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Discussion Starter #21
HP = HEAT may need upgraded cooling. better fan? better radiator? IF a stall maybe better trans cooling? IF all new, may consider Evans waterless in Texas.
I have a Champion aluminum 3 core. It does have the old mechanical fan on the current engine. Trans cooler would be nice. I’ll check out Evans to see what they offer. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Look at All American Racing Engines in New Caney. Guy named Stacey owns it. He and his dad have built and raced Ford motors he knows Fords better than anyone in the area. I know he has a Facebook page. He’s done some work for me and he’s great
I saw a USA Racing Engines located on 7562 Dillon St. Is that the same place you’re talking about? Seems to have good reviews.
 

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I’m considering maybe getting a long block from Coast High Performance. Not sure which yet. Their long blocks seem to have better parts than the Keith Craft Crate I was looking at.

What all else would I need for the long block? Would someone like me with no engine building experience be able to handle finishing it off and doing the swap?
Once I started adding up what the engine was gonna cost me, I realized I couldn't afford to do it twice. So a warranty became very attractive. After talking to an engine builder and being told they only warranty the labor, not the motor, I bailed and went for a crate motor with a 2 year warranty. Also dumped the heavy power robbing C6 and went with a manual tranny. Tremec TKO 600 would fit in the transmission tunnel without having to modify it. Rated for 600 foot lbs. of torque.

Another thing to think about is that Ford started reinforcing the shock towers on their big blocks about half way through 1968. With a 408 you will have the power and torque of a big block, and also the problem of the standard shock towers not being strong enough. I got mine reinforced at Classic Mustang of Houston. Upgraded my cooling system at Steve's Mustang in Hockley. Upgraded the rear end at Pyle Brothers in Baytown.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I’m considering maybe getting a long block from Coast High Performance. Not sure which yet. Their long blocks seem to have better parts than the Keith Craft Crate I was looking at.

What all else would I need for the long block? Would someone like me with no engine building experience be able to handle finishing it off and doing the swap?
Once I started adding up what the engine was gonna cost me, I realized I couldn't afford to do it twice. So a warranty became very attractive. After talking to an engine builder and being told they only warranty the labor, not the motor, I bailed and went for a crate motor with a 2 year warranty. Also dumped the heavy power robbing C6 and went with a manual tranny. Tremec TKO 600 would fit in the transmission tunnel without having to modify it. Rated for 600 foot lbs. of torque.

Another thing to think about is that Ford started reinforcing the shock towers on their big blocks about half way through 1968. With a 408 you will have the power and torque of a big block, and also the problem of the standard shock towers not being strong enough. I got mine reinforced at Classic Mustang of Houston. Upgraded my cooling system at Steve's Mustang in Hockley. Upgraded the rear end at Pyle Brothers in Baytown.
I had my coupe worked on by Classic Mustang twice before selling to get the fastback. I wasn’t too impressed with them. Lots of small things bothered me about their attention to detail.

Steve’s Mustang did the rebuild on my rear diff and front suspension. They seemed reasonably priced and helpful. Probably need to give them a call to see what all they recommend.

I think the warranty of a crate is one thing making me want to do that route. Was the Tremec switch difficult? I have a c4 and considered switching to manual if not that pricey. Last time I drove standard was in my 73 beetle back in the day though haha
 

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What makes you think kit car builders settle for crappy crate motors?

Most of the Factory Five guys I knew did auto-x, drag racing, and road racing, motorsport activities that most Mustang owners on this forum will never do. I would just like to know where this comment came from?
Don’t get me wrong I’d like to own a FF Cobra it’s just I never see them on the road or at auto cross events. I only see them in garages with covers on. Maybe it’s where I live as I it tends to be cold, wet, or hot?
 

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The only point I would bring up is a question: how will you use the car? If you want best handling, stick with a 347, if its just tooling around and smoking tires or drag racing, the 408 is the way to go. Your gonna want 2 1/2" exhaust, good motor mounts or at least pin the stock ones. Stroked motors tend to be mid-range power so shorty headers are a nice way to go in terms of good performance, looks like long tube headers from the top and makes life much simpler working on things down under.



