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Old 06-07-2009, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FE/385 bellhousing bolt patterns

I'm potentially looking at a 'sleeper' project with a Ford that has a 390 FE in it. It's a 69, during which time Ford was offering FEs and 385 series motors (429) in the same vehicle. How do C4/C6 patterns work in all that? How about manual trans compatibility?


Building a large FE, what 440-450 CID at the top would probably be the easiest, but a 429-460+ may make more sense.

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Old 06-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe the "FE" blocks used the big block bellhousing bolt pattern. My '66 Fairlane GTA had a 390 and the bolt pattern looked the same as the 429/460.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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FE's and 385's most definatley do not use the same bellhouisng pattern. 385's and 335's(M and 400) do.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Correct. FE's use.....FE bolt pattern. 385s-429/460 and 351M/400 use bb pattern.

IIRC FEs, 385s and Ms were never available with a C4.

Manual transmissions should interchange between bb and FE as long as you use the correct bell housing.

A 460 may be cheaper but a 448 with a '352' sticker on the air cleaner would be trick.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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FE's came with C6's behind them and you can get a C4 bell for the FE's

http://www.parkwayperformance.com/be...ng.asp#PA26390
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Alright, pretty sure there are no overdrive autos that just bolt up to an FE, but there muse be one or two for the 385s since they offered those until relatively recently? Manual trans from the factory I'd assume four speeds, probably some the same for both motors, just with different bells?

Overdrive manuals truck or car for either? A Richmond 5 or 6 would be trick, possibly a T56 or one of the Tremec 5 speeds.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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FE = finally extinct
if you are building a big block then build a really big block out of a 460
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Alright, I think I'd lean towards the later motor for aftermarket support/CID support/, probably power/$$ but I'm just not that familiar. I'd like to ad a pre-emissions Ford car to the fleet and I have my eye on one that should make a great sleeper project. I think this thing actually had a manual trans option from the factory, but I doubt there are many. There's something about a relatively humble looking fullsize car that can move that I like. Rowing through the gears just might be the ticket as well. I need to plan out the drivetrain combo. I'm hoping it has a 9 inch out back, but not sure yet. Fullsize Ford in 69?

Any thoughts and recommendations on manual or overdrive trans behind a 460+?
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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car? get the biggest tremec offered for a 5 speed OD or the toploader for a 4 speed
9" has been around since dirt was invented so a fullsize ford is unlikely to have anything else if it is this side of 1950s
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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FE = finally extinct
if you are building a big block then build a really big block out of a 460
Ya know, lots of stuff like this is said about the FE and in it's final stock form it had lost all its pride. Much of it is exaggerated rumors.

Think about this: An FE with aluminum heads, intake and water pump is about the same size and weight as a sb chevy. 500hp is easily doable and will always get better mileage than the comparable 335/385. It's much smaller and lighter than a 385. Parts are more expensive but what Ford parts aren't? The old 'more expensive hard' to find really is exaggerated. If you think it's true do some research before you think you know it all.

The best bang for the buck is still the Windsor and of course if you want monsterous hp and ci the 385 is it.

390s are butter easy to build and you have to fawk up not to end up with 325hp and axle breakin torque. 428s built right are bb killers, 427s have no pound for pound equal but are the expensive bitch in the family.

Not picking a fight with you MJ but I thought this was a good place to post this.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Ya know, lots of stuff like this is said about the FE and in it's final stock form it had lost all its pride. Much of it is exaggerated rumors.

Think about this: An FE with aluminum heads, intake and water pump is about the same size and weight as a sb chevy. 500hp is easily doable and will always get better mileage than the comparable 335/385. It's much smaller and lighter than a 385. Parts are more expensive but what Ford parts aren't? The old 'more expensive hard' to find really is exaggerated. If you think it's true do some research before you think you know it all.

The best bang for the buck is still the Windsor and of course if you want monsterous hp and ci the 385 is it.

