# Ford modular v8

Discussion in 'Ford' started by Autodidact, Oct 27, 2013.

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1. Oct 27, 2013

### Autodidact

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Has anyone tried to use the Ford modular v8 for an aircraft engine? I think
it has a lot of potential; it can be all aluminum but the 5.4L alloy blocks
are harder to find than the 4.6L. Still, at 281ci it's not bad and the all
aluminum version is about 100lb lighter. The 4.6 can also be bored and
stroked to 305ci. They are cheap. An aluminum DOHC version (from a Lincoln)
can be had for $500 and a 2-valve or 3-valve SOHC iron block can be had for a similar amount. The 2, 3, and 4-valve heads will all interchange so that for about a grand you can have the parts for an all aluminum SOHC v8 that looks a lot like a scaled down Hispano-Suiza v8. Pic 1 is a 2-valve SOHC showing the similarity to the Hispano, pic 2 is an aluminum block 2-valve SOHC, pic 3 shows the difference between the 2-valve and 3-valve cam covers (I think the three valve covers are much better looking, but the 2-valve heads are probably better for a direct drive engine), pic 4 shows the transmission flange of a Lincoln front drive (transverse) aluminum block, and pic 5 is an Italian (Teksid) block - a similar block is called the WAP for Windsor Aluminum Plant and was made in North America but is similar to the Teksid although the Italian block is said to be strong enough to handle 1500 hp in a race car; I saw one on ebay for about$700...

The links are for a couple of Roush-Yates blocks and a Rangerstation forum
article and an ebay add.

Ford Racing M-6010-M54A 2011 SVT Mustang 5.4L Aluminum Engine Block

Ford Racing M-6010-T50 FR500 5.0L Block

The Ford 4.6L Modular Engine

4.6 lincoln engine in Complete Engines | eBay

2. Oct 27, 2013

### Vipor_GG

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Never tried flying with one, but the 4.6 in my wife's T-bird (140k) and 5.4 in my F-150 (180k) have given great service. Neither of the have been babied. If you use 4v heads check them for warp including the cam bore. They have less meat in the cam bore and don't handle heat as well. I don't have numbers, but the 2v engines seem to have more power at the low end. At least it seems that way comparing my wife's T-bird to my brother's Mark VIII. From a standing start the 2v T-bird will pull away from the 4v Mark VIII and hold it own to about 60 when the Mark VIII starts to come back and over takes at about 75. The T-bird seems to make the most power at 3000-3500 rpm and cruises the highway 70 mph at about 2000-2200 rpm.

3. Oct 27, 2013

### TFF

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I saw one at Oshkosh a couple of years ago that is to be packaged with some 300mph composite thing. had a Lancair look.

4. Oct 27, 2013

### delta

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I saw a direct drive aluminum ohv small block ford hanging on a long ezy a few years back at a canard fly in in Jean Nevada. I haven't heard anything about it since then.

5. Oct 27, 2013

### rv6ejguy

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That is Gary Spencer's aircraft, over 1000 trouble free hours on that one.

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6. Oct 27, 2013

### Toobuilder

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The main thing I see wrong with the cammer engines (including the GM Northstar), is the added weight and complexity for essentially zero benefit. If you're going to run these at aircraft speeds, you do not need the exotic valve train. A cam in block and pushrods is perfectly adequate and much lighter.

just curious, what is the weight difference between the Ford Modular and the GM LS series?

7. Oct 27, 2013

### Vipor_GG

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And usually more compact, but does anyone even make an engine like that anymore?

8. Oct 27, 2013

### oneturboneeded

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I'm a ford man to the end and I love the modular but I would not use a modular. For the displacement there heavy. Very strong but heavy. So u can boost them to make a lot of power in a car but doesn't make sense to me in a plane. The heads and valve train are very heavy. One modular I am looking at is the new 5.0 lighter more displacement they use a lot mor webbing instead of just thickness to get strength.

9. Oct 27, 2013

### Autodidact

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Even the aluminum block SOHC version? I know it has to weigh a little more than an aluminum block pushrod of equal size since it has two cams, but is it a lot?

I guess I'm looking at bang for buck, modulars seem very cheep and available...

10. Oct 28, 2013

### Toobuilder

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The GM LS/Vortec series is still cam in block, and they caught a lot of heat for sticking with that "antique" configuration. I'm glad they looked at the requirements rather than the exotic for exotic's sake.

