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Old 10-05-2003, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

Hopefully some of you can help. A friend of mine wants to replace the 302 in his pickup with a 390 that he wants built up to 400-450 fwhp. I've been telling him that it would be much easier AND cheaper to stroke a 351W to get the same hp results. Not to mention close to a couple hundred of extra pounds in the FE block. He wants my help building the 390, but I have very little experiance with them. Any input, one way or the other, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Old 10-05-2003, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

In my opinion the windsor series would be the better choice being as you now have that series installed,also many parts are available for this engine series,and your application. The FE series makes for good motivation, the expensense changing to the FE(trans,exhaust,mounts,etc.)would be costly..Dave.
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

A 390 is old technology. It may cost more to build to the level you are looking for, but it is period correct for the vehicle. It is heavier, unless you are real good at scrounging, but will last forever. If he has his mind set on an FE, nothing else will really take the place. People that don't know them, do not realize just how potent those motors can be.

My first love are FE's, but with prices and scarcsity, (the cobra guys are buying up everything) it is costly...if or when you can find factory HiPo parts. The good news, is the aftermarket has caught on, there are more new FE parts on the market than there have ever been in the past.

To get to the level you are shooting for, 350 to 400 hp is more realistic, without the motor getting too tempermental ... will most likely involve some head work (larger valves and pocket porting or if you are bucks up; a set of edelbrock Aluminum heads), a good 4 barrel holley manifold and RV/torque cam. Along with 10:1 compression, you should be well within the range.

The 351 should be at 300 hp stock, with head work and cam...you can pull 400 - 450 hp, without stroking. You will not need to change the transmission or any of the rest of the drive train, the 302 stuff will bolt up to the 351 without trouble.

Personal opinion; if you are looking at it from strictly a cost basis...go with the 351, stock displacement or stroker. From a satisfaction point of view...I would either go with the 390 (maybe install one of the new fairly inexpensive stroker cranks that came on the market in the last year or so, make it a 410 (390 bore with a 428 crank) or get a bigger stoker kit, kick it to 444+) or swap in 460. You will have to change everything from the driveshaft forward anyway. There is something about FE's that just won't die

[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 10/5/03 11:08pm ]
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

i agree i race fe s and from a cost point of veiw go small block but if you are set to run an fe great the best thing to is build from the edelbrock heads by the time you buy and modifi stock head it will be cheaper there is a lot of good hyd. roller cams by lunati there are a few fe fourms try them for parts and ideas good luck i have a 428 cj with a 871 bds and a 390 13.5-1 with alum. rods and a solid roller cam its going to the dyno next week ill post # then .fe forever
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Old 10-05-2003, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

While the 351W will bolt to the existing motor mounts and tranny you will need some different brackets up ront for the AC/PS if you have them and maybe even a different bracket for the alt. Existing throttle linkage should work(only minor tweaking possibly).If you stick with stock manifolds you can probobly get away with the existing exhaust system although the exhaust will be raised closer to the floor. Of course at the desired power level you will need long tube headers and all new 2.5 exhaust behind it.
You didnt mention what type of pick up it is and what it is used for but in any case it will be easyer and cheaper to go 351W. At the 450+ hp level the Top oiler FE's scare me...the oiling system is poor. On the other hand the Windsor engine families oil system is a good one and requires no mods for big HP levels. The 393W is a no brainer 450-500 hp 475-500 ft lb pump gas combo...they are all over the place and so many car rags have built them they are old news.

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Old 10-06-2003, 12:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

The 390 dont stand a chance against a Windsor. You already have the mounts and the transmission for the Windsor. Hell, it would even be worth it to swap FROM a 390 (or any other FE), to a Windsor because in the long run, you cant go wrong.
400-500 HP is an everyday occurance with a stroker Windsor....not so with a 390! Also, its TORQUE thats gonna get the job done, not horsepower, and a 390 will disappoint you on both counts, while a stroker Windsor will excede all your expectations. It will have a longer stroke (for torque), and if you get really good aftermarket heads, it will outpower the FE, too.
Not to mention the lighter weight overall means theres less mass to get moving.
Windsor......FE
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Old 10-06-2003, 01:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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351W or 390 build up

I would go with the 390 eventhough you would have to buy a transmission. The cost efectiveness for the windsor goes out the door after you buy aftermarket heads and stroker crank. Most parts for the 390 dont really coast as much as most people think un less you just wont thoes stock high performanse parts. As far as aftermarket parts go I only really notice high prices for stuf like intake manifolds. 400hp from a 390 is really easy to do on pump gas. Like Chilly said above use the heads with C4AE, C1AE, C3AE, or C6AE, casting #'s all thies have the large Intake runers. The C3AE has the smaller chambers, but cost more than the others. Use hypereutectic flat top pistons with about 9.5:1 comp.. If you use any of the heads above use the stock 428cj Intake which usually cost around 150$ It has the large Intake ports to match thoes heads. Use a cam with about 218 deg. duration@.50" and around .500 lift. If you wont to use the Performer RPM Intake go with the C8AE-H heads they have the smaller Intake ports which match up with the RPM Intake. The C8AE-H heads flow less than the other heads ;however, they flow enough to meet your 400hp power goal and would make for a very torquey engine which a heavy truck needs. Pocket porting or larger valves would greatlly increase the flow of the heads. As far as weaight goes, its in a truck so its not really going to matter all that much, If it were a car I would spend the extra money for the aftermarket parts like heads, and stroker crank too make the windsow screem as well too save on weaight, but thats just what I think.
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