Overview & Specs Of The 4.6 Ford Engine

Published: 09/14/22 •  6 min read

Ford has put out some fantastic engines over the years. From the Windsor to the Cologne and even the Boss 302, they have had some great V8s. The 4.6 Ford engine is one of those great engines. It was first introduced in 1990 in the Lincoln Town Car.

The 4.6 Ford engine is a 90-degree V8 that was available in both two and 4-valve versions. Ford used the two-valve version in various vehicles, including the Mustang, Crown Victoria, and F-150.

The Lincoln Mark VIII and Ford Thunderbird used the four-valve version. The newly rebuilt 4.6-liter Ford engine is one of the most popular engines that Ford has ever produced. It is reliable, robust, and relatively inexpensive to maintain. It is also a top-rated engine to swap into other vehicles.


The bore of the 4.6 Ford engine is 3.54 inches, and the stroke is 3.54 inches. The compression ratio is 9.0:1, and the red line is 6,250 rpm. The two-valve version of the engine produces 215 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and 285 ft-lbs of torque at 3,800 rpm. The four-valve version of the engine produces 280 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 320 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000 rpm.

It has an aluminum cylinder head and aluminum or cast iron cylinder block depending on the version. The two-valve version has a cast iron block, and the four-valve version has an aluminum block. The connecting rods are forged steel, and the pistons are hypereutectic aluminum. The crankshaft is nodular iron.

The two-valve version of the engine has a single overhead camshaft, while the four-valve version has dual overhead camshafts. The two-valve version has cast iron cylinder heads with 46 cc combustion chambers. The four-valve version has aluminum cylinder heads with 32 cc combustion chambers. With a chain camshaft drive, it has a hydraulic roller tappet valvetrain. The fuel system is a sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection.

Common Ford 4.6 Engine Problems

Intake Manifold Failure

One of the most prevalent 4.6 ford engine problems between 1996 and 2001 is the failure of the intake manifold gaskets. This can cause various problems, including coolant leaks, engine overheating, and loss of power. It is a relatively simple fix and can be done by most mechanics.

Spark Plug Failure

Another common problem with the 4.6 Ford engine is spark plug failure. This can cause misfires, loss of power, and poor fuel economy. From the 4.6 ford engine diagram, the plugs in the ford mustang 4.6 crate engine are located in the back of the engine and can be challenging to reach. Many mechanics recommend removing the entire intake manifold to access the plugs.

Oil Pressure Drops

Fluid cannot reach some parts when you have an oil pressure drop in the 4.6 Ford engine. As a result, the engine parts without lubrication start banging against each other. The noise is usually described as a “ticking” sound. A faulty oil pump or oil filter can cause this problem.

Timing Chain Guide Failure

The 4.6 Ford engine uses a timing chain to reduce long-term maintenance costs. However, the timing chain guides can fail and cause the timing chain to jump. This can cause engine damage and is a severe problem. Repairs are relatively costly since your mechanic needs to dismantle the engine to fix it.

4.6 Ford Engine Upgrades

Cold Air Intake

The 4.6 Ford engine tends to run a little hot. To help with this, you can install a cold air intake. This will help to cool the engine and make it more efficient. Cold air intakes are relatively easy to install and are available for the two-valve and four-valve versions of the engine.

Not only does it help to cool the engine, but a cold air intake can also increase power. Make sure to choose an intake that is compatible with your vehicle. You can find this information on the product page or by contacting the manufacturer.


If you want a significant power increase, then a supercharger is the way. Superchargers can add a significant amount of power to your engine. They are relatively easy to install for both the two-valve and four-valve versions of the engine.

You should note that a supercharger will increase the wear on your engine. As a result, you should change the oil more frequently. You should also upgrade to a higher quality oil. Installing a supercharger is a relatively simple process and can be done by most mechanics.

Throttle Body Spacer

A throttle body spacer can help to increase power and fuel economy. It does this by increasing the time the air has to mix with the fuel. This allows for a complete burn, res

ulting in more power and better fuel economy.

However, throttle body spacers can cause problems with the idle. You may need to adjust the idle speed if your engine is idling rough after installing a throttle body spacer. This is a relatively simple process that can be done with a screwdriver.

Dual Exhausts

If you want to increase power and make your car sound better, then dual exhausts are a good option. Dual exhausts can increase power by allowing the engine to breathe better. They also tend to make the car sound more aggressive.

The 4-valve engine is a little more challenging to install dual exhausts on. This is because the headers are in the way and need to be removed. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you should take your car to a mechanic.


In summary, the 4.6 Ford engine is one of the most popular engines on the market. It is known for its reliability and performance. However, like all engines, it is not without its problems. 

The most common problems are spark plug failure, oil pressure drop, and timing chain guide failure. These problems can be expensive but can be prevented with proper maintenance. 

There are also many upgrades that you can make to improve the performance of your engine. These include cold air intakes, superchargers, throttle body spacers, and dual exhausts.

All these upgrades can help increase power and make your car more fun to drive so be sure to consider them when looking for a 4.6 ford engine for sale to swap into your car.