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newbird59
07-06-2012, 03:53 PM
Hey guys,

So I have been working A LOT on the interior of my 60' T-bird and now that I feel it's almost complete, I'd like to start thinking about the engine.

I bought a 60' t-bird from a guy out in the Sacramento (Ca) area and I'm not really sure the specs of the engine. Presumably it' s 352 like the guy said (which I don't doubt due to reading a lot on this forum) but from another year..I think he said later 60's. and I'm also not sure of the transmission. I would love to know what's in my t-bird.

I also have a 59' t-bird that i've given up on (similar story to another guy on this forum) due to rust. BUT the engine and everything on it is original to that specific car. The engine turns...but that's about it. it's been sitting for about 25 years.

Any thoughts on where to start? My goal is to have a slightly modified/upgraded t-bird that has above average HP.

Sorry for the long post!:o

David

KULTULZ
07-08-2012, 03:52 AM
If a "later 60's 352", the HP will be way down as the 352 went to base engine status with the intro of the 390 (1961).

I would concentrate on the '59 352 for power rebuild.

simplyconnected
07-08-2012, 05:21 PM
...My goal is to have a slightly modified/upgraded t-bird that has above average HP...Is money a big factor? If you start pricing parts/availability, you will find that 390 engine parts are a lot more available at much better prices. Looking at the engine, it's nearly identical to your 352. Perhaps the only telltale giveaway are more recent casting numbers.

I would find a good used 390 from a car or pickup truck and do a major overhaul on it. Pistons are cheaper, true roller timing chains are available and inexpensive, you can use aluminum Edelbrock heads (you can't on a 352), etc. I'm in the middle of this exact retrofit but I'm also using a roller cam and roller lifters. I'm building it for Bill Knighton in Australia. The reason for aluminum is because he lives in the Northwest Territory which is mostly desert and aluminum transfers heat four times faster than cast iron. Another reason for modern heads is, they're built for unleaded gas, using stainless valves, viton seals (oem (umbrella) seals are the worst), bronze guides and new springs.

I'm also building for tons of low-end torque since Squarebirds are better suited for cruising and luxury (rather than street racing). No more ZDDP issues, unleaded gas issues, or heat issues for this engine. It will run happily on modern oil and regular gas with LOTS more torque and ponies, than the 352 it is replacing. It's also much lighter with the aluminum heads and intake manifold. - Dave

gaffney1951
07-08-2012, 05:55 PM
I just dropped two blocks off to my machinist in Denver and while roller cams do have fewer issues than flat tappet cams he is suggesting that you still run a zzdp additive in any performance oriented engine build. And here I thought I was off the hook.:rolleyes: Mike

simplyconnected
07-08-2012, 11:47 PM
Mike, during all this heat and fire storms, I've been concerned about you and your place. I hope you're out of harms way.

ZDDP, I wonder why, Mike.? As far as I know the only area that really needs zinc and phosphorous is the cam lobes & lifter faces. Did your man say where else? I'm sure you're running a roller chain so that can't be a critical area. All the other bearing surfaces use soft & hard materials combination, or they are bathed in oil. - Dave

newbird59
07-09-2012, 01:20 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys!

Money is not an issue...well within reason. My 352 is running and in great shape so I'd hate to ditch it for something really similar. I get the point about the 390. That may be the direction I want to go! I'm all game about the alum heads and manifolds..although I guess I was wrong that I could do it with my 352.

The other question would be torque and tuning. I wouldn't want to race it but I'd like to have something with a little more power while being updated with heads and manifolds and other parts. I'm pretty new at this so sorry about all the questions!

Thanks!

-D :cool:

simplyconnected
07-09-2012, 05:28 AM
Torque comes from your cam. Get one with 260-270* total duration at .5" lift. Then advance your cam ~4* for low end stump-pulling torque. If you go with aluminum, you can advance your spark timing, 36* total advance @ 2,500 rpm. Use name-brand parts and a good 'true roller' timing chain. Keep your compression ratio around 9:1 and you should be good to go. - Dave

KULTULZ
07-09-2012, 08:58 AM
Interesting Discussion-

Today’s oils are not designed to be run in older engines. The oil companies have worked hard for years to keep oils backward-compatible, but it has finally hit a wall. For the most part, the situation is no different than when lead was removed from gasoline. In older vehicles that were designed run on leaded regular gasoline you either need an additive, or make changes in the engines to adapt them to survive with unleaded fuel.Sourced- http://www.barsproducts.com/blog/the-straight-scoop-on-zddp-zinc-additives

KULTULZ
07-09-2012, 11:08 AM
Cost Consideration Cyl Head Rebuild-

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/ccrp_1005_rebuilding_street_cylinder_heads/viewall.html

There are also crankshaft kits and reman connecting rods available @ a fair price. The early 352 blocks can usually accept a heavy overbore (sonic check first) and a set of pistons and cam kit can make for a very cheap and power overhaul.

