Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

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Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:59 am

So my friend is looking at purchasing a 1962 Lincoln Continental for a cruiser. It's a pretty cool car, but it has no engine and trans. I never really gave them much thought other than looking at them and thinking "hey, that's a cool car". So he calls me and asks what it would take to get an engine and trans in it. The guy selling it has a 460/C6 that he's willing to send with the car if purchased. I did a little research and I find out that these things came with a 430 MEL big block.

Once again, Ford has not disappointed on being the most complicated manufacturer of car parts on earth. Why in the world did they make soooo many different engines??? Seems like they were grasping at straws to figure out what worked.

Ok, whatever. After what I've read, I'm going to go on the assumption that we're not going to go to the local junkyard and find a 430 MEL with no problem. So there's a 460 in play here too. There's also a 390FE that my same friend has sitting in his shop. Any Ford Gurus out there know which would be a better choice for a swap if he purchases this car, and why one or the other?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by Ron E » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:03 pm

Parts support will be good with a 460. May be a problem with the MEL line.

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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:41 pm

Ron E wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:03 pm
Parts support will be good with a 460. May be a problem with the MEL line.
I'm not so concerned about parts support. I'm more concerned with fitment. I know we're not going to find a MEL engine around easily, so I'm not even considering that as an option. I'm more curious to know if it would be an easier swap to drop in the 385 series or the FE. This is a cruiser, not a bruiser.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by Curtis Mc » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:22 pm

The Continental got the 460 in 1968 and it's essentially the same chassis from 61-69. I would say go that route for sure seeing as you can put your hands on one right from the gun. If there isn't an exact engine mount available, I would ASSume that fabrication would not be all that challenging.

In regard to the confusing "Ford" engines, you lumped them all together just a bit, which isn't exactly fair. You need to recall than many car lines back then had their own engines, and that applied to GM too. For example the 350 came in 4 flavors - C/B/O/P, you wouldn't say 'stupid Chevy always confusing things'. Same applies here, the MEL was used in Mercury, Edsel, and Lincolns.

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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:28 pm

Curtis Mc wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:22 pm
The Continental got the 460 in 1968 and it's essentially the same chassis from 61-69. I would say go that route for sure seeing as you can put your hands on one right from the gun. If there isn't an exact engine mount available, I would ASSume that fabrication would not be all that challenging.

In regard to the confusing "Ford" engines, you lumped them all together just a bit, which isn't exactly fair. You need to recall than many car lines back then had their own engines, and that applied to GM too. For example the 350 came in 4 flavors - C/B/O/P, you wouldn't say 'stupid Chevy always confusing things'. Same applies here, the MEL was used in Mercury, Edsel, and Lincolns.
Stupid Chevy, always confusing things!

:D :D :D :D
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by blykins » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:39 pm

MEL cores are pretty plentiful. Usually 1-2 for sale every week on the www.fordfe.com forum.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:41 pm

blykins wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:39 pm
MEL cores are pretty plentiful. Usually 1-2 for sale every week on the www.fordfe.com forum.
How about a whole engine? I'm not looking to do a complete build for him. I'll help him drop an engine/trans in, but I don't think he's got the time or $ for me to build an engine for the car.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by PackardV8 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:50 pm

How about a whole engine? I'm not looking to do a complete build for him. I'll help him drop an engine/trans in, but I don't think he's got the time or $ for me to build an engine for the car.
He just wants a cheap cruiser and no grief, so go with the 460" and don't look back. Leave the MEL for we serious obsolete nut jobs.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by CamKing » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:55 pm

If you want to go with a MEL,
send a PM to brechlrl , here on speedtalk
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by Daniel Jones » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:05 pm

The 1968 Lincoln Continental got a 460 so there should be factory parts available to swap one in, though they may be rare. You may be looking at a transmission swap as well. Below are some notes on the MEL from my database.

MEL = Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln.

In the mid-1950's, Ford had three OHV V-8 engine families: the Y-block,
FE (Ford-Edsel), and MEL (Mercury Edsel Lincoln). The Y-block's were
small displacement engines and the FE's were medium displacement. The
MEL's were the largest of the lot and were available in 383, 410, 430,
and 462 cubic inch displacements with growth potential to go even larger.
They were big bore, short stroke, engines:

Disp Bore Stroke
383 4.30 x 3.30
410 4.20 X 3.70
430 4.29 x 3.70
462 4.38 x 3.83

I think Dave mentioned that MEL cranks will fit in FEs with a little
massaging. The main bearing diameter was 2.90" and the rods were 2.60".
The large rod journals and bores meant they could be offset ground for
a big increase in displacement and there were 504 cubic inch stroker
packages available back in their day.

