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Old 11-28-2012, 11:27 AM   #1
80bronc
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anyone tried a 390 swap into an 80's bronco?

Just curious if anyone else has tried to swap a 390 (FE motor) into an 80's generation bronco? Tired of the lackluster performance of my small block and dont want to go 460/c6 route.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
Alvin in AZ
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Bronco Info: '91 RoadQueen 351w-2wd-ZF camtiming+4* 265/75-16E's dual Ranchos F&R, SuperCab bench seat EEC=F250
The only problem I see with an FE/FT is their 1-up bellhousing bolt pattern. :/

They won't match up with the newer stuff so the transmission and transfer
case needs to be brought in with it.

--------------------------------------

I dohn need no steenkeen radio I got an FE...

That's another problem with FE's is after you get one, try not to brag on
it -too- much because it's not nice to make other envious. ;)

Alvin in AZ
ps- You know, them dangged 351m/400's got a bad rep because of their
retarded/smog cam timing and never was offered without it. Find a 400
that won't crack on you and go from there? >shrug< At least you can
make a 460's 4wd ZF match up to it with a clutch pilot bearing adapter.
pps- '75 F150 360FE+T18 and 252/252 Comp cam
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
80bronc
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Well I came across a 390 or 360 powered T-18 4x4 was a 74 F100 i believe, and i stripped all the bellhousing, clutch linkage, motor mounts, etc... And i already got a strong 410 (baby 428 cj) and my trucks currently a 302 T18 so a T18 and an FE will be pretty much bulletproof right :)
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #4
mickey556
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Bronco Info: '89 7.3/7.3 banks turbo, parked in storage.
i used to want to do a 390 in my 89 before i went the diesel route (due to fuel prices)

i think over at fte there are a few guys with them in their trucks, more in the 80-86 then 87-91 range.

390 is a damn good motor, and can be built real nice and pretty. Hell some of the cars they came in, topped 400 HP from factory, i believe the top of the line 6V 390 was over 500 stock, with trip 2bbl carbs. put in a truck friendly cam to up the torque over the car style powerband and you would be set.

I learned to drive in a 70 something F100 with a 390 4V. Was my uncles wood hauling truck. thing ran good, lots of power. I would say give it a go! 460s are over rated anyways!
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** '95 f350 CC LB 4.9l / zf5 <-- grocery getter
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
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i used to want to do a 390 in my 89 before i went the diesel route (due to fuel prices)
hows that working out for you?
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
Alvin in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80bronc View Post
Well I came across a 390 or 360 powered T-18 4x4 was a 74 F100 i believe,
and i stripped all the bellhousing, clutch linkage, motor mounts, etc... And i
already got a strong 410 (baby 428 cj) and my trucks currently a 302 T18 so
a T18 and an FE will be pretty much bulletproof right :)
If it's factory 4 barrel then it'd be a 390 but either way---> measure its stroke! :)

BTW, Ford didn't put 390's in their 4wd trucks!
(I've read that over and over)

Was looking for one for quite a while and only one guy lied to me about his
being a 390 ...three others didn't know their beloved 390 was a 360! :/

It was as if their puppy got ran over when I measured it and it was a 360FE.
I believe many times the lie started at the stealership!

BTDT being lied to by those guys (back then) and -they-did-things- to the
vehicles to make 'em come back for repairs too! I shit you not.

Anyway yeah, you got the stuff and wondered if that wasn't the case from
the start. :)

This what a 390FE crankshaft-end looks like, it's got that U notch in it and
I figure it's part of the "balancing act", but don't know it for a fact...

See that big ol' sloppy oil-lite clutch pilot bearing there? :/
Don't do that, put a 6303 sealed ball bearing in there like Ford did in their
FT's. ;) BTDT and works great! :)

Alvin in AZ
ps- For the rest of y'all notice how the top of the oil pan is -flat- that's a
simple thing to spot on an FE or FT. The clincher is the intake manifold
going under the valve cover...

pps- The water pump's lower hole there, is not blind! :( But I fiNgured
out a way to seal it, ran a stud into it and nut it from the back. It took
me having to heat and bend two 9/16" open-end wrenches about 45* to
get 'er done one-day but it's done for good on my old 360FE. :)
Use the old brown Permatex (shellac) for sealer (or epoxy).

