5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Ford Mustang Engine Block - Project Real Street Part 1: Short Block - Getting Real
Kicking off our Real Street project with a Super Pro Bullet from D.S.S.
When we first began kicking around the idea of sponsoring the NMRA series, I wanted this magazine to sponsor a class for real people with real power-adder Mustangs. Street Renegade was approaching the 8s and Pure Street was about to run 10s, so there was a gap to fill. I suggested the name Real Street and NMRA's James Lawrence suggested rules similar to Factory Stock with a power adder. We went back and forth on various specifics of the rules, but in the back of my mind I pictured a prototypical car-a Vortech S-Trim, a Cobra intake, Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, and a D.S.S. short-block.
I had seen plenty of street cars running this type of combination, and I wanted owners of hot street Mustangs to be able to run this class. For the sake of competition we agreed on things such as a spec fuel and a stock camshaft, but those combination highlights I had in mind were all legal. Sure my prototypical car combination might never compete, but several similar setups surely will, and that was the idea-real cars with real parts.
Racing isn't cheap and it never will be, but the Real Street rules allow for the creation of a legal race car with a reasonable budget. Such financial considerations were one reason I had that D.S.S. short-block in mind. D.S.S. has long been mass producing durable, affordable small-block Fords. For about $2,999.95-depending on your cylinder head and piston combination-D.S.S. can set you up with a short-block capable of 650 hp and mid-nines, all housed in a stock Ford block.
Dubbed the Super Pro Bullet short-block, this combination offers us enough cushion for a Real Street combination to be durable in a stock block, which helps keep the cost down. If you needed to step up to an aftermarket block, a Ford Racing Performance Sportsman 302 or a full-boogie FRPP R302 block would increase your credit-card balance even more, but those blocks are really for running in Renegade and beyond. A Super Pro Bullet is plenty for a Real Street car, and Tom Naegele at D.S.S. says you could easily run one of their less-expensive Pro Bullet combinations in Real Street (see Affordable Option sidebar).
The pictures that follow are of our Super Pro Bullet 306 going together. Since Real Street mandates the use of a stock camshaft, we opted to run flat-top pistons with no valve reliefs for a bit more compression and power. However, if you think you might ever change classes and move to a more aggressive camshaft in the future, you might want to give up a hint of compression and save the hassle of pulling the motor apart to cut reliefs before you can install a hotter cam.
On the left is a D.S.S. race-prepped stock rod, which is found in the company's Bullet and Pro Bullet short-blocks. According to D.S.S. those rods are good for up to 575 hp, which should be more than enough for a Real Street engine. However, the rugged 4340-steel H-beam rod on the right jumps the engine's horsepower capabilities up to 650. The full-floating H-beam rods are better for high-rpm applications. They might seem to be overkill for Real Street, but we wanted a little extra durability, just in case.
Ordering up a Super Pro Bullet is like getting your burger all the way. Standard accessories in the engine include a Melling oil pump, a heavy-duty oil pump driveshaft, Fel-Pro graphite head gaskets, a Fel-Pro gasket set, and ARP head studs. D.S.S. sticks with a standard-volume oil pump, as it provides plenty of lubrication. Anything more is simply overkill and increased parasitic drag on the engine.
Even more important than the 4340 steel rods is the D.S.S. Main Support System, which allows a Super Pro Bullet to withstand the rigors of up to 650 hp with nitrous or supercharging. Basically the MSS secures the free end of the main stud with a 31/44-inch main web of harmonic dampening aluminum. This arrangement virtually eliminates main cap walk, which would lead to bad things such as cracking of main webs and breaking of crankshafts. Not only does the MSS go on without modifying the main caps, but it also allows the use of a D.S.S. optional Pro Tray windage tray. The tray keeps oil off the rotating assembly, which reportedly frees up 10-15 hp. It also keeps oil in the pan and air out of the oil, which D.S.S. says lengthens bearing life. The Pro Tray is a $139.95 option.