So are we trying to get 500 HP out of a 390 or are we going to go for a big inch stroker?
If the latter it's just a matter of buying the right parts and having a competent assembler put it together. There is an excellent Ford oriented machine shop not far from here and I know a reasonably good assembler.
Greg, Im assuming it would have to be a stroker to make that kind of power, but I could be wrong.
If it can be accomplished using a 390 and running pump gas thats fine with me. I dont care how its done as long as I get documentation showing me the numbers. I dont care if it has a solid or hyd cam. I actually liked adjusting the valves on my old race cars. And realisticlly you dont have to adjust them that often so that wouldnt really be an issue.
Most important is PUMP GAS, PUMP GAS, PUMP GAS!!!I DONT want to have to run anything higher than 91 octane.
This message has been edited by 65460 on Sep 27, 2011 1:42 PM
Survival is a great shop by all accounts, only heard positives about Barry. My opinion, 500hp in a heavy street car is stroker territory, it will be pretty snotty at 390ci. Strokes cranks are cheap, run a set of bowl ported edelbrock heads, solid flat tappet cam and a performer rpm...you will be close.
The eyes are the groin of the face -- Dwight Shrute
I think you are on the right track ... swapping a 460 is not hard
September 27 2011, 3:14 PM
but it sure ain't easy either. Everything you fix, has a nasty habit of making you fix something else. I think, now that there are reasonably priced FE stroker kits, its just not that time and cost effective to deal with the hassles - unless you really are going to race it or are looking for much bigger HP numbers. Your '61 is much to clean to change, unless you indtend to do it right. Run the numbers and may see that its actually cheaper to get a stroker FE vs. all the extras - especially if you are going with a manual transmission.
a 4.06 bore x 4.25 (stroker) crank - 440 inches, so stoke block 390, with stroker kit is nothing exotic. If you want to spend some money, get a Shelby or Genesis block and you can run an FE 428 or 427 bore and have 470 - 480+ inches. Either combo will put you in the 500 HP range and look like the average 352/390 unless someone starts looking for block numbers/codes. with a little sacrifice in idle (you could go throttle-body EFI and tune most of the lope out of the idle) ... you are in the 550 - 600 HP range. If you are shooting for more - then the 460 starts to look better.
That kind of HP from a 390 will be expensive and possibly not reliable. I'd think you'd be better off starting from scratch. Still gonna be expensive.
There's a company here in KY that specializes in FE's. They advertise their stuff on Ebay all the time. Might be worth a look, might not, as I know nothing about them or their reputation.
If money is an issue, you'd be better off going with a 460. The 460 I put in the Starliner was not difficult with the Crites kit. Header's were off the shelf stuff, and the only big issue was cutting the tranny tunnel for clearance for the T56; that won't be an issue with you since you're going with a trans that's the same basic size as the toploader. You've already got clutch pedals and linkage, but if it won't work, you can always go with a slave setup.
I have no first hand information. If I was asked to name a source for a built FE with a good reputation, based on my reading I would have said Survival. I just did a search over at the FE site and found this 9- (going on 10) year-old post:http://www.network54.com/Forum/74182/thread/1012339771/FE+Builders . The guy they mention in Gurnee seems to still be around; he has a Facebook page.
Dougger, as you said the 460 swap wasnt hard, but I hated the way the Crites headers went under the control arms. Then there the issue of the sway bar. Stock fit ok, AFTER I modified (theres that word) the sway bar mounts. But I couldnt get the PST sway bar to fit without looking plain stupid.
There are other things, little things that I just dont want to deal with. An FE will be drop in and forget...for the most part.
I really appreicate all the input you guys are giving me. Tim, when I get home Ill check out that link.
Chilly, thanks for the info on Survival.
I see what people want for a stroker FE and its within the budget, but there is quite a dollar difference, about 2 grand or more from what one shop wants than the other.
I dont believe in "cheaping out" but it will be a 95 percent street car, with a few 1/4 mile runs a year.
I really like FE motors but unless you are willing to spend a lot of money, 460s are the way to go for hp. Building a reasonably priced 500hp pump gas FE is not going to happen, the rocker assembly alone is going to run you over $750. I agree too, getting 500hp out of an FE is a stroker kit thing. So, you will have to pay $2500 for a 445 kit(starting with a 390 block). Thats still 15 smaller than you are starting with using a 460. As far as 460 headers for your 61, this what I did for my 66. I hate the way Crites headers go under the crossmember too so I got a set of Hooker Super Comp headers for a 1975 460 Torino and they fit real good, but fabrication was necessary. Now, having said all that, like you said, with an FE everything just fits and they get more attention at the rod runs and car shows. And if you have one that runs real good they get A BUNCH of attention. Plus they are the coolest looking motor out there. As you can tell, this is something I struggle with and most likely will end up putting my 428CJ/TKO back in my Galaxie at some point.
