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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at ways to trim the budget a little and since the bone stock 390 is on the engine stand, I thought I would solicit some opinions.

Originally I was looking at have a local shop build my 390 to make about 500 HP. After chatting with the owner I am looking at $7640 for a long block with serpentine belt system from CVF Racing (my request). Not surprising after looking his parts list. $10k for a turn key broke in motor.

The original 390 was listed at 266 HP. The car has the original C6 and 9" with 2.75 gears (based off decoding the body plate)

What sort of HP/performance gain could a guy expect if he just had the block cleaned up/inspected, new pistons/rings and put a performance package from Edelbrock such as the one below with a decent 4bbl carb :)

They claim 418 HP-434 TQ......

Not sure if these "packages" are worth the money for the gain.
 

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I looked at that package too.
The heads and intake are good to ok, but I never liked the cam they include.
You can do much better on the cam selection.
Custom grinds are cheap these days.
Contact Lykins Motorsports for a custom grind tailored to your application.

All that aside...

as extech pointed out, those gears are really killing any chance for performance.

I once got to drive a 69 Olds Cutlass that had a bunch of hop-ups done to the engine.
Hot cam, headers, carb, etc...

BUT... the car still had the factory 2.90 something gears in it.

It was an absolute DOG off the line.
Had to be rolling at least 35-40 mph to get any action out of it.

For spirited street driving you need at least 3.25 or 3.50 gears.
 

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I wonder what you need besides this kit to get that hp.
 

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don't think aluminum heads will really help if you don't raise compression. 72 cc chambers won't do it. new pistons can, but now you need octain. what are your plans for it realisticly
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #6
At this point I would like to stay in the $8K range. This is a weekend driver that I might like to show off a bit in.

Engine Rebuild (long block)
$6,000.00​
Serpintene Belt System
$1,600.00​
Chrome Water Pump
$180.00​
Radiator
$355.00​

It is more about the journey with my sons. That being said I have never built a motor, only tore them down.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #10
lot of money for a non performance item
Agreed. I may want to reconsider. Would love to see what folks would recommend if this was their setup. E.g. what pistons, cam, heads, intake, carb, ignition system etc.and what sort of HP they would expect.
As always appreciate the feedback.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #12
also serpentine belt- no performance.looks cool. shiney doesn't equal fast
I gotta have a little bling ;). Willing to drop the chrome water pump, but really like the looks of a serpentine system. Was considering this complete 390 FE/425 engine from CME Engines, but do not know much about the company.
 

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Compared to the gains other engine families see from E-heads, I feel like the FE sets are lacking. I honestly just flat out dont think they are worth it with the power I have seen people make. The E heads with a mild roller on my Pontiac made 590 HP. So buying aftermarket heads for 420HP as the ad states isnt worth the cost to me.

It depends what you are happy with. If you are happy with being able to spin the tires and maybe a 13 second ET. Just have the stock heads done and put a nice flat tappet cam in. If you want a little more, budget a roller cam and see if you can fit some head porting in.

Also I was just looking at FE CVF systems earlier. Maybe go with the beast instead of the Wraptor to save some money.
 

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Seemed to me the best way to get hp was with a 445 stroker from Survival FE Engine Kits
Some folks here have used this kit and really enjoyed it. All that torque would make driving around town a blast!
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #15
Compared to the gains other engine families see from E-heads, I feel like the FE sets are lacking. I honestly just flat out dont think they are worth it with the power I have seen people make. The E heads with a mild roller on my Pontiac made 590 HP. So buying aftermarket heads for 420HP as the ad states isnt worth the cost to me.

It depends what you are happy with. If you are happy with being able to spin the tires and maybe a 13 second ET. Just have the stock heads done and put a nice flat tappet cam in. If you want a little more, budget a roller cam and see if you can fit some head porting in.

Also I was just looking at FE CVF systems earlier. Maybe go with the beast instead of the Wraptor to save some money.
Thanks for the recommendation. I would be happy with the ability to spin the tires on demand and a 13 second ET. Maybe I should just have my existing motor reworked and stay with the cast iron heads and go with an aluminum 4bbl intake? Especially since the trans shop just quoted $1000 to refresh the C6 trans plus $1900 to change the gearing of my 9" from 2.75 to 3.50 with posi. Ouch!
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #16
Seemed to me the best way to get hp was with a 445 stroker from Survival FE Engine Kits
Some folks here have used this kit and really enjoyed it. All that torque would make driving around town a blast!
Now that looks like an affordable option!! Would love to hear from anyone that has used this kit in their 390. This will not be a track car, but something I would like to show off a bit with by smoking the tires and banging around town.
 

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My427stang had one IIRC. Lots of old chatter about it back when this forum had more action. Search stroker

You'll need a ,.03 bore but you probably need one anyway. I think you keep your cam and heads and maybe even your intake and manifolds. However, a chrome water pump is required ...
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter #18
My427stang had one IIRC. Lots of old chatter about it back when this forum had more action. Search stroker

You'll need a ,.03 bore but you probably need one anyway. I think you keep your cam and heads and maybe even your intake and manifolds. However, a chrome water pump is required ...
Too funny!!! Forget the suspension parts....gotta have that chrome water pump and exhaust tips! What would you expect to pay to have the block bored .03 over, decked, etc.?
 

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If you have to buy a crank and rods, there is zero reason not to do a stroker. Price is the same. If you want to reuse the rods/crank. Then there is money to be saved by staying at the stock stroke.

There is this mystique of false information out there that strokers are more expensive. Its usually negligible on anything but a basic re-ring rebuild. A new oil pan and a bit of block clearance maybe.
 

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I paid $50 to get a exhaust head planed 10 years ago and maybe $300 for the bore? don't remember. They want you to bring the pistons with the block.

Don't machine more than the minimum.ine barely made 03 over.
Why deck it? Now your intake wont fit...etc!
 
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