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Building an FE

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by triplexkustoms, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. triplexkustoms
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 327


    I need a project, so I'm going to build an FE motor. I'm hoping to get around 325-350 HP. It will be backed with a 4 or a 5 speed.

    I'm gonna start with either a 390 or 428 block. I'm going to use aluminum heads and intake. I would like to run a 2X4 or a 3X2 carb setup.

    What cam and other assorted parts would you guys recommend?
  2. Well im going to start building my 390, i have a crower cam and edelvrock 6x2
  3. Find yourself a good 70's truck 390 block and buy a new 428 crank, bore out the block and you'll have a much less expensive 428.
    multi carb induction for the FE is not cheap. Don't bother with rebuilding stock carbs, just find the best 3x2 intake you can and buy three brand new 2bbls setup for tri power. The demon setup is nice.

    Far as cam, it would depend on what intake setup and what vehicle your putting this in.

    The edelbrock aluminum heads are a great inexpensive power adders. For the price, you almost can't buy decent stock performance heads and build them up.

    Professionally balance your motor and don't cut corners.

    You'll be in the 400-425 range with the aluminum heads, good cam, the right pistons and multi carb intake. Most stock 390's are already 300+ horsepower. Budget about $3000 for just your induction setup and heads. For what you want, I would think you will be about $5000 when your done.

    Oh yeah, and don't put a stock T-5 behind your FE. It won't last all but a couple hard launches. T10 or Tremec is what you want.
  4. hemi35
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 284

    from Australia

    Dont you mean a toploader? T10'S are kinda weak and alot harder to get parts for. You want to sonic test any 390 block your considering to bore to 4.13 because alot wont go that far. The 105 mirror blocks are the go but not all will go 428std bore either.

  5. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,214


    Id stay away from the T-10s, back in the early 60s I had a 427/425 in a 57 Ford Custom 300 with the aluminum T-10 that came behind the motor in the factory light weight cars. Even racing from a slow roll I sheared the teeth off the input shaft twice. A big input top loader is damn near bullet proof however. I never could tear one of those up. The 278 low gear Boss 302 trans makes a better setup then the standard geared one but this stuff must be getting pricey by now. For 5 grand you can use a cluchless Jerico with a ton of gearing options. By the time you buy the Boss trans & go thru it you wnt be far off that number either
  6. MT63AFX
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 39


    You should join the Ford FE Forum What do you plan to put it in? Hitting your goal of 350HP is simple and cheap simply by having the heads done, the proper cam and valevtrain upgrade, the distributor recurved, and freshing up the bottom end. Multi-carb induction is in the $1,500+ range and need rebuilding. Barry R from ( sells a rotating assembly he calls Prison Break for the 390 (IIRC, bored and stroked gets 445ci), Barry also has competed in the Engine Masters Challenge numerous times, JMO, Rod.
  7. StanDaManTX
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 597

    from The South

    I have a spare set of fe heads. I just pulled a 361 fe the other day. Lemme know if you want em. Probably expensive to ship but we could see.
  8. If you use Edelbrock heads use their cam. Fords like CFM factory tri power set up is 1050 CFM Factory 2X4s is 1200 CFM.
    I would stick with the 390 crank and a small clean up bore.
    As others have said Balance it!
    Edelbrock heads & cam, TRi power & good headers should equal 450 to 480 HP
  9. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,292


    I am driving one.

    1966 390 passenger block
    1968 Mustang GT heads and cam
    Offenhauser 2 x 4 intake with custom built Carter AFB carbs
    Ford cast iron exhaust headers (I don't remember where these came from).
    Transmission is a factory four-speed from a 1971 (I think) Ford truck (yes, my 390 is in a pickup).

    Starts great, runs great, and gets 22 MPG at 70 MPH (thats right, in an F-100).

    I am happy with the truck.

