A couple months ago, I purchased a complete, running, 390 FE FORD engine, which I removed from the '68 F150 truck it was residing in. My plans are to do a full rebuild on it, then add some sort of power-adding kit and stuff it in my 1967 Galaxie 500XL convertible. I'd like it to be as reliable as is the 390 that's in it now, but get about 500HP by 5000RPM.
The current mill in the Gal has really turned me into an FE believer. It has NEVER balked in the 8 years I've owned it and for who-knows how long before that. It's only a 2 bbl, but runs as strong as any 4 bbl motor I've had. I'm guessing it only pushes about 250hp right now, maybe less, so my goal of 500hp would make a healthy difference, even in a 4000 lb land-yacht!
One tact would be to go with Edelbrock's Performer RPM package. The heads/Intake/Cam combo will easily meet my power and reliability goals, but is rather pricey. Below are the Edelbrock-recommended parts needed to turn a base 390 FE into a Vic-stoked powermill:
700CFM HolleyCarb $400
Total = $2001, which, as we all well know, will be closer to $3000 minimum once installed!
All in, I could see this build being in the car for about $3000.
The other way to go, would be a reasonably stock rebuild, with a cast crank and pistons, but then adding a universal T3/4 Turbo kit. These kits sell for about $1000 online, but require a LOT more fabrication work. This work includes making up an exhaust manifold/turbo intake flange system, plus routing and connecting of the various inlet and exhaust tubes, intercooler parts and oil lines.
All in, the smoke would likel clear somewhere around $2500 with this method of adding power.
The debate continues!
Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !