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Thread: 1985 t-bird 390 swap

  1. #1
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    Default 1985 t-bird 390 swap

    i know a 351/302 will fit nicely in it but what about a 390. i have a lead on a 69 mustang 390 with a c-6 trans. can i still use a v-8 k-member from a v-8 t-bird/mustang? or is there something totally diffrent i have to do. i took rough measurements and it looks like it will clear the shock towers. not sure about exhaust and trans. i dont want to have to do alot of chopping of firewalls and things. and will a aftermarket k-member be better for this as opposed to a factory k-member. it would be nice to keep it as factory looking as possible. any help will be appreciated...thanks

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    Physically it should fit. I've seen plenty of 429/460 engines in Fox chassis cars, and FE series engines are smaller and lighter than those. Although where you get motor mounts to fit an FE to a Fox K-member, I have no idea.

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    Headman headers used to have to fox body header swap header. Truck double sump oil pan and a engine plate would get you there.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

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    I seem to remember seeing a 390 swap a few years back. I think it was on this forum. Later, when I get time, I'll search for it.
    CoogarXR

    1986 LTD Wagon
    1985 Cougar XR-7


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    One of the guys local to me posts on here every so often has a race car with a big block, I think its a 83-84 T-bird. His username is 83-86Tbirdguy or something close.

    EDIT- here is his profile: http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/...3-88T-Bird-Guy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewstang View Post
    One of the guys local to me posts on here every so often has a race car with a big block, I think its a 83-84 T-bird. His username is 83-86Tbirdguy or something close.

    EDIT- here is his profile: http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/...3-88T-Bird-Guy
    FYI guys:

    A 390 is a FE series big block ford, which is a completely different engine than a 385 series (460) big block Ford.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #7
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    Why...?

    Big. Heavy. Slug.
    Long live the 4-eyes! - '83 Tbird Turbo

  8. #8
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    I don't know about "slug"...they take a little more money to make decent power, but are absolute torque monsters. I'd say in a street/strip type build it would be pretty cool and best of all DIFFERENT.

    I'm working on a '73 Ford truck right now that came with a 360 FE. It had thrown a rod before I got it. I've got it torn down now and the plan is to stroke it using the Survival Motorsports "prison break" 445 kit. Granted mine will be more of a truck/torque monster build with iron heads, but a ton of classic Mustang and Cobra guys still use the FE series motors. I'm hoping mine will make close to 400 hp...

    Go to youtube and search for survival motorsports or Barry R. He's got some really neat builds on there doing dyno pulls. He also competes in the Car Craft Engine Masters Challenge every year.
    Last edited by 50tbrd88; 11-10-2014 at 01:58 PM.
    '88 'bird, 1-family owned, original 302 converted to HO, T-5 swap, CHE upper/lower control arms, weld-in SFC's, BBK shorty headers & O/R H-pipe, Dynomax mufflers, fox GT tailpipes, Turbo Coupe 8.8 w/3.73's, 11" front brakes, lowered, Tokico Blue shocks/struts, Chuck W shock adapters and motor mounts, 15:1 rack & PS pump, custom alum. driveshaft, chrome '93 Cobra wheels, Falken tires, 20% tint, close to 190,000 miles!


  9. #9
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    As far as Ford big blocks go I would rather have a 385 big block over a FE. I would want a big, heavy powerful slug. Unless you have a 428 Cobra Jet or 427 side oiler the FE is a slug with any factory parts. Yeah to can swap to modern aluminum heads on a FE but do the same on a 385 series and it will stomp the crap out of the FE.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  10. #10
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    I like oddball stuff, so I'm still sticking to the FE! I like the idea of whipping up on 385 guys and bbc guys with a "slug", lol!
    '88 'bird, 1-family owned, original 302 converted to HO, T-5 swap, CHE upper/lower control arms, weld-in SFC's, BBK shorty headers & O/R H-pipe, Dynomax mufflers, fox GT tailpipes, Turbo Coupe 8.8 w/3.73's, 11" front brakes, lowered, Tokico Blue shocks/struts, Chuck W shock adapters and motor mounts, 15:1 rack & PS pump, custom alum. driveshaft, chrome '93 Cobra wheels, Falken tires, 20% tint, close to 190,000 miles!


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