Author Topic: Boring 390's  (Read 20142 times)

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falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2019, 10:44:24 AM »
A drill bit test isn't going to prove much, the question is condition of cylinders and core shift.  The 2 bolt motor mount blocks seem a little more consistent, but after that, they are all over the map.  Last fall I turned down a 428 standard bore  irrigation motor for the hyd roller build in the dyno section because four on one back were "over and up" and I didn't trust the block at .030 and 500 hp. 

Of course if no-one checks, any block might work!
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

Gregwill16

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2019, 10:55:12 AM »
A drill bit test isn't going to prove much, the question is condition of cylinders and core shift.  The 2 bolt motor mount blocks seem a little more consistent, but after that, they are all over the map.  Last fall I turned down a 428 standard bore  irrigation motor for the hyd roller build in the dyno section because four on one back were "over and up" and I didn't trust the block at .030 and 500 hp. 

Of course if no-one checks, any block might work!
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

Falcongeorge you sound like a very experienced and knowledgeable individual but I wouldn't downllay the knowledge and experience of others on this forum. They are simply being honest and expressing their own knowledge and experiences, in hopes of saving someone alot of grief. Also preventing someone of thinking they have something that they really don't and throwing a ton of money at something that could end in failure.

blykins

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2019, 11:39:38 AM »
A drill bit test isn't going to prove much, the question is condition of cylinders and core shift.  The 2 bolt motor mount blocks seem a little more consistent, but after that, they are all over the map.  Last fall I turned down a 428 standard bore  irrigation motor for the hyd roller build in the dyno section because four on one back were "over and up" and I didn't trust the block at .030 and 500 hp. 

Of course if no-one checks, any block might work!
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

No one is saying they don’t exist.

We are all saying it’s not prudent to bore the snot out of them.  Maybe jay will step back and put this thread out of its misery.
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Barry_R

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2019, 11:43:36 AM »
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

I have only checked about 100 per year for the last decade or so.

I have found definitely under ten - maybe under five - that I considered truly safe as 4.130 candidates.
One of them had the "C" scratch in the bell and a distributor bushing.

I guess I am not looking hard enough...

falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #79 on: September 22, 2019, 12:01:11 PM »
A drill bit test isn't going to prove much, the question is condition of cylinders and core shift.  The 2 bolt motor mount blocks seem a little more consistent, but after that, they are all over the map.  Last fall I turned down a 428 standard bore  irrigation motor for the hyd roller build in the dyno section because four on one back were "over and up" and I didn't trust the block at .030 and 500 hp. 

Of course if no-one checks, any block might work!
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

Falcongeorge you sound like a very experienced and knowledgeable individual but I wouldn't downllay the knowledge and experience of others on this forum. They are simply being honest and expressing their own knowledge and experiences, in hopes of saving someone alot of grief. Also preventing someone of thinking they have something that they really don't and throwing a ton of money at something that could end in failure.
You are correct that I am mocking, early on I was sharing usable info, now I have resorted to mockery rather than sharing info, in fact, I am deliberately withholding that info. Earlier on, I had posted a fair amount of solid, hard-core stuff on what the thick blocks are all about, when they were produced, and how to identify them. When it turned into the usual internet forum dogpile, I went back and carefully edited any usable information that would help guys find these blocks, as they aren't interested in that.
They don't have any of these blocks, and haven't seen any, because they don't have the required knowledge to identify them.
And the nature of the typical post-modernist mob is so hubristic, that if THEY dont know about something, then it doesn't exist. This is the predominant groupthink on internet forums. The line of reasoning (if you can call it that) goes like this. "I might not know much about the information being presented, but most of the people posting here are saying this information is wrong, if I join in, I can piggyback on this, and appear more knowledgeable than I actually am. Even if the people I am agreeing with are incorrect, the sheer weight of numbers lends credence, and I can safely ride on the coattails of that". I alluded to this on page three in post #43, but naturally, it had zero effect, and didn't cause anyone to pause and reflect for even a moment. So it really shouldn't be surprising that I am mocking them rather than sharing information. Sharing that information would be a wasted effort, due to their hubris.
So, especially in light of the fact that I have a late 390 block that is cast on 428 cores sitting less than 100' from me as I type this, it shouldn't be surprising that I choose to mock, rather than inform. Taking the low ground? Well yes, I am, but then I am a notorious iconoclast, so...
A quote from a famous American iconoclast, I think it applies rather well in the context of critiquing the post modernist groupthink that dominates internet forums
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
Mark Twain


Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/, from ancient Greek ὕβρις) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence,[1] often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance.[2] In its ancient Greek context, it typically describes behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis, of the perpetrator of hubris. The adjectival form of the noun hubris is "hubristic".

Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group, although the group the offender belongs to may suffer collateral consequences from the wrongful act. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities

FWIW, I am not at all angry, in fact, I am rather enjoying this, I hope that is coming across in my posts.
To show a little goodwill, I will expand on my flippant response to My427stangs hubris. The drill bit test is vitally important, it tells you what cores the block is cast on. This is a field test, it helps you to decide whether it is worthwhile to haul the dirty chunk of cast iron laying in front of you into the machine shop for a sonic test, or to leave it where it lays. This test is vital even if you intend to build a +030 390 out of said chunk of cast iron, as blocks that will accept a 1/4" or 3/8" bit aren't even suitable for that.
So there you go, just so this debacle isn't a total waste of bandwidth. Of course, the hubris of most members of any given internet dogpile will prevent them from even utilizing this little tidbit of information. Carry on...

falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2019, 12:04:05 PM »
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

I have only checked about 100 per year for the last decade or so.

I have found definitely under ten - maybe under five - that I considered truly safe as 4.130 candidates.
One of them had the "C" scratch in the bell and a distributor bushing.

I guess I am not looking hard enough...
Barry, the fact that you have found ANY, even if it were one, proves my point. They do exist, and those that are saying they don't are full of $#*^. And as I said in the other thread, mine does not have a distributor bushing.

falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2019, 12:08:39 PM »
I guess its not surprising a bunch of guys that have no idea how to find these blocks think that they don't exist.

No one is saying they don’t exist.

We are all saying it’s not prudent to bore the snot out of them.  Maybe jay will step back and put this thread out of its misery.
[/quote]
Brent, that's what YOU are saying, and I haven't said you are wrong, maybe that I don't 100% agree, but I understand and respect your position. Plovett and MANY others have said "All 390's are thinwall". Do I need to post the definition of "all"?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 12:11:19 PM by falcongeorge »

falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #82 on: September 22, 2019, 12:22:08 PM »
there are a few 390 blocks around that will go +.080 and still be thick enough, but they are not common, and to go out and hunt one down is probably an exercise in masochism, if not futility.you will need to sonic test any potential candidates, and if they are pitted on the water jacket side, you can still be in trouble. Brent alluded to the primary reason to do this, unshrouding a 2.19 intake valve. Its always about the cylinder heads.
 I wouldn't even consider trying to take any OEM FE block to +.125.

My very first post. Looks like Barry, Brent and I are all saying pretty much the same thing. ::) As to the "All 390s are thinwall" keyboard commandos, well....

Yellow Truck

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #83 on: September 22, 2019, 12:24:43 PM »
Brent, that's what YOU are saying, and I haven't said you are wrong, maybe that I don't 100% agree, but I understand and respect your position. Plovett and MANY others have said "All 390's are thinwall". Do I need to post the definition of "all"?

I agree with others that this thread has run its useful course, but I will point out that the term "thin wall" is being used to describe both a method of manufacturing as well as a condition of an individual block. The original question was "when did Ford start using thin wall casting for the FE?", and I am paraphrasing. The consensus seems to be that they were always cast using what was considered "thin wall" technique.

The second use of the term is "are 390 cylinder walls too thin to take a bore bigger than 4.08?", and the consensus seems to be that most are too thin and a very few are not. These two uses are very different in meaning.

The debate seems to be whether or not a 390 casting, or a 428, that has sufficient thickness to bore it out beyond a clean up should in fact be so bored. I believe the consensus on the last question would be - if you are fortunate enough to find such a unicorn, do with it what you want but most of the builders here would do the least possible to protect the engine since there is little to be gained and much to be lost. 
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MeanGene

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #84 on: September 22, 2019, 01:24:51 PM »
I remember what our local, quite sharp dealership parts guy told us in the mid-70's, that if you bought a 428 service block then, you would get a bored out 391 block, as they were using one service casting based on the 428, but only (normally) bored to 4.05- which would of course be a cost savings over casting different blocks for service use when not necessary. Actually makes perfect fiscal sense, and would explain some 360s and 390s with "thick" walls

falcongeorge

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #85 on: September 22, 2019, 02:22:56 PM »
I remember what our local, quite sharp dealership parts guy told us in the mid-70's, that if you bought a 428 service block then, you would get a bored out 391 block, as they were using one service casting based on the 428, but only (normally) bored to 4.05- which would of course be a cost savings over casting different blocks for service use when not necessary. Actually makes perfect fiscal sense, and would explain some 360s and 390s with "thick" walls
bingo, dead on the money. Every single one I have seen so far is a mid seventies block. My guess is, theres a lot more out there to be found, I would be willing to bet there were probably at least 500 or so cast its a simple question of economy of scale. Ford didn't do 5 or 6 blocks at a time for bread and butter stuff, they did hundreds at a time. By casting them all on 428 cores, they didn't need to cast, and warehouse two runs of blocks, one for 360/390s, and one for 428s, they could cover both replacements with the same block, and machine them to the bore size they needed.
Of course, when you think about how many MILLIONS of 390 blocks were cast over the years, they are going to constitute probably less than 1% of the total number of 390s out there, (which is right in line with Barrys quoted numbers) and probably quite a few thick (and thin) blocks are Toyota corollas by now, so you are going to have to look at a HELL of a lot of 390s to find one. If you are looking for one, once you realize they are all late blocks with the vertical ribs, you can eliminate a lot of them without even popping a freeze plug. Theres still a damn site more thick 390 service blocks out there than there are OEM 427 cammers, and if I went on an internet forum and said those "didn't exist" the same guys that are saying "all 390s are thinwall" would go spastic. ::) But blabbing about cammers is "cool", talking about thickwall 390s clearly is not.
FWIW, my block came to me indirectly via another one of those "old-school" Ford guys like Gene is talking about, he was pretty well known locally, there is  at least one member silently lurking this thread who knows exactly who I'm talking about, he also had two shotgun mustangs, one pretty much stock, the other with a raised port, dual dominator Pro-Stock motor in it, the second one was pretty notorious among local street racers in the early seventies. Lots of those guys knew about these blocks back in the seventies when they were new, hell I knew about them, and I didn't have any kind of inside track, I was a punk kid at that time.
Its a fair bet that a fair percentage of that 500 or so have been hoarded by the few guys that knew what they were, and there are probably a few out there like mine, that have been sitting in a dry basement for 20-30 years. A lot of those guys are older than me, (and I aint exactly young) and are probably closing in on the time when they are going to stop hoarding this stuff. But hell, they "don't exist" so you guys here don't need to worry about that. ;D
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 02:25:37 PM by falcongeorge »

fryedaddy

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2019, 02:32:53 PM »
first of all im going to clarify im not a engine builder or machinist.i used to buy a new ford performance magazine every month from 1980-90ish.i read in a article-cant remember which mag or when, that made a statement that the 66 7 litre gal had the best all around fe blocks.it said they had thicker walls than most.im not claiming this to be true because i brought this up 4 or5 years ago and i got shot down like a criminal.i just thought i would bring this up because of this tread,so please dont shoot me down again .you guys convinced me the first time that this is not true.i wish i could find the article.the author of the story had what looked like hundreds of blocks lined up on the floor of a warehouse.thats why i brought it up in the first place.i thought it might be legit.
1966 comet caliente 428 4 speed owned since 1983                                                 1973 f250 ranger xlt 360 4 speed papaw bought new

MeanGene

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #87 on: September 22, 2019, 02:59:20 PM »
I remember what our local, quite sharp dealership parts guy told us in the mid-70's, that if you bought a 428 service block then, you would get a bored out 391 block, as they were using one service casting based on the 428, but only (normally) bored to 4.05- which would of course be a cost savings over casting different blocks for service use when not necessary. Actually makes perfect fiscal sense, and would explain some 360s and 390s with "thick" walls
bingo, dead on the money. Every single one I have seen so far is a mid seventies block. My guess is, theres a lot more out there to be found, I would be willing to bet there were probably at least 500 or so cast its a simple question of economy of scale. Ford didn't do 5 or 6 blocks at a time for bread and butter stuff, they did hundreds at a time. By casting them all on 428 cores, they didn't need to cast, and warehouse two runs of blocks, one for 360/390s, and one for 428s, they could cover both replacements with the same block, and machine them to the bore size they needed.
Of course, when you think about how many MILLIONS of 390 blocks were cast over the years, they are going to constitute probably less than 1% of the total number of 390s out there, (which is right in line with Barrys quoted numbers) and probably quite a few thick (and thin) blocks are Toyota corollas by now, so you are going to have to look at a HELL of a lot of 390s to find one. If you are looking for one, once you realize they are all late blocks with the vertical ribs, you can eliminate a lot of them without even popping a freeze plug. Theres still a damn site more thick 390 service blocks out there than there are OEM 427 cammers, and if I went on an internet forum and said those "didn't exist" the same guys that are saying "all 390s are thinwall" would go spastic. ::) But blabbing about cammers is "cool", talking about thickwall 390s clearly is not.
FWIW, my block came to me indirectly via another one of those "old-school" Ford guys like Gene is talking about, he was pretty well known locally, there is  at least one member silently lurking this thread who knows exactly who I'm talking about, he also had two shotgun mustangs, one pretty much stock, the other with a raised port, dual dominator Pro-Stock motor in it, the second one was pretty notorious among local street racers in the early seventies. Lots of those guys knew about these blocks back in the seventies when they were new, hell I knew about them, and I didn't have any kind of inside track, I was a punk kid at that time.
Its a fair bet that a fair percentage of that 500 or so have been hoarded by the few guys that knew what they were, and there are probably a few out there like mine, that have been sitting in a dry basement for 20-30 years. A lot of those guys are older than me, (and I aint exactly young) and are probably closing in on the time when they are going to stop hoarding this stuff. But hell, they "don't exist" so you guys here don't need to worry about that. ;D
Yeah, but the difference is I just posted a little knowledge from doing this a very long time, without writing a supersecret novel or doing "mocking" drama. This a is not a deep dark secret that only you and your ego know, we actually bought a couple over the counter back then, and the parts man put one in his '76 Highboy. And has very little to do with the scores of regular 390s and 360s built over the years that will not safely go 4.13, despite what Billy Joe Jim Bob's second cousin Darryl's uncle says