Another shot showing both water pump holes...
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/fe390cover.jpg

Showing off what you can do with a flat topped oil pan... ;)
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/fe390+55.jpg
That picture's before I pulled the freeze plugs. The PO had used some
sort of stop leak in it and it was a big jellied mass that was not rinsing
out with a full garden hose. No kidding had to pull the freeze plugs and
-dig- that jellied crap out of there. You know if it can't circulate it can't
carry heat all that good, so don't use that stuff.

Typical FE exhaust ports and the odd spark plug angles...
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/fe390plugs.jpg

Someday I'd like to trade this outta production StreetMaster 390 intake
manifold for one that ain't got such big runners and open plenum...
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/fe390intake.jpg

------------------------------
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alvin in AZ View Post
If it's factory 4 barrel then it'd be a 390 but either way---> measure its stroke! :)

BTW, Ford didn't put 390's in their 4wd trucks!
(I've read that over and over)

------------------------------
That makes sense actually, but i guarantee this was an FE powerplant recognizeable by the huge intake that goes under the valvecovers and "352" cast on the block.

But that truck in the junkyard was a 74 F100 4x4 assumed to be a 390, and it had a factory 4 bbl intake. It all looked orig i guess somebody coulda put a 4 bbl 390 intake on their 360 but i left the motor just pirated all the linkages and mounts etc
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
Alvin in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80bronc View Post
That makes sense actually, but i guarantee this was an FE powerplant
recognizeable by the huge intake that goes under the valvecovers and
"352" cast on the block.

But that truck in the junkyard was a 74 F100 4x4 assumed to be a 390,
and it had a factory 4 bbl intake. It all looked orig i guess somebody coulda
put a 4 bbl 390 intake on their 360 but i left the motor just pirated all the
linkages and mounts etc
{There it is! It's been swapped out. That year should have a "reverse 105"
block in it like my '75. My "new" 390's got "352" it's from a Bump Side :}

More likely to me they swapped the whole works over, a complete 390FE. :)

Measure it! :) {15/16" deep well socket ;}

If you turn the crank to TDC on the #1 cylinder then you can go back and
forth between the #1 and #4 cylinders since it too will be at TDC. Just mark
a dowel or pencil or something and go at it. The 360 would kick butt too -if-
we could get pistons for 'em. Nothing but low compression crap is available
for the 360FE. :/

Stranger things have happened, a guy brought a "360" home and found out
it was a 410 instead. Others have taken "360's" apart to find 428's etc.

390 4 barrel's are supposed to get slightly better gas mileage than 360's.
The 252/252 Comp cam boosted my mileage ~1+1/2 mpg over what my
360FE 2v ever got from new!

----------------------------

Another weird thing I remember...
I drilled out and re-tapped the two block-plugs on either side while we had
my 360FE out for an overhaul at ~150k miles. Drove it to Willcox and my
cowboy buddies helped me pull it and haul it to "the engine guy". :)

Anyway I tapped 'em out to 3/8" pipe and used square-topped steel pipe
plugs and put a little old fashioned pipe dope each time I pull 'em. Got a
1/2" drive 7/16" 8-point socket to do the job. Brass would be cool but steel
has a closer thermal expansion rate to the cast iron than brass has got. ;)
Didn't want to risk cracking my FE! LOL :)

Alvin in AZ
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:58 PM   #9
Robs79BBbronco
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lets face it...old ford/bronco lovers are few and far between, and i for one always appreciate the old school stories, tips and tricks that Alvin brings to the board.keep on (ford)truckin' buddy!
to the op....the 360/390's were good motors, and with the right motivation and parts could be swapped i'm sure, just depends on how much time and effort you care to put into your truck......it may take awhile because, like you said....hasn't been done alot, but if you have the parts, i say go for it!
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