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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Folks
as I have to plan wintertime :) I thought I open a new thread on the engine topic even there are several threads available "how to build" this or that.

my 79 Bronco has a 400 engine in it, unknown millage, unknown condition, it somehow runs, it if runs....

Hence I plan to either rebuild it or swap in a 460, as it should just be engine mounts to be changed (c6 transmission)

so, whats the better option? I am not heading for high horsepower, something around 300 HP and quite good torque, at minimum 400 lb fts, 500 if possible.

what are pro and cons
400 pros: lighter than 460, bare engine already available - however not sure if already rebuilt, etc., , etc.
cons: above power level may be achievable only with new heads

460 pros: lots of power potential, would be able to finish this build and have the Bronco still "complete"
cons: heavy, need to source an engine first


parts availabilty:
basically nothing here, sometimes yes.
currently there is a 460 for sale, just being rebuild to stock speck - 4000 Eur (totally crazy high price, private seller)
a 400m is for sale, but only 15 PSI oil pressure seemingly worn down engine - 1300 Euro
parts itself will have to be ordered 90% from US, even if available in Germany it will be cheaper to order directly

what problem I see:
there are mechanical improvements possible in the block itself, which no machine service in Germany can do, as they are not aware about it.
TMeyer does not do it anymore, so where to go?

Not really sure what and how to do, so this thread can be a collection of open ideas or advise from your guys, doing this since ages :)
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,876 Posts
Sounds like the best option is which ever one you can get the better deal on.
I think the 400 and 460 (don't not consider a rebuilt 429 if you come across one either) both are fully capable of what you are wanting to do.
Personally I'm a bit of a 429/460 person so my opinion is already skewed towards those.

Given the situation have you looked into maybe getting a short or long block shipped over from a good builder over here? Sounds like even with shipping it maybe a wash compared to having it redone there. This would give you the same still drivable while working on engine, and also come from people that know the engines a bit better (hopefully, lol,. sometimes fresh eyes are a good thing)
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sounds good to me, was thinking about that as well or a fully build and Dyno adjusted engine.

what companies to recommend?
 

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Premium Member
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3,932 Posts
the 400s are cool. my dad had a 78 (?) f150 when i was growing up and my early driving years. between my dad, my brother, and me, we would pull all kinds of stuff with it - cars, boats, enclosed cargo trailers. and my first bronco had the 351m in it. so i am fond of those engines.

that said, i just think a 460 is a badass big block and i wish i could find a need for one. and to put one in the original FSBs is just a thing of beauty. so i vote for the 460 so i can live vicariously through your engine build.
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,698 Posts
Stroke the 400 to 434" with a big cam and high compression and youll get everything you desire.
 
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Registered
78 Custom - 460 - NP435 - NP205 - Sniper EFI - HyperSpark Ignition - 4.56 Gears - Front/Rear Lockers
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2,016 Posts
If you're wanting a "lopey" idle like the engine in those videos you don't need a stroker, unless of course you want more than about 500hp then of course you want a stroker. That lope is just caused by the camshaft. Mine actually sounds very similar to that engine, but not nearly as loud as he's clearly using a different exhaust than me, probably a better one. lol. It's far more noticeable when I'm in the driver's seat though. Just don't go with one of those Comp Cams Mutha thumpr cams. Just the thought of choosing a cam for the way it sounds alone annoys me.

I think you need to decide on what your budget is and that will really tell you which way to go. If your budget is big enough, and you want a stroker, the 400 is a waste of time in my opinion. There's just a huge aftermarket for the 429/460 compared to the 400 and a lot of different ways to hit different power levels.

If you're satisfied with a target of 300hp like you mentioned, then a mild rebuild of your 400 should definitely be enough. No point in going crazy, unless you want to go crazy!
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,876 Posts
Agree with @Doosenberry above.
Also while 500+ cubes with 600+ hp is cool, sounds cool, looks cool, etc. Its not all free and the rest of the truck needs to match whatever your doing with it to take said power too.
Example once your in that range the stock C6 is questionable, if you actually beating on the truck. For sure need new torque converter to match what will likely be a healthy cam profile,. (same goes for a healthy 400) Possibly also needing new driveshafts, beefier axle shafts, etc... You will find the spots that need attention hopefully via accelerated wear and not catastrophic failure.
Another example, the big cams typically have lower vacuum at idle, really need to switch to hydroboost brakes in my opinion as your stock brakes may not be enough any more.
Really need fender well headers too (again my opinion) in a 500+ stroker to flow what is needed to do it justice, in chassis long tubes are just PITA on these trucks but could also work. Don't forget about the cooling and fueling demands on something like that either. Stock stuff is marginally just going to be enough, maybe. Again once you start using truck as intended. Just street driving it with a couple highway pulls from a roll once in awhile, is little different situation.

Only mention the above stuff as to factor that into your budget too, some of it may not be needed straight away, but all of it will eventually. Hard to say without knowing exactly how you will use your truck. Only you know that.... For what its worth I had to make similar decisions when building the new mill for my 78. Its why I decided up front that around 500hp/500 ftlbs and a super broad torque curve were what I wanted. That said a 429 with the right heads/intake/cam did that for me. I purposely choose to not use a 460 crank (or stroke it out) as to take some of the low end punch away to be confident with my 1/2 ton, with good parts, drive-train.
 

