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Projects 1956 Ford Customline Engine Options

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by lovethegame777, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. lovethegame777
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 66


    Hey guys just wanting some input about engine options. I've attached a picture of my Customline with this thread. I have done some minor custom touches on it throughout the restoration but I want to put a really cool custom touch under the hood. Currently it's the 223 with split manifold mated to a Fordomatic. If you could put any V8 engine in this car what would it be? Sky is the limit. Cadillac, Packard, Ford, Pontiac, etc. Has to be a 50s or 60s engine though. Nothing newer than that. Let's hear it!
    P.S. I have a 390 and a 292 laying around.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    Aussiepete. likes this.
  2. I'd go for a dual quad 427 ford with the big-mama top loader 4 speed and a 9 inch rear if it was mine.......that said I used the stock 272, 2 barrel in my 55. Always wanted a nice 427 tho
    OahuEli and lothiandon1940 like this.
  3. An FE with a 4-speed.... bolts in with the right parts, use an aluminum intake and it weighs the same as a y-block. Second choice, a 351W with a AOD if easy cruisin' is what you're after. Not a bolt in, but it's close.
    bchctybob, dan c and lothiandon1940 like this.
  4. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,484

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Stop by here: The FE is a bolt in and uses the stock mounts exhaust is a slight challenge,no problem with the y-block dropping in either. The issue with these Fords is your donor should be an engine with a front sump oil pan,which is primarily Fords or Mopars but many years ago I saw a '54 Ford (same frame) with a 401 Buick in it really like that idea ;) but would take some oil pan mods. 401.jpg
    aussie57wag and lothiandon1940 like this.

  5. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,007


    Stroke that 390 and build a torque monster. Use a good set of aluminum heads and intake to keep the weight off the nose.
    Bolts in and will break everything behind it so upgrade the trans and rear end.
    Stroker kits for FE motors are becoming reasonable in price now. The ultimate would be a cammer, but pricey. Keep it all Ford.
    6sally6 and OahuEli like this.
  6. Love the car no matter which drivetrain you go with. I do like Rocky's idea though.:)
  7. Here's a pic I took of a local car. Don't know any details other than a big block Ford and 4-speed. Neat car, wish I had more info for you. 20160823_184232.jpg
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole

    Serious question, do you guys all have a source of free gasoline or are just free with the other fellow's money? For those of us with normal incomes the difference between 10 MPG and 20 MPG is significant to our driving enjoyment, and can even make a difference in the amount we can afford to drive.
  9. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 380


    Agreed, it's nice to dream about having a ton of horsepower under the hood but it costs a lot of money to build and supply fuel for.
    Some guys build cars for bragging rights or just enjoy looking at them in the garage, others are built to be taken out on the road, no matter the distance or weather conditions. I can appreciate each train of thought on the matter, but it's nice to see an old car get driven around a lot.
    Some of these suggested power plants would definitely benefit from a Hone-o-Drive or similar to complete the package.

    Great looking '56 btw
  10. A FE can be tuned to deliver decent mileage (particularly with a manual trans) if driven sanely. I had a 454 FE-powered (.030 over 427 block with a 428 crank) Cougar 'back in the day' that would knock down 16 mpg on the highway. If your right foot got excessively heavy, single digits were possible. Something smaller could do better....
  11. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,052

    from Rolla, Mo.

    Don't stuff so much engine in it that you can no longer drive it. You have a beautiful car. My 57' 300 sedan has a 351 Windsor with a c-4 and it is fun and reliable. I do like the looks of an FE in those Fords.
    6sally6 likes this.
  12. I built this car in 2002. Sold it in 2011 or 2012. It has a Merc 410 FE, which is a 390 with a 428 crank , top loader , 9 inch rear. Fe motors will bolt right in to these cars.
  13. ....................It's a sweet car. I had no idea that someone on here built it. Great job. It was in Pasadena, Md. for a few years, now in Annapolis, Md.
  14. What I have in my 55 doesn't fit your parameters, so I don't have much to offer.

    Except, that's a really nice 56!

