This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 08-01-2017, 01:49 AM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
Slow Typist
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,610
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road

All these opinions are healthy to examine and compare. If money is no object then certainly, an overhauled 430 would be a real treat. Just about anything can be made for a price, but hang on to your hat IF you can find someone to make proper parts.

Pistons top the list of rare parts and we have lots of posts regarding that. Here's a post from 11-10-2010 about a 'marine 430'. He mentions Photobucket pictures that have been removed long ago:

Originally Posted by P Jardine View Post
There has been a lot of discussion on pistons on the MEL engine forum, I have been part of that discussion. Although a number of manufacturers did make stepped pistons for the MEL series engines, most of them stopped based on demand. The pistons available from Kanter, Egge, and a few others are flat tops. This reduces the effective compression ratio from roughly 10:1 to about 7:1 and destroys the swirl in the combustion chamber further reducing performance. The 430 in particular was a VERY high performance engine with a short, yet fabled history. Ford paid particular attention to combustion chamber design, and piston style was big part of it.

In my particular build, which is a marine one, I ordered WISECO forged aluminum pistons with a 9.6 to 1 compression ratio. $1400 dollars. It was a fairly big investment, but overall in the big scheme of things.... not so much. My engine has been renewed completely with a 3 angle valve job, seats, new guides, crank was turned, Wiseco pistons, An original Mercury marauder intake with the 3 holley 2300's, Edelbrock M4 water cooled exhaust manifolds, Moon valve covers, etc etc. While cosmetics are important, a fresh engine costs for things you don't see, but they are the heart of the car/boat etc. I am looking forward to having an engine with a long life ahead of it, and no surprises or downsides.

If you visit the MEL engine forum, you will see a LONNNG thread on piston design etc.

Here are my Wiseco's and a couple of other pics of front and rear cover and polished manifold. Hours, I tell ya Hours.

The 430 MEL also used a special oil pump with a vacuum pump integrated on the bottom of the casting. Curiously, it was made by Delco-Remy.

The 430 never used an exhaust heat riser valve to warm the engine but they did have two thermostats, mounted into the block. I haven't seen these thermostats in many years at any price.

Soooo much discussion regarding heads... While it's true that heads are the heart of any engine, aluminum heads are far superior for transferring heat and shedding weight. I've never seen even a picture of an aluminum head for a 430.

Squarebirds came with two engine choices, the FE and MEL. Since FE engine sizes can not be readily identified from the outside, a 390 looks the same as a 352. Edelbrock offers aluminum heads and intake manifold for the 390 at a reasonable price. Edelbrock heads include bronze guides, Viton seals, Stainless valves, hardened seats, new springs and tapped holes with Helicoil inserts. They bolt-on right out the box.

I'm coming from a practical standpoint, in moderation. The 390 FE w/aluminum heads will solve heat problems whereas the finest cast iron heads lag far behind with a heat transfer factor of FOUR. Want high compression? Edelbrock added 5/8" of aluminum to the bottom of their heads so they can be shaved clear down to the valve seats (or not, your choice).

By contrast, the 430's combustion chamber is IN THE BLOCK. Sorry for yelling but nothing can be done about that. Any metal removed to clean up the heads or block will only make combustion chamber swirl and compression ratio matters worse.

The FE can easily produce more HP and torque than the MEL because of modern aftermarket choices, at reasonable cost. To top it off, savings in weight is well over 100 lbs. Swapping an FE in your SB for that MEL still keeps it 'Ford' and is a believable move, in keeping with the traditions of 'stock' parts. - 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
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:45 AM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by