My biggest concern would be the cast log exhaust manifolds. They are very constrictive.

simplyconnected
07-09-2012, 02:51 PM
"...In older vehicles that were designed run on leaded regular gasoline you either need an additive, or make changes in the engines to adapt them to survive with unleaded fuel."
Sourced- http://www.barsproducts.com/blog/the-straight-scoop-on-zddp-zinc-additivesI totally agree. This is all about upgrading an old engine into a powerplant using modern methods and components. Back in the Squarebirds day, Ford didn't have aluminum heads, roller timing chains, roller cams, etc. FE's are good production engines that Ford produced as cheaply as possible and they were engineered to operate with gasoline and oil standards readily available that time. All of that has changed due to many reformulations over fifty years.

I read the Car Craft article, but I was looking for the rest of it. The article left out a whole lot. Generally, they took a Chrysler 318 set of c.i. heads, did a valve job, and decked the mating surfaces for a cost of over $300. They did not insert hardened seats or stainless valves. Heads need the valve stem towers machined to accept viton seals.

Heads area major part of any engine and machining costs are very high. NEVER go cheap on heads, but investing a lot of machining cost in oem heads just doesn't make sense if new aluminum heads are available for $1,500/pr. Resale on cast iron heads is only ~$200. Resale on aluminum heads is about $800 or more. Considering the many functional advantages aluminum offers, I will never go back to cast iron when aluminum is available at a reasonable cost.

I always ask myself, 'what do modern engines use?' They last 200,000 miles on unleaded gas and conventional dino oil. - Dave

gaffney1951
07-11-2012, 12:31 AM
Mike, during all this heat and fire storms, I've been concerned about you and your place. I hope you're out of harms way.

ZDDP, I wonder why, Mike.? As far as I know the only area that really needs zinc and phosphorous is the cam lobes & lifter faces. Did your man say where else? I'm sure you're running a roller chain so that can't be a critical area. All the other bearing surfaces use soft & hard materials combination, or they are bathed in oil. - Dave

So far so good as far as the fires are concerned. We have had a lot of smoke and a few small fires near by, but nothing like the eastern slope. It is very dry here and there is a total fire ban in our county. I have to go back to Denver to drop off a couple of flywheels I forgot to take with me so I will quiz Rob on the zddp issue when I see him and let you know. I know he mentioned some sort of failure but my CRS disease seems to have misfiled the pertinent info. :) Mike

simplyconnected
07-11-2012, 01:52 PM
...but my CRS disease seems to have misfiled the pertinent info. :) MikeMy wife says she suffers from MY CRS disease. I'm still in total denial.

newbird59
07-31-2012, 01:01 PM
Ok. I found a 390 that I'm interested in that is local. The one question that I have is about checking to see if it IS in fact a 390 that is being sold to me. I know many have asked this question but I was wondering what a good way to check for this? The engine is out of the car and I can inspect everything later on today or tomorrow. What tools will I need?


Thanks guys!

David:cool:

simplyconnected
07-31-2012, 01:30 PM
Dave, this is easy. The difference between a 352 and 390 is 1/4" more stroke. The 352 stroke is 3-1/2". The 390 stroke is 3-3/4".

Remember, Ford numbers their cylinders starting on the RH (passenger's) side starting front-to-back (1,2,3,4) Put the crank damper on TDC. Pull #1 & #4 plugs out and mark the depths with a welding rod down the plug holes. I use a Sharpie marker at the valve cover flange. When #1 is up (TDC), #4 is down (BDC).

Accuracy isn't critical. If the distance between your marks is 3.5", you have a 352. If the distance is 3.75" between your marks, that proves the crank has a 390/427 stroke.

As a side note: If you can't read the timing marks, simply put the welding rod in #1 spark plug hole and rotate the crank slowly. When it comes all the way up, stop. - Dave Dare

newbird59
07-31-2012, 09:39 PM
Dave,

Thanks for the info!! The person that was going to sell the engine to me isn't getting back to me so I'm not sure if the sale is going to happen:(. I guess the search continues!

I have a few question while i'm at it though. When you say "put the crank damper on TDC" and "BCD", what does that mean? And how do I do that? by hand?

also, how do I mark it at the valve cover flange and where is that?