    Sent from my Borg implant using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  15. Ford blue blood
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 669

    Ford blue blood

    390 all the way. Two 61 - 62 Birds I put together gave an honest 16 MPG with an auto and 3.00 gear. Given the torque a 390 develops an AOD behind it would be perfect. Besides that if you're worried about fuel mileage I think another hobby would be in order.
  16. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,593


    Real clean looking car you got there and I wouldn't ruin it with an off brand engine.
    I guess it depends what you what to do with the car. Limited street use a 600 hp FE would fit the bill, for an actual driver you can jump in and drive anytime of the year the 390 with a couple bolt on parts. Second choice would be the y-block.
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253


    A friend of mine had a 56 with a Cadillac 365 in it. I thought it was way cool and a good driving car.

    bchctybob likes this.
  18. southerncad
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 745


    Rusty, Rusty, remember this is a Hot Rod site, not a Prius site:p
  19. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,117


    That is a nice looking '56. I always liked the hood without the emblems. It really changed the appearance of the cars.

    Back on topic, I think I would go with a Y-Block. They sound good and make decent power. On the positive side they are a bolt in.
  20. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole

    Are you sure it's not a site for Gold Chainers and Millionaires? They are the ones who have to put Blown Big Blocks in everything.

    If this was a real traditional Hot Rod Site everyone would be voting for the 292.
  21. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253


    I'm not the richest guy in the world but to be honest HP and performance has always come first first in my builds over MPG.

    bobss396 likes this.
  22. 20150915_094416-1.jpg 20150915_094416-1.jpg

    Had a 360 horse 327 and 4 speed 4.11s for a daily driver in the mid 60s
    I love FEs but would go with a lighter 302/ 351 or small block stroker motor.
  23. I always swapped in a FE in my 55 and 56 fords. a 58 or 59 nine inch rear end fits really well. you will be better off all around with a FE than a Y block. especially if you want to use a automatic trans. With a FE you got a choice between a cruseomatic, a FMX or a C6 auto trans. There might be a later automatic that is overdrive? With the boat anchor Y block your stuck with a fordamatic unless you use expensive adapters. If you use a 65 and newer flywheel and you don't have to use the long snout starter. The Fe pretty much bolts in. Reverse the engine mounts. trim a bit from the frame where the upper A arm attaches to give the exhaust manifolds a bit more clearance.
  24. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 233

    from australia

    The trusty y-block is a cool old motor. Can give some enjoyable hp and good torque. They dress up real nice and sound great. For old school cool I would run 3 speed column shift with an overdrive. Effectively giving 5 forward gears for nice highway cruising and improved economy. The FE with a 4 speed is a great conversion. I dont really see to many negatives in that. It would be cool to open the hood to find a 401 nailhead buick and 4 speed though. But WHATEVER you do don't go the boring old man route and fit a windsor and 3 speed auto. The stock black wheels look way more cool than the mags.

    Sent from my SM-T805Y using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 616

    from Texas

    Google 2011 Ridler award winner and look at the 56 with a SOHC 427. You did say to imagines ANY engine.
  26. I like Y-Blocks in earlier cars, but since your 292 was a stock choice for '56, it would be pretty ho-hum. If you're going to Hot Rod the car, you'll need to step up to something a little newer (and bigger) than a '56 motor. The 390 is a natural.
    bchctybob likes this.
  27. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 502


    With the boat anchor Y block your stuck with a fordamatic unless you use expensive adapters.[/QUOTE]

    Old Wolf got this wrong, the FMX can be used by drilling 2 new holes in the trans case and bolting it up to a Y-block bell housing. The Y-block is not a boat anchor anymore, lost of aftermarket parts to make it a real performer. The exhaust is the biggest hurtle on the 55-56 ford,. if you want headers on a y-block your choices are limited.
  28. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,150

    dan c

    i lean toward an fe. a high-school buddy put one in his '54 and i think only had to flip the motor mounts around...
  29. I have a 292 in my 4 dr 56 fordomatic and a 390 top loader in my other 2 dr 56

    either is good choice. What do you want? to play, weekend cruise, get in trouble?

  30. Old Wolf got this wrong, the FMX can be used by drilling 2 new holes in the trans case and bolting it up to a Y-block bell housing. The Y-block is not a boat anchor anymore, lost of aftermarket parts to make it a real performer. The exhaust is the biggest hurtle on the 55-56 ford,. if you want headers on a y-block your choices are limited.[/QUOTE] Ok I guess you could use a FMX I stand corrected. The FMX has the same appearance as the orginal fordamatic. I think a few 62 ford 282,s had the cruseomatic. Ive got a Truck load of Y block engines and parts. I still have the original Auto bellhousing that has the rear mounts on it that came in my 56 PK. Ive been waiting on some Y block fan to buy the entire lot. And the FE doesn't need any high dollar after market parts to make it a real performer.

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