Ford 460 Big Block Engine Build - Car Craft Magazine (2023)

| Instructions - engine and transmission

Did you know Ford built the same big block for 30 years? They're everywhere, making them an easy score for the Ford 460's easy 500hp.

Jeff SmithwriterJim GrubbsPhotographer

What's so massive about American iron? Chrysler's original Street Hemi had valve covers that could be rented as a dance floor. Pontiac's V-8 is a big hunk of iron, as is the Olds 455. But if you want to talk about cast-iron excesses, maybe we should talk about the Ford 429/460. Massive 3-inch main bearings and powerful iron heads once combined to 206 hp in the smog age. Thank God those times are over.

But in the tradition of classic automakers, we don't look past those times of ineptitude and instead look to the tremendous amount of power we could generate with all that iron. Here lies perhaps one of the most overlooked gold mines in the home world. Yes, it's heavy, and yes, it costs more to build than a small-block Chevy, but you already knew that. Think of it as a line drawn in the sand. are you man enough

We decided to do more than just talk about Ford's Big Block and build one ourselves. Well actually Jim Grubbs Motorsports built it for us because we're clumsy with time management. The JGM team are true Ford 460 fans, so we found an enthusiastic partner who set us on the right path to Blue Oval power. View the world of horsepower through Ford's blue-tinted glasses. Very heavy glasses.

what's out there

The Lima-series engine is one of Ford's most enduring engines. This 385-series engine, first appearing in 1968 as the 460 in Lincolns and as the 429 in other large Fords, survived until 1997, a 30-year run, which is amazing given Ford's propensity for change. The 460 was used in Lincoln haulers through 1978 and later in full-size Fords and Mercurys, and was also introduced in 31/44-ton trucks and E-350 trucks from the 1970s through the early 1990s. This veteran engine is also in Found in RVs, marine and even industrial stationary applications and has been electronically injected since 1987.

Complete engines vary in price by condition, but we've heard them go as low as $200. We bought ours from Memory Lane for a bit more, mostly as a complete engine with all the accessories because we were in a hurry and got it couldn't take the time to look for a cheaper version. Adopt one and take it home with you. The Ford gods will smile at you.

drills and strokes

The 460 and its cousin 429 are large bore, short stroke punches. The 460 uses a 3.85 inch stroke while the 429 uses a 3.59 inch reach. This makes it easy to increase the offset on the 429. Rod length is 6.605 inches, giving a rod length to stroke ratio of 1.71:1 with the stock 460 stroke. Most production blocks can tolerate overbores of .060 inches, making a 472-wall casting, it's possible up to to go to .080 or higher (4.440 inch bore) and 477 ci with stem. Stroke.

If you plan on big inch lengths, there are several stroker crank options. It can grind staggered rod stubs from 2,500 inches up to 2,200 Chevy or Chrysler big block pins. Or connect one of the three Scat Cast Stroker cranks. At over .030, the 4,150-inch stroke makes 502 cu, the 4,300-inch turns 521 inches, while the 4,500-inch big-stroke bumps this behemoth to 545 cu. The main journals are a whopping 3.00 inches, so the cast crankshaft and stock rods are not conducive to engine speeds above 6500 rpm. Note that these stroker cranks also usually require a sizeable investment in Mallory metal to balance properly, and heavy metal adds significantly to the overall cost of a stroker change.

face you win

The Stock Iron 460 heads are a head turner. On the intake side, the oval-shaped intake offers an attractive cross-sectional area for solid torque and horsepower potential along with acceptable 2.19/1.76 valve sizes for early castings. But like their small-block cousins, the 460 exhaust ports are among the most restrictive we've come across. The exhaust port flow is so poor that using a large cam hurts performance across the board. The long duration damages low-end torque, while the restricted exhaust ports stifle any chance of power at higher engine speeds.

