Maximizing the stock 302w - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Maximizing the stock 302w

I hope this isnt repetitive, ive searched all over, talked to many people, and Id like to start an organized place to keep all these ideas and suggestions in one place for myself and others. So the back story, im tracking an 89 Mustang GT 302w EFI. In this class my engine mods are limited (which is fine with me) however id like to squeeze as much power out of this "stock" 302 as possible without going completely off the deep end with money. I know those factory stock drag racer guys will spend thousands of dollars on port work with E7 heads and flow bench them to make sure every port flows exactly the same Etc, im not that crazy (yet) so what are some ways to make more power with a stock cam, stock bottom end 302w. I would love to hear the hidden secrets from back in the day.

my build:

Stock airbox, KN panel filter (will hollow out to pull more air from the fender, and also heat wrap)
94/95 T Bird MAF (looks stock, but it much larger and flows more cfm, also calibrated to 19lbs)
Smooth metal intake tube/pipe from MAF to TB (also heat wrapped)
Ford Explorer TB 65mm (looks stock, obvi flows more cfm)
Ford Explorer EV6 fuel injectors (better spray, runs cooler, and supposely flow a bit more fuel 20/21lbs)
Tubular GT40 intake (port matched to 75mm for my EGR delete plate)
1/2 inch plenum spacer (to reduce heat soak)
TMOSS ported lower GT40 intake
GT40P heads
BBK shorty headers (unequal, wrapped)
Summit X pipe O/R
Spintech mufflers
Full MSD ignition
Will have ECU tuned
Underdrive pulleys
electric fan, no smog, no ac,
aluminum driveshaft


Suggestion #1. Run the 93 cobra 1.7 Crane rockers to assist the stock cam in making more power (dont know how much more the 1.7 rockers would make)
Suggestion #2. Long Tube headers how much would this really improve over the shorty headers ? Is it really worth it ?
Suggestion #3. Extrode hone the upper intake ? Worth the time/money (i dont know)
Suggestion #4. Swap MSD TFI coil for that bigger HVC-2 coil
Suggestion #5. Windage tray Ive heard this frees up some hp by allow the crank to spin freely



Lets hear your suggestions!
Thanks in advance


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post #2 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 01:12 PM
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In these cases I always wonder. Is the driver and the car maximized? I have to play devils advocate because the amount of cars I have seen that are complete garbage are the ones that always have the hood up looking for power, when massive gains can be found with the hood closed. Just curious.


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post #3 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 02:20 PM
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Guys used to run 255 V8 cranks. They are lighter and dimensionaly equal. Supposedly still stronger than the roller block (ie... the weak link still is not the crank). They are, at times, controversial.

For a max effort "stock" engine it is an option.

Also, you can look into a custom grind "stock" cam that falls within the sanctioning bodies definition of "stock".

Run as much compression as the rules and/or available fuel allows.
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tfs 170 heads
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post #5 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by strokeme View Post
In these cases I always wonder. Is the driver and the car maximized? I have to play devils advocate because the amount of cars I have seen that are complete garbage are the ones that always have the hood up looking for power, when massive gains can be found with the hood closed. Just curious.
I totally understand trust me, im still learning and the car has plenty of potential. Im just curious because theres hondas with 1.8L engines making more power than my 302, and their cars are 500lbs lighter, competition is tough, so if i can squeeze another 20hp out of her that would help!

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post #6 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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tfs 170 heads
big money, and that will bump me into a higher class against cars with even more power and more aero.

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post #7 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tjm73 View Post
Guys used to run 255 V8 cranks. They are lighter and dimensionaly equal. Supposedly still stronger than the roller block (ie... the weak link still is not the crank). They are, at times, controversial.

For a max effort "stock" engine it is an option.

Also, you can look into a custom grind "stock" cam that falls within the sanctioning bodies definition of "stock".

Run as much compression as the rules and/or available fuel allows.
255 crank would reduce stroke of the motor ? Making it less cubes than a 302 ?

