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I am not fimilar with fords and I had a few questions on a 390 fe I have in a flatbottom. First, I would like to know what I have, does anyone know of a way to decode any of the casting numbers on the block and heads? Second, I understand that there are large port and small ports heads, how do you tell one set from another. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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The head number is your typical 390 passenger car version, circa 68-70. 99 percent chance it has the smaller ports, and also a lower exhaust port exit. If your looking for more performance you can put larger Cobra Jet intake valves in them, or look for a set of heads with a C4AE casting number which aren't too hard to find, but by the time you go thru them your money will have been better spent on a set of Edelbrock heads.
 

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The casting numbers on the heads are C8AE-H(between two exhaust ports) and the block has OJ176740 stamped on it.
The head number is your typical 390 passenger car version, circa 68-70. 99 percent chance it has the smaller ports, and also a lower exhaust port exit. If your looking for more performance you can put larger Cobra Jet intake valves in them, or look for a set of heads with a C4AE casting number which aren't too hard to find, but by the time you go thru them your money will have been better spent on a set of Edelbrock heads.
The C8AE-H Heads feature the "Short" Intake port. It measures apprx 1.94" tall, and is based loosely on a MR profile(same height). It relies on good port velocity to create low and midrange power. It is not, however, a good HP Head as cast. If you care to install larger CJ-427 LR Valves(2.09" x 1.65"), and do some bowl and throat work, you can get the Heads to the mid 260 cfm range on the Intake for a moderate cost. Full porting will get the Heads to the 285-295 cfm range on the Intakes, which will support over 600 hp.

Of course, Aluminum Heads are available at higher initial cost, but OUT OF THE BOX flow will not match a set of Iron Heads with large Valves and moderate bowl work. You will have to spend money to match, or exceed a set of modified Iron Heads in flow with the current batch of Aluminum Heads.

Depends on how much you want to spend. To get 285 cfm out of a set of Iron Heads, you'll spend right at $1400-$1500 fully dressed and ready to bolt on.

A set of Edelbrocks to do that will most likely exceed $2,000. Of course, Edelbrocks will remove about 45 pounds of weight, but Iron Heads will retain more heat, and generally head for head, will make more power if the engine parameters are the same(same flow, Cam, carb, etc).

As far as the block casting date, look under the Oil Filter Adapter Pad. That's were it can be found.

Hope that helps.

RR :D
 
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