385 vs FE - 460 Ford Forum
460 Ford Forum  
Go Back   460 Ford Forum > Tech Topics > Engine Tech

Engine Tech A place to discuss all 385-series engine tech and theory.

460Ford.com is the premier 460 Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-11-2007, 09:30 PM
66f'lane 66f'lane is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 7
66f'lane Driving a Ford
Default 385 vs FE

I could use some help/opinions/suggestions.
I am starting to restore a '66 Fairlane with a 390 and 4-spd Toploader (not original, from a 68 Merc I think) with an 8" rear end. After several months of researching building an FE it seems the 460 may be a better choice. I'm looking to get 500hp (at the flywheel) and would like to add a mild (100~150) shot of nitrous later.
I bought the car because of the the big block and manual tranny and liked the 390 because it was a period correct motor, but I'm not a purist and I'm going for a resto-mod not an authentic restoration.
This car is not going to be a daily driver and I hope to have it at the dragstip as often as I can make it there, but I want it capable of running down the highway. I want to stay on a budget as much a possible and would like to reuse the short block (maybe minus pistons) of whatever motor I go with. This will be my first full engine build so I want to do it up right just don't want to go broke doing it.
What do you guys think for that application? I assumed the 8" would have to be replaced but don't want to have to replace the tranny also if I change the motor. What are the pro's and con's of the 385's vs the FE's (on a budget and in a Fairlane)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 03-11-2007, 09:47 PM
MauriSSSio MauriSSSio is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 751
MauriSSSio Driving a Ford
Default

you can make 500hp with a 390 but i think in the long run,it will be cheaper to build a 460, plus the room for growth in the 460 is rediculous. 500 HP isnt that difficult and the 385 series itself is only a lil heavier than a 390. Parts are easier to find AND theyre cheaper, and like i said room for growth is ALL there.I went through this dilema a few months ago but decided to take the plunge since horsepower is addicting and you know once you get that 500HP youll want a bit more,then more,then more after that.. As for the tranny im not too sure but i know the bellhousing will definately have to change if its even possible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 03-11-2007, 09:50 PM
FE_rex FE_rex is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 845
FE_rex Driving a Ford
Default

500hp and a 150 shot of nitrous is doable onan FE. One oops and it's gone

Build a 460 based motor, it can handle an oops.
__________________
Faster cars, running tractors, and rain in TX - I can dream
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 03-12-2007, 06:13 AM
Barry_R's Avatar
Barry_R Barry_R is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 791
Barry_R Driving a Ford
Default

A lot depends on your future plans and what you already have. The power is fairly easy with today's stroker stuff & heads - but you'll be closer to the limit on the 390 FE.

The 460 has more potential and a lower build cost - but the lower cost will be offset by a need for motor mounts, bellhousing, headers, etc - as well as the cost of the core engine (FWIW you already have the 390).

You pick....
__________________
Barry R.
#1 Horsepower FE Ford - Engine Masters Challenge - 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Warehouse Distributor for:
Scat, Probe, Blue Thunder, Diamond,
Clevite, Holley, Federal-Mogul, Comp Cams, more.
www.survivalmotorsports.com
(248) 931-0358 or (248) 366-3309 shop
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 03-12-2007, 07:34 AM
Danny Cabral's Avatar
Danny Cabral Danny Cabral is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ellington, CT
Posts: 2,595
Danny Cabral Driving a Ford
Default

I don't know anything about an FE engine...but what exactly is wrong or inferior with them? Excuse my 'FE ignorance'.
__________________
May God's Grace Bless You

'78 BRONCO: 508" stroker, TFS heads, Dominator MPFI & DIS, cold air induction, dual 3" exhaust/Magnaflow mufflers, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, A/C, Lentech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD, 3:1 Atlas II, modified Dana 44/60-lockers-4.10s, hydroboost/4-disc brakes, ram-assist/heim joint steering, Cage long radius arms, custom traction bars, 4" lift, 35" mud tires
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 03-12-2007, 08:19 AM
RJP RJP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,054
RJP Driving a Ford
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Cabral
I don't know anything about an FE engine...but what exactly is wrong or inferior with them? Excuse my 'FE ignorance'.
Nothing wrong with an FE, just a earlier design and not quite as sophisticated as the 385 series. Some say the rockershaft design is primitive, pushrods are too long and can be troublesome, strange head and intake manifold arraingment, bad oiling system, [never understood that one as its the same basic system as a SBC] The positive side of an FE is they are relitivity compact engine for the displacement, not too heavy with an aluminum intake manifold [around 610-620 lbs] and make decent power/torque with stock or close to stock parts and when built right and taken care of have the reliability of an anvil. They can get expensive to build esp. if you want a 427 or 428 and need a core. Alot of cars would not be the same without an FE such as a GT 40, 427 Cobra, 64 Thunderbolt, 428 CJ Mustang, any 'R' or 'W' code Galaxie or Fairlane built in the 60s. FE have a very loyal following as they are still very competitive in racing and are very rich in racing history. [First American engine to win Le Mans and did it more than once and countless wins in NASCAR, USAC NHRA etc] Even today the FEs are still collecting their fair share of wins in Galaxies, Mustangs, Fairlanes and other bodys that didn't orig. have FEs installed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 03-12-2007, 09:24 AM
Danny Cabral's Avatar
Danny Cabral Danny Cabral is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ellington, CT
Posts: 2,595
Danny Cabral Driving a Ford
Default

Thanks RJP!