I'd be inclined to go with better heads especially If those Chinese heads have any identifying features like the Promaxx emblazoned across the front of the heads. The last thing I would want on an American muscle car I put my heart and soul into is people seeing Chinese heads on my car. Its just not right but if you can sneak them on without anyone seeing, I guess its ok but you know they're gonna ask. I like old-school names on an old school car but again that's just me. e.g. Holley, Edelbrock etc...
 

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I see your point. I would love to buy a nice short block and build it with high end stuff by myself but I have no experience with engine building. I don’t think I can trust any engine builders here in Houston yet. Can anyone recommend any here in Houston Texas?
They make several different 408's, here's the one I chose:
Craft Performance Engines | Arkadelphia, AR | 870-246-7460 | Made in the USA!!

Don't be afraid to spend a little more money on your car, you can always retire a year or two later to pay for it :)
 

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You may want to go with mini-tubs to get enough meat under the rear to use even a fraction of the power a 408 will give you.

When I replaced my C4, I went with a 4R70W for the overdrive and it was the best mod I've ever made to my car. So much more enjoyable to drive, especially with 70 MPH speed limits on some highways now.

That was many years ago. If I was going to do it today, I'd probably also consider a 6R80, as it's beefier and has 2 more gears. I know US Shift has a compatible controller and someone has an adapter plate out there. I would think good/used 6R80 would be easy to find in a junk yard....and likely for not a lot of cash. If not...the 4R70W may be a great choice too.

Of course even I must admit, a manual with a man pedal would be even cooler. I'm just not sure my junky left knee could handle it for long drives.

Phil
 

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I see your point. I would love to buy a nice short block and build it with high end stuff by myself but I have no experience with engine building. I don’t think I can trust any engine builders here in Houston yet. Can anyone recommend any here in Houston Texas?
Craft Racing will build whatever your budget allows. They have budget engines for the price shoppers all the way to ones in the five figure prices. A quality engine shop in the Houston/Pasadena area is Houston Engine and Balance. Jeffery ( the owner) is a "Ford guy" and can build you what you need.

The 408 is easier to build power with simply because of the cubic inches. A mild build on an engine should get 1 horsepower per cubic inch so a 400 hp 408 would be in that mild category (IMHO anyway) If the costs are the same why settle for 330-350 in a 331-347? IF you had a 65-66 engine bay space becomes an issue but is no concern with your '69. My 408 is a '94 hyd roller block , CAST 4" stroke crank , "offshore" rods , 4032 alloy forged pistons ( dished for 9.7 compression) , a Ford X302 hyd roller , "X" GT40 aluminum heads , and an RPM air gap intake. It made 480 hp on 87 octane Arco gas. My labor was free but I spent LESS than $3,000 including a day of dyno testing to dial in the ignition timing and carb jetting. It took some "careful buying of parts" and some were used , but "I" did it. 30,000 miles later it is still chugging away. Sure I could have spent DOUBLE by getting a forged crank and other more expensive heads etc. BUT I got more HP than I expected for that "budget" build, My latest is a 521ci 460 project that I want to make 600 hp on premium pump gas. Looks like it's going to be about 3,800 with dyno testing. Lots of used parts went into it including aluminum early CJ heads and a dual four intake.
Randy
 

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Craft Racing will build whatever your budget allows. They have budget engines for the price shoppers all the way to ones in the five figure prices. A quality engine shop in the Houston/Pasadena area is Houston Engine and Balance. Jeffery ( the owner) is a "Ford guy" and can build you what you need.

The 408 is easier to build power with simply because of the cubic inches. A mild build on an engine should get 1 horsepower per cubic inch so a 400 hp 408 would be in that mild category (IMHO anyway) If the costs are the same why settle for 330-350 in a 331-347? IF you had a 65-66 engine bay space becomes an issue but is no concern with your '69. My 408 is a '94 hyd roller block , CAST 4" stroke crank , "offshore" rods , 4032 alloy forged pistons ( dished for 9.7 compression) , a Ford X302 hyd roller , "X" GT40 aluminum heads , and an RPM air gap intake. It made 480 hp on 87 octane Arco gas. My labor was free but I spent LESS than $3,000 including a day of dyno testing to dial in the ignition timing and carb jetting. It took some "careful buying of parts" and some were used , but "I" did it. 30,000 miles later it is still chugging away. Sure I could have spent DOUBLE by getting a forged crank and other more expensive heads etc. BUT I got more HP than I expected for that "budget" build, My latest is a 521ci 460 project that I want to make 600 hp on premium pump gas. Looks like it's going to be about 3,800 with dyno testing. Lots of used parts went into it including aluminum early CJ heads and a dual four intake.
Randy
Awesome, if you didn't live in CA, I'd be hanging out in your garage.
 

