Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
December 1, 2003

Horse Sense: Coast High Performance offers a 393C Street Fighter built around the 351 Cleveland. Legendary for possessing large ports, Cleveland heads need cubic inches to fill those ports, and CHP's 393C should easily fit the bill. However, with the scarcity of Cleveland blocks, if you want a 393C, you'll likely have to provide the block.

Back in Publisher Shiver's day (we'll take it easy on Uncle Robin this time around), big-blocks were the pinnacle of performance. Small-block- powered cars capable of dispatching a big-block machine were few and far between, especially on a quarter-mile track. If you drove a small-block car back in the day, you would've needed to get a jump on a big-block to even have a chance of winning. Otherwise, you might as well have turned out the lights, because it was over.

You don't need a big-block in the 5.0 Mustang world. Power-adder technology has made it possible to make tons of power using 302- and 351-based combinations. For that reason-and also because of the enormous weight gain resulting from adding a big-block-swapping from a small-block to a big-block has become unpopular, especially when it comes to street cars.

Installing a Windsor stroker bridges the gap between 302-based power and shoehorning a big-block under the hood. And why not? When you compare the prices of 302-based and 351-based stroker kits and short-blocks, there's not much difference. For the majority of engine builders, the difference between a 302-based 347 stroker short-block and a Windsor-based stroker short-block is only a couple hundred dollars. When we talk to people who have made the switch to Windsor, the reason given most often is that-with the costs being so similar-it only made sense to do so.

Jason Krassow's feature car ("Rio Engine Red," Oct. '02, p. 32) boasts a '69 351 block (above) that was treated to a Coast High Performance 408 Dominator Series stroker kit. Residing within the Windsor block is an Eagle crank and connecting rods, and Probe Industries pistons, all held together with ARP fasteners.

Listed in this article are the major players in the Windsor stroker game. We're focusing on short-blocks, but if you already have a prepped Windsor block, most (if not all) of these builders also carry rotating assemblies. Check with the engine builder you'd like to work with and see what the company has to offer. If it's Windsor power you seek, you've come to the right place. As for you modular guys, we haven't forgotten about you. Check out our sidebar on modular stroker options.

If you've been to an NMRA race, you've seen the name Bennett Racing on several fast machines. Bennett built its reputation at the track, and on the street as well. The company's 351 stroker short-blocks are built around either Ford Racing Performance Parts Sportsman or Dart blocks, and are available in displacements ranging from 382 to 427 ci. Short-blocks featuring a Sportsman block are available up to 408 ci, with your choice of compression ratio. The Dart block stroker short-block is available in any cubic inch up to 427.

Bennett offers three levels of 351 stroker short-blocks. The least expensive is the Sportsman-based stroker for $4,595. This short-block is available in 382 or 408ci versions. The Sportsman features an FRPP Sportsman 351 block, a Scat forged crank, Scat H-beam rods, CP or Ross pistons, Speed-Pro rings, and Clevite bearings.

The second level is Bennett's Basic Dart 351 short block ($5,895). It's the same as the Sportsman short-block, except it boasts a Dart block as its foundation and is available in any cubic inch size up to 440.

Finally, the Pro Dart and Super Pro Dart move up the money ladder at $8,295 and $11,250, respectively.

Coast High Performance has long been famous for its series of 302-based stroker short-blocks, and its Windsor stroker prowess continues that success. CHP's Windsor short-blocks feature a cast- or forged-steel crankshaft, CHP rods, Probe pistons, and your choice of Pro Mustang camshafts grinds. Stroker sizes range from 393, 408, to 427 ci, with prices beginning at $2,199 for the 393W Street Fighter. CHP has a ton of optional offerings including different compression ratios, main girdles, solid roller camshafts, oil pans, timing sets, and more.

D&D Motorsports' line of 351-based stroker short-blocks begins with the Comp Hawk 383, 408, and 418 series. No matter the displacement, the Comp Hawk short-block sells for $2,795.95. Features include an early, competition- prepped block; a 4340 forged-steel crank; 4340 forged steel H-beam rods; JE or SRP forged pistons; moly rings; Clevite bearings; a D&D Motorsports main support with ARP studs and an FRPP four-bolt main block; an internally balanced Velasco billet crank; Oliver or Childs & Albert aluminum rods; custom JE/Ross pistons; Childs & Albert steel rings and bearings; and ARP fasteners. These short-blocks are fully balanced, blueprinted, comp assembled, and paint detailed. D&D offers free shipping on all its products to military personnel.

