best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

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bob hess
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best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#1

Post by bob hess » 31 Oct 2017, 17:42

Simple put , how can one get ( near ) the low / mid range torque of a big block , with out all the weight ?
?? Stiff gearing ( 4:11 + ) ? Fun if you only drive a 1/4 mile at a time .
?? Big cube ( Fomoco racing engine ) small block ...... 10 K plus OUTCH!!!!!!!
?? Big block; alum. diet ( intake , heads, water pump, headers, battery in the trunk etc. ) Sorry to say , did that on my Mustang .... Still not enough . I'm looking for that small block handling . Be it on a budget . So please no need to point out the all alum. FE engines out there. I can't do the over 10K 427 ( Windsor ) ford racing route , so an alum. ( racing ) big block is right out.
Is it worth trying to build a 400M ? Only 35 lbs. more the a 302. Big block cubes , less then big block weight . Some say the over looked Cleveland can be "Cammed" for a 1500-4500 high torque band. What say you Cleveland owners !!!
My end game is having the low/mid range torque in a well handling "street car" that ( wish list ) may be , can do high 12's with a super charger / slicks . But if that doesn't (wish list) come true , then I'll still have a well handling / hot street car .
--- Is this just tooooo much to ask ? In the 60's , I'd say .... Pick one and live with the down side(s) , BUT TODAY !!!!! There most be a compromise to get the best of both worlds . Please bear in mind .... Budget , budget , budget ( build ). I just can't afford a R&D , multi year build ( I'm 65 now ) .
--- Working with a 68' 390/ 4 speed cat --

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wish
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#2

Post by wish » 01 Nov 2017, 08:35

Check the 4x4 forums, here's one guys build from pirate using a 351W :

-D4AE-DA block, .060" over
-stock crank and rods
-9.25:1 CR speedpro hypereutectic pistons
-All ARP fasteners
-E7TE heads, ported, polished, bowl blended
-Crane roller rockers
-Comp extreme 4x4 cam, 206/214 duration @ .050, .477/.493 lift
-Edelbrock performer intake
-Shorty headers, HEI, Q-jet

That got him similar power numbers to your 390. Some aluminum heads and you could shave even more weight off of the system and possibly sourcing a 94+ block would get you the ability to run a stock style roller cam that would let you boost those numbers even more.

The truck crowd is always about torque and low RPM so the Bronco forums are another place to check.

Also what about an overdrive transmission ? Then you can get whatever rear gears you want to have fun and keep the highway cruising option. The stock Mustang trans is set up this way with a huge gap between 4th and 5th, though the 6 speeds address this and road-race spec trans can also address it.
Just my $.02
wish
69 Cougar, That 70s Truck, 84 Cherokee Chief 2dr, 88 Grand Wagoneer, 95 Grand Cherokee,96 Mustang

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xr7g428
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#3

Post by xr7g428 » 01 Nov 2017, 12:55

If you stick a small block in a '68 390 4 speed you will cost your self about what it costs to put the 390 back in. Several years ago I bought a '68 that had gone down the same route and pulling the 302 out and putting the 390 back in increased the value of the car by $15K, about what it cost to buy the 302 and matching transmission and to make all the other modes that were required. But lets say you don't care about that.

If you really want this: "a well handling / hot street car" you are well on the way already. Put an aluminum intake on the 390 and trim about 80 pounds. Replace the stock exhaust manifolds with Cobra Jet reproductions and knock off another 15. Put an aluminum radiator in and knock off another 10. IF it has AC you can use a rotary compressor to knock off another 15 or so. Move the battery to the trunk for about 20 lbs. less on the nose. You are now approaching fully dressed 351 weight numbers. If you can find the money go with a set of aluminum Edelbrock heads and you will really have a skinny 390. All of that will also end up making a lot more HP and torque. But this is just the first step:

The real problem is the handling. Put shorter higher rate springs up front and do the Shelby drop. Put some decent front and rear sway bars on it and some good shocks under it and the difference will amaze you. Even if you left the engine bone stock and heavy fixing the suspension is a far less expensive way to really improving the drive-ability.
Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
Legendary Cougar Magazine
Currently in the Cat House
'67 XR7 GT 390 4 speed, AC, AM FM, Lime Frost Green
'68 XR7-G 428CJ C6, Tilt-Away, AM, Black Cherry
'68 XR7-G 390 4 speed, Sunroof, Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 GT-E 427 C6 AM Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 resto mod 351W, soon to be AOD, Black Cherry

bob hess
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#4

Post by bob hess » 01 Nov 2017, 22:36

A "skinny" 390 , sure sounds good.

What higher spring rate are we talking about ?
Which is better ( if any ) "old school" (drill ) route "Shelby Drop" OR the new engineered after market Shelby Drop suspension kits ?

Is it worth searching for a 1 1/8 dim. front sway bar ? Or is a 1 in. with comp. bushings the ticket ?

Has any one addressed what might be over looked by most of us ?..... When should we be looking at "frame" stiffners , after all 50 yrs. of enjoying a big block has to have taken it toll by now. If so , then should one have the kit installed at a frame shop . FORD just didn't think we would still be driving ( some harder then others .. Ha , ha ) our unibody cars 50 yrs. on.

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xr7g428
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#5

Post by xr7g428 » 02 Nov 2017, 09:36

I think I am going to be able to answer all of your questions very soon. I will be installing the new Hotchkis system on my son's '68 XR-7. It includes larger sway bars and also subframe connectors. I think the geometry changes are incorporated into the design so the drill will stay on the shelf.

