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A buddy of mine sent me a text over the weekend asking if I wanted a free 352 FE and without even thinking I said yes! So now that I have this motor thats been sitting around for 20 some odd years I've come to the realization that I know next to nothing about FE motors. I've heard that a 390 crank can be swapped in since the blocks are the same and that they're super reliable motors so long as you take care of them but thats about it. So here's what I've got: 352 short block (some rust in the bores) and the manual bell housing that was origionally on the motor. I'd like to drop a 390 crank into the block in the processes of rebuilding it and put it in my '79 Ranchero just because I think it'd be different. Also any info I can get on the motor mounts for these things would be nice too.
 

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to make it a 390 you need to bore the block -crank -rods -piston -piston rings -bearings-
if your going to use the standard bell you will need a fly wheel -pressure plate-clutch plate -throw out bearing - pilot bearing and assorted clutch linkage --

i run a 352 and it pulls good -- if you want a 390 --then buy a 390

i have a question -- how do you know its a 352-- ?? did yo measure the stroke and bore?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was told it was a 352 so thats all I can go on until I take it apart, I'm nit dead set on making a 390 either
 

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to make it a 390 you need to bore the block -crank -rods -piston -piston rings -bearings-
if your going to use the standard bell you will need a fly wheel -pressure plate-clutch plate -throw out bearing - pilot bearing and assorted clutch linkage --

i run a 352 and it pulls good -- if you want a 390 --then buy a 390

i have a question -- how do you know its a 352-- ?? did yo measure the stroke and bore?
I got nailed on that one years ago. I ordered 352 rings, just because the block had "352" cast into the front of it. I think alot of 390's and other FE blocks have this casting. The motor I did ended up being a 390, and because I never checked the ring gap, it ran like poop. It did run tho.:)I was 18 and knew everything!
 

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Most FE's have the 352 cast on the block, even 428's. You need to measure the bore and stroke to see what you really have. From there, there are now plenty of parts available to build these engines about any way that you want. I love FE's, rich in nostalgia and racing history. Here's a few tips:

For an aftermarket intake, most folks use the Performer RPM as the Performer is pretty restrictive, like an aluminum version of the stock intake.

If you use an aftermarket cam, you should probably add rocker shaft end stands or aftermarket rockers.

Lots of info is available on 332-428 Ford FE Engine Forum

Good luck and have fun!
 

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What year is the block? If it's 63 or earlier you might be limited on your mounts. Earlier blocks had different center bearing and cam retaining system and other small things. Don't know what you would use for mounts as the FE wasn't used in your frame/body style.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Its a '58 block, the manual bellhousing has a crack in it from the clutch fork opening to where the access panel would bolt to and has been welded, no biggie since I was gonna hook it up to an automatic. The heads arent much to shout about but I have them, didnt know before that the push rods went through the intake manifold, guess I'll be learning alot about this thing as I go along.
 
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