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Hey guys, this is my first post in the Windsor forum. As you can see in my sig, I'm a modular guy.

My wife has a '98 V-6 'Stang. In about 2 years, we're going to spring for a new car to replace the '98. I plan on keeping her '98, as she's the only owner and it's in great shape body-wise. Her car will make a great home for a 302 or 351 based Windsor or possibly a BB.

Now, on to my questions. I really know nothing about the 390FE. I'd like to know, because there's a complete (from carb to pan) 390 for sale for $250 locally. Supposedly, it runs, but for $250 I'd be happy if the only thing salvageable is the block. So here's my questions:

1) What 'family' does this engine belong to?
2) Is it a bored/stroked 351, or a de-bored/stroked big block? Or it's own creature?
3) How easy is it to modify? Parts availability?
4) Along with #2, what bolt-pattern bell-housing bolts up to this block? Typical 351? BB?
5) I've actually heard (from unreliable sources) that this isn't a great performance engine. Is that true? I really don't see many around, so maybe that's why.
6) Would you buy this thing for $250? I can probably talk the guy down to about $175, as it's been for sale for months.

That's all I can think of for the moment, thanks for the help!

-Pat

p.s. I haven't looked at this thing yet, so I may just get my hopes up and then find out it's a peice of crap!
 

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it's a tourque monster. My dad has one in his 70 f-100. I put a comp cam 280 duration .544 lift, edelbrock performer intake 600 double pumper. The truck weights 5280 lbs and it ran a 16.35 on the G-tech. It is the FE family as far as I know. 352, 360, 390, 428, and many other engines fit this family. The bell housing is rounded like the small block, but I don't know if it is the small block pattern exactly. That seems like a good deal. Edelbrock makes heads and intakes for the engine. Everybody makes cams for it. 66KIX
 

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I would pass.

Its a big block, the same family (FE) as the 428 CJ, and completely different from the windsors. It was available in the mustangs starting in '67 so it was used for "performance" and can be built to make decent power, however parts are more limited than they are for a 429 or 460.

The biggest problem would be getting the engine into the '98. I don't know if there are swap headers or that sort of thing available.
 

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Great engine. But a Dinosaur. The FE engine family went out of production in 1976. You will do far better spending $200-$300 on a buildable 351 Windsor core. Leave it for a muscle car or pickup guy who needs it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info, very useful.

I'm not really worried about fitting the thing into the '98, I'm sure it can be done. :D

I'll have to do some research on where to find (and how much) heads/pistons/etc and see how much $$$ I'm getting into.

-Pat

p.s. In terms of external dimensions, is it similar to the 429/460? Wider? Taller? Or not as big?
 

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Pat,

I believe I would pass on the 390... As the above poster pointed out it is a dinosaur. The FE series big blocks weigh ~700 lbs, if I recall correctly that is heavier than the "385" series big blocks. Since they have been out of production for so long I would imagine parts are going to be relatively expensive.

If you really wanted to get "trick" with a FE series I remember reading of someplace that casts 427 blocks out of aluminum... But based on your post that would defeat the "budget" purpose.

I am sure you can make the motor fit into the SN95. Just from looking at them in the salvage yards they appear to be close to the same size as the "385" series. Do a web search for engine deminsions. I used to have a website saved as a favorite that had most of the engine measurements and weights.

Good luck!!

Chris
 

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I've seen 428 cj's in a few 95's but they were NHRA super stockers. They were runin in the 10's with stock blocks and heads
FE stands for Ford Edsel.
 

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first off yes its a dinosaur, But it was Fords flagship engine in 61 & 62 then it grew into the 406 in 62 then later in 63 1/2 when the 406 evolved into the 427. Its hp numbers were HiPerf 390 - 401hp @ 6000 with 3 dueces(6V or 3 - 2bbls for those who dont understand). while the 406 in the same trim was rated at having 405hp @ 6000. The major draw back not counting its weight is that most performance parts were factory ford and are extremely expensive when you find em. The 427 low riser, Medium riser, High riser, Tunnel Port, And finally the SOHC and 428CJ & SCJ are the engines that had the best of the best as far as induction and rotating assy were concerned. Lemans rods/SCJ rods(Forged cap screw connecting rods), Police interceptor/CJ rods are as strong as you can get or need. Heads are a different matter all together as ford made several different configurations the low riser 427 head was also used on the 428Cj & SCJ while the Medium riser, High riser, Tunnel port and SOHC and were strictly 427 due to valve spacing and valve size would not clear on the smaller bore engines without notchin the top of the bores extensivly. All in all they are good engines but darned expensive to build unless you allready have access to alot of factory perf (Ford OHO) parts. If you do decide to play with it get 427 low riser or 428CJ heads and rods for along with a 428 crank to turn your 390 into a 410 and top it off with a ford Sidewinder 4bbl intake(intake looks a little strange as the carb is offset a little to the left side of the engine. Or if your into multiple carb induction go with a 3 duece set up off of a 61-63 390 or a 62-63 406.
 

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Pass on it

Take it from a guy who still races a dinosaur(aluminum headed 428) don't waste your time putting a 390(which is not even the FE you would want to do a swap with). In your car. Go with something more modern. The heads you can get for a 351W (the race versions) out flow the heads you would be able to afford for your FE 390. Stick either a 460 or 351 in your car if you feel the need to tear it up.
 

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To me, like the others, but with alittle different slant, unless you have a class requirement or something to run an FE motor, then dont. just to get it in, if you do it properly is going to cost an arm and leg for pan and headers, most likely using an motor plate arrangement. These are pretty common in Superstock, but it gets back to the class thing. These guys are mostly diehard FE racers and have been around for years and have lots of parts already.

As far as performance, if you are looking for a good set-up, I disagree about the selection of parts that 2 stangs said. If you are looking for the maximum performance (period) then ok you will go into better head castings and 428 or even 427 set-ups, or even better some of Dove mfg repalcemnt stuff. But I helped out on a 390 fairlane that ended up running 8.20's (12.90's) on tires, with little more than a cleaned up set of regular heads, stock 4v intake, and a replica 427 solid cam (.500/.500,245/245 on a 109, or something like that), some old casler headers out of barn, etc.

granted this is not super performance , but basically all the motor had was a cam (and valve train stuff) and headers and good carb. it was a 4 speed with 3.90 gears. with slicks it would have most likely been capable of 7.90's or so (maybe quicker). This is in a car that weighed between 3500-3700 pounds with driver!! most any set-up that is worked out carefully will run pretty well. this was not even a thought a set-up, it was just put together using old school thought. this was in the mid 80's or so.

Buddy Rawls
 
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