Like the 348-409 Chevy, MEL block faces were cut at less than 45 degrees
and form the combustion chamber. When the piston is at TDC there is a
wedged shape space between head and the deck. The head is completely
flat with squish area determined by the piston shape. Ford claimed this
arrangement offered better breathing (less shrouding of the valves)
cheaper to produce (no complex head castings). The MEL's had a 1.8:1
rocker arm ratio and relatively large ports and valves for the day.
I believe the power steering pump was integral with the engine as well.

Special wedge plates must be used when reboring block. The MEL's shared
some design features with FE's (exhaust bolt pattern, valves stem diameter,
and oil system layout. Rocker arm ratio was 1.8:1. According to Dave
Williams' Engine Weight FYI, they weighed a bit more than 460's (720 lbs
for the 460, 740 lbs for the 430).

They were interesting but an evolutionary dead end and were eventually
replaced by the ever larger FE and 385 series big blocks in FoMoCo's
line-up. Still, there were some neat performance parts available,
including roller cams, aluminum rods, and supercharger kits (axial-flow
Latham, centrifugal Paxton, and positive displacement Roots). In 1958,
the 430 Super Marauder came with three two barrel carbs, rated at 400
horsepower and nearly 500 foot-pounds of torque. Lincolns usually had
430's or 462's and 430's also found their way into a few Thunderbirds,
with 383's in Mercurys.

I'm not sure about the bellhousing interchange. I think the early ones
were similar to or shared the FE family (390, 427, 428, etc.) and the
later ones are similar but not the same as the 429/460. Here's a couple
of related messages from my database:

Beware there is some variation in the bellhousing pattern over the years.
The '58 to '61 (or is it '62 blocks?) use the same bellhousing pattern as
an FE. The '63 to '65 blocks have a lower starter mount and different dowl
pin and are not a direct bolt-on to an FE bellhousing. The '66 to '67 462
blocks have a C6 that is yet another pattern. The '66/'67 462 came with a
C6 from the factory, but the block had a dual bolting pattern and that C6
case was unique. But, the dual bolt pattern will still take the earlier
trans bellhousing. Just one hole and a separate mounting bracket is not used.
I think an FE flywheel will bolt to the crank flange. Dunno about the
flexplate, convertor hub size and depth of the hub into the crank flange
pilot.

It is *not* the same as an FE. The MEL pattern can be identified by a
sharp asymmetrical spike at the top of the pattern. It is similar, but
not the same as, the 385-series big block, not the FE. Most 385s (that's
the 429 and 460 engine family) have an odd sloping ridge across the back;
that's the phantom outline of the old MEL pattern. As far as I know the
bottom four bolts and the locating dowels are the same; if so, a welding
shop might be able to put some tabs on any generic 385-series bellhousing.

Dan Jones

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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by Racerrick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:38 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:59 am


Once again, Ford has not disappointed on being the most complicated manufacturer of car parts on earth. Why in the world did they make soooo many different engines??? Seems like they were grasping at straws to figure out what worked.

Ok, whatever.
Thanks in advance for any input.
LOL Ford has so many engine? GM is the retards with the piles of motors... 3 generation of Olds engines plus the 215 aluminum, then Buick with 4 generation of engines. Pontiac, Chevrolet and Caddy all of which produced big blocks. Did GM really need 5 different big blocks 6 if you count the 409? . I would swap a stroker Windsor into the Lincoln

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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:55 pm

Racerrick wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:38 pm
LOL Ford has so many engine? GM is the retards with the piles of motors...
Whoa whoa whoa!!! I'm not trying to start a Bowtie vs. Blue Oval pissing match. I like both. This is just an inquiry, lol
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by turdwilly » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:04 pm

I count 29 varieties of GM V-8 engines from 1914-current. 7 varieties in production during the 1962 model year. Apparently the straw grasping wasn't exclusive to Ford (i.e. Ford & its sister companies Lincoln & Mercury). :wink:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GM_engines

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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by blykins » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:07 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:41 pm
blykins wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:39 pm
MEL cores are pretty plentiful. Usually 1-2 for sale every week on the www.fordfe.com forum.
How about a whole engine? I'm not looking to do a complete build for him. I'll help him drop an engine/trans in, but I don't think he's got the time or $ for me to build an engine for the car.
If you're looking for something quick and easy to drop in and get him going, I don't think you'll find something that doesn't need a rebuild.
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Re: Ford MEL engine? Whaaaaaaaaaa???

Post by nickpohlaandp » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:51 pm

blykins wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:07 pm
If you're looking for something quick and easy to drop in and get him going, I don't think you'll find something that doesn't need a rebuild.
Well 460's are proving to be fairly easy to come by for me lately... maybe it's because I opened my eyes and looked at them, but my buddy said that someone told him the 460 is a PITA swap in that car. I don't really see why it would be considering you've got about 1/2 acre of real estate under the hood, but I guess things don't line up... who knows? I think his issue is he wants quick and easy but the car isn't complete. I'm the only person he knows that'll mess with Ford, so he comes to me with this stuff.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. It makes no difference to me what brand it wears. I just like working on engines.
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