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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
The FE engine has always been a big fuel eater. Much of that is in the head’s, the only efficient head was the 1960 high performance 352. That’s not to say other head’s like the High Riser or Tunnel port didn’t make big power it’s to say they burnt massive amounts of fuel doing it. The 1960 high performance 360 horse, 352 engine used a combustion chamber very much like the more recent Chevy L31 Vortec or Ford Windsor GT and GT-P head.

This brings you to an aftermarket modern chambered aluminum head with modern Ricardo heart shaped chambers of which there are several sources the least expensive but uses the true Ricardo chamber is available from Pro Comp, Edelbrock sits in the middle price wise but uses a simpler version of the chamber. There are several high end head’s like those from Blue Oval that use the correct chamber but they are pretty costly.

The factory iron intake is one of the heaviest objects known to man, replacing it with an aluminum intake intake takes about 45 pounds off that portly engine and improves cylinder to cylinder fuel distribution.

The cam can stand modernization, like all cams of the era it has long ramps which result it too much overlap and too late a closing intake valve. Both conditions are great for top end power which this engines stock valve train will not support, but this is horrible for fuel economy.

The pistons use large round dishes to manage compression ratio as do most production engines. This reduces chamber activity leading up to the ignition event making for a inefficient burn covered by throwing fuel at it. The needed three principle conditions simply are not there, these being squish, quench, and as possible with a wedge chamber a centered spark plug as much as these designs allow possible.

The exhaust manifold of the FE is the poster child of how not to design an exhaust manifold. It really harkens back to bastard design to allow this engine to by fitted into the fairly narrow 1958, 59 chassis this was which was never fixed for the wider subsequent chassis that came out in 1960. Because of this narrow box that passes for a manifold is so inefficient a lot of power that could be used for propulsion is instead consumed pushing exhaust out of the engine. Therefore, headers are an instant and substantial improvement in power and mileage for this engine.

Basically the FE engine fakes being a second generation OHV, V8 design; but in fact it is a rehash of of the first generation OHV Lincoln Y block designed right after WW-II and in a period of great financial stress within Ford Motor. It suffers greatly from that.

As you can quickly see this engine’s needed fixes requires a very big investment, Two thousand dollars would be woefully short of the fixes this engine needs to improve fuel mileage by anything close to arriving at a payback.

Bogie

I was kind of thinking along these lines. At the end of the day I've sunk a lot of money into this motor and it's not very impressive, fun and reliable but not much compared to whats out there today. Granted I'd be spending even more money but something different might just make more sense, especially because I plan on putting as many miles on this car as I can
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I'm leaning towards a hemi swap, durangos/chargers can be had for 2-3 grand and hopefully I could sell whats left of the vehicle after a get everything I need. Surely it would be a lot of work and more money than I'd probably want to spend but it's an interesting challenge to me. I could maybe squeeze 15 mpg out of the 390 but I still don't expect it to last as long as something more modern with how much I drive. I'd try to make everything as bolt in as possible to not ruin the car, but it's a daily and it will never be perfect nor entirely original, it already has over 100,000 on the chassis/body and has been painted in it's past, etc. I'm probably putting around 10,000 on this car every year
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
There's also crown vic motors, would be nice to keep if all ford but would probably take a lot of cutting. Ls engine? What a luxury to have all that aftermarket support, super cheap, easy fitment, and I can imagine at least 20 mpg could be had.
 

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Have you thought about a Coyote swap?? Super stout and efficient factory package and the possibilities for more are almost endless

You won't do it for $2K though

The Ford Faithful will just crucify you if you do an LS swap. LOL
They won't be crazy about the hemi either, but they'll tolerate it. LOL

Bang for the buck....LS and matching trans all the way.
 

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I'd try to make everything as bolt in as possible to not ruin the car,
Come on, its a 4-door Galaxie, anything modern you do is an improvement that adds value.....it'll never be worth high dollar enough stone stock to worry about.

