So I'm saving money to build my performance 390. These truck 390's were icky on the compression (8.2:1) but I also want to go quicker. I'd like closer to 400 hp but my RPM is kind of limited to around 5500 - 6000 rpm. I was thinking about an Edelbrock RPM intake manifold, 600 CFM vacuum secondary Holley, higher compression (around 9.5:1ish), port matched heads, cleaned bowls on the heads, and headers. I don't know where to go with my cam at all, or how to achieve the power. I am a high schooler so alum heads and stroker kits are out of the question. My original plan was to go 410 stroker...but that pulled money out of other places. I have a C6 automatic and with what I think are 4.10 rear gears. I will be looking for a limited slip and 3.73's in the future as well. The C6 is going to get a shift kit and a torque converter to compliment the new engine. My real two questions are what are my options to get an iron headed 390 into the 350-400 hp range with usable torque (for stoplight bashing) and how do I get this power to the wheels?
Basic rebuild, 390 2v "Regular Fuel" pistons (same as many 360 truck pistons) for your 9.5 CR, manifold and carb as you suggest, headers, and semi-lumpy cam. There are several here that could make a good cam suggestion. Meanwhile, read some specs here:
i just build me a 390, but it came from a 68 car and has some friggin awesome heads.
other than that the performer manifold and headers are the best things you could do. i have a 76 f350 with a standard. i went with a summit brand version of the crane energizer cam. i love it. would work good with a c6 too.
get you a windage tray too. i became i huge fan of msd ignitions on my 360/390's, they really help that low end. also do an electric fan, if you have a solid fan it robs stupid power and makes lots of noise. good choice on a holley 600, put the heavy springs in the secondary diaphragm tho
The Holley is going to get a full rebuild on it (found it in the toolbox of the truck when I bought it), I haven't been impressed with the edelbrocks performance. Have you made any passes (1/4 mile) on your 390 yet?
Killgore, here's what I did with my 390 and may give you an idea for cams. I have a similar bottom end, comp. ratio and all. I used a Lunati Voodoo cam 268/276 @50 with a 110 degree lobe separation. Here's why: Still a hydraulic cam, Lunati is a far better FE cam and proves to make better numbers than comp. I wanted a thumpier idle so I chose the 110 lobe separation. I will lose a bit of vacuum at idle but with a 2400 rpm stall shouldn't be a huge deal. If you want a bit milder cam they make one on a 112 degree lobe separation. This is for a 73 f100, be sure to purchase the correct springs for the cam and I always degree it. Hope this helps, Jeff
Killgore, just gonna give you my two cents on your motor. I'm sure you will get a hundred more opinions on here, and no disrespect to anyone wanting to help. I have been building motors for several years along with a good buddy of mine that builds "WINNING" motors for very high profile race teams. If your trying to do this budget you need to drop down to a 112 lobe separation, this will provide all the vacuum you want without the addition of a stall converter. The Lunati cam makes more bhp and hp on the dyno than any other cam in it's arena. If your comp. ratio is around 9.5:1 you will be fine. With stock flat top pistons you are at 9.3:1 with the worst head so you will be fine. The cam I'm running is right on the line for making vacuum for power brakes and steering but performs fine for me. I can't say it will be good for you because I have no idea wht your looking for really. Waht I can say for sure is go with the Voodoo... you will not be disappointed. Not sure what your running for heads, manifold or carb but don't sell yourself short on this motor, she will eat more than you think.
I would like to start off thanking everybody for their help. This will be my first engine rebuild and my first experience with the FE. I will be doing the oil modifications due to the daily driven nature of the truck.
@Jfish This will be my daily driven truck, but I want enough bite to go with the bark (I have a wicked exhaust in mind). The whole goal is a stoplight basher honestly. Might see some 1/4 mile usage. The intake manifold I will be running is an Edelbrock RPM. I will hand port match and polish my heads I have currently (whatever a 73 390 has). I will not be pulling often but then again ... I have a truck ... it will have to pull stuff. I figure a good redline would be around 5500-6000. I have a C6 transmission I am going to put a shift kit into. I already have headers in my truck so I will just be reusing them.
@69CJ I don't have money to go searching for the exotic heads, nor do I want one that would feel "stock". And 10.5:1 would be difficult to run on the pump gas.