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390 FE service block 427 bore?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Algon, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    ...
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  2. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Wishful thinking, ain't gonna happen- unless it's a really oddball one- "what a few independent persons has claimed"- yeah, and they get booty calls from Jenny McCarthy, too :rolleyes:
    There were a bunch of early 390 blocks around '64 that had the cross-bolt nubs included in the block casting, but not drilled, doesn't mean anything, they just used the same molds. "Service blocks" have more voodoo and hype surrounding them.. A "service block" is in most cases just a replacement part- not a magically superior double-throw-down-cast-from-unobtanium work of art :eek:
    Here's a rule-of-thumb used by the FE guys, checking the gaps between the cylinders, measuring through the soft plug holes- many carry drill bits with them to swap meets. Only true test is still a sonic of course

    "A 17/64" or 16/64" is approximately the drill bit that fit's between the jackets of a 330FT, 360, 390, 410 block at the very widest spot I could find on the whole block.

    A 14/64" or 13/64" drill bit is approximately the drill bit that fit's between the jackets of a 361FT/391FT, 428 reinforced "C" block at the very widest spot I could find on the whole block.

    A 8/64" drill bit is approximately the drill bit that fit's between the jackets of a 427 block at the very widest spot I could find on the whole block"

    There are no absolutes, and there have been cases of strange stuff like 427 castings that were underbored and laboring along on water pumps etc., and a "service block" could have started out as most anything that would work at the bore size it was listed for- just gotta check it out to see what you've got for sure
     
  3. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    The "aint gonna happen, wishful thinking" statement is a little extreme. Its DEFINATELY worthwhile sonic testing it to find out. Its a service block, could have started life as anything. How much does he want for it? I would check it, I would have no problem at all believing that there were service blocks cast on 427 cores then bored to 4.05. I have two thick 390 blocks, ( and I didnt go through that many blocks to find them) one was a "7/32" block, which is supposed to be good to 4.16, I sonic tested it and took it to 4.13, two holes had a thin spot, it did eventually crack in one hole, a sleeve would fix it. I also have a "3/16" block have sonic tested it, it is more than thick enough to go to 4.16 on all eight. Even a block than can be bored to 4.13 428 bore size is worth serious coin, and probe is making std. bore 428 flat-tops.
     
  4. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,779

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ


  5. BobbyD
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 581

    BobbyD
    Member
    from Belmont NC

    I have run into several of the "352" blocks than had 352 cast into the right front and had the crossbolt numbs but were nothing more than standard 4.05 bore blocks, never found one that was "special" myself..........
     
  6. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,004

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Where can I find thes drill sizes for checking Ford blocks? All I have are 1/4, 7/32 and 1/8th.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    ^^I can pm you later tonight.
     
  8. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    A guy we used to race with back in the 70s had a salvage yard as a sponsor who got a "hot tip" on which block numbers could be used to build a 427. He tried 16 blocks and made water pumps out of all of them.
     
  9. 58custom
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 398

    58custom
    Member

    Drill test will not account for core shift. Sonic check is the key to knowing.
     
  10. hemi35
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 282

    hemi35
    Member
    from Australia

    With stroker cranks available these days max over boring a vintage engine to get more cubes isnt to savy. No 390 can be bored to 427, even if it could be it would be so thin that i doubt it would be reliable.
     
  11. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    The whole "service block" thing sometimes takes on legendary mystical properties LOL- a service block is just a replacement part for a certain original, not a super-duper uber-quality race part unless the original was. If it was sold by Ford as a "service block" for a 4.05 bore 390, which was the original question before all the "hot tip" directions this went, the chances of it having 427 cylinder cores, while not impossible ("unless it's a really oddball one"), is about as likely as all of us getting that Jenny McCarthy booty call on the same night
    If it is a 4.05 bore, and has cross-bolt bosses cast into the main webs and is not drilled and has standard caps, chances are it's just one of those 390 blocks from around '64
    Recently saw one of those "NOS" side-oiler blocks that's still floating around that the owner was really proud of, we sonic tested it, and it was severely core-shifted had one spot in a cylinder that was .025 thick- "NOS" junk that somehow escaped being re-melted
     
  12. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,084

    BigChief
    Member


    Most FEs regardless of original use have 352 cast into the front....
     
  13. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Thanks for the replys

    The owner of the block never called and if he was at his shop at all I missed him so it'll have to wait at least until Monday....

    I have to admit hearing this again peaked my interest but no I'm not sold on all 390 standard service replacement blocks being "super duper uber Jenny McCarthy booty calls". Gene buddy remember someone gets to hit it and at the right party on a blue moon you never know... a guy can dream right? I'm still going to try to get lucky if I can.

