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Old 09-03-2010, 03:46 PM   #1
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Can you really build a 400 hp 302 for $1,000?

It's too damn hot to work on my car right now. Its been 100 plus almost every afternoon and my garage doors/windows get full sun from 1pm to sunset raising the temp inside to 125+. Even after living here for 2 years I can't handle working on my car when its 125.

So, I've been spending too much time reading my old mustang mags. In the October 2009 issue of Mustangs and Fast Fords there were 2 feature articles about sbf builds that got me thinkin..........

Build # 1

"Stock Block Stroke Swap"
331" stroker assembly from Competition Products
190cc Trick Flow Fast as Cast heads
Trick Flow Stage 2 Cam
Trick Flow R EFI intake
70mm TB, 30lb inj, C&L meter

Tuned by Tony Gonyon the engine made 396 hp at 5,800 rpms and 377 tq at 5,200 rpms. They swapped to a carb and made 401 hp at 6,100 and 391 tq at 4,700 rpms

These numbers seem a little low to me.......for the money invested. I would have to guess it would cost me $5,000 to build this combo even if I already had the block and assembled it myself.

Guesstimate:

Heads $1,350
Rockers 280
Prods 80
head studs 100
gaskets 100
Stroker kit $850-1,000
28 oz Balancer and FWheel $400
Machine block $500?
Intake $600
Injectors and maf $500

Total $4910 and I am sure I left out a ton of little things like timing set, oil pump etc....

Build #2

"Down Low 5.0"

Junk yard 5.0 HO out of a late 80's early 90's T-bird
Pro Comp Heads from fleabay
Trick Flow Track Max 1 cam
Parker Funnel Web intake
Used Holley 750 DP
and a bunch of cheap chinese supporting parts

They reported that this hodge podge of junkyard short block and chinese knock off parts made big numbers.

399 hp at 6,000 rpms and 363 tq at 5,200 rpms

Total report cost: $1,064

I am sure the new build 331 would last a long time and be much more reliable but can these numbers be true? Can you really make 400 hp with a junkyard shortblock, a trick flow cam and Pro Comp heads? I know there has been a ton of threads about these heads and even some pics of failures but has anyone tried to re create Project "Down Low 5.0"?

Here is why I asked. The other day I picked up a new set of assembled Pro Comp heads, new Trick Flow 1.6 RR and Comp Pushrods for $450 total. My plan was to sell the heads on fleabay for $450 and keep the RR and pushrods for a future build. Then I noticed a poor old 5.0 roller short block sitting in the corner of my garage. Retired from my 92 vert after 137k miles it still has a Trick Flow stage 1 cam in it.

It got me thinking....Maybe I could put an engine together with some other crap parts I've got lying around. Stuff too valuable to throw away but not good enough to sell to your friends. Like my Typhoon EFI intake I got on trade. I think I have enough crap to put it together and have less than $600 in it.

Or maybe the heat has gotten to me. What do you think? Is it a worthy project?
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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Grab a cold one and get to work. You know what you gotta do...

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Old 09-03-2010, 03:57 PM   #3
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Yeah so much for flippin some parts on fleabay for a few extra bucks. Seems like every time I get a deal on some parts I feel like I gotta build a car around them.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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Its a sickness for sure

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Old 09-03-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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If you've got $1,000 and can weld like a mofo there is always the jy turbo route...
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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Or maybe the heat has gotten to me. What do you think? Is it a worthy project?
The heat has melted your brain but hey, why not have a go and tell us the results?
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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1000$ would build a 393 scat stroker. and some used GT40's.....
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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I'd say give it a go! there's nothing like building an engine for fun and seeing the results be astonishing. Now you just need some timing parts, gaskets (if you don't have them already) and injectors, then a tune and you'll be ready to give us a yes or no on whether the down low project was legit!

Good luck if you choose to do it!
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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PN: 20103-10
FORD 5.0L EDELBROCK VICTOR PLATE WITH 10 LB BOTTLE

$997.08



"The NX Gemini Twin 5.0 plates set the standard for performance in the Ford market, out powering all competitors. NX introduces the next generation in 5.0 plate design, the 5.0 Phase 3 plate without the flow restricting spray bars. These revolutionary plates are available in single or dual stage, Which includes horsepower settings from 50 to 300 on each stage. This design center feeds for ease of jet changes and operate on EFI fuel pressures. No other plate on the market today can match the versatility or performance of the Phase 3. All systems come complete with your choice of 5lb, 10lb, 15lb, or 10 lb composite nitrous bottle, stainless steel bottle brackets, billet nitrous plate, jetting for 50-350WHP, all installation hardware."


