Modified Mustangs & Fords
Ford Modular V-8 Engines Explained
We get inside Ford's overhead cam V-8 engines and show you what to look for when you decide to get Modular with your next project
Pass the Shoe Horn
So how do you fit an engine like the 4.6 or 5.4 into your vintage Ford? If you're talking a compact or intermediate, you'll more than likely be looking at firing up the plasma cutter and ditching the complete front suspension for a Mustang II style front end or one of the newer late-model Mustang strut type front ends. Or you could graft a late-model Mustang front subframe to your classic Ford, giving you modern suspension, braking, and Modular engine mounting points. There's also cooling, wiring, and plumbing concerns to deal with.
From the classic Fords we've seen already fitted with Modular power, we can tell you you'll also have to figure out gas, clutch, and brake pedal mountings (most are using the '94-and-up Mustang brake-and-clutch pedal set), clutch actuation (cable or hydraulic), and more. Much of what you want to add to the car will determine complexity. We're starting to see aftermarket EFI wiring harnesses to wire up a Modular engine, but we've also seen some wild cars, such as DVS Restoration's MIB (Mustang in Black) project that retains the factory late-model Mustang antilock brakes, traction control, and cruise control. These additions will take a keen knowledge of wiring and a stack of factory shop manuals, so be prepared if that's your route. Depending upon what hardware you use, expect several trips to the parts store to match up hoses and fittings. Just like the 5.0 swap craze, as the Modular engines gain popularity look for swap kits, custom radiators, EFI fuel system hardware, and much more. While we've given you plenty of detailed information, your best bet at this time is to find a complete engine, crate engine or used, for your Modular-based project.
Modular V-8 Specifications Bore (4.6) 3.552" (5.4) 3.552" Stroke (4.6) 3.543" (5.4) 4.165" Bore Spacing 3.937" Main Journal Diameter 2.657" Rod Journal Diameter 2.086" Connecting Rod Length (4.6) 5.933" (5.4) 6.658" Centerline to Deck (4.6) 8.937" (5.4) 10.079" Firing Order 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 Rocker Arm Ratio 1.79:1 Oil Pan Capacity 6.8 quarts 4.6 SOHC Intake Valve Size 44.5mm/1.752" Exhaust Valve Size '91-'98 34.0mm/1.339" '99-and-up 38.0mm/1.420" 4.6 DOHC Intake Valve Size 37.0mm/1.457" Exhaust Valve Size 30.0mm/1.181" 5.4 SOHC Intake Valve Size 44.5mm/1.752" Exhaust Valve Size 34.0mm/1.339"