Case in point.....right now you can buy a stone stock, restored driver 1928-31 Ford Model A coupe, sedan, convertable, whatever for under $20k....runs, drives, ready to take to a parade day.
Take that same car, strip it, swap a V8 and drivetrain, modify it up how you like and it is worth 3 to 5 times what that stone stock car was. .....and you can sell off the stock running driveline/suspension and anything else you don't keep

If you had a original 427 Galaxie, or a fastback, then it would be different, would not want to ruin that.....but the mom, pop, and grandpa 4 door you can do whatever you want with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Have you thought about a Coyote swap?? Super stout and efficient factory package and the possibilities for more are almost endless

You won't do it for $2K though

The Ford Faithful will just crucify you if you do an LS swap. LOL
They won't be crazy about the hemi either, but they'll tolerate it. LOL

Bang for the buck....LS and matching trans all the way.
Coyote swap i would certainly go for, but yea definitely out of the price range. Plus, I mean galaxies have a huge engine bay, but I'd still be the most difficult to fit I might imagine.

I have started going from the hemi rabbit hole to the LS rabbit hole. Undeniably cheap and abundant sooo it might be where I take this even though I absolutely agree that it's overdone and blashphemous to a ford, at the end of the day what does it really matter. I can see myself getting that done in the next couple weeks too with christmas break coming up in college.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Come on, its a 4-door Galaxie, anything modern you do is an improvement that adds value.....it'll never be worth high dollar enough stone stock to worry about.

Case in point.....right now you can buy a stone stock, restored driver 1928-31 Ford Model A coupe, sedan, convertable, whatever for under $20k....runs, drives, ready to take to a parade day.
Take that same car, strip it, swap a V8 and drivetrain, modify it up how you like and it is worth 3 to 5 times what that stone stock car was. .....and you can sell off the stock running driveline/suspension and anything else you don't keep

If you had a original 427 Galaxie, or a fastback, then it would be different, would not want to ruin that.....but the mom, pop, and grandpa 4 door you can do whatever you want with it.
For sure, I'm not worried about the value of the car except its value to me. Certainly not a show room limited production model that I'm messing with here, as you mention. Appreciate the motivational input
 

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I planned on 87/88 gasoline being at or over $5.50 by 2020.
Once fuel rises above $4.00 to $4.50 all these big blocks come up for sale because people can't suddenly afford to drive the thing.
Will I buy that complete 8mpg engine from you for the price of the aftermarket heads alone? Yes please.

That being said. Your issue is not the engine displacment. While the C6 does rob some power it is miles above the AOD in reliability. The rear end ratio you have is great for highway cruising but horrible for everything else.

I will use a early 70's cadilliac as a example here to prove a point. With its 472 or 500ci big block, th400, and gearing in the high 2's the heavy boats could float down the highway going 70mph getting 20+ mpg easily. But in town that gearing worked against them with the engine working harder to get the car up to 60mpg. Your fighting all that weight with less mechanical advantage.

Engine like to run at a set rpm. With a big block you have peak torque coming on at a set rpm lets say 2400 and horsepower that peaks around lets say 3800. So if you can stay above the peak torque then you can use all that torque most of the time. The problem is when you have a ratio or converter that has you into your direct gear at a low speed of lets say 40mph. The engine is lugging and working hard from that 40mph building the torque up until it finally gets to peak torque.

This happens all the time with smaller engine swaps. Someone will find that pulling out a v6 and replacing it with a v8 yhe mileage increased. The engine makes more torque at a more useable rpm and therefore dies not need to work as hard resulting in it "sipping" fuel where the previous smaller engine was using more fuel.

So believe it or not a smaller engine (in the same heavy car) does not always mean better mileage.
What you need is to tune the car to your needs. If you find you are doing alot of city driving from 35 to 55mph then a rear axle ratio change in the mid 3's may be in order to work that engine less while giving up some top end.

Of course playing with that pool of fuel under the air cleaner that is sucked into the intake due to vacume is also a aspect. The better you can spray the fuel and mix it with the air within the intake the more fuel will get into the cylinders. Poorly atomized fuel can pool in spots and cause certain cylinders to run rich while others may run lean. The result is reduced mileage.

Good news is that modern carburatiors have come a long way in increasing the chances of atomization.

