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Overhead Cam Timing - 4.6L Ford Engine Rebuild - Build A Panther More Power (Finally)

A rebuild for the 4.6

Photography by

Mod Motor Cam Timing

I’ve come across a lot of rumors floating around online about mod motor cams being installed as many as 4 degrees advanced or retarded from the factory. Wanting to verify this, I checked my engine’s cam timing before removing the cylinder heads. We won’t document the entire cam timing test process here, as we’ve done about half a million cam timing articles in the past 58 years. The mod motor’s overhead cam arrangement only adds a slight twist to the process in this boilerplate article.

Cylinder Head Flow Chart

I brought the stock heads and the new Trick Flow heads to Westech for flow bench testing. The difference is dramatic. There is a lot of potential in these Trick Flow castings.

Stock:

Valve Opening Intake CFM Exhaust CFM
0.050 27 22
0.100 51 50
0.200 96 86
0.300 133 111
0.400 156 124
0.500 171 131
0.600 177 135

Trick Flow:

Valve Opening Intake CFM Exhaust CFM
0.050 26 23
0.100 54 50
0.200 124 93
0.300 173 129
0.400 210 155
0.500 232 165
0.600 239 170

*Cylinder heads tested at Westech Performance’s SuperFlow 300 flow bench with a 3.580 bore adapter. Stock 4.6 bore is 3.552 inches.

On the Dyno

The engine fired on the second crank and ran surprisingly well. After fixing the previously mentioned oil leaks from the gallery plugs in the cylinder heads (and fixing an unrelated wiring nightmare under the dash), my car felt really strong running on Blue Oval Chips’ programming for the Mercury Marauder MAF installed in our June ’11 issue. However, Trick Flow recommends reprogramming the ECM after installing its Top End Kit, so I spent the better part of a day on Westech’s chassis dyno, as Ernie Mena fine-tuned the air/fuel ratio and timing. Tuning Ford ECMs requires some sort of handheld programmer that goes between the tuning shop’s laptop and the ECM. Ernie used the SCT X3 Power Flash programmer I bought from Blue Oval Chips. As a result, my car is now making 70 more horsepower and nearly 50 more lb-ft of torque. The torque band is much flatter than stock, as well, making about 300 lb-ft from 3,500 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm. The car feels much more powerful and a lot more fun to drive. We’ll have some dragstrip numbers to back up these horsepower figures soon.

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159 comments
Bryan Sheffler
Bryan Sheffler

I wonder how the fuel economy is with that big cam?  228/230-degrees @0.050" lift?  That's cam is just a little bit smaller than the cam that is in my 12.8-second Trans Am.  The TA has great drivability, performance, and the only thing that it can’t pass up is a gas station.  It is definitely not a realistic daily driver, but then I’ve never know the high performance press to be realistic. I find the dyno chart interesting as it doesn’t show the improved power much below 3K where most of the daily driving would be   I do have to give Car Craft a nod for doing something that didn’t involve a Camaro.  Some have called them Camaro Craft for good reason. 

Dennis McCue
Dennis McCue

It's not a mod motor ,but how about almost 200,000 on my 2.3 in a 87 Mustang,O-Yeah, it STILL gets 30 MPG!!!!

Derek Nielson
Derek Nielson

The old Dodge big block squad cars in the 70s. That's where its at. Too bad none lasted more than 50, 000 miles

Josh Peppers
Josh Peppers

I'll pull out my zx12 and blow every car away! How bout that??? If you can do 230 mph then we will talk :)

Josh Peppers
Josh Peppers

Fords chevys Chryslers are all built the same. Its a standardized system. I'm an auto worker.. its all opinion otherwise!

Shawn Rodkey
Shawn Rodkey

If it aint wearin a bowtie i aint interested.......

Donny Curtis
Donny Curtis

But the fords I've had built stayed togeather not the chevys I've had both!!

Donny Curtis
Donny Curtis

That depends on the build of that Chevy or ford Tom!!

