More '97 Ford Thunderbird "Deep Sleep" Episodes

HorsePower Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

ARP
ARP Torque Lubricant
Comp Cams
Comp Hi Tech Pushrods
Comp Cams
Double roller timing set
Edelbrock
Edelbrock Victor
Ford Performance Parts
Ford Racing 427 Shortblock
Ford Performance Parts
Ford Racing Cast Covers
Goodson Shop Supplies
Valve Spring Compressor
Loctite
Threadlocker, 242, Medium-Strength, Blue
Melling
Melling Performance Oil Pump
Meziere Enterprises,Inc.
Billet Electric Water Pump
MSD Ignition
MAD Billet Distributor
Trick Flow Specialties
Trick Flow Roller Rockers
Trick Flow Specialties
Trick Flow Twisted Wedge
Turbonetics Inc.
Godzilla Bypass Blow-Off Valve Kits
Turbonetics Inc.
NewGen Wastegates

Episode Transcript

(JOE)>> IT ALL STARTED WITH A PLAIN JANE '97 TBIRD WE BROUGHT IN FOR SOME SERIOUS SLEEPER SURGERY. AFTER FREEING UP THE STOCK FOUR POINT SIX AND TRANNY FROM THE BOTTOM, WE PULLED THE REAR BRAKES AND THE SUSPENSION. AND WE ALSO YANKED THE REAR END TO UPGRADE IT TO A SHORTER RING AND PINION SETUP ALONG WITH THE POSI UNIT. WITH IT BACK IN PLACE WE GAVE IT A PAIR OF MORE DURABLE HALF SHAFTS, SPRINGS, SHOCKS, AND BETTER BRAKES, FOLLOWED BY A STIFFER REAR SWAY BAR. WE BUILT OUR OWN SUBFRAME CONNECTORS THAT'LL KEEP THE BIRD'S BODY STIFF WHEN WE GIVE IT A BRAND NEW SOURCE OF POWER.

(MIKE)>> THAT POWER'S COMING FROM A NEW VERSION OF FORD'S FAMOUS FE 427, A MID SIZE ENGINE THAT WAS A MIGHTY WEAPON IN FORD'S BATTLE PLAN DURING THE MUSCLE CAR WARS. IT USED A CAST IRON BLOCK WITH A BORE OF 4.235 AND THE STROKE WAS A 3.785.

(JOE)>> WE'RE GONNA BUILD OUR OWN VERSION OF A 427, A MODERN VERSION, STARTING WITH THIS NEW BOSS 351 BLOCK. IT'S BORES MEASURE 4.125 INCHES AND COME STUFFED WITH FORGED MOLY PISTONS. IT'S GOT A FOUR INCH STROKE, FOUR BOLT MAINS, AND THE SHORT BLOCK COMES WITH A SCAT FORGED CRANK AND HBEAM RODS. OUR TOP END COMBINATION INCLUDES STUFF LIKE THESE TRICK FLOW ALUMINUM HEADS, BRAY STAINLESS STEEL VALVES. YOU CAN USE OE STYLE OR RETRO LIFTERS LIKE THESE, AND OF COURSE WE'VE GOT A LOT MORE STUFF TO SHOW YOU. HOWEVER, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS. FORD MAKES A CRATE 427 USING THIS FOUNDATION. IT'S RATED AT 535 HORSEPOWER. WE'VE GOT TO MEET OR BEAT THAT. TO MATCH THE NEW HEADS WE'RE USING A TRICK FLOW HYDRAULIC ROLLER TAPPET WITH A 32 TO 6,400 RPM BASIC OPERATING RANGE. INTAKE DURATION AT 50 THOUSANDTHS LIFT IS 236, EXHAUST IS 248. ONCE IN PLACE WE BOLT ON THE CAME PLATE AND INSTALL A DOUBLE ROLLER TIMING SET FROM COMP.

(MIKE)>> WHEN YOU DEGREE YOUR CAM, YOU'RE GETTING THE ROTATING ASSEMBLY IN SYNC WITH THE CAM SHAFT. NOW THE FIRST STEP IS TO DETERMINE TRUE TOP DEAD CENTER. NOW START BY GETTING THE NUMBER PISTON AT THE TOP OF THE COMPRESSION STROKE. ATTACH A DEGREE WHEEL TO THE CRANK SNOUT, POINTER ATTACHED TO THE BLOCK POINTING AT ZERO ON THE WHEEL.

