Since we're sticking with the stock short-block and pistons at thistime, our cylinder head
If you take a minute to think about it,even the "newest" 5.0 Mustangs are 10 years old now. That's a lot ofmiles, and stress, on Ford's venerable small-block. While this couldquickly escalate into a new short-block-versus-performance-upgradesdiscussion, it has been our experience that once a Mustang is out ofwarranty and the loan is paid off, most owners want to experience morepower, not just a freshened short-block. Once paid off, their loanpayment has been quietly tucked away for upgrades, and now they're readyto have some fun with their Mustang. Sound familiar? Besides, all thoseupgrades you're bolting onto your tired short-block can easily betransferred to a new short-block when the time comes.
To that end, wedecided to begin some upgrades on Associate Editor Johnson's yellownotch. The used 5.0 underhood is of unknown mileage, but it doesn'tsmoke or make noise, so we opted to start the spiraling madness with ahead swap, specifically AFR 165s with its "Comp" port program. We alsophoned Comp Cams for a nice, lumpy custom cam grind and all thesupporting bits. We wanted to install an intake and headers, plus someother induction and fuel upgrades, but there's only so much room in fourpages. So, we'll follow up this project in the coming months withheaders, intake, injectors, mass air and induction parts, and so on.
Horse Sense: With the abundance of cylinder heads, intakes, and camprofiles available today for the 5.0, it's easy to start feelinglight-headed when going through all the catalogs. Staying with a packagefrom one manufacturer is often a good way to make sure everything willwork together, but don't be afraid to use multiple vendors. Just makesure you talk to their tech departments for product recommendations andto verify what parts will work with theirs. From there, you can make alist of suitable project part candidates.
Our cam is a custom grind that we had Comp Cams carve for us. The grindwas suggested by Ed
Knowing we'd be pulling off the timing cover for camshaft access,LaMotta technician Jay Me
Once the coolant drains ,the radiator, fan, and shroud are next on theremoval list. Four b
Since the 5.0's accessory drives are mounted to the cylinder heads, thealternator/smog pum
Strangely enough, Johnson's Mustang is still running stock headers.While this will choke t
Remove the stock upper intake. Unfortunately, we'll have to reuse thestock intake for now,
Once the upper intake is removed, Jay has access to the lower intakebolts, injector harnes
The stock valve covers can be reused with some minor clearancing aroundthe oil-fill openin
Jay removes the cylinder heads, complete with old rocker arms andpushrods, in one fell swo
All that's left to tackle on the short-block is the removal of the oldcam and timing chain
With the damper out of the way, Jay removes the rest of the timing coverbolts and any nece
The timing chain usually slips off after removing the cam gear-retainingbolt, but in stubb
The AFR 165 Comp cylinder heads feature a brute-strength design with a3/4-inch-thick fire
After cleaning and preparing the block surface, Jay installs the new AFR165s over fresh he
Once the cam is in place and secured by the cam thrust plate, Jayinstalls the new timing c
Since most all 5.0 engines use the rubber one-piece oil pan gasket, thetypical timing cove
With the cam in place, Jay can finish off the drivetrain. New rollerlifters and pushrods a
Because the AFR heads use a stud-mount rocker design, the rocker armsmust be adjusted. The
Reinstalling the stock headers is like sticking your finger in a 2-literbottle while pouri
With the valvetrain adjusted, it's time to reinstall our intake--again,another restriction
The stock valve covers clear the Pro-Magnum rockers just fine, exceptaround the oil fill b
Be prepared to shell out some bucks for any other repairs in the areayou are working, such
All that remains is the assembly of the front engine dress. Carefullyreinstall the accesso
Since Johnson's typical oil change regimen is to let the oil leak outand then top off as n
With the work completed, the improvments take on a stealth-like upgrade with the stock int
ON THE DYNO
Key: S = Stock HCR = Heads, Cam, and Rockers G/L = Gain/Loss
|RPM||S POWER||S TORQUE||AIR/FUEL||HCR POWER||HCR TORQUE||AIR/FUEL||G/L POWER||G/L TORQUE|
Jake LaMotta recently sold his portable Dynojet and has taken deliveryof an in-ground Dynojet for the expanding LaMotta Performance shop.Unfortunately for us, when we came by for the wrench-bending session,the Dynojet was not yet "six feet under" and was less than operational.The light bulb lit up over Johnson's head (I know, a first), and hesuggested the Superflow chassis dyno at nearby Superchips (just 10minutes from LaMotta's Longwood, Florida, shop). We gave Dave Caine acall at Superchips, and he was more than accommodating for ourearly-morning and late-evening dyno sessions in the same day. Now forthe meat and potatoes you've been wanting. We included the air/fuel inthese dyno numbers so you can see how rich this car is running (stockelectronics and fuel pressure regulator). There's a lot more in thiscar's tune, that's for sure, and while 32 hp and 21 lb-ft of torque atthe peaks is nice, you can see in our gain/loss column that thiscombination really likes rpm with the gains climbing with each rpmincrement, to a best of 51 hp and 45.4 lb-ft of torque, both at 5,900.Johnson's ride already had an off-road X-pipe and a DynoMax UltraFloafter-cat system on it, plus a 70mm BBK throttle body and EGR spacer.Other than that, the little yellow notch is stone stock. As soon as weget our intake, headers, injectors, and mass air meter, look out foranother story and even better numbers.
Air Flow Research
10490 Ilex Avenue, Dept. MMFF
Redline Synthetic Oil Corp.
134 Baywood Ave.
715 N. Hwy. 17-92