Thank you again,

David:cool:

simplyconnected
07-31-2012, 11:05 PM
Dave, the timing marks are at TDC (Top Dead Center) when the pointer is at '0' on the crank pulley. Refer to your Shop Manual under Tuneup Procedure.
BDC=Bottom Dead Center.

Yes, you can put a socket on the crankshaft bolt with a long breaker bar and turn the engine by hand.

My preference is to use a welding rod for measuring because it's thin, clean, easy to mark, and I have dozens of them. You can use a dowel or anything that will fit down a spark plug hole. When you put a 'stick' down the hole, use something as a reference and mark the 'stick'. I use the valve cover flange (the surface where bolts go through the valve cover) because it's convenient and it runs along the side of the head.

You can mark at the spark plug hole if you prefer. It's just a comparison.

gaffney1951
08-01-2012, 02:05 AM
Pull all the plugs first, much easier to turn. Mike

newbird59
08-01-2012, 09:12 PM
Thanks Mike. I'll do that.

Dave,

Thank you for the info, you're a huge help. I will do that when I look at another engine! for now, I think i'll practice on the 352 in my bird.


-David:cool:

simplyconnected
08-02-2012, 12:36 AM
Dave, we are here to help. The 352 is a great engine to learn. It is still a true FE just like the 390 and 427. I hope you learn it inside and out. - Dave

newbird59
09-06-2012, 05:45 PM
Ok...I may have found a good 390 to rebuild. The guy is charging 550.00 and 650.00 with delivery and an engine stand. What do you guys think? How do I know if it's a good rebuildable engine? :confused:

Here are some photos of what he is including in the deal

*Aluminum intake manifold (when I looked at it, it looks like a Ford intake. It has "FOMOCO" on it)
*Full engine gasket kit
*Ford chrome bolts for the full engine.
*New cam and lifters. They are Elgin brand and I don't think the lifters and can are very good quality but it's included. Any thoughts?
*Exhaust manifolds. Now..these look cracked. It could be the paint of something on them but I do see cracks.
*Braided spark plug wires

I think there is more but I can't think of anything right now.

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/31B38AE2-C812-4431-ABB0-9701A980DF53-1378-0000015899F7B511.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/A1131B3C-C055-4802-8657-3757AA4C9053-1378-00000158C6F1A78E.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/0762F741-705A-4A53-9C48-139004DF56F1-1378-00000158CDB8B093.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/097C9397-A027-4891-8C24-7E587DAE9AD6-1378-00000158D230A500.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/10708D07-F2E6-4144-99E3-39F4A7BFA73A-1378-00000158D8ABC523.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/03CD6630-61D0-436B-B6E8-F5ED14A209FC-1378-00000158E352E2FC.jpg
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp49/davidortega33/9D9DD96B-C97E-4008-9E35-21F44DAEB4E0-1378-00000158DC731955.jpg

-David:cool:

jopizz
09-06-2012, 08:41 PM
I don't believe you can use those exhaust manifolds on your 59 anyway. The C3SE manifolds are different from the 58-60 manifolds. Has the block already been redone? Are the heads included? The manifold is worth a few bucks so that's a plus. If the block has already been done and you can just put it together then it sounds like a decent deal. If the block has to be done and you need oversize pistons, rings, etc. then it's probably going to cost the same to do your 352 so I don't see the advantage of putting out the extra $650.

John

gaffney1951
09-06-2012, 11:35 PM
My first question would be is it standard bore. If yes, then not a bad price. Nice intake, the Carter carb is a little odd, but they function well, bunch of nice accessory components, and the flat top pistons are a plus. If its +.030 or more and requires anything more than a ball hone cleanup I would pass. Mike

simplyconnected
09-07-2012, 01:03 AM
I think you're doing the right thing by presenting questions about your first engine build. This 390 has more than $600 in chrome, but be careful you don't build a pig in a poke. Building a 390 should be cheaper and easier than a 352, but this is an 'unknown' engine. What year is it?

My first concern is the castings. There is only one way to know if a block (or heads) are good. The block needs to be measured, completely torn down, cleaned, and magnafluxed. An engine machine shop can sonic test the cylinders to see if enough wall is left for boring.

Yes, it needs to be bored to the size of new pistons. I am looking at cylinders that are very smooth. That guarantees it is old, tired, and it burns oil.

A new cam is nice and they all cost about the same, but what grind is it? You need a cam to match the type of service you want your engine to produce. The same goes for new pistions; the compression ratio they are determines what octane you must burn.

No matter what engine you build, many choices must be addressed and your choices must suit your needs. Most all the components depend on each other as a total system. That's why a major overhaul will last far longer than patchwork. Today's components are FAR better than the offerings from the fifty's.

