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460 Ford Big Block Cam Bearing Repair - The Blue Oval Cam-Bearing Fix

Don't Chuck That Short-Block, Save It With

Photography by Steve Magnante

We love hearing from machine shops that discover novel solutions to sticky problems. One of the most imaginative is Evans Speed in South El Monte, California. The company has come up with a cool repair for Ford 385-series (429 /460/514) blocks suffering from spun cam bearings that involves a dip into the neighboring Ford FE big-block parts bin.

Typically, a cam bearing spins due to inadequate lubrication, improper bearing clearances, cam tunnel misalignment, or a bent camshaft. When disaster strikes and the cam and bearing stick together, the bearing insert spins with the cam and the resulting friction removes material from the cam housing in the block. This increases the diameter of the afflicted cam bores and leaves a rough surface in its wake. The traditional solution is to cut the cam bores oversize using a line-boring machine and install matching oversize bearings. Repair bearings are available for most common applications and feature larger outside diameters so they have the correct press fit in the block's cam bores after they are machined. These bearings feature stock inside-diameter measurements to suit the stock cam journals.

But there's a problem when it comes to the Ford 385-series engine family: The stock cam bearings all share an outside diameter of 2.250 inches, and the largest available repair bearing is only 0.005 inch oversize (Durabond PN FP-30R). What are you supposed to do if the damage to the cam bore goes deeper-as it often does?

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