I've dealt with Barry R at Survival Motorsports, and he's the real deal. I haven't had him build an engine, but have ordered parts from him, and have received great advice. He is a regular on the FE forum, which I frequent, and is highly respected there. I've never heard a single bad word about his business.
However, I HAVE seen bad things with Keith Craft. I've seen pictures of FE valve jobs from there you could see daylight though, and flow numbers that didn't match the advertising... by a long shot.
If I were shopping for someone to build an FE, it would be Barry R at Survival. He's a small operation, specializes in the FE, and stands behind his builds. He often posts builds and dyno results on the FE forum, and can build some awesome street engines. A 390 block with a stroker crank comes out to 445ci, is affordable, and makes great power. He should easily be able to meet your expectations.
Tim, when I checked out the link you posted I had to chuckle. Ray at Dixion built my race car engines.
At the time there were only three local engine builders that built motors for the guys at Hales Corners Speedway.
The motor Ray built was the talk of the track, including the inspectors.
Ray is the kind of guy that thinks outside the box. I went to talk to him and he agreed to build the motor for the cost of the parts and wouldnt charge me any labor as long as his name was on the front fenders of the car. DEAL!!
Ray asked for the rule book, then called me one day and said were going to run the car with 180 degree exhaust. I told him nope, no 180 degree headers allowed. He said "who said anything about headers"?. He told me to ask the series owner if 180 degree EXHAUST would be ok. And we got the ok.
So he builds the engine with hogged out cast iron exhaust manifolds sold buy a guy in Wisconsin, Burzynski Racing, or something like that. Ports the heads to flow with the exhaust and I put the motor in the car. I go to inspection with the hood on the car knowing full well its going to cause a stir. No one has ever seen anything like this. The hot shot local engine builders are ther with their "golden" boys, the track champs,etc to babysit them during the inspection process etc, not having a clue what this rookie has under the hood.
The other racers actually thought I was a FIB because I had Dixion Automotive on the front fenders. NOBODY talked to me for the first few weeks at the track and I didnt know why until one of the hot shots came up to me and told me everyone thought I was a FIB invader.
Any way I pop the hood, its not even all the way open and the inspector sees the exhaust and just about yells "Oh hell no"!
Well now pretty much everyone, racers, crew guys and the local engine builders have to see what the ruckus is all about.
I calmly tell the guy " I cleared it with Phil the series owner. So he gets Phil over there and you could see Phil clearly had something else in mind when I asked him about 180 degree Exhaust
But Phil kept his word and the car was approved for competition
The car was a beast, the track anouncer nick named the engine "KILLER". It would pull ANYONE on the straightaways. Problem was the rookie driver didnt know how to set up a a chassis so it didnt handle as well as it should have in the corners.
WOW Talk about getting off subject and hijacking your own thread.
Anyway two years later I had Ray build me a 428 stroker small block, this was back in about 1984 or so. Well it turns out, which I didnt find out until a few months later, that Dixion was having financial problems and the $6800.00 motor I paid for didnt have the parts in it that I paid for, cheaper rods, you name it. Ten laps into its first race and BOOM!
I fault nobody if a race motor blows, shit happens. But when I found out it was because of what wasnt in the motor that should have been in the motor, I wasnt a happy camper. I never bad mouthed him, as a matter of fact, aside from a few close racing buddies you guys are some of the few people that know about it.
Sooo, I wont be contacting Ray about building me a motor
How the hell can somebody make 500 to 600 HP out of a 351 Windsor or a Stroker 302 to 347 CI or whatever and do it fairly easily, and folks make it seem nigh on impossible to make 500 HP with 390 Cubes?
What's the determining factor here, the shorter stroke or something else?
This message has been edited by koolminx on Sep 27, 2011 10:34 PM
Well as an FE guy, and a 15 yr or so FE Forum guy, I can sure do what I can to help.
I have done a few of these strokers, and they are pretty easy to make power, and brutally easy to make octane tolerant. So if you want to build one yourself, we can certainly can spec out something the way you want it, assuming you have a decent machinist. I have a few successful combos depending on how wild too, a couple of which work real well with a 5 speed (need to be careful not to overcam or 5th gear isn't nearly as fun)
However, if you want to buy one fresh off the dyno, Barry is probably the way to do it. Keith Craft is not, he can make power, but I have so many horror stories from friends, and what I bought from him was downright hokey and I would venture to say fraudulent on airflow. I build my own, but the heads I bought from him went back twice, then went to a real porter to make power and I had to replace the mismatched and poorly installed springs.
