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Customs How do you choose an engine for a custom?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flynn's_57, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,259

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Oh, great. Thanks. Now I need one of these.



    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Baumi likes this.
  2. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,464

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Where in NorCal? It would be mildly ridiculous to not just drop another FE in there, they can be found- I saw a stash of quite a few just Wednesday, and I always have some around. A decent 390, 352, 360 will pull it around just fine and last forever if you keep the oil clean. You'd want to stick to the internally balanced engines for simplicity. If you want to keep the generator, the early blocks have the boss cast in for mounting, but pretty easy to convert to an alternator. Of course it wouldn't be the HAMB without the Chebbrainwashed popping up with "put a Chebby in it" lol. Some errors have been stated, "truck" oil pans etc.- much confusion comes from lumping "truck" stuff with "pickup" stuff, as there were HD medium truck engines that can be very different. 2wd pickups generally had front sump pans, while 4wd pickups had the rear sump. "Truck" FT engines generally had the full-length pan, usually referred to as the "bread pan". Anything that deviates from the stock configuration will only make this fixup more difficult and expensive. The grocery getter FE engines like the 390 and 352 are inexpensive to work on, make decent power and are very receptive to upgrades, and durable and dependable as a rock
     
    loudbang likes this.
  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,235

    goldmountain

    I'm with the 302 crowd because I am cheap.
     
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  4. Step one should be should always be a full engine rebuild on an engine you have questions about.
    I have never had luck with a used engine, and they have always cost me in the long run, and ended up doing a full rebuild anyway.

    Get it done do it right and you won't have to worry about it.

    I say go with the FE, good base cool, and not everyone has one.
     
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,907

    squirrel
    Member

    Thanks for the clarification. The main point I wanted to make was that you have to pay attention to the oil pan when planning an engine swap. And I can't keep track of all the Ford variations, they didn't make it easy.
     
    Pist-n-Broke likes this.
  6. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 723

    4 pedals
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    I'd say stick with the FE, whether this one gets rebuilt or another gets found. They're still common enough to get parts for easily, it already fits and you're going to want the torque for moving that big car. If building fresh, I would go with a 410, which uses the 360-390-410 same bore and 410-428 stroke put the compression around 9:1 and a mild cam. Stock 4bbl intakes weigh about a ton and a half, so if you can swing an aftermarket aluminum one, they're much easier to install, and I'd probably even leave manifolds on it for simplicity's sake.

    Devin
     
  7. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,464

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Actually there are only the few basic "variations" on FE/FT pans, front, rear and full length sumps. The mistake you made is a common one, as folks like to refer to their pickups as "trucks", but the pickup FE engines, while based on the same block and configuration, are quite different in details from the HD FT "truck" engines, and it confuses the issue. You made a common mistake, as many others have, but you posting misinformation is not Ford's fault lol...
    A thing to remember is that the 4x4 pans and the FT truck pans have rear pickups that require a longer pickup, and a main cap bolt that has a stud built into it that supports the long pickup. And the 4x4 and the breadpans are both pretty popular for swaps and racing purposes where a rear sump/ pickup is a good thing- the breadpan holds a lot of oil without being overly deep, when ground clearance is a little tight
     
  8. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,464

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Yep, one of my favorites, and the best bang for the buck in an FE, since the later 390 pickup engines used 410 Mercury pistons, down in the hole for low compression, and "390 pickup" pistons are cheeeep. Sounds like you may poke around on my FB FE group lol... You pointed out the the 3.98 crank is correctly ID'd as the 410/428 crank, and some folks will post that you need a 428 crank to make a 410- both engines came out in '66, and shared the crank. 410 make a sweet street/ 4x4 engine, and you won't feel the difference from a 428 in you butt dyno when you stomp on it
     
  9. The '58 Edsel was a odd duck. Manual transmissions were available, but not common. And I've seen a few with 'other' motors in them, including a 2-dr wagon (less than 1000 built!) that had the Mercury 383" Mel-based motor.

    The upside is both Ford and Mercury offered pretty much the full range of motors (Ford had Y-blocks and FEs, and Mercury added the Mels) in their '58 cars, so the parts did exist to swap if you can find them, which is the downside.

