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  #1  
Old 07-06-2012, 04:53 PM
newbird59 newbird59 is offline
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Default 352 Build

Hey guys,

So I have been working A LOT on the interior of my 60' T-bird and now that I feel it's almost complete, I'd like to start thinking about the engine.

I bought a 60' t-bird from a guy out in the Sacramento (Ca) area and I'm not really sure the specs of the engine. Presumably it' s 352 like the guy said (which I don't doubt due to reading a lot on this forum) but from another year..I think he said later 60's. and I'm also not sure of the transmission. I would love to know what's in my t-bird.

I also have a 59' t-bird that i've given up on (similar story to another guy on this forum) due to rust. BUT the engine and everything on it is original to that specific car. The engine turns...but that's about it. it's been sitting for about 25 years.

Any thoughts on where to start? My goal is to have a slightly modified/upgraded t-bird that has above average HP.

Sorry for the long post!

David
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2012, 04:52 AM
KULTULZ
 
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If a "later 60's 352", the HP will be way down as the 352 went to base engine status with the intro of the 390 (1961).

I would concentrate on the '59 352 for power rebuild.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2012, 06:21 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbird59 View Post
...My goal is to have a slightly modified/upgraded t-bird that has above average HP...
Is money a big factor? If you start pricing parts/availability, you will find that 390 engine parts are a lot more available at much better prices. Looking at the engine, it's nearly identical to your 352. Perhaps the only telltale giveaway are more recent casting numbers.

I would find a good used 390 from a car or pickup truck and do a major overhaul on it. Pistons are cheaper, true roller timing chains are available and inexpensive, you can use aluminum Edelbrock heads (you can't on a 352), etc. I'm in the middle of this exact retrofit but I'm also using a roller cam and roller lifters. I'm building it for Bill Knighton in Australia. The reason for aluminum is because he lives in the Northwest Territory which is mostly desert and aluminum transfers heat four times faster than cast iron. Another reason for modern heads is, they're built for unleaded gas, using stainless valves, viton seals (oem (umbrella) seals are the worst), bronze guides and new springs.

I'm also building for tons of low-end torque since Squarebirds are better suited for cruising and luxury (rather than street racing). No more ZDDP issues, unleaded gas issues, or heat issues for this engine. It will run happily on modern oil and regular gas with LOTS more torque and ponies, than the 352 it is replacing. It's also much lighter with the aluminum heads and intake manifold. - Dave
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2012, 06:55 PM
gaffney1951 gaffney1951 is offline
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Default On a side note ...

I just dropped two blocks off to my machinist in Denver and while roller cams do have fewer issues than flat tappet cams he is suggesting that you still run a zzdp additive in any performance oriented engine build. And here I thought I was off the hook. Mike
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:47 AM
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Mike, during all this heat and fire storms, I've been concerned about you and your place. I hope you're out of harms way.

ZDDP, I wonder why, Mike.? As far as I know the only area that really needs zinc and phosphorous is the cam lobes & lifter faces. Did your man say where else? I'm sure you're running a roller chain so that can't be a critical area. All the other bearing surfaces use soft & hard materials combination, or they are bathed in oil. - Dave
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2012, 02:20 AM
newbird59 newbird59 is offline
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Thanks for the comments, guys!

Money is not an issue...well within reason. My 352 is running and in great shape so I'd hate to ditch it for something really similar. I get the point about the 390. That may be the direction I want to go! I'm all game about the alum heads and manifolds..although I guess I was wrong that I could do it with my 352.

The other question would be torque and tuning. I wouldn't want to race it but I'd like to have something with a little more power while being updated with heads and manifolds and other parts. I'm pretty new at this so sorry about all the questions!

Thanks!

-D
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:28 AM
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Torque comes from your cam. Get one with 260-270* total duration at .5" lift. Then advance your cam ~4* for low end stump-pulling torque. If you go with aluminum, you can advance your spark timing, 36* total advance @ 2,500 rpm. Use name-brand parts and a good 'true roller' timing chain. Keep your compression ratio around 9:1 and you should be good to go. - Dave
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2012, 09:58 AM
KULTULZ
 
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Interesting Discussion-

Quote:
Today’s oils are not designed to be run in older engines. The oil companies have worked hard for years to keep oils backward-compatible, but it has finally hit a wall. For the most part, the situation is no different than when lead was removed from gasoline. In older vehicles that were designed run on leaded regular gasoline you either need an additive, or make changes in the engines to adapt them to survive with unleaded fuel.
Sourced- http://www.barsproducts.com/blog/the...zinc-additives
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:08 PM
KULTULZ
 
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Cost Consideration Cyl Head Rebuild-

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles...s/viewall.html

There are also crankshaft kits and reman connecting rods available @ a fair price. The early 352 blocks can usually accept a heavy overbore (sonic check first) and a set of pistons and cam kit can make for a very cheap and power overhaul.

My biggest concern would be the cast log exhaust manifolds. They are very constrictive.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ View Post
"...In older vehicles that were designed run on leaded regular gasoline you either need an additive, or make changes in the engines to adapt them to survive with unleaded fuel."
Sourced- http://www.barsproducts.com/blog/the...zinc-additives
I totally agree. This is all about upgrading an old engine into a powerplant using modern methods and components. Back in the Squarebirds day, Ford didn't have aluminum heads, roller timing chains, roller cams, etc. FE's are good production engines that Ford produced as cheaply as possible and they were engineered to operate with gasoline and oil standards readily available that time. All of that has changed due to many reformulations over fifty years.

I read the Car Craft article, but I was looking for the rest of it. The article left out a whole lot. Generally, they took a Chrysler 318 set of c.i. heads, did a valve job, and decked the mating surfaces for a cost of over $300. They did not insert hardened seats or stainless valves. Heads need the valve stem towers machined to accept viton seals.

Heads area major part of any engine and machining costs are very high. NEVER go cheap on heads, but investing a lot of machining cost in oem heads just doesn't make sense if new aluminum heads are available for $1,500/pr. Resale on cast iron heads is only ~$200. Resale on aluminum heads is about $800 or more. Considering the many functional advantages aluminum offers, I will never go back to cast iron when aluminum is available at a reasonable cost.

I always ask myself, 'what do modern engines use?' They last 200,000 miles on unleaded gas and conventional dino oil. - Dave
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CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

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