Choosing a decent iron production head is an effort to minimize clogging. It seems the cast iron numbers '69 C9VE or '70 D0VE are the best heads for a budget engine. All iron production heads from 1968 to 1971 were closed chamber and 76cc. These are getting harder and harder to find, and we won't even be talking about the 429 Cobra Jet Iron and 429 Aluminum boss castings; They might as well have been buried with King Tut. In 1972 Ford went with an open cam from 95 to 100cc, which as the worst of all 460 iron designs should be avoided as it has no cooling surface and is therefore prone to knocking. The '73 and later heads reverted to a closed chamber setup but with deeper 95cc/100cc chambers.

You can open up the exhaust ports on a stock headset to improve horsepower potential. But also consider the time and money you will be spending on new valves, guides, valve work, bolts, guide plates and buying all of those parts. With all of that, you've easily sunk $900 to $1,100 in scrap and porting hassle. If it is a purely cheap approach, this is still about half of a set of new Edelbrock heads, for example. On the plus side, you'll also shave at least 60 pounds off the front of your car with the aluminum heads. The iron castings weigh about 73 pounds each, while the alloyed Edelbrocks weigh about 42 pounds each.

In addition to Edelbrock castings, there are other heads to choose from. Perhaps the best is the Ford Racing Cobra Jet head designed by Ford big-block guru Jon Kaase. These heads offer the most promising flow potential of any aftermarket 429/460 head. Kaase moved the valves to cancel out flow and change angles, and this cylinder head is especially powerful on larger displacement engines like a 514 with a big cam. For more details on these heads log on to Another good set of heads comes from Trick Flow Specialties (TFS). The company offers track and street versions, which are also worth investigating and are priced competitively with Edelbrock castings.

lubricant to life

If the 429/460 has one weakness, it's the lubrication system, according to JGM. For a low RPM torsional tornado, the system works well. But for higher engine speeds, where horsepower lives, there are a few things that need to be addressed. Ford chose to lubricate the main line through the siphon kitchen, meaning the oil must flow through the siphons on its way to the main pipe and dipsticks. This path is full of restrictions, reducing pressure and aerating the oil.

As with the 351 Cleveland engines, the solution is to radically increase the oil pressure, up to 70psi. The higher pressure reduces foaming and ensures oil is pumped from the front-mounted oil pump to the rear main pipe. With a lack of oil, the back seat and connecting rods suffer more. The solution requires a high volume/high pressure pump and a strong oil pump drive shaft. JGM also recommends a solid transfer case drive pin rather than the hollow roll pin (eg. This pressure also requires a racing filter to prevent bursting. Of course, this also means taking great care when the engine is cold to limit pressure-related filter blowouts with more viscous oil.

CC 466

After dredging a complete 460 out of a '73 Lincoln Continental, we stripped it down and shipped the block, crank and rods to JGM. To lay a solid foundation we decided to also invest in a nice short block with a set of Federal-Mogul forged Speed-Pro flat head pistons in case we decide to squeeze some nitrous in the future. These pistons also gave us a gas-pump-friendly compression ratio when paired with the 95cc-chambered Edelbrock heads. Grubbs then supplied a set of rebuilt truck bars with ARP bolts to add a degree of durability. JGM also bored and honed the block's torque plate and supervised the machining of our crankshaft to .010 to work with the Federal-Mogul bearings.

JGM has built a healthy 466 (see Project 642 dyno diagram) with fully ported iron production heads, but Grubbs advises that unless you enjoy a challenge, it's not really worth the effort in terms of investment and cost. We went with a set of Edelbrock aluminum Performer RPM cylinder heads and a Performer RPM Air Gap intake as the route to performance. These heads are designed to use roller rocker arms, so we fitted a set of Harland Sharp 1.73:1 rocker arms to aid in valve lift. This led us to cam selection, and it seemed like a good idea to go with Edelbrock's entire Performer RPM package, which uses a street-quality flat-tapstick hydraulic camshaft (see Cam Specs sidebar).

