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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at rebuilding my S code's dead engine (really dead, PO literally blew it to pieces).

I have a bare 390 block and the original C8AE-H (look to be OK and rebuildable) heads I got with the car. 2 choices, as I want a "streetable" engine that will be reliable and tolerate sitting for a while as it will be a weekender and I don't want to go insane in the quest for "ultimate power";

1 - rebuild it to stock specs - 325hp/420ft-lb are Ok by me. My stock 390 in the 'vert has been very reliable and does have a bit of get-up-and-go.

2- spend "some" more and upgrade a few bits - better cam, valves/porting the original heads (or new alloys), lighter manifold, bigger carb, etc. But not adding say, more than a grand to the total (been estimated 5-7k here for the stock rebuild).

Anyone out there have any specific recommendations on which route they chose if faced with a similar decision, or specific parts to use/avoid? Never spec'd and engine before and in web searches on the subject the options are many and confusing.....
 

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I would start with finding a really good FE engine machine shop in your area. And then talk to FE people, The FE engine responds differently to options than a small block ford or chevy. My first call would be to Scott Main @ cam research(303-762-0022). He is one of the best cam and head guys I have met and does know FE's very well. FE engines build torque easily so don't confuse that with big porting and crazy cams. One of the best items to help it out is a good Exhaust system. Fe's are week in the exhaust area in mustangs.
 

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I was just going to tell you to go to....but I see you already have ::
 

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Hydraulic roller cams allow you to have a smooth idle and gobs of horsepower and torque. Alloy heads and intake shave off much needed weight and flow much better than stockers.

Give these guys a call and discuss what you want. They've done work for me and other VMF'ers, I recommend them 100%..
 
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I'd suggest better than stock with latest upgrades. I wanted and got the same as you when I had mine rebuilt.
Noted changes:
Edelbrock Aluminum intake
Edelbrock Perfromer RPM Aluminum Heads#6005
Edelbrock Aluminum water pump
MSD 6A Ignition Box - 6200
MSD Blaster 2 Coil - 8202
GPT-4282010VE Road Demon Carburator
Flowmaster Series 50 Delta Flow ( J42451)
MSD 35389 Wireset Ford 351C
MSD 8594 Ford FE Distributor
MSD 34615-1 Terminal ends
and of course the pistons,cams and usual replacement parts.

Make sure you check the poundage of the valve return springs that you intend to install. Edelbrock sent the wrong ones and damaged the valve push rods on mine.
 

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Aluminum heads and aluminum intake. Removes about 125 pounds off the weight of the engine.

I personally would run CJ exhaust manifolds (they are being reproduced now) instead of headers because of the tight fit in the engine compartment. This is especially true if you have a manual transmission (headers + clutch linkage = problems) If you do run headers, get them ceramic coated in order to keep the underhood temps down.
 

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With that kind of budget, you could build a real go getter! Start by checking out your block. Look for the extra webbing on the main bearing supports. Also measure the bore. Stock is 4.05. Most 390's can only go .030 over. Find someone who has a sonic tester to check the cylinder wall thickness. If there's core shift, then you won't be able to bore it at all! Absolute minimum wall thickness is .156. Any less and the cylinder wall will heat-up and let go. (I have one that this happened to!)
You could do what I'm doing and put a SCAT 428 crank in it, (410cid), DSC rods, custom Ross pistons, Crower cam p/n 16255, RPM heads, Blue Thunder intake,etc. Should be about 500hp.
I go to this forum alot, These guys are all about FE engines.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/74182?achk=1

Also check out www.dscmotosports.com

Let us know how it goes!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies, but remember those dollares are "Aussie", multiply by 0.6 for exchange rate and duty/tax to get the part here! Not many FE's came down under. ;)
 
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