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Old 08-20-2003, 10:06 AM
mwc mwc is offline
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Caddy 390 engine advice/review

In need of urgent advice! Currently rebuilding a 1950 chev fastback and looking for an oddball engine to stuff in it. Ran across a 390 with tranny off of a 63' caddy for $300 that is only up for sale for one more day. I'm mainly a chev guy and don't know much about caddy engines. Was wondering if anyone has any advice, insight or experience with the 390. Is it a decent engine as far as performance, durability, and parts availibility are concerned? Is it easy to install? Is it worth it?

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Old 08-20-2003, 11:19 AM
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A buddy of mine has a 390 in his tow truck it has lots of power.I have seen it snap u joints a few times.
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Old 08-20-2003, 02:08 PM
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howziit guy!

if it's only available for a day...forget it, unless it's free.

FWIW, a 1970s-up cadillac engine would sell for the same(free, if you're lucky), and have 472-500 cubic inches!

much more potential in those. it's also an oddball engine, with MUCH more parts availability. almost as light as a small block(!), more torque than a stock big-block chevy, better gas mileage(i've heard).

in fact, there's a rebuilt one on

no bidders, and a reasonable price for a rebuilt, if all is well.
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:21 PM
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The 63' 390 was a 1 year only motor. The 62' and earlier 390 had several differances when compared to the 63' and up motors. In 64' the 429 came out and the 390 was discontinued.

Unless the motor is in top running condition, I will have to agree with 5-7heaven. The 425 is lighter than a SBC, and the 472/500 are only 45lbs hearier. You can also buy an Edelbrock intake, A cam from your favorite sorce, and nearly every other speed or dress up part you need. It wouldn't be a surprise if stock rebuild parts are a problem to find for the 63' 390 Cad. Dan
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