The Ford 460

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scottydl

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Jul 1, 2006
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We are shopping around for our first MH, looking at 1980s 26-30' Class C's.  About 90% of the ones I've seen for sale (online and IRL) are built on the Ford chassis with the 460 motor.  When looking at these 20-year old MH's, is there anything mechanically about used 460's that I should watch out for?  Some eBay ad (posted by an RV dealer, not a private seller) stated something like "this motor has an obvious donut gasket leak, which all of these old 460's seem to"... is that true?  Also, is general maintenance on these as easy as any Ford truck?  I'm used to doing oil changes, fluid drain-n-fills, etc. on my own, to avoid costly trips to the stealership  ;)... but I don't want to get in over my head either.  Any words of wisdom on buying/owning/maintaining the Ford 360 are much appreciated!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Big block fords are pretty decent engines, though they didn't really hot their stride until the mid-90's. There is qite a bit of difference in the performance and drivability of the electronic-controlled engines and the early TBI or carbureted ones. A 1996 is now 10 yers old and at the bottom of its NADA value, so it seems you should be able to get a later version of the 460 than the ones you are looking at without busting the budget.

As for gaskets, both 460 Ford and 454 Chevy big block engines had some problems with exhaust manifolds and manifold gaskets. These big engines generate a lot of heat and when sandwiched into a small engine compartment, that heat can get trapped and fatigue metal or even melt wiring.  The pre-1996 ford 460's also had problems with the Ford-supplied fuel pump - they tended to fail at about 30-35 thousand miles. Chances are any you look have already had their fuel pump replaced, though.I fthey were replaced before 199, though, the replacement will also fail.

Bottom line is that there isn't much reason to pick either Ford 460 or Chevy 454 - both are fundamnetally good and each has similar problems.
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
I have a '96 Ford 460 on the F53 chassis and, for the most part, am pretty happy with it. I did replace the factory exhaust with one by Walker (Tenneco) which is 3" front to back, eliminating some neck-downs in the original system. The only problem I've had is that the back two, right side, exhaust header bolts have given up the ghost and will have to be replaced using a screw extractor. This is a common problem for these engines, but not an Earth shaker by any means. Other than that, it's been bullet-proof and low maintainence. 
 

DougJ

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Mar 7, 2005
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549
And I have a F460 on our 1990 Elandan.

We had a Banks Powerpack and Transcommand installed when we bought this rig in 2003.  The result of that was more power and more heat and we've had to have a couple of heat shields installed.  But other than that the engine has been very reliable for us.

Doug
 

Jeff

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Apr 8, 2005
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SD/AZ
Our 98 Pace Arrow had a Banks system which solved the header bolt issue and did provide extra power. It was maintenance free other than reccommended service when we traded it  at 68k. Also had much more power than our earier model Pace with a 454.
 
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