But while a carburatior can be impressive the fundamentals don't change. All a carburatior knows is vacume. Fuel pump keeps the float at a level provindg a pool of fuel. The carburatior allows fuel to be drawn from that pool into a tube into the engine from via vacume.

And this worked great for a long time. Not perfect as you had to tune the "jetting" of that tube( keeping the visuals simple for everyone) for different factors. Changes in elevation, temperature, humidity and so on could affect how dense the air was. The carburatior works on vacume alone so it had no way to adjust for these factors and the fuel to air ratio would be off requiring you to "change out" the jets.

The solution was fuel injection. These systems use more inputs then just vacume and can then pulse the injection based on pre engineered fuel tables. These tables work like a line graph taking inputs such coolant temperature, rpm, throttle position, incoming air pressure/temp, etc and knowing those things will inject or pulse the required amount of fuel per millisecond to maintain the ratio within the table. This system then checks that burnt ratio through oxygen sensors and adjust as needed.

The early fuel tables had a minimum number of inputs for a minimum number of situations. While cars have become more technical(gadget wise) the actual fundementals of fuel injection tables have not changed much in 20 years.

So if you want better atomazation then pulling off the carb and installing a fuel injection system may be your best bet.

I am not a fan of "self learning systems". It is using 80's tbi tech with a minimum number of inputs with "good" results. But your often leaving a good amount of potential that a few more inputs and bit of knowledge could make happen. You know actually tuning the engine.

For years older engines have upgraded to stand alone fuel injection. Several companies out like megasquirt to take the inputs and adapt them to allow for adjusting those fuel tables for your needs.

There is a learning curve. Most people will say a carburatior is simplier. But once you start actually tuning a engine using stand alone fuel injection you will see just what can be done.

The engine can use less fuel more efficiently by simply knowing more things about how that fuel is being used.

The best bang for your buck would probally be in adapting some form of stand alone fuel injection. Your going to gain a slight increase in mileage because the engine is tuned better. But the real gains are going to be in driveablity.
Being able to get in, start it, and go in almost any situation. Having a more even idle due to better atomazation. As well as being able to diagnose problems when they are small problems saving them from becoming bigger issues.
 

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This is a big financial undertaking for a starving college student. Not that I want to hand out fatherly advice but at the same time in my 80’s I’ve been through most of life’s stages. So experience suggests that you're in the stage of getting started with your early adulthood which will include completing your degree, getting a job which may mean moving, perhaps getting married and finding a house. So in the short term you’ve got a lot of big and expensive things ahead of you in the next few years to where worrying about the old Galaxie and it’s gas mileage at this point may not be where to focus your energies and finances.

These were nice cars in their day and the 390 performed both in mileage and power pretty much typical to their day. To rebuild the 390 to more modern standards or replacing it will be expensive and will require of you either to find someone that does it or you will have to acquire a place, the tools, knowledge and skills to modernize it. So you really need to assess whether you have the time, finances, location, tools, personable capabilities to take this on right now. For all its frustrations just burning gas is the simplest lowest cost alternative for right now.

Bogie
 

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You want 300-400 HP and about 20 MPG I'd recommend a F-150 3.5L twin turbo Ecoboost. Be about 48,000 over your budget but it'll do it. Also drive a 1993 F-350 7.5L. Gets 10 MPG down hill with a 30 MPH tailwind. Not a damn thing would fix that. Probably already suggested, try an Edelbrock 1406 carb on it, that should get you a couple extra MPG with minimal effort.
 

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You can literally put anything under that hood. It's a four door, so no one is going to beat you up bad about ruining a collectable. Do you really love the car? You're going to have more in it than it's worth in the end, you get your money back out of it by driving and enjoying it for many years. I have a 63 Rambler four door wagon that I intended to make a daily driver and keep. First built in late 1999, it has a Jeep 4.0L (a descendant of the 64 Rambler six... and the 63 Classic, though it came out a year earlier, was designed for that engine) and AW4 (four speed -- 3+OD) trans, EFI and computer controlled trans. As suggested, I bought a wrecked Jeep Comanche for the engine and EFI. First used the stock manual trans, but it wasn't up to the power and about 16 months later I put in the AW4 auto, as Jeep five speeds were hard to find. I still have an occasionally drive that car, and it was my daily driver from 2000-2007 while I was still in the USAF. You won't really devalue the car. It's not worth a lot as a four door, and as a modernized driver it will be worth as much to someone who is like you -- wants the look and feel of an old car, but not the maintenance and such that goes with driving an old carbureted vehicle. EFI and start and go in all weather is much nicer!

