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Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8 

 

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 Post subject: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:06 pm 
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I, like many other forum members, see a lot of new V8 owners ask what is the easiest or cheapest or best bang-for-buck mods they can do to their car.
Usually these questions have been asked numerous times before and a search of the V8 category will bring up all the responses and results. However to save time, perhaps we can provide some of the most basic mods previously covered that will increase your power output.

If you have a bog standard A-series, B-series, E-series, X-series or any of their Fairlane counterparts then two of the easiest mods are;

1. Install a CAI ( Cold Air Intake ) to increase the volume of air being fed to your engine. Total cost has typically been $30 - $50.
2. Install headers and / or a cats back & exhaust. On a stock engine, usually a single 2½" mandrel bent exhaust will do it or if you want, a twin 2¼" mandrel bent exhaust. Total cost here can vary but has typically been between $700 - $2,000 depending on brand and if you install it yourself or have it fitted.
These two mods don't require any changes to your ECU as it is able to adjust itself accordingly.


    Result: good seat of the pants increase in performance, better sound.



If you have more coin and the desire then you can get more serious.
For example the stock Windsor V8 from any E-series model is quite asthmatic when it comes to breathing due to the combination of factory cylinder heads & intake manifold design. To resolve this restrictive breathing, you can replace and install a variety of better performing items, either singly or altogether, such as;

    Intake manifold
    Heads
    Cam
    TB ( throttle body )
    RR's ( Roller rockers - ratio depending on cam and lift )
    Fuel injectors - which may require an upgraded fuel pump depending on inj size.
    Custom tune - to get the most out of any of these upgrades.

Intake manifold - a basic upgrade is any of the GT40 family of intake manifolds such as the Explorer, Cobra / GT40 tubular. ( approx $300+, depending on choice and availability ). Aftermarket manifolds are highly popular such as Edelbrock, Trickflow etc. ( $1,000+ )

Throttle body - this depends on your choice of intake manifold and any other flow restrictions but traditionally 65mm and upwards will increase airflow / volume into the manifold & heads. ( $150 ~ $350)

Better heads can be anything from the basic factory GT-40P's ( approx $500, S/H ) to full aftermarket heads from AFR, Edelbrock, Trickflow etc etc. ( $1,000 ~ $2,000+, S/H to brand new )
* You would also need to take into account the additional cost of the valve train that goes with them if they are bare heads and also take into account whether you need to change headers to fit the heads.

Camshaft - can increase lift and duration which of course increases overall hp. ( Regrinds approx $130+ to new billet cams approx $350+ )

Roller rockers - will reduce friction and load which frees up horsepower. The ratio of roller rockers depends entirely upon your cam & head choices. ( $400 ~ $600 )

Under drive pulleys - these can reduce the power required by the engine to run the accessories, thereby freeing up engine hp and allowing the engine to rev more easily. Installing these may provide you with another 5 ~ 10kw gain. ( $285+ )

Fuel injectors - with a combination of the upgrades listed above, you'll find you need to deliver more fuel to get the most out of your motor's new increase in air volume. However you should note that increasing fuel injector size means you will have to ensure that the fuel pump can deliver and that the ECU is adjusted for the increased flow rate, otherwise your car will run like a pig - if at all. ( $150+ for a S/H set or hundreds more for a new set of injectors )

ECU / Custom tune - getting your upgrades to perform to their maximum will require the car's tune to be adjusted. There are many ways to tune your car, J3 chip, Sniper, Moates Quarter Horse, EMS, Haltech, Megasquirt, Microtec, MoTec, Wolf etc etc. Costs can range from $200 ~ $2000+ to purchase a system and dyno tune it for maximum gain.

    * Note: Anytime you substantially increase your power output, other parts of the drivetrain will be affected and need to be monitored or reinforced to cope, such as your transmission, diff etc.

    Also, this list is by no means the be all and end all of mods or costs, just an example.

 

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Last edited by Vic on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Needs to be sticky.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Nice write up there Vic :wink: Definitely a lot of useful info there, will come in handy for me when I get around to buying an 8.

