I believe his oint is that it seems surprising to him that the engine worked
fine after sitting for 4 years and having a lot of sand in the gas tank.
Realistically though I don't see how the sand could do much damage. It has
to get through at least two filters before it can junk up the carb or
I once ran a 289 with 200,000 miles on it for a few hundred miles with maybe
1/2 gallon of coolant. Broke the temp sender so I never knew it was
overheating. I had just put on a pair of open chamber 302 heads and I fully
expected it to be a gutless wonder with those big open chamber heads and
only 100 PSI of compression (surprisingly within a couple PSI on all
cylinders). Anyhow, I ran it several hundred miles before I realized I
forgot to refill the coolant system. Not easdy miles either, running WOT on
the highway for hours at a time, doing about 80, more downhill.
That sucker musta been overheated out the wazoo, but it kept on running
until finally on the highway I thought back and couldn't remember ever
filling the radiator. OOPS! So I pulled over, what water I had with me in
the radiator, then went and got water. After filling the coolant system the
car ran much better. It had a top speed of around 100, maybe a little more.
So I could then cruise at my 75-80 MPH without flooring it. The engine
seemed a good bit more 'peppy' in general, though it was still a gutless
wonder (especially in a nearly 2 ton car). That was my first car though, so
I did some stupid stuff along the way to learning about cars. Like that time
I ran for a week with only a quart of oil (oil light came on when braking or
Built Ford tough I say. it definitely took some punishment. After all that,
and hearing other people call the 289 the forever engine (one guy said he
had one go to well over 300,000 miles), I believe Fords 289 is one of the
most reliable and durable engines ever built. It's a very simple engine with
a great design. It's a nice short stroke, and a rather 'square' engine which
reduces wear and stress and also lets them rev nicely. It's just a solid
design, and easy to work on too.
My old slant six 225 dodge engine might have taken some of that
punishment, but probably not all that your 289 did.
Another "forever" engine for sure, but they didn't take kindly to oil
starvation. Found that out the hard way after siezing an intake lifter
on less than a quart of oil, rings were so bad it would burn four
quarts of oil up in a week.
Even after the intake lifter seized it kept going for about a week, but
made the greatest noises going down the road.
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