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Discussion Starter #1
So this past weekend at the track I may have pushed my girl a little hard. Picked up a bit of rod and/or wrist pin knock. Nothing terrible but gives me an excuse to swap the motor over the winter. I have been working on a 5.3 stroker shortblock for a while but I am just not happy with these little modular 2v motors so here is my question:

I will have about 3000 bucks to play with + swap parts that I have on hand so probably another 2-4k depending on who and what I trade for/to.

I am an old fogey from the 80's and 90's era who believes there is no replacement for displacement and I don't have a firm grasp of the mechanics of overhead cams and degreeing and such stuff. I know how to build and tune killer 302 and 351w motors with both carbs and efi/fast1. Would it be a huge step back to say throw in a 408w stroker with efi into my 2003 knowing i'd be N/A 525hp/500ft/lbs with 9.85:1 compression and still have room for a small force induction later? I have had great success with them in the past or should I stick to the modular motors and stay with that little 5.3 stroker knowing I really have to FI it to make any decent HP? Or maybe stroke out a 5.4?

I'm not just seeing a real bang for your buck with these little 281 cubic inch v8's I mean my car is a screamer for what it is. 12.41 this weekend is no slouch way faster than my old LX was with the same money invested but it just doesn't have the same "Big Block" feel that a large displacement motor has..know what I mean?

Suggestions?

Btw had a 86 mustang with a 460 in it for years in high school. Like 300hp but made torque out the wazoo. Funnest car I ever had..I do love the big blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well im an auto guy so no matter what I go with ill be making my 4r70w fit since its been recently refreshed with better internals, jmod and a stall converter

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Your 4R70w will not fit on a pushrod, the bolt patterns are different between the 4.6L/Coyote and the old 5.0/5.8 motors. Not to mention even $4k is not going to get a 408 into the car.


I'd keep going with the stroker depending on how far along you are with it. In the meantime you could always just throw in a replacement PI motor with low miles.


As far as "bang for the buck", a 500whp 408 is going to be a $6-$8k motor alone, people think its so much cheaper to do a pushrod but it really isn't...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well I have a lot of experience with the pushrods, even more experience with porting the heads, used to make a decent amount of money locally matching custom grind camshafts with heads I ported. The 408 stroker kits are only 1k at cost the blocks are dirt cheap and afr heads are cheap as they come if I don't want to do a lot of porting myself and if I do I can pick up a set of aftermarket used anything aluminum for a song and do the porting to easily get 300cfm, efi setup is cheap under 1k not including the injectors.

I will do some research but there must be a way to make a 4R fit on a older motor, no way i'd ever put an aod or c4 in there...as for the little modular motors. each day goes by I wonder why I bother..its like the ricers..i laugh and laugh because they spend so much to make such little engines put out more power and here I am trying to do the same with a little 281 /sigh
 

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There are people in cuba that take a FWD engine and convert it to be ran in a 1950 bel aire using only basic tools and no internet..


You can quite easily get a 4r70w on a big block come on man
 

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Although I've only built a couple of 408's, it's all about reliability and it's pretty easy to add 4blt mains to the early 1971 through mid 1974 blocks which have the heavier main web.............after that the blocks are a little too thin for my taste.
It's all about heads and cams when you want to make a 408 snort.....but it's also about torque and as you said earlier it's all about cubic inches....I'd go to 427 for a street motor.
I've still have a set of Roush/Yates mod'd TrickFlow heads that were on my Maverick drag car before I switch to the C3's.
Getting back to reality, personally I'd like to build a Coyote motor as I've done a 4.6l DOHC and wouldn't hesitate to do another one. They can make some good HP/TQ as long as you add something on top of the motor.....IMHO
You are a young whipper snapper...........I've got at least 30 years on you....and there is no substitute for cubic inches...........it's all about torque!
 

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Eh, you could say the same thing about the Coyote, its not much bigger CI wise but it puts out stupid power. All about technology these days.


A forged 281 modular with ported heads and mild blower cams and the stock intake with a supercharger is a 600rwhp engine. Will not have the balls shattering torque that 408 will especially in front of an auto tho.


The only way you might be able to make your auto fit is to have a pushrod scattershield installed onto it but that will require you taking it to someone who knows wtf they are doing cutting these cases. You also COULD have a guy you trust take the guts out of yours and transfer everything over to a V6 4R70w or a 94/95 AODE. They share the same bolt pattern on the bell.


Idea I have here is you find a blown up 94/95 parts car, an automatic GT. Now you have ALL the pushrod conversion stuff right there and a good case to put your transmission's internals into. Swap all the electronics, wiring harnesses, fuel system etc... into your car and you can stay EFI and not worry about a standalone controller.