390s are butter easy to build and you have to fawk up not to end up with 325hp and axle breakin torque. 428s built right are bb killers, 427s have no pound for pound equal but are the expensive bitch in the family.

Not picking a fight with you MJ but I thought this was a good place to post this.

the FE is far larger and heavier then a sbc. your mileage claims, lets be serious they hold no water.

the FE was great in the late 50s to late 60s, and I personally love the history it has. (always wanted a 64 galaxy)
Ford designed some great motors in the late 60s, 335 and 385, to replace outdated technology.

wedge heads vs canted valve heads is a no brainer. as the valve opens it moves away from the cylinder wall in addition to the larger size that can be fitted
huge bore sizes due to a huge bore spacing vs 1950s small bore, again allow bigger valves.
crankcase that can take a 4.5" stroke in a stock block with very little work vs again 50s small. 385 was designed with 500" displacement in mind vs the FE that was 350"ish

SBC deck hieght is 9.02",
BBC deck hieght is 9.8",
FE deck hieght 10.17"
385 series at around 10.2" off the top of my head.
so FE vs 460, no real size difference in the block width wise but the length is probably a different story.
460 length is listed at 23.22" in my 1978 body builders layout book, no listing for FEs in it
the FE heads have a goofy exhaust port that was common in that era, (pontiac buick olds all have a similar arrangement) that puts the head width at about the same as the canted valve 385, so not appreciably smaller width wise if any at all (as oppsed to a SBF,SBC, or mopar type head that lay the port tighter to the centerline making for a very narrow engine)
it is far larger then a SBC and with a fullskirt design and old casting techniques I really doubt it will ever be considered light weight when compared to a SBC.
http://www.ford-fe.com/Weight.htm
http://www.network54.com/Forum/85220...weighed+my+545

$ for $ you cannot beat a 385 series engine.
do I wish I had started with one? well yeah.
got a 1977 460 sitting in the garage tempting me.
the press lately on this engine is great, Kaase street heads on 'magasine' motors making 600-800 hp depending on displacement is crazy power for off the shelf parts.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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IIRC FEs, 385s and Ms were never available with a C4.
There was an oddity of a C4 behind the 351M in the mid-size T-bird, LTD II cars. They are a bit rare, but can be found. This will allow a C4 behind a 460 but the trans needs some beefing to stand up. Light drag cars sometimes use this combo as the C4 has less parasitic drag than the C6.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Pity you didn't read my post, it would have saved you some typing.


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the FE is far larger and heavier then a sbc. your mileage claims, lets be serious they hold no water.
The sbc and the FE are similar in size, the FE being larger but not grossly larger. An aluminum intake intake, heads and water pump lighten the FE by 95 pounds making it 45 pounds less than a stock sbc. Adding this much aluminum to a sbc would not lighten it as dramatically so they would probably be about even. My point is to compare them, not show how much better one is over the other.

Mileage reference was based on my experience with 335s, 385s and FEs. A quick look at the heads and intakes will give you an idea of whats going to get better mileage. Worst FE I've had...10-12mpg, best...15-17mpg. Worst 335....6-8mpg, best....10-12mpg. Worst 385....3-5mpg, best 8-10mpg. I'd like to hear what others are getting in light trucks that are not seriously modded.


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the FE was great in the late 50s to late 60s, and I personally love the history it has. (always wanted a 64 galaxy)
There really wasn't much to compare them to when they first came out, GM and Dodge caught up later. That was one ugly car. They handled like crap too. My buddy had a '63 with a 427 and 2x4s, point it and go, don't try to turn.

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Ford designed some great motors in the late 60s, 335 and 385, to replace outdated technology.
You mean out perform with cheaper manufacturing methods. The heads are definetly a step up, with lessons learned from the exotic 427 heads. I don't buy that the thin wall casting in a 335/385 is better tech than an old school sand cast FE, it's just different.

