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|
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 performed by a local contractor. This shop does all of the bl
Once the bearings have been seated into the block's saddles with a nice clean and dry fit,
The Eagle stroker crank is the "ESP" 4340 forged crank. The days of offset ground stockers
Patriot's 347 uses stock main bearing caps. We've seen the production Ford 5.0L roller blo
The rest of the reciprocating assembly consists of Eagle I-beam rods and forged pistons. T
Using a billet ring compressor, Jerry makes quick work of installing the piston and rod as
With some ARP assembly lube applied, Jerry seats the ARP 12-point capscrews and then torqu
Patriot has a selection of cams to work with depending upon the intended use of the engine
Timing components come next. Nothing super-trick is used here like multiple keyways; just
A brand-new timing cover is installed over the timing components and a Ford Racing billet
Patriot uses a Professional Products damper on all of its engine builds. The damper, like
Jerry spins our mill over and proceeds to button up the bottom end. A stock volume oil pum
The standard pan used by Patriot Performance is the late-model "Fox" Mustang dual-sump oil
With the short-block buttoned up, Jerry rolled 'er over one more time to start on the valv
Fel-Pro gaskets are used throughout the build and here Jerry is setting the 1011-2 head ga
The Freedom Series 185cc heads are retained by all new ARP head bolts and insert washers (
The Freedom Series assembled heads come with this trick two-piece pushrod guide plate setu
Patriot offers both the Edelbrock Victor Jr. and the Edelbrock Air-Gap intake manifold on
Scorpion 1.6:1 full roller rockers top off the valvetrain along with 5/16-inch hardened pu
Every new engine leaves with an aluminum high-flow water pump installed. You can choose fr
The Patriot 347 is topped by a sweet set of polished aluminum valve covers and here Jerry
While we brought our own fuel injection setup to Patriot's shop for our engine build and d
The final piece of the puzzle is a tried and true MSD electronic distributor. Again, Patri
Once your custom engine is built, the folks at Patriot carefully transfer it to a pallet w