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Modifying Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads
Modifying Small
Block Ford Cylinder
Heads

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Induction System - Big Block FE Series
An engine’s induction system offers the greatest potential for performance revisions. Both Ford big-
blocks yield an array of performance options. Ford’s “FE” series big-block, for example, likely has
more intake manifold and carburetor choices than any other Blue Oval powerplant. There are
seemingly dozens of iron and aluminum intakes available. In performance pursuits, we suggest the
use of a cast aluminum intake manifold as a means to weight savings. You can shave a solid 70
pounds off vehicle weight this way with an “FE” engine. Few will ever know why Ford fitted the 428
Cobra Jet engine with a cast iron manifold when the lightweight cast aluminum Police Interceptor
intake was available off the shelf. Both are virtually identical intake manifolds.

Though the 429/460 engines came along at the end of the performance era, there were plenty of
induction system options for these engines primarily from the aftermarket. When it comes to the
Boss 429 engine, there are limitless performance pieces for this exotic mill. However, none of it is
cheap and most of it is rare. Some of these pieces are discussed in the following sections.
Big Block Intake Manifolds
332/352/360/361/390/406/410/ 427/428
From a dimensional standpoint, there are approximately ten different manifold applications for the
“FE” series big-blocks. This means there are approximately ten different port sizes. When you’re
choosing an intake manifold, it is wise to pick something compatible with the cylinder head intake
ports. For example, a 390 High Performance intake manifold is a poor choice for 427 High-Riser
heads. Always measure manifold and cylinder ports whenever  shopping for a manifold. The
cylinder head should always have slightly larger ports than the manifold. This is normal, because
then air flow isn’t disturbed. Port matching is always a good idea in the quest for power.

We’re going to touch on the more common “FE” intake manifolds from the factory and aftermarket.
It is impossible to mention all because so many were available from both sources. Obscure types
surface all the time at swap meets that we’ve never seen before. Here are a few of the more
common ones
428 Cobra Jet and 390 High Performance Intake Ports 428 Cobra Jet and 390 High Performance Intake Manifolds
Here are two "FE" cast iron intake manifolds - the
428 Cobra Jet (left) and the 1966-69 390 High
Performance (right). The 390 High Performance
manifold has smaller runners (2.20" x 1.14") with
sharp outside edges. The Cobra Jet intake has
larger runners (2.00" x 1.24") with softer outside
edges.
1968 Shelby GT500KR 428CJ Intake Manifold Ford 427 High Riser Intake Manifold
A closer look at the 428 CJ manifold shows
larger runners (ports) and a
broad-shouldered appearance. This is a
C8OE-9425-G casting from a 1968 Shelby
GT500KR.
The 427-4V High-Riser cast aluminum intake
C4AE-9425-E was designed only for the
High-Riser heads.
Aftermarket
The aftermarket is still alive for “FE” enthusiasts. Weiand and Edelbrock seem to be the biggest
players today. If you’re scouting the swap meets, there are seemingly dozens of aftermarket
manifolds from days of yore. Visit the swap meets and scan the displays to see what was once
available new. If you’re building a period car, it’s often exciting to find an old cast aluminum
Edelbrock, Offenhauser or Weiand high rise from the 1960s that can be media blasted to look like
new. Clear powdercoating can keep it looking new.
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This has been a sample page from

High Performance Ford Engine Parts Interchange High Performance Ford Engine
Parts Interchange
by George Reid
First-ever book about Ford parts interchange
Covers
the entire range of Ford engines from
221-CID to 460-CID
This is one of the best books ever written about Ford engines.
Covering both big- and small-block Ford V-8 engines, this
first-ever book on the subject provides indispensable information
to the Ford enthusiast. Included are high performance factory
parts, interchangeability between Ford Windsor and Cleveland
engines, extensive coverage of the 302 and 351 series as well as
the
352, 390, 406, 427, 428, 429, and 460 big block engines,
factory casting numbers, etc. Read the sample pages from each
chapter to learn more!
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter
"If you are trying to mix and match cranks and rods, this book
will tell you if it can be done. If you are trying to find the correct
casting number for a Boss 429 distributor, this book will have it
listed. What we really find appealing about the book is that, not
only is it a perfect resource for those interested in factory
correct restorations, but it is equally as useful for the
performance oriented engine builder. Each chapter points out
building tips, such as how to improve a Cleveland's oiling
system, or what heads will yield the best horsepower gains. As
with all SA Design books, this one is filled with pages of detailed
photographs and diagrams. This book will prove to be a
priceless resource, as many of the original Ford V-8 parts
become harder and harder to come by."
-- FORDMUSCLE
webmagazine, February, 2000

In Stock and Ready to Ship!

Small Block Fords
Chap. 1 - Small Block Ford
Chap. 2 - Cylinder Block
Chap. 3 - Crankshaft & Rods
Chap. 4 - Oiling System
Chap. 5 - Cylinder  Heads
Chap. 6 - Intake System
Chap. 7 - Ignition System
Chap. 8 - Exhaust Manifolds
Chap. 9 - Cooling System
Big Block Fords
Chap. 10 - Big Blocks
Chap. 11- Cylinder Block
Chap. 12 - Crankshaft & Rods
Chap. 13 - Oiling System
Chap. 14 - Cylinder Head
Chap. 15 - Intake System
Chap. 16 - Ignition System
Chap. 17 - Exhaust Manifolds
Chap. 18 - Cooling System
All Ford Engines
Chap. 19 - Gaskets  
Chap. 20 -
Engine Math  
Softbound
8-3/8 X 10-7/8
160 Pages
417 Color Photos
Item # SA56
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!
This is a great book that any Ford engine enthusiast or
engine builder is sure to love!


Other items you might be interested in

Ford Big Block Engines
Hot Rod reports on Ford's big block during the musclecar
years. Covers the 429 intro., 390 & 428 Cobra Jet, FE & 385
Family, 429 Boss, 427 Wedge, 352, 428, 429 & 460
development, 405hp, aluminum heads. This is a great book
full of articles with hard to find information about the big block
Ford.
Ford Big Block Engines
Price:
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The Step by Step Guide to Engine Blueprinting
Practical methods for racing and rebuilding, selecting
and preparing parts, and how to buy machine shop work.
This completely revised and updated version containing
an additional 32 pages is simply the best book you can
buy on engine preparation for street or racing! Engine
Blueprinting shows the reader how to use precision
measuring tools, calculate compression ratios, degree a
camshaft, and much more!
The Step by Step Guide to Engine Blueprinting
Price:
$ 19.95

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How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget
This book addresses high-performance V-8 engines
such as the 289, 302, 351ci small-blocks found in
Mustangs, as well as the FE series of big-blocks.
Emphasis throughout is a budget approach to building
high performance power plants through the use of
over-the-counter factory components and selected
aftermarket pieces. Includes realistic, low-cost formulas
for building serious horsepower in Ford V-8 engines.
How to Build Max Performance Ford V-8s on a Budget
Price:
$ 22.95



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