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Kirkham Motorsports

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Old 05-04-2020, 07:11 AM
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Default Starting over in so many ways

Some of you guys may remember my build back in 2008, I had just purchased a KC482 and with Nick Acton's awesome help (actually he did most of it and I helped) cut out the small block engine mounts and welded in FE mounts.

Allot has happened since, and the 482 had to be sold before ever firing her up.
Now have an old 390 as a temporary replacement just to get her on the road. I need some help with upcoming decisions like:

1. The engine has been sitting a long time and has lots of crud in the lifter valley, I'm thinking a scraper and shop vac unless there's a better way to flush out all the junk from the internals.
2. I noticed some of the valves are rusty, any chance to use without much expense or should I get some new alum heads?
3. If I do get new aluminum heads for the 390, is it possible to use them on a future BBM 427 build?
4. If she won't run and a rebuild is in order, is there a stroker kit that can be used on the 390 and the BBM build?
As you can tell I'm looking to the future 427 build to utilize as many new components as possible.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:23 AM
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The edelbrock heads for the FE series will fit any of them.
A 428 crank will stroke a 427 to about a 455, don't know what the 390 stroke was.
But any crank that has more stroke than stock will need new shorter rods, and as long as you're in there......................
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:32 AM
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If I was going the same route as you, I would pull the heads and check the cyl walls for damage and wear (ring ridge at top) NO wait !! before pulling the heads, put starter and flywheel back on it and the valve train parts and cam gear and chain and do a cold cranking compression check on it. if they check ok, then do your mods, heads, cam and intake should give you plenty power, and all new stuff will fit the new block.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:58 AM
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Thanks MOTORHEAD,
So get it cleaned up, flushed out and crank it? The rusty valves not an issue?
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:37 AM
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because of the differance in bore size between 390-427----------the best 427 heads valves won't clear cylinder walls on 390--------
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:17 PM
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Jerrys right about the valves, I had forgotten about that.
What's the history on this 390 ? hyd lifters? .
You could have a valve job done on the iron heads, $300,00 ??
Pull the pan , check the bearings
What's the plan for accessories? .
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:40 PM
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Most aftermarket aluminum heads will work on any FE engine, with exception of the Pond heads.

An Edelbrock, BBM, Trick Flow, etc., will work on any FE you bolt them to (as long as the valves stay around 2.190" intake and 1.650" exhaust) and I know for a fact that a Trick Flow head will work on a 4.040" 352 bore.

If you do go the aftermarket route, most definitely go with the Trick Flow head and skip the others.

However, if this is a "temporary" engine, then I'd treat it as such and just get it running and in the car.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTORHEAD View Post
If I was going the same route as you, I would pull the heads and check the cyl walls for damage and wear (ring ridge at top) NO wait !! before pulling the heads, put starter and flywheel back on it and the valve train parts and cam gear and chain and do a cold cranking compression check on it. if they check ok, then do your mods, heads, cam and intake should give you plenty power, and all new stuff will fit the new block.
MOTORHEAD, a few of the bolts are missing on one of the heads. I'll hunt for them and do the compression test. Should the engine be cleaned before rotating it?
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:51 PM
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Had ford MR heads on ford 427 in Bennett cobra. Engine had been sitting long time so back up to Engines by Rex in Sacramento. Refresh and installed billet crank I had at his shop. After talking it was decided I should put a TWM 8 stack fuel injection setup I already had on engine and set of Edelbrock aluminum heads on also. Every thing fine made more power than needed and home it came. Installed in car, which is always a squeez, and heads were closer to foot boxes. So close have to trim foot boxes. Went from 1" gap to 1/4" gap. FWIW
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:05 AM
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You mentioned the crud in te valley, you should pull the pan and see whats in there. You must put the valve train pieces back on, and if your lifters are hydraulic, you'll need to build up some oil pressure to pump them up. You must run the oil pump with a shaft thru the distributor hole with a drill..
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:19 PM
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Here's a few pics. Hydraulic lifters. blykins, will the trick flow heads work with both the 390 and 427?
Anyone try these Keith Craft ProMaxx heads?
https://www.jegs.com/i/ProMaxx-Perfo.../9234/10002/-1
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:02 PM
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If this is a very temporary engine, then I'd wait, and build the engine you want. If it's going to be in the car for a while, since it's almost a short block, I'd tear it down, check for excessive wear, and replace only parts that are worn badly, maybe knurl the valve guides if needed, and simple valve job. You still want this engine to be reliable. Maybe remove ridge in cylinder, hone cylinders. If you are planning on keeping the cam / lifters, definitely keep them in order, label all parts and keep them in order for the rebuild.
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Old 05-05-2020, 02:50 PM
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I'd tear it down completely and do a thorough cleaning job on it . There's just to much trash in the valley and valve springs to get all that crud out. Then evaluate the parts that need attention/replaced and put it back together with new gaskets. Should be ok for a temporary engine.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:13 PM
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I believe the 4.25 stroke crank is used with a 0.020" over bore to get a 482. That same stroke would take a 390 to ~440ish depending on the over bore. You could use the same crank in either engine but you would have to re-balance it (as in pay to balance it two times). One for each engine build.

