engine casting identification

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engine casting identification

Post  Larry Williams on October 14th 2012, 8:16 pm

I couldn't find a sticky or list anywhere on engine blocks. which ones are better and which have the thicker main webs

anybody able to steer me in the right direction?
trying to convert a small block guy to 385' series

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Re: engine casting identification

Post  Paul Kane on October 14th 2012, 9:38 pm

For a brief description of block differences, click HERE.

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Re: engine casting identification

Post  Larry Williams on October 14th 2012, 9:53 pm

great info Paul thanks

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For those with slow internet service.

Post  dfree383 on October 15th 2012, 1:50 am

Ford Production 429/460 Block Differences

The most common available production cast iron block casting numbers are C8VE-B, C9VE-B, D0VE-A, D1VE-(various suffix) and D9TE-AB.

We refer to all but the D9TE-AB as the "early-style" blocks. The D9TE casting arrived in the 1979 model year and was utilized until the end of 460 production.

For the most part, all production blocks and rotating asemblies are interchangable between all the early style blocks and except for the D9TE. A D9TE block's rotating assembly will fit into an early-style block, but the opposite is not true (some clearancing is required).

All 429/460 Fords are internally balanced engines except for the D9TE 460, which has an externally balanced rotating assembly (1979 & up 460's are externally balanced).

These block identifying marks (C9VE, D1VE, etc.) are not actual casting numbers but are engineering revisions that are cast into the block castings themselves. And they are what we enthusiasts refer to when identifying our factory iron, as they give not so much the year that the block was made but rather the revision of the block as specified by said engineering revision. (Actual date code is in the lifter valley.)

Early-Style Blocks: For the most part (and with small exception), the C8VE, C9VE and D1VE blocks are all essentially the same configuration casting with the thinner main webs. The thicker main web block is the D0VE block, which may or may not have 4-bolt main caps on 2,3 & 4. (Very few D1VE blocks may be thick webbed.) All Ford production 385 blocks can be decked as needed, so the slight variation in deck height (give or take .020" over the years) is a negligible detail.

D9TE Blocks: The externally balanced rotating assembly utilizes a crankshaft that has slightly smaller counterweights. This apparently was done to so that the cylinders of the D9TE block could be extended about .200" deeper towards the crankcase. It is believed that the cylinders were lengthened in the D9TE block because this block was revised to double as a big equipment truck block, and the dump truck rotating assemblies consisted of a very deep skirt piston that benefitted from the newly extended cylinder walls for support.

The deeper cylinders of the D9TE blocks are the reason that the early-style, internally balanced rotating assemblies will not fit (internal balance crank throws will not clear D9TE cylinders).

Since most prefer to use internally balanced rotating asembies in the performance applicaton, enthusiasts have usually opted for any block except the D9TE. There are also advantages to specific blocks within the group of early-style blocks, such as the D0VE-A's thick main webs, a slightly shorter deck height without decking, etc.

Further, for years the D9TE block was presumed to be a lightweight ("late model") casting and therefore not very strong and also limited in it's overbore capability. But this belief is currently being re-evaluated for a couple of reasons:


No-one had yet evaluated D9TE cylinder wall thickness with a sonic checker, and preliminary testing suggests the block may not be so bad afterall.
Strokers have become popular and the D9TE's deeper cylinders offer more support for the increased-stroke rotating assemlies.
Most all aftermarket stroker kits use a crank with the dimensions of the externally balanced crank and so they fit the D9TE block as well as the early blocks.


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Re: engine casting identification

Post  dfree383 on October 15th 2012, 1:53 am

Here's some additional information from Dave McLain and a large group in 2005 (Bunch of guys on here)

http://webpages.misn.com/~frd460/blocksummit.html

In January of 2005 a group of people who regularly visit the Ford 385 Series Big Block Forum www.460ford.com got together to gather some much needed information about the blocks used during the production life of these engines. People who attended the event brought along production blocks from their own personal collections and those blocks were subjected to a variety of tests. They were weighed, foundry markings, casting production dates and casting numbers were recorded and finally they were each subjected to a through ultra sonic check of each bore in 12 positions to determine and map cylinder wall thickness. At the Block Summit Charlie Evans took some time to give a seminar on Big Block Ford cylinder heads covering not only their intended applications but also the finer points of modifing them needless to say it was both informative and entertaining. Jay Cornell and the rest of the folks from IDT also made the trip down from Michigan bringing along with them some samples of their product and some of their sand mold patterns for everyone to see. Jay used them to explain the casting process to everyone and what it takes to make a block from scratch. After hearing about the whole process I found it completely amazing that a manufacturer such as the Ford Motor Company could make blocks not by the tens or hundreds but by the thousands and millions.

