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spoketruth 10-10-2006 07:06 PM

390 stroker
I need some info about the steps involved in installing a stroker kit in a 390. I have a 66 thunderbird. Where is the best place to order a kit from? Can I just install the parts in the place of the originals? What modifications need to be made? Is there a cheaper way than buying a stroker kit?

Rick WI 10-10-2006 10:01 PM

A better invenstment than a stroker on an FE is to replace the heads with aftermarket.

Deuce 10-10-2006 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by spoketruth
I need some info about the steps involved in installing a stroker kit in a 390.
Is there a cheaper way than buying a stroker kit?

Yes ... just buy a 428 Ford engine ... same family as your 390 and is what Ford did to make a factory stroker ...


KULTULZ 10-10-2006 11:33 PM

What are you expecting in power increase with a stroker?

A pre-CJ 428 will give you a lot more torque. A 460 swap will give you a whole lot more torque... :thumbup:

nitro_baller4692 10-11-2006 06:24 AM
try this site.

spoketruth 10-11-2006 02:47 PM

390 stroker
Thanks for the replies. I think I want to keep the 390 in the T-bird so I'm not sure about the 428. I want more torque and a reasonable increase in HP. Don't have numbers but it will be a driver with more power than it probably needs (whatever that means). Will the aftermarket heads significantly increase mid range torque and horsepower? Also I didn't get an answer to the question about what's involved in installing the stroker kit if I decide to go in that direction. Is it a direct replacement deal or do I have to modify things? Oh yeah, what does pre CJ mean?

Brian S 10-11-2006 05:22 PM

Have you tried speedomotive?
The problem with stroker kits is they're a bit pricey.
Aftermarket heads aren't cheap either.

Pre-CJs use 390 size valves rather than 427LR valves.

sel2real 10-11-2006 05:47 PM

other than a weight savings, there isnt much more that aluminum heads offer over the cast irons. the biggest problem with fe's is the angle at which the intake fuel/air mixture has to turn to get into the combustion chamber. without a total redesign of the intake and cylinder heads, there isnt much power to be seen with any aftermarket head. aluminum weighs less than iron though, and considering the "bling" factor.... taking measurements of the port sizes in the stock iron heads will probably also amaze you. you'll find out that the factory ports are already large - probably more than they need to be being stock.

66 T-Bird 10-11-2006 05:58 PM

you should head over to, not trying to defer you from this forum as it is a great forum but the people at fordfe know a little more about the FE engine, it is a great motor to get torque out of, you could get a 428 crank and stroke it to 406? or 416? and put a comp cams xe274 cam in it, streetmaster intake and adjustable rockers with a holley 750 on top and make around 420hp with that bad boy for around a grand depending on what heads you have on there look for me on the forum my user name is 1966Tbird

edit: a 428 is externally ballanced so you have to swap the whole rotating assembally into the 390 with the exception of pistons which you would want to get some good forged ones

i have a 1966 Tbird too, its got a 390 with a xe274 cam, offenhouser 360* duel port intake 1in 4hole riser, 750 holley vac. secondary, msd pro billit dissy with mechanical advance, msd 6al box, msd coil all that stuff, glass packs

the trans is a rebuilt c6 with tci clutches and a tci valvebody, it has a 2800 stall converter that i love and a B&M megashifter

if you get a bunch of power in your 390 your trans will explode, it happened to me the 1966 c6 trans has a cruize-O-matic shift pattern in the valvebody and the whole trans is unique to that year basically because of this nobody makes parts for it and nobody knows how to work on them. when mine exploded i got a c6 out of a 67 ltd, the original shifter in my t-bird would not work with the new shift pattern so i had to put a b&M megashifter in it, to do this i had to cut the collum and trim the boot that the shifter comes with to make it look decent, also i had to mount my power windows in my glovebox and get rid of the power locks (no big deal they didnt' work Ne way) then i had to remove the shifter from the steering collum, that wasn't too hard but i have a little nub where the chrome thing would go

another thing is you have to do something about that 28 spline 3:1 open rear, i just put a spool with 3.82 gears in it and it's fine till i break my axles........... i also had to mount a tach in the car to the right of the o-dometer and gauges on the chrome peice above your legs because the stock gauges are crap and don't even have numbers on them

spoketruth 10-11-2006 06:16 PM

390 stroker
So is it possible to get 400 hp and about 460ft/lbs of torque out of a pretty much stock motor with a .030" over bore? If so, how? Give me some steps please! Thanks for the link by the way. The info is much appreciated.

Oh! I didn't see 66 T-bird chime in! Wow! Thanks. do you have a build journal on here somewhere? I'm new here you'll have to excuse me. I have been checking out ford.fe... definitely a good place to learn for a beginner like me. So your shifter is on the center console? How much does all of this cost? I have way more determination than knowledge but would love to learn as much as possible. I'm currently in the process of taking the engine out but need to decide what im doin with it when i get it out.

66 T-Bird 10-11-2006 06:23 PM

put a comp xe274 bump stick in it with the right springs and all the crap

then do the intake swap to a streetmaster (proven best on mild motors) get the intake port matched to the heads (you can do it your self with a dremel tool)

stick a 750 holley on that thing and tune it good

get a new distributor, the stock ones are crap, i like the mechanical advance i have in my msd one but it cost 300 bucks

get some spark plug wires and coil

if you have 500 bucks laying around get some FPA headers for a 66 thunderbird that will really really really help your horsepower that mod is better than getting heads IMHO

you can leave the bottom end stock to make just like 400 horsepower

you will have to do some oil restrictions in your heads (talk to the forum about that as i have no clue how to do this)

and get a new tranny if you are going to be making this power

spoketruth 10-11-2006 06:30 PM

390 stroker
Hey 66 tbird. See my edit in the previous post.

66 T-Bird 10-11-2006 06:36 PM

nope i don't have a build journal or anything on here i stopped visiting here last year just by chance i decided to peek in and see if anything FE was happening and saw your thread i can walk you through some steps if you need help though my email is if you need help down the road

66 T-Bird 10-11-2006 06:41 PM

yes my shifter is in my center consol i can send you a pic if you want, it's not really finished yet but it's getting there, don't try this untill you buy a new center consol (cost me 10bucks) and if you are going to make a nice car you have to get over the fear of cutting the car up

spoketruth 10-11-2006 06:51 PM

390 stroker
Cool, that is greatly appreciated and I will definitely take you up on that. (Probably immediately!) By the way, clarify a few terms for me... Steetmaster- is the company name?
FPA?... Ford Performance?

So it sounds like if I go with the 428 crank, I might as well go with the kit right?

And if I add the other goodies on top I'll be in more than I need shape?

BTW what kind of suspension do you have on your bird?

Just got over the fear of cutting the bird up.

Oh, Edelbrock streetmaster...

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