    The FE will probably be the easiest, cheapest 'vintage' motor choice, but manual trans bits are getting very hard to find and are expensive when you do. The '58 Edsel FEs do have some peculiarities not shared with the Ford versions that take some minor machine work to correct. One interesting thing about the very early FEs is they have considerably thicker cylinder walls than the later motors and some will accept a bore out to the 4.13" for a 428. And you'll need a stouter trans than a T5 behind it. A C6 will kill your gas mileage if that's important... The TeleTouch disappeared after one year for a reason, although it has a very cool steering wheel. If you're going to change out the column, I'd be interested in buying the wheel from you if it's not trashed.

    If budgetary concerns loom large, a 351W/AOD will probably be the cheapest overall choice. It shouldn't cost too much to add a manual to that, although you may have issues with clutch linkage. Cable linkage would probably be the easiest option there.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,551

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My sentiments Exactly, I am not a fan of rigs sitting in a row with hoods gaping open and breaking up the lines anyhow. The 250 in my 48 was dead nuts reliable but it sure as hell wasn't a show motor and I hated to even open the hood long enough to check the oil at a rod trot.
    MS Merc built by Paul Harper has one of the most beautiful flatheads in it that you will ever see complete with Kong heads but the only time he has left the hood open at an event is at the East West flathead run where showing the flathead was more important than the cars smooth lines.

    For that Edsel a clean engine compartment With a Ford originated engine that can pull the weight and cruise at freeway speeds and not guzzle like a bar fly on cheap drink night. 351 Fords with an overdrive automatic are pretty inexpensive and you can probably find a donor rig that you can buy and drive and sort out the drivetrain before swapping.

    Again if it is a custom the hood stays closed so you don't need a high Bubba factor engine.
     
  11. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    Wow, way more responses than I thought!

    Yes, it's a small-series (Pacer; ford-based) that had a 361 FE in it.
    (Edsels are so weird- this FE has a 4-barrel intake w/a two barrel adapter on it I'm almost positive came from the factory, one of many things that makes you say "oh, okay, well I guess that works,").

    I've already replaced the steering column with one from a '58 Ford, the tele-touch buttons were all removed when I got it. The ford column doesn't have the blinker switch in it however, anyone know if they are the same?

    I'm kinda thinking a 302 & 5 speed out of an 80's ford (truck, mustang or...?) might be the easiest but I'm wondering if a 361 or larger would get better mileage... I've got the front-end off and man is it heavy... (the custom front doghouse I'm using seems much lighter). The idea of running a big block FE in it still seems very cool and alluring-

    I pulled the 361 out using a tree, the engine is still patiently waiting for me to decide what to do with it.
    I'd like to keep it, but there's a Y-block for sale ("pulled when running") that seems pretty decent in the price department.
     
  12. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,979

    sunbeam
    Member

    One thing about a 58 if it has a MEL it will have the FE bolt pattern on the back of the block.
     
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    You might have told us that in the first place. Under the circumstance you couldn't do better than a 302 for decent performance with great gas mileage. They did fine in Crown Vics and Lincolns of similar size and weight to your Edsel.
    I would rather have an automatic but of course, that is up to you.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  14. The Edsel TeleTouch column is a weird one, I don't think it shares any parts with other Ford products. The steering wheel has no hub, it bolts to an 'adaptor' with three bolts.
     
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  15. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    I've pop-started cars when the starter failed or the battery died, can't do that with an auto my man. What might I have mentioned earlier? I never know what to tell you guys online. I went with a 302 & 5-speed in my '57 ford. Only reason I'm doing the '58 Edsel now is the '57 was consumed in the paradise fire (I think they called it the "Camp" fire, which is bullshit but that's another topic-).
     

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  16. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    before & after
     

    Attached Files:

  17. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,744

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    You could always go " Eanie meanie mynie more !
     
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  18. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,777

    Lloyd's paint & glass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The cheap one that i can afford ;) Break that son of a bitch loose and run it til it blows up! Not everybody on here is rich :D
     
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  19. buster6972
    Joined: Apr 3, 2007
    Posts: 232

    buster6972
    Member
    from Florida

    Didn't think I'd say it, but those new 5.0 coyote motors look pretty damn good under the hood. Good output and would seemingly look good in that Edsel.
     
