I have a chance to buy a 1964 390 police interceptor engine. It needs to be rebuilt but turns over free. What would be a good price for this engine and what can you tell me about these engines? From what I am told they can be bored out to 427 (4.230" bore) specs. Is this true? Thanks
My 1964 P-code cop car came with the 390/330 solid lifter only motor. Crank is a C4AEB, iron intake is a C4SE9425A, has the rods with the larger bolts, and exhaust manifolds that were the short header type.
most every 390 I go to buy is a 352 or 390. The engines that guys claim were (rebuilt) engines are .030 over, and worn out again. I have had a long streak of good blocks but got a cracked one last week. Fes are just like a box of Chocolates, you never know for sure what you have till you open it up.
They CAN be bored to 427 specs, but will need eight sleeves.
October 27 2009, 9:36 PM
Note that most 1964 FE blocks have reinforced bulkhead webbing and also crossbolt bosses cast in. This is an anomaly which was caused by the introduction of FT engine blocks for 1964, as the foundrys became overcrowded with the variety of blocks they suddenly needed to make and some of the variations, such as non-reinforced bulkheads, were temporarily eliminated to free up workspace. By 1965 this issue was resolved.
Your block may look like a 427 from the bottom, with those crossbolt features and extra webbing, but don't be fooled. The cylinder barrels are regular 390, and are specified by Ford for only a .030" overbore limit (though sometimes they can go a little farther). Ford documents specify the 332/352 block for a .060" overbore limit, so you can be sure the .030" is no accidental oversight.
Also note that Ford formally "named" the FE family as the "Interceptor engine" family back in 1957, so you could buy an "Interceptor 332" just as easily as an "Interceptor 352", since all FEs were named "Interceptors". Ford didn't bring out the "FE" and "FT" designations publicly until 1970 when the 351 Cleveland caused all kinds of confusion and forced Ford to publicly annnounce engine family names. You might not actually be looking at an actual "police" FE engine (with cast headers, alum intake, solid lifter block), but instead it might be an ordinary "Interceptor" 390 FE.
Note that police 390 blocks and HP 390 blocks are different castings.
October 28 2009, 4:46 AM
The solid lifter police 390 block is usually a regular 390 block drilled for solids, not an HP block. HP blocks got thicker cylinder walls, but were more expensive to manufacture due to the more fragile barrel sand cores and the higher casting failure rate that results from fragile sand cores. Police contracts are always price sensitive, so Ford would have worked hard to provide good performance at minimum cost, and therefore selected the lower cost 390 block casting.
Note that some 390HP blocks, from the 1961-era, got rather thick cylinder walls, similar to a 406/428 barrel core. Service 390HP blocks of 1962-later have been found with 427-type cylinder barrels, probably because they were cast as 390HP and 406HP service blocks, and this may be what you are thinking of when discussing the overbore of a 390 solid lifter block to 427 numbers. The 390 police block is not likely to have been made from a 390HP service casting.
I don't believe the 390 police engine got fancy rod bolts, either. My book info is not available to me right now, but I seem to recall the first large-bolt police rods showed up in 1966 in the 428PI engine.
I don't have current pricing info for a 390 police engine, but maybe this can provide something to ponder while determining the value.
In addition to what has already been said the rods are the same as the 406-427 of the same year. Besides the solid lifter block, the cast shorty exhaust manifolds are worth more and if it has the factory open Air Cleaner, it is a rare part and worth a fair amount when restored. ww
There are also other special parts like the air cleaner, and generator
October 28 2009, 7:10 AM
The PI has quite a few 406/427 parts hidden on it including a big pulley alternator or generator and an open air cleaner. The shortie manifolds, rods and adjustable rockers were already mentioned. The pulleys are good etc... a PI has some value in the parts. Hawkrod
Normally they had the single pulley but much larger in diameter
October 28 2009, 10:22 AM
The basic package included whatever was standard for a HiPo vehicle. If they uprgraded that it is desirable to a certain segment as you noted. The base stuff is actually easier to sell as it will be the same as 427 stuff. Hawkrod
Block casting numbers do not relate to cubic inches.
1912 Model T Ford touring Salmon (ugh!)
1913 Model T Ford Touring original Black paint
1915 Model T Ford Roadster Black
1915 Model T Ford touring Black of course!
1967 Cougar GT 390 Cardinal Red / Black
1968 Cougar GTE 427 Augusta Green / Saddle
FWIW,many moons ago I owned one in a 64 500 XL. The block had thicker webbing and the knobs for cross bolts,and was not drilled for juice to the lifters. The con rod nuts had 19/32 heads, solid lifter cam, single piece valve retainers, and of course adjustable rockers. Outside had cast iron shorty headers, dual groove alternator, but normal size pulley, single point distributor. It was tired when I bought it, so one weekend my dad and I pulled the heads and dropped the pan in the car, no ridge, we put standard parts back in, the 324 degree 427 cam from Ford, and topped it off with a factory tri-power set-up, and Ford dual point distributor. That sumbitch would flat get-it. Talk about a budget build. The car ran 13.90s at the top of 3rd gear (4 speed)through the traps. Wish I still had it. Thanks for listening. Randy
63 1/2 fastback 428 auto
57 Ranchero Y-block AOD conversion
57T-Bird 312/ T-56 comming soon