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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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3,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to figure the specs for a new Mark III build. In talking to a local professional Ford racer and mechanic who has worked on my FFR's, he suggested I might like to NOT use a mod motor for a new build. His thinking was the 4.6 motors are much bigger physically, more complicated electronically, not able to be adjusted (not even timing) without burning new chips, very expensive to modify for more power, not as torquey as a 5.0 or stroker, and don't make as much power as you can get from a lightly modified 5.0, which has a more favorable power/$ ratio. He didn't know the relative weights of the 4.6 mod motor compared to a 5.0 with aluminum heads.

I was figuring on building a Mark III with DOHC 4.6 mod motor, to learn about the newer technology and for the fun of building something different. BUT, if it'll cost way more and not have the performance I've loved in my past two FFR's, I've sure been satisfied with my 5.0 based cars and could be happy building that way again.

Are there any compelling reasons for going the mod motor build route, other than just the coolness factor? Thanks for any ideas or considerations.

[ March 13, 2004, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: John Phillips ]
 

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FFCobra Captain
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11,720 Posts
Not really an On Topic reply, but have you considered doing something like a 351W stroked to a 427....or even a big block?

Wouldn't that run about the same money as doing a 4.6, but have the coolness factor that you'd be looking for?

My dream motor would be the 427 stroker. I don't know why...I think I'd like to be able to say

"It has a 427 in it...who cares if it's real!"
 

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Senior Charter Member
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391 Posts
the 4.6 market is still new and taking off, I believe the first 4.6's were in 1992 in the Crown Vics and such. There is still a lot of research and development going into this motor

if you take a look at some of the magazines, (Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords) they tend to have a lot of performance tips for the mod motors.. the potential for the mods is excellent,

to me it sounds as if the mechanic doesn't have much experience with the 4.6
 

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Premium Member
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18,143 Posts
The mod motor has tremendous potential for power production. But, you're right, parts are expensive, and it's a slightly more complicated process. But that little 281 engine puts out an amazing amount of power in stock trim. And red line is around 7200 rpm! Check with guys like shawn hyland for performance parts. There's even a carb manifold available for this motor. And I think it's TWM that's making a stack injection system.

One of the big disadvantages to the 302 in a donor build is age. Those cars are over 10 years old now. They need a lot of work to make a reliable performance car. Not just the engine, but the whole car. It's especially bad in the northeast, where theyn use a lot of salt. Suspension parts just don't last 10 years.

With the MIII, you can use a car that's only 3-4 years old and only has 25-30K miles on it. That makes a donor build a much cheaper and easier proposition. You end up with a relativly easy build, 300 hp, 7200 rpm red line, and pretty good economy to boot. Such a deal. If I was in the planning process now, I'd be planning on a mod motor.

[ March 12, 2004, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: boB ]
 

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Premium Member
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1,648 Posts
John,

Here is a different take on this issue. I think the 289/302 engine is better for someone who is going to use it for road racing or autocrossing because the weight is in a better place (centrally located and low)if you will vs having the weight up higher and out board as in those huge heads on the mod motor. Panoz tried the mod motor in some of their cars and the handling went to hell. Same weight engines.

If it was for drag racing or just a nice cruiser then the mod is cool!

Just one man's opinion.
 

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creamsicle
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108 Posts
hey john; you are doing another snake? i to would like to do another and the mark 3 is the one, only if you could find a destroyed mustang cobra with the huffer wow would that not be the cats meow, i just read in my 5.0 mag a young fella got a stock cobra stang in the high tens with just a few pulley changes and a new chip and a bigger throttle body ohhhh my goodness could you imagine what that would do in an ffr. hang on ha ha rick
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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3,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I'm interested in a light car, lithe (relatively) handling, lots of bottom and mid-range punch, and not so much concerned with bragging rights re cubes or power. Brian's point about CG may be worth some research. Part of the fun is planning it, huh?

Larry, Snook's machine is way intimidating...no build of mine could ever compare!
 

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Registered
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901 Posts
John,
I am midway thru a mod motor build using a MKII Kit. Lot of work, but what I wanted to do -and love it. Wanted a solid performer without issues of a high performance engine. Also using all the stock electronics, just as it comes out of the car. Hope that will give me the jump in and drive reliability I want. I weighed mine with all the parts piled on and hit around 2250lbs (no fuel). Spending time on lots of little things like foot box mods, trunk, 315's, Quiet exhaust, and more. The new kit looks fine, but does have the engine farther forward than I did. (got close to 50/50) Like everybody here says, do what YOU desire. When you look at how many variations there are here and EVERBODY respects the efforts, you couldn't ask for more.
Have fun
Dan Ziol
 

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Premium Member
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18,585 Posts
John et al,
Have you guys seen the new Ford Motorsports Catalog?
Look on page 19.
Brand new '99 or 2000 Cobra DOHC motor AND transmission package. "Complete from 57mm Throttle body to Oil pan."
Signature series package. The catalog says, "Perfect for street rods etc." I guess we're the "etc."
305 HP 1999 part number M6001C469
315 HP 2000 part number M6001C460
Includes computer and harness. Picture shows exhaust complete with cats!
Here's the kicker. $5,995
Six grand for a brand new Cobra motor/tranny.
Yipers!
d.