Or... just carb the 408 and stuff a MVB into the 4R and click click around town.
 

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There are people in cuba that take a FWD engine and convert it to be ran in a 1950 bel aire using only basic tools and no internet..


You can quite easily get a 4r70w on a big block come on man
If you are jury rigging a transmission onto a 500+ft lb motor... have fun with ankle surgery.

Like I said he can see about getting a pushrod bolt pattern scattershield installed onto his or swap his 4R's guts into a V6 4R case or an AODE case.
 

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If you went with the 408/427 motor I'd go with a C4........smaller, lighter and will handle up to 700HP/600lbft if it's built correctly.
I think Mike's Transmission in Lancaster makes an adapter to bolt various transmission to the mod motor.
Scotty is right, with over 500lbft I'd want an SFI shield........My last go around with the Maverick I had a Reid case for the Mike's Transmission UltraGlide......no it wasn't cheap...........had a 10 year SFI certification and I put value on all parts of my body.
Making 500+HP and 500+lbft of torque is and never will cheap......
 

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Nah, no need for a C4, the 4R properly built will handle up to 900 no problem.


Honestly if I was building a pushrod I would go with a fully built AOD from Dan at Silverfox. Ridiculously ridiculously good trans and the only downside is no lockup which the C4 won't have either and ppl make way too big a deal about IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate the input guys keep em coming. I have a few months to dream and scheme ol charlene is still running strong just a bit tired is all. Didnt care much for that 100r tune we ran through her this weekend. Im wide open on ideas just thinking out loud. Ill be price picking and running some numbers through the dyno software as time goes and will update with any real progress with pics

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Why not a pullout replacement motor and a second-hand vortech? That's what I am doing with my car except it came with the blower already. I plan on making 425 or so to the wheels and DDing the car on nice days.



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I just don't know that much about the 4R other than it's a big and heavy piece.
The C4 is the lightest weight and shortest atutomatic and it's just a nice small package and will withstand a lot of abuse if built right.
Personally, I've had a number of Powerglides from Mike's Tranmission and one held up for over 10 years of racing before it was rebuilt by Mike the second time. Also had one my first Powerglides from Marv Ripes when I raced my SS/IA Camaro and it lasted for 3 seasons of hard racing..............if an automatic is built right it will last..............as long as you don't skimp on parts.
The Powerglide is fantastic for drag racing...........don't know if I'd want a two speed for the street.
 

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I just don't know that much about the 4R other than it's a big and heavy piece.
The C4 is the lightest weight and shortest atutomatic and it's just a nice small package and will withstand a lot of abuse if built right.
Personally, I've had a number of Powerglides from Mike's Tranmission and one held up for over 10 years of racing before it was rebuilt by Mike the second time. Also had one my first Powerglides from Marv Ripes when I raced my SS/IA Camaro and it lasted for 3 seasons of hard racing..............if an automatic is built right it will last..............as long as you don't skimp on parts.
The Powerglide is fantastic for drag racing...........don't know if I'd want a two speed for the street.
A powerglide for the street awesome but that would get old quick

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Never thought about it for the street...........put a https://www.gearvendors.com/
in it. Then you could have a 2spd with overdrive.........or 4spd depending on how you use it. A friend has one in his 56 Ford w/C6 and 351C.
Yeah my dad's 66 impala had a powerglide in it

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---------- Post added at 10:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:32 PM ----------

Yeah my dad's 66 impala had a powerglide in it

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And I'm 46 so I know about the older days of hot rodding

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Yeah my dad's 66 impala had a powerglide in it

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---------- Post added at 10:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:32 PM ----------


And I'm 46 so I know about the older days of hot rodding

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I don't want to sound mean or arrogant but you are just a youngster and have no idea what the ole days of hot rodding nor drag racing were really like..............I was driving my 48 Street Gasser before you were a twinkle in your parents eye and drag racing my SS/IA Camaro up and down the West Coast before you were born............and probably older than your dad.
 

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He's 74 and yes I may have not been there but I have a very good idea

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Discussion Starter #20
I love talking with genuine old timers those from the 50's and 60's are the best. They would do more with a coat hanger and a roll of duct tape in between heats than a nascar crew could do all weekend. Im old by street standards, in my 40s, with grandkids, started young in cars and life. That old 86 with that 460 I pulled out of our 77ish ford farmtruck actually had a power glide behind it out of a friends old buick I think. Custom stall(cut open bent splines welded back lol) the thing stalled like 4200. No swaybar in front with trucj springs and the thing would wheelie at every start even when trying not to. Funnest car ever..good ol days

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