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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Engine Swap Economy?

I need to refresh the 289 in my new 67 Ford Ranch Wagon (not running)and I'm curious if I'd be better served by a bigger engine. I could stroke the current block to 347ci, swap in a 390/410FE, 351W, or stroke the 351W to 393ci. I'm currently driving an 03 GMC Sierra extended cab with a 4.6 and its a dog to drive around in city traffic. Really got to punch it to get up to speed for our short interstate on-ramps or even trying to pass. When you do puch it, you can almost watch the gas needle drop! The wagon is replacing the Sierra as the family hauler and I want it to have the needed power on demand.

I figure with bigger displacement/ longer stroke, a stump pulling TORQUE cam/ induction/ exhaust combo and propper gearing, I can navigate the urban jungle with ease and get decent mileage (18-21mpg). Need an Overdrive tranny for those interstate road trips too. Suggestions welcome.

What are yalls experiences with various engine swaps? How satisfied are you with the added power? What would you do different? How was your fuel economy effected?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 10:45 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

I think you are on the right track..I would stay with the smallblock family so you can reuse your existing mounts and installation will be easy....There are also lots of overdrive trans available for the smallblocks...Any idea on the weight of the car with the family packed in?....I am thinking you are probably going to want big block like torque so I am thinking a 351 stroker built with mpg in mind..


1968 mustang 408W Hybrid..Burns gas and rubber!
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 04:40 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

After performing the 289 to 390 swap years ago on my 68, the one thing that I would say is it wont be a cheap endeavor as compared to sticking with the 289. Motor mounts will be changed, the small block radiator will need to be swapped to a big block radiator. Don't know about the 67, but the 68 has different bracketry for the mounting of the radiator. You can use the small block radiator, but it will more than likely want to overheat in traffic (at least mine did). The outlet of the radiator for the small block is probably on the passenger side, 390 will need it on the drivers. You can cheaply aleviate this, backyard style, with some black threaded pipe however. Transmission lines will need to be redone. Cheap way is some rubber hose, pulled through a garden hose for protection. Not pretty, but works. If you got A/C, then need different bracketry, which I'm finding a bear to find myself (or at least cheaply). Driveshaft will need to be modded. The choices for heads are, getting a set of 8 bolt heads and buying a set of FPA headers (bout $800), they're the only ones that make an 8 bolt header for a Fairlane (that I'm aware of at least). You can go cheaply (but would not advise it), shave the corners of the traditional log manifolds and beat the shock towers in ( preferably notch the towers if your going to go this way). Going this route however will cause you to have to partially pull the engine should you blow an exhaust manifold gasket. (Ask me how I know). Then find a competent muffler shop to make the tight bends next to the drivers side outlet. You can get the 14 bolt heads (what I like to refer to as the bastard heads), find a set of GT manifolds. This however will limit you on header choices. I don't think anyone makes a 14 bolt header other than FPA. Or go with the 16 bolt heads (CJ heads) with CJ manifolds, FPA headers, Hooker. You can however search for a set of 8 bolt heads, post-66 era (if my memory serves) and have them drilled for 16 bolt. The tranny crossmember will have to be moved back about 3". If column shift, address that issue. That C4 will have to go and be replaced with a C6.

I won't address the mpg question, different style driving of course effects fuel economy. When I swapped it in, I went with Comp Cams 268H grind, had a noticeable idle and still produced 15-17 in HG or so at around 900 rpm. Just got done going through the engine again, getting it setup with the Tri-Power and 6-speed so I went with a little more cam and went with the Comp Cams XE272H, which has actually given it no worse of an idle sound, but the vacuum has went done to 12.5-13 in HG or so at 900 rpm. If you have any more questions about a small block to FE swap, gimme a holler.

