Paul Rosner
March 1, 2001

It doesn't take long to realize that the pushrod 5-liter engine is still the main focus of the late-model Mustang craze, with the list of stroker combinations long enough to make up a small novel. However it has been six model years since the Mustang received one in its engine bay on an assembly line.

The modular family of engines has replaced them and have received both praise and bombings from the critics. The 4.6 and 5.4 engines are still a far cry from the level of simplicity and interchangeability of the old small-block Fords, but one must remember that it took almost 20 years for the those to mature into the optimized configuration that they have reached.

Sean Hyland and his team of engine builders, tuners and technicians are quickly gaining ground on the years of advancement advantage that the Windsors have by dedicating themselves to the development of the modular motor family. Their efforts started from the very beginning of 1995 with the inclusion of the 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 engines, both in performance and durability. They have excelled in the drag racing arenas with cars such as John Mihovetz's 7-second supercharged Stang and Joe Hutchins' mid-10 second normally-aspirated Mustang. John Buscema also topped 205 mph in the Silver State Challenge with one of Sean's 4.6 4V powerplants in his Cobra.

SHM is a self-proficient facility with an in-house machine shop and head porting department, complete with a flow bench and an engine dyno as tools to aid in their cutting edge research and development. The Canadian outfit also offers turnkey packages from its qualified installation technicians, who optimize your project on the chassis dyno before it's stamped with the SHM seal of approval.

Now Sean Hyland & Co. is happy to introduce the production of the first group of stroker motor kit options for your 4.6 Mustang. There will be three basic kits, the 5.0-, 5.2- and 5.4-liter, all available with a long list of options to upgrade your project to the performance level you desire, or for most of us, that our pocketbook can afford.

Each kit is designed for the '96-98 Cobra engine, which like all Cobra engines were aluminum. The tremendous performance advantages of the 4V motor made it a perfect candidate for a stroker motor kit. The factory may not have taken advantage of the technical benefits but the aftermarket certainly has, as we will point out along the way.

The 5.0 stroker crank kit is the only one available as an installation kit, and what that means is that no special machining is required except a standard .020 overbore on the engine block to assure your new 5.0 gets a fresh start. It includes the forged stroker crankshaft, piston and rod assemblies and the bearings and gaskets.

Both the 5.2 & 5.4 stroker crank kits will require SHM's installation of special sleeves in the block to accommodate the larger pistons required to achieve the additional displacement. Just think of the monster torque one could add to the 4.6s' high winding capabilities with more cubes.

Now rather than just show the components, we decided to let the pros at SHM show how they would assemble a complete long-block assembly.

This presented us with a great opportunity to check out what makes one of these new modular type engines tick, from the inside out. Most readers have probably gone through what seems like a hundred Windsor engines, but few have had the chance to walk step by step through the assembly process of the new modular stuff.

Sean's ace engine builder, John Mummery, let us ride shotgun to document the engine building process of one of its 5.2-liter stroker motors (that's 318 cubic inches for you old-timers). "First of all, each block we machine is carefully blueprinted and documented for specific piston-to-bore, crankshaft, connecting rod and main bearing clearances." stated modular motor guru and proprietor Sean Hyland.

After the block comes back from its boil, bore, hone and decking treatment, make sure to add the oil gallery plugs front and rear. Failure to add or properly install the plugs can turn into a nightmare trying to find out what happened to your oil pressure after a full assembly has been completed.