Jim Smart
March 3, 2017

It is really amazing what you can get from the automotive aftermarket these days in your quest to build a really hot Mustang or perhaps just a fresh reliable warmup for the commute. Affordable white-hot Coyote crates ranging from dead stock to psychotic wild, fast-quick drop-in beasts you can install over a weekend.

Ford Performance has done it again, turning its attention back to the overhead cam engine, the 4.6L-based Modular, which has been stroked to a stunning 5.3L for your 2V, 3V, or 4V project. The M-6009-B53 5.3L crate short-block is easily the most common-sense Modular engine package on the market and it is available right now. The 5.3L crate is a no-brainer because Ford Performance has done all the work for you. No machine shop or amassing of parts. Ford cops the BOSS 302 bare block (M-6010-BOSS50) and fills it with solid internals that are designed to work with 2V, 3V, or 4V heads. Screw this thing together in your garage, button it up, and go racing. Or fire it up for the commute or a weekend getaway.

Think about it. Ford Performance product planners and engineers have taken care of the toughest part of building a new engine by designing a strong and durable short-block, offering a great range of naturally aspirated or supercharged power possibilities. Our friends at Ford use only the best parts, starting with the Modular BOSS block, Eagle steel forged stroker crankshaft and H-beam connecting rods with floating pins, and Mahle coated and forged pistons. Bored and stroked (3.701 by 3.750 inches) to 5.3L, this BOSS short-block is internally balanced and ready to be assembled to your application. We looked to Eddie Rios at Addiction Motorsports in the heart of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California for his expertise. Rios has a lot of experience with all Modular engines, including the Gen I and Gen II Coyote. He is going to assemble our 5.3L crate using Trick Flow’s new Twisted Wedge 195 heads for Modular engines.

Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 195 series cylinder heads are outstanding pieces for Modular Fords. The secret to power is Twisted Wedge combustion chambers and intake valves moved to the opposite side of the camshaft. The result has been dramatic increases in midlift airflow, piston-to-valve clearance, and valve-to-bore clearance for using higher-lift cams and larger valves without altering bore size or fly-cutting pistons.

Other Twisted Wedge features include OE PI-style intake inlets, Fast As Cast runners that deliver near-CNC-ported airflow, CNC-profiled combustion chambers, 3/4-inch-thick decks, patented replaceable cam bearing journals, and 3/4-inch-reach spark plugs. These heads fit all 2V Romeo and Windsor engines and accept all OE camshafts, followers, lash adjusters, valve covers, and most factory timing covers. The Trick Flow 195 cylinder heads are available fully assembled or as bare castings. You can order them with a number of different spring pressures depending on cam selection.

We are dropping this 5.3L SOHC into a 1999 New Edge to show you what can be done with a 2V SOHC Modular engine given a pinch of additional displacement and Trick Flow 195 cylinder heads with an aggressive cam profile. We will keep you abreast of this engine’s progress. We are grateful to Ford Performance for a terrific short-block package like this. It is built to Ford’s toughest engineering standards and ready for any application you might have in mind from your daily driver F-150 to a weekend racer New Edge Mustang. Build it mild. Erect it wild!

1. The Modular 5.3L Stroker Short-Block (M-6009-B53) begins with the M-6010-BOSS50 block, Eagle steel forged crankshaft and H-beam rods, and Mahle free-floating forged pistons. This is a short-block ready for any mission from commuting to racing.

2. The 5.3L is fitted with this Melling OEM-style M360 oil pump. There are three potential Melling pumps you can use if you are going racing with the 5.3L. Melling offers two high-performance pumps, available from Summit Racing Equipment: PN 60176 and PN 10227. Both are hard anodized for durability and fitted with chromoly steel billet internals. The 10176 pump is a standard volume pump, while the 10227 is high volume. Melling also offers the 10340 pump, a high-pressure pump designed specifically for the 3V engine and its VVT system, which depends upon pressure to do its job. The M360 pump installed on these engines is an excellent piece for street and high-performance driving. Call the M360 a vastly improved OEM-style pump.

3. We like Ford Performance’s windage tray for the 5.3L, which will work very well with any aftermarket pan. We have opted for a Moroso pan and pickup, and are staying with the factory windage tray.

4. We are going racing with this 5.3L powerhouse in a New Edge. Rios has chosen to stud the block with ARP studs (PN 256-4001) and the supplied Fel-Pro head gaskets. Studs are threaded but not bottomed out. SAE 30 weight oil is used on the threads to get an accurate torque reading.

5. The heavy-duty M-6010-BOSS50 block sports this M-6015-BOSS 5.0 casting number. The “W” indicates casting at the Windsor, Ontario, iron foundry. Windsor has traditionally been a truck casting and engine plant—with those first Modular 4.6L and 5.4L engines being produced for the new F-Series trucks in 1997-1998.

6. The Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 195 series cylinder head (TFS-52910002-C01) does the factory head one better with a complete redesign of the SOHC Modular cylinder head. Twisted Wedge Race 195 cylinder heads are perfect for big bore engine builds like the 5.3L, superchargers, turbos, high compression, big shot of nitrous oxide, and other mega-power combinations. Where they differ from the standard 185 head is they use fully CNC-ported runners with a premium high-resolution surface finish for top-drawer performance. What’s more, larger valves and race-duty valvetrain components give these heads 8,000-plus rpm capability. These heads are available fully assembled or as bare castings.

