Barry Kluczyk
September 28, 2010

Tech | Engine Build
A displacement of 460 cubic inches never fails to conjure mental images of battleship-heavy lumps of iron torn out of worn-out '70s trucks or Lincolns, and stuffed into early Mustangs. Those classic engine swaps typically strained the front suspension and left little room under the hood for routine maintenance, let alone swapping headers easily.

But this is the 21st century and we've got World Products' innovative Man O' War Windsor-style cylinder block architecture on which to build big-inch-make that huge-inch-small-block engines. With guidance and input from a prominent NASCAR Ford entity, World Products revamped the basic 302/351 block design to bulk it up in key areas, such as the front and rear bulkheads-each is about an inch thicker than the stock Ford 302 block. Iron was added, too, to the cylinder banks to add strength and provide water passage room for large-displacement combinations.

The result is a block that weighs about 60 pounds more than a standard Ford 302 block, but is considerably stronger throughout. The thicker iron is complemented with standard splayed, four-bolt billet steel main caps, which should all but eliminate the tendency for catastrophic cracking that is common with the production blocks at high horsepower levels. It is a problem racers have tried to prevent through the use of main cap stud girdles and other methods, but too much boost or nitrous can split the 302 through the lifter valley like a California seismic fault line.

Apart from some obvious bulges around the cylinders, which support the block's extra "meat" and generous water jackets, the Man O' War blocks looks just like a Blue Oval casting. In fact, it was designed to accept all of the components and accessories that were ever bolted to a 302 or 351 at the factory. World Products offers the Man O' War in four deck heights, including 8.200 inches, 8.700 inches, 9.200 inches, and 9.500 inches. The 8.200- and 8.700-inch decks are 302-style blocks, while the two taller decks are 351W-style blocks. The minimum deck thickness is 0.600-inch.

Add to all these versions either 4.000- or 4.125-bores, and the capability of a 4.250-inch-stroke crankshaft, and it means a plethora of possible combinations with displacements that simply weren't practical with a factory Ford block. World Products has designed and tested a number of different combinations that are sold as crate engines, including the 460-inch version that we're examining in this story.

It's at this point we should mention that World Products has altered the way it offers crate engines. Rather than building them all in-house, the company recently began turning over the engine-assembly duties to affiliate builders around the country. Think of it as the way Coca-Cola hits the shelves via regional bottlers-World Products provides the secret recipe and supplies the ingredients, while the builder assembles and tests the engines to the company's guidelines. More about the engine-building program is available on World's website at www.worldcastings.com.

The engine depicted in our story is rated at 600 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. As you'll see on the accompanying dyno chart, it made more than that, but the advertised power rating is a target that is designed to be attainable by builders in different parts of the country, who must deal with a variety of atmospheric and altitude conditions.

Our project engine was assembled and tested at World's Ronkonkoma, New York, headquarters.

Build details and dyno testing World's Man O' War 460-inch crate engine starts with a 9.500-inch deck 351 block, with 4.155-inch bores and the maximum 4.250-inch-stroke crank. That crankshaft, naturally, is forged steel-an Eagle 4340 forging, to be exact. The bottom of each cylinder is notched to make room for the long-reaching H-beam connecting rods.

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The camshaft is a hydraulic roller from Comp Cams, with big 0.669-inch/0.676-inch lift specs, along with 254/260-degrees duration and a 110-degree lobe separation angle.

Atop the block is a pair of World's own 18-degree aluminum cylinder heads, which boast large, 225cc intake runners that feed fast-burn-style 72cc combustion chambers (an upgrade to CNC-ported versions of the heads brings enormous 242cc intake runners, which is good for about another 50 horsepower). The tunnel-like intake paths are considerably larger than comparable Ford heads, which have 224cc runners. The valves are matched to the heads' tremendous flow, measuring 2.055 inches on the intake side and 1.600 inches on the exhaust. Make no mistake, these are huge-flowing heads, but very necessary for an engine with such a large displacement.

Not surprisingly, stiff, dual 125-pound per inch valvesprings (1.437-inch-diameter) complement the valvetrain, along with cus-tom aluminum roller-tip rocker arms with a 1.72:1 ratio. They're mounted on screw-in studs. Also, the Man O' War block can accept two additional head bolts per cylinder, which provide an extra measure of sealing for forced induction and nitrous applications-power adders were not in the plans for our project engine. To feed the 460's big passages, a 1,050-cfm AED-built Dominator carburetor is mounted to World Products' single-plane, high-rise intake manifold.

