Ford engine numbers. Is it a 390 or a 427?
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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Cornishtiger's Avatar
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    Ford engine numbers. Is it a 390 or a 427?

    Got the log book for my 1964 Thunderbird. I was told by the previous owner that he was told by the previous owner that he was told and so on and so on that the engine was a 427. The log book says the car is 5.9l. Bugger now I am confused. Before I spend money on any more bits I could do with being sure. So...
    Engine number from the log book is 4Y83Z175071
    Now is this a real number? Can anyone help decode it? If not can someone tell me if there are any visual clues I should be looking for to tell the difference.

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    Exceeded sell by date Plumpcars's Avatar
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    Have a word with Roscobbc on here. Ford have a numbering system which should give you the answers. The number in the log book may not even relate to the engine in the car.

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    Carburation 'sucks' Roscobbc's Avatar
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    The simplest visual ID for a 'performance' Ford 427 will possibly have 'cross bolted' main bearings - look down side of engine to where oil pan is bolted to underside of engine block - it will have a set of bolts which bolt through to main bearing caps to strengthen things up a bit - twin 4 barrell carbs on a ford inlet is another clue as lifter cams. Lower performance and later 427's didn't always have the 'cross bolts' and may have come with a single carb and hydraulic cam. I remember a metallic green/grey '62 TBird around some years ago have had 427 badges on the front fenders (although it wasn't) - I stand to be corrected but Ford never put a 427 in a Tbird as stock.

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    Official RnS Addict Cornishtiger's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Ros. I had no idea it may not even be an option that was available so I did a quick google search. I am hoping mine is a 427 and that its as it left the factory as they only made 120 of them 6 are know to still exist in the states and they are worth 10 times the price of a 390! I would imagine mine is a 390 or at best had a 427 added later but fingers crossed eh?

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    Official RnS Addict Cornishtiger's Avatar
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    Thanks for that so now I need to take the oil pan off to identify the crank to work out what engine I have. I thought Ford woul dhave just bloody stamped 427 on the thing or 390 how hard can it be LOL
    I love old cars!

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    Carburation 'sucks' Roscobbc's Avatar
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    Post some pics Bro - we just love 61-63 TBirds - BTW the triple carb 'GT' option appeared on a few early 'Birds' - if a factory option (rather than something added later) they came with a 'stiffer' cam as I recall - drove the one I mentioned earlier - quite a 'snappy' performer for such a heavy car. My lad (30PSI) on here has a '62 Bird

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    Official RnS Addict Cornishtiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roscobbc View Post
    Post some pics Bro - we just love 61-63 TBirds - BTW the triple carb 'GT' option appeared on a few early 'Birds' - if a factory option (rather than something added later) they came with a 'stiffer' cam as I recall - drove the one I mentioned earlier - quite a 'snappy' performer for such a heavy car. My lad (30PSI) on here has a '62 Bird
    Oh boy no way I can post pics now. Its a 64.
    The shame ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the shame.

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    Carburation 'sucks' Roscobbc's Avatar
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    No shame with a '64 !!!!!! - does a '64 have the sequential rear lights ?

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    Got salt Briz's Avatar
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    Its most likely a 390. Almost all are. The 427 was basically a race engine - very few on the street. The 428 was a regular production engine though. You could have one of those.
    Reason they aren't marked on the outside is that all the FEs except the 427 used the same casting. Even 428s have '352' cast into them.
    The 427 was a big-bore short-stroke engine and had a different block casting. Early ones had the same oiling system as all the others and were prone to blowing up on the track. Later ones including the SOHC were side-oilers.
    There were no later model detuned 427s, That would be the 428.

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