(JOE)>> NEXT INSTALL A LIFTER BORE TOOL AND ROTATE THE CRANK UNTIL THE TOOL HAS REACHED PEAK LIFT AND ZERO THE GAUGE. NOW TURN THE ENGINE COUNTER CLOCKWISE 50 THOUSANDTHS AND WRITE DOWN THE NUMBER FROM THE DEGREE WHEEL, WHICH IS 64. THEN TURN THE ENGINE CLOCKWISE 50 THOUSANDTHS PAST PEAK LIFT, WHICH IS 153 ON THE WHEEL. SO WE WRITE DOWN THAT NUMBER, ADD THE TWO TOGETHER AND DIVIDE BY TWO, AND THAT IS YOUR INTAKE CENTERLINE. THAT'S THE NUMBER THAT SHOULD MATCH THE ONE ON THE MANUFACTURER'S CAM CARD, WHICH IS 110 COMPARED TO OUR 108 AND A HALF.

(MIKE)>> WE CAN USE OUR TIMING CHAIN TO ADVANCE OR RETARD THE CAM SHAFT. IN OUR CASE, WE'RE GONNA RETARD THE CRANK GEAR TWO DEGREES, WHICH WILL ADVANCE THE CAM GEAR TWO DEGREES TO CLOSELY MATCH WHAT WAS ON THE CARD. ONCE THAT'S DONE, GO THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS AGAIN TO INSURE YOU WENT THE RIGHT DIRECTION ON YOUR GEAR. THIS TIME OUR FIRST NUMBER IS 65, AND WHEN WE GO BACK THE OTHER WAY TO 50 THOUSANDTHS, WE GET 154. THOSE NUMBERS ADD UP TO 219 DIVIDED BY TWO, WE GET 109 AND A HALF. NOW SINCE YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT SMALL OF AN ADJUSTMENT, WE'RE CLOSE ENOUGH.

(JOE)>> THE OILING SYSTEM'S NEXT, AND WE'RE FIRST GOING OVER THIS MELLING OIL PUMP WITH A CARTRIDGE ROLL. THIS WILL GET RID OF ANY ROUGH SPOTS AND IT EVEN PROMOTES BETTER OIL FLOW. THEN AFTER WASHING IT, BUY A LITTLE LUBE AND PUT IT BACK TOGETHER. AND WITH LOCTITE ON THE BOLT THREADS, THE CAP GOES BACK ON AND THE PUMP GOES ONTO THE BLOCK. WE'RE USING A ONE PIECE FEL PRO OIL PAN GASKET WITH A LITTLE SILICONE ON EACH END OF THE PAN RAIL. THAT'LL PROVIDE GOOD SEALING FOR OUR CANTON REAR SUMP OIL PAN.

(MIKE)>> NEXT, WITH SOME ANTISEIZE ON THE CRANK SNOUT TO PROTECT THE SEAL AND SOME OIL ON THE INSIDE, WE CAN INSTALL THIS ATI SUPER DAMPENER BALANCER. NOW IT'LL PROTECT OUR ENGINE FROM ANY CRANK SHAFT HARMONICS, FIRST USING AN INSTALLATION TOOL BEFORE CRANKING IT DOWN. BEFORE THE HEADS GO ON, WE'RE TURNING THE ENGINE OVER TO TOP DEAD CENTER. THEN INSTALLING THIS ADJUSTABLE POINTER AND LINING IT UP TO ZERO ON THE BALANCER.

(JOE)>> WITH THAT WE'RE OFF TO A SOLID START TO A 600 HORSE 427.

(JOE)>> WE'RE BACK AND WELL UNDER WAY TRYING TO SPIN 600 HORSEPOWER FROM A FORD SMALL BLOCK. WE FINISHED OFF THE BOTTOM OF OUR 427 AND READY TO DO THE SAME ON TOP. BUT FIRST AN OBSERVATION. RECENTLY WE SHOWED YOU HOW TO PORT AND POLISH YOUR CYLINDER HEADS AT HOME ON A BUDGET WITH A FEW TOOLS AND LOTS OF MAN HOURS. HERE'S HOW OUR TRICK FLOW ALUMINUM HEADS LOOK AFTER THEIR CNC MACHINE PORTING. AND THOSE MACHINES NEVER GET TIRED LIKE WE DO. WE'RE FILLING THEIR 70cc COMBUSTION CHAMBERS WITH THESE VALVES THAT MEASURE 208 INTAKE, 160 EXHAUST. THEN WE CAN REINSTALL THE VALVE GUIDE SEALS AND TAP THEM SECURELY INTO PLACE.

(MIKE)>> WE REMOVED THE SPRINGS TO MAKE SURE THE PRESSURE WAS CORRECT. IDEAL SEAT PRESSURE FOR A HYDRAULIC ROLLER IS BETWEEN 125 AND 135, AND BETWEEN 315 TO 330 WHEN THE VALVES ARE OPEN. HAVING THE RIGHT PRESSURE IS IMPORTANT TO INSURE THE VALVES RETRACT FAST ENOUGH AND THEY DON'T RESULT IN VALVE FLOAT.

