Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsHow To Engine
Ford Stroker Build Vortech Supercharger - Superstar Stroker Part 3 - Tech
Superstar stroker is turning into a pump-gas superstar.
Our adventure to bring a big-inch Windsor to the dyno and produce impressive power numbers while using pump gas began in the November '06 issue ("Superstar Stroker," p. 186). Part 1 covered the short-block and machining process, while the succeeding installment focused on the cylinder heads, camshaft, and valvetrain. This month is the final installment as we finish the build and let our big buddy stretch out on an engine dyno. Rich Groh Racing has been with us every step of the way, and as proprietor and two-time NMRA class champion, Groh meticulously machined and built this engine.
In each installment, we reiterated our intentions to build a pump-gas beast that is street-worthy. Groh assured us the street is definitely in this engine as he selected the proper engine com-ponents, set the tolerances, and designed the camshaft to ensure that goal. We used a World Products Man-O-War 9.5-inch engine block as the foundation, and then filled it with a 4340 steel crankshaft, 4340 steel rods, and custom pistons. Topping the engine are CNC-ported TFS Street Heat heads that we sourced directly from the Summit Catalog. Groh prescribed a custom hydraulic roller camshaft that was ground by Comp Cams. He paid particular attention to keeping the idle smooth. The rest of the valvetrain is also from Comp Cams. Final displacement is a robust 445 ci, and we intend to add boost to the mix in order to make things interesting. We want to point out that aside from the custom camshaft and pistons, all these parts were "taken off the shelf."
Until now, we had only speculated on the power this project should produce, and we knew going in that it would be torquey thanks to the 4.100-inch stroke crankshaft. Groh offered some proven numbers from another combination he built in order for us to bench-race the output of the Superstar Stroker. He recently had a customer make 750 hp to the tires with out-of-the-box cylinder heads, a mild camshaft, a Vortech YSi-Trim, and pump gas. Our engine was bigger, has better cylinder heads, and a more aggressive camshaft. We, too, are using a Vortech YSi-Trim supercharger, so we felt more confident this engine was going to throw down something fierce on the dyno.
We're getting ahead of ourselves talking about horsepower and torque output-the engine needed to be complete before it yielded any horsepower results. First we had to get the top and bottom of the engine buttoned up. It was sort of like adding the bread to a massive Italian hero sandwich (or grinder or sub or whatever it's called in your neighborhood). We had the inside ingredients and now we had to add the oil pan, the intake manifold, and the associated components, as well as bolt on the supercharger.
As with every engine buildup, you anticipate parts not fitting properly, and the final checklist always has some odd-ball fitting or spacer that needs to be bought or fabricated. Surprisingly, the final leg of this race wasn't as stressful as other projects. Parts fit well and only needed a slight massaging in some areas, nothing out of the ordinary.
Finishing the Bullet
The engine was on the stand, and we turned it over in order to tackle the oil pan setup we got from Canton Racing Products. The pan features a kick out on the right side to help hold more oil and aid in lubrication. If you have ever scoped out a Canton pan, the assembly is top notch and the pan keeps the oil under control. We also used the company's windage tray to help pull the oil off the rotating assembly and get it back in the pan where it belongs.
"There is power to be had with a good oil pan and windage tray," Groh said as he mocked up the windage tray. Due to the long stroke of the crankshaft, the rod ends touched the screen. We remedied the situation by adding a few washers to help move the tray away from the rod ends. It worked fine, and it was time to bolt on the oil pickup tube. Groh was looking for two things when he bolted on the tube. The first task was to make sure there was no interference between the pick-up and the oil pan's internals. A slight bend was made to a shelf in the pan to clear the pickup. The slightly altered Canton pan went back on for the next test. Then we inspected the tube for proper pickup positioning. The mockup showed the tube was approximately 11/42 inch away from the bottom of the pan. Groh said ideally the pickup needs to be 11/48-11/44 inch from the bottom. Using a special manipulation process (a simple rubber mallet) the pickup was adjusted.
The engine was flipped back over, and we paid attention to the topside of the engine. The intake manifold was procured from Edelbrock, and we went with the Super Victor (PN 29246). The air requirements for this beast required the use of that style manifold. In years past, using these manifolds meant you had to convert it to fuel injection by adding injector bungs and fuel-rail mounts. Edelbrock reacted to the market's demands, and they produce a carb-style intake in EFI form. The Super Vic EFI has injector bosses in each runner and a pair of Edelbrock high-flow fuel rails to help deliver the fuel. Given our goals for this engine, we went with a set of FAST 83-pound fuel injectors.
Topping the Super Vic is a cast-aluminum elbow from Wilson Manifolds. The massive elbow measures a robust 105 mm. Wilson is long known for its airflow engineering, and we are sure this elbow has been on the flow bench and worked over before Keith Wilson approved the final design. We also picked up the company's 90mm throttle body-a stunning CNC billet-cut piece that not only serves a useful purpose, but also is aesthetically pleasing.
Keeping this big-inch Windsor cool on the street and at the track is a Meziere electric water pump. The body of the pump is CNC-billet, and we chose a black unit. The electric pump is more than enough to run on the street without the worry of overheating when idling for long periods of time. The pump carries a 35-gpm free-flow rating-meaning it circulates a serious amount of water through the engine. The pump fit perfectly on the front cover, and the Meziere kits include all required pieces right down to the stainless steel bolts to secure it to the engine.
The final major component in our engine assembly is the Vortech YSi-Trim supercharger. The clockwise-rotation supercharger features a straight discharge and mounts on the driver side of the engine. The kit was originally designed specifically for EFI-Renegade racing, and it crosses over to street use quite nicely with a few additions from the Vortech catalog. We upgraded to the 10-rib blower drive system along with the BV-57 bypass valve. The strut brace keeps the blower from flexing and tossing the 10-rib supercharger belt. Behind Bars Race Cars fabricated the blower discharge tube for our Windsor engine.
Ricky Best of Vortech had this to say about the goals of our project: "We suggested this super-charger for the 445ci engine buildup because the goal was to produce over 750 hp on pump gas. When I mapped the YSi for this 445 at the mass flow required to produce the 750 hp, it nailed it dead in the center of the peak efficiency island. Meaning that this blower is going to produce the lowest charge air temp while maintaining opti-mum flow to support the power needed. That's important because of the pump-fuel requirement.
"People tend to think that because the engine is so large, a supercharger like the YSi is not suited for this application. That isn't the case because there is more to matching a supercharger/ compressor to a given combination than just looking at the overall power producing capability of the blower and cubic inch of the motor. We chose the YSi for a couple of key reasons, the first being streetabilty. The YSi is no less street-able than Vortech's venerable V2 S-Trim blowers. Second is the operating efficiency of the YSi for this application. Actually, at the forecasted 15 psi of boost, I wouldn't be surprised if this little powerhouse of a blower didn't make close to or at 900 hp."
The engine was 95 percent complete when we left Rich Groh Racing. Unfortunately, due to editor-ial deadlines, we were unable to get the engine on the dyno for this issue. We apologize for keeping you in suspense for one more month, but next issue we will have complete dyno results-we promise. We are using P.E.R. Racing Engines' SuperFlow SF-901 engine dyno for all of our test-ing. Expectations are high for this project, and once the dyno cools down, we will print the results.