Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2001

Step By Step

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Our 347 stroker is dressed to kill with chrome valve covers and detailing items from Year One. The underdrive pulleys and covers are from March Performance. The chrome hose ends, the Goodyear Hi-Miler hoses, and the Gatorback serpentine belt are from Summit Racing.

When it comes to showmanship, the late-model owners and their flashy engine compartments often take the trophy for best engine compartment at the show. Many late-model owners who are considering showing their cars have custom paint and perhaps aftermarket hoods, but their engine compartments are far from show-winning. Sure, they’re clean, and they more than likely have some go-fast goodies under there, but the detailing and eye-catching visuals usually fall short. The good news is, we can help you fix this. The bad news is, it can become expensive (depending on how far you decide to go), not to mention time-consuming. The work you are about to see here took the better part of three weeks.

To perform the job correctly the first time, you should either strip the engine down to the long-block (remove the intake, the exhaust, and the accessories) or remove the engine completely. Since we were replacing our 114,000-mile original (with a blown head gasket) with a 347ci stroker from Panhandle Performance, it was the perfect time to clean and detail the engine compartment. At the same time, we dressed up our new powerplant to match.

Since our project car is dark burgundy with gray-and-black interior, we decided to continue the color scheme throughout the engine bay and onto the engine itself. Luckily, the engine was already painted gray when we received it, so we had to worry about only the items we were going to transfer from the old engine to the new one. We chose to work with Year One, Summit Racing, and a host of other parts providers to gather up all the shiny new baubles that would turn our engine compartment into a show winner.

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