Ken Miele
Ken Miele
December 1, 2013

Just Wanted To Say HEI

I have a '95 Mustang GT, and the other day I changed my intake gaskets and pulled the distributor. Upon reinstalling it, I noticed three cracks in the area where the oil pump drive rod inserts. Also, while turning it to catch the gear so it would go all the way down, I noticed it was wobbling, so I have a cracked and warped distributor. I was told they are 35 bucks from local auto stores. That's a no go—they are all around $70 to $100.

Prior to finding this out, I remember talking to a few people and have seen the HEI on a couple of Fords. The HEI is like $161. Now, I know that Ford has the best electronics as far as not being so finicky like GM's, but I also know that GM and Ford do run head-to-head most of the time with electronics since the early '90s.

I really want to know if this has been done before on a '94-95 5.0L. If so, how did it turn out? But come to think of it, all the HEIs I've ever seen on Fords were carb'd. So that's what started the pondering.

Danville, Pennsylvania

Aaron, you will need to stay with the factory setup. The stock Ford distributor is very reliable, so there no need to upgrade. The HEI would not be compatible with your '95 fuel-injected Mustang. HEI's are popular for a carburetor setup because of the one-wire hook-up, but as far as reliability and performance, you can't go wrong sticking with the factory components.

Pushrod or Mod

I know you have experience with both small-block and modular (Four-Valve) engines. I have tried searching this on the Interent, but I can't get a direct answer. Will you help please, so I can get this party started?

Which is cheaper to build—a 4.6 Four-Valve or stroked 5.0L? I'm eventually going high-horse (750-1,000), so a forged rotating assembly is a must. I can get a Teksid block and “B” heads cheap (the major cost on a 5.0L build).

I can estimate the 5.0L cost—it's all the little things on a 4.6L that I'm hearing and worried about. What exactly is it going to take to get a Four-Valve in a Two-Valve car, and so on. I know the 5.0L is just plug-and-play with a Fox-body.

I'd really like to have a Four-Valve in a Fox-body, but I know that comes with another set of problems and costs. I have access to both a Fox-body and a modular car (rolling cars). My plan is street/strip, so I need driveability.

Via email

Trey, both build types will be about the same in the long run. I would most likely go with the 4.6 over the 5.0 because of the ease in which it can make power. The 5.0 with the right components can make great power, but the 4.6 Four-Valves make so much power when adding a supercharger.

The 4.6L Teksid blocks are almost bulletproof up to 1,000 hp. The aftermarket is huge for the mod motors, and it's the latest in technology. The Fox-body will be a tight fit, but it is essentially the same as the SN-95, so the swap is not that bad.

Another plus for the 4.6L is driveability. The 5.0 will need a more aggressive cam profile than the 4.6L, making it more of a weekend car than a daily driver.

Go with the 4.6 Four-Valve. The look of it alone in a Fox-body is enough for me.

Alphabet Confusion

I'm fairly new to Mustangs and domestics in general. I'm getting ready to make the transition into Mustangs by picking up my first Mustang project, which should be a Fox-body LX.

I understand that FRPP alphabet cams are some of the tried-and-true cam combinations. But in doing my research, I can't really find the difference between them. B303? E303? F-cam? What's the difference?

I know some kind of rwhp goal would help, so let's just say that long-term plans include bolt-ons/heads/cam/gears, and keeping it street legal. I'd like to build a SBF that could keep pace with most bolt-on/cammed LSX F-bodies.

Jerry Torres
Via email

Jerry, the E303 cam is designed to be an emissions-legal upgrade from the stock 5.0 cam. The B303 cam, although it has slightly less lift, has more duration and is designed with a more aggressive profile for better performance.

The Fox-body is lighter than later-model Mustangs and F-bodies, therefore a 350-rwhp goal for the Fox-body Mustang will be able to hold its own and then some. Those numbers are easily attainable with the wealth of aftermarket parts for the 5.0. You should also consider a cam as there has been much research and development in cams since the alphabet cams were designed.

Carbed Two-Valve

I know this question was asked a while back, but I am wondering if any companies still make the 4.6 Two-Valve–to–pushrod-5.0L intake-manifold adapters. Kar Kraft seems to be out of business, and I've had no luck finding a carb intake for the 4.6 Two-Valve heads that isn't $1,300 or more because it's custom. If you guys still have your one-off prototype, I am willing to buy that from you. Any help is appreciated.

Jiquon Sitton
Woodbridge, Virginia

Jiquon, unfortunately the prototype is long gone. All is not lost though. There is no need to look for adapters for the 4.6 to 5.0 intake. Edelbrock has the intake you need, with or without electronics. It is designed to handle any type of square-flange carburetor. It is a single-plane intake, so the power band will be higher than a factory-type intake, but in the upper rpm range, it will make more power than a traditional intake.