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FE FORDS, why dont more use them?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dakota, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    I absolutely love the FE's... I have two 428's, a 410, 390, and a 352 sitting in the engine room out in the garage... late spring/early summer I'm suppose to drag one of the 428's over to my buddies place and build a screamer out of his old Nascar FE stash..... really otta wake my Falcon up...
     
  2. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,864

    Truckedup
    Member

    There is a lot of information on engine weights. I've seen engines on a freight scale and the numbers were surprising compared to what you read
    We need a post showing various fully dressed stock engines on a scale to be accurate.
     
  3. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,347

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I rebuilt a 61 390 FE for my 60 Thunderbird, they are huge, heavy, cost almost $3000 to rebuild and gets 12-14 mpg. I wouldn't put one in a street rod, they have good torque but are better suited to larger cars. I have seen them in 49 and up Fords with few problems, they are almost a bolt in on 54 and up Fords.
     
  4. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I have a 428, I dont find them to be especially heavy, they are lighter than a BB chevy, Mopar or 385 series, most of the wieght is intake, so changing to aluminum is a bigger savings than other engines. The heads arent bad if you use the earlier castings C1**-C4**, they have the same port configuration as the 427 low-risers, and respond well to CJ valves. They are a little more complex to build, parts can be a bit difficult, and you need to pay close attention to the oiling system and valvetrain geometry.
    The 385 series will make a LOT more power with a lot less effort.
     
  5. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,462

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Yep, that whole storyline is pure BS- the Fe is LIGHTER than most other big-blocks, not heavier- and as has been said, the simple change to an aluminum intake makes it about the same as a little Chebbie. yes, the intake is heavy, but that just makes the heads quite a bit lighter- the dividing line between head and intake is just in a different place. Seems like every time the FE is brought up, a lot of folks who have no clue about them feel compelled to post all the myths they've heard as gospel- another is the expensive part. The FE is very well supported in the aftermarket, and the easy and reasonable priced availability of performance heads, cranks, rods and such makes that expensive myth just BS. Can you go faster for your buck with a 385 series? Sure- I have a 514SVO in my '64 Falcon- but plan to pull it out for an FE. Why? Because it's a roller skate that would be fast with a Briggs & Stratton in it, so my 454 or 505 FE's will be plenty fast enough for me- and the FE is just plain more fun. If you've never had or worked around a serious FE like a 427 or a race CJ, you wouldn't understand- they are just a nasty old shagnasty dinosaur, and pretty much the loudest evil-sounding sucker around if they have some squeeze and some stick in them. They love compression and cam, and as was said in a road test of the '65 427 Galaxie with the cast-iron headers uncorked, "the sound-producing capabilities of this engine are unmatched". I can attest to that, and anyone who was at the NorCal Knockout last year will remember my Galaxie- and that's the mildest 427 I have, at about 12:1. My old 14:1 engine was REALLY loud, and I had a lot of fun setting a 9/16 wrench on the floorboard above the open headers, and seeing the Chebbie boy's jaws drop as the wrench would hover in the air about 1/2" above the floor. One night in the staging lanes at Sears Point many years ago, some gents were setting the timing on a 427 Chebbie in an old Nova funny car they were bracket racing, holding the engine at 6000 and four lanes away from the Gal, and one of the guys walked over grinning and told me he could hear the Gal idling over the Chebbie at 6K, when he was standing next to the Chebbie LOL. They might not always be the biggest, strongest or fastest but they will always be the baddest mutha in the valley- shock and awe on wheels :eek:

    Wanna see some guys having fun? Noise close-ups around 4:05 and 9:25 :D

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/J1WImIk0emw?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>
     
    JB_roadrage likes this.
  6. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,838

    Troublemaker427
    Member

    Well said Gene. I've out ran alot of 385 series engines in my time. The days of buying used up FE parts and trying to make something out of them is gone. Obviously a small block Chevy is cheaper to build but new FE parts have become much more affordable. An FE is also an unique engine unlike the generic SBC. I guess if you want a belly button engine stick with a SBC. If you want something people will remember, a FE is the way to go.

    And for those that continue to call them heavy, I just laugh...I guess they read it on the internet so it must be true...
     
    JB_roadrage likes this.
  7. travisfromkansas
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,710

    travisfromkansas
    Member
    from Gypsum, KS

    My only issue with the 352 turned 390 in my Galaxie was adapting an OD was a bit pricey. Since the car sees mostly open road miles I wanted the best mileage as possible. Other than that I've been pretty happy. The issues I'm having all stem from parts outside of the engine not inside:) great thread guys, thanks for the info.
     
