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Ford 385 engine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ford 385 V8
Boss 429.jpg
Ford Mustang Boss 429 engine
ConfigurationNaturally aspirated Big-block V8
Displacement429 cu in (7.0 L)
460 cu in (7.5 L)
Cylinder bore4.362 in (110.8 mm)
Piston stroke3.59 in (91.2 mm)
3.85 in (97.8 mm)
ValvetrainOHV 2 valves per cylinder
Compression ratio8.0:1, 8.5:1, 11.0:1, 11.3:1
Fuel systemHolley 735 cu ft/min (20.8 m3/min) 4-bbl. carburetor
Fuel typeGasoline
Cooling systemWater-cooled
Power output375 hp (380 PS; 280 kW)
217 hp (220 PS; 162 kW)[1]
Specific power53.3 hp (39.7 kW) per liter
28.8 hp (21.5 kW) per liter
Torque output450 lb⋅ft (610 N⋅m)
365 lb⋅ft (495 N⋅m)[1]
PredecessorFord MEL V8
Ford Super Duty truck engine
SuccessorFord Modular V8
Ford Triton/InTech V8
Ford Boss V8

The Ford 385 engine family was the Ford Motor Company's final big block V8 engine design, replacing the Ford MEL engine and gradually superseding the Ford FE engine family. The engine, which got its name from the 3.85-inch (98 mm) crankshaft stroke of the 460 cu in (7.5 L) V8[2], was a departure from previous designs, utilizing thinwall casting methods and a skirtless block to reduce weight.

It was available in two sizes in production vehicles; 429 cu in (7.0 L) and 460 cu in (7.5 L).

The engines were sold between 1968 and 1997. It was introduced in the Lincoln Continental (460) and Ford Thunderbird (429) in 1968 and replaced the FE in Ford's full-size cars in 1969.

Production ended with the ninth generation Ford F-Series truck in the 1996/7 model year. They were manufactured at Ford's Lima Engine plant at Lima, Ohio. This manufacturing line replaced the Ford MEL engine line in the Lima plant. The FE engines, manufactured in Dearborn, continued in production but saw reduced applications and volume as the 385 engine gradually took over in the Ford line up. The FE went out of production in 1976, leaving the 385 as the only big block. The 429 replaced the Super Duty (401/477/534) engines in 1982.

Besides service in large luxury cars in the 1970s and in trucks throughout its life, the 385 series engine was also popular in motorhomes, marine, and industrial applications. Over 50 varieties were produced in any given year.


429 Cobra Jet

As with the FE line of engines, Ford also offered Cobra Jet, Cobra Jet - RamAir, and Super Cobra Jet versions of the 429.

The Cobra Jet, rated at 370 hp (276 kW), was equipped with a Rochester Quadrajet 700 cu ft/min (20 m3/min) 4 BBL carburetor, larger camshaft, 11.3:1 compression ratio and a special set of cylinder heads. It was available with or without a hood scoop, and came with a 3.25 rear axle ratio.

The Cobra Jet - RamAir came with the shaker scoop, which was attached to the engine, and a 3.50 rear axle ratio.

The Super Cobra Jet, rated at 375 bhp (380 PS; 280 kW) at 5200 rpm and 450 lb⋅ft (610 N⋅m) at 3400 rpm of torque, had a four-bolt main block, a single Holley 735 cu ft/min (20.8 m3/min) 4-barrel carburetor, and a larger mechanical camshaft. It was only available with a 3.91 or 4.30 rear axle ratio.[3][4]

In 1971, the CJ engine also used a four-bolt main block. However, these engines were actually underated and produced power in the 440–460 hp (328–343 kW) range.[citation needed] This was done to deceive insurance companies (common practice in that era), so that buyers did not have to pay higher insurance rates.

Police Cruiser & Police Interceptor

Ford also offered police versions of the 429 and 460. Horsepower ratings for the 2 police versions ranged anywhere from 210–375 hp (157–280 kW) (gross hp, the common hp rating of the era).