Pay close attention to what they are saying on the heads. Yes you can bolt heads with smaller valves onto the 427 bore, but why do that to the 427 bore? The entire reason that engines were built with large bores and short strokes was to fit bigger valves. As time went on, the canted valves and hemi heads were also to fit bigger valves. Bigger valves allow more air flow, which allows more rpm, thus more power. Yes you can make up for the smaller valves with more cam, but the torque curve suffers, and manors, too. All this is in theory. You would have to dyno some otherwise identical engines with both valves sizes to know for sure what you are giving up. Blykins may have already done this and may share these numbers.

That said a stroked out 390 can be made to run fairly strong. You might find you don't need the 482. I would expect that a stroked out 390 would make almost the same Hp as a 482 with the same heads and cam. The 482 would make more low end torque and the HP would peak at a lower rpm. There would be some improvement because the bigger bore would un-shroud the valves and get a bit better air flow. At least this is all correct in theory.
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:57 AM
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A bigger valve doesn't always equal more power. I will tell you that the little 2.190" valve on the TFS heads with the small 170cc port will support 700 hp easily. Cramming a large valve in a cylinder doesn't always mean it's going to do better; it could shroud the valve and then you have larger problems.

Those TFS heads on a pump gas, hydraulic roller 390 will make 540 hp. Those TFS heads on a pump gas, hydraulic roller 445 will make 550 hp and almost 590 lb-ft of torque. They will also make almost 700 hp on a 465 bracket race engine. They are good parts.

To the OP, I wouldn't worry about the ProMaxx heads. They are Chinese copies of an Edelbrock. The Edelbrock FE head, IMO, is defunct these days with all the other offerings available.

I also wouldn't spend a lot of time disassembling, cleaning, etc, etc. You will find yourself jumping into a rabbit hole that doesn't end. What happens when you pull the pan and see that the crank has some journal issues? Do you grind? When you're looking at grinding or repairing, sometimes it's more cost effective to buy a new crankshaft. Do you recondition the rods? Change piston rings? New bearings? I would completely leave it alone and use it for a *temporary* engine.

I also wouldn't worry about any sludge or gunk.

Last November, I picked up a 1966 352 FE core engine. It was complete from carb to oil pan, so I decided to have some fun and dyno it. It made 208 hp with the factory 2 barrel carb and intake. Pulling the PCV valve out, adding in 42° timing and bolting on a Holley 500 cfm 2 barrel got me to 234 hp. I swapped on a Blue Thunder 1x4 intake and a 600 Holley for giggles and got 264 hp. It had great oil pressure, ran like a top.



Here's what it looked like inside:



Bottom line is, if it's a temporary engine, leave it a temporary engine. Too many guys tear down temporary engines only to make them complete engine build projects. The cam is already broken in, rings seated, clean it up as best you can with a shop vac in the lifter valley, get it running, change the oil, and then whoop on it. Best time you'll ever have because you don't have to worry about an expensive engine.
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:39 AM
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I would do what Brent says. Makes sense. He does engines all day, every day. He knows a lot about FE's (like the Trick flow heads)
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:51 AM
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Last November, I picked up a 1966 352 FE core engine. It was complete from carb to oil pan, so I decided to have some fun and dyno it. It made 208 hp with the factory 2 barrel carb and intake. Pulling the PCV valve out, adding in 42° timing and bolting on a Holley 500 cfm 2 barrel got me to 234 hp. I swapped on a Blue Thunder 1x4 intake and a 600 Holley for giggles and got 264 hp. It had great oil pressure, ran like a top.
It would have been interest to bolt a set of TFS heads to that engine with the Blue Thunder 1x4 intake and 600 Holley.

Of course you would have wanted to swap in a custom cam next. Then I would have said bigger carb - 650 or 700. Oh when will it stop?
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:01 AM
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I agree to clean it and not disassemble further, if this is just a temporary engine.

I have used kerosene to wash and flush out the crud you missed with the vacuum (pull the drain plug for this). Then pour some oil everywhere to wash out the kerosene (reinstall drain plug and fill with oil). Run the engine gently for a couple heat cycles and change the oil again, putting on a new filter.
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Last edited by olddog; 05-06-2020 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:53 PM
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I've got a Blue Thunder intake & a Holley 650 now all I need are some heads! Edelebrock's website says the model #60069 support up to 550hp. With a stock bottom end I don't think it will be anywhere close. I hear you blykins, the Trick Flow's look great but maybe I'll save the money and get Edey's. Then splurge when the 427 comes around.
Next move is to pull the old heads and see how the cylinders look.

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It would have been interest to bolt a set of TFS heads to that engine with the Blue Thunder 1x4 intake and 600 Holley.

Of course you would have wanted to swap in a custom cam next. Then I would have said bigger carb - 650 or 700. Oh when will it stop?
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:47 PM
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I wouldn’t buy any cylinder head at this point unless you were buying something to use on a later engine, and the edels aren’t the ones to use. As a matter of fact, you may not gain anything at all depending on the heads you have now.
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