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Anyone have experience with 390's. Once I sell my car the next one is probablly gona be an early 60's Caddy. First thing I'm gona try and get my hands on is a Tri Power intake setup, but other then some dress up parts I havn't seen anything I can use on this motor. ie: headers, cam, simple stuff. I'm not looking to make it an all out monster, just something to beef it up a little bit. Unless someone knows of a blower that'll fit ;) .
 

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I don't know of any performance stuff but you can get anything you want as long as you're willing to pay for it.;) :D
I think it would cheaper to swap in a 472 or 500. There are all kinds of aftermarket parts available for those.......aluminum heads, blower, intake, cams etc.
 

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Yeah, down the line maybe. At first though I'm gona be on a pretty tight budget and it's gona be a daily so engine swaps aren't an option. May have to get one of those "make your own header" kits and have a custom cam ground for it I guess.
 

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As someone who's just getting into the process on my '61 Coupe DeVille, let me save you some time. It is FAR more expensive to swap the motor than to rebuild your 390. Here's just a partial list of what you're looking at with an engine swap:

New transmission obviously, figuring out how to fabricate a shift linkage to your column shift, cooling system (fans, shrouds etc.) and a custom new radiator, throttle linkage, alternator a/c and power steering pump placement and brackets, Firewall and cross member clearance, adapting the rear cross member to whatever transmission, new custom drive shaft, adapting u joints from modern trans to old style rear end, new fuel pump and line (larger) from tank etc. etc Motor mounts can be handled with "adapters", but I'm wary of using an adapter on anything that crucial to the safety and overall integrity of the drivetrain.

Likely some of the above will may be non issues but there's an even longer list that I haven't thought of. My shell shocked and battle weary perspective: If you could get out for $5k on a quality motor re-build and say add another $2k to freshen your tranny, add some bolt ons (carb, intake, HEI) you'll have all the HP and lumpy idle you need for a cruiser and spend half what paying someone else to figure out all the above problems (and more) would cost.

Good luck - it's a long raod, but like you - this is my dream car!

Kenny in DFW
 

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There were several aftermarket options for the 390. I think Weind used to make blower adaptors to mount the GMC 6-71 huffers to the engine. There were performance cams available. Some guys in California were using the 390 in sand diggers. I believe Sanders made headers for this engine. There was a factory 2-4 barrel carb intake setup and I think Edelbrock made a trip setup for it also.
 

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Edelbrock did indeed make a 2x4 intake, AND a 3 deuce setup as well - they're very hard to find, and I hope I find one on eBay before you do! I have recently seen one of the huffer setups on eBay too, but didn't want to dive into deep unknown waters. Isky still makes a nice cam of this motor, and yes, it can be found easily on eBay. It's part # 701256, and you can find a package deal that includes 16 VL5 lifters for around $300. Here's the specs on the cam - mild, but should be a noticeable difference than stock:
Duration - 256 (208 @ .050")
Lift - .450
Lobe Center - 110

Search for this seller's store "FalconGlobal"
 
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