Big-Block Shootout Part 3
The Big Bad Blue Oval
From the February, 2009 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Scott Parkhurst
The final entrant in our Big-Block Shootout represents the biggest big-block ever offered in regular production vehicles from the Ford Motor Company. The 460 was introduced in the late '60s as a natural growth from the successful and reliable 429. Built to power the huge land yachts of the day, the 460 was reliable and tough while being smooth and quiet, which is exactly what Ford wanted.
As a performance engine, the 460 never really got a good shot at glory. It was never offered in the Mustang, and even Fords "mid-size" sporty cars (like the Torino) didn't have it as an option. Its 429-cube brother, however, got such goodies as Super Cobra Jet and even Shotgun Hemi treatment. Too bad for the 460.
The "up" side to this for 460 fans is how good it was without any major changes. All 460s are excellent beginnings for awesome street engines. You'll see that we're using a stock block, crankshaft, and connecting rods in our Shootout engine because they can take the 600hp-level abuse. They will be inspected and prepped, of course, but they are factory parts. Not many factory engines can lay claim to that level of durability, and all Fords 460s can. Regular readers will note, however, that our Shootout big-block Chevy is also relying on a factory (GM Performance Parts) block, crank, and rod combination, and our Shootout big-block Mopar is using a stock 440 block and crank with aftermarket rods.
We'll be working with Mark Sanchez of Advanced Engineering West (AEW) on our 460 buildup. Mark is a lifelong Ford fan who was dedicated to making 429s and 460s scream for many years. Lately, he's been investing time in the late-model 4.6L quad-cam with great success, but when we offered him this opportunity to build our 460, he jumped at it.
"I've built a bunch of these engines, and I know what it needs to run hard. Before the 4.6 came out, I was all about the big-inch motors. This is like a flashback for me, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Mark then produced a notebook full of scribbled notes, machine-copied pages, and highlighted specifications. He told us: "This is my 460 bible. It's got all my secrets in it." We can't print the entire bible, but we've combined plenty of photos, facts, and figures to share what Mark learned over the years.
Again, we'd like to thank Summit for supporting us by developing parts combinations and supplying parts for our Big-Block Shootout. We're sure many of you readers know about Summit, but the services they offer don't get talked about enough. If you've got a special engine coming together or you need a part that may not be listed in their catalog, they can and will do their best to get the parts for you. Doing complete engine builds in rapid-fire progression like our Small- and Big-Block Shootouts has proven to us how capable they are, so we'd suggest giving them a chance to do more for you.
Working with Advanced Engineering...
Working with Advanced Engineering West (AEW) and Summit has resulted in 466 inches of raucous Ford V-8. How will this giveaway engine stack up to the Chevy and Mopar entrants? You'll have to wait for the dyno results to see. Horsepower estimates from the builder check in near 600. Check in with us next month to see who the Desktop Dyno thinks will win!
The key to making big power...
The key to making big power in any engine relies on the teaming of cylinder heads with the proper camshaft and intake manifold, and we've got some great stuff lined up for our Ford. It all starts with the heads, and we've decided to go with Edelbrock's Performer RPM head for the 429/460 (PN 6066).
These aluminum units come...
These aluminum units come complete with valves and springs, and are ready to bolt on out of the box. Since we're running a roller cam, we'll need to upgrade the springs to deal with the radical nature of our bumpstick, but the heads would be great for those running hydraulic flat-tappets as is.
The combustion chambers measure...
The combustion chambers measure in at 95 cc, and are an efficient wedge-shape design. The intake ports are plenty big to feed this beast, and Mark will be doing a bit of work to finesse the most from the exhaust side as well. He assures us 460s need a bit of help on the exhaust side. The valve sizes are 2.19 on the intake and 1.76 on the exhaust--perfect for a hot street motor like this.
The Victor intake manifold...
The Victor intake manifold is also from Edelbrock, and is a single-plane design. Since these engines make such big torque effortlessly, the intake can afford to be a less-efficient single-plane design to really wake them up on the top end and throughout the midrange. Mark's research has shown the bottom-end torque loss to be minimal when running this intake.
Our pistons are from Wiseco,...
Our pistons are from Wiseco, and are forged full-floaters in a flat-top design. They carry PN K136A3 for our 4.390-inch bore. These top-quality units are teamed with file-to-fit rings from Speed-Pro, and make for a formidable, durable street package.
Our ignition system is all...
Our ignition system is all MSD, guaranteeing us a hot and consistent spark. These components were designed to work together, and the high quality of each contributes to the overall nasty nature of the system. We won't have ignition issues.