Another vote for this being made a sticky.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:57 pm 
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Yeah I got sticky just readin' it! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:52 pm 
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so can you use a 65mm or larger tb with standard intake?
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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:33 pm 
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By standard intake, do you mean the factory HO intake and not the Explorer Intake?
If so, then the 65mm TB will be bigger than the original intake's port so it will still be restricted.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 11:56 pm 
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A 65mm t-body is as big as you want to use on the stock intake. You will want to machine the EGR spacer to 65mm(or buy an aftermarket one, or get a Ford one off a vehicle that already had a 65 like a Sprint or GT). Then port the throat on the intake to match blending it back with a gradual taper.
Using a 70 or larger will actually hurt performance.
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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:06 am 
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From experience i totally agree with Pete. A 70mm or bigger hurts bottom end torque and isnt worth the top end trade off, unless you have a manual.

Brett

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:25 am 
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From a newish E series V8 owner, great work! Just what we need so we don't have to ask the same questions over and over. (for those of us who can use the search function lol).

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:53 pm 
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XR9UTE wrote:
A 65mm t-body is as big as you want to use on the stock intake. You will want to machine the EGR spacer to 65mm(or buy an aftermarket one, or get a Ford one off a vehicle that already had a 65 like a Sprint or GT). Then port the throat on the intake to match blending it back with a gradual taper.
Using a 70 or larger will actually hurt performance.

I had a 70mm TB and a 75mm TB and decided to try both on my Cobra intake a couple of years ago. On the dyno, the 75mm TB produced 1 ~ 2 kw more than the 70 mm TB but I lost a bit of low end resolution. I didn't want to lose any low end and I didn't care about the losss of 1 ~ 2 kw so I kept and use the 70mm TB on the Cobra and sold off the 75mm TB.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:07 pm 
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I have a 75 on my Maverick and I am looking at changing it to a 65mm one when one becomes available to pick up some more bottom end and midrange. The fact that it can still breathe at 6500 isnt really an issue to me.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:11 pm 
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for the E series owners, you could add underdrives to the list mate, think i payed 280 for a set from bpt a couple years ago, but other guys have got them from the states for less.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:54 pm 
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I have added them into the first post. :)

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:06 pm 
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I know the list of changes required to the E-series, especially 91-94, seems endless, but another change often made which makes a massive difference is the upgrade from the dreaded clutch fan to thermo's from the later model e-series.......good bang for buck and usually around the $150-$200 mark will have you converted if DIY :wink:

 

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 Post subject: Re: Some basic mods & cost info for upgrading your V8
Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Here's a list of things I would do to a 5.0L HO engine without delving deep into the engine straight off the bat. You don't of course have to do them in this order but it is a kind of logical order.

1. Remove hotplate off the top of the engine and throw away.
2. Remove distributor boot.
3. Bump your base timing to 32-34 degrees(depends on fuel and the vehicle itself).
4. Adjust your TPS to 0.98volts.
5. Make/modifiy or add a cold air box.
6. Quality(ie not topgun) ignition leads and spark plugs properly gapped.
7. Underdrive pulleys.
9. EF/EL thermofans(for EB-D of course)
10. Multi spark ignition.
11. 65mm(max 70mm) T-body and EGR spacer(machine intake throat to match EGR spacer and blend in)
12. While upper intake is off you could lift the rocker covers and fit 1.7 rockers
13. Now is a good time to fit a phenolic spacer(a 3/8" - 1/2" one is all you need)
14. Headers 1 5/8" primaries(No Bigger!)
15. 2 1/4" - 2 1/2" twin exhaust
16. Bore your 55mm MAF to 58ish mm or easier still use a 70mm AU MAF body with your 55mm hotwire.
17. Electronic tuning(ideally you would revert your base timing to stock before you start)
18. Think about changing your fuel pump (don't go straight for a 255Lph if you don't actually need it) I won't go into everything here but Read and understand all of this and I won't have to.....
http://www.fordracingparts.com/download ... aptors.pdf
17. Think about changing injectors (check injector duty at full noise to check how close you're getting to 85%)

At this point you could think about going inside the engine but you could also do some mild exhaust side porting while the heads are still on the engine. Just undo your rocker gear to shut the exhaust valves and use plenty of compressed air to clean it out.
After this I'd be changing heads first then the intake, then maybe, the cam. Remember the stock cam is actually very good. I would go straight to aftermarket alloy heads. In my opinion, 40p's are a stop gap measure at best.
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