My First Shot at Porting Heads - Never Done

My First Shot at Porting Heads - Never Done

A while ago I started working on a 460 to swap into my 78 bronco, the goal was to rebuild as much of it myself as possible in the small overcrowded shed in my back yard with no previous experience and just see how it turned out (famous last words!). I'm hoping to end up with a relatively mild 300-350 hp "slightly modified" 460 at the end of the process that I can call my own......and doesn't explode! The engine is pulled down and I've decided to do my own port work on the old D3VE heads, yes those are the ones with the GIANT EGR ports cast right in the middle of possible exhaust flow! Check it out:
Stock D3VE ford 460 head ports
Just look at that exhaust port it might as well be the size of a drinking straw, needless to say I believe I can make some improvements here. Armed with a whole bunch of internet "knowledge", a couple of grinders and a head porting kit I decided to dive right in. According to what I've read there's quite a lot of metal that can come out of those exhaust ports as long as you take it from the right places. Now I'm not looking to make some kind of factory race heads out of these or anything remotely crazy, I'm just trying to get some extra flow and maybe increase power.
Clint Grover porting a set of big block ford D3VE heads
I'll tell you right now that there absolutely is a trick to this head porting thing. You've got to hold your tools at the right angle, apply the right amount of pressure and move correctly or that damn thing will grab and jump and gouge the hell out of your heads or you.
Clint Grover porting a set of Ford 460 heads at home
After 20 minutes or so of jumping all over the place tearing up my ports I FINALLY got a feel for it and was able to start making progress in the right direction. You'll notice that I'm wearing enough safety equipment to handle a small zombie apocalypse and I can assure you that there's a reason for it! I had to learn this the hard way so allow me to elaborate: The glasses are to stop the 42,000,000 tiny pieces of metal being fired at your eyeballs with every rotation of the grinder, the dust mask is to handle the Arizona dust storm that bellows out of the ports as you clear material from them and takes away your ability to breathe, the rubber gloves are to help you hang on to the grinding tool that is absolutely convinced it should be leaving your hands every time you make a wrong move, and finally the head lamp is there to help you see what the hell you're ACTUALLY doing!!
Ford 460 D3VE head thermactor porting
Another thing they don't tell you in the pamphlet is that this shit takes a while, you're probably looking at around an hour PER PORT if you're going in as extensively as I am so make sure to set aside plenty of time, you're going to need it. My goal is to remove the egr casting bumps (and plug the EGR holes in the ports), smooth airflow throughout the entire exhaust port including the bowls, blend everything the best I can then gasket match both the intake and exhaust ports as well as the intake manifold in an effort to maximize the efficiency of these fossils. I'll also be adding a slightly larger cam (with a spring upgrade), a Holley Truck Avenger carburetor and a good set of headers to help tie this air flow puzzle together. In the end it'll still be a low compression pig but I THINK it'll breathe well!
Home porting Big Block Ford 460 iron heads
I've been whittling away at these babies for about 6 hours so far and according to everything I've read I don't think I've screwed them up too badly as of yet, if you're doing a set of factory 460 heads yourself I highly recommend you check out www.reincarnation.com, there's a small fee for membership but the step by step guides and information on porting 460 heads is immense and well worth the headaches you're saving in the long run.
I've got a lot more work to do on these before they'll be ready to unveil so in the mean time thank you for reading my blog post and stay tuned for more on this project!
Clint Grover
Clint J. Grover
 

 

 

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