JGM then assembled the 460 with recommended changes to the lubrication system and bolted the engine to the dyno. We also installed a 750cfm secondary Holley mechanical carburetor in the HP body rebuild (see that story elsewhere in this issue) to act as the mix master, and also a set of 131/44 inch Hooker chassis heads. This test was performed on the Grubbs 901 SuperFlow engine dyno, but the cell does not accommodate a full exhaust system. We also decided to test both Edelbrock hydraulic cams. The Performer Plus cam is designed for torque, while the RPM cam offers more duration and lift for a bigger boost in power.

The Performer cam made an incredible 523 lb-ft of torque, but the same short cam timing only made 406 horsepower. This prompted the JGM team to change the higher-rpm cam, to which the 466 responded with a peak power output of 503 fuel-pump horsepower at just 5,200 rpm, while bottoming out with 555 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm shocked. These numbers are actually pretty close to Edelbrock's performance claims for their Performer RPM package. Even in a 4,000 pound car, this ranges from a low 12 to a high 11, depending on the weather and altitude. This engine was incredibly easy to assemble and required no custom parts. Do it yourself in your garage. Bolt it to your favorite Ford and you have a tire roaster.

win wedge

The JGM team also pointed out to us a simple valvetrain adjustment on these engines. All '73 and later 429/460 Ironheads use a non-adjustable fulcrum style rocker arm assembly. Rebuilding one of these Lima engines usually involves removing the block and heads. Using one of the high platform height blocks may mean milling up to .030" or more from the block platform. Keeping the pivot beam system with a shorter platform height or milled heads creates excessive elevator bias. Crane makes a kit (PN 99170-1) with .030-, .060-. and .090 inch thick shims that reduce lifter preload.

This small change does two things. Improving idle quality usually pays dividends, and more importantly, minimizing the amount the lifter can "pump" at higher engine speeds. While this may seem insignificant, minimal hydraulic tappet preload usually pays dividends at higher engine speeds.

Networking at its finest

There is always something new to learn and one of the best things on the internet are websites dedicated specifically to engines like the Ford 429/460. While researching this story, we came across a forum on Look for the search button and type 385 series ford and this will take you to (we tried just going to but it never works for us). Its technology forum gives members the opportunity to ask questions and get answers about these engines and related Big Block Ford information. Listen.

The King of the Couple
This is our JGM team built 466ci engine with 9.6:1 compression, forged Federal Mogul pistons, Edelbrock Performer RPM CJ aluminum cylinder heads, Performer RPM Air Gap air intake, 750 cfm Holley carburetor and 131 Hooker Street Elbows. Test 1 uses the Edelbrock Performer Plus camera. Test 2 used the more durable Performer RPM grind. The motor delivered incredible torque and respectable horsepower with the smaller cam, but it may be undersized for the 9.6:1 ratio. Compression at 8.6:1 would be better for the smaller cam. As you can see, in Test 2 we are generating power with the Performer RPM cam. JGM wasn't happy with the 503 horsepower, so they tried a 1" open cam spacer and a 2" headset. Power jumped to 514 and torque improved everywhere from 3800 rpm, peaking at 4400 at 565 lb-ft. Put a 3.20 gear behind this beast and let it eat!
number of revolutionsTQPSTQPSTQPS
Cam Specs
Adv.Dur.Duration @ 0.050LiftLSA
Hydraulic Performer-Plus flat tappet
Hydraulic Performer RPM flat tappet
flow tests
  • Big Block Ford 429/460 Aluminium, Edelbrock PN 61649
  • 2.19/1.76 inch tubes
  • 75cc Camera
  • 310cc intake port (measured 313cc)
  • Inlet port cross-sectional area: 3.79 square inches
  • Cross-sectional area of ​​exhaust port: 2.12 square inches
elevator (in)AND TEXH.(with hose)E/I (%)
0. 100686190
0. 20013610980
0. 60030520266
The E/I column represents the percent flow from outlet to inlet (E/I). In general, anything around 70 percent or more is considered good. Exhaust flow numbers were generated with a flow tube.
Cam Specs
  • Comp Cams Mechanical Roller
  • 110 degree beam separation angle
  • 110 degrees built in
  • Using a rocker ratio of 1.72
Adv.Dur.Duration @ 0.050LiftLSA
consumption2962600,726(minus 0.028) = 0.698 Net lift
Flee3042680,726(minus 0.030) = 0.696 Net Lift
Project 642
This test of the Ford JGM 466ci featured a mechanical comp roller cam and fully ported factory iron heads that expressed 12.2:1 compression. Grubbs tested the engine on 110-octane race gas with an Edelbrock Victor 460 single-plane intake and a 1,050-cfm Holley Dominator carburetor with large 2-1/8-inch heads.
number of revolutionsTQPS

