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How to Build a 500HP Ford 460

500-hp Ford

Making one horsepower per cubic inch on 92-octane pump gas with low compression and a relatively mild cam is pretty much a no-brainer, so when we asked Ford stroker specialist Dan Nowak to come up with a 500hp, 460-based combination for us, he whipped out his calculator and drew up a formula that's good for 500 to 514 inches.

You might think this would be an expensive proposition, but it really isn't. By virtue of their generous bore spacing (4.900 inches between centers), 429 and 460 Ford passenger car and truck blocks can be bored safely up to 0.080-inch over and still maintain adequate cylinder-wall thickness, according to Nowak. Combined with an offset-ground crank machined to accept big-block Chevy rods, these blocks can be punched out to well over 500 inches using off-the-shelf parts. And compared to big-block Chevys and even Mopar 440s, Ford 429 and 460 cores are surprisingly easy to score in boneyards, so the initial cost is low. Just look in any early-to-mid-'70s station wagon or fullsize car and you'll probably find one. Since the only difference between the 429 and 460 is the crank, which is interchangeable, it doesn't really matter which block you start with as long as you get a 460 crank. You don't even need to notch or clearance the bottoms of the cylinders for the longer rod/stroke combination on the blocks that he recommends using, so assembly is very straightforward. As far as cam selection goes, rather than pinning down a specific camshaft recommendation, Nowak provided us with a duration and valve-lift range and suggests discussing your overall combination with a cam company before you make a final decision. Generally he recommends staying at the low end of the range for a heavy vehicle, while a lightweight car can take a bigger cam.

The bottom line is there's no good reason not to go for broke and build a 514, especially if you've got a Fox-body Mustang. It'll fit pretty easily and will put you into the 10s in a well-setup car. CC

SOURCES
Nowak Performance
249 E. Emerson Ave., Ste. F
Orange
CA  92865
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