How do you just one day decide that, " ok, im going to build my first motor myself"
Ive never built a motor before, but when restoring my fairlane,i want to assemble the motor with my bare hands. How risky is this???? I mean, i think about it, and i really want to go for it..... but im afraid to spend all that money on a real nice build, and miss a small step that ends up destroying the motor, and the money and time spent...
Maybe you guys have some recomendations for me??? I mean, everyone has to build their first motor at some point right????
My recomendation is to buy a very good quality engine rebuild book that has your exact engine model in it and follow the instructions fully.
If it is a full rebuild then you may need to double check some of the clearances to be sure the right parts have been supplied or get a machine shop to check for you.
Things such as Big end and Main bearing shells must be exactly right for your crankshaft and new pistons must have correct bore clearance etc.
Depending on what work has been done if all the parts are correct for your engine then the assembly could be done by you with a very good manual and a few special tools that you will need.
^^^^ Im not exactly sure yet really. Ive been thinking about getting a 390 and stroking out to 427.... but i havent outruled just a straight 428 build yet. Im really new to the ford/domestic motors..... im used to hondas, and could probaly build one of those from the bottom up.... but ive been weary about my first motor build being something thats gonna spin to 9K... lol
Anyway, are there any good books that stand out that you guys would recomend???
I think maybe i will become more confident when i know more about these motors.... in the back of my head i know that assembling a motor is nothing more than following things step by step, torqueing things down properly, and checking clearances..... but on the other hand, its still very nerve racking spending all that money and assembling a rotaing assembly that has parts that rotate 100 time per second... lol
The Tom Monroe Books"
"How to Rebuild Your Small-block Ford" and "How to rebuild Ford V8 Engines"
and the Haynes "Ford Engine Overhaul Manual" are three I would recommend. Perhaps start with the last one which gives more general coverage or Tom Monroe also wrote one that covers general engine building and has good tips for the beginner "Engine Builder's Handbook" . Perhaps have a look and readers review on Amazon before deciding which one to start with.
when does a ford motor stop being a small block, and start being a big block??? Im intrested in the 390 or larger, and the small block book only covers up to the 351....
Regardless, im sure the motors are all fairly theoreticaly similar, and i will benifit from any of these books....Im thinking about checking out the "how to rebuild ford v8 engines" to start with...... Ive spent $17 on far worse things in my life, so i dont think ill regret any choice i make ... lol
so do you own these books??? I read the reveiws and most of them said that these are not reference books for building high hp/stroked motors........ but thats ok, im just asking you if what learned in these books can be directly aplied to building a performance motor??? Like would all the torque specs and procedues be the same when building a performance/stroked motor???
Also, how diffrent are the ford 360/390 motor from the rest..... one reveiw specificaly said that it did not covers these motors.....
The 390 is from the "FE" series engines. The later model Big Blocks are the "385" series engines which are 429-460ci. Windsor engines are the most popular smallblock Ford engine and have numerous different capacities which from memory start at 221 and go through to 351ci.
As for where the capacity that Big Block starts..it is not based on capacity but on the engine type or series. Generally the bore spacings on the small blocks are closer than the BB's. If you are looking for a BB to do then I would suggest the 429-460 series of engines as they will be more common to find and have parts supplied for and have some very good potential for performance.
Some of the books with general coverage will be a good read for knowledge and possibly ideas for performance mods but to assemble correctly ,you will need a book with your specific model to be sure of any things specific to that engine.
"The How to rebuild your Ford V8 351C-351M-400-429-460" by Tom Monroe as suggested by Aussieblue, I have and is a very good blow by blow on disassembly and reassembly with good instruction and tips but does not cover much performance stuff but is recomended for what you wish to do. Some of the referance to casting codes on heads and blocks is not totally acurate I have found but the rebuilding tips are very good with exploded diagrams etc and very good instruction on what to do for someone that hasn't done it before.
I also have a book by Pat Ganahl called "Ford performance" which has some quite good performance building suggestion that covers FE 390-427-428 and Cleveland ,small block Windsor and 429-460 BB's. The book is a little old and some of the idea's will have been surpassed with new ones by now but does point out the weak area's in the engines that need to be looked at and suggests ways to extract performance from these engines.
We have area's on our forum for these engines types too.
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