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Technical 1959 edsel

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by markinroseburg, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. markinroseburg
    Joined: Apr 20, 2016
    Posts: 13

    markinroseburg

    Soooooo, my 59 edsel has a 332 v8 and mileomatic (2speed auto).

    What years FE will bolt in. If I recall, the 390 blocks had changed motor mount bolt holes in mid 60's? Looking for hassle free installation. I know they quit the 390/360 in 1976 trucks, earlier in cars. SBF is a good conversion, but would like to keep a big motor under hood, plus use my power steering, big air cleaner and edsel valve covers. I'm a mopar guy, so fords are new to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,469

    goldmountain

    I'm of no help whatsoever. I never knew there was an Edsel version of the ranchero. More pictures, please.
     
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  3. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,704

    arkiehotrods
    Member

  4. Same here. Do you have any side pictures of the car and any idea of how many were produced? It might be rare and be better of restoring. Any FE will basically drop right in and a later one will be easier to find a C6 transmission for.
     

  5. I think any that are out there have been made from Fords. This one may have wagon quarters and tailgate?
     
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  6. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,704

    arkiehotrods
    Member

    There were no Edsel Rancheros. There a a number of Edsel-Ranchero conversions out there.
    Here's another one
    6292ede3ed02526faf95f729cefe2d79.jpg
     
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  7. Starlinerdude
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 164

    Starlinerdude
    Member
    from Washington

    The later FE blocks retained the old motor mount bolt pattern in addition to the new ones so old style motor mounts will bolt right on.I've also seen examples of the edsel ranchero and they were all conversions either edsel wagons that had been converted or ranchero's that had edsel wagon quarters and front clip installed.There were a few 1960 Edsel Starliners built,I personally saw one and have seen sales literature depicting them.
     
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  8. mercmike430
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 66

    mercmike430
    Member

    This is a 1970s 390 truck block in a 58 wagon. I didn't have any trouble. MVI_1813_Moment (2).jpg
     
  9. I would look for a 390 in a mid 60s Galaxie. FE motors in Mustangs/Fairlanes/and Comets used a modified head so the engine would fit. Some of the accessory bracket holes differ.
     
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  10. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,582

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    it would seem that the conversion uses an Edsel wagon tailgate. looks cool!
     
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  11. Any FE will fit the early cars, some early motors don't fit all late cars as Ford added motor mount bolt holes to the block a few times. Automatic trans choices will be the Cruisomatic/FMX and C6. The C6 is needed if going after HP, Ford wouldn't use the COM/FMX behind anything more than a vanilla 390. 410/428 will need a special flexplate (or flywheel if converting to manual) as it's externally balanced, C6 only here. Ford Powertrain Applications has specific-fit headers for these. You'll probably have problems trying to keep the Edsel valve covers as Ford moved the oil fill to the valve cover in '65 (except the 427) and deleted the manifold fill. Current aftermarket intakes won't have one, but vintage intakes show up from time to time, but you do have to pay attention to port size. '62-64 intakes don't have the road draft tube, they had a PCV valve in the intake instead. Ford ditched the intake oil fill as they found it promoted sludge build-up in the heads/valve covers. The cast-iron FE intake is the heaviest one installed on a Detroit V8.... GRUNT...

    360/390 motors will be the most common ones to be found, either will make a good base for a build. Stroker kits are available from several sources for 430+ cubic inches with either block. Aluminum heads are readily available, but the cast iron ones aren't bad; some hand porting and bigger valves will wake them up.

    Ford added more bolt holes to the exhaust manifold face to allow more compact manifolds in those; all other holes remained. The early manifolds still fit though. If you can find one, those have some of the better OEM heads on them. The 428CJ was basically a 428 T-bird short-block fitted with the 390GT top end (heads, intake, carb and cam).

    Truthfully, a 408" stroked 351W will make the same or more power as a 390, cost about the same or less to build, and offer more easy transmission choices but will be harder to install. But it won't have the same cool factor....
     
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  12. markinroseburg
    Joined: Apr 20, 2016
    Posts: 13

    markinroseburg

     
  13. markinroseburg
    Joined: Apr 20, 2016
    Posts: 13

    markinroseburg

    Last picture is how I found it in a wrecking yard
     

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  14. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,704

    arkiehotrods
    Member

  15. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 741

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You don't give your location, but it looks like an Oregon plate in the window. Russ Waterhouse was the PNW Edsel owners guy. He had a wagon with a 390 and IIRC the factory tri power set up. Ran the Asphalt Ego-Rama back in 02-03 or so. I haven't seen him or the car lately, but the club might be a good start.

    The small Edsels used a y block which was only about 25-50lbs lighter than the FE. If an aluminum intake and heads are in the budget, you'll need to cut the front springs to get back to level. That would be a joy to drive and cruise, and a show stopper for us Ford guys.

