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FE motor identification and Ford 406

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hillbillyhellcat, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. hillbillyhellcat
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 595

    hillbillyhellcat
    Member

    I am probably going to look at a '65 Thunderbird this week.

    Via email the car supposedly has a "406 crate motor" whatever that means. I know that the only available engine in '65 for that car is the 390 and the 406 was an earlier Galaxie motor. Where are the casting #s to identify the year of manufacture and is there any way to identify a 406?

    Thanks
     
  2. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    Vandy
    Member
    from L.A. Ca

    I belive the 406 had cross bolt mains as did the 427 that replaced it.
     
  3. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 766

    slickhale
    Member
    from Phoenix

    406 was a larger bore block with a 390 stroke crank. you can verify the stroke by measuring the piston travel through the spark plug hole, will be 3.75 inches. look for casting numbers on the block on the lower right side that will start with one letter followed a number ie CXXX . the letter is the decade C=60's, D=70's, the number will be the year. there will be 2 more letters that follow ie AE. if it is indeed a crate or dealer replacement block it will prob be missing these numbers. all blocks will heve a date code below the oil filter adapter on the left side of the block. the number is the year, the letter is the month (A-jan, B-feb, C-mar etc), followed by the day of the month.

    if its a 406 it will be an early 60's casting. there is no way to verify the bore without the heads off. all 406's were mech lifter blocks with no oiling provision for hydraulic lifters. look at the casting numbers on the heads as well, they are between the center 2 plugs. some 406's were cross bolted but i've only seen one in person. 406's arent that common so take that for what its worth.

    edit- check the motor mount bolts, if its a real 406 there should only be 2 holes in the block to bolt a motor mount to on each side, later blocks had 4
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  4. TimeWarpF100
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 310

    TimeWarpF100
    Member

    [QUOTE=slickhale
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

  5. HOT40ROD
    Joined: Jun 16, 2006
    Posts: 961

    HOT40ROD
    Member
    from Easton, Pa

    If you have a 1962 block you will have to find the cast number on the right side of the block. It should be about half way up the block. The Cast numbers should be C2AE-J, C2AE-K OR C2AE-V. Also below the casting number there may be a large HP cast in the block.

    If it a 1963 block it will be a cross bolted block like the 427 block. Just above the pan rail you will see 3 bolt with I think are 11/16 heads. These bolt hold the number 2, 3 and 4 main caps.

    Picture of a cross bolt block
     

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  6. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    There were very few 406's with cross-bolts, some later C3 blocks had the nubs cast in for them, but most were not drilled and had stock caps, and some like the one I have which has the last 406 casting number had the same cylinder cores as the 427 block and can go .100 over to 427 bore size- like mine is. Anything's possible with a dealer or owner install in the pre-smog days, but a 406 would have a C2 or C3 casting number, the big HP, two-bolt mounting flanges and solid lifters
     
  7. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    Unless it is a "406 stroker" based off of a 351, a fairly popular "crate motor".
     
  8. BobbyD
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 581

    BobbyD
    Member
    from Belmont NC

    Good info for guys looking at FE's, one of the hardest motors to ID from the outside! If it doesn't have those 3 obvious (and much sot after) bolts along the bottom on each side its a crap shoot for the most part. Nobody ever mentions the 360 truck motors which were the "390" 4.05 bore with the "352" 3.50 stroke. You can ID these quickly by a "half-moon" cut in the crank flange.
    Look for this when buying a FE, although I thought they were decent motors myself....
     
  9. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    hey chub,big diffrence between a 406 stroker motor and a fe 406,only made a fe 406 for 2 years......
     
  10. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,836

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    It seems like FEs are always advertised larger then they are like most sbcs are 350s out of corvettes.
     
  11. OneBad56
    Joined: Dec 22, 2008
    Posts: 535

    OneBad56
    Member

    The FE 406 was a 1 1/2 year engine only in 62-63, quickly phased out when the FE 427's came out.

    As well, and I read this somewhere, very rare as only 500 were ever made, and mainly for drag racing.

    So I doubt very much that its a FE406 in a '65 'Bird.
     
