Ford MEL engine

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Ford MEL V8
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledMarauder V8
PredecessorFord Y-block V8
Lincoln Y-block V8
SuccessorFord 385 V8

Ford developed the MEL ("Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln") engine series for use in their line of Mercury models from 1958 through 1967. The MEL also replaced Lincoln's unique Y-block design. These engines were produced in Lima, Ohio at Ford's Lima Engine plant. They were replaced by the 385 series engines.

All MEL engines had wedge shaped combustion chambers formed between a flat head surface and an angle milled block deck (10 degrees off square with the bore axis), with the piston top determining the compression ratio and combustion chamber shape, similar to the Chevrolet Big-Block 348 combustion chamber, also introduced in 1958, and the later 409. Unlike the Chevrolet, which had staggered valves and scalloped or M shaped valve covers, the MEL valves were inline with shaft mounted rocker arms like the FE model Ford engines which were introduced at the same time. As with the previous generation V8's, an open runner intake manifold was used, requiring the use of a stamped steel lifter valley cover similar to that of the Pontiac V8 engines. Also, the intake manifold provided no exhaust crossover passage to warm the air/fuel mixture, relying solely on the heat riser mounted over the left exhaust manifold to provide heat for warming the air/fuel mixture.

The MEL was similar to the Ford FE, with the same oiling system, bolt patterns, and valve stems, but was even larger. The main bearings were 2.9 in (74 mm), while the rod bearings were huge at 2.6 in (66 mm). The connecting rod beam had a unique triangular shape with the shoulders for the bolts sitting low toward the cap mating surface (1/2 in.).


The 383 cu in (6.3 L) Marauder was the smallest member of the family. Produced from 1958 through 1960, it was only used in Mercury vehicles. It used a 4.3 in (109.2 mm) bore and 3.3 in (83.8 mm) stroke. Output began at 312 or 330 hp (233 or 246 kW), both with a four-barrel carburetor. 322 hp (240 kW) was the only output for 1959, and power dropped to 280 hp (209 kW) for the final year.



The least-common MEL engine was the 410 cu in (6.7 L) E-475. Bore was lower at 4.2 in (106.7 mm). 10.5.1 compression, a Holley four-barrel carb, and hydraulic lifters pushed out 333 hp (248 kW) and 475 ft·lbf (644 Nm) of torque. This engine was only used in the 1958 Edsel Corsair and Citation.


The 430 cu in (7.0 L) engine was produced from 1958 through 1965. It was also used in Ford Thunderbirds and was commonly referred to as the "Bulldozer" of the MEL series engines. The Super Marauder used three two-barrel carburetors. The 430 had a 4.30 in (109.2 mm) bore (same as the 383) and shared the 3.7 in (94 mm) stroke of the 410.

The 1958 Super Marauder was the first American production automobile engine to attain a 400 hp (298 kW) advertised rating.

The compression ratio started at 10.5:1 for 365, 375, and 400 hp (272, 280, and 298 kW), but was reduced to 10.0:1 in less than a year. These 1959 engines produced 345-350 hp (257 to 261 kW), but power was down to 315 hp (235 kW) for 1960.

New pistons and a four-barrel carburetor were added for 1963. 10.1:1 compression brought output back to 345 hp (257 kW).



The 430 was replaced by the 462 cu in (7.6 L) engine in 1966. Bore and stroke were entirely different at 4.38 in (111.3 mm) by 3.83 in (97.3 mm) and the 462 MEL engine produced 340 hp (254 kW) and as much as 485 ft·lbf (658 N·m) of torque. This engine was fitted with hydraulic lifters and a Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor. This large torquey engine was used only in Lincoln Continentals, from 1966 until mid-year in 1968 when it was replaced by the 385-series 460. Production ended after 1967. The production facilities in Lima were converted to produce the new Ford 385 engine family.



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