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  • engine swap question

    Hello everyone.

    I will try to be brief.
    I have a 1959 Thunderbird with the original 4v FE 352.

    I have taken the engine apart and was going to rebuild.
    Currently looking like it will be about $2200 to do start to finish. Not building a monster mostly stock.

    I have found a 1965 f-100 truck with the 2V 352 running for $600.

    I know it has alot less horsepower but can i swap my intake manifold and carb on it as is? If so its a great price help.

    I still have to do some wiring and the brakes on the car but would like to have a running engine sooner than later.

    Also i dont know if the motor mounts are the same location.

    Any light yall could shed would be amazingly helpful.
    1959 Thunderbird 397ci
    Cruise-O-Matic
    Flamingo Pink.
    Thunderbird Registry #8442
    Daily driver

  • #2
    engine swap question

    I just talked briefly with Dave on the phone. He said that you would be better off finding a 390 engine from a mid 70's F-100 instead of the '65 F-100 352. 390 engines are a lot more common. The motor mounts will match up, he said, for that '65 F-100 352, but it would be a good idea to get Edelbrock aluminum heads, and manifolds and put on them a 390 and cut some weight. Hopefully, he or John will be along and elaborate more on this.
    Last edited by YellowRose; June 7th, 2017, 01:22 PM.

    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


    • #3
      You should not have any issues. Your two bolt motor mount should work just fine. Your stock 4V intake will also fit. You will have to reuse your old exhaust manifolds. Certainly a later 390 will be better, especially one that has hardened valve seats.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        I look at it this way... Ford used many more 390 engines in just about everything (including Thunderbirds) than they did 352 engines. From the outside, they are identical.

        Either engine from fifty or so years ago will need an overhaul. Suppliers offer many more parts for the 390 than the 352 and at cheaper prices because of supply and demand.

        I use Edelbrock aluminum heads for a host of reasons. They are not available for the 352 but they fit a 390 and above (427). This is a move in the right direction and one that will operate and last like a modern engine because Edelbrock uses all the right components for pump fuel and their heads bolt right on.

        You can rebuild a 352 but your choices are slim and prices are higher. Check out true roller timing sets and cam choices for both engines.

        I also use Edelbrock's aluminum intake manifold with their heads. Aluminum is MUCH lighter and it conducts heat much faster than cast iron. - 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

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds very close to what I did.

          Plan was to rebuild original 352. Found a '64 352 (or possibly a 360) for around the same price as the one you found and it was already rebuilt - heads and all. Mine had the 4V intake which made things easier plus I wanted to use the PCV stuff.

          Only problem I ran into was that the crank had a bushing inserted in the back for a manual transmission. Removed the bushing and it worked fine. I'd make sure that opening on the crank is the same.

          I did buy a set of used manifolds to install on my new engine because I wanted to keep the originals on my OE engine - car was bought new by my Dad so if I ever win the lottery I'll rebuild it and re-install. Do not use gaskets on the manifolds. I did and wound up pulling the engine again just to re-do the manifolds. Have them shaved or surfaced to clean them and re-install with no gaskets as original. Mine have been fine since I did that. Leaked with the gaskets.

          Moved my water pump, damper, motor mounts, genny bracket, fuel pump, etc. Which reminds me the pointer on the OE 352 for timing is on the front cover and was different on the new engine so had to figure out the timing marks.


          OEM



          OEM is out - but saved for later



          The rebuilt engine I ran across on Craigslist.



          Manual trans bushing in the rear of the crank.



          Found the bushing after I had the old engine out and ready to install the new one - thought I was screwed as usual but the bushing pulled right out. I did use my OE flywheel as well.




          Hard to see - trying to show the timing pointer differences. My OE damper wound up going bad a few months later and the replacement damper had the marks for both pointers so problem solved itself (with the help of a few $$$).



          Painted the engine and ready to go back in - ugh - those valve covers have to go.
          (couldn't use the OEM because they didn't have PCV and breather holes)



          Chrome works - added some stickers from the '55-57 312 Tbird because I thought they looked cool.....