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How much horsepower is completely built in the Big Block 460 Ford? ›

The Ford 460 is capable of making over 500 horsepower and over 500 pound-feet of torque if they are built right. These are massive 7.5L V8 engines and with the right rebuild, they can be true powerhouses that can keep up with some of the modern engines on the market today.

What is the fastest 460? ›

Smith & Wesson says that the . 460 S&W is the highest velocity revolver cartridge in the world, firing bullets at up to 2,409 feet per second (734 m/s).

How big can a 460 be bored? ›

Any healthy 429 or 460 block can be made into our 501 with a 0.0305-inch overbore and 4.3905-inch bore diameter. That said, be aware that Ford 429/460 blocks come in three different deck heights: 10.3000 (19681970), 10.3100 (19701971) and 10.322 (1972-up).

Where are the casting numbers on a 460 Ford Block? ›

FE Series block casting numbers are located on the passenger's side of the block just below the deck. Expect to see six-digit casting numbers prior to 1960 and the more familiar Ford alphanumeric casting number from 1960-on.

How much power can a stock 460 handle? ›

In boosted applications, factory 460 blocks have been known to survive at 1,500-plus horsepower when upgraded with four-bolt main caps and filled with Hard Blok.

Why did Nascar ban Fords 427? ›

NASCAR officials were flummoxed by Ford's Cammer and went to great lengths to ban the engine from the series after concerns about an influx of what it termed 'special racing engines.

How fast is a 460 V8? ›

Because every model has the exact same 4.6L V8 engine, the GX 460 has an estimated maximum speed of 110 miles per hour.

How much weight can a 460 pull? ›

The 2022 Lexus GX 460 can tow up to 6,500 pounds when properly equipped.

How much can a 460 tow? ›

Lexus GX 460 Luxury towing capacity - 6,500 pounds.

What is the Ford 460 called? ›

Also known as a 'Lima' engine due to its production at Ford's Lima, Ohio factory, the 460 kept posh company during the first few years of its life.

What is the rocker ratio on a 460 Ford? ›

FORD 7.5L/460 Rocker Arms - 1.73 Rocker Arm Ratio - Free Shipping on Orders Over $109 at Summit Racing.

How do I decode a Ford casting number? ›

A = 1940s, B = 1950s, C = 1960s, D = 1970s, E = 1980s, F = 1990s. The second digit will be a numeral, and will represent the year within that decade (i.e. C2 = 1962; E7 = 1987). The third digit is usually another letter, but can also be a numeral in rare cases, and it signifies the vehicle the part was designed for.

What other calibers can a 460 shoot? ›

Aside from the . 460 S&W Magnum cartridge, the revolver can chamber . 454 Casull and . 45 Colt ammunition.

When was the last 460 made? ›

As a crate engine, the 460 was produced by Ford Motorsports through 1997. After the 1997 model year, the 460 was replaced by the 6.8 L V10. Applications: Lincoln Continental (1968–1979)

Is a 460 more powerful than a 500 Magnum? ›

Overall, there is negligible difference in the power between these two rounds. The projectile for the . 500 Mag is a little heavier that those for the . 460 Mag - but, when you shoot the both of them, the difference on the chronograph is minimal.

