Pete Epple Technical Editor
June 3, 2010
Photos By: Marc Christ, Justin Cesler

Once the timing cover and valve covers were back on our Aluminator, Frith dropped the oil pan. Moroso had sent one of its road-race oil pans (PN 20548) for 4.6/5.4L engines. This 8-quart pan offers greater capacity than the stock pan, with the added benefit of four trap-door baffles to keep the oil-pump pickup submerged in oil during hard cornering, braking, and acceleration. The new pan also features an anti-slosh baffle and works with all Two-, Three-, and Four-Valve 4.6 and 5.4L oil-pump pickups.

Next on the agenda was switching the FEAD (front engine accessory drive) and motor mounts from the old engine to the Aluminator. Once this was complete, the engine was ready to drop in. Over the life of project Shake 'N' Bake, few things have gone as smoothly as pulling the old engine and installing the new one. Now that our Aluminator was resting comfortably between the fenders, it was time to button things up.

With the stock intake reinstalled, Chris Jones popped in the injectors and fuel rails. Fore Precision Works sent its black-anodized billet fuel rails to top off our new intake. And Downs Ford Motorsport sent us 30-lb/hr fuel injectors, 90mm Lightning mass air meter, and 255-lph fuel pump to complete our fuel system.

As the engine bay started to take shape, Jones installed the new cold-air intake system from JLT Performance. The carbon-fiber intake tube worked perfectly with our Lightning MAF and looks killer under the hood. This cold-air kit keeps the air filter in the engine bay and made our shaker functional once again. We also wanted to make sure our new engine ran cool so we installed a Summit Racing aluminum radiator from Fluidyne.

Next Jones switched his attention to the underside of our Mach 1. Being that Shake 'N' Bake had a tired T-45 five-speed in it, we thought we would take advantage of everything being apart and install a six-speed gearbox. The kit came from D&D Performance in Wixom, Michigan, and included a T-56 Magnum transmission as the heart and soul of the kit. It also included an aluminum driveshaft, bellhousing, and crossmember to make the installation simple. To get the power to the new trans, Centerforce sent us one of its LM-series dual-friction clutches, which will have no problem supporting our power levels. (Editor's note: Look for more on this transmission and the complete install next month.)

After bolting the transmission into place, the BBR crew reinstalled the SLP long-tube headers and X-style mid-pipe. With the Magnaflow after-cat exhaust reconnected, it was time to fire it up and strap it to the dyno. Jones went to work writing a start-up tune and quickly loaded it into the ECM with our SCT Livewire handheld tuner. Jones ran the car at various rpm levels to make sure the rings were seated.

With the ignition timing and fuel pressure set, Jones started with a short pull on the Dynojet. The car was running well and it looked like it was going to make good power, so Jones made a few tweaks in the tune and headed towards redline. The first full pull netted 351 rwhp and 324 lb-ft of torque. Not bad considering the old mill only made 309 rwhp with 321 lb-ft of torque. After about a dozen pulls and a healthy amount of tuning, the combination laid down a stout 367 rwhp and 329 lb-ft of torque, with peak power at 6,400 rpm and peak torque at 5,200 rpm.

With the Comp camshafts helping to increase airflow, we wanted to try an intake manifold that also offered increased airflow. Roy Cole, owner of Wire-Tech in Kimball, Michigan, sent us one of his custom-ported Mach 1 intakes. "The first thing I do is cut the bottom of the plenum off," explains Cole. "At this point, almost everything is accessible and gets smoothed and blended. I do some reshaping in certain areas by TIG-welding and hand-grinding. When it's done, it's glass-beaded and washed; then the bottom is TIG-welded back together before everything gets washed again. It's then sprayed with a clear ceramic-based epoxy paint to finish it off."

To top off the ported intake, Cole sent us a 1/2-inch spacer for the intake from his sister company, Roy's Custom Intake Spacers. The aluminum spacer is machined on a water-jet and uses a second factory gasket when installed beneath the upper intake lid. This was added to increase the plenum size for extra power. Once the new intake was installed, Shake 'N' Bake spun the roller to 378 rwhp and 341 lb-ft of torque, for a gain of 10 rwhp and 12 lb-ft of torque at the peaks, which is impressive for a ported intake and spacer. Look for more info on the intake at

In just a few days at BBR, we swapped powerplants, upgraded the new engine, added an extra gear to the transmission, and added 69 rwhp and 20 lb-ft of torque. With almost 400 rwhp, we're excited to see what we can do on track so our next stop is Gainesville Raceway and we can't wait to get there.

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