Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Ford Racing Peformance Parts Boss 302 Engine Build - Reptile Resuscitation
MM&FF breathes life into project Stolen Goods' Boss 347 short-block with induction, ignition, and cooling components.
We're in the home stretch with the buildup of our resident '93 Cobra a.k.a. project Stolen Goods, and this month we will assemble the top half of our D.S.S. Racing-built, Boss 347 engine.
While the new Boss block from Ford Racing Performance Parts is quite capable of handling high horsepower and high rpm, it was never our intention to spin the motor to the moon in search of peak horsepower. What we wanted was a fun-to-drive powerplant that put out something north of 400 hp at the flywheel. In order to come up with a usable combination, we called Rick Anderson of Anderson Ford Motorsport (AFM) in Clinton, Illinois, to see what he thought about our goals for the engine and what the best way to achieve them would be.
His first recommendation was a cylinder head and intake manifold package from Trick Flow Specialties. A set of Twisted Wedge small-block Ford heads (PN TFS-51400004) and a Trick Flow Track Heat intake manifold (PN TFS-515110002) were sourced from Summit Racing Equipment. The cylinder heads feature a uniquely twisted combustion-chamber design with a 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch valves.
These would not go on the Boss untouched, however, as Anderson opted to give them AFM's Stage III port job in addition to a set of AFM Hi-Rev valvesprings to support the B-41HR camshaft that Anderson also provided. In order to allow the AFM cam and spring set to work together, we called Comp Cams for a set of its Pro Magnum 1.6:1 ratio roller rocker arms, replacement roller lifters, and Hi-Tech pushrods.
"For what we are doing, we want to keep the port velocity high," Anderson says. "Bigger runners might be suitable for drag racing where your rpm range might be only 1,500 rpm wide, but they would be lazier in other areas under the curve. For getting in and out of the corners, we want to keep the velocity up to provide more horsepower and torque down low. I like the Twisted Wedge heads the best because of the combustion-chamber design and how the flame front travels across the combustion chamber."
Jon D. Carls of JDC Engineering handles all of AFM's hand-port work and performed a Stage III porting of our Twisted Wedge heads. Hand porting was chosen over CNC-machining to keep the runners on the small side to promote better midrange flow numbers. This keeps the horsepower down low and pulling hard all the way up the powerband.
The Stage III work costs $1,050, and Carls shapes the intake and exhaust ports for maximum efficiency. This includes the runners, the bowl area under the valves, and the valve guides, as well as polishing the intake and exhaust tracks. The combustion chambers are shaped, polished, and blended to the valve seats, intake ports are matched to a Fel-Pro 1262 intake gasket and the exhaust ports to a Fel-Pro 1415 gasket. The valve seats and valves receive a performance multi-angle valve job as well.
We mentioned before that we'll be using Anderson's B-41HR camshaft, and while we would like to give you the specs, we were asked not to. "The B-41HR is designed to give more power through the midrange, but the hi-rev design will pull all the way to 7,000 rpm without falling off," Anderson says. "From 3,500 to 4,500, it will pull really hard with a smoother transition. Cams that come on hard don't work well when you're at the limit in the middle of a turn." According to Anderson, the AFM cam profiles are constantly updated, so you get the latest technology when you order one.
As for the intake manifold, Trick Flow has three to choose from, all of which have different runner lengths to match the powerband of the engine. "The Track Heat intake will make more power through the midrange versus the R-Series," Anderson says. The Track Heat power range is 1,500-6,500 rpm and features a 12-inch runner length versus the Street Heat's 15-inch length.
With the induction sorted out, we needed some ignition components, and for those we called Performance Distributors in Memphis, Tennessee. Proprietor Steve Davis was just releasing his new Ford distributor, which is equipped with a full-length oil impregnated bushing for improved shaft rotation and magnetic pick-up coil signals. "The new full-length bushing replaces the weak upper bushing that is standard on these units," Davis says. "This provides increased durability and more accurate timing signals in the higher rpm."
The Performance Distributors unit uses Motorcraft distributor housings, which can be powdercoated in Ford Blue or left natural. This is a drop-in OEM replacement distributor for '86-'95 Mustangs, so no modifications need to be made to stock wiring. Supporting the distributor is one of PD's Screamin' Demon coils (PN 31724; $69.95) and a set of Livewire spark plug wires (PN C9057; $105.00).
Keeping the Boss cool will be the responsibility of Meziere Enterprises' electric water pump. We went with the WP312 pump as it features a freewheeling idler pulley to allow us to use the factory serpentine belt setup. This would be one less issue to sort out.
The Meziere electric water pump cuts parasitic drag, and the company claims to have seen gains of up to 11.3 hp. We obviously can't test this without a baseline, but we definitely agree with their thinking. The pump comes in black, blue, red, and natural finishes, as well as polished or chrome-plated and is covered by a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty.
The one-piece main body is CNC-machined, and the pump includes inlet, heater, and bypass fittings; it's a top-of-the-line piece that sells for around $490. We also had Meziere send us one of its aluminum thermostat necks for the 5.0 engine (PN WN0023).
While the Meziere water pump comes with its own stainless steel fasteners, the same cannot be said for much of the engine. In order to bolt everything together, we contacted two stalwarts of the automotive aftermarket, Automotive Racing Products (otherwise known as ARP) and Federal Mogul, whose Fel-Pro division sent us a 2816 gasket kit. ARP provided us with a set of cylinder-head studs (PN 154-4003) as well as intake-manifold and valve cover bolts (PN 454-2001). Without these two companies, we'd have a nice collection of aluminum and cast-iron paperweights.
In addition to providing the Boss block for our buildup, FRPP sent us a set of its black, crinkle-finish Cobra valve covers to dress up the outside of the engine. FRPP's Jesse Kershaw informed us that the company has a new Boss valve cover coming out, and he plans to send us a set once they're ready for production. In the meantime, the Cobra valve covers look fantastic. Tom Naegele at D.S.S. Racing had specified a multi-index timing chain, and FRPP had just the one. PN M-6268-A302 is a double-roller piece that offers nine different index positions.
While we've made great progress with Stolen Goods up until this point, now is when it starts to get tedious, as we'll come across all of the little nickel and dime items we overlooked, though something tells us it'll add up to more than 15 cents. We've kept a running list of needed items, but we're sure we'll overlook something along the way. We'll mention every little thing we run into, as it may just help prevent you from making an extra trip to the auto-parts store should you find yourself in a similar situation.
Next month, we should have the Boss up and running, and we'll see if we can get a video clip up on our Web site. See you then.
|Airflow of AFM-ported vs. Stock Trick Flow Cylinder Heads|