Ford 390 Performance - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Engine
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2009, 02:49 PM
66Moostang's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 33
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ford 390 Performance

I have a '69 390 block never been bored over. I want to try to get 450 HP naturally aspirated out of it. Does this seem realistic? I think it does with the right parts.

Its just the block right now so i dont think 2v or 4v or "GT" matters.

I have 428 CJ heads which i heard will bolt right up

4-speed manual tranny behind it along with a 9" rearend..

Need ideas for cam and carburetion and anything other recommendations that could help me acheive 450 HP

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2009, 04:36 PM
richard stewart 3rd's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: 351W rebuild
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: tremont, pa.
Age: 70
Posts: 2,218
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 14
Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
Hi,
Check this article for some ideas.
Rich

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles...jet_heads.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 7,014
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 4
Thanked 513 Times in 435 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Moostang
I have a '69 390 block never been bored over. I want to try to get 450 HP naturally aspirated out of it. Does this seem realistic? I think it does with the right parts.

Its just the block right now so i dont think 2v or 4v or "GT" matters.

I have 428 CJ heads which i heard will bolt right up

4-speed manual tranny behind it along with a 9" rearend..

Need ideas for cam and carburetion and anything other recommendations that could help me acheive 450 HP
450 hp out of a 390 is doable, I just don't know if it's advisable. The FE is a cantankerous engine and with the exception of the later 427s is not, or should not, be encouraged to high revs. All this is fixable, but at today's prices you'll soon be looking at 10 grand to get there and keep the motor together.

So I guess first off before sending down any path, I need to know what you've got for a budget, what you intend to do with the engine, and how good a fabricator/machinist are you?

The CJ head is just a regular production head with bigger valves.

The FE has structural and oiling problems that have to be overcome for a high performance engine. With the front mounted sump, on hard acceleration the oil runs away from the pick up, this must be addressed. Above 400 hp the main caps move around, Ford solved this starting with the 1962 406 with cross bolts. Around 425 horse the oil wedge gets blow out of the rod bearing/journal interface. Before Ford would acknowledge this problem with the late 390s, 406s and early 427s we'd regrind the crank to accept Chrysler B block rods and use custom pistons to relocate the pin. Ford finally woke up after pretty dismal performance in European road racing with the 427 and came out with the wider Le-Mans Rod. If you expect to visit 6000+ RPM much this modification is a must.

If you're converting to a solid lifter cam, the oil to the lifter bores can be terminated. There are people including the Car Craft FE article that recommend reducing oil flow to the rockers. Don't be tempted, the FE rocker and rocker shaft life is none too good with anything stiffer than stock 390, 250 to 330 horse springs. Forces necessary for a bigger cam will eat these parts faster than you can get new ones if you go "Chevrolet" on the top end of this motor.

Speaking of Chevrolet, you'll find the oil system of the FE looks a whole lot like that of an SBC, yet it is a weak link in the FE. A high output FE needs the oil passages drilled out to 1/2 inch between the pump and the filter. If you can find one you need the 427 filter bracket for its larger passages. The galley from the filter up to the main galley and the main galley itself need to be drilled to 1/2 inch. The feeds to the mains need to be increased in size all the way from the bearing saddle to the valley oil galley. In late HP 390s all 406s and early 427s Ford added a oil pressure relief to the back of the block to prevent relief by-passing at the pump from starving the mains. Your block doesn't have this feature and it doesn't retrofit. Keep this in mind, ALWAYS.

The FE has large open chambers with a sparkplug off to one side and they added to these problems with a circular dish piston. The best of FE heads are octane hogs given to bouts of severe detonation and preignition. These days of unleaded fuels calls for a conservative compression ratio, 9.0 to 9.3 with cast iron is the safe limit with 92-93 octane unleaded. The heads will need hardened seat's, especially the exhaust as the FE has a slow burn chamber that tends to overheat the exhaust valve if you can't run a lot of advance. The heads respond nicely to porting. On the intake side follow the contours, there is a pinch just inside the port, you may enlarge this area but don't change the contour, if you do the engine will be the deadest thing you've ever seen. The intake guide boss inside the pocket needs to be streamlined as much as is possible with emphasis given on the cylinder wall side to maximize flow here. On the exhaust side note the guide presents a pretty flat surface to the flow trying to get past, round down the edges of this thing.

Good headers are must, this engine likes 36 inch 2 inch or bigger tubes into about a foot or more of collector. It really prefers tri-Ys to individual tubes, but either is plenty satisfactory. Forget any factory exhaust. The standard boxes are lower than dismal and the things that were used on the GTs, and CJs aren't much better. The cast shorties of 1960 thru 62 are nice but if you can find a set they will cost dearly. The tri-Ys the factory did in iron are beautiful, heavy and expensive when you can find them; God, every time I read Hemmings I wish I didn't throw so many of them away. Ford admits to a 15 horse gain over the box they laughingly call a manifold, my experience says it's more like 51 horse gain, this engine really likes good pipes.

For an intake get an Edlebrock Performer RPM, this manifold carries well into the upper RPM ranges and gives up very little in the lower ranges.

Anyway, this is getting pretty long against the first questions, so come on back and I can keep writing.

Bogie
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-26-2009, 06:12 PM
woodz428's Avatar
Troll Hunter
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Philo,Il
Posts: 2,702
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
450HP shouldn't be to hard to accomplish. I wouldn't worry about some of the "technical" concerns raised above. Most sound like something from a 1968 build sheet and most builders take care of those problems and I must say that most were WAAAAY overstated. I only say that as someone with 30+ years of building FE engines and many 428s, 3 in just the last 3 years. I have yet to have a failure in a built engine. They are one engine that will take a lot of abuse. You will hear about side-oilers and crossbolts, but they are overkill for most applications. If you plan doing the build yourself and have little or no experience with an FE, get a new book on FE's and talk with people that are knowledgable, they do have their "eccentricities"...but none are hard to overcome. You can always have a builder do it and not need to worry. Good builders can get more than 450HP (reliably) so 450 should be doable on a home build. One last comment on 428CJ heads, they are way more than standard FE heads with big valves. Someone making those comments should be avoided when getting info. They are, however, not as good as several current aluminum heads...the price is pretty comparable if you look at what they sell for and the cost of a rebuild ( hardened seats, valves,etc.). So if you are considering other head I would look away from the 428CJ heads because you are in a market that restorers are pretty focused on...they are worth more to them than someone wanting a performance build.
You should check out Keith Craft engines if you want a "crate" engine he can do as much as you want and more for less than the $10,000 I saw referenced, and the wide rods....naw, wasted money. If you want to spend moeny one the crank, the current thinking( at least for a decade or more)is to reduce diameter, not grind them wider. Follow a good path and you'll have a great engine, follow old wives tales( and there are many just within this thread) and you will spend more money than needed for less engine than you want...but that's pretty true with all engine builds.

Last edited by woodz428; 02-26-2009 at 06:25 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Engine posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ford 390? Rough-Rider Engine 8 08-27-2007 10:55 AM
Ford 390 oiling problem rickeyredneck Engine 26 02-08-2007 10:02 AM
ford 390 pyrrana Engine 3 12-10-2005 01:06 AM
Ford 360 and 390 Motors 73FordF100 Engine 2 02-09-2003 02:24 PM
Whatever happend to these guys? hot_rod_kid Hotrodders' Lounge 20 12-17-2002 10:20 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.