Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Why are there so many big block fords?

-yeah, but that was the old SAE rating, at the crankshaft, wasn’t it? Wasn’t the power at the rear wheels considerably less?

The newer SAE net rating, in use since the middle seventies, is STILL measured at the crankshaft, but with all accessories installed and operating.

Power at the rear wheels is ALWAYS considerably less because of friction losses in the transmission and the differential.

Here is an interesting historical note. While we talk about the big block Ford engines used in cars that made it into pickup trucks, there was a big truck Ford engine that went into a car. Lincoln through the 1948 model had a V-12 engine. This engine had durability issues. In 1949, Ford used its big flathead V-8 engine that went into its 1 1/2 ton and bigger trucks and adapted that engine to the Lincoln.

Also, the GMC 6 cylinder truck engines had a bigger displacement than the Chevrolet engines. Before Chevrolet came out with its small block V-8 in 1955, hot rodders swapped this engine into Chevrolet cars. These conversions were known as “Jimmy” Chevrolets.

Why didn’t anyone mention the 429 Ford or the Hemi-cam (or SOHC) 427?

The SOHC 427 was never offered in any production vehicle, whether car or truck. It was an over-the-counter engine only available through the Ford parts department. The Boss 429 was only offered for two years, '69 & '70, and only in the Mustang and possibly the '69 Talladega. As for the standard 429, I don’t believe it was available in the truck line, as the 390 was very popular in the F-series right up until the advent of the 460, which became super-popular.

Alot of people compare Ford to Chevy. Why? Ford is an entire company, Chevy is a division of GM

Compare Ford to GM. GM sells more trucks than Ford and I’m sure they sold just as many big blocks.

The size of the motor is irrevelant anyways. Horsepower and the weight of the vehicle are the most important factor.The old adage “Theres no replacement for displacement”. is a thing of the past.

Look at a Ford V-6 putting out 300HP nowadays.

Just think what a direct-injected 500 cid BB engine with variable valve timing would do performance-wise though… Not that anyone is making one these days.

But the subject IS things from the past.Or have you changed topics from why are there so many big block FORD’s. The OP is not asking why there are so many being made today but why there were so many made years ago.

They made plenty of big blocks years ago because you could buy 5 gallons of gas for a buck!

When I worked at a gas station in high school, people would say"Give me 10 gallons,please"

Now they say “Give me $10 dollars”.

and it is followed with, “I just need to get home and I live around the corner”

I’m not sure there is any real answer. Both companies’ design teams simply took different approaches to power their vehicles. As did Chrysler. Just as both came up with different designs for the pony cars and different designs for the “flagship” luxury cars. Lincoln is as different from Caddy as Ford engine applications are from GM engine applications.

Perhaps a better way to ask is by phrasing the question,"Are their significant technical and material differences between the GM "big block’ series and the FORD and the Chrysler? Since all threw their hat into this ring “way back when”, has time shown one to be better overall than the others?

Perhaps the OP wants to know why there seems to be more of a following for the 460 in truck mods. We do see the 426 Hemi (and its aftermarket variants) dominate drag racing. I think the BB Chevy is a very clear second choice in the drag racing circles but I do agree you just don’t see as many BB GM trucks as you do FORD"s with the 460, for some reason.

That’s an interesting interpretation of the question. I’m wondering did Ford take their big blocks from their truck lines and put them in the cars and GM take the approach of designing small block V8s for their cars? But, then again, my ol’ '64 Fairlane had a 260 and Chevy’s similar vehicles had the 283. Both were small block.