Two more questions, if I may:
Is there a large availability of aftermarket performance parts for the FE engine (like the 460)?
Can you bore and stroke an FE engine for large cubic inch displacement?
__________________
May God's Grace Bless You

'78 BRONCO: 508" stroker, TFS heads, Dominator MPFI & DIS, cold air induction, dual 3" exhaust/Magnaflow mufflers, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, A/C, Lentech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD, 3:1 Atlas II, modified Dana 44/60-lockers-4.10s, hydroboost/4-disc brakes, ram-assist/heim joint steering, Cage long radius arms, custom traction bars, 4" lift, 35" mud tires
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 03-12-2007, 10:12 AM
Barry_R's Avatar
Barry_R Barry_R is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 791
Barry_R Driving a Ford
Default

:roll:

I have a little bit of an FE habit... :lol:

Please follow the links below for some FE info...

http://www.survivalmotorsports.com/FE_EMC_article.html
http://www.survivalmotorsports.com/FEparts.html
http://www.survivalmotorsports.com/FE-Engine-Kits.html
http://www.survivalmotorsports.com/FEKitTech.html
__________________
Barry R.
#1 Horsepower FE Ford - Engine Masters Challenge - 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Warehouse Distributor for:
Scat, Probe, Blue Thunder, Diamond,
Clevite, Holley, Federal-Mogul, Comp Cams, more.
www.survivalmotorsports.com
(248) 931-0358 or (248) 366-3309 shop
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 03-12-2007, 10:17 AM
rmcomprandy rmcomprandy is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Roseville MI
Posts: 9,855
rmcomprandy Bleeding Blue
Default

About 500 inches is their safe usable limit ... you have to remember that these engines began life in the 50's with cubic inch displacements of 330 and 352.
__________________
www.rmcompetition.com

R.M. Competition - The finest Custom Engine Building for any venue ... !
Selling Parts and Supplies from companies I use ... 1(586)909-1591

CUSTOM ground camshafts
Carburetor modifications for specific applications
CNC porting
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 03-12-2007, 01:09 PM
RJP RJP is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,054
RJP Driving a Ford
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Cabral
Thanks RJP!

Two more questions, if I may:
Is there a large availability of aftermarket performance parts for the FE engine (like the 460)?
Can you bore and stroke an FE engine for large cubic inch displacement?
Danny, There is a big aftermarket parts supply thanks in kind to Cobras: kit and orig., Shelby Mustangs and the popularity of Mustangs, Galaxies and Fairlanes. I can think of 4 cos. that make 427 blocks in iron and aluminum, Shelby Am., Genesis, Pond and Dove. Heads are done by Edelbrock, Blue Thunder & Shelby Am. The limiting factor for displacement is the small bore centers and the limited space needed to swing a big stroke crank. As I understand about 530" is the upper end limit to an FE.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 03-12-2007, 02:35 PM
MauriSSSio MauriSSSio is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 751
MauriSSSio Driving a Ford
Default

The largest stroker kit ive seen for the 390 is 440 cubic inches i think more is possible with the aftermarket genises block,but then again more is possible with the A460 block
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 03-12-2007, 02:50 PM
jm jm is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 495
jm Driving a Ford
Default

IMO, if it was me i would build a 385 than a fe. i hate the fe's so much i would install a small block chev than a fe if it was the only 2 motors left in the world.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 03-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Danny Cabral's Avatar
Danny Cabral Danny Cabral is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ellington, CT
Posts: 2,595
Danny Cabral Driving a Ford
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm
IMO, if it was me i would build a 385 than a fe.
Well of course...we all would (that's why we're here).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm
i hate the fe's so much i would install a small block chev than a fe if it was the only 2 motors left in the world.
See, this is what I'm referring to. Why do some people hate the FEs so much? (I've often heard this.)
__________________
May God's Grace Bless You

'78 BRONCO: 508" stroker, TFS heads, Dominator MPFI & DIS, cold air induction, dual 3" exhaust/Magnaflow mufflers, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, A/C, Lentech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD, 3:1 Atlas II, modified Dana 44/60-lockers-4.10s, hydroboost/4-disc brakes, ram-assist/heim joint steering, Cage long radius arms, custom traction bars, 4" lift, 35" mud tires
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 03-12-2007, 04:18 PM
jm jm is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 495
jm Driving a Ford
Default

core shift problems, valve train "using custom push rods to get geometry right", heavy and weak rods, poor oiling, cylinder heads suck,aftermarket stuff is VERY$$$, PLUS CUBE vs cube the 385 would run circles over the very outdated fe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 03-12-2007, 04:23 PM
63galaxie2 63galaxie2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 407
63galaxie2 Driving a Ford
Default

I guess jm will have to answer that one!As for me there are only two things I dont like about them.
1 The intake(or center head).Man that thing weighs about a million pounds(100lb).But thats an easy fix now.
2 The exhaust leaks.I have never had one that didnt develop one.And it seems like every time you go to fix it the bolt breaks off in the head.If you were building a new one a grade 8 would fix that.
Im talking about a stock to mild motor.Theres also SOME interchangeability probs.Overall I would say great motor for its day.In fact it set(and I think still holds)I dont know how meny records.
__________________
God bless
Lonnie
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the 460 Ford Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.