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Block Casting # Questions

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  • Block Casting # Questions

    So, today I got the 390 engine that came out of my car out of storage. Long story. Anyways, in the very early 70's my dad decided the 352 wasn't fast enough. (Well he was right) He had San Jose Ford install a hi-perf 390. In those years, you could only buy a hi-perf "crate eng" (as us GM guys call em) in short block form. He was told, it was the direct replacement for a 68 Mustang GT or a 69 Mach 1. The thing always ran like bat out of h___. So I'm sure it wasn't just some station wagon issue engine they put in there. Back in the day, it was really surprising how fast that car would go. It just wore out (200K mi) 30 yrs later.

    So, I'm tring to ID this thing. Where are the casting #'s? What am I looking for. I've ID'd Chevrolet blocks in the past, even Mopar's bet never a Ford.

    I'd appreciate any input. Were these engines steel crank, or cast?
    I know the heads are the orig TB issue 352 heads.
    The orig intake and exh/manifs are on my new eng in the car now (which also runs like a bar out of h___ btw)

    Am I looking for stamped #'s somewhere or cast in #'s??

    Thanks again
    John Byers
    1960 Convertible (Orig owner)

  • #2
    John, your engine is a hybrid (which is more common than most people think). All FE cylinder centers were exactly the same (4.63"), which is why all the different bolt-on parts fit other FE engines. They could also swap crankshafts for more or less stroke, making them different cubic inches in size.

    Here is your block casting location.

    The 390 had a bore of 4.05" (102.87 mm) and stroke of 3.785" (96.14 mm).

    You could swap a crankshaft from a 410 or 428 (both identical stroke of 3.98"), and that 390 just turned into a 410 cubic inch engine. (Now you know where 410's come from.) Of course, HP and torque is determined by heads, carbs, and cam combinations along with displacement.

    Ford FE engines were popular because of their numerous variety of combinations to suit the user's requirements.

    I hope your 390 gets a major overhaul. Use good moly rings and your engine will return at least another 250k miles. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan