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Factory 534 Ford FE?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Iceberg460, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Iceberg460
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 880


    So I was talking with one of the master techs at the dealer I work at, an old timer whos worked at our ford store for over 30 years now, and he was telling me that ford made 534 and 477 c.i.d FE engines that they put in the old F-600 and F-700 trucks. Has anybody heard of these? Are they the same externaly as other FE engines? Will parts swap over? And where can I find one of these monsters?
  2. They are not FE engines, nor does much of anything interchange. They are known as the Super Duty line, & came out the same year, '58, as the FE & MEL families. They are closer to the MEL than the FE, by far, though again nothing much interchanges. They have the same general style of chamber as the MEL, where the cylinder head is flat & the piston deck is angled to form the chamber in the bore.

    They are considerably bigger than an FE in size...and just so you know, they weigh around 1000 pounds with manifolds & other gear.:eek:

    They are slow-revving gas engines, designed at a time when diesels were built primarily for the large truck market, and competed against the Hall-Scott, Buda, the big IH V-8s, & so on...used in bigger medium trucks, fire engines, & occasionally larger pleasure boats.

    I have some pictures of them that I can e-mail you, if you're still curious. :)
  3. Gasser57
    Joined: Aug 23, 2005
    Posts: 749


    I've used both in old Ford dump trucks. Wicked torque, way better than the GM Diesels were in the 80's and 90's. I would always grab the old Ford with the 534 when I needed to pull a real heavy load. They interchange with each other, but like stated in the last post, with nothing else. Never broke one, sure tried too, though.
    Boneyard51 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  4. Iceberg460
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 880


    1000lbs?:eek:That might be a little heavy for my roadster. I'm guessing parts would be hard to find for them too. Think I'll stick to the 460. But thanks for the info guys
    Boneyard51 likes this.

  5. Dyce51
    Joined: Aug 17, 2007
    Posts: 274

    from Ohio

  6. DRS5000
    Joined: Apr 1, 2012
    Posts: 1

    from ALBANY NY

  7. Normbc9
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,122


    We had the 477's and 534's in our F-800 and 900 fire engines. Good engines but they needed a lot of help. The big double pumper Holley four barrel was a part of the problem. Once we got those to a real carburetor shop and had those set up right the starting was much easier. It took forever to warm them up and until that happened they were a slow accelerating engine. We finally installed a block heater to get their performance upgraded. But, strong and hard to ever citicize once we got to the heart of the problem. One is still in service with a sealed fuel system and Holly F.I. It even has an HEI on it. One problem in my mind was the effort to meet the Calif. Emissions System specifications. Those were unreasonable and tough to meet.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  8. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    They came in 401, 477, and 534 sizes. Limited to 3400 RPM's the 534 could easily pull 73,000 to 110,000 gross weight at full throttle through a five and four and with normal oil and plug changes and go 100,000 trouble free miles. We hauled gravel in ten wheeled dumps with a pup trailer, had trouble keeping the gross weight down to legal limits. These Fords would outpull the 549 Internaionals with the trailers on, but the 549 was fast as only a ten wheeler. The 477 was fast too, but when they came to a hill, the 534 could pull out and pass the 477 and the International. We got 4.5 MPG with them.
    Boneyard51 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,893

    from Napa

    The 534 or the 549 Binder were pretty much equal, we had both, and if you let them eat, would keep up with just about anything- but keeping gas in them would make you want a diesel. When we were running in southwestern NY in the 70's, the guys with the new Maxidynes and Screamers would make fun of the guys in the gassers, run wide open and pass them on hills etc., but if they pi$$ed off the guy in the gasser, they'd usually get whupped. There was a father & son team with a cherry pair of old V220 Binder tractors with 549s, really nice gentlemenly folks- so one day one of the "Kids" in a new Mack passed them both,and as he went by the old man, who was about 70 at the time, shot him "The Bird"- called the son on the CB, and the son went past that Maxidyne like it had the anchor out- no more Birds flew after that. One guy had a 534 in an F800 ten-wheeler, and had cutouts on the exhaust that came up between the cab & bed, both pointing out the passenger side- if you passed him, he'd open the cutouts in your window as he passed you back with the 534 wide open- nobody passed him more than once. Best one was a wretched-looking old Diamond-T 10-wheeler that belonged to Patton's Septic Service, so all the youngsters with the shiny new trucks picked on him about driving "The Shitbox". That gnarly old beast had come with an RD406 six in it, which had been replaced by an RD501, another pretty stout 'ol gasser, but the 501 didn't rev as high as the 406, governed around 3000, so it would go 51 mph- no mas. So he gets passed on the flat ground before a long, steep hill by a long-nose Jimmy & trailer with an 8V71 in it, again, "The Bird" flew. That rolling turd had one of those old big & strong sign board/ radiator guards that they like back east that was already bent to hell, so when they got to the hill, the Jimmy slowed down, and the DT was still going 51- right into the tailgate of the dump trailer, and pushed him all the way up the hill, 51 mph the whole way- even passed one of the Maxidyne guys halfway up the hill, still pushing the Jimmy- at 51. That's MISTER Shitbox to you, pal :D
    alanp561, lewk, belair and 11 others like this.
  10. MeanGene....those are great stories! LMAO!!!
    Deuces likes this.
  11. rustang
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 710


    Meangene... that is some funny stuff.....hahaha
    Deuces likes this.
  12. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,742


    Lots of Farmers running old grain trucks with 534's in them around here. In fact the local lawn mower, ATV, snowmobile dealer had a 534 tore down in his shop a couple of weeks ago when I was in (small engine repair my ass!!!!). I am fairly certain you could fit a SBC block in the lifter valley of that big beast. Defiantly not hot rod material unless you are building a 1960 C600 to haul your hot rod around. With a 4.5" Bore and 4.2" stroke, it is alot of engine.

    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  13. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,469


    One I've never heard of before, thanks for the stories and info guys.

    lothiandon1940 and Deuces like this.
  14. q240z
    Joined: Sep 14, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from usa

    Hi. I registered just to be able to respond to this statement about the 534 Super Duty. I had two of them in a 1969 Chris Craft Roamer I'm refitting. They were the Super SeaMaster version, as mentioned above. With twin turbos and intercooled, they put out 400hp at 3200rpm (at the marine gear tailshaft) and had 657 ft/lbs of torque. Word has it this was the fastest 46' motoryacht in the area back in the day. :D


    This boat originally came with 300hp Chris Craft engines based on the 427 Ford FE, but they proved too slow. She was repowered to Super SeaMasters in 1973. Here's the original invoice:


    The engines had gotten wet by the time I took possession in 2008, so we yanked them out and all of the rest of the gas fuel system. We repowered with Cummins 450 Diamonds. Here are the bare 534 blocks. Unfortunately, nobody responded to ebay auctions or craigslist ads for them, so they went to the recycler soon after.


    But I kept the heat exchangers and fancy turbo stuff--the carburetor plenum and intercooler, the latter of which bolts on where the carburetor would normally go. I sold off one set but still have the other, though I have no idea what I'll ever do with it. The turbos were trashed, so they went to the recycler, too. But check it out--the turbos were only oil cooled, not watercooled like on modern marine diesels.


    Here's the watercooled carb plenum, which sat at the back of the engine over the marine gear.


    Air was drawn through the carb and out to the two (hot) turbos. Pressurized air/fuel was then sent forward to the watercooled intercooler housing on the intake manifold. Nowadays that design would be considered suicidal (hot, pressurized fuel/air going through hoses with hose clamps and then on to metal tubes before entering the intercooler, all inside the engine room of a metal boat = world's biggest hand grenade! :eek: ) but back in 1973 it was the hottest stuff out there.


  15. 1952henry
    Joined: Jan 8, 2006
    Posts: 883


    They were not available in the F600 or F700 trucks. Some sources state the 534, IHC 549, and Reo engine were designed by the same team.
  16. I do remember these engines back in the 80's while i worked at a major FORD reman. plant as they went to Alaska complete running units that had been ran and broken in on the dyno we had. What amazed me was the fuel consumption could be watched and these engines were thirsty. They were usually put into dump trucks up north and when i say 100% complete that meant all the tin,wiring with simply bolt in hook up water and fuel.
    Deuces and lothiandon1940 like this.
  17. You might look for some old school busses as I recall they might have had 534's in them too.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    Years ago when I was a mecanic at the local Ford Dealership, I replaced one of these monsters in a C series (cab over) Ford truck. This was a real monster of an engine and a real bear to install. Very heavy and ugly. This is not something you want in a street vehicle.
    Deuces and lothiandon1940 like this.
  19. In 1972 I worked for the world's largest distributor of Ford industrial engines. Mostly we sold the 428's after all the 427's were gone. The 534 was the next step up. They were dinosaurs back then. I remember seeing them in coe tractors in the mid to late 60's. A few years later they were selling 460's. There is no performance versions of a 534.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  20. anteek
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 394


    These engines were GREAT!!!! In 1970 or so I bought a T900 tandem dump with a strong running 534. It didnt smoke but used 5-6 qts of oil thru th air compressorand marking its territory.This truck and some 501 gas 6 cylinder trucks truly embarassed the maxidyne Macks,6-71 detroits and cat 3208's in the big fords. It was cheaper to feed the bitch than make payments on a new one. I bought a couple NEW,not recon long blocks for $100 each from a company that discontinued them. Oil was too cheap to change the motor,so i slowly oiled down a parking lot. The good ole days!!
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  21. randydupree
    Joined: May 19, 2005
    Posts: 661

    from archer fl

    i have great running 534 and allison trans for sale..
  22. rat deuce
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 188

    rat deuce

    One of the most interesting reads I've seen... almost passed over it!
    Deuces likes this.
  23. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,296


    They had one a place I worked. At 70,000 lb. you could get it up to 45 if there was a long enough down hill stretch. The only thing I ever drove that was slower than a 238 Detroit.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
    Boneyard51 and Deuces like this.
  24. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    from Pelham,Tn.

    When I worked at a Ford dealership, starting in 74 the only one we ever worked on was a 65? f900 that was a TVA truck with an automatic. It was a service truck and the only work it needed was accessory stuff, never the engine. I was used to 330s 361s 389s 391s fes, but the engine in the 65 was huge compared to the others.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  25. 1960fordf350
    Joined: Feb 6, 2011
    Posts: 67

    from ohio

    It's cool to see an old thread get new comments. When the Bigfoot craze got hard and heavy, there was a guy who took a LN model Ford truck and made it a monster truck. It had a 534 that he had a custom camshaft and headers made for it. Don't know if he upped the compression, but I'd assume he did.
    On another story here, pushing trucks uphill seems to be common. Old time trucker I know told me a story that he drove a truck that could barely climb a hill on I-71 in Ohio. There was another truck from the same company that had a push plate on it, and it was a cabover. They always ran together, and when they got to that hill, the guy in the cabover would get up against the trailer and help push the 1st truck up that hill. Just think of the view in the push truck!!!
    Deuces likes this.
  26. crossy
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 8


    I remember one in a large RV / bus of the early seventies and I THINK it was sideways?. man that thing rumbled even at an idle. I loved reading the earlier posted stories and anyone who scoffs at the 4 MPG it got should have lived in that day , like I did, when a 292 Y block ramp truck got the same bad fuel mileage and couldn't even pull my 3600 lb. Nova up a hill without downshifting all the way down to 2nd gear and screaming up the hill at a whopping 22 MPH. I had many of those hills to encounter on the way to Maple Grove Dragway and would have given anything to run a governed 51 MPH as mentioned earlier. Oh well that's what memories are. Turbos have come a LOONG way since those 400HP Twins. LMAO. crossy
  27. RoadTractor
    Joined: May 29, 2016
    Posts: 1


    Do you know what they used for the upgrade on the ignition system? I have one I'm getting ready to start on soon.
  28. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,893

    from Napa

    I would think it would be fairly simple to fit a Pertronix in there, we put one in the governor distributor of a 391HD a few years back and it worked great
  29. topfuel55
    Joined: Apr 18, 2010
    Posts: 145

    from Hebron IN

    My Great Uncle Ralph bought a Tri-Axle with a Big box on it! He asked my Dad to go and drive it home for him, it was supposed to be a real hot rod. Seller claimed it had a 534 in it.... Well we got heading down the road and my dad keeps saying "this ain't a 534". Stone empty he was gearing down to climb any hill... This is northwest Indiana, just south of Lake Michigan, we have some "hills" dad was foot on the firewall gear jammin' and it's just slowin down! As it turns out they had blown up the 534 and replaced it with a 477...when my uncle had words with the previous owner, he shrugged and said" your name is on the title". So that truck was barely able to carry playsand tubes! It sat for a long time before a real 534 was found.
    sunbeam likes this.
  30. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,370

    anthony myrick

    our local scrap yard got in a mid 60s f950 fire truck with the 477 a couple of weeks ago
    big big big
    luckily it went to a good home

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