The 1971 429 police interceptor, with 11.0:1 compression (which is a very slightly more powerful version of the 429 Cobra Jet) rated at 375 hp (280 kW).[citation needed]

From 1973 to 1978 Ford offered two versions of the 460 police engine. The 460 Police Cruiser (460 PC), identified by engine code "A" in the installed vehicle's vehicle VIN number and the engine's valve cover spec sticker, and the 460 Police Interceptor (460 PI) identified by the engine code "C" in its vehicle VIN number and on its spec sticker. The two were commonly confused with each other, the "A" code 460 being a basic, street/production stock flowing engine with additional cooling bolt-ons and a block-mounted non-electric fuel pump. The more powerful "C" code 460 Police Interceptor, with its higher lift camshaft and better flowing heads and exhaust, and high flow in-tank electric fuel pump, as the stock, block-mounted, cam-driven vacuum lift fuel pump would starve the motor for fuel above 100 mph (160 km/h). The 460 Interceptor was capable of speeds in excess of 130 mph (210 km/h)+.

The basic "A" 460 PC was recommended for city and suburban use, while the "C" 460 PI was built for high speed highway patrol and interstate applications. The Ford 460 PI motor was also the biggest motor used by police agencies, followed by GM/Pontiac's 455 Police Enforcer, Chevy's 454 Police Apprehender, and Chrysler/Dodge's 440 Police Pursuit versions.


Starting in 1968 gross horsepower and torque ratings began to fall as Ford responded to newly introduced federal air pollution regulations. In the 1972 model year the 385 series of engines, along with virtually every other Ford production engine, saw an additional significant dropoff in HP and torque ratings when federal mandates requiring automakers to list SAE net horsepower (which takes into account the power reduction of accessories and exhaust system) rather than gross horsepower came into effect.

The 1971 460 which was rated at 365 hp (272 kW) gross, dropped to as low as 208 hp (155 kW) net in 1972. Ford redesigned the 385 engine's cylinder heads (resulting in a drastically lower compression ratio of 8.5:1), and retarded the camshaft timing eight degrees, among other power sapping, but smog reducing modifications. 1973 saw the release of an improved cylinder head design, bringing the 429 and 460 back into the 225 hp (168 kW) net range.

The 460 was phased out for use in passenger cars in the late 1970s, with 1978 being the final model year for the Ford LTD, Mercury Marquis and Lincoln Continental.

However it continued to be produced with minimal modifications in trucks, RVs, Boats, and as a replacement "crate engine" available through Ford Motorsports until its production finally ceased in 1997. The 460 is known as a good heavy duty towing, marine and motorsports engine. These 460s actually had higher horsepower and torque ratings than the IDI 6.9 liter and later 7.3 IDI diesel engines, as well as higher horsepower than the 94.5-97 7.3L powerstroke, (245 compared to 215), however the diesel did have a small torque advantage (415ftlb@2000rpm for the diesel, 410ftlbs@2200rpm for the 460, 94-97 rateings)though fuel economy was slightly better with the diesel. The 460 began using fuel injection in 1988, leading to a slight increase in horsepower and torque ratings. For 1993 and up 460s saw an improved cylinder head design that further improved power. While perhaps best known for its poor gas mileage, the later 460 is considered by most to be a reliable, long-lasting, heavy-duty, and powerful engine for towing and hauling purposes, as well as a good starting point for engine builders building dragsters. Due to its mass production and relatively minimal changes during its 30-year production run, parts are generally cheap and easy to find for the 385 series engines.


Deck height (early block): 10.3 or 10.31 in (261.6 or 261.9 mm)
Deck height (late block, D9TE): 10.322 in (262.2 mm)

Rod length: 6.605 in (167.8 mm)
Bore spacing 4.9 in (120 mm)


Bore x stroke: 4.362 in × 3.59 in (110.8 mm × 91.2 mm)
Chamber size (C8VE/C9VE/D0VE): ~72-75cc


Bore x stroke: 4.362 in × 3.85 in (110.8 mm × 97.8 mm)
Chamber size (C8VE/C9VE/D0VE) 75cc
Chamber size (D2VE) ~99-100cc
Chamber size (D3VE/E8TE): ~93-95cc
Chamber size (F3TZ) 89.5-92.5cc

2 valves per cylinder (although labeled 460-4V - "V" stands here for "venturi" and addresses the carburetor capacity)


In 1981-82 the 370 cu in (6.1 L) replaced the 361 cu in (5.9 L) FE in medium-duty trucks.

The 370 utilizes the 429's stroke with a smaller bore size.


Bore x stroke: 4.05 in × 3.59 in (102.9 mm × 91.2 mm)


A 514 cu in (8.4 L) crate engine was also available from Ford SVO

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ford Gran Torino Hardtop, 1975 MY US.CA". 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 engine specs, photos". Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429". Retrieved July 8, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 September 2019, at 00:12
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