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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

A few days ago, the engine in my 65 Galaxie 500, which was supposed to be a 390 (turns out to be a 352), lost compression in cylinder 7. Deemed to be a ring problem, I've decided to pull the motor and give it a rebuild. Since the engine will be apart, and given access to parts will be restricted to the USA (car located in the Middle East), what would you guys recommend to be able to get 400 HP from this engine?

Would a cam, carb, intake pistons and headers be able to get it there? Or do I need to look at a stroker kit, too?

I'm trying to avoid a stroker kit because of the weight of a crank (shipping).


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Discussion Starter #2
Btw, the engine already has a 4v cast iron intake manifold and a 600 cfm vacuum secondary Holley. Trans is a C6 which is also going to be rebuilt.


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Have you poked around on this forum? There is a ton of info from sharp folks, about doing what you wanna do. I assume you have limited resources there, i.e. machine shop, knowledgeable FE or even Ford data base, and folks to draw from? I also assume you are NOT racing it, just want something that puts you back in the seat a little more ?

Typically, the way to more ummmph in an FE is:

4bbl carb/intake
high flow air cleaner and dual exhaust
headers
recurve distributor
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rear end gears
trans shift kit or a go-thru
cylinder head mods
higher lift cam

NOTE: more HP and torque mean MORE heat, so you'll have to upgrade your rad, fan, entire cooling system !

Not necessarily in THAT particular order, $$ dictates that. The first 4 alone might surprise you with MAJOR improvement in feel, once you get that 352 back to square one.

The next 4 are gonna cost more ...ALOT more.

How much and how "into" this you get, depends on $$ you can apply. Is the car going to return here to the US eventually? Maybe you can do a good enough "temp" repair so you can dive into it deeper state-side?

I won't get into which is better 352 vs 390 .....I don't bash.

I've never done a stroker, but I'd say that is a huge undertaking considering the logistics you are dealt with.

Just remember, a Gal is a heavy car, and torque is what you seek. I have a '64 Gal 390 4v, 4spd, 3.50 gears and I consider my car "mild". I'd probably have to spend +/- $2,000 to go from mild to "strong", doing all R&R work myself, farming out heads, etc. And I and the car live here in the US, lol. By 'strong' I just mean 375-400-ish hp. The next level after that would go up exponentially.

Anyways, that's my 2¢ on it, since I was up late and decided to chime in --you will read quite a few more from the gurus on this forum, no doubt !
 

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A gear change will help with the "seat of the pants" feel far more than the normal upgrades and leaving the rear alone. but that also cuts into highway drive ability also.... But its all top end mods to get the best bang for buck.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies so far.

The car currently has 3.00 gears and that's about as low as I dare go. In Dubai, there are a lot of highways and spinning at 2500 rpm is as high as I wanna go. With my current wheel and tire combo, that's about 68 mph or so (245 45/ 17). Though I have been playing with the thought of swapping the C6 for a T-5 so I get over drive. Then 3.5 or even 3.73s would be ok to have in the rear.

I was thinking about the Thumper series cam but the power comes in too high (2500-6400 rpm). I'm looking for more punch down low since that's where the engine spends 99% of its time (idle to 3500 rpm).

But since I've found that the engine is a 352 rather than a 390, maybe spinning her faster would not be such a bad idea to get the power. Bore and stroke is more square than a 390 so she would not mind revving a but higher, right? Maybe up to 6000 rpm max.

From what I've read here, most like the Performer RPM, right (intake manifold)? Would the matching cam be worth looking in to with stock heads?

What about piston rings and headers? Any recommendations?

Car will only be street driven (daily driver) and will spend 99% spinning from idle to 3500 rpm).

I realize these questions are pretty common. But what I am looking for is a setup I can emulate that has already been tried and tested and deemed to be a good setup for a 352.


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Nobody remembers back in the day that the 352 was the Baddest ass Motor on the ROAD! Try looking at all the engine specs for the model year 1959.... The 352 was the first motor to breach the 300 HP mark in American Automobiles for 1959, and in 1960 the Venerable and long lived 390 broke the 400 HP mark in a production motor....

