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Discussion Starter #1
My buddy 1320Tom exploded his 390 just like Project FE. Now since he has all the external stuff for an FE, he wants to build a drag-only 428 for his 67 GTA fastback. I suggested he go 385 series but he is hesitant. Any advice here?


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: R Code on 3/24/02 1:21am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well, it isn't really the FE vs. 385 thing. It is more like, do the obvious power advantages of the 385 make up for the extra hassle and expense? How hard is it to drop a 460 into a 67 Mustang? What about motor mounts, headers, etc. I see a 460 weighs about 70 lbs more than an FE, and the archives say it is about the same dimensions, but it is TIGHT. Will the C6 require a different bellhousing and convertor or just bellhousing? Headers?
Tom is cool with the 12 second times the 390 ran. He is leaning hard toward the 428 for cost and simplicity reasons, but will it live or explode like Project FE and his old 390? What caused Project FE's demise? I don't recall anyone agreeing what happened. Cylinder wall collapse? So, oiling mods ARP rod bolts and a half-fill of hardblok?



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: R Code on 3/11/02 12:29pm ]</font>
 

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well I've droped 3 390 with all the good stuff done to it oil mods, rods,hardblock spent lot's of $$$$$$$$$ three times and one 428 CJ. I got tired of playing with it and spending $$$$$$$$ so I went to a 302 built and with 1/2 $$$$$$ and it runs in 12s so do what you have to do.
 

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As far as money goes....and 12 sec NA motors.
The 351W is the best per dollar spent. The potential and the strength is far better then the 289/302....a 393W has it all over a 390 FE(sorry FE guys). In the case of Toms 390... that absolute cheapest thing is to build another 390. I would look into finding the sucessful engine builders for the strong running 428 cj's in NHRA stock and super stock eliminator if the decision is made to go with the 428 or another 390.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
radracing, when you say you have "dropped" the 390s and a 428 are you saying they blew up? Were all the failures similar? Did you switch to the Windsor for durability? I have very little exposure to drag racing but these FE failures sound troublesome.
 

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Well, now you guys got me going!
I have a ready to go 390 for my 68. I also have a rebuildable 460. I can easily fit either in the Mustang as I have the R&C Mustang II kit installed, no motor mounts welded in yet.
The only thing I have against the 460 is the bell housing.It is hard to find a factory bell for a 385 series. I have the 390 mustang factory bell and plate now. I want to use my toploader, so what do I do?
 

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For a bellhousing check out early 80s trucks with the 351-400M motors.I believe these will work(I know they will fit the engine and I'm pretty sure the toploader will bolt to them).Also the Fe flywheels will fit this application just don't use the externally balanced ones(428-410)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chilly, on the FEs blowing up, I too would like to hear more from Radracing on his experiences. On Tom's deal, he did the oiling mods to get more oil to the crank and still spun a couple rod bearings, repaired those and then had the rod (or whatever) failure.
Obviously there are folks out there who seem to get the FE to live, unfortunately, it wasn't Tom (or radracing).
 

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Hi R code
well we built our 1st 390 to run S/SI in nhra by the rules.so we found one of the best builders the came highly recomenderd.we use a relacement truck block that also is a 428 replacemnt thick walled to bore to a 428 if need be so we bored it to .060 witch give us alot of thickness it was sonic check ok. we used eagle h- beam rods r-code 66 heads full roller cam set up.
it ran in the 11.50 at 6000'we had about 60 passes on it and a cylinder wall colasp on us #7 grabed the piston and the rod pulled out of the piston the only score mark on it was when the rod stuck in the block the piston pin was not scored. the next one we built was done by the same shop but this time we 1/2 filled the block same thing happend but it was in the upper half of the cylinder block #8 we had about 50 passes on it. the 3rd 390 we had a differant shop build it this time we lost a counter weight come of the crankshaft in # 7 the crank on all three was magnflex none off them showed to be a oiling problem we had 80psi when they came apart. we talk to alot of stock racers the said they averaged 2 motors a year but nobody ran in super stock all stock class.At 10k + per motor we could not afford to use a FE any more
 

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oh we only turned the motor 6000 rpm. they also told me the if we went to a auto trans we would not put a much pressure on the crank and rods ????????? we did some checking and only found 1 or 2 was running a stick class. they also said there was a builder back east kunz the has a good rep on building FE but the cost was 35k + $$$$$$$$

so we went to a 302 13.5 comp. motor with WP heads eagle rods and so on we have over 150 passes on it and we took it apart this year everthing looked new so we are going to run it agine this year and we shift it a 7500 rpm

