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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 01:56 PM
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Default FE vs. 460

I'm a new guy here, and I apologize if this has already been beat to death here.

I'm wanting to build a Cobra, and I'm in the early stages of deciding which kit, which motor, which transmission, etc....
Anyhow, what are the relative merits of the installation of a 460 or FE in a Cobra?

I'm very familiar with both engines, and I know the FE is the historical/nostalgic favorite, but I would really prefer to simply build a moderate 460.

The crux of my question is this.
Which lends itself best to installation and maintenance in a Cobra body?

What are the shortcomings for access to each ones vitals?
I know the FE is heavier, but what is the real difference in weight?
What problems are there with hood clearance?
Suspension/steering access?

Anyhow, you get the idea.
I'm eager to learn as much about them as I can before I spend the $$$$ on one.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 02:13 PM
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to me the 460 class motor makes the least sense of any of the more popular engines. they are heavy , wide and non original. The FE is top dog in most cobra circles, mostly due to its originality factor and it just looks right in the cobra bay. It too has shortcomings, heavy, expensive, somewhat bulky. I would choose an FE first, then a 351 based second, 302 next and 460 last. this is not to say a 460 is a bad motor, I just do not think it best for a cobra.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:16 PM
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How much wider is a 460?
I didn't think there was much difference.
Of course, my frame of reference was mostly Ford trucks.
Plenty of room there....

I guess I could be talked into building an FE, but I want to fully discount the 460 first.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:43 PM
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it is not that it is too wide, it is just wider than an FE which is already big. there are plenty of cobra replicas with 460 motors. it sounds like that is what you really want to do, and that is ok, I just think there are better choices.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:51 PM
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Yes, please understand I would forsake the 460 without a second thought if there are good reasons for it.

Looking at the prices of engine builds, the FE's always seemed to require so much work or all aftermarket parts and that means $$$$.
I understand the FE is "supposed" to be in a Cobra, I'm just trying to get info.

The 460 would likely be much less expensive to get what I want out of it, I could use old factory heads, block and crank with the typical aftermarket parts for a moderate build up.
But if it presents any difficulties the FE would not, that's what I want to hear about.

Like I said, I know a thing or two about the motors.
It's the car I'm new with.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:15 PM
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keep in mind that a cobra weighs from 2200 - 2700 lbs, so having a 700 lb lump in the front will affect handling greatly. A 450 hp 408 weighing 200 lbs less than a 460 makes a lot of sense in these cars and can be done fairly cheaply.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:28 PM
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The 460 based engine is 50% cheaper to build than a similar-power FE. It is also almost 50% heavier. If cost is paramount, go with the 460. If keeping with the spirit of the Cobra concept means anything to you, then go with an FE. Even a 390 built up properly will give you plenty of street horsepower and torque.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:29 PM
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If I had any sense I would just transplant a late model Mustang powertrain in it!

Nah, I'm a big block kinda guy.
I've had lotsa 454's over the years, including one in my current 4x4 Suburban.
I can't make myself stoop to putting a GM powertrain in a Cobra, though it makes alot of sense.

It's gotta be a Ford motor, and I'm torn between the FE that I never really liked for 30 years or a 460 that could be built much cheaper.
I see Ford offers a crate 460 for under $10k list, but no FE at all.


If one would presume to use logic, I'd just go get the wife a new Mustang GT with an automatic.
Factory warranty, dealer support, and I would seldom have to wrench on it.

