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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    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

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  • pbf777
    replied
    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.

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  • OX1
    replied
    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

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    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

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  • pbf777
    replied
    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.

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  • OX1
    replied
    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.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    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

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  • OX1
    replied
    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.

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  • partsetal
    replied
    Dave,
    One rebuild had to have one cyl sleeved, the other cyls had no taper, very little wear, so std used pistons reinstalled plus another good used selected for the sleeved cylinder. One rebuild was using the egge set, and the other was using some old stock Jahns pistons with the ledge. No real drama just some diligent searching.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Carl, where do you source 430 domed pistons?

    Henry, you're beginning to find out how hard this engine is to properly overhaul. Name-brand parts MUST be available for a quality overhaul, and why not? Other engines have great support.

    Unfortunately, the 430 is too rare for vendors to dedicate replacement parts shelf space. Every year, fewer are rebuilt.

    The short block kit you show is for a 350 Chevy. They have a disclaimer, "Engine kit image is for illustrative purposes only." For SIX HUNDRED bucks, they should show correct parts. These are not, and If I lived in Australia I would NOT take the chance. All these parts should normally cost half and then you are at their mercy regarding brands.

    Don't feel bad, 430 block thermostats cannot be found anywhere. No, the 'universal thermostat' you show will not work in a 430. Diverters are supposed to upset the coolant flow to make better contact with cylinder walls. They do not regulate engine heat. When original thermostats go bad the only choice is to do without. That's why it's widely accepted.

    "Domed pistons for the 430 MEL are 'custom made' only."
    Make no mistake, this doesn't mean they are available. It means, IF you can find a piston maker, he must have lead time to cast 430 domed pistons. Again, four are RH and four are LH. They must be large enough to fit a newly bored block. What's the cost? Contact the foundry.

    Building a 430 is so daunting, most rebuilders 'settle' for common flat top pistons that totally ruin the original compression ratio. Egge.com was a popular supplier of wrong parts that 'work' but now they don't touch 430s. My observation is, most 'rebuilt' 430 engines get sold, then the new owners ask why 400-HP just isn't there.

    I normally don't refer our members to another board but in your case, CLICK HERE. I wish my suggestions were more favorable but I am looking out for your best interest by steering you in the right direction. I still stick to my prior posts/advice. Bottom line is, it's your money and your car to do with what you please. Good luck. - Dave

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  • partsetal
    replied
    I've rebuilt 3-430's over the years and never had a problem finding parts. Most difficult were rocker arm shafts, camshafts, and cam bearings. These have all become available new in the past 5 years. Still elusive is the oil pump that has provisions for the crankcase mounted vacuum pump for the wipers. Melling has a pump available without this feature as previously noted. The oil/vacuum pump unit can be rebuilt/repaired if one has the knowledge/resources. The block thermostats are out there, but hard to find. They are not necessary but can be used for a period correct restoration. Machine work on the cylinder walls requires someone with experience on these or the 409. After a boring operation, the bowl (combustion chamber) must be contoured to transition to the new cylinder walls. My biggest challenge on the rebuilds was finding a good ring expander to accommodate the angled cylinders and combustion chamber.
    Carl

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  • OX1
    replied
    Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
    an oil pump for a 430, that would help too.
    This kit has a melling oil pump, can't be too tough to get by itself, but I didn't really look that hard.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lincoln-430-...-/151452050592

    Not sure if this is really a 430 thermostat (or the one you were thinking of), but that is what it says

    http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Shop/P...ing/122-4.html

    This guy claims do not replace the block thermostats, only water diverters, Comments??

    http://bigfancycar.blogspot.com/2014...gine-shop.html

    Post on here claims it is regularly done and no reported problems.
    In my case, this car does not go out under 60 degrees ever.
    Not too worried about warm up time if that is all they do.

    http://ford-mel-engine.com/viewtopic.php?f=75&p=5951

    After reading it again, it appears after 63, Ford didn't even use
    the head thermostats.

    Anyway, this is why I post questions, many times.
    These threads always snowball, forcing me to do
    more research and learn.
    Last edited by OX1; January 5th, 2017, 02:33 PM.

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  • OX1
    replied
    Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
    Let me know how that works out for you.
    Of the options you named, are any converted to run on modern liquids?
    When I built my Y-Block I knew a 351W engine would be far cheaper to build but I bit the bullet and did the overhaul anyway. I love the sound of a Y but it is only 300 cubes and not expected to perform miracles in a Galaxie. Looking back, I doubt I would do it again because the engine is all cast iron, the center exhaust ports are still next to each other and the lifters will always be solid. I did a ton of oil modifications, match-weighed piston/rod assemblies, balanced the crankshaft, retimed the camshaft, added a true roller timing set, and much more. In retrospect, I should have used the 351W and AOD. - Dave
    Well, you said pistons were available, just custom and ungodly $$$. The rest (bearings, rings, cam, chain, gaskets, oil pump) seem to be available.

    Obviously you have to be real careful on who you let machine block due to angled bores. That might be the hardest part in finding that one right guy.

    Anyway, that 460 I have started life as an 83, so ready for even reg unleaded I suspect. Would probably bump compression into the mid 9's and run 93 with it, if/ever.

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  • simplyconnected
    replied
    Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
    ...I agree that the FE receives more support today in the after-market than the MEL, but make no mistake, both are "dinosaurs", and if familiar with each, one realizes they are very much "cut from the same cloth"...
    Who is your best supplier for 430 MEL engine parts?
    Our members would love to have a good source for pistons as well. If you know where I can buy thermostats and an oil pump for a 430, that would help too.

    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.

    Fact is, many more 460s were produced than 430s.

    FE engines and MEL engines were worlds apart and NOT cut from the same anything. Y-Blocks also had a valley pan under the intake manifold before FEs were designed. - Dave

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  • pbf777
    replied
    Yes, the 430 is a unique engine and the top engine option for your car, adding value in many ways.

    And, like the 409 in a 1961 Chevrolet Impala, I would not replace it with a GM 350 because it's as common as dirt, it'll be cheaper to rebuild, any idiot is willing to work on it, and parts are everywhere (7-Eleven?).

    BTW, Edelbrock also makes aluminum heads for the GM "W" block, aka. 348/409s.

    A supercharged MEL-powered dragster won the 1959 NHRA Nationals Top Eliminator defeating the Chrysler "Hemi"s. This was the Nationals' first supercharged Top Eliminator winner in NHRA history.

    Also, Ford (w/ 430 equipped T-Birds) probably had the 1959 NASCAR Championship won, but chose to remove itself from racing mid year, honoring the Automotive Manufactures Association (AMA) ban (not so honored by others who may have benefited).

    If one compares the intake port dimensions of the 1958-59 MEL 430 and the 1964-66 FE 427 "Hi-Riser", I think you'll realize obvious similarities. Basically, it appears that someone was under the impression, "it worked in 1959, why not now" (1964), and it did! Also, keep in mind that the MEL intake manifold is separated/divorced or as Edelbrock terms an "Air-Gap" design, requiring a valley plate under it to seal the valley area of the crankcase. Therefore, the intake charge volume is subjected to less heat exposure than that of the FE, and it's even possible that the superior insulatory value of the iron might help maintain a cooler inlet charge within? But it is heavy!

    The FE replaced the MEL as Ford Motor Company's performance engine when Ford reentered racing in 1960 as apparently they decided that the performance marketing value would benefit the Ford product line better than that of Mercury.

    I agree that the FE receives more support today in the after-market than the MEL, but make no mistake, both are "dinosaurs", and if familiar with each, one realizes they are very much "cut from the same cloth".

    Scott.

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