Here ya go, any everyday stock block mustang, and for less than $1000.00 you can have a 550hp block splitting party.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:27 PM   #10
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I have all the parts necessary other than 24lb injectors and a maf. I dont want to go nitrous or a turbo. I have both. Currently I have a 92 LX with a 331 and 70mm MP turbo, a 90 GT with HCI stock short block and a 70mm On3 Turbo, a 92 vert with a lunati 349 stroker and a 87 GT with a HCI 306 with Wilson Pro Flow nitrous kit.

This is post is about taking a bunch of left over misc parts taht no one wants, a 137 mile short block, a set of chinese heads and seeing if it is possible to make 400 hp at the crank.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
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PN: 20103-10
FORD 5.0L EDELBROCK VICTOR PLATE WITH 10 LB BOTTLE

$997.08



"The NX Gemini Twin 5.0 plates set the standard for performance in the Ford market, out powering all competitors. NX introduces the next generation in 5.0 plate design, the 5.0 Phase 3 plate without the flow restricting spray bars. These revolutionary plates are available in single or dual stage, Which includes horsepower settings from 50 to 300 on each stage. This design center feeds for ease of jet changes and operate on EFI fuel pressures. No other plate on the market today can match the versatility or performance of the Phase 3. All systems come complete with your choice of 5lb, 10lb, 15lb, or 10 lb composite nitrous bottle, stainless steel bottle brackets, billet nitrous plate, jetting for 50-350WHP, all installation hardware."


Here ya go, any everyday stock block mustang, and for less than $1000.00 you can have a 550hp block splitting party.
That would do it for sure!
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:08 AM   #12
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I put together a pretty decent HCI from the Corral classifieds for $1000 but then that doesn't factor in the gaskets, pushrods, water pump, belt, timing chain, plugs/wires etc... RPM heads were $700 shipped, cam was $150 and I already had the Cobra intake obviously but you can get Explorers (identical flow wise) for $150 if you are really motivated.

If you keep a lookout for really good deals like I did you can probably do it for under $2k which is what I managed.

This does not factor in bolt ons though... I already had just about every bolt on mod (minus a supercharger) to my Cobra that you could. Oh and then there is the dyno tune or quarterhorse/tweecer cost of $400-$600 as well. Gotta pay to play.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:06 AM   #13
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I agree and say do it. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU......
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:12 AM   #14
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but because you've previously purchased them, does that make them cheap/free?

Hell, I got an 840hp combo big block laying around the area... all the parts. Just need to bolt em back together. But that doesn't make the build free, they were just what didn't get trashed/reused when I upgraded.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:41 AM   #15
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Do it. You have nothing to lose.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:48 AM   #16
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You have nothing to lose.
Except money!
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this:
You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment.
Truth!!
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:39 AM   #18
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Except money!
He said he already has almost everything needed.. Plus a guy with all those toys, i hope he isnt worried about the few hundred he might waste having fun putting together a budget build.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:48 AM   #19
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He said he already has almost everything needed.. Plus a guy with all those toys, i hope he isnt worried about the few hundred he might waste having fun putting together a budget build.
I wouldn't own a set of ProComp heads, I had a set given to me and I traded them off after looking them over and now I have a friend that bought a set and they still have all the same problems as the early ones. The set I had were crap and the valve train was complete junk, I have seen seats fall out and valves break and that is why I said he has nothing but money to loose.
I have 5 Mustangs myself in various stages of completion, and of them 3 have TW heads, 1 has Perf RPM's on it and one has a stock set of E7s. I may use Eagle or Scat but they are the only off shore parts I use outside of whatever parts are used in my heads by the manufacturers.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:34 AM   #20
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I doubt I will do anything with them for a while. I broke the block in my 92 hatch so am now pulling the motor and swapping the top end to a spare 347. Then I am installing my QA1 Kmember and coil overs. Trying to get this one ready so when the heat lets up here in PHX I can get to the track. I am going to put the Procomps on the shelf until I get a little time to build a "frankenstein" motor out of this pile of outcast parts. I never claimed they were free, just unwanted or of little value, and thought it might be fun to try and re create the above mentioned magazine build.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:52 AM   #21
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funny... I actually pulled that same issue out and was looking at the same article this morning. The 399hp they made will be a lot higher than what the average joe would see in a car. Take a close look at their dyno pictures. Notice there is no FEAD on the motor, they hooked up an electric water pump, and it is just running open long tubes. I looked over the article a few times and figure it is just a neat experiment the author cooked up. Fun to read about and cool he put together such a cheap motor that puts out a big number, but I doubt that combo, in a car with full exhaust, FEAD and standard water pump, would be much over 360-370hp (if that...) Still a lot, but not the 399 they hit on the dyno setup.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:04 AM   #22
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Ford Muscle did a build about 10 years ago with a budget of 1k, it went over and I think was somewhere around $1400 when they were done but if I remember right it used a stock short block with a set of used home ported Windsor Sr's. It made 400HP with a little Crane solid roller and a vic jr carb intake.
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