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430/462 Engine Performance Rebuild

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  • 430/462 Engine Performance Rebuild

    Trying to decide what to do with a MEL engine? Having just finished a performance build on a 1967 462, I can report that it is certainly harder than swapping in an FE, but not impossible. Using the stock crank, block & heads, with a mild roller cam, my builder and I achieved 600ftlbs of torque and 500hp at very low RPM levels (below 5300rpm). The stock crank was offset ground to BBC rod journal size, which strokes the crank about an eight of an inch-the engine displaces 510CI. Scat 6.7" BBC rods were used with custom Arias pistons...that is the key. Compression ratio is 10:1 or so. Heads were ported by Michael Slover at Slover Porting in California, who also makes some speed equipment for the MEL. He provided aluminum manifold spacer blocks so I can use any BBF (429/460) intake manifold...I happened to use an old Offy tunnel ram. Engine had a single 750 Holley double pumper carb for the dyno work, I am switching to EFI for the final installation into a 55 Bird. The hardest thing to provide for a MEL engine is a can buy new but they are expensive. Hard to put a manual trans behind a MEL, but I have cobbled up a setup that includes a Ford Toploader 4 speed. There is plenty more in this engine...600HP with 600+ftlbs is certainly possible with a different cam and higher RPM, but does anyone really need that in a 2500lb car? Happy Tbirding!

  • #2
    Where did you find a manual bellhousing for a 67 MEL?

    Many years ago I put a 430 MEL into a 57 Ford convertible. I went to junkyard to see what bellhousing would work with a manual transmission and was told by the owner that there was no such thing.

    I looked at a 352 FE bellhousing that was in another car I had and it looked like a match to me. I was able to install on the 430 and figured the salvage yard owner didn't know what he was talking about.

    Decades go by and I am still thinking putting a stick behind a MEL is easy. Just use FE setup. However, when I bought a 462 a few years back, I found the FE bell would not fit. They moved a couple bolt holes and starter position. Motor sits in the pole building still.

    Did some reading and found that the bell bolt pattern that matched the FE was changed in 1961. So only blocks that can utilize the FE setup were the 58-60 MEL 383 and 430 blocks.

    The motor I put in the 57 back in the 1970's was a 58 Merc 430, so that's why it worked. I also picked up a 1960 Lincoln 430 and the FE setup is bolted to that now. So, only that 3 year range of blocks accepts the FE bell w/o any heroics.

    I don't know if the later 462 crank and rods fits an early block, or if any balance differences to contend with, but as far as I know there is no manual bellhousing that fits a post-1960 MEL block.
    But, if your build was based on an early block, life would be simpler with the manual trans aspirations..

    There was a 430 on CL recently that had been swapped into a military truck with a manual trans. Apparently what they did was modify the aluminum bell from an early CM to serve as a manual bell.

    Don't know if that's what you did, but be interested in hearing how you "cobbled" them together. They are really brute torque motor even stock, so IDK if an aluminum automatic bell would stand up to the torque, even if you could find one and figured out how to make one work with a stick trans. Maybe, if you don't have too much traction..

    So, the salvage yard guy years ago actually was partially right it appears - except for the 58-60 blocks which FE fits like a glove and will also bolt to a toploaders. There never was a manual bell produced for the 61 and up MEL blocks.

    Do you have the contact info for Slover? I was thinking about putting my 1960 430 in an earlier chassis and wanted to drop a few pounds using a 429/460 intake. The 4v factory intake I have is really heavy and the last time I tried to contact him, it appeared he may no longer be in business.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Brushwolf View Post

      Did some reading and found that the bell bolt pattern that matched the FE was changed in 1961. So only blocks that can utilize the FE setup were the 58-60 MEL 383 and 430 blocks.
      Interesting info and thanks for that. My parts car has an FE adapter kit and built AOD. I've thought of eventually swapping that in. I probably will never drive the car enough to have it matter. As mentioned, the torque is so high, you don't need much more than a 2.90 rear gear, so overdrive is much less of a priority.

      As for the build, would love to see pics of mods to the parts, dyno sheets, anything and everything the OP would wish to share would be really neat to see..........


      • #4
        MEL Bellhousing Issue

        Thanks for your interest in the 462 build...I do have plenty of photos, will have to read up on how to post. The Lincolns used the 462, as I understand, in late 66, all of 67, and early 1968. During that time, Ford introduced the C6 auto trans, replacing the old Cruisomatic 3 speed, a huge cast iron monster. For the 66 & possibly 67 Lincolns who still came with the old Cruisos, Ford bought specially cast aluminum bellhousings from Alcoa...I happened upon one when I bought a 462 engine. these bells have an "X" part number! Anyway, they are the standard Ford depth and by welding aluminum lugs onto the bell and drilling attachment holes, a Toploader can be made to fit. I'll be using a hydraulic thowout bearing since there is no clutch fork arm hole...and the bell doesn't need any more holes!! For the first firing up of the 462, go to youtube and search "Stan Palma 510"...I think that will bring up the video...a little over a minute.

        Apparently youtube videos are dropped after a certain amount of time...I just searched for the initial run video and nothing came back. Also, here is Michael Slover's current number: 818-768-0155...I have not talked to Michael for several months, so I am not up on his current situation. He has mentioned to me in the past that the best performance heads for the MEL are the 462 heads...apparently the older heads with bigger ports do not flow nearly as well.
        Last edited by fourtwoseven; April 14, 2017, 09:36 AM. Reason: additional info