          Good luck......
          Hope it works as easy for you.
          Eric

          Comment


          • #6
            Guys thank you so very much for all the info and quick replies.

            My idea is to be able to get a running engine installed so that i can move on to the other aspects of the car to get it road ready.

            My plan would be to over time rebuild the origional engine. but as money is a factor i would rather take my time with it and build it how i really want it.

            I have had a few conversations about just putting that money into the engine i have but i am of a one track mind and am determined to get it on the road.

            I am not building a race car by any means but i have much more time than money.

            The numbers i look at for rebuilding what i have are around:
            Heads: $800
            Block: $500 - 800
            Rebuild kit: $ 600
            Cam and tapping block: $500
            Adjustable push rods: $200 as opposed to adjustable rockers which i see for $500 to $700.

            And all that is around $2900 on a worst case scenario aside from something having a crack in it.

            Let me know if im crazy. I know I am hasty.
            1959 Thunderbird 397ci
            Cruise-O-Matic
            Flamingo Pink.
            Thunderbird Registry #8442
            Daily driver

            Comment


            • #7
              Adjustable push rods?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yadkin View Post
                Adjustable push rods?

                https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c...0-16/overview/

                this is the link
                1959 Thunderbird 397ci
                Cruise-O-Matic
                Flamingo Pink.
                Thunderbird Registry #8442
                Daily driver

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're not crazy but I think you're putting good money after bad. After spending all that money, what will you end up with?

                  Sometimes spending a bit more money will pay off in spades later on. For instance, $800 for heads? What does that include? Do you get hardened exhaust seats and stainless valves? How about bronze guides, Viton seals and new (correct-height) springs? Are all the mating surfaces milled true? After all that you still end up with cast iron. Here's the big question, how much are these newly machined heads worth if you need to sell them? I doubt you will fetch $300 for the pair. That's a $500 loss.

                  Used aluminum heads fetch a grand IF you can find them, because they are snatched up right away. That's about a $350 loss. But the benefits far outweigh any loss.

                  FE engines run hot. Aluminum trumps all that and it still allows (factory) high compression ratios without knock. Cast iron does not. 1970 engines were designed to run on leaded gas and oil with ZDDP (zinc and phosphorus). We have neither today.

                  Unless you run with solid lifters, there is no reason for an adjustable valve train. Pushrods should cost under $100 per set and your original rocker arms work perfectly fine if the shafts are not scored. With any rebuild, because of decking, lifter and gasket thickness differences, you will need to measure for correct pushrod length after the heads are mounted. (It's not hard, I use a FE roller cam with my OEM rockers and shafts.)


                  The solution, if you want your engine to last 250,000 miles, is to build using modern materials, like a modern engine, . I'm not talking about building a race engine. I'm talking about one that will perform well and last a very long time. You describe an engine that lasts 80,000 miles before the next build.

                  Yes, you can cut a lot of corners but is it worth it? Not to me. The simple reduction in cast iron weight (over 100-lbs) will pay for itself in fuel economy alone over the years. It will also allow easier starts and stops, easier cornering, less tire wear, etc.

                  Time is on your side so use it to your advantage. Buy name-brand parts when they are discounted. Build your engine right the first and only time. This will save you the most money over the longest run.

                  I hope this helps. - Dave
                  Last edited by simplyconnected; June 7th, 2017, 02:37 PM.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StealthSRT10 View Post
                    Never seen them before.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes the $800 was for all new guides and valves and seats.

                      I would not sell them if i did the work on the heads.

                      I bought an engine stand and lift yesterday to pull the engine.

                      Was starting on that process yesterday and wanted to ask yall if its just the 6 bolts that hold the trans to the engine.

                      Do i need to remove anything other than those 6 bolts and the motor mounts?

                      I am working out of a 2 car garage so i cant pull engine and trans at the same time because of not having room for the lift to turn.

                      As always yalls advice is greatly appreciated.

                      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                      You're not crazy but I think you're putting good money after bad. After spending all that money, what will you end up with?

