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  • #16
    Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
    Henry, you're beginning to find out how hard this engine is to properly overhaul.
    HAHA!! I'm still trying to figure out how I got from a midrange stumble to needing a total rebuild??

    Just stumbled on this.

    "Important News: For those of you who absolutely must have the "WEDGE" design -
    We are currently working to develop and manufacture the correct piston design in .000 , .020, and .040
    It's about 4 months out from delivery should everything go well. Watch this listing for more news.
    Expect cost to be about $1000 per set."

    We'll see I guess. If it pans out, might buy a set just to have them.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1958-1959-19...1VvU5m&vxp=mtr
    Last edited by OX1; January 5th, 2017, 06:03 PM.
    59-430-HT

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    • #17
      Henry, that find is rare, indeed. Jump on it but don't get the wrong size. If you're not familiar with how this works, here's the procedure:
      Bring your block to the engine machine shop who will do the boring. Ask them to measure the bores so you know which size pistons to buy.

      This is important... Buy the pistons first, then let the machine shop bore and hone your cylinders to the size of the new pistons. At Ford, we BRUSH our bores to the size of the pistons after honing.

      I can't stress enough about the importance of cylinder cross-hatch. A smooth bore is an oil burner because rings hydroplane over the oil film. Crosshatch acts like grooves in the road on a rainy day. A better ring seal is formed and oil is controlled. Honing leaves sharp edges. Brushing will smooth those edges and it dramatically reduces break-in. BTW, we use Moly rings at Ford. I suggest you use them too.

      Find out what alloy the new pistons will be made from. I'm hoping they will be hypereutectic (which are still cast pistons).

      Carl, I cannot imagine pounding sleeves into a bore that resembles a balogna sliced on an angle. At Ford, we heat our sleeves before cramming them into aluminum blocks. We don't have much time before the aluminum block sucks all the heat away from the sleeve so it's a quick 'one shot' deal with no second chance. The difference is, our blocks are cut square. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
        Henry, that find is rare, indeed. Jump on it but don't get the wrong size.
        If I had to do it, I would probably just get a stroker shortblock. I can't imagine a lower compression,
        wrong piston, incorrect quench, 545 cube engine would be all that much less HP over a moderately
        worn out (or not 100% factory correct rebuild) 430.

        These pistons do look like they have some "step" in them, but that may just be the highest compression,
        almost dome-like, that would be way too high for pump gas.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/MEL-Mercury-...RYSdau&vxp=mtr

        I'm not against paying "way too much" to have certain things done sometimes.
        Occasionally, it is worth it to pay a lot for a certain guys experience, and I'm fine with that.
        59-430-HT

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post

          Ford's 430 MEL engine was the only block with the decks milled on an angle. No other Ford engine before or since used that design. Oddly enough, the Chevy 409 was in the exact same boat. I believe the Engine Engineers went to the same schools, here in Detroit but it was an inferior design and quickly dropped by both corporations.
          FE engines and MEL engines were worlds apart and NOT cut from the same anything. - Dave
          I and perhaps others are interested in your understanding of in what manor the combustion chamber and resulting engineering requirements is of an "inferior design", to what? And please don't say "if it were so good everybody would be doing it", and also whether that actually explains why it was (keep it period) not a more commonly adopted design in this country?

          As far as the last statement, well, maybe I should have said: with "accurate" observation, or if "experienced" working on (particularly machining), or "truly" (vs. vaguely) familiar ...........

          Scott.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
            I and perhaps others are interested in your understanding of in what manor the combustion chamber and resulting engineering requirements is of an "inferior design", to what?...
            I am not an Engine Engineer so I leave that part to the fine men and women who actually ARE (like my sister). Even so, Engine Engineers do make mistakes. Ford's first attempt at producing an overhead valve engine was the Y-Block, in 1954. The engine had many design flaws and it was quickly replaced by the FE. That doesn't mean Ford stopped producing the Y, because tooling and development costs are sky-high. FEs were quickly designed and installed in 1958 T-birds while trucks still used the 'Y' through 1964. The 312 'Y' was Ford's Police Interceptor engine in '57 but in '58, the FE suddenly became Ford's Police Interceptor because it was a superior engine, by Ford's standards, not by mine.

            Along these same lines, Ford engineered, produced, then abandoned the MEL engines with tapered decks. If the design were superior, Moody would not have dropped his winning Bulldozer in favor of the smaller FE. Ford would have also made more displacement choices with the same design, but no. 430 cubes sounds great but Ford invested their engineering changes into the FE (with many upgrades and displacement choices), not the MEL. To answer your question directly, I compare the 430 design against all other Ford engine designs. Then I let the industry's history speak for itself in a test of time.

            So then, Ford had two obsolete engines, the 'Y' and the MEL. Tooling for the Y went from Dearborn Engine Plant to Australia and South America. Tooling for the MEL simply died. DEP produced millions of FEs, and Ford installed them in ALL car and truck lines.

            Yes, Ford developed the FE to produce more HP than the MEL, mostly because the engine design was superior. This is evidenced in both GM and Ford by the fact that the ten-degree deck engine was never produced again and very few vendors support them.

            One simple engine advancement developed thinner rings set closer to the piston's top, ala Mustang SBF pistons (and all modern engines). That's impossible to achieve in a slant bore design.