What are the rarest Ford engines? ›

The Ford 427 SOHC Cammer V8 is one of the rarest and most desirable big block V8 engines ever made. Unusually for an American V8 it has overhead cams rather than pushrods as it was built specifically for racing.

Did Ford ever make a Hemi engine? ›

Everybody (well almost everybody) already knows about Ford's 427ci SOHC hemi that was available over the counter at Ford dealers but never was placed under the hood of a production car.

Was the Ford 427 a Hemi? ›

Ford's answer to the potent, game-changing HEMI engine was the 427 SOHC Cammer–an engine that not only changed the game but also changed the rules in NASCAR racing.

Which V8 is fastest? ›

Koenigsegg Agera RS:

The Koenigsegg Agera RS proves its performance from a V8 by setting the world record for production cars with a speed of 277.8 mph, going up to 285 mph in one of the record-setting runs.

How much horsepower can I get out of a 460 engine? ›

What Are the Specs of the Ford 460 Crate Engine? The Ford 460 crate engine – the Z460 – makes 575 horsepower and 575 lb. -ft. of torque.

What is the fastest V8 truck? ›

2023 Ram 1500 TRX

With 702 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the new Ram 1500 TRX is the fastest gas-powered production truck on our list.

How many teeth are on a Ford 460 flywheel? ›

Flywheels. 69-78 Ford 429/460 Billet Steel Flywheel/176 tooth /0 bal.

How many teeth does a 460 flywheel? ›

FORD 7.5L/460 Flywheels - 180-tooth Ring Gear Tooth Quantity - Free Shipping on Orders Over $109 at Summit Racing.

What liter is a 460 big block? ›

For many years the 454 (7.4-liter) V8 was the top choice from GM, while Ford had the mighty 460 (7.5-liter) V8.

How many cubic inches is a 460 big block? ›

The cubic inch limit is about 557 with an OE-style 460 block.

How much horsepower does a 7.5 L 460 have? ›

1988 Ford F-Series F-250 VIII SuperCab HD 7.5 460 V8 (230 Hp)

How much does a Ford 460 engine block weigh? ›

Engine weights vary dependant on how they are built and what castings are used . For example a factory iron 460 block weighs from 175 to 220 lbs dependant on casting and year, and 351 blocks range from about 135 to 165 for a early truck block.

What is the largest Ford V8? ›

The 7.3L OHV PFI gas V8 engine in the 2022 Ford Super Duty® is the most powerful gas engine in a full-size pickup and the largest V8 in its class, with the best gas horsepower and torque in its class to prove it. The top-of-the-line gas engine generates best gas torque in its class of 475 lb.

What is the largest Ford motor ever made? ›

The largest gasoline engine ever produced by Ford for highway use is nearly forgotten today, but it's worthy of a another look: the 534 Super Duty V8.

What is Fords biggest engine? ›

The Ford Godzilla engine is a V8 engine offered by the Ford Motor Company. The engine is intended to replace the Modular V10 engine and displaces the Boss V8 engine in many uses.
Ford Godzilla engine
Cylinder bore4.22 in (107.2 mm)
Piston stroke3.68 in (93.5 mm) 3.976 in (101.0 mm)
Block materialCast iron
16 more rows

How much HP do rockers add? ›

You can easily gain 20 horsepower with a rocker arm swap, but installing them isn't quite as simple as removing the stock rockers and bolting on new ones. For seasoned car guys, it's a quick process, but if you're new to the task of setting valve lash you might want to take some notes before you tackle the project.

How much HP do 1.6 rockers add? ›

Those results found the 1.6 rockers making more than 20 hp over the stock 1.5 rockers. But, that engine was equipped with a smaller cam than this one, and it seemed to really need the additional lift and duration afforded by the higher ratio.