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Registered
78 Custom - 460 - NP435 - NP205 - Sniper EFI - HyperSpark Ignition - 4.56 Gears - Front/Rear Lockers
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2,016 Posts
Agree with @Doosenberry above.
Also while 500+ cubes with 600+ hp is cool, sounds cool, looks cool, etc. Its not all free and the rest of the truck needs to match whatever your doing with it to take said power too.
Example once your in that range the stock C6 is questionable, if you actually beating on the truck. For sure need new torque converter to match what will likely be a healthy cam profile,. (same goes for a healthy 400) Possibly also needing new driveshafts, beefier axle shafts, etc... You will find the spots that need attention hopefully via accelerated wear and not catastrophic failure.
Another example, the big cams typically have lower vacuum at idle, really need to switch to hydroboost brakes in my opinion as your stock brakes may not be enough any more.
Really need fender well headers too (again my opinion) in a 500+ stroker to flow what is needed to do it justice, in chassis long tubes are just PITA on these trucks but could also work. Don't forget about the cooling and fueling demands on something like that either. Stock stuff is marginally just going to be enough, maybe. Again once you start using truck as intended. Just street driving it with a couple highway pulls from a roll once in awhile, is little different situation.

Only mention the above stuff as to factor that into your budget too, some of it may not be needed straight away, but all of it will eventually. Hard to say without knowing exactly how you will use your truck. Only you know that.... For what its worth I had to make similar decisions when building the new mill for my 78. Its why I decided up front that around 500hp/500 ftlbs and a super broad torque curve were what I wanted. That said a 429 with the right heads/intake/cam did that for me. I purposely choose to not use a 460 crank (or stroke it out) as to take some of the low end punch away to be confident with my 1/2 ton, with good parts, drive-train.
That reminds me of what my brother asked me the other day when I drove my fresh 460 over to his house to show him what I had been working on. He asked "Will it spin the tires?" knowing I have 35's on it. I said "I don't know, I'm kinda waiting for later to find that out."

I'm nervous to start finding the weak link in my setup. lol. The tired factory C6 was the weak link in my old truck and was the only thing that gave out with a fresh 400+ hp 460. Everything else in that truck was pretty much stock. I'm thinking my NP435 should be able to handle it. crossing fingers Also, with my cam my vacuum brakes still work as good as they did before, but I agree that improving them should be on the list. Still waiting for my hydroboost kit to ship.

I would say that even a factory 460 of the same year would be a significant upgrade over a factory 400 (210hp 365tq vs 160hp 275tq), but if you're going to ship stuff from the US to Germany, you might as well make it worth your while when it comes to the money being spent.
 

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Premium Member
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39 Posts
I enjoy my 400 mild build with roller cam and increased compression, 4 bbl and dual exhaust, electric fans and alum radiator. It runs very good very good torque. I built it from a 351M. I am very happy
 

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Registered
1978 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400/C6 92 K documented miles &1994 Bronco,XLT 85K original miles
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1,046 Posts
I've thought about this.... to me, given the time /space available to me, I'm thinking,providing the block, etc are good, the '71 400 pistons, clean up over bore, balance the crank/rods, match port the heads, 3 angle valve job, "0" lob center cam and call it good.
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hey!
Just about to Update here then project thread:

mad I am even not sure which engine builder to select and he’ll yes 500 or even more hp from stroked 460 will kill the stock drivetrain for sure.
That guy from the vids did a hell of job completing his drivetrain or is still doing it.

maybe a mild 400 or mild460 either of them with a nice cam can be good enough, maybe I do not even need new aluminum heads then, which can keep cost really low.
Doosen, your last 460 build -
That company sounds useful to me, maybe we can work out something...
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
And yes, once whatever new motor walks in, I may want to make the C6 slightly stronger at at least give it a rebuild and then exactly as you guys say, being nervous what’s weakest part in drivetrain :)

what drinks a 460? I think a good bunch more than the 400?
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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7,928 Posts
As mentioned earlier, that "lopey" idle in the video is from a big cam with low vacuum. If yours is a C-6 trans it uses a vacuum modulator, which doesn't normally like a big cam. Those usually are chosen for manual transmission vehicles or other trannies that don't require a vacuum signal.
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Don t need such a wild build, let’s see :)

most probably a nicely upgraded 400 will do it
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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556 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
What pistons were put in to increase compression to what ratio? 9,5:1?
 

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My engine builder said the compression was 10.5 to 1
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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1,601 Posts
I have a fresh stock rebuild 460 in my 86 F350 , C6 was rebuilt after I bought it so good there, low end torq, aftermarket gear vender over drive on the output shaft helps for 65 mph but we use it primarily to pull our 2011 40 ft “house” so high end wasn’t needed....... and it will sit and spin with good tires on dry pavement when empty, I love taking tuner cars at a red light, they get me in the top end but I have left quite a few at the light.
 
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