  12. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    you are correct bad56,62 and half of 63,then the 63 1/2 fastback 427,i have a 63 box top,thats what they call them, 406 tri 4 speed,look in my profile
     
  13. OneBad56
    Joined: Dec 22, 2008
    Posts: 535

    OneBad56
    Member

    I tried to find one of those 406 tri-powers for the HRT but was way out of my reach when one came on e-bay.
    Even rarer is the 406 NASCAR block.
     
  14. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    1968 FE 427 has provisions for hyd. lifter cam..
     
  15. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    yes they did,but the 427 header was way better ,my 63 has a 427 header on it....
     
  16. Moneymaker
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 320

    Moneymaker
    Member

    Ford produced thousands of 406 engines.
     
  17. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    yes they did, but not in a 65 t-bird...........
     
  18. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Ummm...No

    Here's one

    [​IMG]
     
  19. whiskerz
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 148

    whiskerz
    Member
    from Ga.

    Friend of mine bought a new FE 406 from Fred Jones years ago they were out there
     
  20. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

  21. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    My point exactly. A 406 "crate motor" may very well NOT be an FE. I don't think any one claimed it was an original engine.

    My senior year in high school was when I got my first nice car. There were several junkers that preceded it. It was a '61 Ford Starliner that my uncle had bought new from the Ford dealership where he worked. Delivered well into the 1962 model year, it was a engineering and development department car, and Uncle Leo got a good deal on it. It was delivered with a 406 and a 3 on the column with overdrive and 4.11 gears. I bought it in 1967 with about 42,000 miles on it. He said it had nearly 6,000 miles on it when it came in at the dealership. My grandmother set up the deal and I don't think she had any idea what that car really was. I damn sure wish I still had it. It cost me 750 bucks back then, and I drove it for 4 years and doubled my money on it. Won a lot of street races too.
     
  22. I think cross bolted 63's were cast #C3AE-V
     
  23. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 380

    modeleh
    Member

    So true.
    The majority of early 70s Ford pickups had 360s, yet years later it seems most are advertised as 390s.
    And where are all these corvettes that are missing their engines?
     
  24. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    The hardtop is tough looking but the convert is just awesome. Any details on the pair?
     
  25. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,740

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    406's were installed in 4 door cars also....
     
  26. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    I found an FE in a junk yard, in a Thunderbird, and I could see one bolt on the side of the block by the maincap area, on the passenger side. I couldn't see or feel any others, but it was REALLY cramped.
    I decided it was probably a pipe plug for the water jacket.

    Did an FE ever have a water jacket plug low on the passenger side?

    -Brad
     
  27. Not a water jacket plug, but they did have mounting holes down along the pan rail. Here is a pick of my plain jane 1962 352. Note the two mounting holes (one with bolt and wiring harness clip). That is probably what you are seeing. These two holes are in the right location for a main cap cross bolt, but they were never drilled through.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a 427 block for comparison.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  28. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,623

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Well, for all the naysayers, maybe it's a small-block, "I think" etc., and my personal favorite those who can't read in the original post "406 crate motor"- I was just looking thru one of my old Hot Rod's- February '64 in fact, BTW the same issue with the first "drag test" of the Fairlane Thunderbolt- on page 4 is the monthly Vic Hubbard ad, and one of the featured specials is:
    "FORD 406 ENGINES
    New! Tri-Power aluminum intake manifold (3 carbs) and Holley carbs.
    Complete (less starter and generator). Limited supply. (FOB Hayward)
    ....................................................................................ONLY $650.00
    For boats.....................................................................ONLY $625.00"
    Guess that qualifies as a "crate engine", even though those weren't cool buzzwords back then :p
    Installation of the 406 engine did not stop with the introduction of the 427 in mid-'63, and there are quite a few 63-1/2 "fastbacks" out there with 406's, like this original one-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KByCp9dK5o&feature=related

