Originally Posted by Rick WI
Your kidding right? I can't think of a worse head on the flow bench than a Ford FE. I can't think of a worse performing big block motor from the 60's and 1970 than a 390. I know, I drove one.
An aftermarket cylinder head will gain you more on the bottom, mid and top. About the best mod I can think of for a big block Ford.
How do I know? Had more than a few big block fords on the dyno.
nope, not kidding. I've had my share of bbf too, all of them built-to-the-hilt. On one particular motor that had the stock irons ported, the heads were eventually replaced with edelbrock aluminums and there was no real gain in power (after all was said and done). inbetween the ported irons and aluminum edelbrock rpm heads were a STOCK casting c7 head that ran the same numbers as the ported heads! like i said earlier, the BIGGEST problem with getting power out of an FE is the intake angle leading INTO the cylinder chamber. even the aluminum heads can only address that problem just so much, before requiring a totally new intake manifold design.... and yes, i've been there too with the original jba's machine shop, esi.
the best upgrade any fe owner could do to the motor is change the rockers to something adjustable (428cj are adjustable) and stick in better valves, valve springs, and lifters. as well as a good cam. new intake manifold, better carb, and better exhaust wouldnt hurt neither. just watch out for the venerable fe high pressure oil passage crack and tap in the largest holley jets into the oil feed hole between the head and block (the ones that feed the rocker shafts) and you're set. aftermarket heads, in my opinion, arent worth it for the fe.