Compression is limited to 10.5 to 1

Rules dont state what a "stock" cam can be.

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post #8 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by EscortSportage View Post
255 crank would reduce stroke of the motor ? Making it less cubes than a 302 ?

Compression is limited to 10.5 to 1

Rules dont state what a "stock" cam can be.
255 V8's were small bore with 3.00" stroke. Get a custom cam made to work for your limitations.
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post #9 of 42 Old 05-10-2017, 11:22 PM
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Suggestion #1. Run the 93 cobra 1.7 Crane rockers to assist the stock cam in making more power (dont know how much more the 1.7 rockers would make)
Suggestion #2. Long Tube headers how much would this really improve over the shorty headers ? Is it really worth it ?
Suggestion #3. Extrode hone the upper intake ? Worth the time/money (i dont know)
Suggestion #4. Swap MSD TFI coil for that bigger HVC-2 coil
Suggestion #5. Windage tray Ive heard this frees up some hp by allow the crank to spin freely
#1 - There are plenty of threads, magazine articles, etc about 1.7 vs 1.6 rockers.
1.7 rockers on stock cam
1.7's or 1.6 roller rockers
1.6 vs 1.7 roller rockers gain
https://books.google.com/books?id=Uf...%20cam&f=false
etc etc...

#2 - Again, plenty of threads and magazine articles about LTs vs shorties. Generally, LTs will gain in the low-end and mid-range but they're probably going to be essentially the same up top. Whether it's worth the time and effort to swap them out would be up to you to decide.

#3 - Pretty sure the GT40 tubular upper can't be EH'd. As you probably already know, since you've got a Tmoss lower, the majority of porting gains are in the lower, so even if the upper could be EH'd, I doubt it would be worth the $$$ for the gains that would be seen.

#4 - Dunno.

#5 - Windage tray and crank scraper and definitely good for some "free" horsepower.

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post #10 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 07:11 AM
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So you are aware, the 255 crank is lighter but that's not where you want lightness. "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt"

In the NMRA Factory Stock classes, a 255 crankshaft "under stress" will destroy the main bearings. These crankshafts whip and twist around and never remain constant. Look elsewhere for lighter reciprocating parts like the piston design or shorter wrist pins.

On top, do not use a intake spacer, it lengthens what is already too long of a runner. Matter of fact, cut down the lower and upper where they meet. You want power or towing ability?

Do not use anything stock for a camshaft. Talk about a waste of time and money when you have so many 21st century options.

For heads, I know of a guy that has a set of very tricked up FS heads that need some repair but they did run in the mid-tens in the car.





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post #11 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 08:39 AM
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So you are aware, the 255 crank is lighter but that's not where you want lightness. "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt"

In the NMRA Factory Stock classes, a 255 crankshaft "under stress" will destroy the main bearings. These crankshafts whip and twist around and never remain constant. Look elsewhere for lighter reciprocating parts like the piston design or shorter wrist pins.
Will that is some information I have never read before. Good info to know. That explains the controversy I've witnessed and settles the idea to me.
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post #12 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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#1 - There are plenty of threads, magazine articles, etc about 1.7 vs 1.6 rockers.
1.7 rockers on stock cam
1.7's or 1.6 roller rockers
1.6 vs 1.7 roller rockers gain
https://books.google.com/books?id=Uf...%20cam&f=false
etc etc...

#2 - Again, plenty of threads and magazine articles about LTs vs shorties. Generally, LTs will gain in the low-end and mid-range but they're probably going to be essentially the same up top. Whether it's worth the time and effort to swap them out would be up to you to decide.

#3 - Pretty sure the GT40 tubular upper can't be EH'd. As you probably already know, since you've got a Tmoss lower, the majority of porting gains are in the lower, so even if the upper could be EH'd, I doubt it would be worth the $$$ for the gains that would be seen.

#4 - Dunno.

#5 - Windage tray and crank scraper and definitely good for some "free" horsepower.

