View Full Version : Aluminum intake manifold

07-28-2015, 04:01 PM
It appears my heads will be getting pulled in the near future on my 1958 352 Tbird. I am thinking about going to an aluminum intake manifold. I checked on Summit's website and they do not seem to have any for a 352. Does anyone make an aluminum intake for a 352? I really don't want to go the route of a 390.

07-28-2015, 04:35 PM
The intake should be the same whether it's a 352 or 390. I'm not sure why they don't list it for a 352. Most likely just a mistake.


07-28-2015, 04:39 PM
If you go to Jegs they have it listed as fitting a 352. All FE engines use the same intake.


07-28-2015, 05:08 PM
Thank you. I noticed a lot for 390s but they did not list 352s.

07-28-2015, 06:20 PM
John/Dennis - saw this thread and hope you don't mind me jumping in with some additional questions...:o

"will not accept stock Motorcraft spread-bore carburetor"

Does that mean you can NOT use the good old Ford 4100? Kind of weird since they say "for ....V8s with OEM 4V carb" Looks like it's set up for a square bore carb?

"Manifold not equipped with EGR"

Guess you'll need to buy a new carb with a vac port for EGR? or maybe an adapter plate with the vac port because there is no provision for the old road draft tube. I do see what looks like one vac port on one of the rear rails but that would be needed for the Power Brakes and Wipers?

Maybe there is a better intake choice?


07-29-2015, 09:03 AM
Great questions. I am going to check with my mechanic who has worked on many engines like this. One exhaust manifold stud was broke and the local mechanic broke a second one trying to fix an exhaust leak. he stopped before he broke them all off. The engine runs fine but I have no history on it. I am hesitant about taking it apart and rebuilding if not necessary. I will take compression readings today and see what they look like. $3,00 to $6,000 for a rebuild. I can but a remanufactured 390 for under $3,000. I hate to spend that kind of money just due to exhaust studs being broken off. It has been suggested to just pull the engine instead of pulling the heads to remove the studs and fix the leak.

07-29-2015, 06:51 PM
You probably don't want to hear it but I agree with pulling the engine. It made it much much easier once the engine was out. The drivers side manifold is really hard to get to. I'm sure it can be done in the car but wonder if it will take about the same time as pulling it.

I lucked out and found a cheap already rebuilt 390 when I replaced mine. Had to go through the PCV/EGR change because the new engine did not have a road draft port in the intake and I didn't want to take it apart and change them - plus I wanted to eliminate the road draft tube anyway.

I was able to use my old carb though because the new engine had a standard cast iron intake.

I would have the manifolds shaved or surfaced and re-install WITHOUT gaskets (as original). I put gaskets on mine and wound up having to take the engine back out to fix it (that's why I agree with pulling the engine). Been about a year now and 5-6K miles with no trouble.

Here's my old post.....



07-29-2015, 07:12 PM
If you are going to replace the intake manifold then it's easier to remove the intake and then remove the heads with the manifolds attached by removing the exhaust bolts. Then reverse the procedure by installing the heads with the manifolds attached. I've found that much easier than trying to install the manifolds with the heads already installed.


07-29-2015, 09:48 PM
4100 carbs use a 4" square intake manifold, not a spread-bore.

There many different engine builds and different kinds of builders. I've seen very poorly built engines that tell volumes about the builder, his choice of materials and the methods he used. Good engines speak for themselves as they are smooth, the do not leak, they do not overheat, they deliver great performance and they last 250,000 miles.

There are cheap engine build kits that allow the builder to bring the engine back to 'original' condition. The problem with that is, 1960 engines were designed and built with the best components of the time and built to use standard 1960 fuel and oils.,

I would expect after fifty years, new components made with better alloys and materials should be the 'new' standard, and they are. Oil has been reformulated dozens of times and fuel is nothing like it was, absent lead but added alcohol. There are many more advances and that is why new engines deliver 30+MPG. I could go on...

