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Questions about FE 390?

 
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:41 PM
joel79ford
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Questions about FE 390?

I was wondering whats the best year block where it outputted the best hp and torque?
I want to get a 69 f100, and want to drop one of these bad boys in...
Also, does a 4 speed fit these?
If so what diffrent kind of manual transmissions are there?
Or there all the same?

Thanks
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:33 AM
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For best HP and Torque output, from a stock engine, you'll need a to find a mid 60's car 390 with a factory 4 bbl carb. The best of the lot, would be a GT390 66-68, but good luck finding one.
Truck 390's were all low (8:1) compression, and had about 1/2 the HP of car 390, but they can be built with the higher CR used in car 390's, and a decent cam, to make the same or better HP/Torque as the older car engines did. Year of the block doesn't matter, it's what's inside that makes a difference.
As for a 4 speed trans, sure they will fit a 390. Plenty of cars and trucks were sold new with a 390/4 speed trans combo. Car 4 speeds had 4 useable gears, while truck 4 speeds had 3 plus a "creeper" gear for getting heavy loads moving.
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:47 AM
joel79ford
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Originally Posted by Rogue_Wulff View Post
For best HP and Torque output, from a stock engine, you'll need a to find a mid 60's car 390 with a factory 4 bbl carb. The best of the lot, would be a GT390 66-68, but good luck finding one.
Truck 390's were all low (8:1) compression, and had about 1/2 the HP of car 390, but they can be built with the higher CR used in car 390's, and a decent cam, to make the same or better HP/Torque as the older car engines did. Year of the block doesn't matter, it's what's inside that makes a difference.
As for a 4 speed trans, sure they will fit a 390. Plenty of cars and trucks were sold new with a 390/4 speed trans combo. Car 4 speeds had 4 useable gears, while truck 4 speeds had 3 plus a "creeper" gear for getting heavy loads moving.
Ok, so if i find a 390 from a mid 60's ford car, it should fit right in the truck right?
And yeah i have the granny gear in my 79...
Im not going to use the truck for pulling, so how hard would it be to install a car 4 speed?
Or can i modify a trucks 4 speed....i plan in doing tons of racing and burnouts in this truck....
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:26 AM
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I think what you are asking, how you start out doesn't matter much. A truck 360 block would be just as good to base with. You will need a 390 crank & rod set, find the intake that you want & build from there. Depending on budget, Edelbrock heads can work well.

I don't think you want the truck tranny for what you are talking about, finding one from a 60s car is gonna be a hill to climb. I'll bet there are better options.

Pickups are good burnout candidates because of the lighter weight in the rear bed area.




John
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jowilker View Post
I think what you are asking, how you start out doesn't matter much. A truck 360 block would be just as good to base with. You will need a 390 crank & rod set, find the intake that you want & build from there. Depending on budget, Edelbrock heads can work well.

I don't think you want the truck tranny for what you are talking about, finding one from a 60s car is gonna be a hill to climb. I'll bet there are better options.

Pickups are good burnout candidates because of the lighter weight in the rear bed area.
And when the crystalized axleshaft snaps, where will you find another?

Better know the exact application, cuz there are dozens.
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by NumberDummy View Post
And when the crystalized axleshaft snaps, where will you find another?

Better know the exact application, cuz there are dozens.
That's ok, because Currie and many others can build a brand new one, to custom specs, and capable of handling MUCH more abuse than stock units were intended to see.......
Axleshafts and/or complete axle assemblies. It all depends on the size of the wallet.....
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jowilker View Post
I think what you are asking, how you start out doesn't matter much. A truck 360 block would be just as good to base with. You will need a 390 crank & rod set, find the intake that you want & build from there. Depending on budget, Edelbrock heads can work well.

I don't think you want the truck tranny for what you are talking about, finding one from a 60s car is gonna be a hill to climb. I'll bet there are better options.

Pickups are good burnout candidates because of the lighter weight in the rear bed area.




