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Old 08-20-2008, 08:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine Debate 351c vs 390

Dude in the other thread asking about headers had me thinking.

Most people when debating ford engines usually go.

302/351w vs 351c or 390/427/428 vs 429/460

But just the 390 vs the 351c, just wondering what you all think about this and what you prefer and what you think can make more power or is better for a daily driver.

I will of course take the 351c, amazing heads from the factory.

Not as heavy as a 390, I think doesn't a 351c weigh in at 560-580 or something?

Back to the heads, 390's have alot as far as offerings but from heads that were put into street cars I don't think a 390 could do what a 351c can YES it will make more power at lower RPM's due to being bigger and such but just wondering what you all think and such.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

390! Why, just cause I like them. lol Never had any of those other sizes. Now my bro inlaw's 351W? I think it was took a lot of punishment stock, before he killed it. Otherwise no input from me.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

With the aftermarket stuff available today you can make any of the ford engines run hard...To me it would depend what you were putting the engine in as to which one to choose..I saw a 57 ford the other day and it had a cleveland in it and it just looked wrong to me!..The torquier 390 would also be better suited to a heavier car where as a light wieght car would let the cleveland wind up quicker....As for sex appeal I've always had a soft spot for the big blocks but a cleveland is a nice looking engine as well with the "boss" style valve covers.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

See everyone says 351c cant move a heavy car, but a 57 fairlane cant be much heavier then a 72 torino
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

351C is a much better motor design and will put a 390 in the weeds!!
390's are sluggish boat anchors when put up against a Cleveland.

The Mustangs that came with 390's (S code) were no match for the 1970 Mach 1 with the 300 horsepower 351C...it would wipe the streets with a 390 Mustang!!

And how about the even bigger and heavier Boss 351 Mustang??...it was just a whisker behind a 428 CJ Mustang in terms of quarter mile times, so thus, it would absolutely destroy a 390 Mustang!!
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

I don't' know about loading both engines with after market parts . I do know that I never seen a Stock 390 mustang that Would stay with my cobra kit 66 mustang GT -289 -271 hp with 3.89 gears. My70 Mach I with 3.91 and 4 speed ran one second Quicker than my 66 did . I ran 14.91 at 92 with my 289 and 13.97 at at 99 mph with my 351 4v. In stock condition the only 390 that really went was a 1961 Galaxy with 3x2 barrol carbs .

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Old 08-20-2008, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

well yeah you keep listing stuff but, when you figure most 390 cars were automatics with at MOST 3:25 gears many had 3:00 and an automatic yeah alot of other cars are gonna outrun them.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by MY TWO STANGS View Post
I do know that I never seen a Stock 390 mustang that Would stay with my cobra kit 66 mustang GT -289 -271 hp with 3.89 gears. My70 Mach I with 3.91 and 4 speed ran one second Quicker than my 66 did . I ran 14.91 at 92 with my 289 and 13.97 at at 99 mph with my 351 4v. In stock condition the only 390 that really went was a 1961 Galaxy with 3x2 barrol carbs .
You've obviously NEVER sat in a 69 Torino GT 390 4V, or maybe a 64 Galaxie With a 390 4V PI back in the 70's & 80's when the gasoline was AWESOME and the car's could SHOW their true power... You'd not me too quick to think them slugs....

My only other views on this thread is this: HP = HP and TQ = TQ, If you make 550 HP with one car and 550 HP with ANOTHER car of the same build, then no matter what they're bound to be just as fast as eachother....

315 horse 1968 Mustang 390, had 315 horse as measured with only a flywheel and a water pump on 40 yr old Dyno technology... then Fast Foreward to 1974, Fugly car's, smogged down, no more 390, and the MIGHTY Cleveland is rated with a MIGHTY 163 HP... That's not very impressive... So we will revert another several years to the year of our lord 1970 the Height of muscle car mania, we find that the venerable 390 has been knocked in the nuts & bolts to the loss of 45 hp dragging it down to the 270 HP mark, while back-dating the Cleveland has improved it's disposition hor-specially to the amount of 250 HP, a wonderful gain of 87 HP but the ratings had changed by 1971 to give HP ratings as sitting in vehicle fully accessorised and bolted up to the drivetrain, with all the hoots and kabobs, so the HP ratings as of 74 being 163, made the engine essentially the same as the one built in 1970 rated at 240......
Quote:
I hope everyone can follow me in this...
So if the Cleveland was in a 3,400 lb car in 1969 utilising a C-6 and a 3.00:1 rear end and it happened to be next to an FE 390, in a 3,400 lb car with a C-6 and another 3.00:1 rear and the Light turned GREEN... The 390 car would get to the next light FIRST EVERY TIME!!! Imagine 350 ft lbs of TQ pushing you at 2,600 rpm's, that's a LOT of grunt and Get you Moving force right? Oh yeah... Bask in it, feels Good for hell's sake! Now imagine 427 FT LBS of TORQUE @ only 2,800 rpm's, MASHING YOU INTO THE SEAT for nearly the ENTIRE BLOCK... Who's whooping who's ass now boy's? Put your Tonka's away and get your daddy's car out cuz you'll need it...
Quote:
I'm almost done now....
Now if you have a 390 in one hand and a 351 Cleveland in the other and the date is Somedamnmonth of the year 2008, and you got 5,000 bucks to spend to get HP, and ONLY $5,000, then Hell yeah I'd pick that damn Cleveland up in a heartbeat and have it ringing up 600 HP in no time... It would likely take $8K to ring 600 out of the FE though...