Im running a Canton Road racing pan 7 qt, it has a crank scraper. Maybe ill add a windage tray in the off season.

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post #13 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 09:40 AM
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I would jump on those heads, and have Ed/Buddy/etc. grind a "stock" cam.
If you have not bought headers yet, I would go with long tubes, if you have the shorties, then run them.

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Originally Posted by Ed Curtis View Post
So you are aware, the 255 crank is lighter but that's not where you want lightness. "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt"

In the NMRA Factory Stock classes, a 255 crankshaft "under stress" will destroy the main bearings. These crankshafts whip and twist around and never remain constant. Look elsewhere for lighter reciprocating parts like the piston design or shorter wrist pins.

On top, do not use a intake spacer, it lengthens what is already too long of a runner. Matter of fact, cut down the lower and upper where they meet. You want power or towing ability?

Do not use anything stock for a camshaft. Talk about a waste of time and money when you have so many 21st century options.

For heads, I know of a guy that has a set of very tricked up FS heads that need some repair but they did run in the mid-tens in the car.


Staying stock crank, got it. Stock cam for class rules, hence me trying to squeeze a little more juice out of her. Ive been reading a lot of your posts, and i think you for chiming in. hear me out on this one, the reason im running a 1/2 spacer between the plenums is because i couldnt find the ford bolt kit for the intake without spacers! Unreal, every kit out there is for a 1/2 3/4 or 1 spacer. Nothing stock, so i went with the shortest one i could find 1/2 inch. Summit then sends me the bolt kit with the wrong bolts and i had to go to home depot and buy bolts, unreal. Also i thought the spacers were good at keeping the upper intake much cooler from heat soak? Onto heads, i just bolted on GT40P's so im gonna run those.

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I would jump on those heads, and have Ed/Buddy/etc. grind a "stock" cam.
If you have not bought headers yet, I would go with long tubes, if you have the shorties, then run them.
bbk shorty headers, unequal length are on the car now, i actually just wrapped them to reduce engine bay heat/ ACT

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I would jump on those heads, and have Ed/Buddy/etc. grind a "stock" cam.
If you have not bought headers yet, I would go with long tubes, if you have the shorties, then run them.

Also, this is a track car not a DRAG car

those stock heads do nothing for me, I dont car that someone went 10s with them, that means nothing. He probably has 13 to 1 compression, fully forged, lightweight rot. assembly, and spinning to the moon.

Im here to see how to squeeze a few more ponies out of a "stock" 302W and figured the engine gurus would know exactly how, im not trying to make block splitting HP, just figured hey if there is an easy this or that, massage this or that, run these instead of those kind of setup for 20hp more etc. Lets do it.

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post #17 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 11:41 AM
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I think that whole idea about heat soak in the intake is hogwash. On a vehicle that is fully up to operating temperature pretty much everything under the hood is more or less going to be the same temp. Of course some things more than others, but the intake is pretty much going to be the same as the rest of the engine compartment. If I can get my hands on a laser temperature thing I will test this thought someday.
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I think that hole idea about heat soak in the intake is hogwash. On a vehicle that is fully up to operating temperature pretty much everything under the hood is more or less going to be the same temp. Of course some things more than others, but the intake is pretty much going to be the same as the rest of the engine compartment. If I can get my hands on a laser temperature thing I will test this thought someday.

Thanks!

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post #19 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 02:27 PM
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Read everything you can find on this forum that Ed Curtis has posted. His stuff works and sometimes you just have to do what someone like him says to do. I dunno, he's seen thousands of engines, heads, cams.....I'm just a dummy 50 yr old guy, but reinventing the wheel is a waste of time and money. Just me...

there's only so much you can get out of those P heads and gt40 intake with the stock cam. yes its a good basic set up but you can only get so much.....at least read about a valve job and good springs for those heads...Yes Tmoss and his son do really good work, i'm not discounting that at all...
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post #20 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjm73 View Post
I think that whole idea about heat soak in the intake is hogwash. On a vehicle that is fully up to operating temperature pretty much everything under the hood is more or less going to be the same temp. Of course some things more than others, but the intake is pretty much going to be the same as the rest of the engine compartment. If I can get my hands on a laser temperature thing I will test this thought someday.
i tend to wonder about that at times...its 200 degrees under the hood at basic operating temp....a 1/2" space between 2 things that are as hot as the heads maybe doesn't do much. I dunno, interesting conversation, but probably mostly a waste of time.

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i tend to wonder about that at times...its 200 degrees under the hood at basic operating temp....a 1/2" space between 2 things that are as hot as the heads maybe doesn't do much. I dunno, interesting conversation, but probably mostly a waste of time.
Im going to get studs for the upper intake and remove the spacer.

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post #22 of 42 Old 05-11-2017, 06:43 PM
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I think the real question to ask yourself is "how much money am I willing to spend?"

If the engine only has to look "stock" then there are many things you can do... the reason I bring this up is because you mentioned having a ported intake... that is not exactly "stock".

What does a "tear down" consist of? If they are only checking compression and cam specs in addition to a "visual" then there is much room for adding power...

What are the rules of the class?
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Im going to get studs for the upper intake and remove the spacer.
Home depot has (1/4-20 iirc) allthread in different lengths, I just cut 6 pieces to the size I needed and finished off with ss washers and nuts. Probably spent $10 in total.
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From your first post looks like you have it covered as to keeping it stock ish. Curious about what organization you are racing with. As the rules are with the SCCA, if it does not say you can do it you can't.
If you don't have to worry about winning races and having the engine torn down you could get away with some internal alterations.

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Surprised no one mentioned rotating the pistons!?!
Put the left bank on the right side...right bank on the left side. Have the notch on the pistons face the REAR of the engine....not the front. FREE HP!(some claim 3-5% increase!) Have a custom cam ground with stock numbers but tighter LSA. Try advancing your stock cam 4-6* degrees to bring the power on at a lower RPM. Play with those rockers......Many times the 1.7 on the intake only...works better.
Modify/maximize ignition timing curve.
Maximize your compression. Thinner head gaskets/steel shim gaskets to bring the CR to the limit.
Try some underdrive pulleys
Get as much COOL air in the engine as possible. Insulate.......cold air...ram air.
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Get a stock lift cam with tighter lobe centers and about 250 degrees at .050.
Then the fun begins.......
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post #27 of 42 Old 05-12-2017, 08:30 AM
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Also, this is a track car not a DRAG car

those stock heads do nothing for me, I dont car that someone went 10s with them, that means nothing. He probably has 13 to 1 compression, fully forged, lightweight rot. assembly, and spinning to the moon.

Im here to see how to squeeze a few more ponies out of a "stock" 302W and figured the engine gurus would know exactly how, im not trying to make block splitting HP, just figured hey if there is an easy this or that, massage this or that, run these instead of those kind of setup for 20hp more etc. Lets do it.
I know the application.... ain't my first rodeo... however.... there's an old saying...

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink"...

If you aren't listening.... then it's a waste of time and effort for me to post...

Good luck...

/later


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post #28 of 42 Old 05-12-2017, 10:50 AM
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Go to an NHRA race where the sportsman cars are running. there will be a couple of 5.0's running in the K,L,and M weight breaks. thats what your stock 5.0 can do. they are running unported heads and stock intakes (not GT-40's). most of the heavy hitters will be in the upper 11's.

a stockish cam or even most of the typical aftermarket cams have no real qualities of what a restricted motor needs. lots of ramp rate and not a whole lot of exhaust help and do not overdo it on the seat duration. the Comp 270/270, 215/215, .533/.533, 110 LSA is a very decent OTS cam for a typical 5.0 motor using stock heads, and typical intake (gt40, performer/rpm, etc etc) and exh upgrades (1 5/8 headers to 2 1/2 dual system). It will spin quiet similar to the stock set-up, yet let the motor take advantage of whats there. Its not perfect, but its miles closer than what most would throw in one. To really work it properly, the motor has to be broken down into the real parameters, and the valve events calculated (ie custom cams)

also with regard to driver/vehicle aspect of the game. its not uncommon to actually learn how the car wants to be driven and drop the ET significantly.

there are so many people that have very capable set-ups, but cant run at the car's potential.

