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I spend quite a bit of time on Ford Truck forums, but I'm new to this one so I'll start by introducing myself.

My name is Chad. I live in Atlanta. I have no real background in auto mechanics but I've been trying to grow my automotive knowledge by working hands-on. For the last 4 years I've been restoring and modifying a 1984 Bronco XLT with a 351W and 4sp manual. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me and I have met some of the greatest people along the way.

Next I want to learn about engines. I intend to do that by restoring and installing a BBF in the Bronco. The goal is a respectful restoration paying homage to the original 460 with minor improvements in performance. I do not want a fire-breather; 400ish hp is plenty. Weight is also not a huge factor.

I've done some research on the 460 blocks and heads, the 429 versions, and some of the changes over the years and I know just enough now to be dangerous. I feel like the most worthwhile starting place would be an original long block from a 460 68-70 (C8, C9 or D0) car (not truck). So my first question to all of you is do you agree that's a good place to start for a restoration?

I'm starting to look at examples for sale and, besides the castings, I'm not sure what to look for in a restoration candidate. I hear stories like, "it ran fine when I took it out and didn't burn oil" or "I took it out years ago and it's been sitting in storage". Obviously it's impossible to verify the history of an engine and you never really know what you're going to get when you disassemble it, but I'm sure there's tips and tricks for how to visually assess an old 460 and I'd love to hear some from those that do it regularly. What do you look for? What indicates extreme use or poor maintenance? Is it realistic to try to hope for a block that just needs to be honed and not bored? Are there things to look for that show if the engine has ever been taken apart before or remaned? Any way to tell from the outside if it's 2 or 4 bolt main? Any visual distinctions on those early blocks that makes one more valuable or rare than another (other than castings)?

I will gladly take any and all advice you care to give me.

Thanks all!!!
 

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The best way is to find a running engine still in the vehicle so you can do a compression test and see what the oil pressure is. Those are the two most important factors in predicting the life of a used motor. They are not a guarantee however. I wouldn't wory about the year so much. 66-87 just find the best long block you can.
 

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I've had great luck with older motor home motors.Most of the time they are junked because of non repairable water damage or other reasons besides engine failure.Not that easy to extract ,though,if you have to do it...which is usually the case.
 
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