First let me say that I was a very die hard Chevy fan, and for years would consider nothing less........Then I got bored of always seeing the very popular and in most cases, boring Chevy 350/350 combo. I mean, come on....Hot Rods are suppose to be original in design and the owners interpitation of himself. Either we have a bunch of clones walking around or most just forgot the Hot Rod essences.
I was getting ready to start my current project, and started looking for an attractive alternative to the common V-8, I wanted a Ford for my Ford and started looking around. I didn't want anything carburated or overly popular, like the lack luster 5.0L Ford. Some think the Flathead is a good alternative, but even it too has been over used, especially lately. That Nailhead some seem to like, is also a pretty common and un-remarkable engine. I wanted my project to project the them of Old meets New, take the classic lines of the 33-34 Ford and combine them with the most modern conveniences available today. These means the most modern sequential electronic fuel injection systems of today. And I also wanted something that looked different, even if you had no ideal about modern engines, I wanted you to Say, wow, what is that! The only engine that meet all of my criteria, was the Ford 4.6L DOHC. Yes they do make a SOHC (single Over head Cam), but that is a much lower HP, less interesting engine, which is quite popular and easy to find. The DOHC, is really very rare, it was only used in the top of the line performance cars, from 94-2004. The early models were Lincoln's till 96, then they started putting them in Mustang Cobras. The early models have great aluminum blocks, Teksid, an Italian manufacturer that also makes Ferrir'es blocks. The 99 -2001 4V heads were refined and flowed better then the 96-98 heads. And the 2003-2004 heads are the best, and where only used on mostly supercharged engines, the exception being the NA Mach1.
I choose to buy a new 2004 Ford engine, a DOHC 32 valve super charged engine, by an Eaton blower. The engine factor puts out about 425HP, and has loads of torque. If you do run this engine, it is a tight fit, the block is not the problem, it's the heads. They are very wide, in fact they are wider then a Hemi head. The engine is state of the art, and if you follow engines much, most say the Ford guys copied the Ferrari V-8 which looks identical to the 4.6 DOHC, only the induction has been changed.
Installing this engine in a '33 ford frame, was not that bad, there are no engine mount kits available for the engine, but fabricating a set is relatively easy. The engine mounts have a large single stud, and that is easy to adapt. The engine is very heavy, probably the heaviest engine I have ever worked with, besides a Cummins diesel. The design is terrific, the block and bottom end are very, very robust. Each main cap has 4-bolts+2 bolts holes have alignment pins+ there are 2 bolts (one time torque to yield or jack bolts depends on year) that capture the main caps through the side of the block on each side. Also, all 5 main caps are the same, non of this 4-bolt mains on just the center three, like many other engines. There are many running these engines at over 1000HP with the stock block and stock forged Cobra crankshafts. Yes the COBRA or DOHC engines have Forged internals. The rods and pistons are forged H-beam Manly rod and pistons. The Crankshaft is forged with 8 bolts holding the fly wheel on, SOHC engines only have 6 bolts.
I simply love this engine, it has to be the best factory engine I have ever worked on, and it is my favorite out of all the engines I have, including my twin turbo-charged flat head. If you luck out and find a DOHC with the factory Eaton M112 blower, your not only lucky but you'll have a blast with this combination, especially mounted in a light weight rod. The main concern was the firewall clearance, like I said this engine is very wide at the heads. I had to purchase a Direct Sheet Metal BBC (big block Chevy) firewall and still section it 6", which is very considerable!!. The only other problem is the room for the steering shaft, but you will make it around that, with several u-joints.
The fun factor is out the window, this is one sweet engine, and it completes the Ford in a Ford ideal. If you are afraid of modern electronics, 1. do some reading and educate yourself. 2. Have someone else help you with that section. 3. get an old boring engine and follow the crowd.
For those wanting more information on the Cobra Engine or just wanting to follow Project COBRA'33 or Project Flathead visit the following link and follow the bottons.