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390 engine in 1960 squarebird

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  • 390 engine in 1960 squarebird

    Hiya,

    A hopefully soon to be squarebird owner from Southampton in the UK. I am a complete noob to these cars, my current one is a 1937 ford 7W Ten.

    I've got the option on a 1960 squarebird, but it has a 390 engine in it.

    I'm not a mechanic, so I'm hoping you guys can offer some advice please.

    Is this a good idea ... ie. if I buy it am i opening myself up to expensive / complicated problems in the future... by this I don't mean if theres an engine / trans general problem, but rather with it being a 390 in a squarebird and any complications from this.

    I am awaiting confirmation of the transmission.

    Thanks for any advice, thoughts.

    Dave

  • #2
    The 390 is basically a rebored 352 so it's pretty much identical to the naked eye. Most people would say the 390 is superior plus replacement and aftermarket parts are a lot more plentiful. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      I'm waiting to hear on the transmission. The vehicle plate says it should be a cruiseomatic with the type 3 3.10 (installed in 352 cid, Cruise-O-Matic). From other things I've read this means it shouldnt be a problem.

      I guess I need to look at insurance now, as its not an original car.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, as I'll be buying this from the U.S. I will be getting it inspected beforehand.

        I'm thinking of using Road Ready Certified... does anyone have any opinions of them.

        Anything else I need to think about with this engine in the 1960, or ask the seller, or ask them to check on the inspection ?

        Thanks again guys, your help is greatly appreciated.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would be more concerned with the condition of the body than mechanically. Squarebirds are very prone to rust and a lot of it is very expensive to fix if you have to pay someone to do it. I would make sure that whoever inspects it has a good knowledge of these cars as a lot of the damage can be hidden.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks again John ... I will do that

            Comment


            • #7
              Dave, I want to elaborate on what John said...
              The 390 looks identical to the 352 from the outside. I doubt that anyone would know the engine is not original unless they start removing spark plugs to measure crank stroke.

              Ford installed far more 390 engines in all their car and truck lines than they did 352s.

              If you look at parts in speed shops like Summit or jegs.com, you will find cheaper prices for 390 parts simply because there are far more 390s.

              Is the 390 a better engine? In one sense it is because Ford made a change to FE engines in 1962. Since then, aftermarket suppliers dropped the early FE engine parts, they became scarce and expensive as the demand just isn't there. Try pricing a camshaft for a 1960 352, then try for a 1963 390. Pistons are the same story. Edelbrock doesn't make heads for the 352 but they do for the 390/427. - 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

              Comment


              • #8
                390 engine in 1960 squarebird

                Hi Dave,

                When I posted my Welcome to you down in the New Members Welcoming Forum, I gave you a link to the Vehicle Check List that our members created to help those who were in the process of buying a Tbird (or any used car, for that matter). You might read that post I made and find the Check List at the bottom of the Technical Resource Library (TRL). Perhaps it will give you some questions to ask the owner about regarding this '60 Squarebird you are considering buying. As John and Dave (two very, very qualified people when it comes to these old Tbirds of ours) have said, you are ahead with the 390 engine for the reasons they stated. If someone even went so far to marry that 390 to a C6 tranny, you are even further ahead. The data plate also probably says that it has a 352 in it, though it no longer does. So maybe that COM was replaced also. Let us know what you find out. A website that you might want to check, that will tell you a lot more about the '60 Squarebird is this.

                http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird...lections.shtml

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                "It's Hip To Be Square"
                Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                • #9
                  I have a 390 in my 58. Same kind of FE engine as the 252, but just a notch or two better torq.
                  sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                  http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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                  • #10
                    390 engine in 1960 squarebird

                    I think Anders meant 352 not 252...

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DaveSouthampton View Post
                      Also, as I'll be buying this from the U.S. I will be getting it inspected beforehand.

                      I'm thinking of using Road Ready Certified... does anyone have any opinions of them.

                      Anything else I need to think about with this engine in the 1960, or ask the seller, or ask them to check on the inspection ?

                      Thanks again guys, your help is greatly appreciated.
                      Road Ready did the evaluation of our 65 TBird for someone that was interested in it. The guy did a decent job. Took lots of photos, highlighted some issues with paint etc. He drove it around the hood. The report was 13 pages of photos, checklists etc.

                      One thing he missed on the car, he marked "Heater blows hot air".... The heater core was bypassed at the time because the core leaked.... So not sure how it was blowing hot air.

                      He also noted the "Engine is free of leaks", but it did have a very minor leak.

                      Other than that, the service seemed decent. But there was not compression check, looking under the car on a lift etc.

                      I would say it would probably pick up real big issues, but not minor stuff that may bother some people.

                      Oh, I forgot to mention, if you want to see what a report looks like, drop me a note and I can email you a copy of the one I snagged on the 65.

                      Cheers
                      RustyNCA
                      Last edited by RustyNCa; November 20th, 2013, 02:07 PM. Reason: Added another thought

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If it's the same one (blue) I've seen I'd be more worried about the repaint (it was originally Corinthian White) and what is underneath that paint. BTW, if it IS the same one the interior has also been changed and the little things like the washer tank and "hot rod" temperature gauge bother me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Dave, i would be interested to meet you and your Bird when it arrives, i dont live far from you,(Reading Berkshire) and have several 60 birds including a 390 and C6 equipped car, maybe Pm me a number for a chat.

                          I would not worry about modifications being an issue with insurers, American cars are such a niche market here in the UK,With only a handfull of specialists who will take on your business, i doubt very much if the 390ci motor will phase them, it is only the substitution of one big motor for another big motor, and as they are both from the same generic family it is more an upgrade than a modification, not forgetting of course, that the 60 T Bird could be fitted with a 430ci as a factory option.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            customs !

                            Dave , from what i've been told (customs in hawwai) the car needs to be Clean, with all gease and oil steamed or pressure washed off. extra parts are exspected . but clean and neat with no oil in the car no coolant
                            or battery. went throu this with a few vettes/

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