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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, here's the situation. I have a 1973 429, D1VE block, D3VE heads. All appears stock except for the carb and ignition coil. Carb is a 700 Holley DP, coil is an Accel street coil of some kind, probly a 45k or so I'd guess.

The engine runs very well aside from burning oil. It huffs pretty good out of the passenger side on start up, and when the engine is hot. Assuming the valve guide seals are shot?
Sounds stock going by the idle, so if there is a cam in it I believe it is a very mild one. Anyways, I've began making up a list of light performance upgrades I want to buy. Not because it's running badly, but I believe it needs a head rebuild anyways. Now I am looking at possibly buying a set of D0VE cleaned and tested for cracks, with build sheet, for $200. Not sure if they are complete or not yet, waiting on the answer to that question.

No matter what head I decide to go with, They are going to get ported and in the case of the D3 ones, rebuilt. I'm thinking of running a Weiand Dual plane or an Offy Port O Sonic dual plane. Either of those good? Hood clearance issues? (Engine is in a 64 Galaxie). Where I'm really stuck is the cam. Been looking at the Edelbrock 2167, Comp Cams Thumper CL34-600-5, and the Lunati Voodoo 61600LK. Can I run any of these cams without changing the stock rocker arms and springs? Any other mods needed to run .490-.520 lift on either head? Any of these cams recommended?

Any mod suggestions are very appreciated! This is my first 385 engine, and I want it to be a good experience modding it!
 

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IF a 429 get the DOVE heads for the comp. ratio increace . Cam's you listed , I don't look up the specs . Pick the one you want , then ask the head porter/rebuilder if if will work with close to stock parts .

DIY on the head work , then do the checking on what fits
 

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Those are 460 casting numbers. Have you had the heads off? 460 pistons have a big oval dish in the tops. I wouldn't spend money porting the D3VE heads when much better aftermarket heads are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nah, Haven't had the heads off yet, but I'm almost positive it is a 429. I thought the casting numbers where the same between the two? Same basic engine, except for the crank and pistons isn't it? All I know is the engine and tranny came out of a 73 T Bird, so I suppose it could be a 460, but it shouldn't matter for top end and bolt on mods, should it? I don't plan on messing with the lower end yet anyways.

I've though about aftermarket heads, but I'm trying for a budget build here. I don't want to spend $2,000 on just the heads when I could use that money for cam, mild headwork, headers, and an intake instead. I'm not an expert on these engines, but I'd rather go with more small mods that just heads and call it done. I've heard that ported D3's flow fairly well.. Not as good as Edelbrocks or others, but enough for about 300hp or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
IF a 429 get the DOVE heads for the comp. ratio increace . Cam's you listed , I don't look up the specs . Pick the one you want , then ask the head porter/rebuilder if if will work with close to stock parts .

DIY on the head work , then do the checking on what fits


Well, they're all lower amounts of lift, really quite mild cams. The Lunati has the most lift, at .503/.535. The Comp Thumper is .506/.493. And the Edelbrock is .460/.480. Not sure if any of these will work with stock rockers and springs or what mods need to be done, but I'm leaning towards the Thumper. I've heard the sound they create at idle is just mean as hell:)
 

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Well, they're all lower amounts of lift, really quite mild cams. The Lunati has the most lift, at .503/.535. The Comp Thumper is .506/.493. And the Edelbrock is .460/.480. Not sure if any of these will work with stock rockers and springs or what mods need to be done, but I'm leaning towards the Thumper. I've heard the sound they create at idle is just mean as hell:)
the .503 and under will work with oem springs

looking for Just sound , then low c/r will be fine . Don't look for performance . you'll have a great parking lot queen
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
the .503 and under will work with oem springs

looking for Just sound , then low c/r will be fine . Don't look for performance . you'll have a great parking lot queen
So, the Edelbrock one will work with the engine just the way it is. But if I go with the Lunati, I will have to change out the springs cuz it's lift is .535 on the exhaust. What about the rocker arms? Say I go with the Lunati, what sould I have to change except for the springs if anything? Don't really want a lot queen. Kinda a mix of both really. Road able so I can drive it around as much as i want, but some increase in power is always nice!
 