How do you know if a rocker is bad? ›

Common Symptoms of the Bad Rocker Arm:
  1. 1 Clicking or Ticking Noises: ...
  2. 2 Weak Engine Performance or Stalling: ...
  3. 3 Engine Light On: ...
  4. 4 Physical Deterioration:
Feb 3, 2020

How do I identify my Ford 460 engine? ›

Identifying the Ford 460 Engine:

a) The large manifold bolt pattern is 2.23” x 2.6”. b) The smaller manifold bolt pattern is 1.9” x 2.1”. There are two valve cover bolt patterns: a) The early valve cover bolt pattern has bolts around the perimeter of the cover.

How do I find out what year my Ford 460 engine is? ›

The Ford Motor Company has put identification number tags on some of its motors since the mid-1950s and on all of its motors since January 1964. These tags tell you the month and year of production, the model year, the change level number, and the CID (cubic inch displacement).

What is the highest HP Ford Big-Block? ›

On Sunoco Q16 race gas, the monster 604-inch Ford big-block made an astounding 1,312 hp at 7,800 rpm and 925 lb-ft of torque at 6,700 rpm.

How much horsepower does a 1978 460 have? ›

Using the new 'SAE net' horsepower rating the 460 coasted along around the 200 pony mark for much of the rest of the decade, with torque measured at just under 350 lb-ft. In 1978 Ford pulled the 460 from all of its passenger vehicles, Mercury and Lincoln included.

How much horsepower does a 1971 Ford 460 have? ›

From 1968 to 1971, the 460 was rated at 365 gross hp.

How much HP does a 7.5 L 460 have? ›

1988 Ford F-Series F-250 VIII SuperCab HD 7.5 460 V8 (230 Hp)

Did Ford make a 572 big block? ›

572 CUBIC INCH 655 HP BIG BLOCK STREET CRATE ENGINE-FRONT SUMP PAN| Part Details for M-6007-572DF | Ford Performance Parts.

What is the biggest V8 Ford ever made? ›

The largest gasoline engine ever produced by Ford for highway use is nearly forgotten today, but it's worthy of a another look: the 534 Super Duty V8.

What is the strongest Ford truck engine? ›

The 7.3L OHV PFI gas V8 engine in the 2022 Ford Super Duty® is the most powerful gas engine in a full-size pickup and the largest V8 in its class, with the best gas horsepower and torque in its class to prove it. The top-of-the-line gas engine generates best gas torque in its class of 475 lb.

How much horsepower does a 429 Cobra jet engine have? ›

With a 4.36-inch bore and shorter 3.59-inch stroke than the 460, the 429-cu-in Cobra Jet promised at least 370 hp thanks to its snappy 11.3:1 compression ratio, and it became the go-to power plant for the late-'60s Fords.

How much horsepower does a 1988 460 have? ›

Powertrain and chassis
460 V81987225 hp (168 kW)
460 V81988-1991225 hp (168 kW)
International 6.9L IDI V81987170 hp (127 kW)
International 7.3L IDI V81988-1991180 hp (134 kW)
4 more rows

How much horsepower does a 1985 f250 460 have? ›

The bed of the 1985 Ford F-250 does have a spray-in bed liner. Power for the truck comes from a Ford 460 cubic-inch V8 engine that was rated for 245 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque when new. The transmission is a Ford 3-speed.

Did Ford make a 460 Cobra jet? ›

Since the 429 was offered for only a few years, Ford eventually relied on the 460 all through the '70s, '80s, and early '90s to do the heavy lifting. Though never offered in Cobra Jet or Super Cobra Jet guise, the abundance of 460s makes them dirt cheap and easy to come by.

How much horsepower does a 1984 Ford 460 have? ›

The 460 topped the list of engine options for 1984, and this carbureted beast made 225 HP and 380 lb-ft of torque, according to BlueOvalTech. The 460 maintains a reputation for durability and longevity, key factors in the life of a truck.

How much horsepower does a Ford 429 have? ›

Like the big Chevy, Ford's 429 SCJ was underrated at 375 horsepower. According to Ford insiders, the goal was to take this engine to 500-plus cubic-inches had the battle for street dominance not ended in 1970.


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