1989 LX Coupe II
I have just completed a 363 cubic inch Dart block 302 style
motor. The engine is 4.125 bore by 3.400 inch stroke with 9:1 compression.
goal is car that looks pure stock and be fully streetable. The problem with this
is I let a local engine builder talk me into O-rings, and I could never seal the
engine’s water leaks. After a year or so of screwing around I had the O-rings
milled out and used MLS gaskets.
This engine has all the good parts:
- Forged steel crank
- H-beam rods
- Custom blower pistons
- Dart (World Products) 4-bolt mains block
- Competition Cams roller camshaft
My goal is to make around 800 HP with normal street boost,
although I built the engine to handle 1200
HP or more with high boost.
More parts added.
I measured the push rod length to center the rocker tips on the
Clutch is a dual disk McLeod. This clutch has a modest pedal
pressure (more than stock but much less than Ford Motorsport plate).
The clutch operates smoothly on release, but grabs hard with excellent holding force.
Trans is a modified TKO-600.
I added an external fuel pump and modified fuel tank to supply more fuel.
This is an Aeromotive fuel system kit from Summit Racing.
I’m using my Vortech V3si supercharger. With stock pulleys but modified air
system it makes ten pounds of boost with the 363 cubic inch motor. With a 2.95
inch pulley it makes 14 pounds boost.
Spray can painting my engine compartment. I had no issues with this, and the
paint is holding up great.
The key to success was cleaning all the oil off, lightly sanding, and then using
primer. I used Dupli-Color paint from O’Reilly Auto Parts.
I used a Team-Z K-member with Strange coil-over shocks on the front, and a four-link on the rear. The four link is
tied into welded-in frame connectors.
I used large thick load spreading plates
to distribute force into the floor pan over a wide area.
Pay attention to the way the spring adjustment tube fits. The person helping me
did not, and I had to pull the aluminum height adjusters out and turn them over.
This is the wrong way to install them!! The notch goes down, not up.
The OEM Ford convertible-style motor mounts did not line up right with the Team-Z K-member. The engine sat too
high and just slightly too far forward for the front slot of the K-member. I did
not want to use hard mounts.
I made a wooden template or fixture, so I could re-weld the mounts back to
original angles but 1/4 inch shorter with 0.1 inches rear offset. I cut
1/4 inch out of the Ford mounts and re-welded them while mounted in my wooden
fixture. This is the result:
Air, cruise, power steering, power brakes, and 14 pounds of boost on a 363 cu
The V3si Vortech, with stock Mustang HO pulleys (3.3 inch on supercharger)
adds nice power, but the car is still OK on the street. I also have a V2ti I can
I cleaned up all the port alignment issues and used a better, larger, air
filter than the one Vortech supplies. Making these changes moved boost from
around 8 pounds on my 302 with TFS heads and F cam, to over 15 pounds. I cleaned
up the inlet system more when I installed the 363, and now it makes a solid 10
pounds of boost from 4000-6500 RPM. According to Vortech’s calculator, my V3si
Supercharger is spinning the impeller at 46,700 RPM. This is slower than the
52,000 RPM limit, so I downsized the supercharger pulley to
2.95 inches. This gave me 14 pounds of boost, which put the blower around the
52,000 RPM limit. This should be
somewhere around 800 horsepower.
This is all a tight fit, but everything worked out OK. The biggest problem is
the three-row radiator moved the fan shroud back toward the belts, fan, and
engine. I handled this by modifying the fan shroud. Everything fits now, nothing
Now deleted PS and AC and changed to glide: