Marc Christ Associate Editor
June 13, 2012

Our Experiment

Since some say the tall-deck engine is the way to go and others swear by strokers, we're using this opportunity to put the 363 stroker against an equivalent 363ci tall-deck Windsor (0.060-over).

We've procured a 363 short-block and two pair of Z304 heads from FRPP--one set for the tall-deck engine and one set for the short-deck. FRPP also sent us a Boss 351 block, which we will bore 0.060 over to bring displacement (with a stock stroke of 3.500) to 362.493--we'll call it 363 for simplicity. Edelbrock is providing us with as-equivalent-as-possible dual-plane Air Gap intake manifolds for both engines, as well as single-plane Victor Sr. intakes.

Concerning camshaft choice, it wouldn't be fair to the tall-deck 363 to use the same camshaft that the Z363 crate engine uses. And it wouldn't be fair to either engine to have a custom camshaft ground that benefits both engines. Instead, we called Comp Cams to grind custom cams for each to maximize power and torque within our rpm range. Comp is also supplying the rest of our valvetrain components, like lifters, rocker arms, and pushrods--the same parts for both engines--to make this as fair as possible.

We realize someone probably won't go through the trouble of building a 0.060-over 351W for funsies, but it's the best way for us to make this comparison fairly. So which one do you think will make the most power? The most torque? Which one will make the most in the low-to-mid range? What about mid-to-high range? Send us your guesses to

Next time, we'll get our short-deck 363 together, run it on the engine dyno, and introduce the components of our tall-deck 363.

A Crate Alternative

FRPP is also offering complete crate engine versions of the 363, which are available in either front sump (PN M-6007- Z363FT; $8,595) or rear sump (PN M-6007-Z363RT; $8,595). These come complete from valve covers to oil pan, and are ready to drop into your Mustang, pickup, or street rod.

Rated at 500 hp at 6,500 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm, this engine is designed for street and/or strip use. The torque curve delivers over 390 lb-ft of torque from 3,500 rpm to the 6,500-rpm redline. At 10.0:1 compression, the Z363 even makes that much power on pump gas.

Using the same 363 short-block as a base, FRPP adds its Z304 cylinder heads (PN M-6049-Z304DA; $1,049/each), roller rockers, FRPP damper, water pump, valve covers, 7-quart oil pan, and a specially ground camshaft (0.580/0.602-inch lift; 232/240-degrees duration at 0.050-inch).