The Never Done Bronco's NEW Big Block 460: Part 1
The time has officially come to give the Never Done Bronco some BIG BLOCK Ford POWER!!! We're talking 460 cubic inches of home made fire breathing off road annihilation!
The video above was filmed with the bronco's original 400 modified ford engine. Now the 400m is a good engine and we've even made a few upgrades to it but the fact of the matter is that she's getting tired and it's time to either rebuild her or replace her. I went back and forth for months trying to decide which direction to take, I like the idea of having the raw power of the 460 but the 400 already fits and I've already got some of the upgrades done to it. Long story short I decided to toss a post on facebook to see if anyone had a running 460 kicking around, I figured I'd give it 2 weeks and if I didn't find one I'd go ahead and rebuild the old 400. It wasn't long after my post that the phone started to ring and within a couple of days I'd found my new 460!
It couldn't have been much more perfect! The motor had come from a mid 70's Lincoln (one of my favorite auto makers) and only had 70,000 ORIGINAL MILES! It had a factory 4 barrel and the cool little heat riser thing under the original spread bore (yeah, I didn't know ford made them either) carb. The motor was originally pulled for a hot rod pickup project several years ago by a friend of mine but life had gotten in the way of that project and the motor had just been sitting around for right around 10 years. I knew the motor would need to be freshened up before it could go in the bronco so I threw him an offer of $400 and I'll be damned if he didn't take it! Man this deal just keeps getting better and better!
We plopped the engine in the back of my Super Duty and headed for home, to say I was excited would be a HUGE understatement! At the moment I don't have a shop so this one went across the back yard and into the shed for its resurrection. Yes, I did leave big ass ruts all the way across my back yard......but it's a 460!
With a LOT of help from my overwhelmingly supportive girlfriend, a few more ruts in the back yard, a trip to the hardware store for bolts, then another trip back for the right bolts, and a lot of me yelling swear words at the cherry picker while it sank into the grass we had FINALLY gotten the engine into the shed and loaded up on the engine stand!
This particular stand is rated at 1/2 ton or 1,000 pounds. If you haven't experienced loading one of these babies up with a big block before let me tell you it'll have you bunching your panties, they flex and lean and creak and will have you completely convinced that they're getting ready to EXPLODE and throw your new engine on the ground. After all the drama they do hold up though, whether your nerves will hold up however might be another story. Needless to say the next engine stand I purchase will be a heavier 1 ton unit, I'm getting too old for that much anxiety!
Now it was time for the work to begin, First off I needed to get rid of that grease and grime! Time to break out the engine degreaser, lots of it!
Initially I was using GUNK brand but to be honest it didn't do a very good job, the parts store brand stuff was quite a bit better.
After each application you have to let it sit for 10-15 minutes
Lets just say I did a LOT of these little 10-15 minute waits. After it's all soaked in you rinse it off, a pressure washer works really well for this but I didn't have one so I used a garden hose, a spray bottle, a flat screw driver, a scraper and a shit load of shop towels to clean this baby up.
I spent the majority of a day on that stool scrubbing and scraping my way through the sludge. It's not a glamorous job but it needed to be done and lets be honest, boys love to play in the dirt. Notice the jack stand and 2x4 helping support the weight of the engine under the oil pan? No it isn't necessary but it helped reduce my blood pressure down below stroke levels so i went ahead used it.
After what I estimate to be 1 billion hours of degreasing (I should have just stopped by the damn car wash on my way home) the engine was finally clean and ready to begin disassembly, this is where you get to see what you've really got!
Before the cleanup began I blew out all of the cylinders with air and sprayed a little wd-40 in them then turned to motor by hand to make sure it was free. The motor turned really well but there was one little thing that had me concerned, during blow down I found a cloud of orange dust (in my eyes and mouth because of coarse I had to put my face right up against the stupid hole when I hit the air). It had me a little uneasy but I hoped for the best and pressed forward, here's what it was:
Sure enough it was RUST! Somehow moisture had found it's way into the cylinder head and it wasn't a pretty picture. Luckily it was only one port on the head and the cylinder wasn't affected by the rust but it's definitely something I'll have to address in the rebuild and I think I have a solution that you're going to like! I'll save that information for part 2.
Other than the one rusty port and the obvious sissy stock components everything looked really good during the teardown.
To keep my rockers and pushrods in order I just grabbed a cardboard box, marked out front, rear, passenger and driver, poked holes in the carboard for the pushrods and kablamo instant bench top valvetrain organization!
If you were to ask me for a single piece of advice when pulling apart an engine it would be to label EVERYTHING!!!!! What is it and where did it come from? I also like to put the things I took off first in the back of the pile and the things I took off last in the front so that when I reassemble the engine everything is in the order I'll be needing it in. I'm going to take a quick second here and tell you that while rebuilding your own engine can be a ton of fun and very rewarding if you know what you're doing it can also be an incredibly expensive HUGE pain in the ass if you don't! The best possible solution for an engine rebuild is to take it to a professional builder like Thunder Racing Engines, that way you know it's been done right! There now that I've told you the correct way to do it let's continue on down the path of "Clint, this is probably a bad idea" that we started on.
Just look at all that stuff, and I haven't even gotten the hammer out yet!
It's been a wild road so far but as of right now this is how the mighty 460 (or maybe on fire, broken, should have taken it to a professional 460) sits. She's cleaned up, checked out and ready for me to get online and start adding cool guy parts to my credit card balance.
Thank you for reading this weeks blog post, stay tuned for part 2!
Clint J. Grover