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Old 11-13-2011, 07:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fuel Efficient 460?

I have my 390 engine in the shop right now trying to figure out why it wont start and if the cost get really high i have 2 options. 1.Buy another engine and possibly another tranny. 2.My grandfather has a 460 w/tanny with 30,000 miles on it that he'll let me have if i want it. The thing is, im building this car as a daily driver so i need to get decent mileage. I'm not expecting to get 22mpg with a big block engine, but would it be possible to build a 460 to get around 14-15mpg? The 460 puts out a lot of torque at low rpms and the car is light for this engine so i think its possible. Im willing to do machine work and use mods like cold air intakes, but no EFI, thats out of my price range.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

my 69 429 (10.5~11:1) would get 17 mpg if you kept your foot out of it.
I had a 69 396 chevy (9:1) in a 81 dodge pickup, it averaged 17, drove that as my dd from '82 to '93. funny thing was I bought a 93 f150 w/300 I6, it only got 18 mpg.

problem you'll find with most 460s out there is 72-up were pathetically low compression- low as 7.6:1 if I remember right, only put out like 200 hp, and they were notorious for crappy mileage. if its a 68-71, it will be closer to 10:1 compression, and 370 hp- but then too, will require 93 octane+
guy I worked with had a late 70's 460 4x4 f250, 6-8 mpg highway- think that was the absolute worst mileage ive ever heard of...

my dream is to put a complete junkyard IFI/ignition setup off a 2005+ mustang on my 429...think with the new knock sensors the high compression can survive on todays gas- might need pistons with better quench distance, and making the hydraulic cam advance setup fit behind the water pump could get interesting, as would adding the extra butterflies to the intake manifold at the ports/adapting the mustang CMCC servo, adapting the crank trigger for the misfire detection in the pan or timing cover... but think it would be a fun project and dont think theres any reason -other than time- not to try it
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

The 460 is free?

You're trying to do this project on the cheap... if you want to get the car going and start driving it, then put the 460 in. You can also consider hunting around locally for a used 5.0 or 4.6 with an overdrive transmission (I would do that over the 460).

Do you drive a lot as it is? It's one thing if you had a long commute, but the 460 will get you to school and back just fine. Of course, I don't know what would be needed to get the 460/tranny in your car.

If it was me, I'd find out for sure why the 390 won't start. I'd rather have the factory motor (or one that was a factory option) than something different, and if I was going to go the non-factory route, I'd look for a more modern motor.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

While I have no issues with going 460 and cheap EFI or at least a WBO2 to get a sharp tune, I agree that a good mechanic should easily and cheaply find the issues with the 390 and go from there. The 390 should get mid to high teens for mileage if properly tuned and reasonably driven. You want decent mileage, but may spend all the difference getting the 460 to fit and work right. You can buy a lot of gas for the cost of a few conversion parts and labor.

I understand the reaction to EFI, but consider, it can cost from very little to under $500 for a fully tunable system, and you'll save more than the cost in a year. My work truck improved about 38% in mileage with fuel and ignition control, saving $900 in just the first year when gas was $3 a gallon. Note that I would only consider the EFI option if you can do DIY, or you're at the mercy of mechanics anyway. In that case you'll lose the savings in outsourced labor, or worse if it's poor outsource labor.

David
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

I think im going to go with the 460, the guy hasent figured out the main cause of the problem but he said im going to need new valve guides soon and possibly new valves as well. Will a 460 bolt up to an FE trans?
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

I thought you had the heads/valves reworked?
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanSilas View Post
Will a 460 bolt up to an FE trans?
No.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ford4v429 View Post
my 69 429 (10.5~11:1) would get 17 mpg if you kept your foot out of it.

