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429 ThunderJets

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Post  Fitzdicksn September 15th 2022, 6:04 pm

New to the forum. Just picked up a 68 Thunderbird with the 429-4bbl ThunderJet engine. Car is a pile of iron oxide but the engine appears to have been rebuilt at some point in the last 10-15 years. Are these ThunderJets any good? Any tips or suggestions? How do they compare to a 429 CobraJet of same era?

Looking to build this into a reliable motor to go into a 65 Galaxie 500 2 dr hardtop with a manual trans (5 or 6 spd) with the odd trip to the drag strip.

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Post  dfree383 September 15th 2022, 6:15 pm

They don’t have the power potential of the CJ stuff, but they will get the job done.

Cam, intake, carb, headers and ignition go a long way.
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Post  supervel45 September 15th 2022, 8:10 pm

Fitzdicksn wrote:New to the forum. Just picked up a 68 Thunderbird with the 429-4bbl ThunderJet engine. Car is a pile of iron oxide but the engine appears to have been rebuilt at some point in the last 10-15 years. Are these ThunderJets any good? Any tips or suggestions? How do they compare to a 429 CobraJet of same era?

Looking to build this into a reliable motor to go into a 65 Galaxie 500 2 dr hardtop with a manual trans (5 or 6 spd) with the odd trip to the drag strip.

I would keep the lifters in order if you tear it down. If it has been rebuilt like you suspect it may already have an upgraded cam with run in lifters.

Stock for stock a 429 CJ probably makes less then 75 HP more then the 429 Thunder Jet. Ford rated them at 10HP more from the factory.

If it was mine and for what you intend to do with it I would put some shaved D3 heads on it to take some compression out and run a small hydraulic flat tappet cam for a cruiser on low octane gas. The D3's have hardened exhaust seats also. It also gets you away from the old rail rockers.

If like you suspect it has been rebuilt you won't really know what you have until you open it up.
It may already have some upgrades from the rebuild.

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Post  supervel45 September 15th 2022, 8:45 pm

What leads you to believe the car still has the original 429 Thunder Jet in it?

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Post  Fitzdicksn September 17th 2022, 7:47 pm

The original owner

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Post  supervel45 September 17th 2022, 8:50 pm

Did he tell you or have any idea what was done if/when it was rebuilt?

What I was getting at on the 429 question, is sometimes 460 cranks get thrown at 429's durning rebuilds.

Watch the pilot hole diameter on those old 429/460 cranks. The pilot holes are bigger then late model stuff and pilot bearings are different as well as torque convertors.

You can do all kinds of stuff with the short block and heads. Just depends on what you want to achieve and how much you want to spend ect. ect..

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Post  Fitzdicksn September 17th 2022, 9:09 pm

He was not a gearhead so he wouldn't know. Are there special casting numbers for early 429 blocks and heads that are preferable?


supervel45 wrote:Did he tell you or have any idea what was done if/when it was rebuilt?

What I was getting at on the 429 question, is sometimes 460 cranks get thrown at 429's durning rebuilds.

Watch the pilot hole diameter on those old 429/460 cranks. The pilot holes are bigger then late model stuff and pilot bearings are different as well as torque convertors.

You can do all kinds of stuff with the short block and heads. Just depends on what you want to achieve and how much you want to spend ect. ect..

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Post  supervel45 September 17th 2022, 9:30 pm

Look for C8, C9 on the block and C8VE or C9VE on the heads. The cranks or 4U for 429 and 2Y and 3Y on 460's. The later cranks can have up to 2 more letters after the number for revisions, for when you get the oil pan off.

The D0VE blocks are what everyone wants. The ones with the raised A on the Front pad are the special ones.

PS: Nothing special in 1968 and 1969 except the 429 Boss stuff.

The good wedge stuff was found from 1970 to 1974 including the Police Interceptor stuff. All will have a D for the first casting number unless you come across some freak 20E-A heads LoL.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/374079226225?hash=item5718dc0171:g:g7MAAOSw9KFigjpj&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAsAl6xHX%2FUGh%2FPu2C6741LKqjrUEggup%2FXGmNS6VYNv9iy3lJD51tSepBt3ANDlVBWIjkBxo%2F3ILTgMbv3dywQdFEUYNEgChFuzcYCAoRBGEvUw2PhqD%2FRoGkwHq9km2AkXlKXmmBdNHr47%2F%2ByndOyIAHQw37GIX15IsIhlFKEwiI%2FjuKVXx5khQ06o9ddGhWRVy8CKGIByq3DRJvTAyKk2hhIKbHo0OaKDnmieb%2FNtC%2B%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR5zSi5XmYA

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Post  Fitzdicksn September 17th 2022, 9:57 pm

Thanks!

supervel45 wrote:Look for C8, C9 on the block and C8VE or C9VE on the heads. The cranks or 4U for 429 and 2Y and 3Y on 460's. The later cranks can have up to 2 more letters after the number for revisions, for when you get the oil pan off.

The D0VE blocks are what everyone wants. The ones with the raised A on the Front pad are the special ones.

PS: Nothing special in 1968 and 1969 except the 429 Boss stuff.

The good wedge stuff was found from 1970 to 1974 including the Police Interceptor stuff. All will have a D for the first casting number unless you come across some freak 20E-A heads LoL.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/374079226225?hash=item5718dc0171:g:g7MAAOSw9KFigjpj&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAsAl6xHX%2FUGh%2FPu2C6741LKqjrUEggup%2FXGmNS6VYNv9iy3lJD51tSepBt3ANDlVBWIjkBxo%2F3ILTgMbv3dywQdFEUYNEgChFuzcYCAoRBGEvUw2PhqD%2FRoGkwHq9km2AkXlKXmmBdNHr47%2F%2ByndOyIAHQw37GIX15IsIhlFKEwiI%2FjuKVXx5khQ06o9ddGhWRVy8CKGIByq3DRJvTAyKk2hhIKbHo0OaKDnmieb%2FNtC%2B%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR5zSi5XmYA

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Post  supervel45 September 17th 2022, 9:58 pm

Sure thing man. Let of know what you find out.

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Post  Fitzdicksn September 17th 2022, 10:04 pm

it may take me some time to get to it and I have two other projects that I have to move first, then swap a good frame under the Galaxie which I just found for dirt cheap. Then I will pull the T-Bird engine and see what it takes to drop it into the Galaxie. AT least lots of room under the hood.

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Post  supervel45 September 17th 2022, 11:01 pm

Fitzdicksn wrote:it may take me some time to get to it and I have two other projects that I have to move first, then swap a good frame under the Galaxie which I just found for dirt cheap.  Then I will pull the T-Bird engine and see what it takes to drop it into the Galaxie.  AT least lots of room under the hood.

They fit good, friend of mine had his 429Scj in his Galaxie Convertible for a long time until he went back FE.
Pro tip if you are junkyard hunting the old BBF engines of the early 1970's, all the good stuff had 5/8" sparkplugs. Then look for D0OER and D2OE on the heads. Wink

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