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Ford Big-Block Hemi Engines

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On: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:35AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Ford Big-Block Hemi Engines

By the mid-1990s, Ford completely changed its engine lineup by finally introducing modern engines based on the Modular design. Whereas in the past, Ford would have one engine based on the 5.0 engine, by just boring and stroking, a larger engine would be available—this would be the 351 engine. Relatively cheap, it made for gas guzzling engines that weren’t too powerful either.

The name Modular was derived from being able to switch plant tooling so that different versions of the engine could be easily assembled. Modular engines are used in Ford and Lincoln cars. In trucks they are known as “Triton” while the InTech name was used in cars using the DOHC versions of the engine.

The 4.6 liter has been available in two-valve SOHC, three valve SOHC, and four-valve DOHC versions. Introduced in 1996, the DOHC version (shown in the center) was quite a departure for Ford. It was available only in the Mustang Cobra and the cylinder block was made by Teksid in Italy. Since then, additional versions have been made using a supercharger.

What was interesting was the fact that the DOHC 4.6 liter version was actually bigger than the Boss 429 (1969-70) or the 427 SOHC (1965). It’s quite a sight to see these big engines together. The Boss 429 (on the left) was based on the 429/460 engine—the cylinder heads were replaced with aluminum semi-hemi heads, and for the street, they were installed only in the 1969-70 Boss 429 Mustang. The engine was made primarily for NASCAR racing; the engine proved itself by winning several championships.

Additional versions of the Boss 429 engine were also made for the 1969 Can-Am racing championship. Using an aluminum block, in addition to a dry sump oil system and fuel injection, the engine was bored and stroked to 494 cubic inches! Now that is a big engine!

The other engine shown is the 427 SOHC (on the right). Based on the 427, the cylinder heads were replaced with aluminum hemi overhead cam heads. Ford built about 250 engines to be used in various Ford products that could be raced in 1965 NASCAR (so that Ford could compete against the Chrysler 426 Hemi). Unfortunately, NASCAR did not allow Ford to use this engine in racing, and so the engines were sold privately.

Ford has always taken the lead when building large, big engines. It showed what could be done in the 1960s and again in the 1990s.


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