Modified Mustangs & Fords
1969 Mustang Coupe Project Small-Block Engine Build
This Basic Small-Block Has Exotic Toppings
On the dyno and ready to make some noise, our EFI 306 is wearing shortyheaders, Ford Racing valve covers, and miscellaneous gaskets, all from Mustangs Unlimited. Spark is provided by a Performance Distributors' DUI ignition system and black Livewires, and our killer accessory drive is a Front Runner system from Vintage Air.
1969 Mustang Coupe Project Engine Front View Topping off the short-block will be these Racing Head Service (RHS) Pro Action small-block Ford cylinder heads, PN 35001. These are the bare castings and they have a 64cc chamber volume and 180cc intake runner volume. We found them assembled and ready to go at a major retailer for a price of $637.95 each.
Doug Evans, a Senior VP here at Source, has been working on a '69 Mustang coupe project for our sister magazine, Hot Rod. With the goal in mind to build something for its annual Power Tour driving event, Doug had the car converted to a SportsRoof a with the help of Classic Automotive Restoration Specialists of Belews Creek, North Carolina, where it has introduced its new Coupe2Fastback conversion system for '69-'70 Mustangs. The transformation is extremely cool and now Doug is on the hunt for a small-block power plant for his classic conversion project. He's interested in an engine that would be both affordable and reliable, but also capable of delivering excellent performance. While Hot Rod is handling the bodywork and suspension, Doug turned to us for engine advice. We suggested he simply build a nice and reliable bottom end, using the small-block that was in the car when he bought it, and dress it out with a lot of external bling for that perfect Power Tour feel when the hood was opened. To that end, Doug had coworker Dave Young assemble a 306ci short-block as a basis for the engine project in Dave's home shop. Starting with the seasoned 302 block, Dave did all of the basics as far as machine work, including punching the cylinder bores to a 0.030 oversize dimension. Assembly included fresh Clevite bearings for both the crankshaft and connecting rods. Topping off the Ford reciprocating assembly are TRW forged aluminum pistons equipped with Total Seal file-fit rings. At the bottom of the short-deck block lives a new Melling high-performance oil pump.
Ford factory parts are an economical way to go for a street performance engine and they will support plenty of horsepower while saving some money for the interesting goodies planned for the engine's upper half. Once the short-block assembly was complete it was sent to the folks at Competition Cams in Memphis, Tennessee, where the company would work its own brand of high-performance magic, adding the engine's upper end.
Once there, Comp engineers were to install the top components, including electronic fuel injection and some great cylinder heads. RHS Pro Action cylinder heads were chosen and they were dressed out with stainless steel valves and beehive valvesprings. In addition to the RHS cylinder heads, a new Inglese EFI Induction system will be used. The Inglese system is a great-looking eight-barrel injection setup using 50mm throttle bodies. The hope is that we'll enjoy the mileage and ease of operation benefits that come along with electronic fuel injection along with the visual and performance blast of wide open eight-barrel induction. We were interested in finding out how the RHS heads and Inglese system performed, so after assembly the engine was tested on Comp's Super Flow SF-902 engine dynamometer. Let's look in on some of the engine components that went into the making of the engine's top end on Doug's SportsRoof conversion and also look at the power results for this particular power plant combination.