Sometimes people ask, I wnat to a motor that will take me into the 11's or 12's. and you ask what you have now, and they have have a typical HCI set-up that struggles to run low 13's, whenh it ought to be running right at their target. theres tuning issues, theres driving issues, theres unfamiliarity on what the car wants.
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post #29 of 42 Old 05-12-2017, 11:55 AM
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Go to an NHRA race where the sportsman cars are running. there will be a couple of 5.0's running in the K,L,and M weight breaks. thats what your stock 5.0 can do. they are running unported heads and stock intakes (not GT-40's). most of the heavy hitters will be in the upper 11's.
I'm sure you know that those cars, which are running in NHRA's Stock Eliminator, have ports that are far from stock. You won't find any grinding marks, but they ain't stock! Valve sizes are policed, as is valve lift (and compression, amongst other things), but the rules allow any duration.
I'm not taking anything away from those races, they work really hard to go as quick as they do.
After NHRA caught racers porting and chemically altering ports, which were supposed to be untouched, they issued port volume specs; which were larger than stock volumes. So if you don't have "stocker" heads, you can't compete. Heads are one of the many things that makes an NHRA Stocker so expensive to run. Intake manifolds are "supposed" to be untouched, too.
But like I said, they have those cars honking, considering the size of the TB. I've heard of guys running 5.14 gears in EFI 302's, so I suppose they're depending on RPM's a lot.
RPM's are expensive, too. NHRA used to have valve spring pressure specs for each individual combo. They now allow any valve spring pressure, and that has sent costs skyrocketing, because of the tricks needed to run a "stock" engine at high R's.

'87, 105,000 mile stk short, SN89 Paxton 6 or 7 LBS, X303 Hds, E303, Cobra Int, 70 mm TB, 30# injrs, 1 5/8 full leng, no cats, 2 1/2 w/dumps, Astro A5, 3.73, MT Drg Rdls, Frnt Drag Eibach sprngs, Steeda upr HPM lwr cntrl arms, stk rear sprngs 1 coil cut, adj. struts shocks, 3150 w/drv. 11.56 118.
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post #30 of 42 Old 05-12-2017, 02:50 PM
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the last 5.0 stock camshaft I did, the heads (and intake mounted) flowed just under 160cfm (28"). This is with some very minor tricks. However, the port volume does not allow much tricking for the average budget racers. So what you get is a some slight seat transition work and re-dress, not much more.

A huge problem with the stocker 5.0 is the piston to valve clearance. you basically maximize the 'proper' valve events into the existing P-V clearance envelope. thsi is pretty much dictated by the exhaust side because, it is so delayed. Its a balancing game.
the intake lobe the motor needs cannot be used, because the matching exhaust events dont fit, etc etc. sometimes you have retard or advance slightly to fit, thus de-optimizing from the intended valve events slightly.


This car ran 11.95-12.10, depending on conditions on east coast tracks.

yes, I am very familiar with the cam rules. I have done Stock and Super Stock cams for small block fords. SuperStock cams are the absolute funnest.

But back to the question at hand. what can the stock components run? a heck of a lot quicker than most people think.
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post #31 of 42 Old 05-12-2017, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for that, Buddy.
I mainly didn't want the OP and anyone else to think that those NHRA Stockers are flying w/o a lot of thought and work going into them. I sometimes get the crazy thought of playing that game and building a stocker motor for my car. Then I sober up! lol

Maybe the OP will tell us more specifically what his (or her!) class rules are.

I've always loved the concept of getting the most out of stock components. However, it's amazing how far the concept has evolved.

Sorry for the semi-hijack.