  8. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Damn straight, NOTHING sounds like an FE.
     
  9. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,738

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Yep!....
    Sounds just like an angry T-Rex.. ;)
     
  10. Motorhead Extraordinaire
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 225

    Motorhead Extraordinaire
    Alliance Vendor

    There is no other factory motor that sounds as good as a Ford SOHC or a motor that produced as much raw, out of the box, horsepower. 658 HP back in the mid 60's was mind shattering and that was just the starting point. SOHC horsepower just went up from there.

    I remember the first time I heard a Cammer motor, it was like falling in love. I knew from that moment I would own one some day. For me, that happened 10 years ago when I bought the Wild Child, complete with a Holman Moody 427 SOHC motor.

    If anyone wants to hear what a real motor sounds like, give me a shout and come on by. I'm always ready to cackle the motor over a few cold ones.

    Turn up the volume .....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZKrZiJOumo

    Joe
     

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  11. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,462

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Who dat LOL?

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/h59qVzKyw80?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>

    Another little Fairlane

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1U8oXcMY51Y?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    And one of the old masters, still at it- and a legal SS/B car

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/k6_dpDlodKc?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    And some Mercs rattlin' some eardrums

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JFoWwkAUvSg?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>
     
  12. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    I'm loving the videos.... Man I love a FE !!
     
  13. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,838

    Troublemaker427
    Member

  14. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 890

    wood remover
    Member

    Here is my 34 chev 5 window with a 61 390 hp and toploader 4 speed
    It is a full solid lifter roller motor tons of work done internally 10,000.00 to build 5 years ago
     

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  15. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,978

    sunbeam
    Member

    The garden variety FEs had very poor factory exaust manifolds.
     
  16. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,878

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Had a '64 T-Bird 390 daily driver, my only FE, never had to touch it. The overweight rumor, which I also believed until I read the numbers in this thread, probably comes from anyone who ever handled an intake manifold. Silly really. Just because a woman has a big nose warmers doesn't mean she's overweight, just part of the entire assembly.
     
  17. 55Thunderboy
    Joined: Mar 27, 2009
    Posts: 356

    55Thunderboy
    Member
    from NYC

    I had a427 fe years back i sold, just too expensive to rebuild and get parts and the stroked windsors seem to make more sense these days. I also always heard rumors of FE running hot and being unreliable but i never got mine running to know firsthand . When you compare money a good FE will cost $20grand and up and a stroked Windsor which is lighter and makes awesome power is almost half the cost. I am building a stroked windsor now
     
  18. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee


    Man that sounds like a blast, and I'd love to go.. but the way they are talking I'll be working 6 and 7 10's then...
     
  19. mammyjammer
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 505

    mammyjammer
    Member
    from Area 51

    Nothing against Windsors...I have one on my 68 Bronco. I have to agree it is probably the most cost effective way to get big power if you are starting from scratch....but if you already had a 427 FE...

    As far as overheating and unreliable FE's go.....Millions of trucks were built with FEs and a whole lot of them are still going strong 37 years after Ford stopped FE production.
    Never had over heating issues with my FEs and the exposed exhaust ports are said to contribute to lower operating temperatures.
     
  20. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,462

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    The same 427 +.040 shortblock that's now in my 406 car was built for a Falcon drag car in '75, came apart, I put it back together with a different (same type, C5$ and LeMans) crank and rods but the same flat-top pistons and the same rings that ran untouched for 3 years on the dragstrip (10.80's with stock 406 heads and single 4V), and it went in my F250 4x4 highboy for over 10 years with stock CJ heads and single 4V, got 13 mpg, would fry the 14-36.5's in third gear while towing my boat (you had to see it- just a black Mercury outdrive sticking out of the smoke cloud in the back), came out, swapped heads and added the 2x4 MR intake and my "good" heads off the 14:1 engine, been in the 406 car ever since- and it still has the same rings in it from '75, and is still sealed up good. It ran in the 4x4 with the original 2-row 351M radiator and the guage NEVER went over 1/3 up, even towing the boat in the middle of summer. Neither one of my '62's have radiator shrouds, and NEVER get hot- so enough of that BS, PLEASE. Thanks ;)
     
  21. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Wow, 20 grand eh? for a "good" fe? Jeez, my 428 must have been a REAL piece of shit, I was into it for about 5K.:eek:
     
  22. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,041

    JEM
    Member

    There's surprisingly little weight difference between a 351W block and a 390 FE block - I've heard 175lb for both and my lower back's inclined to agree - and consider the FE is a deep-skirt block.