Celebrating its 20th year, D.S.S. has proven its engine-building prowess on the street and at the track. For Windsor stroker power, D.S.S. has you covered with its Pro Bullet and Super Pro Bullet series of short-blocks. The Pro Bullet 393 ($2,999.95) short-block features a race-prepped block and crankshaft, forged connecting rods, D.S.S. Pro Lite Series forged pistons, Sealed Power moly piston rings, a D.S.S. billet-aluminum main support, and ARP studs throughout.

The Super Pro Bullet short-block (from $3,699.95) comes in 393, 408, and 427ci variations. It differs from the Pro Bullet in that the Super Pro boasts an O-ringed deck, 4340 forged rods, and Speed-Pro plasma-moly piston rings.

The Pro and Super Pro Bullet are fully balanced and blueprinted, with the Pro Bullet capable of whipping out mid-to-low 10s with a power adder. The Super Pro Bullet is capable of 650-plus horsepower and mid-to-high 9s with a power adder.

The staff at Ford Performance Solutions has more than 50 years combined engine-building experience, and you can take advantage of that with one of its Windsor stroker short-blocks. FPS markets 383, 392, 408, 418, 426, and 427ci stroker short-blocks. The least expensive is the SS Super Street 408 flat-top piston kit. At $2,199, this kit features 2618 forged pistons, I-beam connecting rods, a cast stroker crank, Tri-Metal Performance bearings, and a moly ring set. The same kit with dished pistons sells for $2,259.

Other SS Super Street stroker short-blocks include a 392, a 418, and a 426ci variety, all at a price around $2,200. The SS Super Street stroker short-blocks are good for up to 600 hp.

Moving up to the SC Super Comp stroker short-blocks gets you a forged crank and pistons, H-beam connecting rods, Clevite bearings, and a Pro-Moly ring set. The 383ci SC Super Comp stroker short-block is the least expensive at $2,659, but 392, 408, 418, and 427 SC Super Comp stroker short-blocks sell for around the same price. The SC Super Comp moves up the horsepower as well. With the right top-end combination, the SC Super Comp is capable of 1,000 hp.

At the top of the FPS 351 Windsor stroker short-block mountain is the CE Comp Eliminator series that sells for $2,799. The CE Comp Eliminator is good for up to 1,300 hp.

While we're talking about Windsor stroker short-blocks, we couldn't forget the ability to go down to your local FRPP dealer to pick up one of its two 392 offerings. First is the 392 FRPP stroker short-block assembly (M-6009-A392) for $2,995. Used as the short-block for the FRPP 392 crate engine, the A392 stroker short-block features a cast 3.85-inch stroker crank, forged rods, hypereutectic 4.030 bore pistons, ARP bolts, a Sportsman two-bolt main block, and a 9.7:1 compression ratio.

The second FRPP choice is the M-6009-B392 ($2,995), which is intended for use with M-6049-N351/N352 iron Sportsman cylinder heads. This stroker features a nodular cast-iron, 3.85-inch stroker crank; forged connecting rods; and hypereutectic flat-top pistons, for an 11.0:1 compression ratio with a 64cc N351 head.

If it's options you want with your Windsor stroker short-block, check out Keith Craft Racing Engines. Keith Craft has seven Windsor stroker short-blocks from which to choose. The program begins with the 393 Budget Stroker, which features a Scat cast-steel crank, stock rods, and TRW forged pistons for only $2,395. That's for a short-block, folks.

Moving up one rung on the ladder is the 393 Econo Stroker ($2,695). Boasting the same Scat cast steel crank as the Budget Stroker, the Econo adds Scat I-beam connecting rods, SRP or Probe pistons, plasma-moly piston rings, and Federal-Mogul bearings.

For $100 more ($2,795), you can get Keith Craft's 408-410 Stroker, which includes an Eagle steel crank and connecting rods, SRP or Probe pistons, plasma-moly rings, and Federal-Mogul bearings.

The 408-410 Stroker Plus ($3,095) is the same as the Stroker except you have a choice of JE, Diamond, or Ross pistons. The Stroker Plus also comes in 418-421 ci, at the same price as the 408-410 Stroker Plus.

New from Keith Craft is its 408-410 Stroker Econo, which is the same as the 393 Econo Stroker except for the extra cubes. Paying just $2,695 for a 408-410ci Windsor short-block seems almost like grand theft stroker.

NMRA racers Brian and Charlie Booze rely on Kuntz and Company to make their Hot Street Mustangs fly down the track, and you can take advantage of this power too. All Kuntz short-blocks are custom-built using bottom-end components from Scat, Eagle, JE, Dart, and FRPP. According to the company, it prefers building quality engines rather than inexpensive engines. If you're price shopping, Kuntz is probably not the place to build your stroker. But if speed is the ultimate goal and your budget will allow it, this shop can fill your stroker needs.

