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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I'll admit I am a newbie and have never been brave enough to tear into a motor. Recently I had a friend of mine move to CO from VA and had to clean up the yard on his mom's property before he left. I made out with a 1958 F100 and a FE 390 for what I thought was a good deal. Both were rotting in the yard (well the motor was in a shed that the roof collapsed on) and I wanted to see about bringing them both back to life and finishing his abandoned project.

The motor was bought as performance rebuilt long block with a .030 bore and was a complete rebuild about 5 years ago. I helped him get it in the shed and there it sat, no plugs, no carb etc. Long story short, water pored out of it when we moved the engine. I got the heads off and they are in good shape, need to be cleaned but not bad off.

The cylinders on the other hand were rusted and pitted... bad news. I am wondering which direction to go, the piston heads, rods etc. are all brand new, will need rings.

I am wondering your opinions on re-sleeving the cylinders. Anybody have any guesses on cost, can I resleeve the bad cylinders at .030 over? (4 are bad 4 are pristine) Do I need to resleeve all of them or can I get away with resleeving just the bad ones? Is it worth it or should I look for a stock block and have it bored for the pistons I already have? I am just looking for the best / inexpensive route since I do not have a lot of money to tie up in this. I have a machine shop some friends have worked with but want to be educated about this before I approach them. I can post pictures, the pitting is bad... I appreciate your thoughts...
 

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my uncle has a 390 in his 65 1/2 ton that is sleeved on 3 cylinders, has close to 90xxx on it now, never a problem. if the machine shop knows how to bore and propperly install a dry sleeve, you won't have any trouble. but if I were you, I'd have the heads torn down and checked.
 

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find a 360 fe ..its the same block as 390 just diffrent stroke,
352 internals with .50 over pistons ..
and 360 you can pick up dirt cheap..and usually untouched/bored...
have it bored .30 over and use all your internal part from the 390 with new rings provided that pistons are still good....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It has been a couple of months and I am ready to start getting the project going. I have a chance at getting a 352 out of a 1966 F100 for a song and was wondering if it was worth it. Motor runs but the rings are bad and it was blowing oil.

I was wondering if I could just bore the 352 block and use the 390 internals I already have to build the motor. I have done extensive reading on these forums and there seems to be some debate on whether or not it is worth it. I would definitely have the block checked before the bore, is there anything else I need to do or have machined to make that work... provided the block checks out?

The 390 was performace built and I would expect that it would just be a matter of swapping parts and putting it back together since I am sure everything was already balanced etc.

The pistons are "Sealed Power" .030 pistons for the FE 390, all parts are new and ready for a swap. The reason I am interested in the 352 is the fact that it comes with an almost brand new starter, solenoid, altenator, brackets, fan and all the dressings for the motor (heads, carb fully dressed etc.). Also it has a 3 speed manual transmission with a clutch that has about 25,000 miles on it.

I already have a mallory unilite distributor, edelbrock performance RPM intake, Thunder series 4 barrel carb, edelbrock water pump 8805 that came with the 390 FE when I got it. I figure take the best from both and end up with one helluva motor. Any advice is appreciated and welcomed.
 

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I would talk to the machine shop and ask them how much for sleeving vs boring a new block and go from there...I imagine boring a new block would be much cheaper...I really don't think you can bore a 352 out that far.I would at the very least have it sonic tested first but to do that you would have to buy it and tear it down and its a big risk...You would be better off with a 390/360 block..
 

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your 390 pistons is already 0.30...over
that would meen you would have to bore your 352 ....0.80 over....

cylinder wall would most likelly be to thin..
also be overheating real easy...

find a standard 360/390 block have it bored 0.30 over..
then use the parts you have....
 

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BOAT ANCHORS.......... Boring and sleeving one hole today is about $100.00 a hole. Then hope the machine shop does a superb job........... Good luck
 

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Seems to me I can find a standard bore, crack free 390/360 block around here for $200-$300 without any problems.
I would head in that direction vs trying to fix the block you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well, the motor is owned by a friend of mine and he is dropping a different motor / tranny in his truck. He already had the heads off and I took a caliper measurement outer most portion of the cylinder sleeves. They are exactly the same as the 390 that I already have. I expect that the over bore would just leave that much less meat on the walls. I have also read that taking a FE 390 to 0.060" over is not a good idea which is what I would have to do with the motor I currently have.

Looking at the block numbers they both say 352 (which all 352, 360, and 390's show), does that mean the previous block I was working with could potentially of had the same problems with over heating etc. I was under the impression that these blocks all got the same sleeves and it was only the bore and stroke that differentiated the displacement. I checked and checked again and where the sleeve and the block meet is the exact same on both blocks???

I guess my question then becomes, was the 390 built out of a 352? The piston rods look original, I say that because there are paint marks on all the bolts for torque etc. This gives me the impression that this was orginally a 390 and the piston heads were added.

Let me know what your thoughts are since I could be very wrong. I would hate to make a mistake. At the same time for $300 for the whole lot, new starter, brand new flow tech headers, full gasket kit for the 352, fly wheel, brackets, water pump etc. I think it may be worth it even if I can't use the block. The accessories are worth the asking price.

If I do get it I guess the next step is to take it to the machine shop and have it sonic tested to see if it will hold up to the bore?
Thanks for all of your time and opinions.
 
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