11. Oct 28, 2013

### Autodidact

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I found a spec sheet with a hint of what the weight could be (block and heads):

And based on that I made this estimate, in which I tried to be conservative, of the weight by component, assuming a carbureted engine with a fabricated tubular intake and mechanical fuel pump, in DD and geared versions. If the quoted block and head weights are accurate, does this look like a reasonable estimate to you guys? The cooling system needs to be included, still. The higher powered direct drive wouldn't be terrible, but it has more frontal area than a pushrod engine. The 250hp geared version looks pretty good with a 1.8 lb/hp ratio:

Weight of modular v8:

Bare block and assembled heads - 174lb

crankshaft - 55lb (estimated)

camshafts (hollow) - 16lb (estimated)

rods & pistons - 25lb (estimated)

oil pump - 3.5lb (estimated)

oil sump & front cover 20lb (estimated)

induction system (tube manifold & carburetor) - 20lb (estimated)

exhaust pipes - 10lb (estimated)

coolant pump - 8lb (estimated)

fuel pump - 5lb (estimated)

vacuum pump - 5lb (estimated)

alternator & ignition - 12lb (estimated)

prop drive (direct, including flywheel) - 45lb (estimated)

prop drive (geared) - 70lb (estimated)
______________________________________________________________________

total weight (direct drive) - 403lb (155 to 190 hp)

total weight (w/redrive) - 428lb (210 to 250 hp)

Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
12. Oct 28, 2013

### stol

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I have 500 hours. 9 years and about 100,000 miles on my one of a kind 302 /347 cu in stroker, all aluminum V-8 Ford.. And it weights ALOT less then your estimated weight..

Ben Haas.

13. Oct 28, 2013

### Autodidact

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I don't doubt that at all. Still, for an all aluminum engine it's potentially pretty inexpensive, and if I've overestimated the weight then it can at least be useable.

14. Oct 28, 2013

### Vipor_GG

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Is that a cam in block Ford small block or a OHC Triton engine?

15. Oct 28, 2013

### cheapracer

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Respectfully you are letting the word "aluminium" fool you, aluminium is not lighter than cast iron for many applications and with engines there is no weight savings for crankcase housings by the time you get them stiff enough. An Audi 5 cylinder aluminium block is 25 lbs hevier than the cast iron one it replaced, just one example of many. The more extensive use of aluminium these days is based around pollution and emmissions regulations.

Cylinder heads are different and yes, you can save a lot of weight there besides other advantages, cooling etc.

An aluminium headed, cast iron blocked Winsor 302 Ford is one of the lightest, smallest, strongest, cheapest "HP per Pound" combinations you can get your hands on and makes a Modular look like a boat anchor.

Oh and if you want a seriously light V8 you can not go past a Rover V8, I personally weighed a 3.5 a few weeks ago ..

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2013
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16. Oct 28, 2013

### stol

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It is a "cam in block".... using roller lifters, roller rockers and roller cam bearings... Long block is right at 299lbs...... Complete as pictured on the front of my plane it is 437 lbs,,, including fluids, prop, redrive and ALL accessories.... The 6010F302 Ford racing aluminum block is 92 lbs.. The similar iron block weighs 135 lbs. So basically I paid 90 bucks a pound to save 33 lbs.... In aviation....... that is cheap weight savings .....IMHO...

17. Oct 28, 2013

### Autodidact

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The Rover's a beautiful engine and not to bad pricewise - the 4.0 is going for around \$1500 on ebay right now. I'va always thought that the iron small block Ford was a good candidate for an aero conversion.

And it did occur to me that aluminum doesn't necessarily mean lighter, but in the case of the modular, an aluminum one is lighter than the iron one; the modular block and heads are 174lb altogether, and that's not really that bad. You guys are right, there are lighter engines, but with a good PSRU I think this one could be a good one.

The source I quoted gave 44lb for the modular heads (assembled), and 55lb for the iron (pushrod) 5.0 heads. Ben, could your tell us what you aluminum small block heads weigh?

18. Oct 28, 2013

### stol

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32 lbs ..... Complete with valves, springs and ARP rocker arm studs... I do run the Crower Stainless Steel roller rockers though since the aluminum ones are not strong enough to keep me safe. http://www.crower.com/media/pdf/2008b/153-155.pdf

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19. Oct 29, 2013

### Brian Clayton

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one issue with the SOHC and DOHC engines..... they are very bulky, I imagine the cowling would be rather large and draggy too. Conventional pushrod SB engines are pretty compact compared to a overhead cam engine.

20. Oct 29, 2013

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