What would I do? Find a Town Car or Crown Vic and swap the entire drivetrain. It's a lot smaller motor, but the weight will be about the same and it's a much more efficient package. You're not going to get 20 mpg on average. A 2010 Crown Vic with 4.6L at 16 city and 24 highway, 19 combined average. If you keep cruising speed at 60-65 you might see 20-24 on the highway, 17-19 combined... depending on how you drive. Drive sedately and you might get that. Drive like most people and you can expect 2-3 mpg less. You don't have as aerodynamic a car as the 2000's Crown Vic. It doesn't take but a little rounding of corners to make a noticeable difference. My car performs about like a 90s Cherokee XJ, but then it's about as square as one too.

I'd pull all the engine compartment wiring out and use the entire front wiring harness from the CV. Lighting and all. you will have to change a few connectors and maybe lengthen a few wires, but that won't be an issue. Just pull it out of the CV and lay it in the (bare) engine bay of the Galaxie. Then put the motor in. Pull the CV wiring harness at the connector and get a pin-out for it before cutting any wires -- easier to ID wires by location and use color to verify. I don't know if the 66 Fords have a bulkhead connector or the wires just pass through. If a connector do the same. If just a bundle of wires that pass through cut the harness about 18" into the engine bay so you have plenty to work with, then separate and ID by color, verify what you can by tracing back. Of course you need a wiring diagram for both cars. I've done it this way and I've separated a modern harness, pulling everything not engine related out. That takes at least a whole day to do, and it's not really worth it. Besides, you're getting much newer wiring by ditching the old harness and putting in the new.
 

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I took a 74 Chrysler Newport with a 400 on a road trip. With very strict discipline on acceleration and braking I coaxed a 20 mile per gallon. I had a good tune, kept my foot out of the carburetor, and limited my idling. It was miserable. What's the point of a big block car and the sounds of the duals and 4 barrels kicking in? The next tank I eased up, got off the freeway and had some fun. The mpg dropped to 10 to 12, not terrible, just more fun. The in town stop and go traffic put me down to 8 to 10 mpg. Love your car for what it is. You can get good mpg but it's more fun to drive doing a occasional limited burn out. I consider the little cars to be coffins on wheels. They may in fact be safer, but a bigger vehicle is going to absorb more damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Everyone has some great points here, I don't deny that what I want is inevitably impractical and uneconomical to an extent. Despite that, I guess I look forward to the challenge of something like this and for the value I see in being able to drive my car afterwards, it'd be worth it to me. I guess If i knew that, though, i maybe shouldn't have asked this question lol.

Anyways, I was about to go buy chevy truck for an ls swap but it was a scam and instead I found a really good deal on a perfectly running dodge charger. So, hemi swap it is. Thankfully the car is nice enough that i don't doubt I can get my money back parting it out after I get what I need. Impatient me plans to get this done in the next 5 weeks I have off for christmas break, it'll be one heck of an endeavor
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Adapting a late model Hemi and all it's complicated electronics into a '66 Galaxie over Christmas break........this outta be good!
Pics or it didn't happen!

Lol, right. I'm doubtful myself. I'll try to avoid too much cutting so that both cars can go back together if things mess up. If that charger goes back together in one piece it could sell for a profit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Adapting a late model Hemi and all it's complicated electronics into a '66 Galaxie over Christmas break........this outta be good!
Pics or it didn't happen!
Will do! The real kicker is that I'll be home at my parents house and it'll have to be done in time for me to make the hour+ drive back to school. Not too life or death though, can always get a lift form the folks.
 
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