Heck I could build you one, but my schedule since I took command of the squadron just kills me, leave at 0600, get home at 1930, then go running, not much time to do my own work and customers work has long gone to zero. Suppose it depends on what kind of a hurry you are in.
Wil, that motor isnt out of the question because of cost, thats within budget.
It doesnt fit the bill because its not an FE.
Highpockets 427 small block just about poop my pants. And Bills 392 (?) WOW
those made me think seriously about a small block, but right or wrong Im a big block kind of guy.
Ross, thanks for your input, its greatly appreicated and I may take you up on picking your brain. I dont know if there is a good machinist around, Im sure there is, Im just not aware of who it may be.
I have fired off an email to Barry based on what Mike and Ross had to say about him. Gregs offer is also something to consider knowing and getting rides in the cars he built engines for.
Yes, keep it FE, a small block just doesn't fit what you're doing with that car. FEs are a bit more expensive then a 460 at same power levels, no doubt, but you don't have all the "swap" crap to buy so cost is offset.
Stroker kit is around $1600, don't know where guys are seeing $2500...cast crank is fine
Considering you'd put pistons and rods in any good rebuild, not a lot of additional $$ there for the stroker setup.
Heads are dependent on your wallet
Stock Edelbrocks flow enough to do 500hp, but barely IMO, you'd be pushing cam and CR to do it
Survival does cleaned up Edelbrocks with better parts for $2400, not huge flow but the .300-.400 numbers are MUCH better. You'd be able to run much more streetable cam/CR to hit 500hp with these heads.
Then the age old story, for "just a few more dollars", to $2800, you could go for killer Blue Thunder that flow a ton...60-70cfm more on both I/E. That much better performance for that "little" cash is a no brainer when looking at them out of context, but I'm not sure how much other stuff is moved around (valve positions, rocker stands, etc) to run the BT heads, looks like exhaust is raised. They don't list port size, have to imagine they're larger but probably OK with the stroker cubes, but again you're trying to keep it streetable and low rpm with the stock block. Question becomes how much topend do you want to put on a 390 block? As always, things snowball quickly.
I'm not real familiar with what everyone is using for rocker setup now that the Erson setup is discontinued, but think a basic Comp/Crane rocker setup at $300, plus HD shafts at $200, and a generic end stand setup would be fine...call it $700.
Rest of the motor basically is same cost, within reason, of any other big block...bolts, distributor, carb, gaskets, tins, etc all run about the same money.
The eyes are the groin of the face -- Dwight Shrute
This message has been edited by chilly460 on Sep 27, 2011 10:45 PM
Not sure what your intended use and personality is, but the 500 hp is no issue for a 445
With Barry's X heads, RPM intake, 850-ish carb, tight quench, around 10:1 compression and a very streetable hyd roller, 515-525 is readily doable. Look up Survival Mototrsports on Youtube, he has a few of his combos on the pump, one of which is listed as a truck motor, 515 hp I believe.
No issues going up from there, depends on the personality you want. BT heads are great, not really necessary, but if you think you may go 427 block later you could do it.
Stay away from Crane rockers, T&D makes an affordable set now, but there are a few options
BTW I run 10.7:1 compression with a tight quench and it runs on 89 all day long. Its EFI now and has a lot of adjustability, but ran it for years with a 1000 Holley and never used anything but pump gas. It has always had a pretty aggressive timing curve too, but the quench and focused cam choice, to include putting the cam where it should be makes them very unfussy on fuel
I know it's a long way from here to wisconsin,but there is an excellent fe guy here in town.He has a 427 high riser setting in his garage now if that would interest you.Just recantly he has built a thunderbolt clone correct to the last fastener and a 428 drag pack for a 69 mustang.
Chuck, you have plenty of FE guys here with good experience and suggestions. I don't know the budget, but when I called Joe Sherman about "warming" over the 352 in the Sunliner a few years ago, he and I talked for almost an hour on what he can do with the old FE. Aluminum heads, 410 crank or new one from Scat, new pistons, rods, etc. and an intake with a few improvements to the block was going to be about $10k minus shipping cost. There's a bit more stuff readily available now, but you can also buy the stuff and have him put it together also. Here's a link on an FE he built a few years ago for a Hot Rod article.
He's known mainly for small block Chevs & Fords and built the 347 stroker that went into my old Falcon after I sold it. He might be worth a call. Of course he's not cheap, but could be a resource for what to look for when modifying the old FE. Labor is expensive anywhere you go with someone as well known as Joe, but knowing where and how to use it is priceless. Just my .02.