thatdarncat

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #88 on: September 22, 2019, 03:15:04 PM »
It’s not that many of us don’t know about the thick walled factory blocks that exist, but as was pointed out early in the thread, that’s NOT the question that was asked, so there’s no need to snicker. I’ll even share my experience on them - all the thick walled somewhat common blocks I’ve seen have been 361/391 FT ( not FE ) blocks. They have all been “DIF” ( Dearborn Iron Foundry ) cast blocks, and they have all had the common 428 block identifiers - a scratch mark on the rear of the blocks ( multiple types ), a “428” cast somewhere in the bottom of the water jacket, and the specific 428 water passages on the deck that DIF blocks had and are called out on the blueprints. This is the type of block Jay has, and I have one too, and I’ve seen actual pictures of many more. My guess is thousands were cast. All the blocks I’ve personally seen had date codes between about 1970 through 1972. I have seen reports of some of these blocks with date codes down to about 1968. It’s possible they went all the way until the end of DIF production. I personally have checked many 361/391 FT blocks looking for these, and my experience has been that not all the FT’s at this time had the 428 cylinder cores, including some FT blocks I checked all the way to 1966 date codes, so I don’t think it’s a sure thing, but they’re out there if you focus your search in this area. And the more verified info people share, including date codes, casting plants, and sonic tests, the better. I have also seen reports and sometimes actual pictures of the rare occasional regular 390, 406, ext. block with unusually thick cylinder walls, so those unicorns exist.


However, that wasn’t the question originally asked, and why most of us weren’t focusing our answers there, not because we didn’t know this or believe this. The question originally asked was whether early FE blocks were cast with “thick” walls and then there was a switch at some point to “thin wall” blocks, there is no evidence that happened.

And my experience with everyone who’s opinion I trust is the same, leave the cylinder walls as thick as possible for best ring seal.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 04:15:30 PM by thatdarncat »
Kevin Rolph

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Sand hauler

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Re: Boring 390's
« Reply #89 on: September 22, 2019, 03:52:16 PM »
It’s not that many of us don’t know about the thick walled factory blocks that exist, but as was pointed out early in the thread, that’s NOT the question that was asked, so there’s no need to snicker. I’ll even share my experience on them - all the thick walled somewhat common blocks I’ve seen have been 361/391 FT ( not FE ) blocks. They have all been “DIF” ( Dearborn Iron Foundry ) cast blocks, and they have all had the common 428 block identifiers - a scratch mark on the rear of the blocks ( multiple types ), a “428” cast somewhere in the bottom of the water jacket, and the specific 428 water passages on the deck that DIF blocks had and are called out on the blueprints. This is the type of block Jay has, and I have one too, and I’ve seen actual pictures of many more. My guess is thousands were cast. All the blocks I’ve personally seen had date codes between about 1970 through 1972. I have seen reports of some of these blocks with date codes down to about 1968. I personally have checked many 361/391 FT blocks looking for these, and my experience has been that not all the FT’s at this time had the 428 cylinder cores, including some FT blocks I checked all the way to 1966 date codes, so I don’t think it’s a sure thing, but they’re out there if you focus your search in this area. And the more verified info people share, including date codes, casting plants, and sonic tests, the better. I have also seen reports and sometimes actual pictures of the rare occasional regular 390, 406, ext. block with unusually thick cylinder walls, so those unicorns exist.


However, that wasn’t the question originally asked, and why most of us weren’t focusing our answers there, not because we didn’t know this or believe this. The question originally asked was whether early FE blocks were cast with “thick” walls and then there was a switch at some point to “thin wall” blocks, there is no evidence that happened.

And my experience with everyone who’s opinion I trust is the same, leave the cylinder walls as thick as possible for best ring seal.



Exactly, I got one of those to,lol
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