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Horsepower in 352 vs 390

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  • Horsepower in 352 vs 390

    I've been wondering for a while now how both of the 352 and 390 FE engines were rated at 300 horsepower. Is this actually the case or was the power output on the 352 overstated?

    Never assume conspiracy when mere incompetence will explain things.

  • #2
    Horsepower in 352 vs 390 ...

    IIRC the 352 was higher compression (10.2:1) and had a stouter solid lifter cam. The 300/390 probably produced more torque than the 352. I'm sure someone with more info will respond. Mike


    • #3
      I think what happened (conjecture only) is that the first 352 was a solid lifter engine with special heads that most likely did dyno @ or near 300HP. Early in the 1958 production year, FORD complied with the NO RACING BAN and the 352 was de-tuned (also went to a hydraulic valve-train).

      FORD kept the previous HP rating as cars were sold by expected performance back then.

      You can make good HP from a 352 but IMO one could just bore the 352 to a 390 (with crank kit) and have a very nice street engine. The block will still have the correct numbers for a dedicated restoration.

      Your mileage may vary...