During our test, World's 460-inch Windsor-style engine's 632hp peak was achieved at 6,000 rpm. World says the engine's upper limit is about 6,500 rpm. Peak torque registered 618 lb-ft on our test, and was reached at 4,800 rpm. But there's definitely more to the numbers than the peak figures: The "little" 460 made more than 560 lb-ft at only 3,500 rpm and crossed the 600 lb-ft threshold by 4,400 rpm.

On the horsepower side, it hit 400 horses by 3,700 rpm and curved smoothly upward toward its peak, crossing 500 horsepower by 4,400 rpm and 600 horsepower by 5,200 rpm. Clearly, the deeper this big-volume engine breathes, the stronger it gets, but we were surprised by how well the engine idled and performed at low rpm.

With its big cam and high-rise single-plane intake, we frankly expected a bit of stumbling down low. We saw none. Of course, the dyno is a different environment than the street, but not enough to drastically alter the attributes we experienced during testing. There's a lope to the idle no doubt about it, but this engine shouldn't be a problem for cars with power brakes, and more.

For us, the prospect of popping the hood at cruise night and answering "460," when someone asks, "watcha' running?" and stares at an obvious small-block package will be worth it. Of course, there's something to be said for keeping mum about the displacement-especially for those forays to the track-and let the bystanders scratch their heads after viewing the Windsor package under the hood.

With this 460-inch combo, there's no reason to make compromises with the front-end weight penalty or tightly packed engine compartment that comes with a 385-family 460. And, frankly, for the World Products engine's approximate $15,000 price tag, you'd be hard-pressed to build a vintage 460 to make similar power for less, and it simply wouldn't have the lower-mass advantage. Indeed, for a pro-touring-style '68 Mustang fastback or a '71 street/strip car, this 460-cube package in a 351-inch wrapper has much to offer.

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Technical Specifications

Man O' War 460 Limited Edition
Engine typeOHV V-8; iron block with aluminum heads
Displacement460 cubic inches
Compression ratio11.1:1
Horsepower (advertised)600
Torque (advertised)575
Cylinder blockHigh-density cast-iron
Main bearing capsFour-bolt splayed; billet steel
Deck height9.500 inches
Cylinder bore4.155 inches
Stroke4.250 inches
Crankshaft4340 forged steel
Connecting rods4340 forged steel H-beam
PistonsForged aluminum with coated skirts
Piston connecting pinsFull floating
CamshaftHydraulic roller; 0.669/0.676-inch lift; 254/260-degree duration; 110 LSA
Timing systemDouble-row chain
Cylinder headsWorld Products 18-degree; 225cc intake runners
Combustion chamber72cc
Valves2.055-inch intake; 1.600-inch exhaust (stainless steel)
ValvespringsDual 125-pound per inch
Rocker armsAluminum roller; 1.72 ratio
Pushrods4340 forged steel, one-piece (used with guides)
Intake manifoldSingle-plane high-rise
Carburetor1,050 Dominator (4500 series)
DistributorHEI-type
MiscellaneousSpark plugs, plug wires, oil pan, polished valve covers, SFI balancer included

Dyno Test
(engine tuned with 30 degrees total timing)
RPMLB-FTHP
3,500562374
3,600568390
3,700571402
3,800572414
3,900573426
4,000577439
4,100583455
4,200589471
4,300595487
4,400601504
4,500607520
4,600611536
4,700616551
4,800618564
4,900618577
5,000616587
5,100614596
5,200611602
5,300606611
5,400600617
5,500593621
5,600585623
5,700576625
5,800569628
5,900560630
6,000553632
6,100543631
6,200532628
Peak numbers in bold.

The Aluminum Option
Aftermarket aluminum engine blocks have traditionally been left to the domain of professional racers, thanks to prices far greater than their weight savings. World Products is changing the status quo, however, with lower-cost aluminum castings, including an alloy version of the Man O' War block. That is due to an innovative machining process that World Products says dramatically shrinks the time and effort involved in finishing a rough casting.

The aluminum Man O' War saves about 100 pounds when compared to the weight (including main caps) of the iron version and adds about $2,000 to the price of a crate engine. That is only about a 15-percent premium on the cost of the crate engine described in our main story. A 15-percent premium may be the cost, but to paraphrase a popular advertising campaign, the exotic allure and "wow" factor of an aluminum Windsor block is priceless.

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