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I have an opportunity to acquire a 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible. The original MEL 430 is long gone, but the turbo-drive Cruise-o-Matic variant is still there.

I'm looking for a smooth, dead-reliable engine swap..one with good parts availability and easy maintenance. Something I can jump in and drive across the country without hesitation. I'm not looking for super high power; but I would like to exceed the original 320 bhp/475 ft-lb. Low RPM torque is key to moving this 5000+ lb beastie around. I also don't want it to lose its luxury car character. Mufflers & resonators will be installed as needed. I prefer EFI over a carburetor. I do a fair amount of highway driving, so an overdrive would be nice.

I'm willing to spend up to $25K. This would include the drivetrain (parts and labor), accessories (A/C, P/S, alternator), along with any needed subframe mods and a new gas tank with submerged pump. I would prefer not to cut the floor boards, fenderwells or transmission hump any more than necessary. I'd also like to keep it in the Ford family. Small block? Stroker?FE? 385 Series Big block? Modular? Coyote? C6 w/Gear Vendors, 4R70W? What's everyone's thoughts?

I've heard stories of folks dropping 460's into these cars, but I've also heard that there's not enough vertical room under the hood. The internet is full of cool ideas, but I've seen few documented success stories.

Perhaps I should try to scrounge up a replacement 430 (or 462)? From friends and relatives who drove these when they were new, the MELs were good drivetrains. However, they were also heavy, complicated gas hogs that were hard to work on. They were also produced in relatively low numbers with virtually no interchange with other Ford products. The last member of this family rolled off the line in 1968; there aren't many people left who know them well. In another 15 years, who knows?

Thanks for reading! Feedback is welcome.
 

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I think what I would do is to find a 1999 to 2007 Ford Super Duty truck (F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550) with the diesel engine and 4-speed or 5-speed auto trans and use everything possible out of the truck to update your land yacht.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Super_Duty

I particularly like clip swaps, so I would probably cut the Continental frame just in front of the firewall and just behind the rear seat, leaving the stock frame under the body part of the Continental and welding the front and rear clips from the Super Duty to the Continental stubs. I'd use everything possible from the Super Duty, including all wiring and electrical/electronic components, controls, instruments, steering, brakes, suspension, etc. When you get all through pirating everything from the Super Duty, you will still have glass and sheet metal parts to sell off to help defray the cost of the donor truck. I would use the tires and wheels off the truck also. It would just be a Continental body on a Super Duty chassis. I would buy ZERO hot rod parts for this project.
 

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I'm not really sure 8 lug wheels or hd suspension would be desirable in a car.. If the brakes, balljoints and other parts are available still, or can be modernized with later parts, I would just use a 7.3L diesel with trans from Same vehicle. Pretty much fits where a 460 can, and power and fuel economy will be there.

But you said its a vert. 1963 Lincoln resto parts dont exist, so assess damages and interior cost into finding used stuff. You could eat up $30k redoing the leather interior and putting a new top on it depending on how bad stuff is.
 

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Personally, I'd go 460 with an aftermarket EFI. I can't imagine that there's any clearance issue in that car.
 

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There is no way that I would consider using any Ford Navistar diesel, 7.3 or a 6.0/ 6.4. The 7.3, while virtually indestructible, would probably need an expensive major overhaul plus performance improvement mods. The 6.0 and 6.4 would need significant and extensive work ("bulletproofing") for reliability reasons. There were just too many problems with these two engines. If you were considering going the diesel route, then a 'deleted' 6.7 (2011-current) is the only reliable way to go with a Ford diesel.

While I really like a 460, having had several, they are big, heavy and a gas guzzler in any format though probably no worse the the original 430. Finding a 430 then someone who actually can work on those odd ball blocks will be another problem (or many!!).

There are just too many of the 4.6-5.4, a 6.2 or even 6.8 V10 engines in various and sundry versions in every type Ford vehicle to ignore. They are also well supported by Ford and aftermarket suppliers, are reliable and relatively inexpensive even as a complete donor car, complete with a much better transmission and other accessories.

Oh and that '63 Lincoln, make sure you do a complete front suspension rebuild or, better yet, replacement. The steering boxes were wear out quick junk (I worked for a L-M dealer in '63/4 while doing night college), idler arms puny and tie rod ends floppy after only a few miles.

Good luck
 

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If I was going to modernize a 63 Lincoln I would use the 460 and C6. With EFI the overdrive might be useful but not with a carburetor. The C6 is stronger and more reliable than any of the current Ford automatics. The 460 is still well supported in the aftermarket and it would be easy to get your compression up to 9:1 for better mileage and more power. Most of the cam manufacturers have RV style cams that increase mileage and offer tons of low end torque. The crank and connecting rods will handle the kind of use you mention without a problem. The C6 would need a rebuild, a TransGo reprogramming kit and a good sized cooler but there isn't a lot of money in that.
Rebuilding the front suspension, brakes and rear suspension (springs and shocks) shouldn't be too difficult. Since you are keeping the interior stock you can recover the upholstery and install new carpet. A new top is likely in the bill and might require a hydraulic overhaul so there is likely to be some money in that.
If you end up needing to add the overdrive you will need a new driveline but they are inexpensive since you have the yoke ends and the slip yoke. Paying someone to do the labor is going to be very expensive so do as much as you can.
 

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Wow forget the ford clunkers all together. the diesel is expensive and wont last like it should.

The 460 sucks for many other reasons. I would not run one for a lot of reasons mainly the heads dont flow because of poor design.

Go with a big block chevy setup. You will be happy it will cost less than the budget and last a long time it will also make a heck of a lot more power than the ford or the rattle box.

As for the ford options i would only use a 347 or a chevy motor. But a good mustang motor and trans setup is not a bad option. Many will say other wise but keep in mind the engine that came in the car made less power than the modern roller 302 motor add in a 347 stroker kit along with some trick flow heads and it will make more power than most 460 running around on the street.

But go chevy a BBC will solve all your issues and is not hard to bolt in unlike many of the other motors that will require a clip swap which is a hell of a task in a lincoln. Just taking a 63 apart and replacing it back again is a major task add in a frame swap and no more bolting points the front end swap is a massive job on a luxury car. Just restoring one of these cars can cost a pile of cash. Best to go with a motor that will last and work for years to go.

Here is a link to an engine that is cheap and done by a trust worthy builder.

CHEVY BBC 572 STAGE 8.0 TURN KEY ENGINE, NEW DART BIG M BLOCK, 763 hp | eBay

The same guy also sells this motor in a kit that is pretty cheap. Since most of the price is warranty and parts you may already have might be a good idea if you want to build one your self if not the kit is cheap enough. add in a good trans from bowtie overdrives and you will be very happy. You will also need to have a drive shaft made but this is not that expensive.

Hope this helps.
As usual, one of your off subject posts!! What don't you understand about the OP wanting to use a Ford in a Ford. Not everyone wants a common as pigeon crap Chevy powered race car - sometimes they just want a nice car to cruise with.

Dave W
 

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The 460 has a modern head design just like the 429 and uses the same bore and bore spacing. There is nothing wrong with the 460 and it can be a torque monster. If you wanted to run higher RPM then the 429 heads interchange. But for a cruiser/highway car that weighs in at 5000 pounds it will be hard to beat the 460.
 
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