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So, the Edelbrock one will work with the engine just the way it is. But if I go with the Lunati, I will have to change out the springs cuz it's lift is .535 on the exhaust. What about the rocker arms? Say I go with the Lunati, what sould I have to change except for the springs if anything? Don't really want a lot queen. Kinda a mix of both really. Road able so I can drive it around as much as i want, but some increase in power is always nice!
stock rockers can be used .
best way to cut cost , leave it all stock

do it right with spring and retainers/keepers . must check for seal to retainer clearance

btw lift is a small part of the cam specs , that is for the correct cam to match the end use of the ride
 

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Discussion Starter #9
stock rockers can be used .
best way to cut cost , leave it all stock

do it right with spring and retainers/keepers . must check for seal to retainer clearance

btw lift is a small part of the cam specs , that is for the correct cam to match the end use of the ride
Ok, that makes sense. So I've gotta make sure the duration, lobe profile, etc. all lines up too huh?
Well, mostly what I am looking for is to extract as much streetable power as possible for minimal money. So, the type of cam I'd like to go with is something that will allow for a decent driving street rod (don't really want a tame granny cruiser/trailer queen, but I don't want a strip machine either). The engine is ballsy, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it has a lot of potential waiting to be unleashed:)

I do plan to mildly port the stock heads, not gonna mess with the lower end quite yet, so comp ratio will remain low (Haven't tested it yet but I'm assuming it's around 8.0 to 8.5-1). I also plan on a good intake manifold, and a decent set of headers to replace those crap iron manifolds too. That's about all I'm looking at doing initially. Later on, with a bit more cash saved, I'll dig into the lower end and probably replace the heads with a set of good aluminum ones, but that's a ways off.
I figure if I have the heads worked and build it like I want to for now, I can always change it later and sell the stuff on it if need be and buy the new parts. Or even buy another 429/460 for a stroker mill and work on it over time, then drop that in the car. But for now, this engine with minor mods will do just fine:tup: I drive the car quite often in the summer, almost a daily driver. Another thing worth noting is that it has no emissions equipment on it and also has no power equipment(power steering, A/C, power brakes). So I'm guessing vacuum won't be much of a factor except just to keep it running decently in traffic.??

I guess what I'm asking is just for some advice and any info I can get.
Any suggested parts for a mild street build like I want to do? Anybody have any experiences with certain brands good or bad? Certain things to look out for? Expected HP gains with certain combos?
The combo I'm leaning toward is the Lunati cam I listed, a Weiand Stealth dual plane, Light head porting, and some headers of some kind.
 

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cut right to the money you will spend and what work your able to do
forgot , thinking what what is , best knowing that its a fact
 

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I had a 70 429 bored .030 over with flat tops. All I did was put a good distributor on it, wires, Performer RPM intake, a 750 Holley and a good flowing exhaust system. It was in a Ranchero GT with a top loader and 3.73 gears. It ran really, really well. I had trouble running 93 octane without retarding the timing. Octane booster crapped up the spark plugs but I ran it quite a bit.

Before you buy some stuff you need to pull the heads and see what pistons you have so you can calculate your compression ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had a 70 429 bored .030 over with flat tops. All I did was put a good distributor on it, wires, Performer RPM intake, a 750 Holley and a good flowing exhaust system. It was in a Ranchero GT with a top loader and 3.73 gears. It ran really, really well. I had trouble running 93 octane without retarding the timing. Octane booster crapped up the spark plugs but I ran it quite a bit.

Before you buy some stuff you need to pull the heads and see what pistons you have so you can calculate your compression ratio.

Well I bought a compression tester a week or so ago, just haven't had the time to get out there and test it. With the D3 heads if it's high I know i have flat tops. The only thing I won't know is if it's bored at all. Mine runs great too, aside from the oil burn off out the right bank... not really sure why it does that but I'm guessing its the valve guide seals. When it gets up to running temp (180 degrees) it starts huffing pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
cut right to the money you will spend and what work your able to do
forgot , thinking what what is , best knowing that its a fact
Well, I'd love to keep it below $1000 for now, but I'm not sure that's possible to do everything I want. Don't want to go above $1500, that's my max basically. Not really shooting for hp numbers but it'd be nice to get mid to high 300's at the crank. Not really wanting to tear into the lower end yet either.
 

