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Old 01-02-2010, 11:37 PM
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Decoding an engine Ford FE

Thanks for checkin my post out.
I recently yanked the engine out of a 65 Tbird I have found some time to work on recently. The vehicle was aquired, and was not running at the time. Previous owner advised me it needed a carb and a water pump, and he had put it down for a bit over a year. He advised me he had aquired it from his grandfather that had passed away, and was not really to sure on its history.
I had noticed it was not the original engine in it, or it had been rebuilt (some small tell tale signs of removal) as well as the engine bay had been painted in black via Krylon I beleive. I had not had the chance to fully run her, but It had compresion, and I could start her and run a few seconds with a quick spray of carb cleaner down the throat.

Any way, I pulled the engine out to have a look see, and was quite suprised that engine seems to have been recently rebuilt. The honing marks are still on the cylinder walls, pistons look really frsh, and it seems to be bored .030 over, as well the heads look redone as well (new valves, seats guides and springs. So I planned to send it to a shop and have a pro do the rebuild, but seems like throwin money away now...
I dont know much about engines, but love to learn...can someone help me figure if this engine combo seems right, or perhaps theres a mismatch in the engine.
The heads are C4AE6090G
The intake manifold is C5AE9425C
The Block is C5AE-A
The Rods are C3AE-C
and the Exhaust Manifold is C5SE9430c

Im trying to get a feel of what type of engine it is, so I can make sure it all matches up properly. Thanks again!

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Old 01-03-2010, 05:18 AM
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If it is not the original it is a date code correct engine. The C3, C4 & C5 are codes for 63, 64 & 65. It is likely it is a rebuilt original 390 FE series engine from your bird.

Google the casting numbers.

Last edited by 1ownerT; 01-03-2010 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply back,
I did look up a the part codes, and was a little confused on the rods being listed as a 427 rod on a web site, as well as the block being listed the same at times, so I am still a bit confused.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:40 AM
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The FE family of engines are ALL basically the same just bore and stroke are different. I loved my 390 I had in an old truck. It took revs well for a big block and had torque for days in stock form. I emagine a cam in that and it would scream. Sounds great too. You can make it a 410 if you can get a 428 crank and re use your rods/pistons. No machine work needed.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:48 AM
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There should be numbers on the side of the block that decode into cubes etc. A friend had purchased a 390 '66 Tbird but when I decoded the numbers it was a 428 that had been swapped in. Get me the numbers and I'll take a look in the book.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:49 AM
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BTW I have a '62 Bird
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideQuality


Any way, I pulled the engine out to have a look see, and was quite suprised that engine seems to have been recently rebuilt. The honing marks are still on the cylinder walls, pistons look really frsh, and it seems to be bored .030 over, as well the heads look redone as well (new valves, seats guides and springs.

Im trying to get a feel of what type of engine it is, so I can make sure it all matches up properly. Thanks again!

By measuring the cylinder bore as well as the crackshaft stroke you will equal the cubic inches of the motor. With the heads off, this should be a snap.



Enjoy
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:53 PM
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I have never seen any block numbers that tell anything. The only way to determine is by crank #( on one of the throws,I think the third) and bore...that's pretty much it. You cannot tell a 428 by any casting numbers, casting numbers are shared between many FE engines as well as FT's. I have several Ford casting books and if anyone would look at the numbers listed for various components, you would see that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to tell by that. Carnk # and bore, that's the only accurate way. If it was a 427, which some early blocks do have that casting number...it would have obvious crossbolts. If it had those it would be a 427 block ,without it some other FE/FT engine.
To illustrate the insanity of trying to determine an FE engine by casting #'s let me list the engines that use the casting number posted; 390(FE),427(FE) and 330HD(FT).
By the way, I've been building FE engines since the 60s and haven't owned a '62 T-bird since 1970. That 428 you deciphered may not have been, especially if you went by block #s as you indicate. Ford didn't put serial numbers on most engines until the late 60s/early 70s...and those only tell what vehicle it came in and have no size identifying markers.
From what you have posted it would seem that you have a rebuilt stock engine. Nothing wrong with that, 390s can make plenty of HP and they have great torque to haul an old heavy 'bird around.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:33 PM
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Here is a good info site
http://www.woodyg.com/fairlane/finfo/fecidcombo.html

Many more sites and Ford Articles,
http://www.hotrodders.com/kb/ford-engines
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:33 PM
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Like a lot of people were alluding to, you can't tell by casting numbers. You just have to measure it.
If you measure the stroke, which you can do by carefully putting a wood dowel down the spark plug hole, you can get an idea. About a 3 1/2 stroke, you have a 352, or a 360. About a 3 3/4 stroke, 390, or maybe a 427. 427 engines are very rare. About a 4 inch stroke, 410, or 428.
You can put a 428 crank into a 427 block, and make a Ford 454.
By the way, there are a few 427 engines that had single overhead camshafts, built on the FE block.

This series of engines was last used in the mid 1970's in the pickups. There is a very good chance somebody before you has changed something. The engines left the factory with an aluminum tag under the ignition coil bolt that had the displacement on it, but that tag is probably long gone. The right valve cover also had some tune up and emission information on it.

Last edited by DanielC; 01-22-2010 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielC
The engines left the factory with an aluminum tag under the ignition coil bolt that had the displacement on it, but that tag is probably long gone. The right valve cover also had some tune up and emission information on it.
Only later 60s FE's had the tag, early ones didn't,they began in Jan.'64. In 1973 they dropped the tags,which as you said would probably be gone if it was ever opened up. Same with the specs, that is only on later engines. Early Ford engines were "color coded" for different sizes.Gold,Black,Green. Light Blue...I think even yellow on some of the 6's.
Mid 60's is when they went to the more well known Blue. I remember when they made the change, they advertised something to the effect of " you've seen Green Giants and now there are Blue horsepower". Kind of corny, but if you knew the advertising at the time it would make more sense.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:32 PM
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My mistake. I checked that Tbird's engine over 15 years ago and I looked in my "How to Rebuild Big Block Ford Engines " book and you are correct that you can't tell what an engine is by the codes alone. But you can tell what the engine isn't by the codes. My friends car was a 1966 Tbird that had a
C7ME-A code (that's what I checked off in the book at the time). That tells you it could be a 330 (rare?) or a 428 out of a 67-70 car.That car had so much power no way could it have been a 330.My bird had a C6ME-A code which could be a 330,352,360,390,410 or a 428 as far as I can see.
At the time I had checked the crank in my bird while it was apart and it had 2U on it (out of a truck I think).
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:36 PM
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I also think that I had looked at the head numbers and it didn't fall into the 330 category.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratdoggy
I also think that I had looked at the head numbers and it didn't fall into the 330 category.
330? Do you all mean a 332? Or is this some FT derivative?

EDIT- Broke down and googled it , FT.

Last edited by cobalt327; 01-23-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:46 PM
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I couldn't believe how many different engine sizes they pulled off that block, including the Edsel variations. Probably any motorhead could tell you all the Chevy small block sizes but probably no one could tell you all the Ford big block ones
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