Alan
 

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On 2002-03-11 11:44, Rich Long wrote:

The only thing I have against the 460 is the bell housing.It is hard to find a factory bell for a 385 series. I have the 390 mustang factory bell and plate now. I want to use my toploader, so what do I do?
I have a C-4 to 460 bellhousing in the classifieds. I had a buyer and therefore didn't try to sell it anymore but i haven't recieved the money order after 2 weeks so it's for sale again. I was going to use it until I decided I must run 9s with this 466 and in order to do that, it must have the SFI bellhousing/scatter shield, SFI flex plate, SFI balancer, and I even opted for a PA Super Comp C-4. I will put a 557 in front of it next year but this year I will try to get the chassis somewhat able to handle the power of the 557 using the 466. Swap kits are cheap from Crites($450) to put 460s in '66-'69 Fairlanes, Falcons, '68-'69 Torinos, Montegos, '67-'68 Mustangs, etc. Cheap cheap cheap. Headers and mounts and it drops in without mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks radracing, that is some pretty damning testimony. Tom's crank was fine before whatever let go, 2 of radracing's failures were cylinder wall collapses, and I think project FE was a cylinder wall collapse.
Cutting down a steel 391 crank won't fix that. What is up with FE blocks?
By the way, who is that fellow in SoCal with the 391 cranks, stroker 390 cranks and other Ford stuff? I can't find his web address.
 

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This is kinda off topic, but maybe it'll make sense, I have been thinking about it for a while. We've all read about enlarging the diameter of the oil pick-up tube to flow more oil though the engine. However, the problem is that the cam gets the oil first, then the mains/connecting rods. On the 428 buildup that was done on this page, the connecting rod bearing had clearly blued, showing oil starvation. When that bearing possibly lock up, it would have driven that piston into the cylinder wall, thus collasping it. With it no longer pivoting, that would have become a piece of iron with a **** load of momentum putting tremendous force onto that cylinder wall. Now, putting roller bearings in place of babbit bearings for the cam would make the most sense. By putting the roller bearings in, there is less oil needed to lubricate them, allowing more oil to go to the crank and connecting rods. I mean, the crank rotates twice for every cam rotation, so the crank will clearly benifit from the additional oil. The cost of it would be a problem for most, but if you're racing, and you want to do it with an FE, I would personally take a long hard look at roller bearings for the cam. NASCAR guys use them, and if he's going to invest money into a drag motor, I'd have to say its a good, however costly investment. Then again, blowing blocks apart and rebuilding them gets costly too. what do you guys think?
 

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I run a 428 and have been thru the wringer with it but except for that valve breaking have never blown it up. Last year was hard on rod bearings, I have had to retire my .040 .040 crank and go to my spare.
FE's take a lot of attention to oiling system and some thought as to crank clearances.
The cylinder walls collapsing and cranks breaking I cannot explain except the dreaded word "detonation". FE's have thin cyl walls at best and hammering from detonation will kill them.
The oldtimer theory of running up to 46 degrees of advance does not help avoid it either. Barrie Poole one of the best FE racers ever told me to use that much timing and I just went "DUH". Decided I am just bracket racing and left the timing at 38 degrees and let my engine live.
PS to Stanley F you A"Hole, and if someone was using that name as a joke the same to you (to everyone else, Stanley has made attempts to ruin some of the best forums on the web and I am bitter about him)
 

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just a note we used 108 oct racing fuel and timing at a max of 38.are fe blocks soft and flexible? are the cranks soft also in NHRA we can not use a steel crank only stock cranks, and there was no sign of oil failure or lack of. we have a 390 in a pick up that has over 200,000 miles on it with one rebuild on it. maybe the FE won't take high rpm 6000 rpm I just don't know why all the failures in race form
 

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Roller cam bearing?

Does any one realize the cost of installing them, what all has to be changed and how much HP you will gain?

The bearings are cheap, the machine shop cost would be around $150 to open/bore the block for them to fit. And then to top that, you have to have the cam company grind you a cam with journals the same diameter another $300-400.

How much HP would you gain? Maybe, just maybe 5HP.
 

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89coupe , thanks but I do want a stick bellhousing.
Chilly, Carlisle, yes! I should finally be able to make the Ford weekend this year! First weekend of June, right?
I do have a bell from a 351m-400 but I'm told I need and adapter to make it work with the toploader.
To switch to the 460, I'd have to sell the 390 stuff. Otherwise my lovely wife may become not so lovely. if you get my drift!
 
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