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lhthom2 06-04-2008 08:49 AM

390 Fe out of 68 fairlane
I just bought a 390 FE out of 68 fairlane. I am planning on putting it in a 56 F100. Will this work and if so, how hard?

PatM 06-04-2008 09:23 AM

I haven't ever done one myself, but I seem to recall that this was a real popular swap about 20-25 years ago. The FE engine pretty much bolts in wherever a y-block used to be, and so if your truck is a 292 or 312, I think about the only thing that'll require change is the throttle linkage. Boy -- That's a memory cell test.


lhthom2 06-04-2008 12:01 PM

390 Fe
Thank-You that makes me feel alot better. You brought up another question. Since the truck did not have a motor or trans how do I tell if 292 or 312?


PatM 06-04-2008 01:16 PM

If you post the VIN number here, there may be someone on HotRodders that can help. There may also be a few F100 specific sites out on the internet that will offer more support, perhaps, than this site will. I know that in '56 the only V8 pick-up trucks were all y-blocks. This is the 234(?), 272, 292, 312 series of engines. There were also 6 cylinder trucks. I do not know if the sixes and V8s were readily interchangable, or if engine mount welding was necessary. I do know the first FE motors, the 332 and 352, were introduced in 1958. And I think that the pickups offered both the y-block and the FE for several years. I had high-school friends who put FE motors into '56 sedans, and they worked great. They bolted right in where the y-block used to go.


lhthom2 06-04-2008 01:24 PM

390 Fe
Thank-You very much. I think you answered my question. My block does say 352. I think it will bolt up and that would be a beautiful thing. Thanks again for all of the help. What a great website this has been and I have only been apart of it for about 5 hours.

Thanks again
Lynn Thomas

Scode68 06-05-2008 06:17 AM

352 showed up on a lot of blocks so it could be a 352/360/390 but at least itís a 390.

Iíve seen a few 55-57 Tbirds with 427 or 428 engines so I would think the 390 will fit your Pick-Up with no problem. You might have a problem with headers but that should be it.

oldbogie 06-05-2008 02:41 PM


Originally Posted by lhthom2
I just bought a 390 FE out of 68 fairlane. I am planning on putting it in a 56 F100. Will this work and if so, how hard?

The biggest headache your going to hit is Ford's ability to use a half dozen bell housing bolt patterns. If you're planning on using the original 56 transmission, what ever that is, you'll need an adapter between the FE and the existing bell housing. However, the 56 trannies are pretty weak, so coming up with something that originally bolted to an FE would be a great labor and cost savings device at this point.


PatM 06-05-2008 02:55 PM

OldBogie (as always) is right! I can't speak to the various and sundry bolt patterns, but I can speak to the transmissions from 1956. As a kid in high school and college, I went through about 1 a year. And I was never brutal. They just seemed to crumble internally. The manuals, anyway. Dunno personnaly of anyone having trouble with the automatics. But, then again, those engines were only about 200-225 HP. A 390 would give it a lot of extra exercise. Perhaps a C6?


lhthom2 06-08-2008 07:01 AM

390 fe for 56 f100
The good thing is that when I bought the 390 FE (for $100) I also bought the C6 that was with it (also for $100) and the lady thru in the driveline. I know I will have to have it shortened but I thought by buying both the engine & trans it would save me some hassles as well as the price. She said she needed money fast and I think I got a great deal. Everything is there and it looks like it would start right up right now.

p.s. I have another question, I have a chance to buy a Valorie front clip (complete) for $300. I don't know if that is a good deal and my other issue is I am a Ford guy thru and thru and a valorie is not ford. Should I just wait for a good priced mustang II IFS?

j-jock 06-08-2008 08:42 PM

390 into a 56 truck
One of the things you are going to have to do, is find a truck rear sump and oil pump pickup. The other thing you will need to collect is the oil filter mount from a truck FE engine. These pieces are plentiful, so it is no big deal.
I can't remember whether the front mount points are the same for the Y engine and the FE, I know there were differences in how the mounts attached to the block between the earlier and later FE engines. I believe the mounts will match up to the Y engine mount points. The 68 engine will have the later pattern. I just can't remember but in any case you have lots of room to place the engine properly.
Don't screw up the exhaust manifolds or toss them, If they are original, they are the GT manifold with the staggered bolt pattern instead of the bolt holes at the top and bottom. The headers you buy will have to be for the GT heads. They are excellent heads, so don't exchange them.
I also agree with your decision to use the C-6. It is a great transmission and saves all the headaches of matching bellhousings.

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