                      Sometimes spending a bit more money will pay off in spades later on. For instance, $800 for heads? What does that include? Do you get hardened exhaust seats and stainless valves? How about bronze guides, Viton seals and new (correct-height) springs? Are all the mating surfaces milled true? After all that you still end up with cast iron. Here's the big question, how much are these newly machined heads worth if you need to sell them? I doubt you will fetch $300 for the pair. That's a $500 loss.

                      Used aluminum heads fetch a grand IF you can find them, because they are snatched up right away. That's about a $350 loss. But the benefits far outweigh any loss.

                      FE engines run hot. Aluminum trumps all that and it still allows (factory) high compression ratios without knock. Cast iron does not. 1970 engines were designed to run on leaded gas and oil with ZDDP (zinc and phosphorus). We have neither today.

                      Unless you run with solid lifters, there is no reason for an adjustable valve train. Pushrods should cost under $100 per set and your original rocker arms work perfectly fine if the shafts are not scored. With any rebuild, because of decking, lifter and gasket thickness differences, you will need to measure for correct pushrod length after the heads are mounted. (It's not hard, I use a FE roller cam with my OEM rockers and shafts.)


                      The solution, if you want your engine to last 250,000 miles, is to build using modern materials, like a modern engine, . I'm not talking about building a race engine. I'm talking about one that will perform well and last a very long time. You describe an engine that lasts 80,000 miles before the next build.

                      Yes, you can cut a lot of corners but is it worth it? Not to me. The simple reduction in cast iron weight (over 100-lbs) will pay for itself in fuel economy alone over the years. It will also allow easier starts and stops, easier cornering, less tire wear, etc.

                      Time is on your side so use it to your advantage. Buy name-brand parts when they are discounted. Build your engine right the first and only time. This will save you the most money over the longest run.

                      I hope this helps. - Dave
                      1959 Thunderbird 397ci
                      Cruise-O-Matic
                      Flamingo Pink.
                      Thunderbird Registry #8442
                      Daily driver

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would recommend that you unbolt the torque converter from the flywheel so it stays in the transmission. There are four nuts that hold it on. I also recommend that you put blocks under the front of the transmission so it doesn't drop. You also have to remove the bolt and bracket that holds the trans cooler lines to the block. After that remove the motor mount nuts on either side and the bell housing bolts. I think that's about it.

                        John
                        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thank you. I was missing that for sure. Better safe than sorry.

                          Originally posted by jopizz View Post
                          I would recommend that you unbolt the torque converter from the flywheel so it stays in the transmission. There are four nuts that hold it on. I also recommend that you put blocks under the front of the transmission so it doesn't drop. You also have to remove the bolt and bracket that holds the trans cooler lines to the block. After that remove the motor mount nuts on either side and the bell housing bolts. I think that's about it.

                          John
                          1959 Thunderbird 397ci
                          Cruise-O-Matic
                          Flamingo Pink.
                          Thunderbird Registry #8442
                          Daily driver

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Exhaust bolts are going to be fun.
                            I had to remove the fan and water pump to clear the radiator.
                            Found it easier with the PS pump off and strapped over to the side as well.
                            Wiggled the engine all day and never could break it loose from the transmission - finally had to pry it to get it started.



                            Believe one of the starter bolts goes all the way though to the bell housing and it also holds the tranny dipstick tube.

                            Starter must weigh 40 lbs - always fun taking it out.

                            Gas pedal and kick down linkages - fuel line.

                            Remove the inspection plate on the tranny to get to the flywheel bolts. I did as John described. Removed the 4 bolts from the torq converter and pulled the engine with the flywheel.

                            You can see one of the studs on the torq converter poking through the flywheel in this pic - bolt removed.



                            Eric

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If it is not too late, Hit one of the bolts from the flex plate with some spray paint so it goes together the same way it came apart. 180 off is not a problem but 90 off is a problem as the torque converter drain plugs hit the flex plate. Might as well just put it back the way it was and have no problems.

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