    The name "service replacement block" says it all and yes I've seen one cylinder shifted just enough in a nice thicker than average block put the kabosh on plans for maximum overbore in several engines. I have no intention of building a water pump just to say it's a 427. If that was the case I'd just build a lighter cheaper billet internal 351 Windsor "427".:rolleyes:

    What I'm thinking about is roughly a worked over 428 with a set of dual quads for a 63 Fairlane post car. I'm pricing strokers and aluminum heads and I don't plan to do this over night so I have no set budget. Just the same a real 427 or aftermarket block is generally not the direction I'm heading.

    So while I'm stirring it up any one have a real heathly street driven FE they'd like to share the numbers they got out of it ?
     
    DFH-GMC likes this.
  14. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    The drill test tells you which blocks to buy in the first place, THEN you sonic test them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  15. Moneymaker
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 320

    Moneymaker
    Member

    100% Correct
    :)
     
  16. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    True.
     
  17. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Okay this is what I found.....

    #1 The original block in question I apparentally confused with the second listed as this one is a complete engine less a head. Bore spacing is loose to 7/32" bit down the left bank. Marked 66 427 on the bell pad and has the untapped boss for side oiler drilling but at this time .040 dished cast pitsons in 390 bores. No numbers that I could find any where except the reversed numeral 501 on the left bank. I did not take the pan off to check the webs and it has hydraulic lifters and drilled bosses. The parts on the engine are from the 71 F-250 it was found in. I'd need to get the pan off to see if any more ear marks are there.

    #2 390 Service block.... thick main webs and a 3/16 bit will fit if you twist it in, HP 390 casting 501 in order on the front.

    #3 428 CJ block 7/32 turns freely

    #4 390 passenger 9/32 just fits

    #5 428 7/32 just fits

    #6 406 solid lifter, thick main webs plus extra casting in the area the cross bolt would be but no bosses. This also includes the original heads but the bores are rusty yet a 3/16 bit barely fits in the widest point.


    For the record even Jim Dove lists the drill bit trick on his site. A fan or not the man knows FE's inside and out. No replacement for a sonic test but make your own call. Thick 390's seem to be just as real as thin 428's... 427's bores may never happen but there is surely a real difference block to block.
     
  18. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    The reverse 105 blocks were cast from '73-up for pickups and medium trucks at the new Michigan Casting Center (MCC)- some have 390-360 water jacket cores, and some have 361-391 FT truck cores which are the same as a 428- so a "thick" 390 or 360 block is just one that was cast for a 361-391 FT and got used in a pickup engine- and should be safe at 428 bore size, casting shift notwithstanding- but not 427 bore. If that one was found in a '71 pickup, it would have been a replacement engine or block, as MCC didn't begin casting FE-FT blocks until the '73 model year. Use of the rear bulkhead mold with "66-427" was pretty common on the smaller bore blocks then, lots of 360's out there with that on the back, doesn't mean anything. Thick main webs were common to all the reverse 105 blocks as they were all intended for pickup or medium truck use. The last 427 and 428 car blocks were still cast at DIF, and would usually have the "352" on the left front- but not reverse 105, which was MCC-only. The reverse 105 block with the thicker FT cylinders is indeed a desireable block that will let you run a 428 bore size- but not 427 bore size, which was the original question
    There are also some common holes in the sides of blocks just above the pan rails that often get wishful-thinking mistaken for cross-bolt or side-oiler stuff, but some are for block-holding fixtures during machining, and FT blocks usually have a tapped hole there that is just for the oil return line from the truck air compressor
     
  19. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    propwash
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    I just talked to Jenny M. She says you can check her bore, but she doesn't want anyone dropping any drill bits anywhere.

    dj
     
  20. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Okay, Gene I'll man up........ I didn't get "427 Jenny McCarthy lucky" but does her older sister the 406 sound good for $500 bucks with a money back guarantee if the old broad is cracked ?


    Thanks for the posts
     
  21. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Sounds good to me. Thats the 3/16 block right? A little more than I paid for mine, but mines a hyd. lifter block. I'd grab that, assuming the rust isnt heavy. If it will clean up at +.030, you are probably good to go on that one.

    Like I said to you off-board, the guy babbling about thick 390s not being worth looking for is reading too much Car Craft. Hell, I found two just wandering around local auto wreckers with some allen keys and a screwdriver.
     