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wedge heads vs canted valve heads is a no brainer. as the valve opens it moves away from the cylinder wall in addition to the larger size that can be fitted huge bore sizes due to a huge bore spacing vs 1950s small bore, again allow bigger valves.

Duh, what brought that up? It also helps to consume copius amounts of fuel and air at any performance level. When gas was .25 cents a gallon nobody much tracked mileage. It's different now. Performance wise it's awesome, NASCAR did't outlaw them for nuttin'.


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crankcase that can take a 4.5" stroke in a stock block with very little work vs again 50s small. 385 was designed with 500" displacement in mind vs the FE that was 350"ish
Apples to oranges. Not a point in my original post.


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SBC deck hieght is 9.02",
BBC deck hieght is 9.8",
FE deck hieght 10.17"
385 series at around 10.2" off the top of my head.

I guess this is meant to say an FE is way tall? One inch? Actually the 385 is 1" taller than the FE.


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so FE vs 460, no real size difference in the block width wise but the length is probably a different story.
Width is the same.


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460 length is listed at 23.22" in my 1978 body builders layout book, no listing for FEs in it
You don't believe this do you? That makes it 6" shorter than a sbc. Do you have a tape measure to stick on your '77 460? It will read more like 34". FE is 32"

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the FE heads have a goofy exhaust port that was common in that era, (pontiac buick olds all have a similar arrangement) that puts the head width at about the same as the canted valve 385, so not appreciably smaller width wise if any at all (as oppsed to a SBF,SBC, or mopar type head that lay the port tighter to the centerline making for a very narrow engine) it is far larger then a SBC and with a fullskirt design and old casting techniques I really doubt it will ever be considered light weight when compared to a SBC.
SBF are the king when it comes to small and light V-8s. Are these old casting techniques bad or just old? I don't see the problem. As far as weight see above. The FE has some heavy pieces on it but it's still 100lbs lighter than a 385, put it on an aluminum diet and it's 200lbs less, the 385 can't be lightened that much.

Re: wwfordfe.com, do you actually believe a stock intake weighs 25lbs?? Try 77lbs. Heads weigh 105lbs not 86lbs. I trust the scale and tape in my shop (that's where the weights above came from, except alum. heads, I called ebrock) more than what I read on the intertardweb.

Re: network54, isn't that about what I said?


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$ for $ you cannot beat a 385 series engine.
do I wish I had started with one? well yeah.
got a 1977 460 sitting in the garage tempting me.
the press lately on this engine is great, Kaase street heads on 'magasine' motors making 600-800 hp depending on displacement is crazy power for off the shelf parts.
I have a C8VE 460 from a Lincoln, a D0VE-A from a Lincoln and a D3? from a Lincoln as well as 1 set C8VE heads, 1 set C9VE heads and 1 or 2 sets D0VE-C heads plus some misc. crud, anybody wanna make a deal?

My point in defending the FE was just that, defend it. It's not a bad engine, there are better but it usually gets bad press from people who have never owned one and just repeat interweb rumours.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I can vouch for that intake weighing 77 pounds...or more. 80 if it was painted...

ANd the FE blocks get a bad rap because the ones who criticize them the most come from the generation of shop class kids who were brainwashed into thinking the small block Chevy is the greatest engine ever built. Those of us who know have worked on or had experience with older engines...engines that redefined the term "boat anchor." Engines that could withstand a nitrous explosion...

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Old 06-08-2009, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I loves me some FE. They have a unique kinda sound.

http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b2...t=MVI_0015.flv

X3 on the intake weight. The ford truck shop manual actually says to use an engine hoist to remove them.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I can vouch for that intake weighing 77 pounds...or more. 80 if it was painted...
Yeah....I fubar'd more than one intake gasket trying to set those pigs down straight while standing on the bumper and leaning over. Aluminum or the cherry picker is the only way to go.

