Ford 460 Engine Identification

by Floyd Drake III

The Ford 460 cubic-inch engine is a big-block engine manufactured between 1968 and 1996. Best known as the engine that powered Starsky and Hutch's "General Lee" Torino, the 460 was designed for large vehicles.

460 I.D.

Ford placed stickers on the valve covers identifying the engine as a 460. If the sticker is gone, or the covers have been replaced, look for a metal tag with engine identification attached to either the intake manifold in front of the carburetor, or to the ignition coil on the front of the engine.

Ford 460 and 429

If the sticker and metal tag are gone, count the number of bolts on the valve cover--only Ford 429 and 460 engines have seven valve cover bolts. Differentiating a 460 from a 429 is more difficult since they are nearly identical. Locating the casting number on the crankshaft or measuring the stroke are the only options. The length of stroke on a 429 is 3.59; on the 460 it's 3.85. Crankshaft casting numbers are as follows: 4U and 4UA for the 429. For 460s from 1968 through 1978, the number begins with a two; for 1979 and later models, with a three. Ford made the 429 only between 1968 to 1978--anything later will be a 460.

Other Considerations

The 460 and 429 have identical engine blocks. Using the block casting code will not help differentiate between them.

About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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