    The heads are small and the castings themselves are not all that heavy but the shaft valvetrain, etc. adds a little weight.

    Most FEs had heavy intakes ("you're gonna lift that over the fender? I'll call 911 after I stop laughing..."), water pumps, FEADs, etc. 'cause they were going into cars where Ford cared much more about cost than mass.

    And by later big-block standards - BBC Chevy, 385 Ford, etc. - it's not all that big a package.
     
  23. Good for you. I have a little over $4K into my 352. 325 hp, 375 ft-lbs of torque and it runs like a champ. That includes aluminum heads and intake, new pistons, 0.030 over, cut and polishing the crank, sleeving 1 cylinder, and ceramic coated FPA headers. The next time you have an unreliable FE that is too expensive to rebuild, please send it my way.
     
  24. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    My $5,000 POS made around 550 slide rule hp.
     
  25. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,838

    Troublemaker427
    Member

    I have less than half that in my Fairlane motor and run 9.20's. If you put $20,000 in a "good running FE" you got ripped off... :eek:
     
    JB_roadrage likes this.
  26. Henry Floored
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,370

    Henry Floored
    Member

    The "FE's are heavy" myth is such a joke, perpetrated by not rod ragazines in the 60's and 70's. As most of us know about 1/3 of the intake side of the cylinder head was incorporated in the intake manifold. Soo if you pull the cast iron intake manifold off it feels heavy, hence the myth. Replace it with a factory aluminum and the engine loses about 70 lbs. In fact the reason why I think this myth is such a joke is because Ford was obsessed with precision thinwall casting. Ford was at or near the forefront of thinwall casting technology. If the blocks were cast like most other engines to come out of the 50's (.250 thick cyl walls and solid main webs) they might have stood up better to 427 SOHC nitro hits. The "other guys" had to cast thick to compensate for core shift. Ford trailblazed the anti core shift problems coming up with excellent power to weight engine designs and they still get hung with the "too heavy" moniker. Ford engines have an excellent road and oval track racing history specifically because they are not overly heavy yet very tough and powerful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  27. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,189

    afaulk
    Member

    I realize this is an old thread (being re-juvinated) but am an old FE guy from way back. Ran most of them at one time or another. Agreeing with Henry that a really good change is to get rid of the iron intake. I weighed one with a holley carb. On bathroom scales it weighed 112 lbs. The weak links are really only as applied to drag racing not enough flow on both sides and only 10 headbolts. If you get them hot and keep them hot they seem to like that best. Hot /cool cycling seemed to result in frequent headgasket leaks. In a heavy car the torque was damn good and fuel mileage was better than most other big blocks. I got tired of spending more money and still being outrun by small blocks on the dragstrip. Soooo, I changed brands and went faster cheaper. However a pair of pent roof valve covers on an FE (the symbol for iron LOL) still gets my heart rate up.:D
     
  28. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,864

    Truckedup
    Member

    Here's a list of engine weights by a trusted guy.Notice what's there and missing for an accurate comparison.

    Here is several engine weights that I have personally weighed in my shop.
    -I have a 1000# hanging scale.

    1-438#-----400sbc with aluminum heads, carburetor, distributor, 15# nodular iron flywheel & 10.4" stock clutch---no airfilter, no water pump, no
    starter.

    2-450#----355SBC with castiron heads, carburetor, distributor and airfilter-----no waterpump, no starter, no flywheel.

    3-640#----454BBC with castiron heads, water pump & flexplate----no intake manifold, no carburetor, no airfilter, no distributor, no starter.

    4-560#----454BBC long block with cast iron heads, valve covers, oil pan, front damper----no intake manifold, no carburetor, no airfilter, no
    distributor, no starter

    5-635#----614ci BBC with Big Chief aluminum heads, Merlin 3 cast iron block, steel rods, single dominator-----no distributor, no starter, no
    flywheel, no water pump etc.

    6-550#---408 windsor Ford with aluminum heads, Edelbrock EFI intake, aluminum water pump & pulleys, flexplate.

    7-562#---390 FE Ford with stock cast iron heads, aluminum manifold, carburetor & air filter, distributor, water pump, fuel pump, flexplate---no
    starter, no exhaust.
     
  29. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    ^^so an iron head FE with an aluminum intake is actually LIGHTER than an iron head 408W. Hilarious!!
     
  30. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 661

    Heo2
    Member

    A thread where you realy see the ones
    that trye to apear as they know it all
    by reapeating things they heard but
    never experianced them self.
    And yes you are welcom to point out
    my bad spelling to try to defend your
    lack of knowledge about FE s and other
    things
     

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