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430 Mel engine parts availibility

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  • 430 Mel engine parts availibility

    Hi guys,
    I am very new to the MEL scene, However I have been building Small Block Ford engines for 25+ years. I have found the MEL engine that I am currently working on to be very challenging. Especially locating parts. Does anyone know of a source for replacement rod bolts? Also the MEL that I am currently working on was brought to me in boxes, Does anyone have any pictures of the camshaft retaining plate on these engines? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Here's a picture from the parts manual if that helps you out. Hopefully someone on here can help you on the rod bolts.


    430 camshaft.jpg
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #3
      Thanks man, that helps tremendously!


      • #4
        Don at the Bird Nest told me that when he is looking for 430MEL parts, your best bet at finding them are from Lincoln parts houses, since Lincoln used the 430MEL a lot. Here are two sources to check out.

        Lincoln Land Fla -
        Lincoln Old Parts Store -

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411


        • #5
          I have not found an ideal replacement for the MEL connecting rod bolt, but the closest and that which we have used successfully in the past is the ARP product #155-6001 (we have these available); this being intended for the Ford FE 428 CJ 13/32" rod bolt application. The head dimension generally is acceptable, but critical observation always applies, and spot-facing this surface is sometimes required for proper fitment, chamfering of the under-head transition is required, the "post" is shorter in the MEL rod and hence the bolt is slightly long, but this does not prove to be a real issue for the rod installation, but do establish no clearance issues as installed in the block (not that I have experienced any), but check, or just establish the excess and trim the bolt to the desired length prior to installation, perhaps if only for appearance. Disappointing, is the fact that this product although 13/32" intended shank dimension for rod fitment, it necks to permit the use of a more readily available 3/8" thread and flange nut application; but with the supposedly superior production and lack of the fatigue factor, one should be making an improvement.

          Rod bolt replacement, and the required resizing operation is not generally a job for the home mechanic, as I have seen many a good intention end up souring the project. Take it to an automotive machine shop, if they look puzzled, concerning your dilemma, run! Or you can always ship your "stuff" to us for machining if you can not find anyone in your local area. If you have other questions: 407-843-3673.