1st Motorbuild 87' Carburetor 460 Reliable Street/Strip Complete Restoration

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1st Motorbuild 87' Carburetor 460 Reliable Street/Strip Complete Restoration

Post  Velez460 on April 21st 2018, 9:14 pm

alien Greetings everyone and thanks for clicking by. Let me start by briefly introducing myself, my name is Sean, I am 24 years old and I live in South Florida. I am going to start working on a motor rebuild for a 460 I have in my 87 E350. I’ll get into a lot more of the vehicle build in another Topic. But for now I would just like to start planning my motor build options in this thread.

I would like everyones opinions and thoughts especially those with deep knowledge and experience with these big block fords. Help and Guidance is what I am looking for, as I said in the title this is my first motor build and plan for this vehicle to be my first complete overhaul. So I want to square away the engine, then drivetrain, then work on the body and finish up with interior. I plan there to be many stages to the build and would like to get started on the first stage of this build.

First let me paint you a picture of the conditions and current standings. I’ve had the vehicle for just over a year now. When I bought it for $1650 it was running and owner told me it needed a new water pump. Could see the coolant leak the fan was spitting everywhere. I’ve done all the labor on it myself so far. Cooling system was pretty rusted when I removed it all. By the time I got the waterpump off I discovered it needed a new timing cover too. So I put on new timing cover, new mechanical high volume water pump, replaced seal, used a cookie to smooth the block surface to the timing cover (it was a little pitted,) put new thermostat, replaced all belts, new fan clutch,and a new battery and alternator. Changed Engine Oil/filter and Tranny Fluid/filter.

I have not put a lot of mileage on the vehicle since I got it. The longest drive when I first bought it in Miami and drove it about 45 mins to an hour home. Since then its moved itself to a couple different locations and just went around the block a few times, no extended trips over 20 miles since i believe. I have not wanted to drive it till I feel comfortable it’s 100% roadworthy, even though it’s yet to fail in pretty rough conditions. I guess thats what these engines are known for right? Plus it was a hassle to insure and register for quite some time so I couldn't legally do much. Also I didn't think the brakes were amazing when I first bought it so after all the mechanic work I bleed the rear brakes. I attempted to do the front and when I tried to loosen the passengers side bleed valve on the caliper it snapped off, so I just stopped there. Brakes seemed better responsive so I just left it as is for now. Ideally I would like to do a complete conversion and get rid of all the old factory parts, get a full disk brake setup, no drums.

Currently I have not been driving it cause I removed the fuel system for an extended period of time when I saw the in-tank fuel pump and rust in the tank. Had a glass filter at the carb which was still looking good but knew the filters were doing work I guess. I still have to restore my fuel tank but thanks to craigslist I was able to find a steal off a chevy owner. Fuel tank with an in tank pump I could use temporarily to deliver food to the motor for just $20. Sadly after putting in that temp fuel system we developed a coolant leak from the core plug closest to the starter. Last time I looked at it it seemed like an ⅛ of it just split. I haven’t moved it much since.

I completed a compression check to see how things look internally, still have to do a wet test but I'll provide the Dry Test Results below:

Cylinder 1: 119
Cylinder 2: 68
Cylinder 3: 115
Cylinder 4: 108
Cylinder 5: 130
Cylinder 6: 145
Cylinder 7: 140
Cylinder 8: 130

So basically Driver’s side looks decent but passenger side no good. I have a Mr Gasket Engine overhaul kit, PN 720-7130. [Would there have been a better kit to get?] I have a new set of core plugs, an HEI distributor and all new spark plugs. The Spark plugs looked as if the motor had been running rich. I figure with a coolant leak and low compression in that one cylinder we might want to go about an overhaul right? Well this is where I start to need a lot of that help and guidance. I’ve never pulled a motor myself before, and I would guess this isn't exactly the smallest motor to start with so feel free to lend recommendations.

How difficult can it be to overhaul it inside the vehicle?

How much better would it be to pull the motor and have it on a stand?

I am still undecided on a lot of things and really only care about not having a freeze plug leaking anymore and at least all 8 cylinders working to 90% efficiency.