I like both motors myself, and they both do their thing for me when needed... (in fact, a Cleveland nearly killed me when I was 18, but FE's have alway's been nice to me)...

What am I replying to this thread for anyway? I've got as boner for straight sixes at the moment... And my 200 will CREAM your 390 or 351 ANYDAY you bastages!


FE

Last edited by FEandGoingBroke; 08-20-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

390 - old tech against a 351C new tech....
Using nothing but stock parts I think you could get more power from the 390.
Cheating just a tad by using the 427 SOHC heads and intake. At 7200 with the "stock" Ford LeMans cams, that 390 ought to get close to 600 HP.
I have an article where a 515 HP 351C was built using Ford racing parts but that 390 would out torque and out HP the 351.
Without the 427 heads the 390 doesn't have a chance - even with the best set of heads (Tunnel port) it just doesn't have the technology in the heads to make the same HP/cu".
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

Well said Paul.

I assisted in the building of a 600 + HP 351 cleveland owned by GCHERO, it's something I would NEVER challenge with a 390 no matter who built it... Greg spent many years getting all tehright aprts adn taking his time to do it right.

That damn thing sounds like the Mrs Budweiser and Atlas Racing Boats I used to watch on Lake Washington back in the 80's I am simply awed by it....
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

Quote:
Originally Posted by FEandGoingBroke View Post
You've obviously NEVER sat in a 69 Torino GT 390 GT
FE
Never sat in a 69 390 gt but My buddy had a 428 CJ gt Torino that was no slouch . I also had two buddys that had 1966 fairlane 390 gts that had 4,11 gears and a brother with a 1968 mustang 390 gt with 3.91 gears all our cars were 4 speed cars, that I out ran every time We raced .
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

Hmmmm.... I can relate to that story My Two...

In 1983 I owned two 1966 Harley Davidson Enduro 100's 99CC dirt bikes... My nest buddy owned 2 1978 yamahobag 125cc (124cc)dirt bikes.

The yamaha's were a couple inches taller but otherwise nearly identical. The Harley's were faster, but I could take the harley riders on the yamahoe and likewise beat the yamahoe when I was riding the harley...

Life's weird sometimes... Then you get dude's like you and I who can drive anything and make it faster than anyone elses anything else...
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

390 HP vs a Boss 351........ in Equal cars the 390 is in the ditch on the side of the road.

Given typical Street performance Build, they would both be pretty equal, either on can be simply build up to the 400-450hp range relitivly easily and either would offer fine performance. Biggest problem for both would be real street tires going up in smoke.

Now Enter the Racing Engine World...... a stock style 390 doesn't have a prayer against a properly prepped 351c 4V motor. The Factory 4v Cleveland heads are WAY BETTER than any Head that will fit a 390's Small Bore.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

I will chime in on this one. I had a 98 LTD with a 390 that came with a 2 barrel. I put a Holley 650 dp on it and that thing would rock! That car wiped the floor with many a chevy boy. Now I have a 71 Mach with a 351C 4V (closed chamber head), Holley 750 VS, good size cam, Torker HR, and Ceramic headers attached to a factory 4 spd. Granted the 351C is done alot more than the 390 was, and the LTD was much heavier, but the 351C makes a ton of torque. I am not sure where the idea that the 351C is not good in a heavy car. Maybe it is from the 72 - 73 351C 4V (open Chamber head) that was attached to an automatic, and smogged down. Anyway, just my two cents and I love to see Chevy's in my rear view mirror. BTW, does chevy make a special switch behind the gas pedal that makes them go faster when you keep kicking the pedal?
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Debate 351c vs 390

The gearing and trans sure does make a difference. When my engine was in the 4x4 with whatever rear it had and 4 spd it had some real pep to it, put it in my galaxie and although the mileage increased by 6-9mpg it's a dog in my car with auto and 3.00 rear.

The only difference in the engine itself is the intake and carb, it was a 2v and now it's a 4v cause I wanted to keep my 4v.

Of course I just wanted an engine to get me A to B so doesn't matter to me if it takes a country mile to get to a 100mph cause I'm not going to drive it that fast anyway.
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