M5lp 1010 01 O Questions And Answers Logo
KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
October 1, 2010

Minor Stroke
I have an '87 Mustang GT that is still bone-stock right now. I'd like to have 450-ish horses, and I think I should be able to get there with a 331. I don't really have all the money in the world to put into the engine, but I want to do it right the first time.

Will I have to add subframe connectors to the car if I go with a 331? What other upgrades will I have to make?
Nick Newberry
Paragould, AR

A The 331ci engine (3.250-inch crankshaft, 5.4-inch rods, and 4.030- or 4.040-inch cylinder bore) really has become a popular option for 'Stangbangers who want 400-plus reliable horsepower for their street-driven Ponies.

Since you're on a budget-as most enthusiasts are-we suggest you consider the ready-to-assemble GT Series 331 stroker package from Coast High Performance (PN P3311F-GT-F331; $819.99). The GT engine package features a cast-steel crank; Probe Industries' forged rods; and forged flat-top (5.0cc) pistons, moly rings, and Clevite 77 bearings. Combined with a good set of aluminum cylinder heads such as Trick Flow Twisted Wedge castings, this stroker setup easily makes 450 pump-gas horses.

Adding subframe connectors is a good idea and one we strongly recommend. While you're addressing the chassis, replacing OEM rear control arms (upper and lower) also is a good idea.

Increased torque is another byproduct of a stroked engine Upgrading chassis and suspension pieces will enable your 'Stang to fully benefit from its newfound horsepower and torque, by reducing flex and keeping the rear tires planted to the street.

More With Less
With all the cheaper rotating assemblies available from Pro Comp and such, can't you do a series of builds on a 460? With a healthy solid-roller cam, TFS A-460's, and one or even two Holley Dominators, even the Blue Thunder or Kaase heads would work. These engines are cheap, parts are becoming plentiful, and they make sick power on the sauce. I've been dreaming of such an engine.

If that doesn't get your attention, try a FRPP block, fab some headers, add a 90mm turbo, and hold on to your tighty whiteys. C'mon-the swap is easy; then throw it in a four-eyed '79-'86 notch; add a Jerico, G-Force GF5R, or maybe even a Powerglide; and scare yourself silly. That's my plan.

P.S. Where can I find a set of the Kaase small-block Ford heads? They were a clean-sheet design sold through Jegs and now it's gone.
Jason Jones
Skokie, IL

A Stuffing a big-block Ford engine between the fenders is a sure-fire way to give a Pony some serious grunt, as 460 engines and their stroked derivatives certainly can make serious power and torque. Your proposed idea of adding a big turbo and a quick-shifting stick trans to a big-block powerplant should make for one helluva thrill ride indeed.

Since staying on top of the latest small-block (pushrod and modular) innovations already keeps our dance card pretty full, it's not likely we'll pursue doing a true big-block build and swap anytime soon. However, we do have a pretty keen interest in the current trend of building "big" small-block engines on both the 8.2 and 9.5-deck platforms, and plan on working with another canted-valve/Boss-style powerplant in the near future.

Our proposed "Boss 429" will feature Ford Racing Performance Parts' Boss 351 engine block and a set of Roush/Yates D3 cylinder heads. It should produce some pretty sick high-rev, naturally aspirated power when it's finished.

Try contacting Jon Kaase Racing Engines directly [(770) 307-0241; www.jonkaaseracingengines.com] on how to score a set of small-block heads, or sit tight and see how our D3-headed, small-block version of a Boss 'Nine works out.

Wire Straits
I hope you can assist me as I am in dire need. I have an '84 Mustang GT that needs an engine wiring harness. The current harness in the car has been hacked up pretty badly. I have searched the web in order to find another harness (I checked Frank 'N Stangs, Prestige Mustang, and others) and no one can assist.

Could you please advise me if there is anyone that I can contact that could assist me with my issue? I just need to get the motor running and it's impossible without that wiring harness, or at least a schematic. Thank you for any assistance.
John Belcher
Jacksonville, FL

A Although you were unsuccessful with your first try, we suggest you touch base with Frank Ross again [Frank 'N Stangs; (317) 371-5783], and ask Frank to keep an eye out for the harness you need. As your tech editor learned during the construction of our '86 T-top LX coupe, Frank 'N Stangs specializes in hard-to-find Fox-body Mustang pieces. At some point, Frank more than likely will come across the wiring harness you need, so checking with him from time-to-time is a good idea.

The Classifieds forum on the Four-Eyed Pride website (www.foureyedpride.com) is another good source for finding just about anything associated with carbureted and first-gen EFI 5.0 Mustangs. Post "Want to Buy" messages on Pride, and on other Mustang-enthusiasts websites. We're confident there's a clean, complete '84 Mustang wiring harness out there somewhere for you, and you'll probably find it with the help of fellow 'Stangbangers and the Internet.

Crank Yanker
I'm glad Ford has brought back the 5.0 engine. It's about time! I'm already thinking about different ways I can mod the 5.0, or maybe use pieces from the new motor, to build a really stout Four-Valve 4.6 for my '04 Cobra.

The short-blocks are basically the same, right? Can the Coyote's crank be used in a regular Cobra motor?
Donovan Simmons
Miami, FL

A The only thing Ford's new Coyote 5.0 engine shares with its 4.6-liter brother is bore spacing and limited maximum bore size (diameter), so there really isn't a lot of opportunity to mix-and-match components.

Despite having eight flywheel bolts like your Terminator's engine, the 5.0's crankshaft has other significant differences that prevent it from being compatible with that engine. For example, the crank trigger on the new engine's crank is positioned at the back of back instead of up front, for improved accuracy.

The other big difference between the two crankshafts is their length. The 5.0 has a longer oil pump and double-sheave balancer a 4.6. To support these components, a slightly longer crank is used in the new engine.

Why not just swap a new 5.0 into your Cobra?

Virgin Of The Month
Relocation Plan
I have an '07 Mustang GT and I'm about to add the Roush Stage 3 suspension (lower control arms, adjustable upper control arm, and adjustable Panhard rod). Some people think the relocation brackets are necessary, while others do not. I thought the adjustable upper was all I would need with that setup.

I'm not drag racing: I just want a great-handling street car. Can you help me understand what's the best setup for my application and why? Thanks. Vincent Maffeo Columbia, MD

A The lower-control-arm relocation brackets are integral pieces in the Roush Stage 3 suspension system you're using. While the brackets are better-known for drag applications (to increase LCA angle and move the instant center back for improved traction), they also allow you to "level" the LCA angle so that the arms are parallel with the chassis after your 'Stang has been lowered.

Lowering tends to leave control arms pointing downward, which can contribute to poor traction and instability, a phenomenon known as "rear steer." The relocation brackets correct the angle on lowered Mustangs to ensure its handling will be sharp when you hit the corners really hard.