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Ford 460 Industrial Engine Considerations

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However you wish to refer to the Ford 460, either as a Ford LSG875 or
simply as a 385 Series Ford, it was Ford’s largest V8 until it was
replaced in 2000 by the Model WSG1068 6.8L V10 engine.

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The
Ford 460 industrial engine was used in a variety of applications
including wood chippers and tub grinders, co-generation systems,
irrigation pump units, forklifts, etc. With all accessories installed,
the Ford 460 engine at 2,800 rpm is rated at 148 hp on natural gas, 161
hp when running on propane, and 173 hp when powered by pump gas. These
power ratings are revealing: the Ford 460 is a very much an
understressed and relatively low revving power plant. Not only do its
power ratings communicate how understressed it is, the 460’s fully
dressed out weight of 713 lbs. further indicates that the Ford LSG875
will give many years of faithful service.

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One
weakness of these Ford 460 industrial engines, however, is that they
tend to spin cam bearings. This can be caused by inadequate
lubrication, a bent camshaft, or poor bearing clearances. Confounding
this problem is that unlike most engines the camshaft journals are all
the same size from front to back. Usually, cam bearings get smaller you
move away from the front of the engine where the camshaft loads are the
greatest. The Ford 460 LSG875 engine cam bearings have the same 2.250?
OD in all five cam bearing postions. This also may be a cause of the
spun bearing problem.

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Normally, when an engine spins a cam
bearing, a skilled machine shop will simply clean up the damaged cam
bearing housing bore using a line boring machine. Then a larger OD cam
bearing is used. Usually the parts people simple order up one with the
same part number as one from a position closer to the front of the
engine. Unfortunately, the Ford 460 industrial engine uses the same cam
bearing in all five housing bores and because the aftermarket supplies
Ford 460 cam repair bearings in only a 0.0005? oversize. As a result,
the Ford 460 industrial owner’s options are often limted to buying a
used Ford 460 industrial engine block because new Ford 460’s are no
longer available.

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But
here is a solution to this problem. The Ford FE big block engine is a close cousin to the LSG875.
The FE engine has the same 2.124? ID cam journals but unlike the Ford
460 has progressively larger housing bores as you move from front to
back.

Specifically, the FE engine range from 2.265? to 2.310?
in the OD of their cam bearings. In rebuiding your 460 Ford you could
just pick the one oversize cam bearing that you needed to repair a
damaged bore and use the standard Ford 460 cam bearings for the other
cam journals. Or, a better idea, one that we use for severe duty Ford
460 industrials is to line bore all the housing bores out to a new,
larger oversize and use the same FE cam bearing in all locations.
Please remember to line up the oil feed holes on the cam bores with the
slots in the cam bearings before you drive in the bearings.

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Finally, it is strongly recommended that you use a synthetic oil such as Mobil1 for all Ford
industrial engines with an oversize, remote mounted filter.

Tech Tip courtesty of Foley Engines

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