From a financial standpoint I would like to invest in just building a solid top end and then save up and plan for what more is to come.

So what are thoughts about a top end kit like this?
https://www.jegs.com/i/Edelbrock/350/2045/10002/-1

Or should I source a kit to make the same power or more for less? I would say my current budget is in the $3000-$3500 range(not overall budget for vehicle). This build means a lot to me. I was considering Kaase P-51 heads but it may be premature for that. Seems like the more expensive route and maybe would be more ideal in 5-10 years when I'm either wealthier or they're cheaper.

Let me provide some details about my goals and expectations for the build. It’ll basically be a street/strip truck.With hopes to use it to pull race trailers to the track and just to be an all around utility vehicle that will perform daily. Oh and I want it to have TWO turbos, cause it needs to go chu chu chu. But I am patient with the turbos ,don’t want to do that the wrong way. Actually was considering just doing a decent top end kit to get the 500 range. Then makeshift some custom fabbed junkyard diesel turbos to maybe get into that 700-800 power range? If these motors built precise can make 2000hp I figured I can get a reliable and efficient 800tq daily out of it, RIGHT?  

This was bought as a project and it’s a tribute build I would like to do. So end goal performance wise is a completely restored Van/Truck Vruck Dually Long Bed with a blow thru 460 stroker.

I’ve learned a lot about this motor and some configurations over the last year of research and play but I am always learning, and I come here seeking more knowledge to get this build to where it deserves.

And I didn’t mention many details about the vehicle cause I don’t want to side track far from details about the motor.

But my build project is a 1987 Ford E-350 Econoline Cabriolet Conversion Van with a Big Block 460.

If you haven’t heard or seen anything like it, as I was when I saw it on craigslist. Feel free to explore these links:
http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1990-ford-e-350-by-cabriolet-purpose-built-fifth-wheel-hauler/
https://www.google.com/search?q=ford+cabriolet+conversion+van&oq=ford+cabriolet+conversion+van&aqs=chrome..69i57.5913j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

If you would like to see more details about my build or follow along with the Journey, feel free to add my Instabuild page:
https://www.instagram.com/FordDabriolet/

Velez460

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leakdown test

Post  manofmerc on April 25th 2018, 5:39 am

Before you get ahead of your self you need to know why that one cylinder is so much lower than the others .A leak down test will tell you this .Basically you use a tool that puts air pressure into that cylinder .And you listen for air pressure escaping that cylinder.It goes through the spark plug hole .If air is getting past the valves that that is why compression is low if air is coming from the oil cap you probably have a piston ring issue .Maybe you can find a mechanic that has a leak down tester although they aren't expensive .As far as an in frame overhaul .It is much easier to pull that engine out for bearings and seals .Although most likely you have a valve issue on that one cyl.Be looking for a competent machine shop in your area a good machinist will become your best friend and get you on track . P 51 heads are really nice but more of a race head and overkill for your combo in my opinion .Doug

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Re: 1st Motorbuild 87' Carburetor 460 Reliable Street/Strip Complete Restoration

Post  rmcomprandy on April 25th 2018, 9:38 am

manofmerc wrote:Before you get ahead of your self you need to know why that one cylinder is so much lower than the others .A leak down test will tell you this .Basically you use a tool that puts air pressure into that cylinder .And you listen for air pressure escaping that cylinder.It goes through the spark plug hole .If air is getting past the valves that that is why compression is low if air is coming from the oil cap you probably have a piston ring issue .Maybe you can find a mechanic that has a leak down tester although they aren't expensive .As far as an in frame overhaul .It is much easier to pull that engine out for bearings and seals .Although most likely you have a valve issue on that one cyl.Be looking for a competent machine shop in your area a good machinist will become your best friend and get you on track . P 51 heads are really nice but more of a race head and overkill for your combo in my opinion .Doug

Exactly ... if it is a piston or cylinder wall causing that bad cylinder then it is rather pointless to build a top end, first.

Doing the engine in two separate steps will be a whole lot more expensive than getting everything done correctly the first time.

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