    Cool car (truck?) just as is.

    http://www.edsel.com/pages/contacts.htm
     
  16. Starlinerdude
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 164

    Starlinerdude
    Member
    from Washington

    I have to disagree on the later heads while the 428CJ are some of the best they were not even remotely like the 390GT,they were a large port design like the 66-earlier 352,390,406,and 427LR heads the 427LR and 428 CJ used larger valves but had essentially the same size ports as the earlier garden variety engines,the 67-later 360,390,410 and T-bird 428 used a head with smaller intake ports,in my opinion the earlier large port heads were much better and by installing the larger valves could nearly equal the 427LR and 428CJ.The 66 model year was a transition some came with large ports and some came with small port heads.Some guys used to refer to the different ports as 2 barrel and 4 barrel heads but it had nothing to do with the carb,it was all about early and late.I do agree about using the later shortblock,but I would run the earlier large port heads,you are also correct that the later valve cover placed PCV system provides much better crankcase ventilation. If the OP wants to keep the Edsel 361 valve covers(they are pretty cool)he could run the 62-64 style intake as you said with the PCV and as long as he keeps up on the oil changes and runs a thermostat and lets the engine get up to operating temp. sludge buildup shouldn't be a real problem with todays oils.If he's lucky he can round up a set of the early HP shorty cast iron headers,I've heard they will fit the 57-59 chassis but don't know that for sure.
     
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  17. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 916

    cfmvw
    Member

    That's quite a find, glad that you were able to rescue it. What's the story behind it?
     
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  18. markinroseburg
    Joined: Apr 20, 2016
    Posts: 13

    markinroseburg

    I had been frequenting this yard for years. They had a 58 Ranchero with an Edsel clip on it 20+ years ago, but some very major damage. I always thought M-E-L should have done it factory, but giving what I now know about the whole Edsel snafu, I understand why they didnt. Step up to five years ago. I was wandering around looking for trinkets, and I spot this against the fence. I made a bee line. I was all over this thing. My buddy thought it was cool. We were dismayed because this yard makes their money selling parts, not cars. Oregon law is pretty sticky about wrecking yards selling cars. I can be done, but the guy doesn't want the hassle. I asked him about it. He was storing it for a friend who fell on hard times and lost his shop. I asked if he'd sell it. "No".
    Over the next few years I visited it often, watching it deteriorate. Now the hood was stuck shut, some pueces had been pilfered, bodywork was needing redone and it was sinking into the ground.
    Once again I asked if the guy would sell it. "Yes" was the answer. He gave me his number and a deal was reached. I brought it home in June. My wife had seen pictures, but the reaction when I pulled it up behind the house was less than positive. She looked shook her head, and left me with my new prize.
    The car started out as a 1959 Ranchero purchased as a parts car from the very wrecking yard I bought the car from. The PO was an Edsel fan AND a body man at the local Buick dealer. He took the Ranchero body off the ford frame, and grafted it onto a 1959 Edsel Villager wagon frame, using the floor pan, cowl and front end of the Edsel. It has the Edsel dash, sheetmetal, suspension...even the Edsel V8 and Auto. Titled as a 1959 Edsel pickup. Complete with the rear quarters, tailgate and rear bumper from the wagon. Factory radio, power Steering, power brakes, electric wipers, windshield washers (with Edsel bag) and Edsel hooded mirrors and a set of Edsel spinner hubcaps.
    It needs a ton of work. Every system needs to be refurbished, but I think its unique and it keeps the previous owner's dream alive. BTW my wife has forgiven me, lol
     
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  19. Good explanation.
     
  20. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,704

    arkiehotrods
    Member

    Hearing the backstory makes it even cooler!
     
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  21. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,878

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    You can't go wrong with a hot 390......and thats coming from another Mopar guy.
     
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  22. Starlinerdude
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 164

    Starlinerdude
    Member
    from Washington

    If the edsel engine is rebuildable ,the original 361 is essentially a .050 overbored 352 ,there is absolutely no reason why a 390 rotating assembly can't be installed in this block,the only downside is making sure to use the earlier style main thrust bearing and and converting it to use the cam retainer plate to eliminate the thrust button cam which gives you a larger selection of cams to run,one other thing to check is clearance in the stamped steel timing cover if you run the later wide timing set,if necessary you can run the narrow early set with the appropriate spacer or switch to the cast aluminum timing cover.This would give you a 390" engine that looks exactly like the original edsel engine down to the casting numbers.
     
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  23. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,559

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You sir, are a saint. There are many out there that would Never save an Edsel (a What), Thanks for stepping up. How about some current pics!
     
  24. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 976

    v8flat44

    Have always liked the "Big E". Dad tried a new 58 when i was a kid. It would smoke the tires, E-475 mill.
    Mom said no........ Also, different is cool; dare 2 b......good on you.
     

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