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Old 11-07-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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Upgrading gas engine

I have a '98' Ford 460 gas engine in a 38' Itasca. Are there any upgrades to achieve more torque or is it worth considering a V-10? I'm not going diesel at this time, so just upgrade gasser responses please.

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Old 11-07-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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Headers and 3" exhaust with flow through muffler will wake up your 460.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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Differences in engine length, possible transmission used, electronic controls and wiring.
Best to work with the 460, than attempt a swap, to the V-10.
Early 460's ( mid-late 70's) responded well to changing the timing chain and gears, back to 60's, 429 set up, to advance the cam timing, don't know if that change worked into the 90s though.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:06 AM   #4
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Sounds like I got a couple of engine heads answering, thanks so much for your input n since you're there, any way to cut down on engine noise? I was thinking insulation in dog house.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #5
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An improved header and exhaust, e.g. the Banks kit, should give you a modest boost, though not as much as it would have on a 95-96 vintage. However, I think the most effective thing you could do is to add an auxiliary transmission, i.e. the Gear Vendors Over/Under Drive. Your 460 actually has plenty of horsepower (though at higher RPMs) but the Ford E4OD tranny does not do a good job of bringing that power to the rear wheels. The two top gears are economy oriented and then there is a large ratio change to 2nd gear to deliver lots of power but at very low speed (mph). With the Gear Vendor unit, you basically have twice as many forward gears and can use the 460's ample power in an optimal fashion for either power or speed/economy.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info Gary, is this a expensive fix?
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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The only thing I ever did to a gas engine that made a noticeable improvement in power was go to dual exhausts. That was a 79 Chevy 1/2 with the 350.

A couple years after doing that I had to go back to a single exhaust because of smog checks here in California. Really noticed the loss of power.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:24 PM   #8
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Good free flowing exhaust is pretty easy and lower cost. Using a timing chain set form the late 60's, or any aftermarket one for performance engines, will make a big difference as Ford used retarded cam timing in 70's and up due to emissions. Timing set swap is low cost, but more labor. Between exhaust and timing set it will be a lot better, don't forget to help the intake filter side a bit if you can.

If you really want more power, you can go with a stroker kit on the 460 and get more cubic inches. The 460 is easy to get 50-100 more cubic inches, but of course this is new engine and higher cost.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #9
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Headers and flowmaster exhaust along with an intake upgrade helped my 1996 Jayco class c. E4OD transmission is definitely a challenge as well. I added a Trans-Command from Banks and it improved drivability significantly.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
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Headers and exhaust. That's all.
No difference between your '98 and the earlier '95-'96. Same systems.
The retarded timing chain was dropped in '88-'89 when the 460 went EFI so no need to open the engine up at all.
Adding insulation under the doghouse will definitely help quiet things down. I used the foil faced stuff from JC Whitney. Inexpensive and effective.
The Over/Under drive unit is nice IF you can afford it.
Headers and exhaust still give you the best bang for the buck. Start there.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice. Now comes the pricing, getting it done and paying for it.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:04 PM   #12
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While I understand your desire for more power I am of the opinion that it will run longer and more dependably if left alone. Generally speaking moer power is made by burning more fuel so your economy will likely go down with the additional expense of the add ons.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:43 PM   #13
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Ford 460 in a 1988 Georgie Boy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godtomley View Post
Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice. Now comes the pricing, getting it done and paying for it.
This is quite an interesting thread for me as well. I own a 1988 Georgie Boy with a 460 Ford. I'm about to put some money into that RV (residential refrigerator, new generator, etc). But, because the engine is so old and also because I have always had problems starting that engine, I'm just wondering if all the renovations to that RV would be worth it.

I wonder how I get to decide whether to fix what ails the engine or replace it. I think a new one is about $2500 or so?

Any pointers from anyone here?
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
is this a expensive fix?
Yes, but so are headers & exhaust system upgrades. If you were thinking a $300-$500 fix, forget it. Nothing you can do for less then $thousands will have any noticeable effect. Headers and accompanying exhaust upgrade is less expensive than the transmission upgrade, but you still have the problem of getting usable horsepower to the drive wheels.

The '96 I had with the full Banks kit (header, exhaust, and their chip-assist) was still challenged on any hill because I was quickly forced down to 2nd gear with a max speed of about 30 mph. I needed a 2.5 gear to use the power I had because the stock 3rd was simply far to high.

The 460 has the raw horsepower, though the RPMs needed to get at it is annoying to some.
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