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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
As a couple of you may know from a previous post of mine, I aquired a 68 XR7 with a 390 not long ago. I have ran the VIN at CCOA's decoder and it comes back as 390 2V Premium Fuel. The engine code in my VIN is "X", (390 2V pre fuel). I have read on a couple of other sites that an engine code of "Y" is a 390 2V...no premium fuel. Does the appearence of the premium fuel in my code designate it as an FE block? If not, how can I tell if it is a true FE? I figure I could get the engine block stamp and decode it. I picked up "How to rebuild big block Ford engines", and figure that will help me out some. Was the FE even an option for this Cat? I ask as that is what I was told was in it. I know the intake isn't original as it is a 4V.
You guys will have to bear with me, I'll be coming here from time to time with questions. I've always been a Classic Car fan, mostly Ford! Just haven't been able to get any hands on experience as this is my first. Most of my gear head friends are Chevy/GM guys, so they aren't much help, (God forgive them...) :)

Side note, was going to get the engine stamp today, but went with my sis to pick up a 65 El Camino, 90% restored, 0 rust, 0 bondo, straight body. Unbelievable find in Indiana for $5000. She couldn't pass it up! Makes 2 Elkies for her. At least she does have a 68 F150, that makes up I guess.
 

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all 390s were FE engines... FE basically designates the engine family. there are the Windsors-- 260/289/302/351W Clevelands-351C Modifieds 351M/400M FEs 352/390/427 ( some others too i think, but cant think off of my head ) Y -blocks 312 and, ehh, not really relevant to this issue and i think you get the point. im not really sure how yours is different compared to the regular 390 2v, but maybe its a high compression model?? thats all i can figure ... but it is an FE. Ford just thought it would be funny and make all of the engines different i guess. makes interchangability almost non existant compared to the Chevy guys, but hey small price to pay for what we get :)
 

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Hello in Indy, yes a FE was a 68 option. Visually the fastest way for me to tell you how to identify a FE is that the valve covers actually overlap the intake manifold. Meaning that they cover both the head and the outer sides of the intake. Also a common place for oil leakage in one. Its been many years since I have owned one but that always stood out in my mind as a surefire easy way to identify one. mm
 

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FE stands for Ford/Edsel and is the name of an engine series they picked in the late 50's. The engines that are FE big blocks are 330, 352, 360, 361, 390. 391, 406, 410, 427, 428. They are the first big block fords and have no compatability with the later 385 series which is the 429/460 engines.

Your 390 is an FE series engine and premium fuel designates higher compression and a different camshaft grind then the non-premium fuel engines. It's in between the base 390 2 bbl and the GT.
 

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I wast going all the way into that, but since you listed most of them(med duty truck only blocks included) you forgot some. The 332 and wasnt the old Lincoln 430 a FE? mm
 

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WHISPERS ABOUT THE FORD FE

Go Whisperer. You hit the info dead on the head. I am amazed that many people don't know all these details, but then again I have been a Cougar fan for 25 years and have learned much over the years. Yet I am still learning things that I did not know. Two recent examples:

The two main different carrier bearing sizes for the ford 9" rear differential. I am building my second new unit now with a Detriot soft locker..

The difference ( though it has no known reasonable reason to exist ) between a 28 spline axle brake lines block and the 31 spline brake lines on the fear axle housing..

I guess there is still plenty more to learn!!:D
 

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The 430 Ford motor is of the MEL series. Another MEL is the 462 used in 66-67 Lincolns. In 68, Lincoln used the new 460. Interesting about the MEL series is it has 90 degree cylinders, like all V-8 engines, but the cylinder decks were not 90 degrees. The cylinder heads with the flat combustion chambers sat at an angle to the cylinder centerline to form a wedge shaped chamber. Neat idea, but there was no quench area. The design is similar to the 348 and 409 Chevrolet.
 

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Thats why the ? for the 430. Dont know that I remember seeing them. Like Cougarman said, more to learn everyday!! The MEL series must not have been Lincoln only though. My dad has a 60 Bird convt with a 390 but he said the 430 was availiable in the eary birds too. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the great info guys, really appreciate it! I'll be up to snuff before long!
 

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FE engine series

As a matter of fact, FE does stand for Ford-Edsel. Starting with the 332 for the 1958 cars. They include, the 332, 352, 390,406, 427 and 428. The 360,361,and 391 are FT -Ford Truck. A lot of the parts on these engines are inter-changeable.
 

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Ahhhh, you are right BC427, thanks for the correction. The 332 is correct not the 330, and yes, the 361 and 391 are FT engines-basicaly the same engines as the 360 and 390 only with steel cranks I beleive. I always think of the FE and FT series as being the same as parts will interchange. The 360 was only put into PU's, still isn't it a FE and not a FT? Also don't forget the 410 Merc, it was only put into Mercurys.
 

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Now you guys are confusing me. I thought the 330 was a fe and I'm pretty sure it was the 332 that was a truck only engine. I may be mistaken on the exact size but I KNOW there was a truck only engine that was smaller than the 361. mm
 
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