Ford 390 Engine Specsby Phil Whitmer
The Ford big-block 390 is a member of the Ford-Edsel, (FE) family of 90-degree V8 engines. It was manufactured from 1961 to 1976. It was a widely used standard motor in many Ford cars and trucks of the time.
The stock Ford 390 V8 has many design features, making it a durable power plant. The cast chrome-iron alloy cylinder block extends below the crankshaft center line for added rigidity. The pyramid type connecting rods feature forged I-beam construction with wide bases and forged caps for extra strength. The 390 comes in the 2V, 4V and 6V versions.
The 390 has over-square dimensions with the piston's 3.78-inch stroke shorter than the cylinder chamber's 4.05-inch bore diameter. This allows a lower-wear, slower piston speed while still providing maximum horsepower in the higher rpm range. The aluminum alloy slipper-type pistons have embedded expansion struts for less friction and faster heat dissipation.
The 4V 390 engine used in the 1961 Thunderbird had hydraulic valve lifters and five main bearings on the crankshaft. Its compression ratio was 9.6:1. It produced 300 brake horsepower at 4,600 rpm. Its maximum torque rating was 427 pound-feet at 2,800 rpm.
- tbird dash image by Michelle Marsan from Fotolia.com