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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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390 Valve covers

Do all the 390's in the 60's use the same valve covers?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 08:10 PM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

No they don't. Early 60's had no holes in the valve covers for the breather and pcv valve. Later 60's had the holes. You can use later model covers on the earlier cars, but not the other way without changing the intake manifold to have the ability to add oil and use a pcv valve. I think the change in style happened around '65 or so.

1964 Galaxie 500XL, 352cid, Cruise-o-matic, 9in rear, white w/white interior, all original american iron as it came from the factory.
1992 F150, 5.0L, E4OD, 8.8in rear
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 10:08 PM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

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Originally Posted by r.n.r.racing View Post
No they don't. Early 60's had no holes in the valve covers for the breather and pcv valve. Later 60's had the holes. You can use later model covers on the earlier cars, but not the other way without changing the intake manifold to have the ability to add oil and use a pcv valve. I think the change in style happened around '65 or so.
I don't know much about the history of these cars. But my 63.5 has both (breather and fpr pcv valve). Could this mean that the previous owner did a switch? But also when lookinh around to buy the covers they came with both holes?! I'm a bit confused sorry

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 390 Valve covers

r.n.r.,
I am rebuilding the engine now, and I'm undecided whether or not using original heads or replacing with aftermarket. If I change intake, which I plan on, will I be able to convert to conventianal covers. I like the ones that say powered by Ford.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 10:53 AM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

Sorry for the confusion, let me see if I can explain it better. In the early 60's the intake manifold had the oil fill tube in the front and the pcv/road draft tube in the rear of the intake manifold. The oil fill tube had a cap that was a breather. With this type of intake manifold, the valve covers had no holes in them because they didn't need holes for anything. They use the baldy valve covers with no holes.

In the later 60's both the oil fill and the pcv valve was moved to the valve covers and the intake manifold no longer had the oil fill and pcv valve on it. On this style, one valve cover has the breather that can be removed to add oil and the other valve cover has the hole for the pcv valve.

If you use the early valve covers (no holes) with the later intake manifold (no breather/pcv) then you will have no way to add oil or use the pcv system.

If you use later valve covers (holes) with the early intake manifold (holes) you will just have extra holes in the covers that can be filled with breather caps.

Here is a picture of a early style set-up. The breather/oil fill is in the front of the intake just behind the radiator expansion tank and the pcv valve is on the back of the intake manifold (can't see in this picture). The engine has the baldy style valve covers with no holes since they didn't need holes for the breather or pcv because they are in the intake manifold.

Hope this clears it up a little.

I don't know why, but I can't attach a picture to this post. I will try to get the picture to post

1964 Galaxie 500XL, 352cid, Cruise-o-matic, 9in rear, white w/white interior, all original american iron as it came from the factory.
1992 F150, 5.0L, E4OD, 8.8in rear

Last edited by r.n.r.racing; 06-10-2013 at 10:58 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 11:14 AM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

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Originally Posted by Tyger22 View Post
r.n.r.,
I am rebuilding the engine now, and I'm undecided whether or not using original heads or replacing with aftermarket. If I change intake, which I plan on, will I be able to convert to conventianal covers. I like the ones that say powered by Ford.
I don't know what year you have, but no problem using the newer valve covers. Does your intake manifold that you have now, have the oil fill tube in the front and the pcv valve in the back?? Most new intake manifolds sold don't have this and must be used with the style of valve covers that have the holes for the breather on one side and the pcv valve on the other side.

Without going into a lot of detail, any FE valve cover will bolt up to any FE head. Either stock head or aftermarket, it doesn't matter. What matters is the ability to add oil and have a breather and a pcv system.

I don't know why but I can't seem to add pictures to the posts today to show you the difference. If I can get this picture thing sorted out, I will post pictures to show the different styles.

1964 Galaxie 500XL, 352cid, Cruise-o-matic, 9in rear, white w/white interior, all original american iron as it came from the factory.
1992 F150, 5.0L, E4OD, 8.8in rear
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2013, 11:24 AM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorange View Post
I don't know much about the history of these cars. But my 63.5 has both (breather and fpr pcv valve). Could this mean that the previous owner did a switch? But also when lookinh around to buy the covers they came with both holes?! I'm a bit confused sorry

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If your breather and pcv is in the valve covers, then yes, someone either changed the covers or changed the whole motor. The motor needs both the breather to let air into the crankcase and the pcv to draw out the air from the crankcase. Typically, one cover has the breather and the other cover has the pcv valve. The breather can be removed to add oil and the pcv valve will have a hose attached to it that goes to the base of carb.

1964 Galaxie 500XL, 352cid, Cruise-o-matic, 9in rear, white w/white interior, all original american iron as it came from the factory.
1992 F150, 5.0L, E4OD, 8.8in rear
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 07:23 AM
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Re: 390 Valve covers

In addition to what was mentioned above you need to also be aware that if you are using the oil return/splash guards that are installed under the rocker shafts there are at least two different designs and the early ones have some issues with clearance with some later valve covers. Also, some later valve covers will interfere with the valve adjusters on adjustable rocker arms. I think this is usually an issue with the later 70's pent roof type covers.
Scott...
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