Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
May 1, 2002
Photos By: 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Archives, Courtesy of Manufacturers

Bennett Racing Basic SVO 359
Bennett Racing's list of short-blocks and available displacements is quite impressive, from stock-block 331s and 347s at the low end of the price range all the way up to a 363ci Super Pro short-block sporting roller cam bearings, a Danny Bee beltdrive, a billet-steel crank, and even hand polishing of the block's inner surfaces. But by far, the best-selling short-block to come out of the Bennett Racing shop is the company's basic SVO 331 short-block in 359-displacement trim. Jon Bennett says this setup is his best seller because he has many customers coming in wanting to run low 10s or high 9s with a big blower while still keeping the car streetable. Since the production 5.0 roller block can't take that kind of abuse, the next most reasonable means of assembling a short-block would be to use a better block, which this kit has.

This 331 short-block starts off with a brand-new Ford Racing Performance Parts R302 four-bolt-main block that is fully machined in-house at Bennett Racing. The bore size is 4.100 inches, with a Scat forged-steel, 3.40-inch-stroke crank swinging the Scat 5.400-inch H-beam, forged-steel connecting rods. At the top of the rods are either Ross or CP pistons (any compression ratio and cylinder head type you want) wearing Speed-Pro file-fit rings. The entire reciprocating assembly sits in Clevite H-series bearings. The $5,895 entry fee includes the in-house assembly at Bennett Racing. For an extra $400, the company will also grind up a custom Comp camshaft and install and degree it with an FRPP timing chain and ARP cam bolt.

D.S.S. Racing 331 Bullet
D.S.S. Racing has specialized in building Ford stroker engines for more than 20 years. And the company offers it all in-house with its brand-new, purpose-built, 16,000-square-foot facility where you will find all the latest equipment including six CNC machining centers, a Sunnen CV 616, a Super Flow dyno and flow bench, and more.

While D.S.S. carries engine kits and short- and long-blocks in many configurations, including the ever-popular 331 and 347 variants, its best stroker seller is the 331 Bullet short-block. Popular with the street and race crowd, this block's features are impressive. It starts off with full race prep, including being bored and honed with a torque plate, thermal cleaning, and shot-peening and Magna-fluxing for strength and casting quality. The cylinder-head decks are squared and equalized, and the cylinder walls are clearanced for connecting-rod rotation.

For the rotating assembly, D.S.S. uses custom-forged flat-tops wrapped in Speed-Pro Moly rings and connected to D.S.S. 4340 forged H-beam or I-beam rods that are 5.135 inches long. The crankshaft is a cast-steel crank that is rated for 650 hp. The 331 Bullet also features the company's Main Support System for strokers with ARP studs, Federal-Mogul tri-metal bearings, screw-in oil plugs, and deep-seat freeze plugs (to prevent shifting and leakage). Finally, the entire assembly is balanced to 28 ounces externally, plus or minus one gram (racing tolerances). All this can be yours for just $2,995.

Options for the 331 Bullet include ultra-lightweight pistons ($100), a 4340 forged-steel crankshaft ($300), low-compression pistons ($200), or Twisted Wedge pistons ($100). D.S.S. can also turn the 331 Bullet short-block into a long-block with various cylinder heads such as the AFR 185, Canfield, Trick Flow Track Heat or Twisted Wedge or R-Series, or even Edelbrock Performer, Performer RPM, or Victor Jr. heads. For an additional $2,500-$3,900 depending upon cylinder head, porting choice, and parts and labor, you'll have a long-block with D.S.S. roller rockers, an FRPP cam and lifters, and ARP head bolts to boot.