Kuntz still uses stock-blocks-if the customer isn't looking to exceed 700 hp or 7,000 rpm. If the power goal is above those two parameters, the company steps up to either a Dart or an FRPP block. The shop isn't an assembly-line type of place. Kuntz custom-builds a short-block to a specific combination. Jim Kuntz says he was the first to do a Ford stroker using a 400M crank in a Windsor block. That was in the late '80s. He says he advertised the Windsor stroker for almost a year before it began to sell. Obviously, Kuntz still knows its Windsor strokers.

Home of Dan Millen and his wicked Outlaw Mustang, Livernois Motorsports has proven time and again it can build race-winning engine combinations. That expertise crosses over to the street as well, with Livernois' stroker short-block combos. With displacements up to 408 cubes, Livernois stuffs in a 9.5-inch-deck Windsor block with an Eagle crank, H-beam rods, JE pistons, Speed-Pro rings, and Clevite bearings. The company has a complete machine shop as well as knowledgeable machinists and technicians to ensure quality components and installation. Prices for Livernois stroker short-blocks begin at $3,495.

Tim Lyons' success in NMRA's EFI Renegade class in a nitrous car should tell you about Panhandle Performance's engine-building prowess. We've experienced the power behind Panhandle's strokers and have seen the care taken during construction. The company doesn't give only us that kind of treatment-you can get it too. For Windsor stroker short-block power, 393 and 408 Super Street short-blocks ($3,095 for either model) are available for those wanting extra cubes under the hood. Panhandle uses a Scat crank and 4340 H-beam connecting rods, a variety of piston and ring packages, and either Federal-Mogul, Clevite, or King bearings. ARP fasteners hold everything together, while an Elgin high-volume oil pump delivers fresh oil. The rotating assembly is balanced to 28 ounces front and rear, and all reciprocating parts are balanced to within 1 gram. As with most builders, Panhandle offers a ton of rotating-assembly options. It just depends on the size of your wallet.

By now you've probably seen Wynne Speed's new Pro 5.0 car, and what a runner it is. Now the company can build a Windsor stroker short-block for your Mustang. The stroker short-blocks fly under either Wynne Speed's street/strip B-Series or its competition C-Series flags. Available in 383, 393, and 408 varieties, the least expensive is the 408B short-block coming in at $2,399. The 408B features a cast-steel crank, I-beam rods, SRP or Diamond pistons, moly rings, performance bearings, an oil pump, a timing chain, and a camshaft.

Wynne Speed's 383C, 393C, and 408C sell for $2,699 and include a 4340 steel crank, H-beam rods, SRP or Diamond pistons, moly rings, performance bearings, an oil pump, a timing chain, and a camshaft.

The 4.6 modular market for big-bore and stroker short-blocks has exploded recently, and there's a lot of misinformation out there in Mustangland. It seems the modular crowd wants to get in on the stroker action now that many of the early modular Mustangs are way out of warranty and showing their age-not to mention the weak-kneed components used to put these engines together in the first place. Obviously, the most popular modular stroker is the 5.0 variety, but there's more than one way to arrive at 5.0 liters of modular muscle.

Several Mustang engine builders, including Livernois Motorsports, choose to simply bore the block out to arrive at a 3.70-inch bore size. Livernois uses a stock Cobra crank to arrive at 5.0 liters of modular power, which the company calls its 5.0 Modzilla short-block. The boring process is labor-intensive, not easy to duplicate by any machine shop, and expensive, but that's one way of arriving at a 5.0 modular.

On the other hand, ModMax (www.modmaxracing.com), VT Competition Engin-eering [(517) 272-7728; www.vtengines.com], and D.S.S. each manufacture a stroker crank, which increases the stroke of the crank, helping boost bottom-end torque. ModMax makes a 3.765 billet stroker crank, and along with a 3.572 bore size, it makes an even 5.0 liters. Stock stroke with a modular is 3.543 inches while the stock bore size is 3.552. ModMax's Dale Metlika says the 3.765-inch stroke is the longest stroke you can have without major block modifications. With a stroker crank, simply bore your stock block's sleeves out 0.020 and you have a 5.0 modular.

So, while there are two ways to have your 5.0 modular, it's up to you to decide which route to take. The idea behind a stroker kit is bottom-end power, where it can be used mostly on the street. Everyone knows the modular could use some help down low, and we know your modular has a bunch of miles on it. There's nothing left but to decide which 5.0 modular avenue you want to take.

We're not even touching the possibilities of a 5.4 stroker, which some are already producing-much to the delight of Lightning owners. We'll get to that some other time.