If the GTA cam is used, oil gallery plugs on either side of
cam journal in front of block must be removed and holes tapped
to retain thrust plate. Other than boring block, this is the
only machine work required to bring the 352/390 Ford up to
The 428 piston on left is shorter from center of wrist pin
to deck of piston than 390 piston on right which can't be
used with 428 crank.
Stroker crank and big bore pistons from the 428; balance the
assembly and use flywheel from the larger engine.
In some ways, this appears to be the year of "The Ford" (at least in the performance circles). You can be a part of the picture too, and for only a modest sum, if you're in the thinking stages of rebuilding a 352 or 390 Ford.
Basically, the 352 cubic inch engine that was introduced to the public in 1959 has a lot in common with the high-torquing 428 of '66. The 352 and 390 can be bored out to take the 428 stock Ford pistons, which in turn can be used with the stock 428 crank which falls right into the 352 block. The larger pistons can swing from 390 rods (not 352) unless the rods need replacing, or if you are building the engine for all-out competition. Of course, the 428 rods may be used in street engines. They require no machine work and are the recommended rods since they are considerably stronger.
Exactly how did we get 428 cubic inches from a 352 or 390 with one set of stock pistons and a stock crank? Maybe the chart will help.
Other than boring the block and tapping two holes in the front of the block to secure the cam thrust plate, no other machine work is required. However, Ford's Performance Advisor, Ak Miller, highly recommends that two steps be taken to insure a long and smooth life for the engine: First, that the 427 flywheel be used with the new assembly and, second, that the entire assembly of rods, pistons, crank and flywheel be balanced. Don't pass this operation by. Top engine builders know that this is one of the steps separating "Roscoe's Rapid Rebuilds" from a "living" engine.
So we've taken the 352 up to a 428 with two stock items, and now you want more. OK, Ak suggests you check out the GTA cam (Ford Part No. C60E6250-A). You'll need lifters, springs and retainers; and Ford makes it easy since all of this comes in a kit. The price is still in the ballpark, too. This cam has been used with success on the strip as well as on the street. It's a "bump stick" that maintains good low-speed torque characteristics. And would you believe it slips into place as if it belongs there? The small plugs at the front of the block on either side of the cam journals must be removed and holes tapped in order to install the thrust plate required by the GTA cam.
With your pocketbook still in mind, we'll leave head modifications off the list since the 352/390 seem to have very few problems in this area. A good valve job and you should be back in business here. But a few words about the ignition are in order. The 427 distributor is a dual-point unit and will fit the reamedout 352 or 390 block. If you happen to be bucks down by now, don't lose any sleep over this. The boys at Ak Miller's garage often rework 352/390 distributors to equal the performance of the dual-point rig. Basically, the single-point distributor needs to be reworked to provide full advance at 2400 rpm for street use. In most cases, this is achieved by experimenting with various weight springs until a set is found that does the trick. An electronic distributor analyzing machine is a must for this job. If you go this easy route to FoMoCo cubes, don't forget to rejet whatever you've got bolted to the top of the intake manifold. Normally, a stock 352 carb will carry jetting of about 48 in the primary and 55 in the secondary. With 428 cubes, you might begin with 51 primaries and 68 secondary jets.
|Cam Thrust Plate
|427 Heavy-Duty Rods
Longtime Southern California racer Buzz Lowe went the 428-from-a-352 route for his ton-and-a-half truck. Last we heard, Buzz wanted to take the truck to Bonneville again this year - and not to haul a race car, either.