  10. triplexkustoms
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 327


    The motor will be going in either a 60 Mercury or a Model A. It depends what I find first. I'm running a stock 352 as a daily driver right now. So it could also end up as a back up engine.
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,521


    Check the FE build on webrodder.
  12. timothale
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 234


    get a good ford Fe book and you will have to modify the oiling systems for better oil flow. a lot of restrictions in a stock block.. I 'm running an fe in my t bucket, tuned the engine down with a mustang gta hyd cam ..went from 11.5 to 9-1 compression., 3 -2's ...I have a packard OD trans, sycnro first gear and and OD, short and stout stronger than a B W, with the electric shift ...6 speeds.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  13. ole rodder
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 37

    ole rodder
    from Western US

    OK, I'm old and haven't built a FE for some time, but why would someone want a 390???????? If you want a mild street motor that will never make more than 350HP and don't want to abuse it, then go with the 390.
    If you want to build a BBF seriously look at the 429/460! Granted, they weigh another 90lbs, but if you were to put a good single 4 carb and intake, aluminum heads, cam, good electronic ignition and headers you could make over 500HP and over 550ftlbs of torque.
    If you don't want that kind of HP all you need to do is just add a good 4 barrel intake and carb along with mild cam, ignition and headers to a stock 460 you could make close to 370HP without even breaking a sweat.
    If you are going to put an FE in a Model A; that is a lot of weight in front of the driver. If you put in a Merc then I would say you have a winner. If you are making big torque you need to make sure the rearend is strong and forget about the aluminum 4spds as they won't stand up to the abuse.
  14. weathrmn
    Joined: Apr 15, 2008
    Posts: 310


    get a good set of roller rockers, billet stands, spacers and end supports, also ARP rocker stand studs. A set up with the above will wake up the fe rpm. And if you really want to wake it up, put a roller cam in it.
  15. BillBallingerSr
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 651

    from In Hell

    I have to agree with MT63AFX, Barry is getting some strong numbers out of those 445's, and the weight of aluminum heads and intake make it a very light engine for its displacement. Torque is a given, but he can get you around 450-475 hp-500-550 lbs ft and the thing isn't revving over 5500. Not a bad deal really, and Barry R is great to work with he used to be in upper management at Federal Mogul and has great connections and knowlege to draw from. At 350-375 hp, pretty much a stock iron head 390 with an aftermarket cam and a Performer RPM with good headers can do that.

    A 429-460 is good too, but said and done it really isn't that much cheaper and alot heavier. 325 hp from a 460 combo is almost a waste given the weight, you can bore and stroke them to almost 600 ci and get 900 hp out of them, but thats not chicken feed either. They are good engines though, but they need better heads to really wake up.

    Contrary to popular belief, the oiling system doesn't need much work on a FE. I drill the long main passage to 7/16", and the pump to filter passege to 7/16, and put a good pan on it. My 4X4 with a 390, stock rods with ARP bolts, iron heads ported by yours truly, a Holley Street Dominator single-plane and the stock rear sump pan has 10 years of 7000-7500 rpm blasts with it. It times out to 435 hp using a strip calculator, 4800 lbs and an NP 435 truck four speed starting in 2nd. Put it something decent its probably about 450-465, but I am wailing the piss out of it, shifting at 6800 it flashes a little over 7000. Broke a few clutches with it too. I have a Zoom Brute Force in it now. I don't drive it anymore, but my son will take it high C once in awhile.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  16. HydroClyde
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 54


    Just a little food for thought....

    A stock Mercury 410...(390 block, 428 crank) in 1966 was advertized as having 330 hp and 444 ft. lbs. torque.
  17. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,817


    1960 352 4 bbl.: 300 Hp, 381 Ft-lbs of Torque.

    You don't have to work hard to make even a small FE put out 350 Hp and some good stump pulling torque.
  18. FlynBrian
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 759


  19. bluebolt
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 309

    from Benton LA

    Also check out the new Edelbrock dual quad intake setup manifold part #7505 or the complete kit #2036 or #20364 for endura shine. About $1200 for complete setup or 1500 with the endura shine. With the rear breather option you can run smoothy valve covers. From Edelbrock site.
    RPM AIR-GAP DUAL-QUAD FE (1500-6500 rpm)
    Give your FE powered street rod dual-quad power and nostalgic looks with the new Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap Dual-Quad intake manifold. Designed for 1960-later high-performance street 390-406-410- 427-428 c.i.d. Ford FE engines with low/medium rise or Edelbrock Performer RPM FE heads #60059 or #60069. The manifold carb pad is setup to fit Edelbrock carburetors only, will not work with other square flange carburetors. In Dyno tests on a 390 with Performer RPM heads #60069, Performer RPM camshaft #7106 and Thunder Series AVS carburetor #1804, it made 421 hp and 428 ft./lbs. torque. Will not fit 427 Ford Hi-riser and Tunnel port engines. Has provision for a breather flange at rear. Match with Edelbrock gasket #7224 for the perfect seal. Also available in a complete manifold and carb kit.

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