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Old 08-24-2008, 06:31   #1 (permalink)
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What do you think of this street engine?

OK FE engine gurus, here's your chance. I am building a 1957 Ford Custom Rat Rod per early 60s. I am not looking to run in the 10s, just be responsive and fun to drive. I plan to use a 390 with a 3 speed overdrive column shift. Budget is not a huge problem, but I don't want to sink $10,000 in a 427. Here the specs for the motor I'm thinking of building. What do you think?

FE 390 +.030, Stock H Heads, Blue Thunder 4V medium riser intake w. 600 Holley, 10/1 flat top pistons, Holman and Moody C3AZ-6250-AA .526 lift solid lifter cam, 427 mechanical advance dizzy w. Pertronics module & Tube headers.

Any improvements suggested? Go ahead, I have thick skin....
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Old 08-27-2008, 17:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What do you think of this street engine?

It'll run good, which blue thunder intake are you using?? The 427 MR 4V will work fine with those heads but the 428 CJ 4V is made for tall ports. It'll all work but I like to match it all up for best results with what your running. Best for your solid cam is roller rockers....the stock adjustables are fine but they tend to loosen up after time and your readjusting. Stock ign. or msd?? Stock oil pump is fine but I like to use a high volume pump. A 427 oil filter addapter is also a good improvement. You might be paticular to the 3 on the tree but an automatic will be much more fun and consistant if you get a chance to run it!

What kind of rear end are you running? Definitly invest in a power stearing assy.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:07   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What do you think of this street engine?

Thanks for the reply. I may have found an early sixties aluminum 4V intake that I would like to use for the nostalgia look. I always use Crane locking adjusting nuts on my FEs to keep the push rods from flying out. The three on a tree is a must. I know the automatic is faster, but I used to drive a 1961 Starliner with a 3-speed OD and a 390 HiPo ... that's an experience that I want to duplicate. I already have a T85 overdrive transmission and the rest of the parts. Partly because of the 3-speed I have to keep the power down. The rear is a stock 9" 3.70 open. I think it's about right with the OD. I don't drive on the expressway much, but may have to go to a 3.50 or 3.25 later. I have a 427 dual point mechanical advance distributor that I am going to use with a Pertronics unit. I am a little concerned about the heads. I'd like to step up to 427 or CJ heads, but don't know if it would be worth the extra $$.
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Old 08-29-2008, 23:50   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What do you think of this street engine?

If you can find a set of tall port heads you'll be much happier with the extra HP and TQ and it will be noticable.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:09   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Re: What do you think of this street engine?

Good choices, it sounds like you are trying to duplicate the old (correctly rated) 390/375hp engine, the cam you have is near identical too.
When I compute your engine on my Gonkulator I get
Torq 414 at 3800
Power 376 at 5300

The carb is a little small, another 5hp or so if you find a bigger one but it's not hurting too much.
With Cobra Jet heads, assuming you could keep 10.0cr [the CJ chamber is bigger] you'd compute to:
Torq 428 at 3900
Power 401 at 5400
As the previous post suggested this is a big improvement, those little c8ae-h heads are the weak link right now.
The c8ae-h heads, with CJ valves and ported by a pro [not me] can equal or exceed the CJ heads so instead of looking for CJ heads that is a thought, if you're not happy you could pull it back apart and do that.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What do you think of this street engine?

I found a good set of CJ Heads locally. Also found an aluminum 4V Ford intake. That gives me another option for exhaust. Anyone know if CJ exhaust manifolds will work in a 1957 Ford with an FE engine?
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