Engine Assembly

All 1961 Thunderbirds were fitted with the same engine - the 390 cid FE rated at 300 HP. This was the first year Ford produced the 390 although a smaller FE block (352 cid) had been standard on earlier models.
When the engine was stripped, it was found to be in reasonable condition although there was approximately 10 thou bore wear. Bearings and pistons were the original Ford items.

Machined block, cleaned and painted

Short block assembled, Felpro gaskets on & ready to install the heads

Heads and inlet manifold on. Everything on this engine is large and heavy. The shop manual shows the inlet manifold being installed with a chain block!

These engines are very prone to leaks between the exhaust manifolds and the heads. Here both surfaces have been machined flat and Felpro gaskets will be used. The original bolts used lock tabs but I am installing new AMK bolts with 'Ramplock' washers as used on these engines from 1965.

Ready to install in the car.