[Question] Ford 460 (385) or the Ford 460 FE?
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Ford 460 (385) or the Ford 460 FE?

  1. #1
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    Default Ford 460 (385) or the Ford 460 FE?

    Just curious what the jet boat community would rather build in there first boat? Trying to come up with a strong reliable semi fast boat to enjoy with two young kids.
    I just bought a 78 Tahiti with a newly machuned 460 (385). It was bored .30 with Keith Black Pistons, a high volume oil pump, miloden pan, extreme marine comp cam 1600-5800rpm, Edelbrock performer RPM manifold, stock heads with a valve job and light porting, and a Holley 750. The jet is a Berkeley 12JC that looks like it hasn't been modified or touched for that matter.
    I bought the boat at a steal because upon breaking the cam in something went wrong with the valve adjustment and caused the engine to manke a BANG (so the seller tells me)
    Once I got the boat home and stripped the engine down I found more metal in the pan that looked like ZZTops faces. The cam was flat and there was water mixed in the oil.
    I actualy was relieved because now I can start fresh. I have a complete virgin 1968 460 that I could use with all the good parts from the other. I've been a chevy guy my whole life and built over 20 stroker motors but never got into the fords. I'm getting mixed reviews on building it and not a FE motor from friends. What I have read so far is the exhaust valves are week but with a good set of heads the 385 motor should do just fine.
    Any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member gregb's Avatar
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    There is no 460 FE unless you build some sort of stroker engine. The 385 series is going to be the way to go, and in the long run will be cheaper to do than an FE. the 385 series engines are the 429/460, parts are readily available and that's what is in your boat so the marine pieces are there (exhaust, mounts, etc.) 514 CID is a stroker kit away and you wont have to clearance anything in the block. You can go bigger if you want. FE engines 352/360/390/410/427/428, well, the marine parts are not readily available, you can find them, but I guarantee that there is some 460 stuff in the parts for sale section right now. Much easier to get the power from the 460. Not that an FE cant be made to run, I'm big fan of that engine, but I wouldn't put one in a boat unless is was some nostalgic flatty.
    Last edited by gregb; 02-26-2011 at 09:13 AM.

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    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    Just a heads up on the pistons.... KB brand? if they are the hypereutectic pistons, IMO you should change them out. They are not best suited for marine cold engine high energy applications.
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
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  6. #4
    Resident Ford Nut Sleeper CP's Avatar
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    ^^^

    I agree on the pistons. Try Probe or a few others on the pistons.

    As far as an FE....dare to be different. If you have the parts it would be great bu it's going to cost you.

    On the built 460...I'd put an 850 cfm Holley on it.

    S CP

    "Dark Sarcasm"
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    fast is the other half.
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    Senior Member EVILFORCE's Avatar
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    I like them both. If I could just walk in the shop and pick up the stuff to build the FE that is what I would do. Sounds like you have the stuff for a 460. It will be cheaper then the FE build and a lot more options as well. I wonder why all my boats are Chevy power? OH YA. I have a 428 I will be putting in a 60's drag boat restore. The 460 is a good motor and you should stick with it. I honestly believe the Ford is a lot tougher motor in the long run then the Chevys if built right. They are just a bit pricier to build.
    No Fool Like A Old Fool is there?

  8. #6
    www.highflowdynamics.com LakesOnly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonys67ss View Post
    Trying to come up with a strong reliable semi fast boat to enjoy with two young kids.
    I just bought a 78 Tahiti with a newly machuned 460 (385). Once I got the boat home and stripped the engine down I found more metal in the pan that looked like ZZTops faces. The cam was flat and there was water mixed in the oil.

    I have a complete virgin 1968 460 that I could use with all the good parts from the other. I've been a chevy guy my whole life and built over 20 stroker motors but never got into the fords. I'm getting mixed reviews on building it and not a FE motor from friends. What I have read so far is the exhaust valves are week but with a good set of heads the 385 motor should do just fine.
    Any ideas?
    The Ford 385 Series and the Ford FE series are as different as, say, a big block chevy and a big block Mopar, for example.

    Unlike chevy, who simply had a "big" block and a "small" block for decades and from which all their different engine displacements were housed over the decades, Ford developed new engine families almost as regularly as they created new car models...it's almost as though they developed engines specifically for the car that they just designed. The Ford FE's (352, 360, 390, 410, 427, 428) and the Ford 385's (370, 429, 460) are different engine families and none of the parts are meant to be interchangeable between the two families in question.

    That being said, the 385 Series engine family has almost 100% parts interchangeability over its 30-year production run. It is also the newer engine design over the FE. And hey, you already have a 365 hp 1968 460. That engine is a great foundation from which you can build a 700+ hp engine using the OEM block, crankshaft, and heads, if you wanted to. So a 400-475 hp engine is a walk in the park.

    You mentioned something about exhaust valves: all passenger car head exhaust valves of the era (Ford, chevy, Mopar) should be changed out and not just the Ford. Probably what you heard about was the "poor exhaust flow" of the factory iron Ford 385 Series heads. This is antiquated thinking and in fact the Ford 385 Series heads have outstanding valve angles, spark plug location, chamber shape, intake runner architecture, and so on. And porting a head is much easier than changing all the inferior designs of the other brand's heads, and with what has been learned about camshaft profiling over the years the "poor" flow is not the setback that some people seem to still mistakenly believe. Remember I stated that your 1968 heads have been proven to 700+ hp?

    One last thing: If your replacement engine is indeed a 1968 460 and not a 1968 429, then it will have an unusual power steering pump which is gear-driven off the crankshaft. Because you will not be using this power steering setup, it will be necessary for you to change it out and acquire the following parts applicable to the more common setup: front timing cover, front crankshaft spacer, (there are other appicable parts for a passenger vehicle engine swap but they don't apply in your case). In fact, the engine in your boat already has the parts that you need. By the way, save the 1968 specific 460 Lincoln parts (power steering pump, spacer, gear drives, waterpump, timing cover, pulleys brackets, etc) because the Lincoln restoration guys pay big bucks for them.

    Feel free to contact me with any Ford 460 related questions and I'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

    LO
    Last edited by LakesOnly; 03-01-2011 at 06:58 PM.
    High Flow Dynamics
    Performance Components for the 429/460 Engine Family


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