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First FE driving impressions

October 1 2017 at 8:27 AM
jgkurz  (Login jgkurz)

First some back story. I have shared this with a few folks already, but not to the wider group. I finally got my Mustang back on the road after a 2yr long build and restoration. I bought my 69 Mach1 in 2013. The original 428/C6 were long gone. In the engine bay was a 1970 429 with a C6. Yes, a 385 series Lima engine. I was tempted for a moment to build a 557 stroker, but in the end, I decided to go back to an FE. The project was my first classic Ford and first FE so lots to learn. It’s probably fate that I have an FE. My father worked for Ford for 42 years and was the biggest FE fan I know. In hindsight I should have had an FE project years ago. I found a 427 SO locally for a great deal so went that direction instead of a 428. My dad has several aftermarket parts which also helped keep the cost down. I worked with Blair Patrick on the design and build of the engine with my local machine shop doing the short block machining and assembly. The result was a 488ci that made 570HP/584TQ on a Superflow dyno. I made some changes based on what we learned on the dyno that should add even more HP. The engine has BBM heads, hydraulic roller cam, 10.5:1 compression, 2x4 intake and QuckFuel carbs. The transmission is a bit unique. I went with a 4R70W 4spd automatic with a lockup converter that is computer controlled and completely programmable. The car mostly will be on the street and drag raced on the weekends. The exterior and interior look intentionally stock. Under the hood is a different story.

Now for the fun stuff. The FE engine sounds amazing. I have built many cars but none that sounded like this 427. I am somewhat surprised at how many people know the FE sound is unique. I have a full 3” Magnaflow exhaust that I thought would hush the motor adequately. I was very wrong. The 14” oval straight through mufflers barely help. I don’t mind so much but it’s hard to get on the throttle without pissing people off. Ha! I took the car for its first drive and about put the car in the ditch. I have never had a car with so much torque off throttle. My 255/60-15 BFG’s are useless. I really have to be careful. It will lay down two black strips from a roll like no car I’ve ever owned. At the drag strip I will run 275/60-15 drag radials so traction should be better. I am hoping to run in the 11.50 range, but the car is heavy so not sure if I can get there. Crossing my fingers.

The transmission is doing well. I am still fine tuning the shift points and lockup. The stall was suppose to be 3000 but I think it's closer to 2000. I need to test more. I have 4:11 gears so overdrive is essential on the freeway. The engine doesn’t like to be under 2000 RPM so the 3-4 shift happens at about 2500 RPM. The brakes have been getting a workout. I was surprised that I have 10.5” of vacuum so my power brake booster is working fine. I do need every bit of braking the car has. I think the 69 power brakes with Porterfield pads are adequate but certainly not excellent.

This forum has been a big help over the last couple years. Thank you for answering my newbie posts and for being such a wealth of information. I hope to contribute back if I can.


This is probably the fourth start with open headers and on my 2-post lift.


This message has been edited by jgkurz on Oct 1, 2017 3:01 PM

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