I value Joe Sherman's opinion as a head porter and builder, especially on Chebbys and SBFs, but he hasn't demonstrated any big power with an FE and made a lot of mistakes along the way on that build. We followed him on Speedtalk and he was grumbling the whole way LOL Barry has more success in that realm
Ultimately Joe's ended up to be just like what everyone is building in their garage nowadays
No reason not to go BBC rod and a 4.25 crank in any FE, get the best heads you can afford, match the cam to the application and run it hard.
Unfortunately, two things limit the FE compared to 460-based stroker power
1 - Inline valve design and bore spacing doesn't allow real deep breathing. Good FEs breathe in the mid 350 cfm intake ports, 460's in the mid 400's or more....but a good rule of thumb is all out 2x intake flow equals max hp, so 350 cfm will get you some big numbers, just not as big
2 - Common headers are limited to 2 inch primary and often 1 3/4, good for torque but not for deep breathers.
Other than that, they kick like a mule when done right
If an FE head breathes 350 CFM, what does an AFR 302 or 351 Windsor head breathe??? I mean I KNOW there's a gigantic stroke difference or something I'm missing, but I'm still not getting the "why" of it...
Why isn't an FE a good air pump compared to a high winding motor of only 40 cubes less?
A real good FE head flows 350, stock head flows 230-240, and out of the box Edelbrock is 250 cfm
A decent AFR 195 flows about 300 cfm
If you use a WAG of 2x intake flow thats a 60-70 hp difference. However, you are right, once you get it to flow air, any motor will make power, but there are other issues here too that make it not suited to spin the hell out of it
SBF versus FE, rotating and reciprocating weight is a big difference, so the FE generally wont be a 7000 rpm motor. In addition, intake runners create resonance that tune to an RPM, the width of an FE creates a longer port that shifts the curve down, and in most cases, the use of the motor dictates an FE build that is pulling around a heavier vehicle anyway. So when you match all the parts to the use of the vehicle, you don't see the glory numbers a small block will have in a hot rod
The 351 parts and SBF capable cars are also cheaper so you see them everywhere
I wouldn't say the FE is a worse air pump than a comparatively built 351, it is equal or maybe better for the RPM range the motor is best suited for. However when you start comparing it to canted valve small blocks the ability to move air through the head is tougher. When you compare it to big headed 460, Rats and hemis, it just cant flow what the big dogs can.
However, keep in mind, many of these "500 horse stroker Windsors" are done on Desktop dyno, FEs pull big numbers there too.
My 489 runs very strong, but it also isn't a Summit racing order list like any 351 kid can do for his 89 Mustang
Just so nobody misunderstands here......I am certainly not dissin' a 390 or FEs in general. I own three of them and if it weren't for the front sump vs. rear sump I would plug one in my 57 Tbird in a minute!
It's just like Ross says. You can make good power but you don't have the "Summit Shopping List" to do it! The 351s and other small blocks are a more modern engine design that the FE and more suitable for RPMs. Ford figured out that the FEs couldn't RPM without blowing up so they made the famous 427 side-oiler. That should pretty much tell you that the standard FEs have limitations.
No biggie, you just have to be aware of the situation before you jump in. If simple cubic inches were all that mattered then the 500 CI Caddy should be king of the heap. But it also has head design and RPM issues. The FEs were originally designed to pull 4000 pound tanks around the streets at low rpm. They did a great job. The "Total Performance" days didn't come til much later. By the time the 427 was developed into a reliable race motor the Street Hemi and then the Rat Motor were on the scene.
Barry R at Survival is getting ready for yet another Engine Masters challenge FE entry. Here's a little about it. He's most definitely the man I'd go with for an FE engine. He's got some really great stuff geared exactly for what you are looking for. The man specializes in FE's and knows what he's doing!
Mike. Yup, made a decision. Ill be going with Barry. I have to get the 5 speed done first. Wow a lot of stuff to do, find a stock bellhousing if I dont want to drop $$$ on a Quick Time.
Figure out and fab a cross member....Gee, I thought I said I just wanted to drop in a motor and forget about it. Oh well, at least hearders shouldnt be a problem...famous last words!
Change the rear end gears and up grade the axles and get a drive shaft make..you know the drill.
So anyway, I talked to Barry and he gave me a pretty tight cost estimate. Im sure it will be somewhere within, or close to what he told me it would be.
Depending on when I get the other stuff done, the car may or may not have the motor in the car next summer. Trans should be done before it gets real cold out then things will get put on hold until spring and it will start all over again.
Thanks again everyone for your help and input, it helped a lot.