Get a crank and rods and pistons for a 390, and build your 352 to 1960 390 Specs...

Or simply bore and stroke and port and valve and headers and cam and intake your 352 to about 358 cubes and probably a nice solid 350 to 375 HP.

That would be plenty wouldn't it?
 

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The best place to ask this question is over at the FE forum. There is a great group of guys over there that collectively have built thousands of FEs and in every configuration imaginable.

Now for a few things here.

In my opinion your HP goal is a little unrealistic with your current setup and how you use the car. Even with an intake, carb, cam, and headers you'll probably only get to the 300-325 range, and that will be up close to 6000 rpm, while also shifting your torque curve upward as well. 400 HP would take a pretty aggressive build.

Don't get hung up on HP numbers. Look for an intake and cam that produce power in the range you want to use it. Headers will help alot was well.

Also, from what I've heard the Thumper cam series sounds good, but isn't the best performing cam.
 

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Heads! Port those suckers, or get aluminum aftermarket. Nothing says "let's go" like head flow.

On the old motors, didn't they have astronomical compression ratios to make the power? That wouldn't work so well with today's gas.
 

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Heads! Port those suckers, or get aluminum aftermarket. Nothing says "let's go" like head flow.

On the old motors, didn't they have astronomical compression ratios to make the power? That wouldn't work so well with today's gas.
Yes, the early 60s HiPo engines had compression ratios that are generally to high for todays fuel. The 352 was close to 11:1, and the 406 and 427 were 11.5:1. The 352 and 406 got their compression from small combustion chambers, while the 427 got different pistons.
 

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Wrong Answer.
Hey Mr. K,
You're right. The FE Forum is a closed Club/Clique. Unless you're already in the C/C, you AIN'T in it.

JC
 

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Diego 50, why did you think you had a 390 and now believe it to be a 352 ??? I may be wrong, and i'm certainly not sure about this, because i haven't actually seen it for myself, BUT i have read somewhere on a forum type thing that many if not most early FE blocks had 352 stamped or cast on them somewhere, regardless of their actual capacity

If what i have read is correct and you are using that ID as your CI indication, Maybe you need to measure the bore and stroke to be really sure of what you have, It's just a suggestion before you start buying stuff for a 352, when you may have your 390 anyway

Regards, larry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Once again, thank you for the replies. With so many options out there, it sometimes helps to get the opinions of others to find your way.

Regarding the 390/352 mis-identification, according to the VIN of the car, the engine should be a 390 4v. And since the engine did have a 4 barrel manifold, I assumed it was a 390. It was only after I took the accessories off the engine (PS to more specific) when I saw the 352 stamp on the block.

I will measure things out to confirm the actual displacement. Who knows? It may have already been bored and stroked to 390! Judging by how it ran before, I doubt it very much. It ran well but it wasn't quite the stump puller I was expecting.

As for HP figures, you guys are right about 400 being too high a goal given the actual use of the car.

The Thumper cam was more for my Fiancé who wants a lopey idle for the car. Like I identified based on the specs, the cam would certainly sound good but also will make power way up on to the power band-- not what I need.

I may just rebuild her to 60's spec like FE said and throw on a set of headers. Any suggestions on this? There are only a handful of headers that I know of for this car. Which one would suit my use better? Sanderson, Hooker, Hedmann (did I spell that right??)?

Thanks again for all the input. Ill report back when I have more numbers from the engine (casting, measurements).




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Once again, thank you for the replies. With so many options out there, it sometimes helps to get the opinions of others to find your way.

Regarding the 390/352 mis-identification, according to the VIN of the car, the engine should be a 390 4v. And since the engine did have a 4 barrel manifold, I assumed it was a 390. It was only after I took the accessories off the engine (PS to more specific) when I saw the 352 stamp on the block.

I will measure things out to confirm the actual displacement. Who knows? It may have already been bored and stroked to 390! Judging by how it ran before, I doubt it very much. It ran well but it wasn't quite the stump puller I was expecting.

As for HP figures, you guys are right about 400 being too high a goal given the actual use of the car.

