Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
September 1, 2013


Turnkey Driveability

For turnkey reliability and daily driver fuel economy, Lykins opted for an electronic fuel-injection system for this application. Going with FAST's EZ-EFI system rated for 550 hp on one throttle body, this system provided plenty of fuel for this 408ci engine. "This system was extremely easy to set up," Lykins said. "Basically, the throttle body bolts on in place of any carburetor, the throttle linkage hooks right up to the throttle body, and then all of the electrical connections are made from the labeled wiring harness." There are four injectors for the throttle body, which each get their own weather-pack connection. The system comes with its own wide-band O2 sensor to read the A/F ratio, and it also has its own TPS and MAP sensors. "The beauty of the system is that it controls the fuel pump (which is included with the kit, along with a regulator), the electric fan, and will even adjust the idle speed if you flip the A/C on."

There is a handheld controller that will connect to your cigarette lighter or 12V source. On a fresh install, you tell the controller how large the engine is, which throttle body you have [this will accept (2) throttle bodies for those dual-carb setups], the desired idle speed, let the TPS see closed and wide open throttle, then you light the engine off.

For the next few minutes while the engine is warming up, the system learns and adapts the A/F ratio to the engine's needs. After that, several short pulls are made on the dyno to let the system learn the A/F ratio for part throttle and WOT situations. The rpm range can then be increased and the results can be measured. Of course, it's not possible to get every bit of information that the system needs from a dyno session. It really learns from being out in the real world, driving around, and seeing what the engine needs from various scenarios.


11. With this stroked Windsor long-block buttoned up, it’s time to move on to the oil pump and pan; studs have been installed on the main caps in anticipation.
12. To supply an adequate amount of refined crude to this stout small-block, we called up Moroso and ordered a deep sump oil pan (PN 20520), and a Melling oil pump (PN M83HV) to work with the Moroso pickup (PN 24532). The fabricated Moroso oil pan holds 7 quarts of your favorite motor oil.
13. Head gaskets for the Ford small-block V-8 are from Fel Pro. With a compressed thickness of 0.040-inch, the compression ratio comes out to 9.6:1. Note the orientation marked on the gasket when installing them.
14. The Moroso deep-sump oil pan was installed, and the RHS aluminum cylinder heads follow, secured with ARP hardware.
15. Rocker arm contact on the valve stem was less than desirable, and Lykins couldn’t get the correct geometry, no matter how much he adjusted the guide plates that came with the heads.
16. To remedy this issue, Lykins ordered a set of Comp Cams adjustable guide plates, which allows you to make each individual rocker arm contact absolutely perfect. Like with the aforementioned rotating assembly clearance issue, Lykins reiterates that everything should be checked during assembly.
17. With the rocker alignment issue resolved, Lykins moved on to installing the intake manifold, which for this build, is an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap (PN 7581).
18. Lykins trimmed out this 408ci Windsor with an MSD distributor, Ford Racing Performance Parts valve covers, Professional Products harmonic damper, and an aluminum Milodon water pump (PN 16230).
19. On the dynamometer, Lykins’ engine did exactly what was expected. With a slightly noticeable chop on the idle, the 408 offered up almost 390 hp at 5,000 rpm with 460 lb-ft of torque to back it up—certainly enough to pull an 8,000-pound trailer, while still having some “go” to back up the ’52 Ford’s looks.