"Boss Bulkhead" D0VE-A Blocks Explained - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Cool "Boss Bulkhead" D0VE-A Blocks Explained

The D0VE-A block comes in two primary configurations: 2-bolt mains and 4-bolt mains. The reason for the D0VE-A block's popularity is its thicker main webbing, and also because the main webbing is fully machined from the main caps all the way out to the oil pan rail, which facilitates the conversion of the 2-bolt main blocks to 4-bolt mains. (The standard-webbed passenger car blocks have a section of main webbing between the main caps and oil pan rail that remains as-cast/unmachined.) 4-bolting of the 2-bolt D0VE blocks is usually executed on mains 2, 3, & 4, while mains 1 & 5 remain in their 2-bolt configuration.

There is sometimes talk of D0VE-A blocks that have "Boss 429 bulkheads," and people often ask what that means. In short, it means that when some of the D0VE-A blocks were originally cast, some (but not all) of the casting patterns used for the D0VE-A blocks made use of the front and rear sections of a block pattern originally used for casting the C9AE Boss 429 blocks. The result is that some D0VE blocks were cast with Boss 429 block features front & rear, and some of those specific features of the Boss's block pattern are advantageous on the D0VE-A castings for some applications.

Specifically, the C9AE Boss 429 blocks were 4-bolted from the factory on mains 1, 2, 3, & 4 (not just 2, 3, & 4 like the SCJ blocks). In order to secure a 4-bolt main cap to the number 1 main webbing on the Boss 429 block, it was necessary to add more block material at the outer reaches of the number 1 main web so as to accomodate the outer main bolts (of the number 1 main's 4-bolt main cap) to be added into the block. Another nice feature is that the number 1 main saddle has significantly more material around its perimeter. Together, these two added details of the Boss bulkhead D0VE blocks (the additional main webbing material and additional main saddle material) make 4-bolting the number 1 main of the D0VE block (with Boss bulkheads) more inviting and also improves structural integrity in both the main saddle and 4-bolt main cap securing at the cylinder block.





What's the advantage? For people running passenger car blocks at the lower horsepower levels that most use them, it might not offer any measurable benefit. But for higher horsepower applications the Boss bulkhead feature might be sought after by those who run a Roots-type blower which has its drive belt tugging on the crankshaft snout (and thusly, the number 1 main saddle) and/or who want to 4-bolt the number 1 main cap. Or, it might be sought after by those who's power take-off is at the snout instead of the flywheel, such as a snout-driven v-drive speed boat or some other application.

How can you identify whether an fully assembled 429/460 engine with a D0VE-A block has the Boss bulkhead feature or not? There is one external feature that denotes a D0VE-A block that has the Boss bulkheads, and that is the "A" on the raised square pad located at the front of the driver's side cylinder bank:



Please note that while all "A" marked blocks have Boss 429 bulkheads, there are also Boss 429 bulkhead D0VE blocks that don't have the "A" at the front of the block. We have seen them both ways (with and without the "A"). What this means is that if you are scouring a junk yard and find an assembled engine that has a D0VE-A block with the "A" on the raised square pad, you've just found yourself a D0VE-A block with a Boss 429 bulkhead. If the "A" is not there, then it may or may not have the Boss bulkhead (engine disassembly is required to visually verify the existence of the Boss bulkhead features). The "A" is basically a guarantee that the Boss bulkhead feature is there.

Paul
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File Type: jpg BossBulkheadBlock.jpg (55.0 KB, 797 views)
File Type: jpg BossBulkhead_ID.jpg (65.7 KB, 765 views)

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Thank you Paul. Very good information!
Rob

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 02:15 PM
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Cool

Great share Paul. Informative as usual.



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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 02:26 PM
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Cool

I have an example at the shop that does not have the A cast in the drivers side.
This came out of a 1970 ford thunderbird.





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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 03:26 PM
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I've seen guys pay a lot of extra $$$ for the "A". Having looked at enough D0VE-A blocks over the years I really don't see much value in a D0VE-A block with the boss bulkheads unless you actually intend to 4-bolt the #1 main. Main value IMO of a D0VE-A block period is easier to add 4 bolt mains and a bit more meat in the webbing in the places that matter for a splayed 4 bolt cap.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:00 PM
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Be sure to check with your local machine shop, as some of them will have D0VE blocks in their core yards. (and usually "tons" of C8/C9/D0VE heads as well)

As I have noted, while working in the industry, the D9TE blocks are the sought after blocks, as the vast majority of the rebuilt engine requests are for the late casting applications.

Most of (but, not all of these shops will sell you these D0VE cores cheaply if they aren't aware of their Ford castings. A lot of these earlier castings are sitting-rusting-behind the later castings.

1967 Mustang coupe, Mustang II front suspension. W/RV camed, D3VE headed, 460/C6 (soon to be 557 CID w/ported police interceptor heads) out of the box BBC headers(with homemade steel adapters)

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp40 View Post
Be sure to check with your local machine shop, as some of them will have D0VE blocks in their core yards. (and usually "tons" of C8/C9/D0VE heads as well)

As I have noted, while working in the industry, the D9TE blocks are the sought after blocks, as the vast majority of the rebuilt engine requests are for the late casting applications.

