5.0 Mustang & Super FordsProject Vehicles
Mustang Tech: 408 Clevor Swap - Turning Tricks
A radical engine swap like this is bound to turn the heads of Fox fans
Before we go any further with this story, we don't just suggest--we demand that you take a few minutes and read, or even re-read "Hot In Cleveland" (July '11, p. 70). Therein we look at the making of a radical 408ci engine, built with Trick Flow's PowerPort Cleveland 225 cylinder heads, and an exciting, new intake-manifold set from Trick Flow.
The Trick Flow EFI intake package in question is highlighted by a brand-new R-series lower that's specifically designed to facilitate mating the company's 195 and 225 PowerPorts with 9.5-deck Ford blocks. Knowledgeable Ford enthusiasts already know this Cleveland/Windsor combination is better-known as Clevor. However, despite the fact that the best-of-both-worlds bullets have been around for many years, there hasn't been an affordable way to build fuel-injected versions for '86-'93 Mustangs.
After seeing the new pieces at the 2010 SEMA show, we set the wheels in motion to build the first small-block Ford that features the exciting new top-half parts, installed atop Ford Racing Performance Parts' Boss 351 foundation. Coordinating the effort happened quickly; thanks to a fine assembly by Coast High Performance, the first-ever, Trick Flow 408 Clevor engine was born in early 2011.
While this new take on the Cleveland/Windsor engine concept is alluring, the Trick Flow-topped 408 definitely isn't made with a boatload of high-dollar exoticness. Dropping one between the fenders of your own 'Stang is within the scope of reality. That brings us to this segment of Project Leave It to Clevor, presenting a look at the parts (most of which are available from Summit Racing Equipment) and procedures necessary to install our Cleveland-headed badness in a Fox.
We've been down this road before, with the 342ci Boss-style (Cleveland heads on an 8.2-deck 302 block) bullet of Project Boss 340--a full-on race Mustang. The major difference between the Boss 340 engine and our latest effort is the destination of Trick Flow 408ci Clevor--the street. Of course, there's plenty of drag testing in the cards, too, but our intent from this project's outset was to build the radical engine specifically for a street-driven Mustang--and install it in the car so that looks like it could be the OEM mill.
Years ago, bolting a fuel-injected 351 Clevor in a '79-'93 Mustang was a near-impossible proposition. Mass mass-produced headers and other parts that are critical to performing the operation smoothly were non-existent. Couple that need for custom items with the lack of affordable engine-management options, and anyone interested in pulling it off would need to offer up a couple of limbs.
We're happy to let you know that thanks to parts from Hedman Hedders, Trick Flow, and UPR Products, your limbs are now officially spared. Being a landmark installation of sorts, we are providing as much detail as possible. One of the exciting things about this effort is that our friend Greg Montoya took on this project and got it done by himself completely within the confines of his home garage and driveway.
We are stopping at the physical installation this month, but details on tuning with Anderson Ford Motorsport's PMS, as well as the driving and dyno testing of Greg's updated '89 Mustang GT, will appear in a future issue. For now, read on and see how this hard-core enthusiast creates the official template for taking a Fox Mustang to the EFI Clevor level, with a Tricked-out 408.
Horse Sense: We've used this space in the past to talk about the importance of punctuality. Unfortunately, however, forces beyond anyone's reasonable control, occasionally throw our magazine's timing off just a bit. That is why the following details on Greg Montoya's mega-cool engine swap were not included in our June '11 report on the subject. Consider this story a late addition for our engine-swap spectacular.
"Power always finds the weakest link," is an adage to always be mindful of whenever you're making changes that will bring a Mustang's horsepower, and especially torque, to new levels. So, with the level of performance we expect to see from the Cleveland-headed monster in Greg Montoya's Pony being unknown, we decided to make additional drivetrain changes to support the newfound power.
Before removing the supercharged 306 and stock T-5 transmission from Greg's '89 GT, we noticed the tranny was not as smooth as it should be (grinding on the Second-to-Third shift), and it definitely was starting to produce more noise than it ever had. In anticipation of making power well above that of the previous drivetrain, your tech editor and Greg decided the time was perfect for exchanging the 'Stang's worn-out clutch and transmission.
Tremec's TKO 500 got the nod, along with a Force 10.5 dual-disc clutch from Ram Clutches. In addition to the clutch, if you go with a 26-spline (input shaft) unit like Greg did, the transmission transition requires a new bellhousing, shifter, driveshaft slip yoke/modified shaft (the TKO 500's output shaft is 31-spline versus the 28-spline output of a T-5), and a modified crossmember.
AMP Performance in Phoenix, Arizona, is a great source for all of the parts you'll need for the upgrade. While installing a TKO 500 (or TKO 600 if you're making really big steam) isn't mandatory, we think making the change is a good proactive step toward being able to fully enjoy a new engine without worries about power getting to the rear wheels.