I'm not saying its not worth it to swap from a 289 to 390, if I had to do it over again, I would still have swapped. But when I dove into it, 15 yrs ago, I didn't fully think things through. I addressed issues as they arose and was on a shoe string budget.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

I was thinking it would be a fairly straight forward swap since the 390fe was a factory option. I was looking at Specialty Auto Parts For Sale - Crites Performance Parts - critesperformanceparts.com and they seemed to have all the mounts, crossmember, an aluminum big block radiator, and header issues you mentioned covered.

As far as driving style, it will be primarily my wife's car to haul the kids to and from their appointments, store, sports, etc. All city driving with short stoplights, really short on-ramps, but very little stand still trafffic. It's all mine to take the family to church on sundays, weekend cruise nights, and holiday roadtrips. Want it to have enough power not to get embarrassed by a Prius at a stoplight but not too much that I unintentionally disintegrate my street tires.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Well, five years later and not much progress! Still pretty much in the same place I was on the car. I have four more kids and a baby on the way that took precedence. I have managed to collected more junk though.

I took out the original FMX tranny and dropped in an AOD I got off Craigslist. REALLY easy swap. Turned out the tranny is junk and needs totally rebuilt. Should have known, I got two of them for $50! I got a T5 out of a low mileage 01 Mustang with a 3.8. Should make the 3.00 gears more fun off the line. I always liked shifting my own gears anyway.

I also got a donor car out of NM. The old wagon's body had terminal cancer, covered with tons of bondo. NM car is laser straight but has been submerged at some point. Sooo... I swapped out all the interior, glass, and drivetrain over to the NM wagon. Important to note is that it has a 390 FE.

I just tore into the 390 and it is NASTY! I drained a couple gallons of pond water out of the crankcase. Pulled the 2 bbl intake, heads, currently working on getting out the crank. The bottom end doesn't look too bad. There is one rod bolt that I can't access to free the rod from the crank and the crank from the block. Then, I can commence the beating out of the pistons. Several of the bores are pitted really bad so we'll have to see if an overbore can clean it up. There is a piece of the distributor shaft froze in the block where I had to cut it off to remove the intake. Several of the lifters are rusted in place. Without looking at the engine, the machine shop quoted me $750 to clean, check and machine the block, crank, and heads. That's already getting a little pricy for me, considering I also need new pistons, valvetrain, distributor/ ignition, and intake, carb. I'd like headers too but those are insanely expensive compared to a Small Block. Top Loader Bell adapted to the T5 till it gives out then upgrade to a TKO500. I HATE the thought of scrapping the 390 FE if it is rebuildable. They are getting pretty scarce around these parts and there is a growing aftermarket for them. I'm just on a razor thin budget.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

The other option I have given serious consideration is the 351W. 94-97 roller block, Explorer GT40 heads and upper intake. stock mustang 5.0 harness and computer or Megasquirt. All the parts are at the local Pick and Pull for pretty cheap. Under $200 bucks for a V8 with all the accessories.

Benefits:
-With the GT40 heads and intake, I'll basically have a Lightning motor.
-It bolts up to the T5.
-All parts readily available at the pick and pull.
-Replacement and service parts available at any parts store in America.
-EFI and possibly EDIS, more fuel economy.
-Modern accessories and serpentine belt system.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 03:00 PM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Bingo. I was just going to suggest something similar until I read your last post. That simple combo will fry the tires off the wagon just fine, and with better fuel economy than the less efficient stock FE. That said - moving a heavy object quickly takes lots of power, and that means fuel in any case. You're just hoping the better MPG when not hammering it will make up for that.

David

PS: What part of the planet are you on?

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Most of the mild 390 FE builds I've read about are in big Pick-Ups with Low gears and Jumbo tires, with just over 10 mpg best. I don't see much about anyone with 390 fe, overdrive, and highway gears. I want enough power to be able to get out of my own way when needed. Short stoplights, shorter on ramps, emergency maneuvering, etc. I don't see much tire frying happening, but if the old Gal could light em up I'd be tickled for sure! Most of the time I'd be put-putting around town shifting to keep the RPM's low, long coasting down hills, to stoplights, etc. We do cross country road trips twice a year mainly interstate. The interstate speed limit is 80 MPH for the most part but 85 MPH on some of the TurnPikes here in TX. I'd be nice to keep up with traffic.