The Thumper cam was more for my Fiancé who wants a lopey idle for the car. Like I identified based on the specs, the cam would certainly sound good but also will make power way up on to the power band-- not what I need.

I may just rebuild her to 60's spec like FE said and throw on a set of headers. Any suggestions on this? There are only a handful of headers that I know of for this car. Which one would suit my use better? Sanderson, Hooker, Hedmann (did I spell that right??)?

Thanks again for all the input. Ill report back when I have more numbers from the engine (casting, measurements).




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Ok, the 352 stamped on the front of the block does not indicate the engine size. Most FE blocks have that. It is more than likely the original 390 if the rest of the equipment is original. Of course the only way to know for sure is to pull it apart.

Cam, intake, carb, and headers will make big improvents over the stock Z code engine. FPA makes great headers for Galaxies.

What is your budget for the build?
 

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If its actually all original, he will know what he has the moment he catches a piston out of the bore. (it will be marked /cast with the CI it is) Or all of them I have seen has been this way...... (ie 352 2V or 4V or 390 2V/ 4V)

And Every FE i have seen have had 352 cast into the block, except a few service blocks i've ran across (and they had ribs cast into them) Maybe a few of the later years the 352 went away but i dont know that for sure.....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Really? So I may still have a 390? Cool! Tomorrow, I will be working on the car again and will be pulling the heads off.

Where on the piston would the stamp be on?

It would be great if it is a 390. The car already has the badges on them and the VIN indicates it should be.

The engine came with the Holley carb , aftermarket valve covers and an open element air cleaner. The car looked to have been worked on extensively as even the body to frame bolts were new, suspension bushings, shocks and paint. And the engine ran really well and looked clean when I pulled the valve covers off, I figured that the engine may have been rebuilt.

Since I've taken the manifold off, I see that there is a fair amount of sludge build up in the lifter galley and on the valve stems. But I'm pretty sure this engine had been opened up before given the intake manifold gasket looks like a Fel-Pro gasket.

Anyway, ill know more late tomorrow after I tear down the engine further.


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And Every FE i have seen have had 352 cast into the block, except a few service blocks i've ran across (and they had ribs cast into them) Maybe a few of the later years the 352 went away but i dont know that for sure.....
The 352 Casting No was present on all blocks (1958/ ) until the tooling began to fall apart in the mid-sixties.

FORD retooled the FE in the early seventies for light and medium truck (105) and are actually FT castings.
 

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diego50,
I've heard those thumper cams are all show, no go also. If you do put a new cam in it make sure you know what stall convertor will work with the cam or you might not see much difference. Also make sure you check your piston to valve clearance.
 

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Really? So I may still have a 390? Cool! Tomorrow, I will be working on the car again and will be pulling the heads off.

Where on the piston would the stamp be on?

It will be in the area next to the piston pins in the recess. there will be no way to miss it if the engine has original internals.
It would be great if it is a 390. The car already has the badges on them and the VIN indicates it should be.
I would just about bet its a 390, unless someone before blew it up/trashed original, and almost doubtful someone would have put a 352 in its place unless time/money or availability has factors in an engine swap. MOST ppl dont swap "down" in engine size unless its a real availability factor. Or the correct engine is highly desirable at the particular time. (ie 428- or 427's or the cross bolted engines)
The engine came with the Holley carb , aftermarket valve covers and an open element air cleaner. The car looked to have been worked on extensively as even the body to frame bolts were new, suspension bushings, shocks and paint. And the engine ran really well and looked clean when I pulled the valve covers off, I figured that the engine may have been rebuilt.

Since I've taken the manifold off, I see that there is a fair amount of sludge build up in the lifter galley and on the valve stems. But I'm pretty sure this engine had been opened up before given the intake manifold gasket looks like a Fel-Pro gasket.

Anyway, ill know more late tomorrow after I tear down the engine further.
Maybe someone wanting to freshen the outer apperance and the driveability and added the aforementioned parts and worn steering/suspension items. I am assuming the intake is the stock iron unit?

Keep us informed of the "discoveries", we are here to help. your 400hp goal is much easier with more cubes as you probably realize.
 
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