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Well, I'd love to keep it below $1000 for now, but I'm not sure that's possible to do everything I want. Don't want to go above $1500, that's my max basically. Not really shooting for hp numbers but it'd be nice to get mid to high 300's at the crank. Not really wanting to tear into the lower end yet either.
know what the monet limit is , but not work you can perform.

can you port the heads and do the valve job ? one of the best ways to lose HP is port a head wrong .just make the ports bigger doesnt mean more power
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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know what the monet limit is , but not work you can perform.

can you port the heads and do the valve job ? one of the best ways to lose HP is port a head wrong .just make the ports bigger doesnt mean more power
Oh crap, my bad lol I forgot that part:eek: I'm sure I could port them, but I'd feel wayyy more comfortable just letting a shop do that instead of screwing it up and needing new heads lol. I'm basically a back yard mechanic, I can do some work myself, but there are some things I've never done before, such as changing out a cam. So the porting/freshening of the heads and cam install will probably be done at a speed shop. But any bolt on stuff I can do myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Also, I have run across a set of complete, unmolested, reman D3VE heads. Checked for cracks, no heli-coil. Comes with comp cams valve springs, locks, and retainers installed and stock valves. The seller wants $255 plus shipping for them. Is this a normal price range for these? With the reman heads all I'd have to do is have them ported, so that's why I'm thinking of these. I'm positive mine are in need of a rebuild anyways. Other Iron heads are pretty much out of the question as all the ones I've found the sellers want ridiculous amounts of money for them. $900 or so for PI heads and $500-$600 for D0VE and earlier.
 

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Also, I have run across a set of complete, unmolested, reman D3VE heads. Checked for cracks, no heli-coil. Comes with comp cams valve springs, locks, and retainers installed and stock valves. The seller wants $255 plus shipping for them. Is this a normal price range for these? With the reman heads all I'd have to do is have them ported, so that's why I'm thinking of these. I'm positive mine are in need of a rebuild anyways. Other Iron heads are pretty much out of the question as all the ones I've found the sellers want ridiculous amounts of money for them. $900 or so for PI heads and $500-$600 for D0VE and earlier.
know what they say ... you get what you pay for .
sending you a PM
 

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Discussion Starter #18
know what they say ... you get what you pay for .
sending you a PM
This is true! I know the D3 heads are lacking in many ways over the older castings, but they are by far more plentiful and less expensive. And even though the chambers are bigger, and flow is worse, They still have the same chamber shape and are workable (correct me if I'm wrong lol). By the way, I'm curious, are the 429/460 thunderjet heads wedge type chambers? They sure look like it. Just wondering.

I've heard that the D0VE castings are hands down the best iron thunderjet heads you can get (Not including the PI heads). Just seem to be hard to find:( I really want to stick with iron for now so my only options are to either find a set of earlier castings, replace mine with equivalent ones, or freshen mine up and port em out. Even with a rebuild and porting I know the price won't even come close to that of a good set of aluminum heads. Unfortunately, neither will the potential power output of my engine lol. But I'm cool with that.

But I want to get 350 hp at the flywheel minimum out of my combo. I think that's a realistic goal for a budget build. Anybody else got any advice or combos? The more opinions I get, the better!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had a 70 429 bored .030 over with flat tops. All I did was put a good distributor on it, wires, Performer RPM intake, a 750 Holley and a good flowing exhaust system. It was in a Ranchero GT with a top loader and 3.73 gears. It ran really, really well. I had trouble running 93 octane without retarding the timing. Octane booster crapped up the spark plugs but I ran it quite a bit.

Before you buy some stuff you need to pull the heads and see what pistons you have so you can calculate your compression ratio.
Sounds like a good combo ya had there, aside from it not liking 93 octane lol. That's what I want, really. A good running, reliable, street rod. I plan to test the comp ratio this weekend. That will also tell me if I have ring issues. If so, I have a bit more to work on lol. I'll post the results when I do it so everyone can weigh in on possible combos.

By the way, nice Stang!
 
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