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1967 - 1972 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Bumpsides Ford Truck

390 FE 350-400hp

 
  #1  
Old 04-12-2017, 05:04 PM
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390 FE 350-400hp

Hey Guys,
Looking to get around 350-400 hp out of my 390, read many forums on how to get around this range but i'm looking for a specific build/opinions you guys have and any other useful info before I tear into this project. My truck's got 64k original miles on it and she purrs like a kitten so I am not looking to do a full rebuild. Currently has stock 2 barrel carb/intake, and set up with hooker longtube headers and dual exhuast(glass packs). It also has MSD blaster2, new wires, plugs.... basic tune up and letting her breathe.

I currently have an edelbrock 390 street-master(yes I know it's not the best, but hey, free is free) that i plan on port matching and a holley 650 sitting in my garage to go on it.

So the question is:
Do i need to do a full rebuild for this power range?
Will the street-master get me to this goal?
I'm thinking a bigger cam?

Any opinions would be great!
Thanks in advance, Nathan
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:12 AM
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Hello Nathan. Welcome to FTE and the Bump Kingdom. Second coolest truck series Ford ever made after the slicks. Just my opinion. I love my BUMP.

I would recommend a complete rebuild if you want that kind of horse power. That too is just my .02

I always learned that your build is only as good as it's weakest part(s).
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:09 AM
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I think HIO has suggested Alum heads before for that HP range. I would suggest a high volume oil pump and a larger oil pan along with elect fan to help cool thing down. Have you checked the "Read first" section at the top of the forum home page? Tons of HP tips there.
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:14 AM
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Hi Nathan, May I suggest that you go further down the Forum lineup to FE & FT Big Block V8 (332, 352, 360, 390, 406, 410, 427, 428) and post there. That forum is for engines and has a few more good wrench hands.



John
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:43 AM
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Definitely need a lot of head work and more cam. Probably won't need cooling modifications or high volume oil pump for an itty-bitty 400 hp though you may want to restrict oiling to the heads. I vote for complete rebuild considering the effort you'll be putting into the top end and you'll have the engine down to less than a short block anyway.

2X on moving to a forum specializing on FE engines. Google "fe forum". At the fe power forum and network54 forum you'll find many gurus and a few very helpful engine builders who specialize in the FE engines.
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:08 AM
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Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and a cam can get ya to that level. The Streetmaster is decent. I have one too.

Read this: Ford 390 FE - Hot Rod Network
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by HIO Silver View Post
Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and a cam can get ya to that level. The Streetmaster is decent. I have one too.

Read this: Ford 390 FE - Hot Rod Network
I should have mentioned the aftermarket head option. Depending on what the old iron heads need, new aluminum heads can be cost competitive and provide better flow out of the box. With the right combo, 400hp should be obtainable with 390 cubes and not have to rev much past 5500 rpms.
 
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by '65Ford View Post
I should have mentioned the aftermarket head option. Depending on what the old iron heads need, new aluminum heads can be cost competitive and provide better flow out of the box. With the right combo, 400hp should be obtainable with 390 cubes and not have to rev much past 5500 rpms.
Yeah, upgrading stock heads is penny-wise but pound foolish. For a few hundred dollars more, the RPM heads are worth it. Rocker stands may or may not be necessary depending on the cam lift.

One HP per cubic inch of displacement is "easy". But on the street torque is what counts so look to maximize it on the low end.
 
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:30 AM
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Yeah. What HIO says is right on target. Don't even worry about maximum Hp as you will *not* be running your truck at 6000RPMS. Go for low and mid range power. Good heads, a cam that makes power in the 1800 to 3500 RPM range, a good intake manifold and a 600CFM Holley.

Originally Posted by HIO Silver View Post
Yeah, upgrading stock heads is penny-wise but pound foolish. For a few hundred dollars more, the RPM heads are worth it. Rocker stands may or may not be necessary depending on the cam lift.

One HP per cubic inch of displacement is "easy". But on the street torque is what counts so look to maximize it on the low end.
 
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:46 PM
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Concur with all the above. I'll just add tuning that 650 DP is just as important as recurving your Dizzy. Both will help towards your high torque goal. Normally I'm a vacuum secondaries kinda guy but this time I'd try the 650 DP. Since it is a DP you'll have two sets of jets and two power valves to experiment with. The secondary jets are always a few steps richer than the primaries. Example is a list number 4777 which has #67 jets in the front and #73 in the back. Depending on your local altitude, cam, and rear gears I might jump 2 numbers front and rear to start the experimenting. Stock 390's like fuel let alone a built one. And who says both power valves have to be the same? Rule of thumb is the power valve(s) should be 1/2 the intake vacuum signal (the cam effects this) for the best power and torque curve. But this hurts fuel economy and it's not a Race Truck though. So lets say you fire this 390 up and break in the cam. After the 30 minutes of no less than 2000 RPM you bring it back down to idle. With a mechanics vacuum gauge hooked up to a intake manifold vacuum port, you set the timing and carb mixture screws to get a highest figure of 18 on that gauge. 1/2 of 18 is 9. Holley doesn't make power valves in even numbers. So a 8.5 is what I'd put in the rear secondaries side. On the front primary side I'd do the standard 6.5 since this isn't a race truck to save a little fuel economy. Then experiment from there. If it feels like it needs the primaries power circuit to kick in quicker then jump to a 7.5. Holley sells the power valves, F&R bowl gaskets, and the F&R metering plate gaskets separate. Their gaskets are "reusable". But I wouldn't reuse them too often. Gaskets are cheaper than a Bump burning to the ground.
 
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:18 AM
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350-400 hp is not that hard to get to but a complete rebuild is prob needed. Your truck 390 will have low compression pistons and you will need to up the compression to around 9.6-9.8:1. A good set of aluminum heads matched with the streetmaster is a good thing also. For a camshaft, your gonna need something in the 280comp range to hit 400hp. To get to 350hp you could go with a 270H sized cam and it will be more streetable and have better manners.
 
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:16 PM
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The factory original 6 barrel 390s made 401 hp. You may want to see how those were put together. I don't think they were super radical.
 
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:39 AM
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like others said 400hp out of a 390 is pretty easy to do .
just bump the C/R to 9-10:1
RV aftermarket cam
Aluminum intake
4brl 600 cfm or higher
headers
but it's best to do a complete rebuild , so your money spent lasts .
 
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MIKES 68 F100 View Post
like others said 400hp out of a 390 is pretty easy to do .
just bump the C/R to 9-10:1
RV aftermarket cam
Aluminum intake
4brl 600 cfm or higher
headers
but it's best to do a complete rebuild , so your money spent lasts .
Hey Mike, out of curiosity have you ever had yours on a Dyno with that lunati in it?
 
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:05 AM
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No real dyno for my set up , just the Desktop dyno 5 of 402hp /533Tq my Butt says it's pretty close to accurate as she will fry the 275/60s with limited slip anytime I want to.
 

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