Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
February 3, 2014

7. Installing the cams is pretty straightforward. The cam caps must be removed; on the Trick Flow heads, they’re numbered. Make sure to reinstall the caps in their proper place. Using a liberal amount of cam lube, we place the cams onto the heads and reinstall the caps. The caps also have a specific torque sequence, and the instructions will spell that out for you in an easily understood manner.

8. We’re going to move to the bottom of the engine for a little bit to install the oil pickup tube. The Ford Racing short-block comes with an installed windage tray, and you’ll have to loosen the tray slightly to slide the pickup tube into place. If you do the same as we did with a Ford Racing short-block, it comes with a new oil pump but doesn’t include an oil pickup tube, so keep that in mind. If you order a new oil pump from Ford Racing, it comes with the pickup tube.

9. Our Bullitt had received a new BBK Performance X-shape crossover pipe a few issues back, but it still had the stock exhaust manifolds. There’s no way we were going to use those for the 5.0-liter stroker, so we got a pair of BBK Performance’s 15⁄8-inch, full-length headers ($599.99) to help the 5.0-liter stroker exhale as easily as possible. We chose the ceramic finish since we want them to last. These headers also feature a 3⁄8-inch-thick flange and a two-bolt flange collector to line up with a BBK Performance 21⁄2-inch, X-shape crossover pipe designed for the full-length headers that we’re also adding this time around.

10. We’d say things are getting pretty serious now. We’ve installed the timing chains and guides, crank and cam sprockets, and the timing chain tensioners. The Trick Flow top-end package comes with a timing chain installation kit so you won’t need to get one from Ford Racing. We had both a Trick Flow, and a Ford Racing timing chain package, but the most important piece of the puzzle in front of you is the TDC tool on the crankshaft snout. That has to be lined up with the dowel on the block as you see it, or some people just position the crankshaft keyway at 11 o’clock, and let ’er eat. We didn’t want to go that route so we borrowed the tool from Sam Lippincott at Coastal Chassis in Tampa. There are timing marks on the crank sprocket, and on the cam sprockets. Likewise, there are links on the chain just like on a bicycle chain, and after you line up the cam sprockets (driver-side sprocket at 12-to-1 o’clock, passenger-side cam sprocket at 11 o’clock), align the timing marks on the sprockets with the darkened links on the chains, and you're set. Then release the pin from the tensioners, and timing chain installation is done.

11. Here’s a close-up shot of the timing chain tensioner. These tensioners keep tension on the timing chain guides, which in turn keep tension on the timing chains. Do not pull the pin on the tensioners until you know for sure everything is installed correctly.

12. Now we can install the lash adjusters (lifters) and the cam followers (rockers). Again using engine lube, we coat the lash adjusters, which we also soaked in oil, before installing the cam followers. Using engine lube will help with the installation of the cam followers.

13. Trick Flow includes a cam follower installation tool, and the instructions also detail how to install them. Basically the tool allows you to compress the valvespring on each individual intake or exhaust cylinder so you’re able to install each follower. The critical part is making sure you don’t lose any valve-stem keepers when compressing the valvesprings. Pay attention and make sure the valve stem is going down along with the valvespring. It will help to have a buddy or two assisting and watching during this part of the build.

14. Now we can prep the long-block for installing the front cover. Notice we’ve already installed the crank trigger wheel, or crankshaft sensor ring, from the timing chain kit. Dabs of silicone must be placed where the heads meet the block and where the block meets the oil pan. Then the front cover can be installed onto the long-block. One thing to note, we used a ‘99-’04 front cover. As we mentioned earlier in this report, Ford Racing uses a ’05-’10 block as the basis for the 5.0-liter modular short-block, and one of the bolts on the cover doesn’t match up to the engine. Some people drill and tap that hole on the engine, but that was too risky for us. We chose, instead, to silicone the hole on the cover, and we are happy to report no leaks. We had to source front-cover hardware from Brandon Ford, as well, since we were building a new engine, and didn’t have access to the old engine’s front cover bolts at the time.

15. Moving back up top, we added a new water tube to the engine. Trick Flow includes a rubber hose for this, but we felt better having a metal tube. It’s available through Ford, so you can go this route, as well. The tube installs at the front of the valley and bolts onto the head at the back of the engine. Notice we’ve also installed the engine’s intake gaskets in place.

16. Before installing the intake on the engine, however, the lower intake must be pre-assembled. Dave (D2) uses the Trick Flow-supplied hardware and gaskets to assemble the lower prior to bolting it onto the engine. There are torque sequences and specs one must follow with the majority of the engine, including the Trick Flow lower, so make sure to have them handy and follow them.

17. With the intake assembled, D2 sets it in place on the long-block. We also added Trick Flow cam covers to the mix, as well. This is where we started hearing taunts of silver paint sales at the local auto parts store, but as you’ll see, it all turns out nice in the end. Like everything else, follow the torque sequence and specs on the intake as they are specific.

18. With the lower intake installed, D2 installs the upper intake. We’ve already installed the Trick Flow 75mm throttle body onto the upper, along with the intake port fittings into the upper intake manifold. These fittings need Teflon sealer before installing them into place. The lower fitting is for the engine’s PCV system. We would take the upper manifold off just before engine installation into the car, but we were just getting the engine ready for a pretty shot at this time.

19. Next up we oil the tips of our Ford Racing fuel injectors and install them into place. We chose to go with Ford Racing’s 47-lb/hr injectors. Yes, they’re a bit overkill (OK, a lot overkill), but they worked just fine, and tuner James Gordon from Tuning by James is familiar with their tuning parameters.