okay so ive allays intended on rebuilding my engine for my truck and im almost in the position i can do it. Within one night of being a member of fte ive learned
-no such thing as numbers matching for these years
-ford labelled most 360ci 390's. So all this time I may have had a 360
Im going to get the vin so i can see what ive got. Being 19, I saw the sticker on the intake that said 390, so i thought it was a 390 . The sale slip from the dealership in 69 says it has a 390 also, but who knows till i get my vin.
Anywase to get on topic, since there is no concern for numbers matching, would a crate motor be better than a a rebuild? I know rebuilds cost how ever much you want to spend, then I see these crate motors for quite cheap prices. Let me know what you guys think, I don't want to hot rod my old truck i just dont know what will be a better decision.
there is no way to visually tell what engine you really have by now, not even a vin decode will show you what some PO droped in there...
measure the stroke, pull a spark pulg and put a dowel rod in the hole. turn the engine over by hand. Mark the stick with the piston all the way down in the hole, then when it comes back to the top. now measure inbetween the lines. this will tell you what engine you really have.
Id go for the rebuild over a crate. with a rebuild you get the peace of mind that if it breaks it was your fault, not somebody elses fault. and you get your choice of parts and brand names.
not to mention with a crate engine your gunna end up with a spair engine layin around and taking up space that needs rebuilt.
You can put the same money in your engine that you would have spent on a crate engine and get more power from it
im kinda in the same situation you are. Im not sure if my truck has a 360 or a 390. from what I understand there is not much difference in between them (same block, same heads, intakes can go on either one etc.)
I would NOT go the crate engine route. Ive had several friends buy these just to get junk engines. depending on what needs to be done on your engine a conservative rebuild would not cost a whole lot (compared to what it can cost) and may be right around if not less then the cost of a crate motor, plus you will know what parts are in it.
Really? not even the VINs. Ill get around to doing that dowel trick, thanks a bunch. Yeah ive heard some hit and miss stories with crate engines. Being 19 and going through university I need to have a low budget build, but I don't want to cut corners. I just need to find a happy medium. Like I said im not looking for performance, just stock. Do you guys know any good rebuild kits? I would probably want a master kit, being new pistons and all. There are some on ebay but again I have heard hit and miss stories on those too. let me know, thanks again guys!
As long as you are building something mild, a rebuild is cheaper than crate. What is your engine doing that has you thinking it needs rebuilt? Burning oil? Getting even worse gas mileage than it used to?
Well, im not sure how many times the odom has rolled over, So the mileage is unknown. But if I plan on restoring it the engine would be the first would it not? Well I know it hasn't been touched since 69. It doesn't burn any oil, just leaks it and looks ugly. Also both exhaust manifolds are cracked (FE special) and valve covers and such are staring to get some rust. It actually pulls hard still, but its always at low rpm being a big block. I might be able to get away with just a basic rebuild. But ive been told the heads on these old blocks get beat up by unleaded fuel? Thanks for the reply
You picked a good place to start for a restoration. It doesn't matter how it looks if it can't get down the road right? It sounds like your bottom end is still pretty good. You may not have to bore it at all, just a hone "might" do it. So that would be some money saved there. I would add headers to any FE. The factory exhaust logs are very limiting. Other than that you might just need new gaskets and bearings and some time in the hot tank to clean her up. Then you can put whatever cam you choose along with the appropiate lifters and springs. That will change the attitude of the engine the most(where it makes its power and the hp to tq ratio). Make sure that they put in Hardened valve seats in the heads. This is what you need for unleaded fuel. Then you can dress it as you see fit.
Perfect, once i get my recipe for my motor ill post it up and see if there are any issues. Ive still got a lot of prep to do before I get to the tear down. But before i order anything im going to get the "go for it" from here, since im rather new at these big blocks. Oh man i hope its in as good of condition as you say, that would make my year! As for headers, again some cheap ones on ebay, LMC sells HEAMANS. Like you said i have heard also other places that these manifold are terrible. So that will probably be one of my few mods... hmm maybe with 3" straight pipes
I told you there were some good guys here. I did not say Ford labeled 360 engines as 390s. Those breathers or lables can be picked up at car shows. In 40 years it's no telling what has been put in or taken out of that truck.
That gas tank filler for instance is an add on by someone, didn't leave the factory with it.
I have tired that ol dowel thing, but found a piece of white house wire about 6-8" long doesn't drag as much when turning the engine over.
Just make sure you have a good machine shop and have hardened valve seats installed if the heads don't already have them. For 200 bucks extra my machine shop assembled the lower end on my 428 cj and thusly gave me a warranty on it. For 200 that was well worth it.
If it is a strong engine I would do a compression check. Since you say it doesn't burn oil don't rebuild unless it needs it. Fix the leaks and drive it. Save your money and when it does need rebuilding you should have enough to do it right. If it turns out to be a 360 it would probably be a good idea to change it to a 390 when you do rebuild it.
The 360 will have a 3.50 inch stroke and the 390 will have a 3.78 inch stroke.
As for crate motors... do you want to buy a motor from someone who paid a guy minimum wage to put together an engine you want to depend on? I went through this decision process a few months ago. I did the engine myself with the guidance of a good rebuild shop. As for the 390/360 issue, well I did the dowel trick to find what I thought was a 360 when I cracked it open it was a 352 same stroke as a 360, but a smaller bore... my point being, the dowel trick is only so helpful, to really be sure pop off the heads. but if all you have is a few minor leaks.... just fix the leaks! Now if you have a few leaks, and low oil pressure too, you might need to rebuild! When I first got my truck I had a few leaks, so I fixed the leaks and put another 2 years of driving on it. When I finally pulled the engine apart, 2 months ago, I found 2 cylinders with cracked rings, and the rear cam bearing starting to fail.. but for all intense purposes, the engine was running pretty well, the cracked rings had been causing a compression loss, and blow by, and teh cam bearing was causing low oil pressure... so you never know for sure until you see for yourself... I now have a well built bored and sleeved 360 out of my 352, with top of the line parts throughout, producing 347 bhp at the shaft I was looking for 300 Bhp but I am quite happy with it as it is. I was going to buy a crate motor for about $3000, I ended up putting about that into my motor, in a two week period, and I have a very quick truck now... So be wise and take your time make educated decisions, DO a lot of research!