problem you'll find with most 460s out there is 72-up were pathetically low compression- low as 7.6:1 if I remember right, only put out like 200 hp, and they were notorious for crappy mileage. if its a 68-71, it will be closer to 10:1 compression, and 370 hp-
+1.....I had a 69 thunderjet in an 82 F100....It was the two barrel version(10.5:1 compression) but I swapped on a mid 70s 460 carb and 4V intake from a mid 70s lincoln..I also put on a set of headers and ground the bump out of the exhaust port..Other than that it was completely stock..I was able to get 17mpg highway cruising with that setup (C-6 and 2.75 rear gear)...It would ping very easily and was kinda gutless with that stock carb though..I installed a new holley 750 and the power increase was massive and the pinging went away...MPG dropped to between 12 and 14 but it was worth it....I think with proper tuning and an overdrive setup you could probably get low 20s with the right setup..
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

You'll have ten times the amount of time and as much money invested in the project if you install the 460. (Exhaust system, engine mounts, transmission crossmember, shortened driveshaft, transmission linkage, different radiator, different transmission coolant lines, different vacuum system, throttle control etc. etc. etc. Get my drift.)
That's counting getting a 390 engine completely rebuilt. Good gas mileage comes from gearing, not less horsepower. Jim
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

I've decided to go with the 460. I'm going to have to have new piston rings, valves, valve guides, and pushrods for the 390. The 460 is in very good shape, it only has 20,000 miles on it and if i can get it unstuck, it should crank right up. There was nothing wrong with the 460 when my grandfather pulled it, he just wanted to get rid of the motor home. As for the drive line and engine mounts, there is a place not too far from here that can shorten my driveline for $25-$65; and a freind of my father is a real 460 nut and has alot of spare parts he sells real cheap to people looking to build their first 460. It wont take near as much time or money to get the 460 going in my galaxie so im going with it. I may have a low buget, but i have the advantage of a really friendly, old community. So back to the topic at hand, I want ideas on how to get good gas milage out of this thing. The tranny is a 3-speed C6 (not sure if it has an overdrive), and since it came out of a motor home i believe it has a better cam, stronger crank, ect. and i think it has HEI on it but im not sure of that either. I'm going to get another look at the engine in a few days and try to get the rest of my questions on it answered.

P.S. The debate on 390 vs. 460 is over. Serious answers and suggestions only please. Thank you.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

Unstuck? Are you saying it won't turn over using a ratchet on the crank bolt? "Good" engines generally aren't "stuck".
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

Would any fuel injection components from a more modern 460? Or heck, besides the EFI, would any of the electronic ignition from a newer 460 work on that motor? I'm just thinking it might be easier to dial in an EFI motor for fuel mileage than one with a carburetor.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think the C6 had overdrive? I've also heard that you have to have a C6 from a car, not a truck- I don't know what the difference is?

Also... if your car has a 390 in it, shouldn't it already have a C6? What might need changed so you could use your existing tranny?

Sounds to me like you've got about 100 things to do before worrying about the fuel efficiency of the 460.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

No O/D on C-6, different bell housing bolt pattern, too.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

It looks like things are quickly getting complicated here...If the motor is "stuck" from sitting it may need some serious work to get it running regardless of how many miles are on it..Even if it does eventually turn over and run it may have damage due to rusty cylinder walls or rings depending on why it is stuck..It may even have to be rebuilt..
I think it would be pretty difficult to adapt an EFI system into your galaxie if the motor is indeed fuel injected in the motorhome..For your sake I hope it isn't as the late model EFI 460s were way down in power compared to the older late 60s and early 70s models....The C-6 is a 3 speed non overdrive trans as was mentioned..The trans from your 390 will not bolt up to the 460 so make sure you keep the trans from the motorhome..

Basically nothing between the 390 and 460 will interchange so be sure to get all of the brackets.pulleys etc from the motorhome....If you are swapping based on the thought that you have a mint low mileage 460 I would really check out that "stuck" engine before you get too far into this..I would hate to see you spend money on the swap parts only to find out the 460 is in no better or even worse shape than your 390...
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Last edited by frdnut; 11-16-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Fuel Efficient 460?

Many C6 trannys had GV overdrive. I was surprised at how common the C6 OD is, after seeing how many members here have them as a factory option on their cars. Very strong, too. Not so sure if a motorhome would have one though. Certainly easy to check, as it is rather obvious!

David
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