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FMC 460 vs. GMC 454 vs. MOPAR 440 ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by supercharged, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. I started thinking about my next project and I want to go very low budget rod.
    As most know late 70's pickups in good running condition can be picked up for less than $1000, some way less. Many of these come with some big cubes. The most frequent found are Ford 460s, Dodge 440s and GM 454s.

    My question: Of the three which makes the most power (HP/Torque) if from a late 70s (75-79 - pre-Clean Air Act) pickup?

    I have found decent donors of each type and I am not loyal to one over the other. (I am still searching for a donor body that catches my eye!;))
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  2. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,281

    from Kentucky

    In emissions legal form...none of the above. Late 70's was the lowpoint for performance.

    As a starting point for a performance rebuild using aftermarket high performance stuff, I'd vote 454.
  3. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 12,143

    from Michigan

    Ditto on the 454.... You might get lucky and get a 4-bolt main truck block.... Did they even those those in the 454 truck motors???..... Just wondering. :)
  4. 440 is a good start. they have the best parts as far as strengh goes. The 454 would be the cheepest, Chebbies always are, 460s like to rev. All the late 70s stuff is week in power from the factory but you can still do stuff with them if you don't stick with the late 70s chassis.
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  5. superbyrd
    Joined: Apr 12, 2009
    Posts: 44


    man,i was really confused.......since when did a 460 ford or a 454 make any power?:D
    Fugly Too likes this.
  6. 4d
    Joined: May 18, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from Pa.

    The advice you got is right on the money. The Chevy parts are definitely the cheapest and most readily available. The Mopar is a great engine. You'll look a little harder and pay a little more for the performance parts. But, the 385 series Ford were never popular. That's probably why my road buddies, my son and I run them. But, when comes to a special altenator or power steering bracket, there's very few out there, so you'll end up making one. What I'm trying to say is: What are you looking for? Cheap? Readily available parts? Less fabrication? Want people to take a second look? Try a Pontiac 421, or Olds 455. Good luck.I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you decide.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,496


    The pickup and motor home 454 s and 440 were not the best motors for performance, the last 454 i did I ended up useing the block and tin ,everything else was aftermarket or older GM stuff. 440's probably would'nt be much different. I know nothing about Fords,
  8. To answer your question:
    First CHEAP to buy and cheap to add performance.
    Second Unusual
    Finally, .... heck I guess I am talking myself into the 440!:rolleyes:
  9. gasser38
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 92


    454 for sure. We built a dyno proven 426hp 454 with crappy 70's peanut port heads for $1400 (we do our own machine work though). Idled like a race car with a 230 @ .050 Erson cam on a 106 LSA. Made ridiculous torque at about 490lb-ft. You can get 10:1 compression with a cheap set of KB hypereutectic pop ups even with the crappy 70's heads. Can't touch those power numbers with either of the others for that price.
  10. busch
    Joined: Jan 19, 2010
    Posts: 177


    chevy truck 454 4- bolt main the way to go tons of after market go fast parts great
    HP / Torque
  11. dragsta
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 591


    if you want something unusual, get a mopar 413. we had on in our 64, 300 with a 4bbl and posi rear. i really wish i had that car today. if you want a decent smallblock with lots of power i'd consider a mopar 360... you can find them in old mopar vans. i drove one for a supply company long ago. the damned thing was a sleeper.
  12. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    from Napa, Ca.

    440 is my VOTE!

    The BB mopar came out in 1958 and the BBC and BBF came out in the later 60's (BBC 1965 and BBF 1968). So if you want something that looks vintage for your hot rod stick with whats classic!

    All big motors from 73 on pretty much suck in stock form because they have such low compression (dished or below deck pistons). But what they are good for is a place to start your special engine build.
  13. mrpowderkeg
    Joined: Mar 11, 2009
    Posts: 178


    What's the angle of attack on this? Are you going to rebuild? Or is it bolt on stuff with a running engine?

    As for potential, the 460 has the most potential. The only limiting factor is the heads (as in with any engine). Sometimes the rods get a bad rap. But when you can take a 460 out to 557+ cid (From memory I think max 572 cid pushing the limit) using a stock production block you are ahead of the game already.
  14. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    from Napa, Ca.

    BTW I agree with dragsta, 413's kick ass!

    My buddy had a 60 chrysler new yorker 4dr with a 413 with the small heads and tiny 4v carb and intake, that car wass bad ass! We would street race 5.0 mustangs and beat them with 6 of us high school kids packed in it!
  15. Billa212
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 159

    from Milwaukee

    I put a 460 from a lincoln in my '78 Bronco. Bone stocker, emission free motor with about 70K on it; I gave it a Krylon rebuild. It would burn 33x12.50's thru 3rd gear on my C6. I have nothing but praise for the 460. Get one from a junkyard cheap. There will be a fomoco sticker on the valve cover stating whether or not it had emission controls on it. I'm sure some guys on here can tell you what years are best to go with.
  16. gasser38
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 92


    $3749 Like I said. Cant touch the numbers for the price of ours. Ours cost $1400. Even if the average dude had to pay for machine work you could have built ours for well under $2500. No custom pistons in the Chevy either. Just some off the shelf KBs. And I'm sure CC used corrected numbers cause that's what sells magazines. Ours are uncorrected. Cool build though.
  17. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,966


    What are your plans?
    Degrease and aerosol overhaul?
    Mild build?