What everyone hoped to find was a particular series of blocks that could be utilized for large overbores without fear of producing a block with overly thin cylinder walls. It is common to bore these engines .080 oversize to a finished bore diameter of 4.440 inches. Some builders have even bored as far as .140 oversize for a 4.500 finished bore diameter. These bore sizes along with a stroke of 4.500 inches make engines of 557 and 572 cubic inch displacement, all from a regular production block casting.

The day of the event 35 blocks were put to the test. The big block Ford had a production life from 1968 till 1996 and it was used in nearly all Ford fullsize cars and trucks during that time. Block castings from every era were present, C8VE-A,C9VE-A,DOVE-A,D1VE-A2A, D1VE-A2B, and D9TE blocks were tested. There were several Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet blocks with four bolt main caps and even one Boss 429 block in the mix. Blocks bearing marks from these 3 foundrys were all present at the block summit. The foundry marking is on the block at the top rear near the oil pressure tap boss. The marking that looks like CCP is the Cleveland Foundry, DIF is the Dearborn Foundry and finally MCC is Michigan otherwise known as the Flatrock Foundry. From what could be determined from the block summit data what that blocks were originally cast at Dearborn Iron Foundry at least until the D1VE and later castings when production was moved to Flatrock. Blocks were produced at Flatrock until the introduction of the D9TE block for 1979 when production was moved to Cleveland Cast Products till the end of production. What is interesting is how each foundry used unique tooling to produce the blocks each of which having unique and often special features. For instance, the DOVE-A blocks produced in the Dearborn foundry are the only ones cast with extra thick main webbing to allow for the factory instalation of 4 bolt main caps. Not all of the DOVE-A blocks have 4 bolt mains but they all have the provision for them. The D9TE blocks are cast with a cylinder wall that's .250 longer than other production blocks and this is an interesting feature. It's not known why the factory changed this but it is certainly a plus if long strokes are being run, giving the piston more support at BDC. (4.500 stroke 6.700 rod combinations work fine in all production blocks) SVO blocks also have this feature. Not to be left out, the D1VE blocks from the Michigan/Flatrock foundry are the most numerous and they were used in 429 and 460 production from about 1971till 1978.

Other production block features are: C8VE,C9VE and DOVE blocks all have a narrow pan rail. D1VE blocks can have a narrow pan rail but only in the AA version. AB or A2B blocks have a wider or unreleaved pan rail as do all D9TE blocks. Some DOVE-A blocks are cast with a large "A" on a square boss at the front of the block. Many of those particular blocks are also cast using Boss 429 bulkheads front and rear. This bulkhead has slightly more material under the front main cap than the regular bulkhead. Not all "Boss 9 bulkhead" DOVE-A's have the large "A". The rear bulkhead appears to be identical to other blocks with the exception of additional bosses near the rear cam bearing bore. In the actual Boss 429 block this additional material was used to accomidate the Boss 429's unique oiling system and also a bolt on cover instead of a drive in plug for the rear of the camshaft. None of the DOVE-A blocks are tapped or machined any different than regular production blocks in this area.

All of the blocks were weighed and while there were differences there seemed to be no real rhyme or reason to the variance

Ultra sonic thickness testing was what was hoped to reveal any secrets making some of the blocks, one particular casting more desirable than the others. After testing over 30 blocks, none were found to be universally superior in the area of cylinder wall thickness. Some were thicker and some were thinner than others but no particular casting number, date code or foundry could be deemed the best for large overbores and or cylinder wall thickness. All of the data was carefully recorded and is presented here:Watch out, this file is about 1.8MB

Here's a link to the data sheets presented in HTML format for easy viewing, thanks to Byron from the 385 Series Forum

When reading the data sheets the information is arranged as listed except that the cylinders were measured at 4 places around the bore but at 3 instead of 2 different depths. So, the first number listed at each position is at 1 inch depth. Then the number after the "/" is the reading from 2" down etc.


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