To make a lot of horsepower in your Ford Mustang’s 5.0 engine you need to address a few areas. There are several weak engine parts in the stock 5.0, that will just not live up to the kind of power this motor will make. The cylinder block that was built for light weight by Ford, just doesn’t have the beef it needs in the main web area. The lack of an available stock 4-bolt main block means you must use either a Ford Racing 4-bolt main block or an aftermarket one from Dart.
The stock crank and rods will need to be exchanged for some forged steel replacements. A zero balanced forged steel crank and some H-beam connecting rods will be able to handle the strain of over 600 hp and live to race again tomorrow. Forged aluminum pistons from Venolia utilize a small dome to provide the high compression ratio required to make so much power from so few inches. Ductile iron top rings provide durability under fire, while a moly coated second ring lowers drag on the cylinder walls. Standard tension 3 piece oil rings round out the package, low tension rings could be used to gain a little power. But could allow detonation to occur if oil gets past them, it’s safer with the standard tension piston rings.
The choice of cams at this level will need to fairly wild to produce the 650 hp we’re after here. A solid roller cam will allow the engine to rev to 8,000 rpm. Double roller timing chain will drive the cam precisely and save money over a gear drive system. Mellings high volume pump will push Mobil-One synthetic oil through the passages after being filtered by a Fram HP-1 filter. Use a Canton deep-sump oil pan filled with 6 quarts of oil to prevent aeration. A Milodon heavy-duty oil pump drive shaft is very cheap insurance against total engine meltdown, should the stock drive shaft snap at high rpm.
Aluminum cylinder heads for the 5.0 Ford engine are made by almost everybody. To reach 650 hp without a power adder, you can rule out any street type cylinder heads. For this engine we chose the Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum head, outfitted with oversize 2.08″ intake and 1.625″ exhaust stainless steel valves. They were treated to a full porting job, milled for compression and cut for O-ring grooves. Pushrod guide plates and 7/16″ rocker arm studs keep everything on the straight and narrow. Manley double valve springs use spring cups under them and 10 degree titanium retainers on top. Competition Cams supplied the 5/16″pushrods, Scorpion the roller rockers and a Garrett Machine double-bar stud girdle hold it all together. Ford Racing tall aluminum valve covers make sure there’s plenty of room inside. Mr.Gasket supplied the pan-evacuation system that’s used to help keep the oil out of the combustion chambers.
Sticking with Edelbrock for the intake manifold we have a Victor Jr that has been ported to match the cylinder heads. A 750 cfm drag race Demon carburetor supplies the fuel for this thirsty 5.0 Ford racing engine. Ignition chores are left to an MSD billet distributor dishing out the spark coming from a 7AL-2 ignition box, adjustable timing computer and Pro-Power coil. Accel spark plug wires have a ceramic coating to protect them from the 2″ primary long-tube headers, with 3 1/2″ collectors. NGK spark plugs provide the fire to light it all off.
For the front drive a Innovators West “zero” balance vibration dampener holds a 3″ pulley that drives a old-school Ford 60 amp alternator to keep the batteries charged. A Mezeire electric water pump helps this 5.0 Ford racing engine keep its cool.
This engine produced 647.8 hp @ 7,100 rpm and 490.8 lb. ft. Tq @ 5500 rpm. Not only that but check out the broad torque curve this racing engine has over 470 lb.ft. from 5000 to 7400 rpm, that will put you back in the seat a bit! This article shows that with the right racing parts and proper assembly, you too can build a 650 hp 5.0 Ford racing engine.