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Old 12-13-2011, 08:35 PM
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390 FE Ford Bolt Pattern

I have a 390 FE in a 55 Merc and it has a standard transmission. I have had a lot of trouble with heads as they do not have hardened valve seats, so I was wondering if a later model ford engine (352 and up) could be used and would it bolt up to the Ford three speed. Any year that had the hardened seats probably from 1980 up and are the motor mounts comparable??

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Last edited by Mel Smith; 12-13-2011 at 08:37 PM. Reason: errors in spelling
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:13 PM
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Would a cylinder head rebuild including hardened seats be an option for you?
If not mistaken, the FE blocks are all ok for that trans but let an FE expert verify that.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:14 PM
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You probably should get your hands on this:http://www.mre-books.com/interchange/index.html the hardened valve seats came in around 1970 but some mid 70's cylinder heads were more about smog than performance so I would advise giving this book a good read before making your decision.Also join this forum http://www.network54.com/Forum/74182/ for lots of FE Ford info.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boss68
Would a cylinder head rebuild including hardened seats be an option for you?
If not mistaken, the FE blocks are all ok for that trans but let an FE expert verify that.
The thing is this is a car that will get about 2,000 miles per year and they want $700 dollars to harden the valve seats, so I'm thinking if I could get a running 390 or 427 that would bolt up, I would be better off. The car is painted my football teams colors and I use it just to go to the home games. There is also a question of where the air is coming from the pushes the water from the radiator and the heads do not show a crack when fluxed, so they are either cracked in the valve body or the block has a crack, so a replacement to a later engine makes more sense to me if I can find one. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB
You probably should get your hands on this:http://www.mre-books.com/interchange/index.html the hardened valve seats came in around 1970 but some mid 70's cylinder heads were more about smog than performance so I would advise giving this book a good read before making your decision.Also join this forum http://www.network54.com/Forum/74182/ for lots of FE Ford info.
Thanks for the info but this I'm not really interested in performance for this car as it is a causal driver, just want something dependable that runs well.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:25 PM
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Ford used the 360" Fe motor for trucks into the mid 70's, they have hardened seats and will bolt on to your 390.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:46 PM
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The 70's 360's were also a slug performance wise and with the retarded emissions timing both in the timing gears and distributor the low end and mid-range power will suffer as well as your fuel economy,since you only drive it 2,000 miles a year I would freshen up the 390 and use a lead substitute additive every other fill up and you won't need to go to the added expense of the hardened seats.The word performance does not always apply to major horsepower it also applies to torque and economy as well.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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I should have been more clear, I meant that the 360 heads would bolt on to the 390 block. I was thinking that they'd be a cheap way to get hardened seats.
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