Ford 390 FE Engine Overhaul


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First order of the day is to identify this job at the machine shop. This is also the invoice number.

This block has been baked to 600*F, Magnafluxed, shot blasted, bored, honed, and the mains were align bored. New pistons were purchased and the cylinder walls were exactly sized to them.

There are no cam bearings installed yet.  Notice two plugs are still in place in oil galleries.  One is on the face at about 2:00 O'clock from the cam hole, and the other is 'hidden' inside the distributor hole.  Look directly down from the first plug nearly two inches.  This plug is commonly left unplugged and forgotten, then nobody can figure out why there is no oil pressure.  This is a prime example of why Chevy engine builders fail when attempting FE engines.  Believe me, FE's are different. These plugs and the cam plug will be removed and the holes will be wire-brushed and blown out with compressed air.


These are the Hypereutectic alloy pistons we are using.






The bearing saddles show signs of align boring (which is really honing).  The oil modifications have not been done yet.  For that, we center the oil holes on each bearing saddle, and open the oil pump hole to 7/16".

These main bearing caps are done.  Notice that more metal was removed at the center of some caps and very little by the bolts.

It's hard to see, but I stamped each cap on the LH side.  The top is #3, then #5, 4, 2, and 1.

The block cleaned up very nicely.  DIF stands for Dearborn Iron Foundry.  I worked there when this block was cast.  It was one of the last made in that plant.  DIF was leveled and Michigan Casting Center in Flatrock, MI took over operations.  This is truly a historical piece to have because Henry Ford I spent much of his time in the DIF.  His personal shop was the very next building.

This is a rear view of the block.  Notice the hole we are looking at straight-on... watch what happens in the next picture with backlight.

The camera doesn't know where to focus but it shows this oil hole goes straight through the block.
Its function is to feed the LH hydraulic lifters.  All these oil ports are cleaned throughout.

This is the Decking process.  We are doing a 'skin pass' to get rid of water erosion pits and to square the block.

The jack holds the block level while the machine decks the block square to the crankshaft saddles.


Now the dowel pins are inserted for Head location.


All threads are chased.







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