I always go back to the same questions when making choices; what do modern engines use? How do modern engines get 250,000 miles, when 'period' engines got 100,000 between rebuilds? These questions should affect your component choices. Otherwise, you will build an engine worthy of 1959 leaded gas and unobtainable oil full of zinc and phosphorus.

Finally, machine shop costs may seem high, but they will save you from building an engine that is cracked. The cost of materials are the same whether you do a good or faulty job. PLEASE ask as many questions as you need. - Dave

newbird59
09-12-2012, 10:05 PM
I think you're doing the right thing by presenting questions about your first engine build. This 390 has more than $600 in chrome, but be careful you don't build a pig in a poke. Building a 390 should be cheaper and easier than a 352, but this is an 'unknown' engine. What year is it?

My first concern is the castings. There is only one way to know if a block (or heads) are good. The block needs to be measured, completely torn down, cleaned, and magnafluxed. An engine machine shop can sonic test the cylinders to see if enough wall is left for boring.

Yes, it needs to be bored to the size of new pistons. I am looking at cylinders that are very smooth. That guarantees it is old, tired, and it burns oil.

A new cam is nice and they all cost about the same, but what grind is it? You need a cam to match the type of service you want your engine to produce. The same goes for new pistions; the compression ratio they are determines what octane you must burn.

No matter what engine you build, many choices must be addressed and your choices must suit your needs. Most all the components depend on each other as a total system. That's why a major overhaul will last far longer than patchwork. Today's components are FAR better than the offerings from the fifty's.

I always go back to the same questions when making choices; what do modern engines use? How do modern engines get 250,000 miles, when 'period' engines got 100,000 between rebuilds? These questions should affect your component choices. Otherwise, you will build an engine worthy of 1959 leaded gas and unobtainable oil full of zinc and phosphorus.

Finally, machine shop costs may seem high, but they will save you from building an engine that is cracked. The cost of materials are the same whether you do a good or faulty job. PLEASE ask as many questions as you need. - Dave

Thank you Dave for the information! I went ahead and struck a deal with the guy for the engine. The block is C6ME-A and is from a 66 thunderbird. If i'm not mistaken, I think that block code was for both 66 and 67.

The goal here for this purchase was to get a decent deal on a rebuildable engine. I'm going to replace almost everything that is on there already (although I might keep the chromed parts) so I'm not too worried on how it looks now. I have been keeping up on your 390 build and I actually have learned a lot from looking at the progress! Thank you for posting the photos as you go! I know that there are TONS of different intakes, heads, cams, lifters etc. but I need to start looking into what I want. The more and more that I look into the engine part of my bird, the more I want to beef it up. I don't want to race the thing but I do want something that will have the power. I guess you can say I want to have more than I need in the engine. I'm going to do my homework and get every last detail planned so that I can start on it in a few months as a winter project.

The cam is as follows...

Cam Lift Int. .280/Exh. .280
Valve Lift Int. .485/Exh. .485
Lobe ctrs. Int. 103/Exh. 119
Lash Hot Int. HYD/ Exh. HYD
Sae Dur. Int. 284/Exh. 284
.050 Dur Int. 208/Exh. 208
Sae Timing BTC 37 ABC 67 BBC 79 ATC 25
.050 Timing BTC 1 ABC 27 BBC 43 ATC -15

I'm not at all familiar with any of this lingo so...I'm lost. haha :D

P.s. Can I use the aluminum intake that I got with the motor? could I use the heads that are on my 352? How interchangable are the parts? The heads that I have on my 352 are coded C4AE-6090G and they both match.


David:cool:

simplyconnected
09-12-2012, 11:37 PM
I hate putting good money after bad. So let's start at the beginning of every major overhaul. Before you start, is it your intention to save as much as you can? If so, you can tear down your block and bring it to a good engine machine shop.

FE engines are very different and don't build like GM engines. You need the help from EXPERIENCED Ford engine builders.

The block needs to be stripped to bare, then magnafluxed. If the casting is not good there is no sense in building it. This single operation will save you lots of money and aggravation.

Next, the bores must be measured and pistons purchased. Piston-to-cylinder clearance is around one half thousandth inch. Pistons aren't always available in all sizes so the buyer will find the closest size then the engine machine shop will bore to that piston.

Normally, the machine shop will have a set price for the above service. They will work with you if there are choices. I like hypereutectic alloy pistons because they transfer heat well and they aren't as expensive as forged pistons. Mustang 5.0 engines have used hypereutectic alloy pistons for over ten years. I also like moly rings. These components are part of the reason why modern engines last 250,000 miles.

Start by labeling baggies and putting the appropriate bolts in them as you go along. Take LOTS of pictures. - Dave