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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49002


You want the front cam bearing recessed a bit to alleviate any possibility of interference with the cam retainer plate.

49003


No frills camshaft, just a stock Z390 flat tappet model.

49004


Huh, made in the U.S.A. I'm surprised..... Must be old stock :)

49005


The usual instructions for breaking in a camshaft, nothing new on this page, but......

49006


Some of you guys still running flat tappet cams might find this interesting. It's a study of common 3 oils and the levels of additives necessary for flat tappet cam survival.

49007


Next is fitting the camshaft to the bearings. It's lightly lubed and inserted for an initial impression of fitment. This one fit really nicely from the start.

49008


This is how I check for bearing high spots. I take a green Scotchbrite pad and lightly scuff the bearings, once all the bearings have a dull homogenous finish I'll reinsert the cam and spin it by hand, then remove it. Any intense shiny spots on the bearings are dressed down with more Scotchbrite action. Rinse and repeat till none are found. Only the rear two bearings had two small spots that needed dressing otherwise there is cam happiness so far.

Now before the cam is installed for the last time, it's best to install the rear cam plug.

49009


And here's where the aftermarket strikes again, aka more :poop:

When I first took apart the engine and saw the amount of crud in the cooling jackets I feared the core plug bores would be pitted so I found a Melling FE deep plug kit thinking ok more surface area. However 1-3/4" is the wrong size core plug for the FE. It's 1-49/64's.

As much as I detest Dorman, they get it right on this (credit where credit is due).

49010


Melling plug

49011


Dorman plug.

It isn't much, but it could very well be the difference between pulling the bloody engine out again because of a leaking core plug or one that just popped out. And anyone with a fully loaded car with an FE knows it's a pain in the butt.

Continued in the next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

The Melling kit unfortunately doesn't end there with incorrect parts.

49012


The cam plug on the right side is the Melling and the Dorman plug on the left. The Melling plug is too deep. The Dorman plug is the correct depth.

49013


The one thing I do like from the Melling kit are the 1/4" NPT pipe plugs, they are a wee bit shorter than the Dorman ones and this comes in handy for a few places.

49014


Mixing sets together this is what I need for this block. For a someone whose new to old cars, stuff like this would drive them crazy.

49015


Parts for the rear of the block. I took it off the stand and it's face down on a pad. I had previously drilled and tapped the rear oil holes for 1/4" NPT plugs.

49016


All the parts had a light coating of Ultra Black RTV when installed. I use an old bushing can to install the cam plug, this one is the perfect size.

49017


49018


The Melling cam plug would sit to high and interfere with the starter locating plate (what some call the block spacer plate).

49019


Same treatment for the core plugs.

49020


The two front plugs. Now the top plug was originally a dribbler for the cam sprocket and chain. I just drilled a hole in the centre of the plug to spray oil. I'm using a HV oil pump so I've got some wiggle room on oil distribution.

49021


Drilling the top plug.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49022


49023


This plug takes some careful planning for thread depth so the plug doesn't end up in the lifter bore.

49024


Nor is the plug so long it sticks into the distributor bore.

49025


Rest of the oil plugs installed.

49026


Now the camshaft can be installed.

49027


You don't need to use the original 'C' spacer as they are moulded on the new sprockets.

49028


Been down this road with Melling double roller timing sets before. The pin hole bored into the sprocket is too small by at least 0.002" You'll end up murdering the pin if you try to install it. Sad part is it's a Melling timing set with a Melling camshaft and the cam comes with a new pin and it doesn't fit.

Melling you need to get it together!

49029


I have to lightly polish the pin hole till it just takes light taps of a hammer to install as I do not have a reamer for this size nor should I need one.

49030


I used Locktite on the cam plate retainer bolts and used assembly lube. The cam sprocket bolt is just hand tightened for now.

49031


Next up is the crankshaft and polishing it.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49032


I broke all the high tech tools for this. :)

You can use a flat shoelace as well, but I just cut the hem out of towel and used that and then a terry cloth. I used 600, 1500 and then some metal polish. Now this is overkill, but I'm playing devils advocate polishing at home. Since there is scoring on the crank, there is a possibility that as the valley was carved in the cranked it also pushed up a ridge. All I want to use is to remove any obtrusive high spots and bring a more uniform finish and remove any lateral scratches if possible by removing the least amount of metal from the crankshaft. Light concentric grooves are ok.

I've included the Clevite crank polishing guidelines for those who like to read more in depth details. Clevite only requires a minimum of 15 micro inches of Ra for regular engines and 10 for more high output engines.

A rough conversion to sand paper grit:

49034


So really a minimum of 240 grit wet sanded journals are needed. However that's pretty aggressive and I would prefer to remove the least amount of metal. I chose the 600 to start with then 1500 then metal polish. Why polish? I like shiny things, no other reason :)

I used WD40 as the lube for wet sanding the journals and brake cleaner to clean the sand paper periodically.

