Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
September 13, 2013

When we sat down last summer to decide which engine would power our latest project, Hypersilver, the decision didn’t come easily. The initial instinct was that we had to have a power adder. Then we decided that only a twin-turbo big Windsor would do. This is going to be at the SEMA show, after all. And we only get one shot at building it. Besides, aren’t twin turbos all the rage right now anyway?

Then we realized how short our timeline was, and decided that a twin-turbo setup was a project all its own. So a supercharger was the next best thing, right? A big, shiny Procharger F-1 or a liquid-cooled Kenne Bell strapped to a built Coyote would do just fine. But either of those would be too expected. We wanted something different, something unique and outside of the box—we wanted that wow factor.

Then, as we were making our rounds at the PRI show last December, we made the discovery: Jon Kaase Racing Engines’ P-38 crate engine. The one on the floor was destined for Stacy David’s TV show, but we knew we just had to have one of our own; especially with the impressive cross-ram induction system.

The benefits were two-fold. We would be using something new, cool, and unique that will make 600-plus horsepower, and we wouldn’t have to hassle with piping, brackets, or tuning a boosted engine. And besides, there’s just something appealing about an NA Windsor with a raspy camshaft. We’re definitely suckers for big-inch pushrod power, and the P-38 crate engine touches that soft spot in our hearts.

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Down Low

The base for our 427ci engine is a Ford Racing Performance Parts Boss 351 block (PN M-6010-BOSS35195; $2,199). We’re going to match it with a stroker rotating assembly from DSS Racing that consists of a 4340 forged crankshaft, forged H-beam rods, and forged aluminum GSX pistons.

“The pistons feature 1.5mm top and second rings to improve the strength of the pistons by reducing radial thickness,” says Tom Naegele of DSS. “This requires a shallower ring groove, allowing greater piston cross-section between the back of the groove and the edge of the valve relief. This area is notoriously thin, and the extra thickness is a big help.”

The pistons also feature proprietary X grooves cut into the skirts. These grooves help reduce friction between the piston and cylinder wall, as well as doing a superior job at cylinder wall cleaning. Keeping the cylinder walls clean will improve performance by decreasing fuel wash-down. It will also greatly increase the longevity of the engine by reducing cylinder wall wear associated with high-revving, high-horsepower engines.

DSS matches its rotating assemblies with Clevite bearings and Total Seal rings, and if you order one exactly like ours, it will run you $2,099.95. The base price is $1,899.95, but we upgraded to the neutral-balance crankshaft.

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Top-End

A tough bottom end is essential when building any engine. But when it comes to exactly how much power you’re engine is going to make, you need to pick the right heads, camshaft, and intake manifold. And with the P-38 system, we have the latest in cylinder head technology for small-block Ford engines.

With 2.10-inch intake valves and 1.60-inch exhaust valves in a canted configuration, the 240cc intake runner volume heads flow over 350 cfm. The P-38s bolt directly to any 302- or 351-based Windsor engine, but require special valve covers and intake manifold.

Available from Kaase, we chose the cross-ram intake. Designed to maximize low- and mid-range torque, it maintains a low profile and looks awesome.

Next month, we’ll go to Jon Kaase Racing Engines for assembly and dyno testing of our cross-ram P-38 crate engine!

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In this cutaway, you can see how the open valve is far away from the cylinder wall, nearly completely unshrouding the valve. Next month, we’ll assemble and dyno test our new powerplant for Hypersilver.


Leading The Way

Our first trip to Jon Kaase Racing Engines (JKRE) in Winder, Georgia to work on the powerplant destined for Hypersilver, we weren't sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by the tight-knit and cozy atmosphere.

Led by Jon Kaase (KAH-zee) himself, the team represents an array of talent, young and old. Former FFW racer Chuck Samuel is on staff, building engines and operating the dyno. And serving as project manager is ADRL Crew Chief Cliff Moore.

After spending a couple of hours touring the 8,000-square-foot facility and meeting the entire crew, I was invited to join them for lunch. Located a few miles away was a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. Let’s just say, they’ve been there before.

As I chatted more intimately with some of the JKRE family members during lunch, I realized that almost the entire team takes lunch together, including Jon. We chatted about past, current, and future Mustangs and other fast Fords, and racing. What we didn’t talk about, though, were the 100-plus Pro Stock wins, Engine Masters Challenge victories, or any other accolades—that’s not their style.

The best way to describe the business is a North Pole factory for Blue Oval enthusiasts. And Jon Kaase is Santa Claus.

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