(JOE)>> TOO MUCH PRESSURE CAN CAUSE EXTREME CAM SHAFT WEAR AND EVEN MAKE A LIFTER COLLAPSE. THE SAFE BET'S TO FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S SPEC. HEY CHECK OUT HOW OUR COOL PNEUMATIC INSTALLATION TOOL FROM GODSON MAKES THIS JOB A LOT FASTER AND EASIER. WE'RE USING THESE FEL PRO PERMA TORQUES BECAUSE THEY WERE SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR THE 351 BOSS BLOCK. BY THE WAY, THE INTAKE RUNNER VOLUME OF THESE TRICK FLOW HEADS IS A GENEROUS 225cc. AFTER INSTALLING THE STUDS, FIRST LAY DOWN SOME ARP ULTRA TORQUE. THEN A WASHER, MORE LUBE, THEN THE NUT. THAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GUARANTEE REACHING ACCURATE TORQUE SPECS. NOW WE GET THERE WITH TWO TORQUE SEQUENCES, 40 AND 65 FOOT POUNDS.

(MIKE)>> HOW MANY SETS OF HEADS YOU THINK YOU'VE PUT ON TO DATE?

(JOHN)>> TO DATE?

(MIKE)>> QUITE A FEW.

(JOHN)>> SEVERAL HUNDRED.

(MIKE)>> YOU MIGHT HAVE ALREADY NOTICED WE HAVE A NEW SET OF HANDS TODAY. THEY BELONG TO JOHN BOUCHARD, WHO JUST CAME ON BOARD WITH US. HE'S ASC CERTIFIED, HE'S WORKED ON BOTH CONVENTIONAL AND RACE ENGINES AS WELL. IN ADDITION TO HIS GEAR HEAD CAREER, JOHN RECENTLY SERVED FOUR YEARS IN THE MARINE CORP AS A SQUAD LEADER WITH TOURS OF DUTY IN BOTH HAITI AND IRAQ.

(JOHN)>> I'M GLAD I SERVED, BUT COMBAT IS, YOU KNOW, IT'S PRETTY BAD TO SAY THE LEAST. A LOT OF PEOPLE LEAVE SCARRED. DYING IS NOT EVEN THE WORST PART OF IT. YOU CAN'T EVEN WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND IT. EVEN BEING THROUGH IT IT'S STILL HARD TO GRAPH OR EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT HAVE NEVER SEEN IT. IT'S JUST NOT ENGINE BUILDING YOU KNOW. I MEAN ENGINE BUILDING TO ME IS WHAT'S FUN. IT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. IT'S WHAT I'M DETERMINED TO NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I GET LAID OFF. NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES THE SHOP CLOSES DOWN OR I HAVE TO PICK UP AND MOVE. THAT'S WHAT I'M DETERMINED TO DO AND IT'S WORKED OUT.

(MIKE)>> WE'RE GLAD HIS DUTY NOW IS USING HIS SKILLS IN OUR SHOP.

(JOE)>> USING THESE TIE BAR LIFTERS ELIMINATES THE NEED OF THE SPIDER AND A HOLD DOWN, PLUS THE BARS PREVENT LIFTER ROTATIONS. SINCE THE ROCKER ARM STUDS RUN INTO THE WATER JACKETS, WE'RE GIVING THEM A COATING OF LOCTITE THREAD SEALANT.

(MIKE)>> I SHOULD POINT OUT THAT WE'VE PREASSEMBLED THE HEADS TO GET OUR PUSH ROD MEASUREMENT. THEN ORDERED THESE HARDENED COMP THREEEIGHTHS PUSH RODS THAT MEASURE SEVENNINE HUNDREDTHS WITH A WALL THICKNESS OF 080. ALWAYS PUT A LITTLE OIL ON THE PUSH ROD AND VALVE STEM TIPS BEFORE INSTALLING THE ROCKER ARMS. THESE TRICK FLOWS ARE FULL ROLLERS WITH A ONE SIX RATIO. AND AFTER SETTING THEM TO ZERO LASH, I'M GIVING THEM ANOTHER HALF TURN.

