IT MIGHT seem like weíre stating the obvious, but Street Machine is a magazine about modified cars. If you donít like LS engines in Monaros, or Barras in Camaros, you might be reading the wrong mag. We donít do restorations here, with matching-numbers cigarette lighters and hubcaps.
I wish everyone could appreciate performance cars in the same way I do. I love all makes and types of vehicles Ė Holdens, Chevs, Fords, Chryslers and even VWs. And I like all sorts of engines: V8, six or four-cylinder; naturally aspirated, blown, turbo, nitrous or nitro. Iíve particularly been enjoying the new wave of street machines, muscle cars and hot rods that have late-model, high-tech engines in old-school real steel bodies.
These days there are so many engine options available to build a street machine. If youíre on a budget, the wreckers are practically giving away second-hand Ford Barra sixes and GM LS V8s. And at the rate the new Mustangs are selling, it wonít be long before pre-loved Coyote engines start popping up in wrecking yards everywhere. But if you canít wait for a used 5.0-litre Ford four-valve engine to come online, there are Coyote crate engines readily available.
Rod Otto helped build the Palmyra drag strip and raced his SV1 Valiant at the opening meeting in 1968. He just loves drag racing, and together with his son, who handles the driving, Rod has taken home plenty of tinware. The father-and-son team still holds the B/AA Altered national record, with a 7.226@183mph pass. Racing is in Rodís blood, and even though heís 79 and retired three years ago, he still canít stop working on cars.
His latest project is a street-driven í69 Mustang fastback powered by a 5.2-litre Aluminator 52XS crate engine thatís been blueprinted by Mostech Race Engines. I can tell some of you Ford purists are cringing now. Lighten up a bit; itís a Ford engine going into a Ford body, for heavenís sake!
The car is currently being prepared for Ďstreetí duty at John Tavernaís shop in Melbourne. The shock towers have been removed and a coil-over front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering has been fitted to make room for the quad-cam Coyote in the engine bay. Out back, a coil-over four-link fabricated rear end has been installed, with a Strange nodular iron Truetrac centre, 3.5:1 gears and 35-spline axles. Wilwood brakes all íround will bring the Mustang to a halt.
The clutch is an Ace heavy-duty item mounted to a steel flywheel, and the Tremec Magnum XL six-speed manual transmission has the shifter further back like modern cars.
The 12:1-compression, Mostech-blueprinted Aluminator engine has a billet eight-injector alloy manifold sitting on CNC-ported Shelby GT350 heads, and is like a piece of art. The motor made 648hp at 8000rpm and 485lb-ft at 5800rpm, and comes complete with a MoTeC ECU tuned for E85. Simply drop the donk into any car, hook up the fuel, water and 12 volts and go for a drive. It truly is a plug-and-play deal. The variable cam timing is tuned to idle like a taxi, and the power curve is still climbing at 8000rpm.
Everything inside the crate motor is from the Ford Performance Cobra Jet racing program. The Manley H-beam rods are fitted with Mahle hard-anodised forged pistons, and the four M-6550-M52 camshafts have 14mm lift with 270 degrees duration, with low-leak-rate VCT phasers controlling the valve timing. The fragile stock Coyote oil pump has been replaced with a billet steel Ford Performance M-6600-M52 gerotor pump and a winged hi-po sump to suit the í69 Mustang.
As the new Mustangs get written off, quad-valve Coyotes will become awesome engines for transplants, just like the LS. I can picture a tubbed, four-linked, rollcaged 3000lb Capri with a 6hp-per-cube twin-turbo Coyote in it. What a Drag Challenge street weapon that would be! It would theoretically run low sevens at 195mph all day and need stout wheelie bars.
I think the variable cam timing is going to be a big benefit in turbocharged applications, and savvy tuners will be able to reduce turbo lag and unlock a lot of horsepower on the dyno by experimenting with different cam timing. It could be a whole new world where the engine whirs and purrs with impeccable street manners and goes like an Exocet missile when unleashed.
The Coyote engine is the current Ford production-model V8, and I believe it should be allowed to compete in the ANDRA Super Stock class here. The little 5.0-litre mill would be very competitive against the LS-powered cars, but unfortunately it doesnít meet current ANDRA Super Stock rules. It has four cams, for a start. But the new V8 Mustangs are selling like hotcakes and should have a place to race like E/MSA or H/MSA. And when the new right-hand-drive Camaros are imported and sold, they too should have a Super Stock class to compete in.
Now that Australia doesnít build new V8 passenger cars anymore, maybe itís time to open up the ANDRA pit lanes for all late-model US muscle cars, like the NHRA has done for the Factory Stock-class F/SA and suggestion, F/SB Mustangs, ANDRA! Camaros s and íCudas. Just a suggestion, ANDRAI!