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FE rebuild or swap?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bigs merc, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. bigs merc
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 183

    bigs merc
    Member

    Looking for some opinions here. I'm thinking that it's about time I went through the bone stock 390 FE in my 64 merc;new intake,cam, headers..... But for about the same cost of rebuilding it I could buy another 390 FE that already has most of the work done to it. What do you guys think? I'm leaning more towards the swap myself, but it's nice to hear what you guys and gals think.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Judd
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,894

    Judd
    Member

    I'd have mine rebuilt as I just had to rebuild a just rebuilt FE cause the thing was reassembled wrong. You need a machinest that knows FE's not a SBC guy. One common mistake made on mine was putting the rear cam plug in backwards also their are two different front cam set ups.
     
  3. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    I would not get hung up on the numbers matching deal. It won't mean much on a 64 Ford unless it's 427. For me it comes down to the condition of the replacement Vrs the original engine.

    One question is...is it smoking, knocking or do you just think it's time?
     
  4. bigs merc
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 183

    bigs merc
    Member

    It seems to have developed a slight knock recently so I feel it is that time again, been about 6 years since the last rebuild
     
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  5. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,409

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    I rebuilt mine in 07 but i studied the FE bible by steve christbefore i took it to the machinist.yeah a sbc guys gonna put the cam plug in backwards if you dont tell himhow it goes in. No problems since 07 on mine.
     
  6. barstowpo
    Joined: Jun 27, 2012
    Posts: 232

    barstowpo
    Member

    It never hurts to have a spare. You could always buy the rebuilt one, double check everything and keep the original. I think I have 3 spares sitting around.
     
  7. USA Tires Sign Joe
    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,072

    USA Tires Sign Joe
    Member
    from Western NJ

    Can you hear the newer re-build run? Build pressure etc.?
     
  8. Thunderroad312
    Joined: Nov 18, 2012
    Posts: 159

    Thunderroad312
    Member

    Before you condemn that motor, check the fuel pump real well. I have seen many FE's where the fuel pump arm gets worn at the pivot which causes the arm to slap the cam and make a nasty noise that sounds like the engine is going bad. Easy to check, just remove the pump and run the engine on a gravity feed can.:)
     
  9. bigs merc
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 183

    bigs merc
    Member

    I'm currently waiting to hear more details on the second motor.The fuel pump was replaced about 5 years ago. Can a fuel pump get worn out that quickly?
     
  10. Rebuild the one you have. No questions that way. You may save money in the long run.
     
  11. Thunderroad312
    Joined: Nov 18, 2012
    Posts: 159

    Thunderroad312
    Member

    Yep.Your doing real well at 5 years, as most parts sold today are effin' junk. Only takes 10 mins to check it out and be sure.When I was a 14 year old kid (bout 40 years ago) my first car was '63 1/2 and it developed a rattle. My dad and I rebuilt a another engine for it as the car had the original with 150,000+ miles. We had just finished the new motor,when the fuel pump went out on the original. When I replaced it, the noise majically disapeared. Some things you never forget. Have seen others do this as well.
     
  12. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,843

    sunbeam
    Member

    Check to see if the spring in the fuel pump that pushes on the cam arm is still there or broken they will still run without it but it will make a tapping noise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  13. SixtySix Ford
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 31

    SixtySix Ford
    Member

    Id rebuild the one you have and be done with it! And like someone else said, you wont have any unknowns when doing it yourself.
     
  14. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    go with two motors if the price is right ---spare parts are drying up--even if it is the pump ...
     
  15. bigs merc
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 183

    bigs merc
    Member

    Thanks for the input ThunderRoad, guess I know what I'm doing next weekend
     

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