Performance 2V Build No. 1 We talked with Modular Head Shop's Nick McKinney at length about his recommendations for a performance build. He told us nearly 60 percent of his customers are early Mustang, Crown Vic, Thunderbird, and Cougar owners. Since these are predominately two-valve cars, he's something of a 2V specialist and has several combinations he recommends to suit his customers' budgets. On his website, McKinney lists a parts combination that will make at least 300 hp at the wheels. Best of all, it costs less than $2,500, including new gaskets, timing chain tensioners, and sprockets. It's basically a cam, head, and intake swap, so you can reuse your bottom end. Assuming everything is in good shape, the stock reciprocating assembly will easily handle the increased power. We'll highlight some of the parts here. To review, the 2V engines got a makeover in 1999 when Ford, responding to customers' pleas for more power, redesigned the cylinder heads. These Power Improvement (PI) heads had smaller combustion chambers combined with bigger intake runners. Matching the heads was a new, better-flowing intake manifold. The increase in flow and more efficient combustion was worth more than 30 additional horsepower over the non-PI (NPI) design. To review, the 2V engines got a makeover in 1999 when Ford, responding to customers' pleas McKinney says the 2V engines have the potential to be great performers, "They just need more compression and better cams. These engines love compression." He recommends at least 10.4:1, and it turns out the hot ticket is to start with an NPI block. To accommodate the smaller combustion chambers of the PI heads, Ford equipped the '99-and-later engines with dished pistons that put the compression ratio at 9.4:1. Dropping PI heads on an NPI block will yield his recommended 10.4:1 compression ratio. McKinney says the 2V engines have the potential to be great performers, "They just need mo The 300hp formula calls for McKinney's Stage 2 ported PI heads, which he sells complete and ready to install for $1,195. They include stainless steel valves that are slightly larger than stock, bronze guides instead of the stock powdered metal ones, Pacaloy springs, and a performance valve job. This is a good deal considering that a pair of new PI heads from Ford cost about $900. The 300hp formula calls for McKinney's Stage 2 ported PI heads, which he sells complete an You'll also need bigger cams to break the 300hp barrier. McKinney said he spent lots of time working with Mark Chacon at Bullet Racing Cams to design profiles for the 2V engines. He recommends his Stage 2.5 NA cams that spec out at 228/226 degrees duration and 0.550/0.500 lift on a 108-degree lobe-separation angle. Unfortunately, McKinney doubted if those cams would pass a tailpipe emissions test. So McKinney recommended his Stage 2 Turbo cam: 222/218 duration, 0.525/0.500 lift, 115-degree LSA, and said it would probably make 5 to 10 fewer horsepower at the wheels. McKinney said he prefers the smaller exhaust lobes with the PI heads because the exhaust port flows very well. You'll also need bigger cams to break the 300hp barrier. McKinney said he spent lots of ti Piston-to-valve clearance is something to be concerned about with the 2V engines. The redesigned combustion chamber puts the valves right at the deck of the engine block. That, plus the funny-shaped ridge around the perimeter of the intake valve cause very close piston-to-valve clearance numbers. Piston-to-valve clearance is something to be concerned about with the 2V engines. The rede You will bend your intake valves for sure if you run an aggressive camshaft. McKinney told us proper cam timing is critical. He recommended maintaining a 0.035-inch piston-to-valve clearance, and it is easy to exceed this spec. For example, installing a popular street cam with 225 degrees duration at a 112-degree intake centerline will give you 0.070 inch of clearance. Advancing that same cam 2 degrees to 110 will give you 0.035 inch of clearance. Advance it 2 more degrees to 108, and you will only have 0.005 inch of clearance. The problem is that these engines like more intake valve timing, and a popular option is to have the pistons notched for intake valve clearance. You can send McKinney your pistons and he'll notch them for $129. It's also a good idea to replace the intake valves with aftermarket ones without the perimeter ring. McKinney also stressed that the cam timing should always be checked. He said the factory timing sprockets are notoriously inaccurate and can be off by as much as 4 degrees either advanced or retarded. Degree your cams when assembling the engine. If the timing is off, you'll need to buy a set of zeroed or adjustable gears. Rounding out the 300hp combo, you can reuse your factory PI intake and add both a JLT intake with a 90mm mass airflow sensor and a performance exhaust system with a pair of long-tube headers: simple, cheap, and effective. If you still have some extra money to spend, McKinney recommends building all this on top of an aluminum 4V block out of a Mark VIII. In stock configuration, these were 10.0:1 engines. With PI heads, your compression ratio will be almost 12.0:1. That plus the nearly 80-pound weight advantage of the aluminum block will give you even better performance at the track. Whether you use the aluminum block or not, with this combination you'll be making more power at the wheels than the Camaro and Mustang guys are making at the crank. Power Improved By The Numbers Engine Piston Dish Combustion Chamber Size Compression Ratio NPI 11 cc 51 cc 9.30:1 PI 17 cc 42cc 9.74:1 Ideal* 11 cc 42 cc 10.4:1 *Using a stock head gasket with 0.036-inch compressed thickness with -0.015-inch piston-to-deck height Cam Specs NPI 201/208 duration at 0.050, 0.462/0.462 lift, 114/113 intake/exhaust centerline PI 200/209 duration at 0.050, 0.505/0.531 lift, 116/116 intake/exhaust centerline Valvetrain Valve size 1.752/1.339-inch Cam follower Roller type with 1.80:1 ratio « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | View Full Article By John McGann Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!