            Originally posted by OX1 View Post
            If I had to do it, I would probably just get a stroker shortblock. I can't imagine a lower compression,
            wrong piston, incorrect quench, 545 cube engine would be all that much less HP over a moderately worn out (or not 100% factory correct rebuild) 430.

            These pistons do look like they have some "step" in them, but that may just be the highest compression, almost dome-like, that would be way too high for pump gas...
            A 'stroker' is not 'factory correct' but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Be very cautious with factory designs of the day because they were designed for liquids that are no longer available. That makes a '100% factory correct' engine useless for today's common service.

            93-octane gasohol HAS the power to produce 500-HP. It's in there but your engine must unleash it. EPA and CAFE standards of the day forced Ford to DE-tune 460s. For example, factory 460 engines have their cam advanced 15 degrees. By correcting this simple cam/crank timing, the 460 goes from being a real 'dog' to waking up with new-found ponies, using the exact same timing set and burning the same fuel.

            ANY engine designed to run gasoline must be altered if you burn gasohol (pump gas). That means serious head work, including stainless valves and hardened exhaust valve seats, regardless of compression ratios, piston design or quench. I did it with my 'Y' and you can do it with your MEL but both engines end up still being cast iron with lots of investment but very little resale value. A used set of aluminum heads (like for an FE) fetch a grand IF you can find a set. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            From: Royal Oak, Michigan

            Comment


            • #21
              Understood, was mostly referring to a "correct" wedged piston 430 vs a 550 cube engine (no matter what piston was in it).

              I would not care if it made 300 HP, just the massive low end torque of 550 cubes would be more fun than 500 HP.

              Anyway, great conversation, but I'm going to check my timing/distr/chain before we go straight to the $6000 stroker.


              Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
              A 'stroker' is not 'factory correct' but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Be very cautious with factory designs of the day because they were designed for liquids that are no longer available. That makes a '100% factory correct' engine useless for today's common service.

              93-octane gasohol HAS the power to produce 500-HP. It's in there but your engine must unleash it. EPA and CAFE standards of the day forced Ford to DE-tune 460s. For example, factory 460 engines have their cam advanced 15 degrees. By correcting this simple cam/crank timing, the 460 goes from being a real 'dog' to waking up with new-found ponies, using the exact same timing set and burning the same fuel.

              ANY engine designed to run gasoline must be altered if you burn gasohol (pump gas). That means serious head work, including stainless valves and hardened exhaust valve seats, regardless of compression ratios, piston design or quench. I did it with my 'Y' and you can do it with your MEL but both engines end up still being cast iron with lots of investment but very little resale value. A used set of aluminum heads (like for an FE) fetch a grand IF you can find a set. - Dave
              59-430-HT

              Comment


              • #22
                I hardly think the "Y" block was, or should be historical (as far as engine designs are concerned) considered riddled with many flaws; although it was limited by the intentions and technology of the period, which may appear as flawed, latter in time; nor was it replaced by the FE.

                I believe the"Y" block did replace the Flathead, and therefor was constructed, and limited by such engineering, to fill the 250-300 cubic inch realm. But Ford also needed an engine in the 350-400 cubic inch range, hence introduction of the FE; both engines being available, sometimes concurrently, where applicable, based on capacities (police cars wanting for more capacity got FE's), and option values.

                The MEL series production volumes were obviously limited due to its' intended realm, 400+ cubic inch applications, such as big expensive "land yachts" of Mercury, Edsel and Lincoln, and was not available to Ford buyers (except T-Birds). This was obviously is a much smaller market segment than less than 400 cubic inch market. Therefore just comparing production volumes, or the fact that the FE linage has had many variations, may lead to false conclusions (again: just because it's popular, doesn't make it right or "superior").

                As far as Holman & Moody (and others) are concerned, they went were the money was; and as I said previously, Ford felt the investment in racing was better spent on Ford brand vehicles vs. Mercury or Lincoln name plates, hence the FE 390HP, 406 and 427 (in it's many incarnations).

                BTW, the top of the deck is perhaps slopped, but the pistons still travel square (relatively) in the bore (just like the SBF); any appropriate (for the piston) ring dimension can be used with corresponding results.

                Scott.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
                  I hardly think the "Y" block was, or should be historical (as far as engine designs are concerned) considered riddled with many flaws; although it was limited by the intentions and technology of the period, which may appear as flawed, latter in time; nor was it replaced by the FE.
                  Really? Ford's first overhead valve engine wasn't historic? By definition, the FE IS a re-engineered Y-Block. None of the parts interchange between both engines so yes, the FE quickly replaced the 'Y' and Ford did NO further developments to the 'Y' past the 312 version. Scott, you need to do a bit more research.

                  Ford dropped the 239 and 256 'Ys' early. The 272, 292, 312 didn't last long in Ford Cars either (by comparison to FEs). Classic T-Birds lived during a huge engineering transitional period at Ford. Thunderbird only used Y-Blocks for their first three years. The '55 'Bird had a six-volt Positive Ground system. The '56 'Bird was 12 volt neg gnd and the gauges were also 12-volt. '57 'Birds were the first to use CVRs with six-volt gauges. This was the only car Ford offered a supercharger in a Y-Block. "The FE was introduced to replace the short-lived Ford Y-block engine, which American cars and trucks were outgrowing." Early FE offerings that resembled solid lifter 'Y' engines were quickly dropped or revamped like the 332 and 352. Even so, FE engines had a long run from 1958-1976. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                  Comment

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