(JOE)>> INTAKE MANIFOLD CHOICE WAS A NO BRAINER FOR THIS COMBINATION. EDELBROCK OFFERS A SINGLE PLANE VICTOR JUNIOR VERSION FOR THE 351, AND IT'S DESIGNED FOR PERFORMANCE IN THE 3,500 TO 7,500 RPM RANGE. WITH A LITTLE LIGHT INSIDE THE OPENING, THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE FOR A PERFECT HEAD, GASKET, AND INTAKE MATCHING. NO GASKET OVERLAP, JUST A SMOOTH, CLEAR PATH FROM RUNNER TO RUNNER. BY THE WAY, OUR COMPRESSION RATIO WITH THIS SETUP IS 10 TO ONE. AND AFTER BOLTING DOWN THE FORD RACING VALVE COVERS.

(MIKE)>> JACK ME UP BUTTER CUP.

(JOE)>> WELL OUR 427'S READY TO GO OFF THE ENGINE STAND AND ONTO THE DYNO CART.

(JOE)>> WE FINISHED OFF OUR SLEEPER TBIRD'S 427 WITH A PERFORMANCE PARTS COMBO THAT INCLUDES BUMP STICK, CNC PORTED HEADS, AND RACE READY SINGLE PLANE INTAKE MANIFOLD. NOW IT'S TIME FOR MIKE AND OUR NEW SHOP TECH JOHN TO GET THIS BEAST READY FOR ITS DEBUT ON OUR DTS DYNO.

(JOHN)>> YOU GUYS EVER HAD ONE BLOW IN HERE.

(MIKE)>> MOTOR?

(JOHN)>> YEAH.

(MIKE)>> NOT YET!

(JOHN)>> I HOPE TODAY AIN'T IT, OH MAN I HOPE IT AIN'T IT.

(MIKE)>> GOOD? THAT'S IT.

(JOHN)>> SWEET!

(MIKE)>> THE HEADER FLANGES HAD TO BE TRIMMED A LITTLE TO FIT UNDER OUR VALVE COVERS, BUT NOW THEY WORK JUST FINE. NOW WE'LL EVENTUALLY USE A MECHANICAL WATER PUMP AND AN ACCESSORY DRIVE ON THE ENGINE. BUT SINCE WE CAN'T USE IT HERE, WE HAD TO ORDER THIS MAZERE ELECTRIC PUMP WITH THE CORRECT BOLT PATTERN FOR THE TIMING COVER. NEXT COMES THE PLUMING AND ALTHOUGH OUR SYSTEM'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT HE'S USED TO, JOHN'S BEEN THROUGH THE DYNO SETUP DRILL MANY TIMES BEFORE. FEEDING OUR SLEEPER BEAST IS ALL UP TO THIS 850 CFM QUICK FUEL CAR. NOW IT FEATURES A HIGH FLOW MAIN BODY, CNC MACHINED BILLET METERING BLOCKS, AND A BILLET BASE PLATE ASSEMBLY FOR EXTRA STRENGTH. AFTER INSTALLING ONE OF ROYAL PURPLE'S OIL FILTERS AND DUMPING IN FIVE QUARTS OF THEIR 10 W40 OIL, IT'S PRIME TIME.

(JOHN)>> THERE IT GOES. AH YOU'RE GOOD.

(MIKE)>> WE'VE GOT THE PLUGS IN THERE NOW. NEXT OUR SOURCE OF SPARK, AN MSD PRO BILLET. AND AFTER PREPPING A SET OF THEIR UNIVERSAL PLUG WIRES, WE'RE ALL DYING TO HEAR THIS BEAST ROAR. UM, FIVE G'S OF SOME 93!

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

(JOE)>> SO FAR THE BEAST RESEMBLES A DRAGON. POOR JOHN MUST BE FEELING THE PRESSURE OF HIS DEBUT BUILD.

(JOHN)>> CHECK TOP DEAD CENTER AGAIN.

(MIKE)>> YEAH I THINK WE NEED TO. IT'S WAY OUT.

( engine firing )

(JOE)>> ALRIGHT THAT'S MORE LIKE IT. MOST OLD STYLE 427'S NEVER SOUNDED THAT STOUT.

(MIKE)>> THAT SOUNDS GOOD! GOOD DEAL ON THE FIRST ONE SO FAR, NO LEAKS, VERY COOL! THIS THING'S GONNA MAKE SOME POWER. I'M HAPPY!

(JOHN)>> I HOPE IT RUNS.

(JOE)>> FINALLY AFTER BREAK IN, WE CAN SEE IF THE POWER EQUALS THE NOISE.

(MIKE)>> WHAT DO YOU WANT TO RUN IT TO RPM WISE FIRST PULL.

(JOHN)>> AT LEAST FIVE, 5,500.

(MIKE)>> WANNA DO 5,500 ON THE FIRST?

(JOHN)>> YEAH!