    Although the postings that claimed 1-1/2 years because it was no longer installed when the 427 came out were incorrect, technically the 1-1/2 year timeframe is correct, as the 406 (and the 500XL model of the Galaxie- my hardtop is both a G-code 406-6V and an XL with manual steering and brakes, 80K miles and original black paint) came out mid-year '62, just like the "fastback" body and 427 in mid-'63- neither the 406 engine nor the XL model are covered in the '62 Shop Manual as they weren't in production yet, and there was a "supplement" for the new 406 engine
    The holes in the side of the block that get some excited are just there for the factory machining fixtures to hold the block when it was machined, and there were also holes in the FT blocks that were just an oil drainback hole for the truck air compressors- have nothing to do with cross-bolts.
    The "shortie" cast headers came on hi-po 390's from '60 and 406's, '63-'64 427's (and probably a few 406's, as the original casting numbers were "C2's") got the long ones, with '65-'67 Gals getting a different "long" set for the new chassis
    And there was at least one '65 'Bird with a factory 427 engine, saw it myself in '74. My roommate's dad was a district service engineer for Lincoln-Mercury working out of the center in Richmond, and kept telling us about this red "Engineering" 427 'Bird they had that was supposed to get scrapped, but one of the execs ended up with it, and lived around Yountville. I was working up there in town, and heard it coming before I saw it, solids and very strong but half-loud exhaust, bright red and had the 427 flag emblems on the front fenders where the '62 Galaxies had them, behind the wheels. A guy in his '50's with horn-rim glasses was driving, saw me staring at it, grinned, and nailed it from the stop sign- lit out pretty good, and sounded soooo sweet :)
    Roomie's dad brought him home a nice toy to play with in '71, a 429SCJ Cougar XR7 ragtop, white with white leather interior- he hauled one of the gals in the St. Helena Homecoming Parade in it
     
  29. OneBad56
    Joined: Dec 22, 2008
    Posts: 535

    OneBad56
    Member

    Seems to be some "misinformation" and expert information out there, so who's correct.

    Now according to some Ford Historians, this is what they say:
    The 406 engine used a new 4.13 inches (104.90 mm) bore with the 390's 3.785 inches (96.14 mm) stroke, giving a displacement of 405.7 cu in (6.6 L), generously rounded up to "406" for the official designation. The larger bore required a new block casting with thicker walls but otherwise was very similar to the strengthened 390 high performance blocks.

    The 406 was developed purely for racing and was sold to the public only to meet racing targets. It was produced for less than two years before the 427 replaced it.
    Note: produced and available are two different word.

    Testing of the 406, with its higher power levels, led to cross-bolted mains — where the main bearing caps were not only secured by bolts at each end coming up from beneath but also by bolts coming in from the sides through the block, a spacer was used between the cap and the block face. Each spacer was custom fitted. This design prevented the main bearing caps from "walking" under extreme racing conditions. This cross-bolting can be found today in many of the most powerful and modern engines from many manufacturers.

    In the 1960s most organized racing events required either stock components or components that were readily available to the general public. For NASCAR racing, rules required that at least 500 vehicles be sold to the general public equipped as raced. This was a special block, hence very hard to still find and they command a good price.

    Many drag racing and road racing organizations had similar rules, which contributed to a wide range of performance parts being made available through Ford dealership parts counters. In addition, aftermarket suppliers produced performance parts and accessories.

    So, getting back to the stats.
    Production figures for the Galaxie are known, however, the number produced with 406's is not as well known.
    Were thousands produced, yes, mainly for the racing community.
    Were thousands available to the general public, initially no and after the 427 introduction, yes, as Ford still had an inventory of them of sorts and were "dumping"' them to recoup their capital costs.
    But it was far from being "thousands". and yes, they were available well after the 427 intro. But not a popular option as everyone wanted the 427's.

    The 406 was a good engine but in the Galaxie, it was a pig as they were heavy cars and not able to keep up to the competition. The 427 was a game changer.

    As a BTW, the 427 was actually a 425. The Ad/Marketing execs decided to up the displacement one cube over the upcoming Mopar 426 and just to make it sound better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  30. Normbc9
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,123

    Normbc9
    Member

    The earlier '62 406 didn't have reinforced main bearing webs. The later '63 did have them. Both are strong running engines. In my information I have here the 406 had two block runs. When the 427 top oiler was introduced the 406 had the stronger block in it's production runs.
    Normbc9
     

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