Big Block 385 Engines

Although there were several variations to the engines of the 385-series family, only two displacements were available—the 429 cubic inch and the 460 cubic inch. Both were introduced in 1968 and lasted until 1973. These engines were heavier and larger than Ford’s predecessor—the FE Family.

429 (Thunderjet)

  • two-bolt main bearing cap
  • Bore and Stroke 4.36×3.59
  • cast-iron crankshaft
  • forged-steel connecting rods with 3/8 inch rod bolts
  • cast-aluminum pistons
  • hydraulic lifter camshaft
  • 2.08 inch/1.66 inch intake/exhaust valves
  • non-adjustable rocker arms
  • cast-iron intake manifold
  • 4 barrel or 2 barrel carburator
  • Was available in Ford and Mercury automobiles

429 Cobra Jet

  • Four-bolt main engine block (with exception to some early 1970 models).
  • Larger cylinder heads—2.25 inches/1.72 inches intake/exhaust.
  • Rocker arms were stamped steel 1.73:1 ratio with sled type fulcrums, threaded screw-in rocker studs and pushrod guide plates.
  • The rocker arms on the 429 cubic inch Cobra Jet were also adjustable prior to 1969.
  • Cobra Jet used a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor atop a spread-bore cast-iron manifold.

429 Super Cobra Jet

  • 4 bolt main engine blocks
  • Forged aluminum pistions
  • Mechanical lifter camshaft
  • Adjustable rocker arms
  • 780cfm Holley four-barrel carb


429 Boss

  • All aluminum cast cylinder heads
  • Cresent type combustion chambers
  • Intake/Exhaust valves of 2.28in and 1.90inch
  • Exhaust valves are “D” shaped
  • 4 oil galleries
  • Identified by casting 429HP on block
  • Higher iron nodularity content with thicker cylinder walls
  • 2 Versions of the 429 Boss existed, they were 820-S & 820-T
  • Forged steel cross-drilled crankshaft
  • Forged aluminum pistons
  • Aluminum dual plane manifold w/735cfm Holley four barrel carb

429 Nascar

  • Larger Outboard bolts in #1 main bearing cap.
  • Deck height was grooved for O rings.
  • Larger machined refliefs for exhaust pushrods
  • Longer street rods, than the Boss 429-820S type
  • Some blocks had full hemi design, others crescent type
  • Stainless steel intake valves
  • Magnesium valve covers and intake manifold.

460

  • Produced from 1968 to 1996.
  • Available in Ford, Mercury and Lincoln.
  • Same as 429, but with longer stroke. (3.85 inch)
  • During its earlier years, pre 1973, horsepower was rated at 365. After 1972 horsepower ranged from 208 to 275.
  • Intake/exhaust valves are 2.08/1.66
  • Intake/exhaust valves for the Police Interceptor 460 heads (from 1973-’74) measure 2.19/1.66