'87, 105,000 mile stk short, SN89 Paxton 6 or 7 LBS, X303 Hds, E303, Cobra Int, 70 mm TB, 30# injrs, 1 5/8 full leng, no cats, 2 1/2 w/dumps, Astro A5, 3.73, MT Drg Rdls, Frnt Drag Eibach sprngs, Steeda upr HPM lwr cntrl arms, stk rear sprngs 1 coil cut, adj. struts shocks, 3150 w/drv. 11.56 118.
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post #32 of 42 Old 05-15-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChristophrC View Post
I think the real question to ask yourself is "how much money am I willing to spend?"

If the engine only has to look "stock" then there are many things you can do... the reason I bring this up is because you mentioned having a ported intake... that is not exactly "stock".

What does a "tear down" consist of? If they are only checking compression and cam specs in addition to a "visual" then there is much room for adding power...

What are the rules of the class?

No tear down needed, this organization isnt too strick, we see corvettes with aero and plenty of mods that should be in ST1 but somehow stay in ST2/3 with my 200hp fox :/

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post #33 of 42 Old 05-15-2017, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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From your first post looks like you have it covered as to keeping it stock ish. Curious about what organization you are racing with. As the rules are with the SCCA, if it does not say you can do it you can't.
If you don't have to worry about winning races and having the engine torn down you could get away with some internal alterations.

EMRA

1. Im not technically "racing" yet just time trials

2. its a fun organization not to strict or anal about mods. Trust me my stock 200hp fox is nothing on their radar, im up against 500hp vettes and to take the CHERRY on the CAKE!

SOMEHOW! the Ford FR500S thing (no vin, racecar out of the factory is in my ST3 class, the guy has full slicks, 340hp, full cage, aero, massive brakes. Hate to be a downer, but the competition is stacked against me hardcore, im running against turbod japanese cars, big v8/high HP v8 american cars. What i have working for me is my car is under 3000lbs

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post #34 of 42 Old 05-15-2017, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Surprised no one mentioned rotating the pistons!?!
Put the left bank on the right side...right bank on the left side. Have the notch on the pistons face the REAR of the engine....not the front. FREE HP!(some claim 3-5% increase!) Have a custom cam ground with stock numbers but tighter LSA. Try advancing your stock cam 4-6* degrees to bring the power on at a lower RPM. Play with those rockers......Many times the 1.7 on the intake only...works better.
Modify/maximize ignition timing curve.
Maximize your compression. Thinner head gaskets/steel shim gaskets to bring the CR to the limit.
Try some underdrive pulleys
Get as much COOL air in the engine as possible. Insulate.......cold air...ram air.
6sally6

as mentioned, im already using underdrive pulleys, thought about going 1.7 RR ive been reading, i actually head about using a 1.7 on either intake or exhaust instead of both, interesting concepts. Running Felpro headgaskets nothing fancy, Cool air will be handled

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post #35 of 42 Old 05-15-2017, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm sure you know that those cars, which are running in NHRA's Stock Eliminator, have ports that are far from stock. You won't find any grinding marks, but they ain't stock! Valve sizes are policed, as is valve lift (and compression, amongst other things), but the rules allow any duration.
I'm not taking anything away from those races, they work really hard to go as quick as they do.
After NHRA caught racers porting and chemically altering ports, which were supposed to be untouched, they issued port volume specs; which were larger than stock volumes. So if you don't have "stocker" heads, you can't compete. Heads are one of the many things that makes an NHRA Stocker so expensive to run. Intake manifolds are "supposed" to be untouched, too.
But like I said, they have those cars honking, considering the size of the TB. I've heard of guys running 5.14 gears in EFI 302's, so I suppose they're depending on RPM's a lot.
RPM's are expensive, too. NHRA used to have valve spring pressure specs for each individual combo. They now allow any valve spring pressure, and that has sent costs skyrocketing, because of the tricks needed to run a "stock" engine at high R's.

I love the inguenutiy and the creativity that these "stock" classes creat.

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