JMHO: From what I've seen 390 Marine Motors are bastardized vehicle
June 25 2012, 6:15 PM
motors that were not built to the strict specifications that Marine 427s were noted for. The few 390 marine parts I've ever seen seemed to be adequate not robust. I get the feeling Marine 390s were intended for competively priced Jet Boats and pleasure boats not the high dollar yachts and cruisers where you find J-code Industrial/Marine 427s. There's also risk some guy built his own boat motor out of a 390//potentially meaning lack of USCG Approved parts Dist, Carb, Alternator, flame arrestor and Starter. I'm thinking they were job-shopped not marinized at FoMoCo. Of course Holman Moody was a Ind/Marine Distributor that also job-built their motors for customers from mild to wild.
That said I'd be surprised if it were a closed loop cooled motor, so the risk of raw water damage is likely high. Best look very very carefully at any Marine 390...
My son bought the car with the marine engine in it. The only way we knew what it was came from help on this forum. The only distinguishing difference seemed to be the core plugs are threaded with brass plugs. Not sure of anything else but with a mild build this thing scoots along with best of em'. Never had a sonic test on the block either so don't know if it's any more stout than the automotive blocks. Leland
I just found a net54 login that was created long ago while writing instructions to join this forum. I had to join this place a buncha times to write them.
The 390FE was the premier FE engine offered by Dearborn Marine after the 360Edsel engine was first applied to marine applications and before the 406 was available. The 390 was also a premier engine when the 406 and 427 engines were in short supply and cost much more. That the 390 may have been offered without the usual marine safety features is both ludicrous and irrelevant to this website. Marine safety equipment for the FE was never FE-specific and never in short supply and is obsolete in all applications except for period-correct restorations.
It can be said that the 427 FE marine engines were constructed to relaxed specifications. 427 blocks which were rejected for racing applications were still fully qualified for marine and industrial applications. This is not to say quality checks were not in place - they certainly were - just that it was easier to qualify a marine or industrial block than it was to qualify a racing block. Any block casting that failed to meet appropriate specs in the foundry was promptly remelted. There are stories regarding failed 427 castings which were set aside and resold, but these are the exception, and they seem to have played a proper role in the 1970s when supplies were short.
It would be particularly interesting to learn what year you suspect your engine to be, as it will play into the philosophy of the 390 marine engines of the period. While there is a chance it is a rare HP casting, more likely it'll be a solid 390 assembly capable of making good power for a long time into the future. Most significantly, it would be interesting to learn what components were selected to build this engine, as the choice of rods, pistons, blocks, heads, and intakes can tell a lot about the level of thinking that was going on back then.
Threaded brass plugs. Not much to argue there. That is a rare period piece. It'd be fun to learn details of the engine from the opening post.
Your knowledge is highly regarded. My son (Michael) also a forum member relied alot on your advice when he first bought his Galaxie. We ( or I) was convinced it was a 406. The heads were the C3-6090-C castings w/shorty headers, single cast 4 bbl. intake. Upon disassembly we found it to be 390 bore. A little disappointed we had the block bored .040, crank ground.010/.010. The block has C3 casting, date code is 3 22 w/ large V S cast mark above date code. Has 5 DIF casting. The block had typical main webs,C3-6015-H block casting ( I think), C3 rods & crank. Aluminum pistons were standard before bore job.It has a hydraulic cam w/ non adjustable rockers. Brass core plugs have square head concave behind starter & mtr. mnt. and raised square head on the others. They have Lincoln F-1 and 1 1/2" markings. The machinist assured us the block still had some meat left after the boring was done. Hope you'll stick around awhile.Any comments or more info on the marine blocks is appreciated. Thanks , Leland
Guys, if you ever need any marine info, give me a buzz at http://www.chriscraftcommander.com, I have a ton of (marine) stuff there and I am very happy to share it all here. Some of it may be of use to someone here, although most is not as technical as many here would like. I noticed what seems to be an error on the Interceptor catgalog info, because the 352 had a 4.00" bore, and the 360 and the 390 both have a 4.05" bore.
Interceptor used a TOTALLY different way to cool their engines as opposed to what Chris Craft used, but i think the basic marine blocks provided by Ford were the same to Eaton Dearborn Marina as they were to Chris Craft.
Photos below are INTERCEPTOR from a Century Resorter, but this one is a 427.
Anyone needing flow diagrams or more photos to do a restoration of one of these for marine use, send me a note at the link above and I'll be happy to help if I can.
I have been told in the past that Higgins Boat Company also used Interceptor motors and one guy claimed he had a 400-horse version of the 390 in his runabout. He replaced the iron heads with aluminum Eddy heads and was VERY disappointed at the results, perhaps he got the wrong cc combustion chambers, but it appears the motor he had originally had some better equipment than what he got from Edelbrock.
I've had half a dozen outdrive and outboard boats never saw a straight prop shaft up close
June 26 2012, 9:07 PM
So I don't know and wondered how what looks to be a very inline connection was made as contrasted to an angle that "works" a U-joint. Eric hope you get your jolly's baiting my ass, just because I've owned at least a dozen FoMoCo Marine Motors and have the dealer books from Ford Industrial and a few Holman Moody marine sheets/pricing. I just added my two bits. Your the one that proclaims I'm an expert.
I do know a single screw straight drive will test the living hell out of any captain backing into a slip even without breeze or currents - BTDT
That bronze thing is actually bronze for sure, and it is a threaded cup with a hole big enough for the stainless steel drive shaft to go through it, and the bottom of the boat. Inside the bronze cup are circlips of what looks like rope, but it is packing compound and often impregnated with a waxy substance or teflon. This assembly is screwed in so it compresses the packing against the shaft, but only to the extent where it will continue to drip a bit for lubrication.
Pretty simple and long lasting, been doing it this way ever since they put motors in boats, with the exception of the more modern outdrive units of course.