  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I wasn't gonna comment on this on the main board, as I am a greedy bastard, and like to hog the good stuff to myself, but since you brought it up, I was told more or less the same thing over the phone by Kieth Craft. He told me that D3TE and D4TE 360 blocks were usually safe to 1/8 over (that would make them what I refer to as a 3/16 block), which would be a .040 over 428.

    fact is, if you arent too lazy to look, its REALLY not hard to find a 360/390 block that will go to 4.13. I have been pretty tight lipped about this on here, because honestly, if there are a bunch of guys wandering wreckers looking for thick wall 390's, and they know what to look for, it makes life harder for me...:mad:

    PS; FWIW, neither of my blocks are 360 or 390 FT blocks, they are both plain ol' 390s. Maybe I got lucky, but I didnt even have to look that hard to find either of my blocks, I just knew HOW to look. The thickest one I have is a mid sixties casting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  23. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Hey George,

    The 406 I need to have shot peened and magnafluxed but so far seems to be a rather good find. Funny thing is I have a low mile 69 360 I have not been able to give away that I never thought to check. I'll have to drag that mother out of the corner and look up her dress.:D

    Should anyone have a suggestion I'm chewing on porting the original heads. I have other FE heads I can cut and test to find "decent" flow numbers but I'm also toying with using Dove's Canadian FE heads which are supposed to do rather well and do not require notching the block to clear the valves. Inspite of the power for money I greatly regret using modern heads on my otherwise all vintage 289 so I generally have no interest in Edelbrocks, Blue Thunders etc. for this project.
     
  24. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    shoprat
    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    FWIW, I ran a HP block in my 57 for years.Ran mid 12's in the mid 70's every
    pass. Held up good also. Had stock 6090C heads, 500 324 Ford cam,dual 500's
    and good headers. Oh yea a 10" conv and 457's. That was before the 427.
     
  25. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I would check that 360 block right away. You could have been sitting on a decent block all along.
    I used C1AE's(early '60s 352/390 castings) with the roof raised and the floor filled with epoxy to match a medium riser gasket, reduced and tear-dropped guide bosses, intake short side laid back, opened pockets and CJ valves. The bumps for the rocker studs were also ground off and sealed the threads. Also filled the floor of the porto-sonic at the gasket, and tigged a 4500 adapter on the top, then opened the carb flange out to the 4500 gasket, and epoxied and radiused the top of the runner entries to match everything up nice, extended the dividing walls out into the plenum and put a nice radius on the leading edges. I guess if you had to pay someone to do it, it would probably be around $1500-$1800 worth of port work. It made decent power for a low-buck, home-built, flat-tappet, dish top 428.

    On the subject of 289's the motor that was originally in my Falcon was a 32,000 original mile '67 289. Still sitting out in my shop, maybe I will do something with it one day.
     
  26. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    I plan to check over the 360 and run it while I'm building the 406.
    I just had to laugh at myself that I never even looked it over. Thanks for the tips.

    What I'm really torn on is the crank as I'm trying to weed through fact and fiction on the "Machined in the US" strokers and 391 welded cranks. This snout is from a welded 427 stroker built by a FE performance shop, it snapped off on the first fire up in the car around ten years ago. It does a great job of keeping my grinding discs flat but while this one was free, I'd rather not have another.
     

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  27. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023

    outlaw256
    Member

    being new to fe:s ive read alot about them.ive accumalated 429s,460s 390 and a few 360s all sitting in one bay in my shop.i have no idea what yrs they are but they are all complete mts.oh ive got 2 352 blocks im saving.any way after doing all tghis reading im more confused than i ever was.lol my god now i now why ive built sbc all my life. it was easier.i dont know why i started buying all these bbfs.but i cant buy a bbc for what im giving for these. and i like the sound of 460 429. them numbers just sound mean.lol anyway thanks guys you have made me want to get off my butt and build one of these engines.and im going all the way.if i can find my way to the shop.lol
     
  28. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,084

    BigChief
    Member

    We've put alot of SCAT cranks and rods in plenty of motors Ford, GM and otherwise.....we use both the forged cranks and the 9000 series cast steel cranks. No problems with any of them .....ever. It's no longer worth the money, effort or time to use a welded up stocker if there are off the shelf alternatives purposely built for the application (like a stroker FE, etc).
     
  29. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    I generally run billet cranks when I can but I've yet to find one for FE in the $1,000+/- range I'd like to spend. I have seen the cast cranks fail but those were in abused high RPM small blocks in other people's engines. One would likley last me in the 406 but I'd rather have an economy billet or forging. I'm trying to nail down if any one company provides a better part in this range but so far all I see is Survival make claims of extra machine work on the Chinese forgings.
     
  30. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Yup, rods too from what I have heard, and the chinese cranks are cast steel, not forged.
     

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