May 22, 2015 – A better (standard bore) block…
After dropping the car off at the body shop, we headed back to drop off Mark’s truck and trailer. Just before we pulled up, I found a Craigslist listing for a standard bore block in City of Industry. I called, it was available, and we decided we’d go look at it. Had I been a little more thoughtful, I would’ve checked before we left San Gabriel…we could’ve made a small detour on our way back, instead we had to turn around and drive almost all the way back to where we had been. Live and learn.
But the good news is that I now have a 302 standard bore block as a solid foundation for my engine build! This way I can have JGM bore the block to .020 over, leaving me room for at least another rebuild after this one (should such a thing ever become necessary). Also, if you didn’t catch that, this is a 302 block not a 289, so if I can find a 302 crank and rods, I’ll have a few more cubic inches to play with. If not, the 302 and the 289 block are almost identical other than the fact that the 302 has slightly elongated skirting on the bores, so the 289 internals fit right in. In fact, the factory even made some late 289’s using 302 blocks before they fully introduced the 302.
My only concern is that this block looks like it had a hard life, or at least one with very few oil changes. The cam bearings and the main bearings are all showing copper, and it’s pretty filthy. Because I’m going to rebuild it, those things don’t matter really, but the fear is that along with the lack of maintenance that the block has been overheated a time or two…let’s just hope the block isn’t cracked!