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460 or 390 in a '59 Squarebird?

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Thanks Dave, That's good to know. I just thought not knowing what kind of cam is in this rebuild might make a difference with air flow when the valves open and close. This engine only has 13.000 miles on it. I was thinking you have to order the Edelbrock heads to match the cam role. I will get a better look at it when I take it apart. Enjoy your day Bob C13.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Edelbrock Performer RPM heads for a 390 bolt directly on like OEM heads. I don't understand why you would have an air flow issue since all the ports are the same except that Performer heads have no exhaust crossover. That's a good thing since your cooling system won't have to deal with exhaust heat. - Dave

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Hi Dave Dare, I hope you and family are doing well. Also the Squarebird crew. I am still looking for less rain so I can start doing more work on my Bird. I have a 2 ton engine stand. Also the engine hoist. This engine has 13.000 miles on it. So the previous owner states. And the c-6 tranny has 1,000 miles on it. If I do not rebuild it and put aluminum heads on with the aluminum intake could I have an air flow issue? Is there something else I should look for? Your advice Would be helpful. Getting late. I need to check out for now. Bob c13

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Great for you Dave. I am glad you have something to do over the winter. I will be doing the same down here in N.W Florida. I will keep you up dated. My original 390 c-6 should be here Jan 1.2 or 3rd. We are having a little bit of cold snap. God bless Bob C13

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Thanks Ray. First things first. I'm bringing a few tools. BEFORE I put cash down I want to make SURE this is a 390. I don't care about 'background stories' or whether this engine 'ran just before it was taken out' but I do care about the castings. Particularly the block, and I want a good crankshaft.

    I will point the timing marks at TDC then pull #1 & #4 spark plugs. The firing order says, when 1 is up, 4 is down. I use the rocker cover flange as a reference because I only need accuracy within 1/4".

    Stick a welding rod (or anything stiff) down #1 spark plug hole and make a mark at the valve cover. Then, do the same in #4 spark plug hole. Now, measure between my marks on the rod.

    A 352 stroke is 3.5 in.
    A 390 stroke is 3.784 in

    So, if the distance between my marks is shorter than 3-3/4 inches, it's not a 390. End of sale.
    If the marks 'are good' I will pay the guy, load the motor and be on my way home.

    The next part can be done later but I need to stamp my parts as I strip the block CLEAN. Meaning, no oil or water plugs, bushings, bolts or anything. It's off to the machine shop to be tanked, Magnafluxed and measured for pistons. THEN, I order parts. - Dave

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  • YellowRose
    replied
    Dave, I see you have a new project in mind. There is no doubt in my mind that after you get through going through that 390, that it will be the best 390 a person would ever want! Powerful with all the modern goodies in it that will make it able to run on todays fuels and oils, and lightweight also. It will give you something to work on over the Winter and into the Spring... Good luck with it.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    There has been a new development. Bob found another engine closer to his house and I agreed to buy the 390 that I found here in Michigan. So... looks like I have another FE build in the offing.

    I will do this 390 with all the goodies to make it powerful on today's fuel and oil yet smooth, cool enough for desert service, light in weight and last well over 100,000 miles.

    The engine is two hours from home and it's icy outside. Now is the time to start hunting for parts. I'll get it home, tear the block down to 'bare' and buy parts after I'm sure of what it needs. - Dave

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Hi Dave, I just got back from my New Year trip. Thanks for the post. I will be calling Mike in the morning. I will let you know more then. Hope you all had a great New Year. Bob C13

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Bob is in contact with the seller of a 390/C6 in Michigan. They are working out the transportation to Florida.

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Ok Dave I will call you in the morning. I just saw your post.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Bob, I just found a 390 with a C6 that is for sale. It's out of a 1975 F100, it has never been taken apart and the guy wants $300 for the whole bang. Give me a call (248) 544-8834. - Dave

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  • stubbie
    replied
    Bob are you talking 460 or 360? You have 2 different numbers in your posts?

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Dave. You are wright. I will keep looking. I have been looking on buy, sell & trade. In my location. Easer to get it to my house. Thanks again. Bob C 13

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob C13 View Post
    ...Should I just keep looking for a 390 C-6?..
    If it were me, I would stick with an FE engine. They all look the same from the outside, they are still plentiful and you can build the crap out of them (including adding fuel injection) or leave them as 'stock' as you like. There is a big difference in performance between a 352 and a 390. A 390 can produce well over 400-HP, but let's come down to Earth. A lower compression 390 will produce 350-HP but it will last much longer, runs smoother and it loves regular pump gas that is found everywhere. Premium is not necessary.

    The 460 is a fine 'Big Block Ford' engine but unless you're making a radical hot rod, stick with the FE. It bolts right in. BBF and FE engines have very little in common. Since you already have an FE, you know the 'final dress' parts (all the bolt-on front brackets and starter motor), trans and exhaust are all compatible. You won't have problems mounting the FE C6 (which has a different mounting from the BBF C6) or the driveshaft.

    We do have members who installed 460 engines in their Squarebirds but they race. I think you want something with excellent power but also mild enough to enjoy around town or on the Interstate without draining your wallet. 460 parts are more expensive than 390 parts.

    Ford put de-tuned 460s in (Econoline) Club Wagons, pickup trucks and big Thunderbirds. They were de-tuned to meet EPA and CAFE standards. Now, with aluminum heads and a cam they produce over 500-HP. That's wonderful but where can you use it besides the strip? - Dave

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  • Bob C13
    replied
    Up date on the 360. I was just told it has been pulled with C-6. The engine has a ping or knock. He said it can be rebuilt. I will be doing that anyway. Bob C13

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