49035


For what this is, it turned out half way decent.

49036


New bearings as the old ones were just hammered from detonation and so were the pistons for that fact.

49037


The usual plastigauge test.

49038


I copy the service manual for easy access to torque data and if I get it dirty I just toss it.

49039


Mains clearance.

49040


This and the next picture are the extrema of measurements of the mains.

49041


They are all in tolerance.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49042


Aftermarket headache part 2.

I've used these Fel Pro FE rear main kits before and never had a problem. Well till now.

49043


The old seals were rope and fiber side seals.

Now the Fel Pro kit crank rubber seals were correct, but I couldn't get the side seals in to save my life. This drove me nuts, it's like the side seals were 20% too big. Ever have one of those moments where you beat yourself up thinking what on earth am I doing wrong?!?!?

I even pulled out another bare block Y390 with the rear main cap and looked thinking maybe this Z390 is different for some insane reason, but no, it's not. The Fel Pro kit is.

49044


I get another identical kit and looky looky the side seals are about 20% smaller and correct. I just about lost my mind on this one.

I think BS prefix stands for Bull :poop:.

49045


2 hours later.

Spins nice and smooth.

49046


Installed the timing set and used locktite on the cam bolt. Now this timing set has a tight chain. I used the same set on the Y390 in the XL a short while back and there was still slack in the chain. Seeing this I am willing to bet the cam and or cam bearings are so worn the cam is sitting lower in the block. I think it's situations like this Ford clocks the oil holes in the cam bearings at 3 O'Clock.

49047


49048


Spins very nicely. So far so good.

49049


Time to deal with 8 of these nasty pieces. Now these are Z390 pistons and can be indentified with 390 and 4V casted into the side of the piston.

49050


The Y390 has 390 and 2V casted into it (left side). OK so what's the difference.

49051


The Y390 has a small guppy pond in the middle of it for lower compression and lower expectations.

Continued in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49052


New rings, this along with the double roller timing set were the only upgrades to this Z390. Rock Auto just happened to have a clearance on these Moly rings.... so why not.

49053


Checking the ring gaps per instructions.

49054


Using the piston to square up the ring in the bore.

49055


I set the feeler gauge to a couple thousandths more than the minimum limit and just used it a go-no-go gauge.

49056


So I took apart each piston assembly, degreased, walnut blasted, then scraped the carbon out of the ring lands, then did a final rinse. This was tedious.

49057


New rod bearings.

49058


49059


Dry bearing clearance.

49060


Well within limits.

49061


Takes about 45 minutes per piston for all that. Only 7 more to go.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Short Block Assembly Continued

49062


All the connecting rod bearings are hammered like this. This is the 2nd FE I'd had with lead on the valves and it was a detonation monster. I'd wager a large sum the Y390 currently in the golden XL is the same way, so that would make 3.

49063


So far so good, tis a V4 now.

49064


All 8 piston assemblies installed and everything in tolerance. For a DIY home refresh it feels like a properly rebuild engine as the drag from the rings is very noticeable, even on worn bores.

49065


Taped up and in the paint booth.

49066


No ugly shades of Ford blue will be on this one.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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You are a very detailed person which is great for some one learning to do things right
 

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Oh I like the Corporate Ford Blue!!!

Nice cam/crank work!

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What did you do with the cylinders?
Was there much taper?
Must have been pretty good as you reused the pistons.

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
What did you do with the cylinders?
Was there much taper?
Must have been pretty good as you reused the pistons.

Action
Hello Action,

On the cylinders there was taper, so I straight stoned hone them till the taper was under 0.005". Of course that meant opening up the bottom of the cylinder by removing material. Each cylinder is around 0.008" oversize now. Once that was done, I used a ball hone to finish them off in 320 grit for the moly rings I bought. Actually Rock Auto had a clearance on them and they were the cheapest in standard size.

For a temporary engine I think it should be alright. The heads came out factory fresh, the only thing really is the worn cylinders and I don't think 0.008" is detrimental. The crankshaft came out pretty good, the pistons are a bit beat up from detonation but that should cease with the new clean valves. Otherwise with new bearings, cam, lifters, oil pump, etc it should last a while. Besides when this engine gets replaced eventually, this will sit in one of the parts cars and probably never run again.

Cheers
 

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Hello Action,
Besides when this engine gets replaced eventually, this will sit in one of the parts cars and probably never run again.

Cheers
So the above event was for practice?

I think .003 over rings were made. But finding them may be in the world of unobtainium.

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
So the above event was for practice?

I think .003 over rings were made. But finding them may be in the world of unobtainium.

Action
Hi Action,

Not really, nothing would make me happier than not to have done this at all and toss this old engine. But I need an FE that runs for my golden '68 XL. Otherwise, might as well scrap the golden XL as well as it's currently useless. It will be a long while before parts, a machine shop I can trust and funds become available to build a proper 390 like I did for the two 1966's.