Believe it or not, SHE would rather have the Cobra as well after seing the prices on the new Shelby, Roush and Saleen stuff, so I have to follow my own little torturous path to Cobra ownership, while still lucky enough to have the blessing of the wife!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOERA-SC7XX View Post
The 460 based engine is .... also almost 50% heavier.
I've always heard the opposite.
I have no factual basis for it, I simply always believed the FE was heavier.
Maybe it was relative to horsepower, in the seventies Ford made a marked difference in their 1/2 ton trucks when the 460 went in.
1976 I think?
The older 390/400M motors in all our company trucks were turds by comparison.
I was around a few older LTD's and such that had the old 390 or 428, but they were sluggish compared to the Lincolns and Mercurys we had with the 460.
Of course, nostalgia warps reality but I always had a better opinion of the 460.
Later, I knew several guys who built 460s for drag racing.
The 390/428 along with the 351 Cleveland motors all but disappeared from the drag racing world by the early nineties, unless they were in a numbers-correct car of some sort.
If a 460 would fit, that's what went in it.


Hmmm....

Okay, so maybe all the FE guys are onto something!
Dear God, don't let me succumb to Side-Oiler 427 fever!

Thanks!
This is why I'm here.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoConMan View Post
I have no factual basis for it, I simply always believed the FE was heavier.

Bone stock, they are within 10 lbs. or so of one another, with the 460 being lighter. BUT, anyone that builds an FE now-a-days for a Cobra shaves a lot of weight off with just an aluminum intake, heads, water pump, etc. My FE is within 50 lbs. of an original 289 and it still has an iron block. Carefully constructed aftermarket aluminum block FE engines will get you down in to small block numbers.

EDIT -- Here's a chart of various engine weights: http://www.team.net/sol/tech/engine.html

Last edited by patrickt; 10-12-2008 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: Added the engine weight link
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoConMan View Post
I see Ford offers a crate 460 for under $10k list, but no FE at all.
I wouldn't buy a Ford crate motor, and I love Ford.

There have been too many people I know that had a problem with their Ford crate motor and Ford make excuses why you roached their motor.

Have someone build a motor for you, and get what you want.

If this is your first Cobra, I suggest a 351W based motor.

Eric
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:27 PM
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If you want a based 460 +, check out Keith Craft's 514. 700 HP for under $13,000. Wow.

Check out his site, as he has many configurations to suit your needs, wither it's a small or big blk.

Ford Racing has a 514 cu. 630 HP for under 70k.


Kevin
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
My FE is within 50 lbs. of an original 289 and it still has an iron block. Carefully constructed aftermarket aluminum block FE engines will get you down in to small block numbers.
Dayum!!!
There's alot of iron in those pieces fer sure.
What about cost?

I know, I know....
IF I was worried about money I wouldn't be hot-rodding, motorcycling, flying or collecting guns, guitars etc...

Aluminum intake is a given, water pump is cool, but aluminum heads still scare me.
I know, there are millions of them out there now doing fantastic service.
Old habits die hard.

Within 50 pounds you say?
An old friend of mine in Texas is a Ford V8 guru, maybe I'll be picking his brain a little more...

Keep the info coming, you guys ROCK!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default Weights

I too almost went with a Bowtie and until there are several thousand miles on the FE I went with I'm keeping my fingers crossed since I have NEVER had a Ford product that held up as good as my Chevy stuff. As far as weight goes here are some numbers I pulled from a Ford forum. The Fe is consederably lighter when you goe with the Alum intake and heads. I couldn't believe the weight of just the cast iron intake when I started buying junkyard motors for this project.

PS: You know that Chevy is making a 427 again don't you? If you used it all the 427 badges would be correct!

ENGINE FAMILY WEIGHT (LBS) WIDTH LENGTH HEIGHT
289/302 Windsor 460 24 29 27.5
302 Boss "Clevor" 500 24.5 29 28.5
351W Windsor 525 25 29 29
351C 335 (Cleveland) 550 25.5 29 29
351M/400 335 (Modified) 575 26 29 29
332-428 (ex.SOHC) FE 625 27 32 29
427 SOHC FE 680 32 34 30
429/460 720 27 34 29
429 Boss 385 635 30 34 30
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2008, 05:05 PM
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Okay, I'm sold.
FE it is.

Now I have to decide on how many inches I can get out of it before the cost gets insane.

Hell, a stout 428 would be just fine with me.
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