Our camshaft is a COMP piece,...
Our camshaft is a COMP piece, and was designed to be a solid-roller design. We'll be teaming it with Crane's hydraulic roller lifter for the 460, after researching the compatibility with both manufacturers. The hydraulic roller profiles Crane offers for the 460 weren't radical enough to push us into the 600hp zone, and COMP doesn't offer a hydraulic roller lifter for the 460 at this time, so we worked with both of them to get what we wanted. Our cam specs are .672 lift on the intake and .679-inch lift on the exhaust side when teamed with 1.73:1 rockers. Duration numbers at .050-inch lift check in at 254 degrees on the intake and 260 degrees on the exhaust with 110 degrees of lobe separation. The cam carries PN 34-000-9.
As we mentioned, our rockers...
As we mentioned, our rockers carry a 1.73:1 ratio. They are Trick Flow parts, and feature a fully-rollerized design in a lightweight aluminum body. They are designed for use with standard 7/16-inch studs, which the Edelbrock heads were shipped with.
Our top end is dead serious,...
Our top end is dead serious, so our bottom end better be able to cope. Mark tells us the stock two-bolt main setup is fine once the bolts have been replaced by studs, and the oiling system has been worked over. There are some important points to address when building a hot 460, and most of them are oil-related. Mark begins by porting out the oil pump feed hole for increased volume.
The pump passageway feeds...
The pump passageway feeds directly to the filter housing, so it's important to attack it from both ends. By enlarging this passageway, you're adding to the volume of oil that can pass through it, and this is the key to longevity. The 460 has no problem with pressure, but volume is an issue. Naturally, our oil pump is a high-volume design. Ours came from Ford Racing; an identical unit is sold by Melling.
More oil system volume mods...
More oil system volume mods continue after the filter has done its job. The passage carrying lubricant into the oil galleys needs a bit more diameter too.
There's no set diameter to...
There's no set diameter to shoot for, as long as the passageway is smoothed out and enlarged slightly.
Oil system mods continue in...
Oil system mods continue in the valley area of the block, as Mark tells us the factory drainback holes are inadequate for high-performance engines. He will chamfer and increase the size of these holes to aid drainback from the top end dramatically. The 460 has a natural angle of about 3 degrees nose up when installed in a chassis, so these two holes at the rear of the valley are relied upon to return most of the oil to the pan, and they need to be larger.
The biggest mistake that can...
The biggest mistake that can be made building a 460 is one few people know about. Here's where working with an experienced pro really pays off. The 460 has four oil galley plugs; two in front and two in the rear of the block.
These factory plugs are tapered...
These factory plugs are tapered to allow oil flow around the tapered portion of the plug. Should a straight, non-tapered plug be installed in these galleys, oil flow would be greatly impeded or stopped completely.
When disassembling a 460,...
When disassembling a 460, keep the factory tapered plugs safe. They are hard to find, difficult to duplicate, and absolutely essential to prevent oil starvation.
When building each of our...
When building each of our Shootout engines, we've relied upon ARP engine building kits for the majority of our hardware. We're really addicted to these sets, since they offer all of the hard-to-find hardware in organized packages for each part of your engine. In addition to the organized approach, these are top-quality stainless steel ARP fasteners, so you're getting durability along with the easier assembly. Nice! Our big-block Ford kit carries PN 555-9601.
We finished off our buildup...
We finished off our buildup with a tried-and-true Fluidampr balancer (PN 712510-002 for our 7.250-inch diameter, internally-balanced, big-block Ford). We've got plenty of reciprocating mass we'll be spinning upwards of 6,500 rpm; it'd better be well-balanced, and this will help ward off parts-breaking harmonics.
Topped with the same Demon...
Topped with the same Demon 850-cfm carb used on our other entrants, dressed with Edelbrock valve covers and a Summit 14-inch air filter assembly, our Ford 460 is ready to rumble against the Chevy 454 and Mopar 440 in our Big-Block Shootout. Next month, we'll give you the rundown on all three engines and compare notes from each builder to give you a great perspective on what will happen on dyno day. The actual runoff will appear in the following month's issue, with dyno charts to show how each engine fared. Which engine will win? Which readers will win? The engines are ready to go, are you? Have you sent your entry card in yet? You can't win any of these professional powerplants if you don't enter the contest, so get to it!
ADVANCED ENGINEERING WEST (AEW)
Francis St., Unit B, Dept. PHR
Summit Racing Equipment
P.O. Box 909