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So recently I pulled my motor(460) in my 1979 camper special to replace the rear main seal, and passenger exhaust gasket, and do some other maintenance. I decided to go ahead and rebuild the motor as the condition of the #5 main bear was less than desirable when i pulled it to do the main seal. The motor is in good shape for a engine that has never been apart, except for valve covers. With just a few hundred miles under 140.000 miles, it still has cross hatching on the cylinder walls! It's had a camper on it, towed a boat at the same time, and a 26ft fifth wheel later in life. My grandpa took very good care of it and there was virtually no sludge in the engine! This truck is mainly a work truck now, but it gets worked hard and could use a little more grunt than stock. I am wondering what you guys recommend as far as engine set up. The truck has working ac and cruise control which I will be keeping and tows cars i buy, to my 28 foot boat. I currently have this list of parts.
Disassembled stock 1979 460 bock I could probably re-ring it and go but will most likely bore it a small amount to ensure another 140k out of it
stock rods and pistons
stock 4brl manifold with non-functional egr valve with Edelbrock 1411 carb and funky heat shield.
stock exhaust from manifolds to tailpipes(staying for the time being)
Truck is a 1979 f250 supercab longbed 2x4
I'd like to make some more power for towing, but reliablilty and mileage is a concern. I don't want a race motor. But I want more power I'd like to make around 325hp and 425-450ft.lbs of torque while maintaning 10-12mpg and good street manners. Is this realistic? Any camshaft recommendations? Modifications to the heads? Pistons? What compression ratio should I shoot for? I'd like to still run on 87 if possible. I'm going to do the earlier timing chain swap. I'd like to change the intake manifold, but I want to keep the cruise control and it bolts to the manifold. Is there is ther a aftermarket one that works? If I have to stay stock to keep the cruise can I get rid of the egr valve? I don't think the manifold will work with out the egr spacer plate thing. I am thinking about adding a stud girdle as the #5 main looked like it was walking around a bit. Also In the future I would like to add EFI. thanks for any input. This is my first ford and my first big block.
Well, I'm no expert when it comes to a 460, but I can clue you in to what I've been through in the past 3 years of owning one.
Got a M/H & enclosed pulling close to 24,000 lbs.
Heres what I've found out, the whole bottom end if you just do a rering & bearings will be pretty much worrie free because that ol 460 is tuff as nails.
The heads is where you need to spend time in getting them right.
Things like Stellite valve seats & sodium filled valves to combat the high exhaust heat the heads will see when pulling a heavy load.
While your in the engine & if you can do that sort of thing, porting the heads just a bit paying moreattention to the exhaust side will make a lot of difference in the performance & realibility of the engine.
From what I have learned, the exhaust side of the heads are the biggest problem when it comes to a 460 pulling a heavy load.
Porting them, opening them up to have more flow in that area will do a lot to get rid of the high heat & any amount of that you can get rid of is a + in my book.
Gas mileage, well, with all I'm pulling down the road I'm sitting around 5 to the gallon & I might be lean at that but only time & those heads will tell.
I've got around 1000 miles on the engine after head pull rebuild with installing Stellite seats & a higher lift cam & lifters & so far its performing right well, at least I can feel the extra power.
Still a few bugs to work out like the EGR, anything to combat the high heat on those valve seats.
Right now the engine has close to 73,000 on it & a bit of blow by & for its life has turned some high rpms, so a complete rebuild is not short off.
I have two real good used engines sitting & collecting rebuilding parts as I can for a build up to replace the one in the M/H. I gona run her till she drinks oil & maybe by that time I'll be collected all I need & be done building one.
Oh, lot of the guys on here & the other sites you will go to are like racers, hot rod & boat guys & some of the info you get is kinda in that order & wont fit what your doing with your engine because it is being used different from theirs, but listen to what they say & learn all you can & you can figure out what will work for you & what wont.
Thank them to, cause anything you get is better than just guessing & trying something.
When you get ready to service those heads, who ever you get to do them, go over every detail with them so that they will be properly prepaired to perform the work asked of them.
Exhaust heat on those valves & valve seats are the main things to think about & just any old valve or seat wont cut it.
Dont get talked into having hard high nickle content seats installed, not for a tow rig, Stellite or Carbide.
This is an older post but I can’t help but chime in. I have been pulling with a 460 for many years and my advice, after many mods myself, is to leave the block alone. Rebuild it to stock and with the exception of a good double roller timing chain leave it completely stock. Then take the heads and do a complete rework. Take them to a good machine shop and have oversized S/S racing valves with hardened seats installed. Then go to you local racing shop and get a porting and polishing kit, buy an air grinder, hopefully you have an air compressor, and get on the internet and download the instructions on porting and polishing the darn heads.
Clean out under the intake ports where they put in the larger seats and remove any sharp edges, but leave the finish rough. Clean out, enlarge and smooth out the sharp turns on the exhaust ports. You won’t believe the slag and crap that is in those ports. Remove the smog bumps and when finished polish those exhaust ports until you can see your reflection in them.
Put a decent carburetor on, a good set of ignition wires a decent low restrictive exhaust system and you will not believe the increase in power and torque. Plus you will have a reliable stock good running tow vehicle that will give you many good years of service.
Also don’t get caught up in the header-mania. If you are just towing needing low rpm torque the stock manifolds are just as effective, and a heck of a lot more reliable, than headers.
I also installed Crane roller rockers on my heads. I hope you have as many reliable, enjoyable towing years that I have had. Good luck.
I like tow rigs. One of the things I did with my rig is up grade to a better torque converter especially for towing. Also a c-6 low gear kit. I know their are many company's out their but I had one built by TCI just for my situation and keep the stall way down, a little lower than stock. So when cruising down the highway at 1600rpm my converter isn't slippin much. On fuel system I'm carb'd and went to a annular booster carb just for low end grunt. I hear about people building carbs and never much about booster style in carb. The holley truck avenger has this style on the front just because it vaporizes the fuel better at low end compared to a down leg booster or straight. If you have any question on this drop me a PM. I've built me a carb just for my mountain situations and annular's are the way to go. If you have the same carbs and one with standard booster compared to a annular style the annular will need to probably need to be on jet lower compared to straight booster. Some of the mountains near my house are 9% grades and more and I have to drive slow up hill like 15 mph and lowend torque is everything to me and keep the truck running as cool as possible. Also on header Land L headers are the best header out their for 460 ford in your application. Heard good things on a banks header but not sure if they sell that header still, tri Y design. Like mentioned before work the exhaust port on any stock 460 ford head. IF you run the manifolds you can do a little port work on them. The only problem with manifolds is they hold heat and keep the exhaust valve a little hotter which promotes pre ignition or detonation in heavy loads. Also comp cams is making a hyd roller camshaft and the question is how much do you want to spend. I know your wanting to run 87 octane and 9 to 1 compression is about it for you. My 77 ford on 38"bogger gets 10 to 12 mpg if I drive normal. Drop me a PM if any questions and have a good day. Also www.mpgheads.com sells some cool parts to help promote torque. I also run windage tray/crank scrapers in oilpan because of the steep grade I run and helps keep crank clean which takes away power when crank is submerged in oil. Their are other tricks out their but these are the basics.
On the intake stuff I run the air gap edelbrock dual plane. and it doesn't have much to bolt to. But my carb boiling issues are gone. The edelbrok stuff is probably the way to go. I've also got a weiand stealth intake on a 429 that works well it has a heat crossover in manifold and its dual plane intake and would work well in pullin situation. Good intake for summer/winter. The air gap intake is a little tempermental in winter but once you figure it out its nice. I'm all about doing whatever it takes to free up horses and torque if its simple. I've since had heads ported and worked the exhaust severly is a mandatory to really step up the heads. Air in and air out situation. Nice intake ports but its like blowing through a straw on the way out, make your straw as big as it can be to get exhaust out. IF their is any other intakes out their I don't know about that work well somebody jump in.
I am running the TCI torque converter as well. Also the shift kit. As far as the cam, putting rollers in is not as reliable as the good old stock cam. I tried several cams over the years and the increase in performance was not worth the extra money. The stock engine built up as I described seems to be the best power for the price and the reliability is there.
There is nothing worse then having a breakdown 800 miles from home with a highly modified engine. Finding a really reliable mechanic that understands engines is very difficult is some of the rural areas and you are better off with as simple of a mod as you can do and get the performance.
As far as headers go for towing low rpm high torque is needed. Most headers, unless designed for motorhomes, give no improvement over stock manifolds in this low rpm high torque applications, plus they generate a lot of unneeded heat. That is why I suggested leaving the stock manifolds on. This is not going to be a high rpm drag truck and headers are just a waste of money. There have been several dyno tests that show the stock manifolds do just as well, if not better, in towing applications. Just my 2-cents worth.
i am working on a similar project- 86 f250 hauling a great big lance cabover.
some on this board have recommended an "rv" cam to wake up the 460.
also mentioned is distributor curve tuning, port-polish, etc. etc. your cross-post at the 460 board has more detail 79camperspecial.
i like your advice wb6vvv, and yours too, wyoming4x4 (although i am not to sure about the "need" for roller rockers on a tow rig )
could either of you explain the difference between an old style timing set and the new "retarded" ones? is it bolt pattern?, cog size?
also, could anyone elaborate on the torque converter angle? is there a primer somewhere that can help determine the best stall number to keep the carb out of the secondaries while cruising, (depending on application, of course)
i hope the hijack wasn't too offensive- i just like a lot of meat in a thread, and i am sure lots of newbies like me will find this info useful.
Forgot to mention I'm running a solid lift cam in my tow rig. It has over 50,000 miles and no problems. I have to adjust rockers acouple time a year. I live at higher elevation and have to do whatever it takes to make reliable power. You have to build a 500 hrspwr motor to make 400 hrsp up here. I'm very pleased with my set up and reliability. I live at 4000' and play and tow higher up to 9000' regular elevations and your hrsp just goes away with naturally aspirated motors. I've learned alot about tuning being I was a flatlander down in texas back in the day. Good luck and keep the old iron rollin.
On the carb situation I run a 1 to 1 linkage on carb for towing. Motor makes more torque down low with this setup. Meaning you don't have to get into throttle as hard and its a smoother torque compared to a doublepumper type set up. Ran the vacume secondary's and was just lacking the torque that a 1 to 1 linkage setup provides. My fuelmileage went up with the 1 to 1 system. Done several other trucks in my area and same results on other bigblocks used 750 cfm carbs on other bigblocks ford/chevy's for tow rigs.
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