Tucked away in a small industrial park in Alabama we found Alabama Cylinder Head, known to performance enthusiasts everywhere as Patriot Performance. While Patriot has been improving factory cylinder head castings with CNC-ported precision for many years, its latest cylinder head offerings have come in the way of its own aluminum cylinder head design with larger, reshaped ports, larger valves, and quality valvetrain hardware all at a budget-friendly price point.
Patriot's small-block Ford cylinder head, the 185cc Freedom Series, features 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust stainless valves, a five-angle valve job, bronze valve guides, 60cc combustion chambers, and more. While also sold as bare castings, the majority of the Freedom Series heads that leave Patriot Performance are of the fully assembled variety; ready to bolt onto your small-block and make some serious power.
Patriot isn't resting on its current product line however. Just like on its GM product side, where a plethora of small- and big-block heads are offered, including crate engines, Patriot is working to expand its Freedom Series line of Ford products. While a larger 210cc head is in the works, as are some modular Ford offerings, the big news right now is Patriot's new 347ci small-block Ford stroker crate engine.
Based off of a prepped seasoned roller block casting, the new engine offering includes an Eagle rotating assembly, forged pistons, an Edelbrock intake, Scorpion roller rockers, an MSD distributor, quality fasteners and gaskets, and more for just $5,295 with a 12-month/unlimited mileage warranty. What interested us the most is Patriot's ability to customize its crate engine to the customer's desires. Want an aftermarket oil pan? Patriot will get you setup. You want a different ignition or wire set or even valve covers? The guys at Patriot will see that your engine is built the way you want it. To test the claim we gave Patriot a call to build a 347ci stroker with a few custom touches. Check out the build and be sure to see our assembly and dyno video online as well at www.mustangandfords.com.
|On The Dyno|
|6,500||412||333|See the Dyno Video online!
On Patriot's dyno, our fresh 347 was bolted up using late-model Mustang long-tube headers for spent gas extraction. On the induction side of things, we bolted down a Professional Products' Powerjection III complete kit with a polished throttle body (PN 70027, $1,749.95), which is designed to bolt up to any standard carb flange manifold like the Air-Gap we're using. After replumbing the Patriot dyno from carb to EFI fuel pressure, and hooking up the Powerjection wiring (all six of 'em!) we were ready to flog our new stroker.
Patriot advertises its 347 engine as making 425 hp (that's with a carb) and our engine, which idled like a kitten, roared to the top of the tach and ultimately spit out 424 hp at 6,300 rpm along with 399 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. That's within 1 horsepower of its rating, but with the driveability and fuel efficiency of EFI. What more could you want?
No One Needs To Know
One of the great things about a stroker package is the increased displacement is on a need-to-know basis. From the outside it looks like a clean little 302 small-block Ford right? And the nice thing is that small-block, now packing 347 cubes and more than 400 hp will easily fit into any classic Mustang, Ford, street rod, or kit car project where a standard 289/302/351 will bolt up. Our Patriot build found its way into this Factory Five Roadster and looks like a simple small-block offering with the Branda Cobra Oval air cleaner on top. But look closer and under that Cobra air cleaner is our Powerjection III unit. Even that is very retro looking, and most people don't realize it is EFI until we tell them.
Finally, we added March Performance's serpentine conversion kit for a clean and simple front dress. The March system spins a stock late-model Mustang power steering pump and a PA Performance 130 amp 3G alternator.
Patriot has its machine work...
Patriot has its machine work performed by a local contractor. This shop does all of the block prep and returns it ready to assemble castings. The Patriot 347 is built from a stock 5.0L roller block setup. Making sure the block is spotlessly clean before seating the main bearings is Patriot's engine builder Jerry Johnson.
Once the bearings have been...
Once the bearings have been seated into the block's saddles with a nice clean and dry fit, Jerry adds assembly lube to each bearing surface in preparation for the Eagle 3.40-inch stroker crank.
The Eagle stroker crank is...
The Eagle stroker crank is the "ESP" 4340 forged crank. The days of offset ground stockers are gone, and completely redesigned stroker cranks are readily available for today's engine builds. Patriot likes the Eagle product for its strength, light weight, and price point.
Patriot's 347 uses stock main...
Patriot's 347 uses stock main bearing caps. We've seen the production Ford 5.0L roller block take 600-plus horsepower with strokers, boost, and nitrous. It's actually a fairly tough block as long as the machining, assembly, and tuning are spot on.
The rest of the reciprocating...
The rest of the reciprocating assembly consists of Eagle I-beam rods and forged pistons. The I-beam rods are Eagle's "SIR" forged 5140 steel I-beam offering, which utilize a full floating pin, beefy ARP 3/8-inch capscrew retaining bolts (versus rod bolts and nuts), and extra stroker clearance. The pistons feature extra large valve reliefs and a standard low-tension ring package.
Using a billet ring compressor,...
Using a billet ring compressor, Jerry makes quick work of installing the piston and rod assemblies. Since the rods are secured via capscrews there's no rod bolt to cover, but you still want to guide the rod with your fingers to prevent possibly scratching the crank's rod journal.