At least this old Z390 turd will work and if it consumes a bit of oil and has some extra blowby that's fine at least the golden XL can be enjoyed and driven for a while. Anything is better than the current Y390 that's in there now. When I have a proper 390 engine built for this golden XL I'd be happy to toss this Z390, but because we are so remote it's actually far less work just to stick it in a parts car and leave the parts car parked in one of the garages for most likely perpetuity.

Cheers
 

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Oh OK thanks for the clarification

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
More Engine Assembly

49095


I bought a pair of mounts for the engine buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut something doesn't look right. The boxes have a left and right part number.

49096


Ok the last part of the part number matches the box.

49097


Well the other mounts last digits match its box.

Good grief here we go again with aftermarket parts. They both are left hand side mounts even though one has the right hand part number on it. I can understand misboxing, but this takes the cake.

49098


During this debacle I remembered I had new mounts I bought for the bare FE block I used to model the exhaust system. Sure enough I dug out that block and they were still bolted on. Those are left and right mounts (lower ones).

49099


Lower block hardware.

49100


Everything assembled fine except for the block drains. When I removed them I thought they were going to break. They were really rusted in the block.

49101


As a result they seated far lower than I'd like.

49102


I ended up using the plugs in the Dorman core plug kit for these as the allen driver made much better contact and depth wasn't a problem.

49103


Other side.

49104


I found this bolt kit on E-Bay. It was 50 dollars and I thought it would save me some time cleaning and prepping engine bolts. So I thought I would try it.

Continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
More Engine Assembly Continued

49105


Oil filter adapter bits.

49106


49107


Before I go any further, given the quality of aftermarket parts I had better check the camshaft.

49108


I checked the lobes in the front of the cam and the rear.

49109


49110


The Z-390 uses the same cam as the Q-428. Now after checking the camshaft in two locations I have confirmed the intake valve opens and closes to specs. The exhaust valve opens as advertised, but closes 2˚ earlier. I'm surprised it came out that well. I am not too concerned over that. One thing to keep in mind in these measurements is that it tells you nothing about the slope of the lobe ramp. At least if you measure at 0.050" you are more on the slope and it's a better measurement. Granted it still takes two points to calculate slope, but if you measure on the slope and the measurement matches there's a higher probability of the slope being accurate.

49111


Timing set

49112


I have yet to see an FE that doesn't need a sleeve on the snout spacer, although it's hard to see, there is a small groove where the seal rides.

49113


Painted and ready to go.

49114


So far so good.

Continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 ·
More Engine Assembly Continued

49115
.


New fuel pump and hardware.

49116


49117


New HV oil pump and screen.

49118


I followed the directions and rotated the crank to make sure it clears the pump. I also opened the pump up, inspected for debris or other causes for concern, then greased with engine assembly lube. I washed out and air dried the pick up before installing it.

49119


Head hardware and gaskets.

49125


The Fel Pro 1020 head gasket is a much better gasket than the 8554PT. The crush on the 1020 is close to 0.040" whereas the 8554PT crush is over 0.050" That can be a significant problem with a high compression engine as it lowers the efficacy of the quench pad in the head. The 8554PT gasket probably wouldn't matter too much in a Y-390 but since this is a Z-390 and has a static CR of 10.5:1 little details like this can help.

49121


49123


Before I put the other head on I wanted to check the accuracy of the balancer and timing pointer. Glad I did.

49124


That's actually TDC. It's 2˚ off. 2˚ seems to be a theme so far.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
More Engine Assembly Continued

49126


Other head and hardware.

49127


49128


New lifters.

49129


I checked every lifter for any binding in the plunger and reasonable travel. Also I butted pairs of them to check each had a similar convex bottom. They should not be flat or concave.

49130


Installed the lifters and the oil splash pans.

49131


I had 6 rocker assemblies to chose from in order to make 2 decent sets. Good grief, it was close, so many of these were very worn. I made 2 sets and one spare and tossed the rest of the worn ones.

49132


I had it narrowed down to these by inspection.

49133


In order to clean the rocker rails properly you need to knock out the end plugs. These are the replacements.

49134


49135


It's funny after building the other two 390's with all newer aftermarket top ends, this looks so antiquated. It looks like a small model of an engine found on an old diesel U-Boat. :)

Continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter · #119 ·
More Engine Assembly Continued

49136


New plugs

49137


On the plus side I assembled everything to make sure the pushrod length was still appropriate as it has new valves and slightly thinner head gaskets. Turns out everything still measures good. That made me happy. I grabbed a breaker bar and tried turning it over. Nothing out of the ordinary, tis hard to turn over on the compression strokes that's for sure. If the cam breaks in normally this should run pretty well, even with worn cylinders.

49138


This is where I stopped for now. I have to deal with this boat anchor and just looking at it makes my back hurt.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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A stock cast iron intake isn't light

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