76 E250 with 460 CID timing gears mod

I have owned this customized Van Since new. It still is a show van. Originally the only engine mods were headers, shift kit and 429 timing gears.
After 120K miles the engine was overhauled along with extensive exterior body work and paint. The shop replaced the timing gears with the stock. I had a hell of a lot less power. This was about 5 yrs ago.
This past summer I installed Eidelbrock intake manifold , had the heads shaved 20 thou, Eidelbrock carb and MSD wireset. I am presently installing a full MSD ignition system. The mods to the manifold and carb took 4 seconds off the 0-60 It is better than the 429 timing gear mod.. but I still want to try that timing gear mod back in the van. For the life of me now, in talking to the local mechanics and to the local parts store, They have no idea what I am talking about.
Is anyone on here familiar with this mod to the 460 Big Block and will it work in my new situation?
cheers Marv
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Islander wrote:

I remember some Ford motors having retarded cam timing back in the 1970s. This was done via the cam timing gear. I don't remember this being done specifically on the 385 series engines, but from your description, it sounds like it would apply. The 429 was built through ~1972. 460 production overlapped a bit but I don't recall by how many years. The 429 likely didn't have the retarded timing gear. Your 460, being from 1976, would have had the retarded cam timing. Using the 429 timing gears would bring the cam timing back to "normal".
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On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 07:38:37 GMT, Islander

I believe what you are talking about is the retard of the cam timing built into the crank sprocket of thiose engines. I don't believe the 429 had that but, I beleive the 460's did. Most of the crank sprockets from 1972 up had a 4 degree retard built in. The fix is to use an aftermarket crank sprocket with 3 or more keyways - one of which is straight up or use a timing set for the 70-71 429. If you have changed the cam, many cam grinders have already corrected the retard by grinding in a 5 deg advance. You need to be careful making this switch and doublecheck your cam timing. Cam timing can have great effect engine output and where the peaks are in the power band. With most stock or near stock cams, you can get noticeable increases off the bottom end with up to about a 4 or 5 deg advance. I wouldn't go beyond 5 degrees without closely checking valve-to-piston clearance and being able to check it on a dyno. Keep in mind that a straight up sprocket along with a 5 deg advanced cam may be a total of 9 deg advance over stock for the engine. You might want to post your question ove in the ford big block group. There are some well informed Ford fanatics over there.
Good luck
Lugnut
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Thank you both... See I wasn't imagining things... The local mechanics are going whaaa...???
At least one of the guys at the parts store was showing me some timing gears. no chain... for a 429.. this may be an option too.. but likely way more expensive.. and slightly overkill as this is not a race machine. Just a show machine.
cheers Marv
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Islander wrote:

The above posters are both correct.
Find out about the cam in the engine...
Then, get a gear set and degree your cam to run straight up, and you should be good to go for the street.
Rob
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On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 02:34:33 GMT, Islander

If you like listening to the sound system instead of the engine, you will stay away from a gear drive. Do use a good quality chain and sprocket set. I much prefer the late style double roller chain set to the old "silent" chains that was original in those engines. They seem to be much stronger and last longer with less stretch for not much more cash than the old setup. I would not use a cam sprocket with a "plastic" coating as some of the older sets promoted for "quiet" operation for any reason - bare metal only.
Lugnut
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