Video: Time-Lapse Rebuild Of The Venerable Small-Block Ford

We’ve covered two of Hagerty’s Redline Rebuild videos previously; they’ve rebuilt a small-block Chevy, and a Chrysler Hemi, and since they finally got to the Blue Oval—and we love time-lapse videography in general—we’re bringing you their latest installment.

This particular project takes a 289 cubic-inch Windsor engine that came from a wrecked 1964 Ford Fairlane, and rebuilds it into something resembling a HiPo 289 that might have powered a GT350 in the late-1960s.

The teardown of the tired, grimy powerplant starts like so many of our own projects in the shop – with a cup of coffee. As the both the shortblock and cylinder heads come apart, we’re left wondering exactly how many quarts of leaked-oil all of the sludge represents, and it has us unconsciously reaching for a paper towel. Watching the parts get scrubbed and hot tanked is surprisingly cathartic.

The cylinder heads of the 1964-vintage 289 were completely remachined. Even after 54 years, the castings just needed a little bit of mechanical love, and they are as good as new – if not a little better than new.

A quick—thanks to the magic of time-lapse video—trip through the cylinder boring machine and a light resurfacing of the deck, then a finish hone. Next, it’s onto to completely rebuilding the cylinder heads, with a little extra material taken out of the ports to help boost the power. After the rods are refinished and the pins pressed into place with new pistons on top, the crank journals are given some love with emery paper.

As the engine goes back together, it’s reminiscent of a Hot Rodders of Tomorrow competition, but with a small-block Ford. The team at Redline Rebuild went with some new, period-correct upgrades during the reassembly, like an Edelbrock F4B intake, Some Holman-Moody valve covers, new Comp Cams camshaft and valvetrain components, a Holley four-barrel carb, and a set of headers in order to bring the power up to an estimated 310 ponies.

As usual, the team at Hagerty put together an amazing video, filled with both time-lapse and killer slow motion clips, compiled from over 40,000 still photos. All of this is in addition to the motion footage, which was shot over the three-month-long rebuild process. Besides being a cool piece of videography, the period-correct engine is pretty nice, too.

When it rolled out of the factory in 1964, the 289 was rated at an anemic-by-today’s-standards 195 horsepower. The Hagerty team estimates the engine’s output to be in the neighborhood of 310 horsepower after the rebuild and upgrades.

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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