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Old 01-03-2003, 11:26 PM
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Post Ford 390

I have a 1950 Ford F-2, the whole truck is original and the engine is begining to go down hill. Would you buy a rebuild kit for the engine or purchase a doner truck (such as a Ford truck with a 390, C6 auto tranny, and Dana60 rearend)?
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Old 01-04-2003, 01:31 AM
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50 ford came with either a six or 239 flat head v-8. The 390 ford or FE family of engines (352/360/390/410/427/428) are heavy, large dimension engine. Might be a little heavy for the original straight axle. A better and much easier way to go would be a 289 or 302 with C-4 and a 8 inch or 9 inch ford rear. OR small block chevy and t-350 trans. You would need to rewire for 12 volt system but if this truck has the original wiring it it probably needs it. It's easy to do while you have the engine out. I would recommend a EZ wiring kit or painless wiring 12 circuit kit.
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Old 01-04-2003, 02:45 AM
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With the weight that a flathead V8 has, any modern Ford engine would work fine. If it is the six, I'd do the swap, if it is the flattie and it runs well you might consider refreshimg it. It really has to do with what you want to do with it. If you use it like a truck still a late swap makes more since for the extra lugging power, if you just cruise it why not keep the flathead V8 if that's what it has.
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Old 01-04-2003, 05:29 AM
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I have thought about similar projects before and like woodz said, it depends on what you intend to do with the truck. The 390 is a good grunt motor if you are towing stuff or hauling heavy loads. The flathead is just plain cool if you are using it as a cruiser. A good 351 would be a compromise that would give you some power for towing, but probably better gas mileage than the 390. A 302 would be a good choice if you just want a cheap reliable street motor.
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:10 AM
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With the 390, the issue of weight came up. Would the truck have a problem supporting it even with the 3/4 ton frame? Also, if I were to replace the rear end, would a Dana 60 be a good choice (I kind of wanted to keep the rear end 8 on 6.5 lug spacing to I could keep the wheels)? Also, the engine in the truck is the straight six. Does anyone know the cubic inches in a straight six of the 1950 vintage? (is it a 215 CI engine?)
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:32 AM
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The 390 probably weighs in at about the same as a flathead V8 so I wouldn't let that affect the decision. I don't have my older books at home, but 215 sounds about right for the 6, because it's a 3/4 ton it may be a 262 or somewhere in there.
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:42 PM
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What kind of engine, tranny, and rearend would you put in a 1950 Ford F-2 (3/4 ton)???
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Old 02-27-2003, 04:40 PM
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i would go with the 390 because it is easy to get parts for and on the contrary to what Wmarden said the 390 will get about the same gas milage as the 351 and will also give you more power. but do what you fill is right for your needs. go to
this pagefor more info on any Ford engine.
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:50 PM
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I would go with a 390 C6 combo too, you will be happier with that big flat torque curve that a big block makes. The 351W is a good motor and can make more power than a 390 but you have to spin it to get it. A heavy truck needs low end torque and a 390 makes it.

A 390 is heavy, but you can lighten it to almost the same weight as a 351W by using aluminum heads, intake manifold, water pump and headers.

You can even stroke a 390 up to around 445 cubes with a Scat stroker crank if 390 cubes isn't enough, lots of possibilities.
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Old 02-28-2003, 05:59 AM
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CustomFord, I think that engine is 226ci. and stock 95hp. Did you think about a Y block, 292-312 makes a nice swap, good power, easy to find parts, and keeps it looking right.
Jack
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Old 02-28-2003, 08:22 AM
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I'm a bit prejudiced on this subject, but you can't beat a 390/C6 combination for a truck. They are torque monsters, and incredibly strong internally. (I once had a 70 LTD with 390 that got 20 mpg on the highway) fuel economy is strictly a factor of how the motor is set up and the gearing along with your driving habits. Go with the FE series, you will never regret it. With a set of aluminium heads, hi rise dual plane intake and the proper cam, you can push over 400HP effortlessly, with stump-pulling torque. Perfect for heavy cars or pickups! (and besides that, it's not a 350 SBC)

FWIW: SBC= 575lb. FE (iron heads and intake): 650lb. 302:430lb. Flathead V8: 569lb, Y block Ford: 625lb.

IMO weight would not be a problem at all.

[ February 28, 2003: Message edited by: Biggarmike ]</p>
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:43 PM
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I have ran many 390s and am very happy with them except that heads( mainly valve guides) only seem to last around 40 to 60 k.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:07 PM
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even better go monster cad

A 500 cad is almost the same weight as a 390 and they have toons of torque i saw one swapped a while ago can;t remember the details the caddy reccomend comes from an ex ford engineer
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:49 AM
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A cadillac 500???Just try to find parts & stuff for that boat anchor.....YUK.
Get a 390 reman longblock, An Edelbrock Power-pak , bits & pieces & you got a good motor, It'll last forever & look good doing it!
_______________________________________________Ric k............
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:54 PM
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Don't laugh at a Cadillac motor. I had a 1972 coupe deville with a 472 in it.
I rebuilt the carb, modified it a little bit, recurved the distributor and installed dual exhaust.
I could Bury the needle on the 120 mph any time i wanted to and did often.
After burning up the 3rd turbo 400 in it I parted out the car. I wished I still had that old land yacht. Have fun with your project. Dale in Minn.
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