Ford 460 vs 454 Chevy: Which Is Better? (MPG, Towing, Torque)

There is no real consensus. When you ask which engine is better, it is like asking which truck is better. There is no clear answer as many people like one motor and the same number of people like the other. There is good and bad in both engines.

No matter where you turn, there are equal numbers of people who say one engine is better than the other and vice versa. The problem is they all have experience to back their claims up.

To learn more about each engine, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you want to know about so you can make your own decisions as to which engine is the best of the two. Take a few minutes to see if the information has you switching sides.

460 Ford vs 454 Chevy Pros and Cons

1. Ford 460 Pros:

  • a very reliable engine
  • also, a very powerful motor
  • very hard to ruin and called indestructible
  • a very durable motor
  • long production run, 30+ years
  • can last up to 250,000 miles with proper maintenance


  • low gas mileage compared to today’s engine’s
  • did have lots of mechanical issues (seals, oil cooler, water pump, timing cover leaks but not all 460s had these problems)
  • can be very noisy
  • can be very expensive to buy

2. Chevy 454 Pros:

  • strong and reliable motor (lots of aftermarket parts available)
  • some versions had great horsepower
  • good production run
  • durable and could last for many years
  • part of the muscle car generation
  • can still be found today as a crate engine


  • lower gas mileage
  • had its share of mechanical problems (including overheating, backfiring, exhaust manifold and cylinder heads)
  • it was a big block
  • can be expensive to buy

460 vs 454 Horsepower


The 1968 to 72 version of this motor, with a 4-barrel carb, could get to 365 HP at 4400 RPM. The torque was 388 @ 2800 RPM. The 1973 to 1996 version with 4-barrel carb, reached only between 205 and 275 HP and had a torque range of 345 and 375.

The reason for the drop in HP and torque was due to the gas shortage of the 70s and the introduction of fuel emission systems and other changes. The original 1970 model was built to produce 360 HP at 5400 RPM with a torque of 390 at 4400 RPM.

But Chevrolet did not stop there. They continued to upgrade this motor and future renditions produced a lot more HP. The LS6 1970 with a 4-barrel carb reached 450 HP @ 5400 RPM and got 500 torque at 3200 RPM and 3600 RPM.

Then the 1971 LS5 was given a 5 HP boost to 365 while the LS6 was lowered to 425 HP. From there, it seems that it all went downhill as the LS5 dropped to 270, 275, and 235 in 1972, 73, and 74 respectively.

However, there are reports of both these engines reaching even higher horsepower levels in special versions of the engines. It just depended on the technology and application at the time.

454 vs 460 Torque


As you can see in the above section, the torque often fluctuated as much as the horsepower did over the years. The changes were due to management decisions and the torque could be altered for special versions just like the horsepower could.

For the Chevy LS5, it seems that the torque stayed pretty much the same going from 390 to 395 and back again in the years 72,73, and 74. The LS6 changed between 500, 465, and 475 in earlier models.

The Ford 460 started out with about 280 to 390 ft-lb of torque but over the years that rating changed. But these specs changed as people started to buy used motors and upgraded the engines to fit their driving plans.

The Ford 460 crate engines are said to reach 465 ft-lb of torque and it may be the same for the Chevy 454 crate engine. The best figure we came across for the Ford 460 was 575 ft-lb of torque.

The torque rating will depend on the year it was made and if it is like the horsepower, 1974ish seems to be the benchmark year where performance was sacrificed for fuel savings.

To get more specific information you would have to look up each specific model year as changes were made throughout the production runs.

460 vs 454 Mpg


This would depend on the application. Most truck owners were reporting 10 to 11 miles per gallon when empty and down to 9 0r 8 when pulling a trailer. Those who had the 460 installed in their RV reported to going above 8 mpg with 6 being the average figure.

As for the Chevy 454, some owners have claimed they are getting 10 to 11 in their RVs. But that result is being challenged by other owners who have not seen as great of a result as those reported figures.

Another owner reported getting 11 to 12 MPG with his 454 when driving on flat land but only got 9 to 10 when he had to drive the hills. The actual miles per gallon you will get with either engine will depend on many factors.

How fast you drive, how heavy your load is, how big your RV is, and how much cargo you are carrying. Then there are weather and wind conditions as well as traffic issues that will all impact your miles per gallon rating.

The stats given by both manufacturers are usually created under ideal conditions and do not reflect the reality. Some owners did not want to debate these results due to the fact both engines have been out of production for many years.

The engines in their minds were not as good as today’s engines and low results are to be expected.

460 vs 454 Towing


This is a hard category to compare as there are so many other factors involved in towing a trailer. Both engines had the power to tow good-sized trailers but if the transmission was not up to the task then that power is useless.

Or if the 460 or 454 were placed in an RV and could not get enough fuel to function right going up hill, then the towing prowess of both went out the window. Then if the rear end was not the best rated, then towing with both engines would be difficult.

Depending on the rear end, the 1992 F250 could tow between 9400 and 12,500 pounds. A 94 F250 had no trouble towing an 8000-pound trailer. As for the Chevy 454, it is possible that it could tow up to 15,000 pounds depending on which truck it was installed in.

There are other factors involved like pin or tongue weights, cargo with limits, and so on. Plus the age of the engine will play a role in this assessment. The older the engine gets, the harder it may be to tow heavier weights.

The actual towing figures will depend on the year the engine was made and the vehicle it was placed in. While the power was there in both engines, the vehicle may not have been up to towing heavier weights.

Finding a 454 RV Engine For Sale


If you are not going to buy a crate engine, and we will get to that in a moment, then one of the first places to check would be your local junk yards. They should have older engines for sale but there is no guarantee if they have the 454 or more than one.

A second place to look would be the classified ads. Whether local or national does not matter. Many owners like to use classified ads to sell their unused engines as those options are cheaper and often get better results.

A third option would be to buy a used RV with the 454 engine inside. The RV may not be in the greatest of shape but the motor can always be rebuilt and fine-tuned to perform like its old self.

Smartrvguide is listing quite a few of these models and it is not hard to get rid of the other parts of the RV. Next on the list would be different engine re-building companies.

They usually have some top engines for sale or know where to find them. Finally, you can contact those companies that sell crate engines. Tri Star Engines and Transmissions is one such company.

Some Additional Words

Both engines are very good workhorse engines that are dependable, reliable, and durable. They still have the power to perform and which one is better is up to you to decide.

If you need more information on both of these motors, click 454 engine mpg or 454 oil capacity for the Chevy model and is Ford 460 a good engine for the Ford. Those links will take you to our more detailed articles on these two engines.

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