5.0 Mustang & Super FordsHow To Engine
Upgrading a Windsor with Edelbrock E-CNC Heads - Up For Air
351W Induction - Breathing new life into an old Windsor with a top-end
Horse Sense: Current street price for Edelbrock’s assembled E-CNC 185 head is around $1,100 apiece, or about $760 each for bare castings.
We showed up last July when they eventually got around to bolting on Edelbrock’s new aluminum breathing apparatus.
The idea started off simply enough. During some rare downtime over Michigan’s long, inhospitable winter, Bill Deister decided to upgrade the aging heads and intake on his Windsor-powered Fox quarter-mile weekend warrior—a four-eyed hatchback that also sees occasional street duty. But one thing inevitably led to another, and the project turned into a wider-ranging mechanical and cosmetic makeover of the tired Fox. Most of us have some idea how this type of one-thing-leads-to-another chain reaction can happen.
Luckily, Bill took plenty of photos as he and his crew at Detroit’s Motor City Solutions tore into the hatchback for the prep work. We showed up last July when they eventually got around to bolting on Edelbrock’s new aluminum breathing apparatus. Until now, his ’69-vintage 351W had worn its factory iron heads, though the intake manifold had somewhere along the line been upgraded to a low-rise Edelbrock Torker II. Bill’s Windsor has stock rods topped with Keith Black hypereutectic pistons, making around 11:1 compression in the factory chambers. In that form, essentially unchanged since 1997, the best e.t. it had was 12.41 at 109 mph.
Bill just knew those old-school factory head castings had to be corks—and heavy ones at that—especially in view of his Windsor’s 0.550-lift Blue Racer hydraulic flat-tappet cam. So he ordered a set of Edelbrock’s new E-CNC 185 head assemblies, along with a Victor Jr. intake to take advantage of the E-CNC’s free-flowing, machine-whittled intake and exhaust ports. The performance gains exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Rather than endlessly blab about it, here’s a photo show-and-tell of the hatchback’s rejuvenation, along with a dyno tale of the swap’s success, once again proving why cylinder heads are a must-have ingredient for anyone cooking up a hot pushrod small-block.
One thing inevitably led to another, and the project turned into a wider-ranging mechanical and cosmetic makeover of the tired Fox.
Bill just knew those old-school factory head castings had to be corks—and heavy ones at that—especially in view of his Windsor’s 0.550-lift Blue Racer hydraulic flat-tappet cam.
It was in other words, a typical 30-something-year-old engine bay.
Bill’s Windsor has stock rods topped with Keith Black hypereutectic pistons, making around 11:1 compression in the factory chambers.
On the Dyno
He was equally shocked at how much louder the faithful old Windsor bellowed while digesting all that newfound fuel/air mixture.
Modern heads always unlock power on a small-block, but Bill Deister was amazed at the seat-of-the-Levi’s improvement. “It felt like a different car,” he said about the first drive of his hatchback after treating it with Edelbrock’s respiratory prescription. And he was equally shocked at how much louder the faithful old Windsor bellowed while digesting all that newfound fuel/air mixture.
But knowing we needed the cold, hard facts of scientific quantification, Bill relied on Paul Svinicki’s trusty Dynojet at Paul’s High Performance in Jackson, Michigan, for pre- and post-operative testing results. Paul made some quick tuning adjustments for the new hardware and, as the following comparison shows, this simple head and intake swap proceeded to send an extra 86 peak ponies and 30 peak lb-ft to the wheels, and massively increased the areas under both the power and torque curves along the way.
In particular, on the stock setup you can see a massive dip in the power and torque curves right around 2,700 rpm. We’re not sure what caused this dip, but it completely disappeared after installation of the new heads/intake. No wonder Bill felt like he was piloting a different car. A 110 extra ponies at 6,000 rpm will do that.
The performance gains exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Motor City Solutions has opened an additional 28,000-square-foot building dedicated to the design and manufacture of carbon-fiber and fiberglass components, as well as vehicle restoration and modification. When it comes to carbon fiber, the company’s first products are all late-model-Mustang related, including doors, hoods, and fascias.