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Why look for a builder just in Houston? I used ZSR Engines in mine and am really pleased. Zach built up a solid short block that I topped with AFR205's that is a monster. He did a custom cam grind and built the engine to match my wants along with tire size, trans, and gearing.

I do not know what it makes to the tires but I have 0 issues breaking them loose in any gear and it's flat out FUN! I have a tremec 5 speed, 3.70 tru trac 9", 275-40/17 rear tires in a 66 mustang.
 

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I really don't have a problem with that crate engine, no I don't have a 408 (would love it) but I see little wrong with that build. Chinese castings don't mean they're crap, depending on where the final machining was done. If it was done stateside and blueprinted and flowed you should be good to go. Just make sure what type of valves, retainers, locks, and springs are on it. The pistons are hyper, nothing wrong with a non forged piston, hell the crank is cast and I would assume you're not planning on twisting that tight, what with the torque that will be available.
 

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The problem with the Chinese heads is the valvetrain and guides. I'd guess that an outfit like Keith Craft is buying just the bare cores and building them right. I believe this is what Skip White does with their $700 (pair) performance heads. The heads don't flow more than TFS 170s, but for $700, what do you want?
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I see your point. I would love to buy a nice short block and build it with high end stuff by myself but I have no experience with engine building. I don’t think I can trust any engine builders here in Houston yet. Can anyone recommend any here in Houston Texas?
They make several different 408's, here's the one I chose:
Craft Performance Engines | Arkadelphia, AR | 870-246-7460 | Made in the USA!!

Don't be afraid to spend a little more money on your car, you can always retire a year or two later to pay for it <img src="http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="smile" class="inlineimg" />
I could keep saving. A good engine is expensive if you don’t have the know how like me to build one. The one you got looks amazing but way out of my price range right now! Took me long enough to save what I have now to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
The problem with the Chinese heads is the valvetrain and guides. I'd guess that an outfit like Keith Craft is buying just the bare cores and building them right. I believe this is what Skip White does with their $700 (pair) performance heads. The heads don't flow more than TFS 170s, but for $700, what do you want?
That’s what I was thinking originally. If Keith Craft is doing the building then it must be good. I’ve only heard good things about them.
 

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So if your building a new motor and can specify pistons that will work with the M'erican made TFS 170 heads, why not go that way? The KB Hyperutectic pistons specified on your engine have a reputation of skirt breakage. Please Google it! I had a machine shop show me a half dozen of those pistons with broken skirts on their wall of shame. I had my 331 in and out of my car 5 times and made every mistake possible and don't want anybody else to have to go through that.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
So if your building a new motor and can specify pistons that will work with the M'erican made TFS 170 heads, why not go that way? The KB Hyperutectic pistons specified on your engine have a reputation of skirt breakage. Please Google it! I had a machine shop show me a half dozen of those pistons with broken skirts on their wall of shame. I had my 331 in and out of my car 5 times and made every mistake possible and don't want anybody else to have to go through that.
I certainly wouldn’t want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think I’m going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
 

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I certainly wouldn’t want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think I’m going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
The KB Hyperutectic pistons are probably fine for a cruiser that you get on once in a while. A real 500HP goal! Wow! Thats going to require a little saving but will be a blast when it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I certainly wouldn’t want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think I’m going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
The KB Hyperutectic pistons are probably fine for a cruiser that you get on once in a while. A real 500HP goal! Wow! Thats going to require a little saving but will be a blast when it's done.
I don’t plan on taking it to the strip or anything similar but I would love it to handle anything I want it to 🙂
 
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