Does it make sense, considering the amount of work is identical, that old and outdated cheap parts be used? In this case you really do get what you pay for. Standard valve seats erode and cause receded valves, flat tappet hydraulic cams require ZDDP or they will self destruct and gasohol burns hotter in cast iron heads which promotes overheating.

Automakers have been through the engineering and history of many millions of trucks and cars that I pay close attention to. Modern engines use hypereutectic alloy pistons, moly rings, roller cams and high-end engines use a lot of aluminum castings. They also use Electronic Fuel Injection, that controls the input of fuel at 14.7:1 air to fuel ratio while monitoring exhaust feedback. By contrast, carburetors run blindly and are set to run rich.

Before assembly begins, all machining must be done correctly. Mating surfaces must be flat and true including exhaust manifolds. If the studs break, so be it. Broken bolts can be re-drilled and tapped. If having broken bolts is a problem, you need to look for a quality machine shop. Make sure the manifolds match the flat surfaces on the heads. BTW, aluminum heads normally use stainless helicoils so the threads rarely ever seize.

I prefer working engines on a stand because I can rotate to any position I need. Then, I run the engine on a test stand. If any problem arises my engine stand is right there, if needed. I run a few gallons of gas through the engine before stuffing it in a car.

When the engine goes in, everything is connected including 'Final Dress' components; exactly as the factory does it.

If you are going to replace the intake manifold then it's easier to remove the intake and then remove the heads with the manifolds attached by removing the exhaust bolts...I agree with this as 'plan B' if the engine will not be removed. With the engine and heads in place there is not enough room to bolt exhaust manifolds. - Dave

07-30-2015, 10:08 AM
Here is our plan. I contacted a Squarebird member in our area who has numerous 64 390s. I can have my pick to rebuild. Talked to the builder that did my Mustang engine. (he specializes in 50s Ford and has a 57 tbird). We will rebuild the 390, add an aluminum intake manifold, but will keep the carb, no fuel injection. Just don't have the funds to do it all at once. Add an alternator while we are at it.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

07-30-2015, 10:43 AM
I know you said that you are on a limited budget but since you are going to a 390 I would weigh the cost of buying aluminum heads against the cost of rebuilding the cast iron ones.


07-30-2015, 11:34 AM
I will look into that. I assume Jegs or Summit or cj pony. Any other suggestions?

07-30-2015, 11:48 AM
I would say Summit or Jegs would be the cheapest but there may be others I'm not aware of.


07-30-2015, 07:39 PM
...since you are going to a 390 I would weigh the cost of buying aluminum heads against the cost of rebuilding the cast iron ones...I agree with John.

Even if you need to wait until you get the money, aluminum heads are a 'must have' for any 390 build for a host of reasons.

Heads are the heart of every engine and one you do not want to cut corners on. Used heads will need all mating surfaces decked, exhaust valve seats milled and inserts installed, valve guides need to be serviced, new stainless valves installed, a valve job to mate the new seats with the new valves (useless) umbrella seals that might fetch ~$300 per set in the aftermarket arena.

Edelbrock performer rpm aluminum heads are lighter but they transfer heat four times faster than iron. They come with all new bronze guides, hardened seats, stainless valves, springs and the threaded holes have helicoil inserts. Used Edelbrock aluminum heads fetch over a grand per set.

To me, this is a no-brainer. Remember to calculate your new pistons in conjunction with the head's 60cc combustion chamber when you choose your desired compression ratio. - Dave

08-04-2015, 08:59 AM
I have been searching the web for aluminum heads for the 390. This is an assumption on my part but I assume I need to use my exhaust manifolds. If so I have only found 2 heads with the bolt pattern that matches. One is the Edelbrock 60079 at $814.99 each and one is by Bearblock at $2,450 a pair. Are there other options? I am not against the #1,600 for a pair from Edelbrock. But there are numerous heads available for the "Mustang" type exhaust bolt configuration.

08-04-2015, 01:59 PM
You have done well to find assembled Edelbrock FE heads for $814.99. FE engines have been out of production for many decades but SBF engines are still fairly recent. Supply and demand still rules as more cars on the road are churning SBF engines than FEs. - Dave