The marking on the left side...
The marking on the left side of the timing cover says it all: Bruce R/S. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This 4.6-liter, Two-Valve modular engine is destined for former NMRA Real Street champion Bruce Hemminger's new whip.
Those of you who call yourselves NMRA historians of any sort should be aware of the investment 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords has made in the sanction's Real Street class. While the eliminator no longer bears the magazine's name as its title sponsor, our roots in Real Street definitely run deep.
For the uninitiated, Real Street is the category that our leader, Editor Steve Turner, dreamed up in 2000 with NMRA founder James Lawrence. Back then, Steve's vision was to create a class that would best capture the spirit of our readers' power-adder street 'Stangs. The hope was that fans would embrace the familiar cars, and the class would drive the development of the parts that our readers would benefit from.
While Real Street certainly has lived up to Big Steve's vision over the last decade, the class also has matured in a way that we're not sure its founding fathers anticipated. For example, a class-legal Mustang running 11s was considered a bonafide force to be reckoned with back in Y2K. Just five short years later, the class began developing its current persona-yet another heads-up category for hard-core, race-oriented 'Stangs and experienced racers. The ability to run low 10s was necessary if you wanted to run with the big dogs of the class in 2005, and with centrifugal superchargers emerging as the power-adder-of-choice for most participants, Brian Meyer proceeded to catapult the class into the 9s in 2006, with a record-blitzing 9.66 best e.t. in Real Street competition, and 139.76 mph to boot.
At the suggestion of Ford...
At the suggestion of Ford Racing's Jesse Kershaw, Rich Groh of RGR Engines selected a 4.6-liter Aluminator engine block as the foundation for the new bullet. After unpacking the block, John Groh loads it into a machine for boring and honing the cylinders.
It's hard to believe that in this new decade, e.t.'s in the mid 9s are considered to be the proverbial "numbers to beat" for competitive Steeda Real Street Mustangs. The bar was established and locked in place during the '08 and '09 NMRA seasons, when Tim Matherly and his arch nemesis Bruce Hemminger (who have both won Real Street points championships) waged war on the class (and each other) by pulling consistent 9.50s from their blown-modular (Tim) and pushrod-nitrous (Bruce) combinations, for nearly two straight years.
Bruce was able to capture a points title using juice and a 5.0-based engine in his '86 coupe. And even though nitrous oxide certainly has proven itself to be a stout performer in Real Street, the blown-modular package still stands a bit taller in the eyes of most competitors in the class.
Blown fuel-injected applications don't have the same tuning nuances of carburetor/nitrous setups, and they obviously don't require refilling bottles or maintaining bottle pressure. For all intents and purposes, and not taking anything away from the overall challenge that's inherent with competing in Real Street (we're not saying one of these platforms is better than the other), the supercharged, modular engine combination is simply a bit easier to work with.
With any serious race engine,...
With any serious race engine, the weight of the small end of each Manley H-beam connecting rod also is needed-in addition to the weight of each piston, pin, lock and ring-to calculate the total reciprocating weight for balancing of the engine.
We thought it would be interesting to see exactly what goes into creating a competitive Two-Valve modular powerplant for a Real Street Mustang. Last year, editor Steve Turner received intelligence that Chicago-area engine master Rich Groh was building such a bullet using Ford Racing Performance Parts' 4.6-liter Aluminator engine block and Trick Flow's new Twisted Wedge cylinder heads for modular Ford engines. It turns out that engine is for Bruce Hemminger, and the plan is for it to power Bruce's second 'Stang.
That's right, this bullet is destined for an all-new aero-nosed, Fox-bodied quarter-horse that Bruce is building for the '10 NMRA season and beyond. The details in the following photos and captions are only the beginning: 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords will bring you more info on the new ride in a future issue.
Horse Sense: Although the title-sponsor torch has been handed over to our good friends at Steeda (5.0 Mustang & Super Fords is no longer the primary backer of the NMRA's Real Street eliminator), don't think for a minute that the magazine has completely removed itself from the class. Real Street's new official name is: Steeda Real Street presented by 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine. We've got nothin' but love for "our" class, always and forever.
Balancing the rotating assembly...
Balancing the rotating assembly is a critical step in building an engine that can withstand more than 8,000 rpm. Rich sets bob weights on each of the Ford Racing Performance Parts crankshaft's rod journals and then adds the necessary weight on the balancing machine. A high-speed run on the balancing machine shows Rich where weight must be added to or removed from the crank in order to achieve perfect balance.
The cylinders are bored to...
The cylinders are bored to a final bore size of 3.583. During the honing process, John takes several measurements to ensure each hole is round from top-to-bottom and spot-on in size.
With the Aluminator block...
With the Aluminator block mounted on the milling machine, Rich uses a dial indicator to ensure that the block is square to the milling wheel, and then programs the mill to remove 0.0020-inch off the surface of both decks.