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Old 12-15-2006, 10:56 AM
Novous Novous is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Default Horsepower on the cheap (1988 Ford 460)

Hello, I'm new to this board.

I've got the opportunity to purchase a 1988 460 Ford engine out of a F350 and I'm wondering what kind of horsepower upgrades I can look into for relatively cheap (less than a $1000 total). I have some knowledge of engines and techinques to upgrade them, but no real-world experience with upgrading engine and I'm completely new to Fords.

There's the turbocharger route which has huge potential for power-per-dollar but large enough turbos are going to cost quite a bit, aren't they? Roughly, what kind of horsepower could I generate on stock parts (maybe lower compression pistons)? Should I look into forged pistons?

There's also the naturally-aspired route of wild cams and high-compression pistons. But I'd have to port/machine a lot, right? I'm also concerned about running my peak HP outside of my redline.

Either way, I'm happy with stock RPM limits unless they can be improved on-the-cheap (which I doubt). And I don't mind running high-end pump gas or about fuel economy (within reason!). It's currently a candidate for an off-road mud/dune-buggy engine. I'm not sure about powerband range yet other than it shouldn't be very narrow.

Any light you could shed on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:47 PM
ScottJackson ScottJackson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Iowa, near Missery (Missouri)
Posts: 2,286
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You CAN do the turbo route cheap, but it's gonna be pushing it. I got a Holset HT4B off ebay in good used condition for $160 shipped. It's an 85mm turbo and good to about 1200hp on a gas engine. Cheapy 60mm wastegates are pretty cheap off Ebay too. You can convert the motor to carb with a simple plate on top of the factory lower intake (also need to plug the injector holes). After that, a small cam that will work well with the stock rockers would be good. With a safe tune and properly modified carb (for forced induction, along with boost referenced fuel supply), you could probably safely double the stock power output of the 460. The stock pistons won't take much detonation, so be really conservative with the tune and creep up on it. Keep it below 5000rpm and it should live a long time... putting out 500+hp and 700+ft/lbs of torque. Good stainless valves with matching springs are highly advised also. I think your motor has the straight up roller timing chain, so if it's good, reuse it.
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