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Premium Member
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18,462 Posts
The mod motor advantages:
1. Newer, less miles on the donor (or crate engine as suggested above) so less investment in rebuilding.
2. Visual appearance - a real eye catcher
3. Bragging rights

Mod motor disadvantages:
1. More difficult to install that a 5.0 or 351
2. At idle, it will sound like a smooth Lincoln Continental...no "race car sound" like our 5.0's
3. Wiring to circumvent PATS (anti-theft system) is a bigger challenge than a 5.0 EFI wire diet.
4. Expensive replacement parts: pistons, camshafts, etc. cost way more than a 5.0. (if needed)

About Equal
1. Power & torque
2. Driveability
3. Reliability
4. Weight

Not Sure
1. Total installed cost?
2. Hydraulic power brakes & steering advantage or disadvantage?
3. Future, will the Mod Motor be the High Performance engine that the 5.0 and the 351 are today? Or will the "Small Block Ford" always be the 302/5.0/351 family?

Tough call, John. If I built another roadster, it would be pretty difficult choice. Probably either way is good. Not a clear cut yes or no on the Mod.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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633 Posts
John,

I have been wondering why Ford bothered making the 4.6 mod motor in the first place. Compared to the 5.0 motor, it is MORE complicated mechanically, MUCH MORE expensive, HEAVIER (by more than 100 lbs), BIGGER (physically), SMALLER (displacement), and I don't see much in the way of advantage anywhere. In my opinion, the primary objective is to produce the maximum advantage at the minimum cost and complication. I don't see how the MOD Motor fits this spec at all.
 

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Premium Member
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12,393 Posts
John, in my opinion, looks are just about everything out here in Cobra Fantasyland. Yeah, the ability to leave 200 foot burnout tracks is really nice, but the opportunities are few and far between. Driveability is something I suppose should be considered, but unless you're Ralph Button (has he reached 200k miles yet?), it ain't that big a deal. I've been lusting after the new 4.6 390HP crate engine for a while now, and the 315 HP unit with the trans, wiring and computer is a hell of a deal. But I can't get past the fact that the mod engines have so much "stuff" on them...they have so many wires and hoses draped all over the place that they look like they're on life support. My next build, starting soon, will probably be a coupe..no, a Spyder...no, a Coupe...er, whatever it is, will have an all aluminum 302 with either a system from Wayne or real Webers. Clean, neat, eye candy for motorheads.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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1,996 Posts
As far as I know Ford developed the modular engines mainly due to emissions requirements. The 5.0s and Windsors are really "dirty" engines. A stock standard stang with full emissions equipment would NOT pass testing today here in Europe by far. The modular ones do ok but it is getting closer with the higher standards that will be introduced next year.
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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4,198 Posts
John,

I don't know if you remember me but when you did your Phoenix build you were generous enough to invite my wife and I out to look over the FFR product. Contrary to what some have said I believe the modular motor with it's electronic controls has it in spades over the 302 for dependability and performance. As for making adjustments take a look over at www.modulardepot.com and do a search on superchips custom. They offer a burner and chip set that is keyed to the EEC of your car which will allow you to make any changes you want using your laptop although I will say once these motors are dialed in the adaptive strategy of these motors really allows for ignoring them once they are set up. I am still local to you and would be glad to show you the supercharged modular with the superchips custom tune in my daily driver. I run an aluminum block SOHC motor which is about 80# lighter than the iron block and I commute 100 miles every day with it. By the way even with the blower in a 3800 lb car I get 22 on the highway. Give me a call at the office if you like 954-267-8224. If I don't answer leave a message and it will forward it to my cell phone.

Tim
 

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Junior Charter Member
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252 Posts
I've always thought that the EFI 5.0s did very well for performance and reliability. In fact I still drive an original 92 5.0 for my 70 mile/day commute. As far as access to the EEC-IV I have all of that. I can change anything I like via a laptop. Data logging is also available.

In addition to the low cost and the tremendous aftermarket there is one overwhelming reason I stick with the old pushrod motors:

 
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