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Old 07-05-2008, 07:41 PM
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Roller valvetrain in Ford 460

I'm working on a 1978 ford 460 engine. My idea and plan is to make as efficient an engine as possible, while getting the most bang for my buck. I'm not too concerned about horsepower; this is going in a car weighting nearly 6,000lbs, so it's not going to be raced, only cruised in both on and off the highway. I don't have all the money in the world, but I am willing to put money into things that'll do the most.

I was planning on changing to a roller cam and rockers, but I've heard that a roller cam and rockers don't really work well in these engines and wouldn't be worth the money for what I want to accomplish. Is this true?

I do plan on getting fuel injection on this engine; from what I understand and have read I can use a late model top end- heads, intake, exhaust, etc- and be ok.

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Old 07-05-2008, 09:27 PM
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In this order:

1) small tube headers, tuned collectors, expansion chambers, efficient mufflers etc.

2) a good strong 4x4 or RV cam, check CompCams catalog. Valve springs to match. all the lift you can get. You already have 1.7 factory rocker arms. I would stay with stock.

3) hot ignition with a moderate advance curve, vacuum advance mandatory. I like MSD on a 460 like this. Multi spark up to 3000 rpm helps efficiency.

4) intake manifold and carb size is not that important. Stock 4 bbl intake will be fine below 4500 rpm, but a low rpm aftermarket dual plane like Performer (NOT RPM) and a well tuned carb is a help.

5) mild bowl ported stock heads, definitely get the smog bump out and polish the exhaust port.

6) Compression? Geez you are fighting a low compression (8.0 or less) battle without changing pistons. If you accidently stumble into a set of 69-71 429 closed chamber heads, that would help if you can get the quench distance down to a reasonable amount. The pistons are way down in the hole.

I guess the late model 90s truck fuelie set up will be an improvement.
In town cruising mileage can't mean much with 6000 pounds and a 460.

In town gear ratio will make a big difference for acceleration, but kill mileage on the road.
If you get a 3/4 ton truck AOD that would help for any time you can get into OD.

Have a 460 like yours on the stand now, for a lighter car 3800. All torque, 5200 rpm max.

People call me a Ford guy, maybe I am
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:05 PM
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Yeah, it was getting pretty hard on gas towards the end; somewhere like 7-9 mpg on a good day. It all changes on the freeway though; had it up to 15-17 mpg. That's why I was thinking fuel injection of some kind, either multi-port or tbi for better in town mileage. The late model idea was due to price- can't beat those half-off sales at pick-a-part!

That's interesting though. Would getting rid of the smog bump on the heads be something I can reasonably do myself?

I was also told that a mild stroker setup with either an offset ground crank(making a 4.125 stroke) or a regular stroker crank(only one I could find was 4.150). Any thoughts?

If I read my diff tag right, I've got a 9" gear with a 2.75 ratio. I was considering an AOD but wasn't sure it would be better than the C6 I have now; perhaps it's time to reconsider.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:24 PM
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To improve your in town mileage try a shorter gear in the rear, a 3.25 or 3.50 will move the weight while not cutting into your highway mileage that much.

Have you considered a rebuild? There is no better bang for the buck than a good seal on the rings and no leak past the valves, it will boost your mileage and get some of that lost torque.

Forget the roller valve train stuff, the efficiency gain is less than 1%...you can get better than that by running narrower tires and pumping them to 40psi.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:50 PM
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I don't think I'll want to run any narrower tires than I have; might pop under the strain... but maybe not.

I think I will try the gears though; gotta replace the seal since it leaks and always wondered if it could be geared better.

So you think I'll be more than satisfied with a good basic stock rebuild? Just get really good rings and seals on the heads? Hell, if that's the case, that's cool; that means more money for paint and such!
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