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ANd the FE blocks get a bad rap because the ones who criticize them the most come from the generation of shop class kids who were brainwashed into thinking the small block Chevy is the greatest engine ever built.
Aint that the troof. A coupla weeks ago I spent 2 days in a well known performance builder shop helping my buddy put together a sbc. They are far from perfect, definetly don't belong on a pedestal like some of the guys working there think. The old guy that owns the place used to be a diehard bowtie freak, but since the revival of the 460 and the 5.0/5.8 stroker craze he's comin around.


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Those of us who know have worked on or had experience with older engines...engines that redefined the term "boat anchor." Engines that could withstand a nitrous explosion...
Yeah, I remember when if you wanted performance you looked for a 427, or settled for a 428. The 460 was the ultimate boat anchor, heavy dogs with no aftermarket parts available, the 429 CJ and Boss were just exotic with no future. Wow....
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Alright, some good debate there. It's making this tougher, which is good. Fact is I haven't seen the car in person yet, but I'll try and take care of that soon. I was gonna keep it a secret, but that's kinda hard to do in this case...a 69 LTD. I understand they used a unitized body/frame on this thing, which surprised me to read it. I'm not sure that's a good thing for what I plan to do, but I'll accept commentary on that from the Ford gurus as well.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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..a 69 LTD. I understand they used a unitized body/frame on this thing, which surprised me to read it.
No, the LTD/Galaxie were full frame, separate body. The midsize and compact were unitized in those years.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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mmmmmmm.....69 LTD......can't speak intelligently as to that model but I think that's what they ran in Hawaii 5 OH and Streets of San Francisco. Of course this was before Starsky & Hutch with the bitchen 460 Torino. Very trivial trivia: Ford actually produced a 'Starsky & Hutch Special' modeled after the appearance of the tv car. It was available in a copy cat red with the white stripe or Grabber Blue with the white stripe, and of course a 460. Too bad Dodge didn't follow suit.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Alright, some good debate there. It's making this tougher, which is good. Fact is I haven't seen the car in person yet, but I'll try and take care of that soon. I was gonna keep it a secret, but that's kinda hard to do in this case...a 69 LTD. I understand they used a unitized body/frame on this thing, which surprised me to read it. I'm not sure that's a good thing for what I plan to do, but I'll accept commentary on that from the Ford gurus as well.
Oh it's a car 390? Well, at worst you have a 9.5:1 motor, and if it's 4V it's 10.5:1. Throw a good dual plane on it like a Performer RPM, 428PI, or F-427, edelbrock heads, cam, carb, converter, headers, exhaust and you'll probably be real surprised at its performance. Especially if you change the (likely) highway gears out for some 3.70s or 4.10s..

I have a 9.5:1 car 390 in my F-100 with a 428 PI intake, holley 600, headers and 3.54 gears.. it runs low 15s with the stock 2v cam
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:12 PM   #21 (permalink)
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We'll see what happens. Thanks on the body on frame. I figured something wasn't right about what I heard.

Any recommendations on transmissions? It'd be kind of trick but not ideal I guess to put a truck 4 speed behind a powerful FE or 460+, just not as quick as it could be.


Claims of a deck height over 11" bring visions of large cubes in a 385. Can anyone name on off the shelf solution for a forged or billet BBF crank with stroke of 4.5" or longer? Same for the rods? What are the common bore diameters? ANy aftermarket blocks worth paying for? As you can tell, I'm really not up to speed on large Ford stuff. I'm familiar with some 8.2" deck SBF specs and hardware, but not current since around 02.

To fit with the sleeper concept it would need to idle well and be relatively quiet. I can see large cubes or at least 460 or 440 depending on which engine platform is used, possibly to include turbo charging which of course complicates and adds $$$. Cam specs need to be pretty tame in duration and overlap related specs. Heads should probably be pretty big, big valves etc.