John
So lets say i do find a truck with a 4v 390?
How much hp would she be pushing stock?
And i dont want to really tare down apart the engine for a build...i would however like to build upon it, maybe adding a msd dist,headers and dual exhaust? Maybe even an aftermarket intake and carb?
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by joel79ford View Post
So lets say i do find a truck with a 4v 390?
How much hp would she be pushing stock?
And i dont want to really tare down apart the engine for a build...i would however like to build upon it, maybe adding a msd dist,headers and dual exhaust? Maybe even an aftermarket intake and carb?
You can build up a top end with any 4V 390 you find but I would caution against it. Worst feeling is putting carb/intake/exhaust/cam on the engine only to find the bottom end needs fixing later. I recommend if you want to build a motor that you do it right from the bottom end up rather than building on an unknown commodity that you hope is OK and capable of handling the load. It will be cheaper in the long run.
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Raptor119 View Post
You can build up a top end with any 4V 390 you find but I would caution against it. Worst feeling is putting carb/intake/exhaust/cam on the engine only to find the bottom end needs fixing later. I recommend if you want to build a motor that you do it right from the bottom end up rather than building on an unknown commodity that you hope is OK and capable of handling the load. It will be cheaper in the long run.
Lets say i find one in good condition though?
Perhaps 50k miles or even less?
Or lets say i do build one completely...my budget would be around 1k...would that be enough?
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:16 PM
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All i want to get is around 300hp or more would be nice
And of course id like my torque to be around 350+
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:55 PM
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Most 390 PU engines were 2bbl. IIRC, maybe you can find a 4bbl in the Camper Specials????

Either way, the PU engines were built with low compression. You will be about 350-380 ft/lb of torque, but you are probably looking at 240 or so HP max.

Car 390s, almost zero of which you will find in good running condition by now unless rebuilt, had 9.5 to 10.5 compression, some had better cams, and they topped out at 335 Hp, or 401 if you find a '61-2 3x2bbl motor. Those are Gross HP numbers, so take 80% for the net. Like I said, you will not find those motors at the scrappy--they were used up long ago.

You can make any 360/390 block into a tire fryer, but a rebuild with the right parts is in order.

Also, if you want to drive the way you are describing, get an automatic. You will need your money for your traffic tickets and arrests, not for new driveshafts, axles and clutchs.
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Automatic transmission is the last thing that ill want in my truck...
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:16 PM
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At this point in time, finding an unmolested 390 from anything is slim and none. I found one ten years ago in a 68 Merc that had all of 58,000 miles on it, but while it ran great, it leaked oil like there was no tomorrow and needed to be "gone thru" if for nothing other than to replace all the gaskets. It also ended up having two broken pistons from being run on low octane fuel (it was a 10.5 to 1, 2 bbl motor) You can start with any 390 block, stick some flat topped pistons in it, cam it with a mild cam, top it with an RPM intake or a factory 428PI intake and replace the box manifolds with headers and have a solid 350-375 horse motor with 400+ ft lbs of torque.
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogue_Wulff View Post
For best HP and Torque output, from a stock engine, you'll need a to find a mid 60's car 390 with a factory 4 bbl carb. The best of the lot, would be a GT390 66-68, but good luck finding one.
Truck 390's were all low (8:1) compression, and had about 1/2 the HP of car 390, but they can be built with the higher CR used in car 390's, and a decent cam, to make the same or better HP/Torque as the older car engines did. Year of the block doesn't matter, it's what's inside that makes a difference.
As for a 4 speed trans, sure they will fit a 390. Plenty of cars and trucks were sold new with a 390/4 speed trans combo. Car 4 speeds had 4 useable gears, while truck 4 speeds had 3 plus a "creeper" gear for getting heavy loads moving.
Agree......also the GT 390 Ranchero's......Had one, been there!
 
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:23 PM
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Let's say I do all that you have listed, will I have to run on a higher octane grade?
 

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