  20. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    Hahaha! Heck yeah "eenie-meanie"!
    I know a guy with a 3-pot for a Y-block (pretty sure he wants big money though,)
    "Not everyone on here is rich," that is so great to read man!
    5.0 might be the way to go-
     
  21. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    I guess I should say:
    The main reason I got into old cars was because Grandpa saved me the '57.
    It was 1st owned by grandpa's best friend.
    -Then his eldest daughter ("Auntie")
    -then Mom owned it
    -then Uncle Louie
    -then me!

    So losing the '57 sucked. But I'm hoping I will still be able to take Granny for a ride in the '58!
     
  22. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,777

    Lloyd's paint & glass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah we all can't drive a fiberglass 32 Ford replica with a $20,000 paint job and a $20,000 mill. Or one of them brookville bodies that cost more than every car I've ever owned added together! We just want something to drive that everybody else ain't got.
     
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,298

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If you said the original engine and trans was long gone and you already had a 302, manual trans, and all the parts to put them in it would have made a difference.
     
  24. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,777

    Lloyd's paint & glass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    He said the original engine is swinging in the tree, waiting for him to make up his mind....
     
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  25. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,310

    lumpy 63
    Member

    When I was in High School in the late 70s several of the lowrider guys had me yank small blocks out of there early 60s Impalas and swap in 230 0r 250 straight 6s....It was all about being low and slow. Plus the didn't like to pay for gas:D
     
  26. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 903

    Flynn's_57
    Member
    from Nor*Cal

    Fiberglass boggles my mind!
    Just cause it looks like something 90 years old doesn't mean it should cost that.
    Just imagine if we paid for the labor to make it and the materials-
    Would it cost so much? :eek:

    Oh! Okay, so right now I have the 1958 361 FE with the Tele-touch trans.
    I am hell bent on a manual trans (column or floor, nothing to me so long as it's manual)
    I've used an 80's 302 (in the past) on my '57, which should have the same mounts.

    But Edsels used larger motors (cause the front was so heavy I guess),
    and who doesn't want a MONSTER under the hood?
    But, gas mileage reminds me I ain't JAY LENO-
    (ain't that the dream though? A comedian car enthusiast?!)

    And sixes ... I do like the inline engines.
    (But, it's kinda like Squirrel said: "guys do body stuff for a reason,".
    I can mess with motors, but I'm not a mathematician or rocket scientist,).
     
  27. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,037

    gene-koning
    Member

    I can't believe no body has stated the obvious yet!

    Put a Hemi in it! If it came with an FE, a Hemi should fit. Either a 50s version, or a 426, or a modern version.

    If it was my car, an EFI 5.0 would be to go to choice. Power and gas mileage all rolled into one, it would fit, and keep the car brand loyal. Gene
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  28. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,270

    6sally6
    Member

    IF it has clean lines.....shiny chrome.............pretty paint...........tricked-out upholstery.....cool wheels and tires........sorta slammed to the ground..(Like ALL customs should be!) It needs to be loud with a snotty idle to get everybody's attention when you drive in!! Nothing sounds better than a snot slang'in-snort'in FE !!
    I mean........why have a really superb looking car and then make it "blend-in" with all the rest of the also- rans with a Shivel-lay crate motor in 'em?
    Ta heck with "good-gas-mileage" etc...........you ain't gonna drive it everyday are you? Strut-ya-stuff man.
    You don't see many babes on the beach with a 'moo-moo' on do ya?!! They look good in strings and spandex so they strut it.
    You got a tricked out Edsel (never thought I'd say that, back-in-the-day!) so get rowdy with the noise and 'pro-stock idle!" Just MHO
     
  29. swervyjoe
    Joined: Jun 17, 2014
    Posts: 26

    swervyjoe
    Member

    I put a 223 in my old '58 Ranger.
     
  30. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,818

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    You mentioned "monster motor"! You want one? I've got a "never off the engine stand" 514 CID Ford , with Edelbrock alum. heads. Real hot rod!
     

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