7. Rios stresses oil galley plug installation in all the right places. If you get this one wrong, count on low to no oil pressure and one heck of a mess on the garage floor. Because SOHC heads are reversible, this is an easy step to overlook—but don’t. Oil galleys get plugged at the back of the cylinder head. In front, they get the chain tensioners.

8. Trick Flow revisited the Modular cylinder head’s oil galleys, improving oil distribution.

9. An overhead view of the Twisted Wedge 195 head demonstrates revised cam and valve positioning, resulting in dramatically improved flow.

10. Look at these CNC-massaged intake ports, each 195 cc in volume. Buttery smooth walls lead to extra-large 1.900-inch valves and 44cc chambers. Chamber size for the 185 head is offered in your choice of 44cc or 38cc.

11. We like these CNC-ported D-ports on the exhaust side. Exhaust valves are 1.450 inches on both the 185 and 195 heads.

12. Twisted Wedge heads glide over the ARP studs. Studs are the better choice if you are planning to race, use nitrous, or opt for supercharging.

13. Rios torques the heads in proper order per Ford specifications. Always best to torque heads crisscross in one-third values for uniform head and gasket compression. Then check torque readings again a fourth time.

14. Trick Flow has done cam selection for us with the TFS-51802001 camshaft kit with 0.550/0.550 intake/exhaust valve lift with the stock Modular rockers and 228/230 degrees of duration intake and exhaust on 112-degree lobe centers. Despite the aggressive nature of these cams, you get a civilized idle and a power band of 1,500-5,000 rpm.

15. Trick Flow really knows how to dress up the otherwise lackluster SOHC Modular V-8 with these cast aluminum wrinkle finish valve covers (PN TFS-51811802) for Windsor Modulars. Romeo engines get the 11-bolt covers (PN TFS-51811801). These covers look sharp and quiets down the Modular valvetrain.

16. Look at the cam support the Trick Flow heads provide with liberal journal surface area and improved lubrication qualities.

17. Rios has given cam journals generous amounts of Comp Cams engine assembly lube. Cams are seated and prepared for permanent installation. Some builders choose to install rocker arms first, then seat the cams in proper time with the No. 1 piston at top dead center. Rios installs cams first, then rocker arms. He checks cams for freedom of rotation with journal caps torqued to specifications before rockers go on.

18. Cam journal bolts are torqued in a specific order to prevent distortion. Be advised: You must follow the order exactly as Ford dictates. Bolts are gradually run down in order like you would torque a cylinder head or main bearing caps. If you get in a hurry, you will not be able to turn the cams.

19. A word about Ford Modular timing chain guides. There are two types of chain guides for two subfamilies of Modular engines. Steel guides (black arrow) are Romeo only. Plastic guides are Windsor only (red arrow). Because we have Trick Flow heads on a Windsor block, this application calls for Romeo guides. You must also be mindful of the chain tensioner guides. Romeo and Windsor are also different. This has to do with chain to tensioner guide offset. The tensioner guide must line up with the chain perfectly.

20. These are hydraulic chain tensioners, which function from engine oil pressure. Once chains are installed and properly timed, tensioners are installed with pins in place. Once you are confident timing is spot on, pull the pins.

21. Rios has the cams properly located and the No. 1 piston at top dead center. Chain master links are located with timing marks on the cam and crank sprockets. This is how you time both cams. Never rotate the cams independently of the crank. You risk valve-to-piston contact and serious engine damage. Our Trick Flow application has an adjustable crank sprocket to advance and retard valve timing.

22. Once each chain is installed and properly timed, tensioners are installed and pins pulled. When pins are pulled, tensioners provide static tension. However, you must have pressurized tensioners (oil pressure) with heavy tension on the chains prior to startup.

23. Trick Flow provides this cam degreeing kit, which enables you to remove the hydraulic cam follower and go to this solid follower for pinpoint accuracy. Rios degrees each camshaft and finds that both are spot on and do not require advance or retard. Retard for more power at high rpm. Advance for better low- to midrange torque.

24. We have degreed the left-hand camshaft. Installation of the right-hand chain is next, along with degreeing. Because the Modular has two cams there is twice the amount of work.

25. This is how the dial indicator is set up on the SOHC Modular. You may choose any cylinder as long as you are in proper time at the beginning of intake stroke. Run the engine through at least twice and record your findings.

26. Right-hand timing chain and sprockets are installed and properly timed. Rios has chosen zero, with the “0” at the keyway. Note the master link and timing mark at the crank sprocket. Timing the Ford Modular doesn’t have to be complex.

27. Check out this Innovators Wests 10 percent underdrive harmonic damper (PN 803) for Modular engines. This is SFI 18.1 rated for 2V, 3V, and 4V Mustang GT and Cobra with eight-rib drive and 10 percent underdrive pulley. This guy is designed to fit 4.6L and 5.4L 2V, 3V, and 4V engines. For engines making over 500 hp, a standard-diameter damper is recommended. You also have the option of dual keyway or a super hub option when power goes skyward.

28. We have opted for this Moroso road-race pan with big capacity for high-revving Modulars. This is a class-act piece that is precision welded with thick pan rails for durability and will keep our Modular well fed at high rpm. We are currently finishing up the fuel system to support the new powerplant, but we are planning to add the Trick Flow Track Heat upper and lower manifold once we swap out the timing cover from the original 4.6L.