Most of (but, not all of these shops will sell you these D0VE cores cheaply if they aren't aware of their Ford castings. A lot of these earlier castings are sitting-rusting-behind the later castings.
given that the majority of remans in our area are for truck applications that are internally balanced that is no great surprise however the late external balance cranks will easily fit in an early block but not vice versa...

The longer cylinders are great for the 4.5" stroker combos...

S

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mad Porter View Post
given that the majority of remans in our area are for truck applications that are internally balanced that is no great surprise however the late external balance cranks will easily fit in an early block but not vice versa...

The longer cylinders are great for the 4.5" stroker combos...

S
Yep.

The vast majority of the 385 series sales in my area, are comprised of the the 1976 and later engines. The average machine shops that have core yards are usually interested in the "late" castings as the vast majority of the customers seem to want stock rebuilds. (some with mild "RV" cams)

Now, the average person(s) will call the shops and ask for more than a standard rebuild. But, the salesman will usually try hard to quash their desires, as the "warranty" quotation usually suffices. In the world of most rebuilder shops the best that most customers will get is a RV cam and a port match if they are insistent.

1967 Mustang coupe, Mustang II front suspension. W/RV camed, D3VE headed, 460/C6 (soon to be 557 CID w/ported police interceptor heads) out of the box BBC headers(with homemade steel adapters)

Shocktower removal enthusiast.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 09:21 PM
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So the D0VE-A block with the Boss bulkheads is sort of a hybrid type of beast.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 09:48 PM
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I have an original numbers match boss 429 mustang with the "A" cast in the front of the block.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp40 View Post
Yep.

The vast majority of the 385 series sales in my area, are comprised of the the 1976 and later engines. The average machine shops that have core yards are usually interested in the "late" castings as the vast majority of the customers seem to want stock rebuilds. (some with mild "RV" cams)

Now, the average person(s) will call the shops and ask for more than a standard rebuild. But, the salesman will usually try hard to quash their desires, as the "warranty" quotation usually suffices. In the world of most rebuilder shops the best that most customers will get is a RV cam and a port match if they are insistent.

Where in WA state?

Tacoma here...


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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 11:56 PM
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I have an original engine scj ranchero with a four bolt dove block as well as the raised "a" on the front of the block and was wondering if these boss bulkhead blocks were available in the two bolt main version of the dove block as well?
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp40 View Post
As I have noted, while working in the industry, the D9TE blocks are the sought after blocks, as the vast majority of the rebuilt engine requests are for the late casting applications.
If I correctly understand the point being made, then it makes no sense. "Requests for the late model casting applications" means that any 429/460 passenger car block may be used, not just the D9TE block. For example, I have an F250 that came with an OEM D9TE eXternal balance engine. It has been fully rebuilt as an OEM external balance engine using a D1VE block. The "discrepancy" comes with the opposite scenario...but even that fitment is possible with a little clearancing of a couple of parts.

But I digress; the quoted post isn't even relative to the topic of this thread.

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Last edited by Paul Kane; 11-03-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary o View Post
I have an original engine scj ranchero with a four bolt dove block as well as the raised "a" on the front of the block and was wondering if these boss bulkhead blocks were available in the two bolt main version of the dove block as well?
gary o, it has been my personal experience that the odds of coming across a Boss bulkhead block is far more likely with the factory 2-bolt D0VE blocks than it is with the factory 4-bolt D0VE blocks. Why? Because the 2-bolt D0VE blocks were cast in anticipation of the 1970 model year, which means that many 2-Bolt D0VE blocks were cast in 1969 which more closely correlates with when most C9AE Boss blocks were cast--hence the use of the Boss pattern bulkheads on the D0VE patterns.

On the other hand, the factory 4-bolt D0VE blocks were used mostly in the 1971 (SCJ) and 1972 (PI) model years which is long after Boss block production had ceased. And so it seems that a lower percentage of factory 4-bolt D0VE blocks (that were 4-bolted later in production) were likely to have started with 2-bolt D0VE remainders from the earlier, "simultaneous production period" of the Boss and D0VE blocks. That's my theory anyway, and my observations of which D0VE blocks are Boss bulkheaded seems to support this--of all the D0VE blocks I have inspected (dozens and dozens), most of the Boss bulkhead blocks have 1969 date codes or very early 1970 date codes. And the percentage of factory 4-bolt D0VE blocks that have the Boss bulkhead feature seem to be far less than the 2-bolts.

So that's a neat little anomaly you have there.

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Last edited by Paul Kane; 11-03-2012 at 12:42 AM.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TorinoStyle2 View Post
So the D0VE-A block with the Boss bulkheads is sort of a hybrid type of beast.
I don't know that I would go so far as to call it a true hybrid, although I do understand what you are saying. It is still a passenger car block, does not have a 4-bolted #1 main, does not have the Boss oiling system, etc. But yeah, it's got a little more material for those very few who are executing builds that might benefit from the noted features.

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Last edited by Paul Kane; 11-05-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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