it would be period correct and plenty for this 2500 lb. car.

    Joe II
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  20. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Nice mill! ;) Frustrating, as in valvetrain geometry? I’m assuming that was the case by your picture uploads. I would go black engine paint with the red baldy valve covers but that’s just me. :cool:

    Joe
     
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  21. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 932

    finn
    Member

    I totally understand your quest for a period 260.

    I would like a 289 for my 65 Falcon or a 265/283 for my 36 Ford, for some unknown and unknowable reason. Have a 350 Chevy and three 302s on hand, but the 289/265/283 just feels better.
     
  22. Thanks.

    No, just parts limitations.
    No piston choices, so your stuck with cast, low comp, fat rings.
    Any aftermarket head will fit but they all generally have too big of a combustion chamber for a 260 and 2" valves which will hit the bore, 1.78" inlet is your limit plus the flat top pistons give restrictions on valve lift/cam choice.
    Of course you can "custom" on any parts but, you know, is it worth it?

    Crank and rods are the same as a 289.
    Blocks are the same apart from bore size and can't be bored out 289ci.
    Late 260 heads are the same as early 289 but with a smaller combustion chamber.
     
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  23. Joe Travers
    Joined: Mar 21, 2021
    Posts: 494

    Joe Travers
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Yes, parts are very limited, esp. pistons. I think your engine does quite well, judging by those videos. They don't torque hard, but man do they rev! :cool:

    Joe
     
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