(MIKE)>> HERE WE GO! ( engine revving )

(MIKE)>> THERE YOU GO BUDDY BOY. FIRST PULL AT 55.

(JOHN)>> NO WAY!

(MIKE)>> 571, 567, THIS THING'S CLIMBING LIKE A BANDIT TOO.

(JOHN)>> YOU GONNA MAKE ONE MORE AT 55, NO?

(MIKE)>> WE'LL GO UP ANOTHER FIVE.

(JOE)>> REMEMBER MIKE BOASTED 600 HORSEPOWER FROM THIS COMBINATION. NOW WHOSE PRIDE IS ON THE LINE?

(MIKE)>> IT'S PULLING REALLY, REALLY SMOOTH, REALLY NICE AND STEADY. IT'S CREEPING UP NOW, LOOSENING UP, 586, 566. LETS DO A 6,500 PULL BEFORE WE DO ANYTHING.

(JOHN)>> OKAY, START PLAYING WITH TIMING.

(MIKE)>> YEAH, AND THEN THE TIME CHANGE.

(JOHN)>> 591, 566.

(JOE)>> SOMETIMES THOSE LAST FEW HORSES CAN BE MILES AWAY.

(JOE)>> WE'VE BEEN CHASING DOWN MIKE'S MISSION TO GET 600 HORSEPOWER FROM OUR 427. AFTER THREE INITIAL RUNS WITH THE TIMING AT 31 DEGREES, WE'RE UP TO 591 AT 6,500 RPM'S. SO WE JUST ADDED THREE MORE DEGREES.

(JOHN)>> IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE CLOSER TO 35. ( engine revving )

(JOHN)>> I DON'T HEAR ANY HICK UPS.

(MIKE)>> ALRIGHT, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

(JOHN)>> I THINK IT'LL BREAK SIX, MAYBE 603.

(MIKE)>> NOPE, SHE'S WAY OFF. BRING THAT BACK DOWN.

(JOHN)>> IT DOES NOT LIKE IT.

(MIKE)>> LETS GO THE OTHER WAY, PUT 29 IN IT. ( engine revving )

(MIKE)>> 587, 561, I THINK WE'RE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR TO WHAT WE'VE GOT.

(JOE)>> AND THE KNOCKING CONTINUES. A FEW MORE TIMING TWEAKS AND SEVERAL GALLONS OF GAS LATER.

(MIKE)>> SAME EXACT AS BEFORE, SAME EXACT WITHIN THREE HORSEPOWER ON FIVE RUNS. TIME FOR A DIFFERENT APPROACH. WE'RE GONNA SEE IF THE EXTRA VOLUME OF A ONE INCH SPACER HELPS OR HURTS US, AND WE'LL ALSO PUT THE TIMING BACK TO 31 DEGREES, WHICH SEEMS TO BE OUR SWEET SPOT. ( engine revving )

(MIKE)>> THIS THING IS JUST SO SMOOTH AND CRISP, REALLY NICE PIECE. EVERY ONE BETTER BE LIKE THIS.

(JOHN)>> I GOT YA! ( engine revving )

(MIKE)>> THAT MADE A LOT MORE POWER.

(JOHN)>> THAT SOUNDED PRETTY GOOD.

(MIKE)>> 598, 584. WE REALLY SHOULD STOP HERE. THIS THING'S WELL LOOSENED UP, BROKEN IN, AND DEFINITELY IN NEED OF AN OIL CHANGE, BUT I CAN'T HELP BELIEVING THERE'S STILL A LITTLE MORE LEFT IN IT. IT MAY BE WORTH A JET CHANGE. IT MAY BE WORTH GOING DOWN A JET.

(JOHN)>> LETS DO IT.

(MIKE)>> IT'S BEEN RUNNING A LITTLE FAT AND THE SPACER HELPED US STEER THE OTHER WAY. ONE SIZE DOWN ON THE JET COULD DO IT. IF NOT, WE'LL CLAIM VICTORY AND GIVE IT A REST. IT'S AN ADDICTION!

(JOHN)>> CHASING THAT NUMBER. ( engine revving )

(JOHN)>> 597!

(MIKE)>> AH, SO CLOSE. TORQUE CAME UP A GOOD AMOUNT. I'M GOING TO DO ONE MORE SMALL TIMING CHANGE ON IT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS, AND THEN WE'RE DONE. AND SHE'S OFF. ( engine revving )

(JOHN)>> YEAH, THAT'S MONEY.

(MIKE)>> LET'S GO, 610, YES, GOOD JOB! 586 FOOT POUNDS, 610 HORSE, BEAUTIFUL, GOOD JOB, BROKE IT.

(JOHN)>> RIGHT ON!
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