Currently driving a 99 Ram Van 15 passenger 5.9 Liter with 4.10 rear. Good power off the line thanks to the low gears but I'm not brave enough to take to over 70 MPH. Best of 14 MPG. High CG with a lot of body hanging past the rear axle.

PS: What part of the planet are you on?
Corpus Christi, TX

If I go with the 351W, I could sell the rest to help fund other parts of the wagon. What could I get for my other engines?
Bone stock 67 289 2 bbl (started with carb cleaner and ran smooth)
Bone stock 67 390 FE, Log Exhaust, w/ 2 BBL (machined vs unmachined vs parted out)
67 FMX tranny: FE and sbf bolt patterns (SBF tranny ran fine before pulling according to the PO)
2 AOD cores (need rebuilt)
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 09:47 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

What you can get for parts depends on the day, the buyer, and the phase of the moon. It appears your area advertises considerably higher engine prices than others like mine. With vintage stuff, it's often waiting for a fish to swim by and not so much the price on it, so if you have time start advertising it with a bit of room to negotiate and get what you can out of them. If you shop around there are production head shops that sell reconditioned GT40 heads at better prices than onesie machine work at local shops ($350/pair around here) and come with warranty. There are lots of articles about cleaning-up GT40 heads for better than 300hp (about the same flow as C9 or D0 351W heads before cleanup) and a drop-on. A lightly re-cammed stock 351 and the OD trans should make a nice driver, and you can squeak max MPG (and power) with careful fuel and spark tuning on the ECM. Get a WBO2 for this project.

David

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:01 PM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Doesn't an FE weight 100lbs more than a 351W? It's also wider. Something to consider.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

The intake is a beast! Get an aluminum Intake and you shave nearly 100 pounds right there. In a 10 passenger Station Wagon what is 100 pounds anyway. The engine bay can swallow anything I choose to stuff in it with ease! Size is not an issue. It is a 67 Ford Country Sedan. Think Galaxie Station Wagon. I wish they still made cars this size.


The FE's are known to make gobs of torque with minimal effort. They can also be stroked out to over 500 cubes if the cash ever magically appeared. Problem is they get real thirsty without overdrive (maybe with it too). No factory available OD's so I'd be stuck with an expensive aftermarket tranny. It's take quite a bit of gas savings to afford me a TKO-500
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 05:02 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus1965 View Post
Doesn't an FE weight 100lbs more than a 351W? It's also wider. Something to consider.

Did some figuring a few years back and found a FE with aluminum heads and intake would weigh in about the same as a stock factory 351W .
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 07:21 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Having run FEs for years in different applications...if the car didn't have an FE in it already, I sure wouldn't put one in there.

performance parts are simply too expensive, and if you want overdrive, you'll need to take out a 2nd mortgage on your house.
the motor simply can't compete (pricewise) with more modern options.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuthrell View Post
the motor simply can't compete (pricewise) with more modern options.
What do you think about the mod motors, particularly the 5.4 dohc? I think the 4.6 can bolted to a t5 at one time so the Bell will swap over. The EEC can be run with Megasquirt. Other than needing to fab motor mounts, it should be comparable price-wise to an EFI 351W swap with much better power and fuel economy out of the box... or junkyard. XD
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2016, 11:49 AM
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Re: Engine Swap Economy?

I don't have any experience with the mod motors, but if you're up for tangling with the MegaSquirt, I think it'd be an awesome project.
like you said, some of the 4.6 motors have the Windsor pattern.
from Wikipedia: first two casting runs, numbers F1AE and F2VE

this may be a little too old-fashioned, but you could take the roller 351 and drop a carbed intake on it. we just finished doing the same with a 302 in a friend's '54 Mainline.
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