This is a new product and Hotchkis isn't ready to release these to production, and I am waiting on more parts before we get started but I will be doing a write up here on the site and a full tech article in LCM.
Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
Legendary Cougar Magazine
Currently in the Cat House
'67 XR7 GT 390 4 speed, AC, AM FM, Lime Frost Green
'68 XR7-G 428CJ C6, Tilt-Away, AM, Black Cherry
'68 XR7-G 390 4 speed, Sunroof, Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 GT-E 427 C6 AM Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 resto mod 351W, soon to be AOD, Black Cherry

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R Code
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#6

Post by R Code » 02 Nov 2017, 09:56

xr7g428 wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 09:36
I think I am going to be able to answer all of your questions very soon. I will be installing the new Hotchkis system on my son's '68 XR-7. It includes larger sway bars and also subframe connectors. I think the geometry changes are incorporated into the design so the drill will stay on the shelf.

This is a new product and Hotchkis isn't ready to release these to production, and I am waiting on more parts before we get started but I will be doing a write up here on the site and a full tech article in LCM.
LMK if you need an east coast tester to run that setup on a '67 289/4speed car ;)
- Chris

1967 Std 4 speed conversion
1969 XR-7 "R Code" Convertible
1989 Merkur XR4Ti

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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#7

Post by 9F91H581221 » 04 Nov 2017, 09:07

If you'd like a lot of mid range torque, put a stroker crank in the 390. 4.25" stroke will make a 445 cubes. Rotating assembly is around 2 grand.

allenman85
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#8

Post by allenman85 » 04 Nov 2017, 19:31

Personally I would stick with the FE just because of all the hassle with changing to the small block brackets et al. You can build a 400 CI FE or W or M and come out with about the same power but with a huge amount of $$ differences. Stay with the 390 and either just bore it or if you want a bit more torque go with one of the budget rotating assemblies as mentioned above ($2K) 428/454ci. Heads/intake/cam will make the most difference. I would shop wisely for those items and not invest major $$ in the short block. Down the road a future buyer will most likely be more interested in the FE variant than any swapped out versions...
1970 Cougar. 351C/FMX/AC/PS/PB/Comp Green w/White Top, 3:00 open
Now: 622 HP, 351W w/AFR, solid roller, 418ci, C6, 3.50:1 posi, 3" Magnaflow SS exhaust

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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#9

Post by Royce » 05 Nov 2017, 07:26

FE engines are not heavy like a big block Chevy, in fact a 390 is perhaps 75 lbs lighter than a 400M if both have aluminum intake manifolds. If you have a 390 get an aluminum intake and an aluminum water pump - boom, same weight as a 351W.



bob hess wrote:
31 Oct 2017, 17:42
Simple put , how can one get ( near ) the low / mid range torque of a big block , with out all the weight ?
?? Stiff gearing ( 4:11 + ) ? Fun if you only drive a 1/4 mile at a time .
?? Big cube ( Fomoco racing engine ) small block ...... 10 K plus OUTCH!!!!!!!
?? Big block; alum. diet ( intake , heads, water pump, headers, battery in the trunk etc. ) Sorry to say , did that on my Mustang .... Still not enough . I'm looking for that small block handling . Be it on a budget . So please no need to point out the all alum. FE engines out there. I can't do the over 10K 427 ( Windsor ) ford racing route , so an alum. ( racing ) big block is right out.
Is it worth trying to build a 400M ? Only 35 lbs. more the a 302. Big block cubes , less then big block weight . Some say the over looked Cleveland can be "Cammed" for a 1500-4500 high torque band. What say you Cleveland owners !!!
My end game is having the low/mid range torque in a well handling "street car" that ( wish list ) may be , can do high 12's with a super charger / slicks . But if that doesn't (wish list) come true , then I'll still have a well handling / hot street car .
--- Is this just tooooo much to ask ? In the 60's , I'd say .... Pick one and live with the down side(s) , BUT TODAY !!!!! There most be a compromise to get the best of both worlds . Please bear in mind .... Budget , budget , budget ( build ). I just can't afford a R&D , multi year build ( I'm 65 now ) .
--- Working with a 68' 390/ 4 speed cat --
1968 GT-E XR-7 W code 427 Augusta Green / Saddle
1968 XR-7 R code 428CJ Ram Air Red / Black
1910 Model T Ford Touring Red / Black
1914 Model T Touring Maroon / Black
1915 Model T Ford Touring Black / Black
1917 Model T Ford Torpedo Runabout Green / Black
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bob hess
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Re: best of both worlds ; torque on a budget (diet )

#10

Post by bob hess » 05 Nov 2017, 11:29

Many thanks for all the input . It's looking like , IF I can get the handling ( Shelby drop , frame support kit etc. ) sorted out I'll put the 390 on an Alum. diet. And crunch the #'s on a stroker kit Vs. re-built 428 PI.
As far as a 351C/400M being within 75lbs. of a FE (390) . A can just submit the #'s I got off a well know Ford Engine builders web page . Admittedly one of the big reasons I started looking a the possibility of a 400M build was the weight chart from the engine builders web page . It made the 351/400M look like it was only 40 lbs. more then a 351W. ( and far lighter the my stock 390 ... by 100 lbs . ) Up to that point I to was under the impression that the Cleveland's were " just too heavy " to be worth a build ( unless one had a BOSS 351 ) . Can anyone ( Cleveland owners ) get us the TRUE (351/400M) weight #'s ?
My research came up with the following chart : FORD ENGINE WEIGHT ( as best as I can tell these are STOCK / DRY engines . IF a "boss" came stock with any alum. intakes , water pumps etc. I can only assume the #'s reflect that ).
289-302 = 460lbs.
Boss 302 = 500lbs.
351W = 510lbs.
351-C , BOSS , 400M = 550 lbs.
390-428-427 = 650 lbs.
429-460 = 640 lbs.
BOSS 429 = 680 lbs.

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