Is it pretty much confirmed, if it has the factory rear, which it should, it'll be a 9 inch? Should I expect 28 or 31 spline? I'd probably just go with 31, 28 would make me nervous.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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4XFORD - I think you lied on the stock intake weight.....When I yanked my 2bbl intake off my 390 a few months back, it was more like 95lbs.......

I'd love to run my 390 on a dyno, it is making some very impressive HP/Torque with very little $$$$s in it.

As for fuel economy. When my 390 was punched 60 over, RV cam, headers, stock intake, 2bbl carb, electronic ignition, 4.10 gears, 36" TSL Radials, in a 4540lb pickup (full tank and me in it), I got 14.5 mpg driving it 60 miles to town and back home. That was the one and only time I ever checked it.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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4XFORD - I think you lied on the stock intake weight.....When I yanked my 2bbl intake off my 390 a few months back, it was more like 95lbs.......
You could be right.....I never thought of weighing a 2bbl intake.


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I'd love to run my 390 on a dyno, it is making some very impressive HP/Torque with very little $$$$s in it.
That's one of the best things about a 390, all you have to do is pick the right parts, no exotic crap neccessary, and they rip.


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As for fuel economy. When my 390 was punched 60 over, RV cam, headers, stock intake, 2bbl carb, electronic ignition, 4.10 gears, 36" TSL Radials, in a 4540lb pickup (full tank and me in it), I got 14.5 mpg driving it 60 miles to town and back home. That was the one and only time I ever checked it.

Sounds about right except the weight.......seems kinda low. The 70's and '80s Ford 4xs I've weighed were around 5,000-5,200 empty, stock truck. Are you sure on the weight and have you done anything to lighten it? Wait yours is bumpside right? Are they lighter? Cool truck by the way.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:50 AM   #24 (permalink)
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We'll see what happens. Thanks on the body on frame. I figured something wasn't right about what I heard.

Any recommendations on transmissions? It'd be kind of trick but not ideal I guess to put a truck 4 speed behind a powerful FE or 460+, just not as quick as it could be.


Claims of a deck height over 11" bring visions of large cubes in a 385. Can anyone name on off the shelf solution for a forged or billet BBF crank with stroke of 4.5" or longer? Same for the rods? What are the common bore diameters? ANy aftermarket blocks worth paying for? As you can tell, I'm really not up to speed on large Ford stuff. I'm familiar with some 8.2" deck SBF specs and hardware, but not current since around 02.

To fit with the sleeper concept it would need to idle well and be relatively quiet. I can see large cubes or at least 460 or 440 depending on which engine platform is used, possibly to include turbo charging which of course complicates and adds $$$. Cam specs need to be pretty tame in duration and overlap related specs. Heads should probably be pretty big, big valves etc.

Is it pretty much confirmed, if it has the factory rear, which it should, it'll be a 9 inch? Should I expect 28 or 31 spline? I'd probably just go with 31, 28 would make me nervous.
common bore size looking for cubes is .080 over which brings it to 4.44", I wouldnt bore it like that.
I would see what pistons are available for the stroke you want
iirc .030 over with a 4.5 arm is 545"
http://www.adperformance.com/index.p...Path=66_90_125
I have bought chevy stroker stuff from AD. he is Seattle area.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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You could be right.....I never thought of weighing a 2bbl intake.




That's one of the best things about a 390, all you have to do is pick the right parts, no exotic crap neccessary, and they rip.





Sounds about right except the weight.......seems kinda low. The 70's and '80s Ford 4xs I've weighed were around 5,000-5,200 empty, stock truck. Are you sure on the weight and have you done anything to lighten it? Wait yours is bumpside right? Are they lighter? Cool truck by the way.
That was with no front bumper, no rear bumper, no receiver hitch, no exhaust (open headers), no mirrors, and a few other things I'm forgetting about.

Mine's not a bumpside, just a standard shortbox.... I'll hafta weigh the truck again one of these days now that its got everything back on it. I have a scale on my farm so it makes it easy to weigh stuff.
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