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Completing the Ford 460 Engine


We had decided at the outset that we wanted to create a balance between horsepower and fuel economy, even for a 460. However, we still wanted to have enough power that we pull a house down the road if we wanted to. For the rebuild, we chose to go with a Competition Cams brand 'dual energy' r/v cam with a matched set of lifters and rods. The push rods are mated up to a set of needle bearing roller rocker arms. The cylinders were bored out only .0010" just to get the cylinder walls nice and smooth. On top of the block, we chose an Edelbrock Performer aluminum dual plane intake and we found a very nice set of Ford Motorsport valve covers on the net, to really make the new power plant shine. Once the block was assembled and pressure tested, we mounted the intake and the valve covers and re-installed the distributor assembly. Brad made the comment, "this engine is mighty tight. By the way you said you'd be driving this truck, I built this engine like a tank. I guarantee the motor will outlast the truck."

Well Brad wasn't kidding when he said the motor was tight. It did sit on a motor stand for over a year as the restoration process took much longer than anticipated. It was a sight for sore eyes to see the 460 setting on the chassis in 2003. During that time, we would turn the crank every now and then to keep the rings free. Finally the day came to get the engine fired up. We asked Brad to come out to help us get the timing set since we had swapped out the distributor (but ended up going back to the factory distributor). After determining top dead center for cylinder one, we were ready to turn the key. Making sure the fuel pump was operational and there were no leaks, we turned the key and held our breath.

After a few revolutions and several backfires (it was out of time), it came to life. It ran rough and blew out a lot of smoke as the rings and seals took some time to seat themselves. In a few minutes of running, we stopped the motor to check all of the seals and fluids. After determining there were no leaks internally or externally of the oil or the antifreeze, we started it back up and ran it for a little over 20 minutes between 1000 and 2000 rpm for the initial break in. After an oil and filter change, it was finally operational and ready to hit the road. The sigh of relief was deafening. After all that time and effort, in the back of our minds was the thought, "what if it doesn't run?" Now that could be put to rest. Our 460 motor was now ready to power Project Responder down the road and who knows where. Project Responder, respond to a still alarm, vehicle accident, highway 44...time to roll

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