K.J. Jones
January 1, 2007

Horse Sense: Projects like this, presenting a series of reality-based, non-exotic performance enhancements that, over time, will morph a stock, modular 'Stang into a bonafide Two-Valve street hitter, are a big part of what the Mustang hobby is all about.

Most of our faithful readers are familiar with our in-house '02 Mustang GT and the various projects we've done with the car, in our seemingly never-ending effort to make it better, stronger, and, of course, faster.

For those of you just joining us, during the last year we've been on a mission to present new tech concepts for the modular Two-Valve engine. A lot of our focus has been on upgrades for the '99-'04 Mustang GTs, mainly because the aftermarket now offers a robust selection of products that makes modifying New Edge 'Stangs relatively easy and, in most cases, affordable.

Ricardo "Rick" Topete of GTR High Performance begins disassembling our original, 45,000-mile 4.6. Although we're taking this engine out, it's in excellent condition and will be set aside for use in a future project or for a 'Stangbanger in need. "First steps" in this procedure, which primarily happen under the car-except for disconnecting the negative battery cable, a first step in just about any tech project-are to drain the fluids, loosen engine-mount nuts and transmission-mount bolts if pulling the engine and trans as one unit, remove the H-pipe or X-shaped crossover, and remove the starter.

Throughout the years, we've covered this same upgrade bonanza for '86-'93 EFI Mustangs. While the Fox will probably forever be the 5.0&SF staff's favorite 'Stang to modify, we keep an open mind when it comes to 'Stangbanging as a whole, and we let you know the real deal about making changes on post-Fox-era 'Stangs as well-especially the '99-'04 New Edge cars.

We have made quite a few changes on our once-stock, 45,000-mile '02 GT, ranging from giving the car a cool stance and profile to greater stopping power with new wheels, tires, and brakes ("Becoming Bullitt," Feb. '06, p. 84), to enhancing exhaust flow with long-tube headers ("Volume Two," May '06, p. 80), to adding a ProCharger Stage 2 P-1SC supercharger and intercooler system ("Beyond Bolt-On," June '06, p. 78), to dyno tuning the whole works to efficient performance (horsepower and torque).

We also dyno tested our mule Mustang a few months prior to the engine swap we're about to detail here. With the aforementioned ProCharger and exhaust, and a set of Granatelli Motor Sports' high-output coils, being the '02's only engine-related mods, its OEM Two-Valve blazed the dyno's rollers to the tune of 373.51 rwhp and 390.80 lb-ft of torque at the rear tires. These numbers are a shade below what many engine builders (and 'Stangbangers) have determined to be a power threshold for predominantly stock (rotating assembly), Two-Valve 4.6 mod motors. Making 430 rwhp is definitely doable with pump gas, a power adder, and about 16 degrees of timing. But as we explained in our report on tuning the GT's P-1SC setup, bigger is not always better when it comes to pushing the limits of a basically stock Two-Valve.

Since stepping up street performance whenever and however possible is a major objective for most hard-core 'Stang enthusiasts, we thought it would be cool to do just that with our own ride. We'll share with you the things we're doing to get the '02 Mustang GT deeper into the big-power zone-namely 500-plus daily driveable horses on California's rot-gut 91 octane fuel.

Parts such as fuel injectors-and especially all the small nuts, bolts, clips, and so on that are removed from the take-out engine-are stored in sealable plastic bags, and the contents noted using a black marker. The throttle cable, hoses, and some vacuum lines can be zip-tied to the firewall or labeled and stored in an empty box, and the injector wiring harness and fuel rails can remain attached to the engine. This type of inventory system takes a lot of confusion out of the new-engine installation procedure.

The key to attaining next-level performance with a Two-Valve engine begins with a stout short-block prepared with a high-quality rotating assembly. A forged crankshaft, rods, and pistons are must-have components for a replacement mod motor. These parts are designed to handle the stresses of a lot of rpm, as well as the higher cylinder pressures that are generated by power adders such as nitrous, turbos, or superchargers.

To recap briefly, our new engine is a Super MODular 4.6 built by D.S.S. Racing of St. Charles, Illinois. The bullet is highlighted by the company's Level-10 CNC block prep and forged rods and pistons, Cobra crank, brand-new, D.S.S. CNC-ported, Two-Valve Ford Racing Performance Parts cylinder heads, Anderson Ford Motorsports' F-62 cams with Jesel camshaft followers, ARP hardware, Cometic gaskets, an Innovators West eight-rib balancer, a Canton 7-quart oil pan, and Professional Products' all-new aluminum intake manifold for Two-Valve modular engines ("Typhoon Warning," May '06, p. 62), as well as the Professional Products' 75mm throttle body and upper plenum ($11,079.90 for our complete engine, as built).

Of course, now that this new bullet is finished and in our possession, we're anxious to see what the chassis dyno is going to tell us about its horsepower and torque output. Our long-term plan is to stay with supercharging as the power adder of choice for the '02, but talking about that right now is getting too far ahead of things. We'll be adding a ProCharger F-1A so stay tuned to future issues for details on reaching the pinnacle of power with a Two-Valve engine.