    If you don't have the vehicle yet, why not keep saving for now and buy the best body possible. Engines can and do fall into your hands, cars too, but beggars can't be choosers on free cars.
  18. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073


    Apparently, neither does Superbyrd!:D
  19. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,881

    Strange Agent
    from Ponder, TX

    Best bang for the buck- 454.

    My personal choice- 460.
  20. mopar... as I always suggest. skirted bottom end (IE BEEFY!!) but heavy. the motor home 440 is a stout unit the low perf 440 castings can make 1hp / ci with a good cam, nab a set of 413 industrial rods which I believe are the 6 pack rods, a set of 468 heads mill em .010 get a good set of hyperutectic lumps, and a squeeze of nitrous and you will be over 600hp... and cheaply if ya know what your looking for.
  21. Rocky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 13,580

    Classified Editor

    Hahahahaha...ask 20 Rodders and get 20 different answers. There really isn't a "best engine"...all of those big blocks can make great torque with the right factory parts. It comes down to personal preference. I was raised in a family that hated fords so I don't run fords. Yet I see some very good things done with the 429/460 engines and with some head work they make power on the cheap but they're heavy. Mopars make rediculous torque and have a wonderful exhaust sound but cost a little more for parts. Also, the starter is on the left side causing problems with steering big ford motors while chevy's have the starter on the other side.
    The chevy has had many years of aftermarket parts and involvement that drives parts prices down but they're also heavy. All of them stay together if built with patience and correct parts. There's no correct answer to this question. I'd like to try a ford simply because I've never played with one before and it'd be fun to spank the chevy's/mopars with an engine 80% of rodders hate.
    I like the big Pontiacs because I'm familiar with them. They have problems with heads unless you spend a lotta money...and have cast cranks and rods. Gotta keep 'em below 5500 RPMs to live and the exhaust sound isn't a cool as the other big blocks except the Olds and buick motors.
    Speaking of Buicks..........don't dismiss the buick 455. In shootouts between the big block chevy/ford/pontiac/mopar the Buick 455 almost always makes the most torque with a flat curve on the dyno sheet. The buick weighs less than the other big blocks too and they're available dirt cheap at junk yards. But parts are expensive..Our own C-9 used to run only big buicks in his hotrods and totally loved them! Fanatically!
    They take a B.O.P. bellhousing or automatic trannys...the 400 turbo. Also, a 2004-R overdrive tranny bolts up to not only buicks but any GM v/8 engine.
    I'd have to go with a Buick 455. Later on, I'd be looking at a pair of Edelbrock heads [now available for all the gm,ford,mopar big blocks] and a stage III cam and kit later on as funds allowed. I think the starter is on the right side too..not sure about that.
  22. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,785


    Any one of the big blocks from Chevy,Ford,Mopar,Buick Pontiac,Caddy can make big power. However,just like the SBC,the Chevy Big Block is very easy to tune for power for the average hack,and generally cheaper cost than the other engines.
  23. Any of the three will end up about the same on a budget build. I like the Ford's best and if you can find one with the DOVE heads you will be way ahead of the game.
  24. dragsta
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 591


    actually 1972 was the beginning of the end of high compression muscle. so anything 71 or older is good.
  25. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 6,028


    The 385 series not popular?,Ford was more generous in their big block offering then Chevy. It came standard in some Lincolns,Thunderbirds and seen more in full sized Fords then I have seen the 454s in Caprices plus they found their way in alot of one ton vans and trucks.
  26. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    from KCMO

    I've spent alot getting a 455 olds ready, it will be a hot motor, but aftermarket parts cost would be my deciding factor next time. 455 poncho can be ridiculous for cheap. 454 is easy power with aluminum heads and a cam. 500 caddy is lightweight by comparison.
  27. While they are all good. $ for$ it is hard to beat a 440 . torque is brutal,they do not need a lot to make big power. 550 Hp reliable is a walk in the park. You would be hard pressed to spend even $5000. Maybe if you bought aluminum heads you could spend that much. Built many ,even wrote the book on them "Old Reliable." Easy reliable HP and moderate RPM s that will last longer then your interest.
  28. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,617

    from Ks

    On the street, torque is king. I love hemi's but we are not talking hemi's here. I'm going with Rocky, 455 Buick is a largely overlooked engine and they are torque monsters when properly built. Your opinions may and probably will vary. :D Lippy
  29. Captain Chaos
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 577

    Captain Chaos
    from Missery

    Im an Olds man 455 make tons of torque, a proper rebuild with cam intake and headers can make lots of power for low cost . 403 SBO makes real good power with less space and weight.
    But of your choices, I think 460 Ford. Plenty of aftermarket items but again , proper cam intake and headers and you have all you need for power .
    Mopars are great the but the people are to weird ; p
  30. 31 Coupe
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 143

    31 Coupe

    There was an article in Car Craft or Super Stock magazine about 20+ years ago asking the same question. Their challenge was to build a 454 BBC, 440 BBM and a 460 BBF all to make 500HP with limited modifications etc. The 460 BBF came out on top with a very basic OEM parts combination with the usual street/strip cam, intake, exhaust massaging etc. TheBBC and BBM fell short of 500HP with the same types of modifications.

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