Before I could get to the fun stuff I had to make a trip to the landfill to empty a ton of garbage that has been sitting in the "Old Man" (our 46 Merc truck) for a couple of weeks - which you think would be a chore, but when you're yard truck is a vintage piece of iron that everyone loves to see, it's not so bad!
The 390 as it came back to my shop in the Dodge mini-van. My FORD guru Morris and I got it into the van at his place yesterday and then it came to the E-tek shop and waited on the shop floor while I emptied the Merc truck.
With the engine loaded up in the Merc, I sprayed it with an entire can of Engine Gunk and took it to the Wand-Wash. I was a little worried someone would tell me "no greasy engines!" but that didn't happen. After spending $8 there, and getting a face full of greasy, soapy water, it was back to the shop to dry and unload it.
Mmmmmmmm - fresh oil......
The 4 barrel Holley Carb is the crowning jewel. I've heard many times that the difference between a 2bbl - 390FE with stock manifolds vs. a 4bbl with headers can be nearly 100HP! We'll see.... I'm still debating whether to also put in a cam - but these things have enough power as it is and although it's great for bragging, more power is not very useable unless you're on the track all the time!
If you've followed along for any length of time here, you'll know the Galaxie has seen a lot of upgrades and repairs this winter. With this "new" 390, I'm also setting myself up for a transplant over the next year or so. In the photo is one of the many engines awaiting rebuild....
Engines in-wait include this 1971 2400CC in-line 6 with twin-SU carbs. These are great engines, never go bad and give the very light (2400lb) Datsun lots of go!
The 6 is from my '72 Datsun/Nissan 240Z of course, which currently resides on the rotisserie I built. I have all new floors, rails, quarters and rockers for it....but it's on the "back-burner". I bought this car in Vancouver some 200 years ago, as a driver and parts car for the E-tek IP2 racer. I got towed to Saskatchewan and has sat around for the last 15 years!!
Next to that is a flathead-8 - one of two blocks I purchased last year from some farmer and the one that looks like it MAY be good enough to rebuild. The other block turned out to be rusted right through due to laying in water for many years.....
....of course the flatty is to rebuild the original engine from my 46 Merc. The original engine developed a HUGE crack mere months after I got it (I'm guessing it was starting to go prior), but otherwise all the other parts where in great shape and will all go into this replacement block.
Lastly is this 330FE, which I bought thinking it was a 390. I pulled it out of an early 70's vintage "Camper Special" F150 who's owner swore (and likely believed) it was a 390. There was even a lot of paperwork in the glove compartment saying it was a 390! Of course, after 40+ years and who knows how many owners, it could have been swapped out several times. Even at that point they may have thought it was a 390, as there's only one (pain in the ass) way to tell what these FE's are until you actuall tear it down and check the casting numbers on the rods and crank.
The only way you can tell the difference between a 330, 360 and 390 (before tear down) is to somehow measure the stroke. One way is to remove the #1 plug, get it to exact TDC and then slide something in to the #4 cyclinder (which will be at BDC) to measure the stroke. Comparing that what we know the stroke is for a true 390 will show you what's what. The difference is only 1/4" - so your TDC and BDC have to be spot on. Regardless of what it is, the engine will still make a good spare, can be used in a future project (rod), or sold to some needy farmer for his grain hauler!
|4.38"||239 in³||Y-Block||4.63"||317 in³||Lincoln||4.90"||383 in³||MEL|
|4.38"||256 in³||Mercury||4.63"||341 in³||Lincoln||4.90"||410 in³||MEL|
|4.38"||272 in³||Y-Block||4.63"||368 in³||Lincoln||4.90"||430 in³||MEL|
|4.38"||292 in³||Y-Block||4.63"||332 in³||FE||4.90"||462 in³||MEL|
|4.38"||312 in³||Y-Block||4.63"||352 in³||FE||4.90"||429 in³||385-series|
|4.38"||221 in³||Windsor||4.63"||360 in³||FE||4.90"||460 in³||385-series|
|4.38"||260 in³||Windsor||4.63"||390 in³||FE|
|4.38"||289 in³||Windsor||4.63"||406 in³||FE|
|4.38"||302 in³||Windsor||4.63"||410 in³||FE|
|4.38"||351 in³||Windsor||4.63"||427 in³||FE|
|4.38"||351 in³||Cleveland||4.63"||428 in³||FE|
After putting together a new engine stand it took me nearly an hour to get the stand to fit up to the block. Y'know - one of those frustrating events where nothing lines up, not having the right fasteners and thus having to it all three times! After that I figured I'd switch gears and do something easy...
So this year I purchased a personalized plate 'Ol Man' for the Mercury truck,
based on the name my boys gave it: "The Old Man".
The truck also has a 1946 Saskatchewan Farm plate on it with it's own very special story:
About 10 years ago, we bought our home from a fine gentleman, Hubert, who built it from scratch with his wife Margy back in 1957. He was also into cars, putting a 6' deep pit in the attached garage and enjoying several different machines over the years. After selling his home to us, he moved directly across the street with his second wife. Over the next few years we got to know each other really well and I helped him with cars, his yard, whatever, and we spent many hours talking cars. At nearly 80 years old he was still buying, selling and fixing up vintage vehicles.
Hubert owned the '46 Mercury truck for some time and did the brakes, electrical work and some engine repairs, recovered the seat and basically made it a comfy driver. In the fall of his last year, he took the Merc to his cottage about 2 hours from the city to store it for the winter. On the way up there, he saw something on the side of the road and stopped to see what it was. Incredibly, it was a 1946 Saskatchewan plate! It was put in the truck as a lucky find.
Hubert didn't make it to spring and it was a big loss for all who knew him, including Shannon and myself. After he passed, I got a call from his son and his children wanted to offer me the truck. Needless to say, I jumped at it. It is now a keep-sake of this great gentleman and friend and will continue to make many great memories for myself and my boys.
So this year, I put the new plate, "Old Man", on the back of the Merc and today fashioned a mount to attach the 1946 plate to the front.
Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !