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Y block or 390 ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,189

    afaulk
    Member

    Y block-- looks right, sounds right, can get very good fuel mileage. If it's a cruiser there's nothin wrong with the Y. If the driveline is properly maintained, odds are, breakdowns on the road can be managed with a SMALL toolbox and a few spares.
     
  2. Hotrob
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 589

    Hotrob
    Member
    from DFW, TX

    I am a little behind on this thread, but I will add my opinion for those searching the board. I have done both in a 55 Ford, and the FE is by far a better performer. More trans options more intake options, and more HP! Don't get the idea that one is more traditional or correct that the other for a Hot Rod! The Y-Block came out in Ford cars in 1954 and the FE arrived in 1958. They were yanking Y-Blocks out of the Tri-five fords in favor of the FE before 1960 came around.

    Anyway, I like the Y-Block alot, but for that 55 Ford, the FE was a big improvement in driveability.
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  3. easyissy
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 133

    easyissy
    Member

  4. Is that right?
     
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  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,375

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Primarily a Chevrolet guy here; there's no substitute for cubic inches, so I say 390 all the way!!! Seems to me, all the guys in high school (a long time ago) with Y-blocks, were always marking their territory with oil leaks, and lots of valve clatter (???), and they ALL wanted an FE swap. Maybe use the Y-block parts in trade for 390 parts?
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  6. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,266

    6sally6
    Member

    19.1Charleston style 350.jpeg Go with the 390 and thank goodness not one of these!!!
    6sally6
     
    kevinrevin likes this.
  7. tim troutman
    Joined: Aug 6, 2012
    Posts: 289

    tim troutman
    Member

    2 of my favorites cant go wrong either way. if you need to get a 57 if you don't use the 390 use the y block
     
  8. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I think he may have made up his mind already, since this thread is 8 years old.
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  9. Bigblue61
    Joined: May 25, 2015
    Posts: 67

    Bigblue61
    Member

    Jeff, if youre the same Junkyard Jeff from FM, all Im going to say is that if Tbirdchick was still with us and you didn't put an FE in that car, there would be hell to pay. Heck, Jan may just come back and haunt you if you don't do it!
     
  10. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,249

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    This is a no brainer , there is no match for cubes . Do as you wish , but I’m in the FE corner . If the Y was any good Ford would have used it many many years as it did the FE .
     
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  11. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,079

    BigChief
    Member

    Either motor will get you to Florida no problem and are equally capable of leaving you on the side of the road as well.

    Don't kid yourself.....hard parts/internals for either motor are no longer available over the counter at common parts places. Ignition parts, starters and fuel systems are common between the two families and you'll have a fighting chance at grabbing that at the timbucktwo parts and donut emporium. If you break down the hard way with either motor you'll be on a stretcher and waiting for parts.

    I've had/have them both....if your doing a cruiser your farther ahead by putting the Yblock back in where it came from. You already have everything for it and wont have to invent or reengineer things like linkages and mounts.

    If you are after performance the the FE will make more power easier....but you'll need good heads and an intake to do it. 390s aren't exactly fire breathers out of the box. Neither motor is cheap to rebuild the right way and both have little quirks you'll need to deal with if you're going in deep. Both are anvil reliable with a proper rebuild and modern oils.

    Unless the 390 is fresh/done right and ready to go with minimal effort you're better off to keep rolling with the momentum you've built up with the Yblock....

    Transmission upgrades are a great idea. The C4 or even the AOD would be a good move.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  12. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,544

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    That is me and its going to get a 272 like it came from the factory,me and Jan were discussing about meeting but it never happened. My dad bought it new and I am going to put it back close to the way he ordered it but with some changes,I am going to use my 65 custom 500 for the long distance trips.
     
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  13. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,544

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    The 390 that was in the bread was stuck and they wanted too much for it,its going to get a 55 272 with some 57 parts and going to use another car for long distance trips.
     
  14. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler
    Member

    I've owned a 292 block and a 2bbl 390. Either is good for cruising. I think going with the Y block is a good choice. That 390 didn't work out so well, but more are out there, when you want one.
    Good Luck!
     
  15. If it was mine this is my choice. 67 T Bird 002.JPG
     
  16. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 723

    Boden

    390 for hp and melting tires fun. But y-block for nostalgia and some get up and go. If it was me. I would go y-block. I could see a 390 swapped into a 50s car


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  17. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 723

    Boden

    Oh. Since it’s only a 292 go with the FE


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  18. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 553

    v8flat44

    Y Block 4 me. Had a friend back in the 60s with a built 292 in a 57 Custom 300. He beat it hard, beat most chalangers, & it took a lick'n & kept on tick'n. o2 cents
     
  19. The 390 with a 4-speed will be a howl to drive. If automatic, stick with the y-block. Either should be good even in stock form.
     
  20. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,286

    George
    Member

    Someone's playing in the dead threads again....
     
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  21. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    And, if won't be long before it becomes a "Featured" dead thread :)
     
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  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,544

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    My dad bought it new and I am kind of putting it back to the way it was except for the trans,I never liked the original automatic trans since it started out in second so I am going to use the front of the FOM on a FMX so it will start out in first but look original to the untrained eye. I would like to get a 2 door wagon some day and it will get the FE.
     
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  23. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,362

    Boneyard51
    Member

    The Ford-a-matic, only starts out in second gear, when it has low or moderate throttle, thus not needing low gear. If you push the gas to the floor, it will take off it first or if you pull the shift lever into low, at any throttle position, it will take off in low.








    Bones
     
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  24. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,145

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's been mentioned several times in this thread, but I've never understood the concern about "breaking down on the road" and not being able to get parts. I drive a '56 Chrysler all around the midwest, and don't think twice about heading out somewhere. I carry a spare water pump, fuel pump and belts. On the road parts availability for its Delco 10si alternator, GM power steering pump and the '67 Charger master cylinder shouldn't be too hard to find. Anything else breaks and it's going on the trailer.

    What kind of parts availability are you concerned with? Gonna replace rod bearings at a rest stop?
     
  25. That's part of the justification usually used to insert a sbc in everything...
     
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  26. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,145

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There's too many of those damn things in hot rods already.
     
    George, loudbang, King ford and 2 others like this.
  27. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,264

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My fourth '54 Ford Coupe (white Customline) was sitting on the street, a circle of dirt all underneath it...the lady said it had a 'clutch noise', so I started it up and...=BUMP, BUMP!=
    I told her it had a broken crankshaft. But I wanted it anyway, she said "Fifteen dollars..."
    Signed the pink, I drove it home, 2 miles.
    Replaced the engine with a punched-out 312 a kid's Dad had built him. 336 C.I.
    Drove that '54 2 years, then put an FE in it.
    The FE was a '63 crate engine. 427 side oiler.
    That was an 'extreme example' of an FE swap... Hate to tell what I ended up trading the coupe for.
     
  28. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,514

    327Eric
    Member
    from Diablo Ca.

    my experience with Y Blocks
     
  29. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,544

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    They had 3.30 gears that helped when taking off in second but it now has 3.00 gears so it needs first all the time,the 3.00 gears are staying so its going to get that FOM/FMX mix of parts if I can find anyone willing to do it. I do have a 55 rear end so I can put it in but would like to keep the highway gears.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  30. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 469

    OLSKOOL57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Like them both, I lean towards the Y-Block. More Traditional to me. You can’t go wrong with either though. Good Luck with your decision.
     

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