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hey guys, jim here. i am running a 390 gt engine in my 69 torino, its got a healthy cam in it, edelbrock alum intake, 750 holley, headers, gt heads, etc. the engine runs out nice and strong. i can buy a good running 1970 429 thunderjet for a very good price and was wondering if i basically do the same thing to the 429 as i did with my 390 ( cam, headers, intake, carb, good distributor,etc) if i will be any further ahead performance wise. i know there are more cubes and slightly more torque with the 429 but it is also a heavier engine. i would love to swap out the 390 but i dont want to waste my time if its not going to pay off. what do you guys think? thanks, jim.
 

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450hp should be pretty easy with the right parts on the 429. Not sure what you have now wheather that would be an improvement or not. To make bigger gains you will start to need some porting.
 

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your swapping in 40 more cubes right off the start, and a block capable the 545+ cubes the FE could only dream of.

I love FE's but the 385's have a big up side.
 

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I know that there is a devoted following to the EFFE motors, just like the 385 series, but I think that I remember reading, a long while back, where the EFFE intake runner (stock manifold) couldn't be made to flow big numbers because of the push rod boss protrusions into the runner. Any one know anything about that? That being said, I'm sure you can get some very street-able numbers from what you've got already. Personally, I'd prefer the 385 series motors because of the tall deck, cavernous crank case area, aftermarket availability of go fast parts and, I'm assuming here, a stronger block. There's got to be a reason Ford went from the Y block to the EFFE and then to the 385 series block. Supposedly all were upgrades as technology moved forward.....
Rob
 

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if you already have a decent running 390, I would consider putting a few bucks into it. The cost of the 429 swap and new transmission plus the cost of upgrades on the 429 will not be that cheap.

IMO 390 Upgrades = stroker rotating assembly, Edelbrock heads, modern cam etc will get you great power and not be a big hassle.
 

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Jim,

I believe it depends on what you are looking for and how far you are willing to go with the transplant. Read that: making other modifications, monies and time spent, and sorting out a new combination.

I think it is pretty much accepted that you should be able to make MORE torque (and HP) with a given list of changes to the 429 versus the 390. However, according to you, you have a very good running FE already that you have already figured out. Several sources are now making better flowing aluminum heads for the FE which (based on your post) is the only real area you seemed to have not addressed in your build.

I am a big block guy, running a 428CJ motor in a '73 Mach I and a 472 (429-based) in a '73 Grande. I am in the process of building a 545 to replace the 428CJ, not because I am unhappy with the performance but because the 428CJ is becoming too valuable to restorers. The '73s did not come with a big block, hence the change to something that its sibling came with in 1971.

In your case, the 69 Torino came with an FE (to include the 428CJ/SCJ). Is the 390 original to your car? Do you care about originality? Do you consider it an investment, a race car or a "Toy?" What are you REALLY trying to do with the car?

These are all questions whose answers hopefully will lead you to the response you need to your query as to whether or not you should make the switch.

Hope this helps.

BT
 
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