Tom Kostyk
Tom Kostyk

lol hypacrites... ford people do the same just like ricer lovers and anything else..... everyone brags!! They used caprices in new york since 66..... i think its called research, i worked at ford and still admire chevy's more becuase everyone looks down on them to be slow and unreliable when there quite furiously the opposite!!

Robert Leanzo
Robert Leanzo

I never change the oil in mine it runs great 180000

Brian Hardwick
Brian Hardwick

The Crown Victoria is to Hot Rods what Justin Beieber is to music. No shortage of supporters, but still fundamentally wrong

Dan Southern
Dan Southern

H.O. 5.0L Push Rod Engine would be the better of the two imo . (y) Oh,160,000 in my 96 Town Car .

Roughrider Robert
Roughrider Robert

my ford truck has 501299 miles and still running strong and only had minor maintenance issues to deal with . love it saves me money and makes me happy not stranded .

Charlie Hohenstein
Charlie Hohenstein

The Vic! I've missed this car almost as much as my own Vic! I really need to buy another one of these...

Michael Kuhn
Michael Kuhn

What is the de al eith the phony link? Can you post a good one ?

Roberto Ortiz
Roberto Ortiz

my friend has a crown vic 2002 taxi driver with 300,000 the only thing he ever had to replace was ac compressor.

Roberto Ortiz
Roberto Ortiz

My 01 bullitt has 136,766 and never gave me a problem. Aways on synthetic and never left me on the road a flat tire thosent count. In the other hand malibu, impala, head gaskets all the time, electrical problems an so on ..plus chevy lost me went they started making there best cars front wheel drive, like the impala, monte carlos , chevy sucks

Bob Albert
Bob Albert

103,000 and just put a new water pump on ....

Jason Read
Jason Read

350000 km on my Volvo s60 t5... that's Ford right? Ha ha ha.

Dan Ryden
Dan Ryden

Lol deleted comments now that's good stuff haha

Dan Ryden
Dan Ryden

So u don't drive a Chevy then lol

Dan Ryden
Dan Ryden

Because when u get beat by a 4 door grandpa car that's got a blower under the hood it makes people go home crying that's why some people like to be different instead of modding an old muscle car or a Camaro or Mustang, some people like to do things differently just because it has 4 doors and is heavy doesn't mean it can't kick ur ass if built properly

Charlie Posey
Charlie Posey

94 T-Bird. Had 120k on the clock when the odo broke. Which was before I bought it so God only knows.

Alexdel Battles
Alexdel Battles

I have a 93 Ford ranger and has 841k it is a 4.0L. All stock.

Proformance Mobile Auto Detailing St. Louis
Proformance Mobile Auto Detailing St. Louis

I like almost anything on 4 wheels but I have to say as far as our company vehicles all 4.6, Ford has done well by us. 08 Econoline 250 205,000, 02 F-150 155,000. Both work everyday without any issues. By the way we do have a Chevy Express Van with 110,000 on it. Its sitting behind the garage with more problems than we can afford to fix so we can't use it. ;)

Rob Grosso
Rob Grosso

2000 crown vic interceptor. 181k

Byron Grant
Byron Grant

154k still run great drive it everyday

Andrew McCamon
Andrew McCamon

157000 kms on my 94 towncar. 171000 kms on my 05 aviator

Ron Showalter
Ron Showalter

I've got 142 K on My 07 Interceptor, Still Runs Good, too.

Cal Handley
Cal Handley

14 years with a national truck rental chain as a fleet mechanic. Ford 5.4L engines in E350 duallies, we typically got 140K to 175K before they were sold out of our fleet, with many miles still left in them. No harder service than rental fleet. Everyone that drives it has the attitude "yeeeeehaaaa! It's not my truck!"

Ricky Hildebrand
Ricky Hildebrand

I racked up a little over 370,000 on a 2000 model 5.4 Triton in a E250 before it spit a spark plug out.Never had the valve covers off. Still had the original water pump. Company decided to cycle it out of the fleet in 2010. The guy that bought it used a "Time sert" to repair the spark plug,and I believe he is still driving it to this day.

Adam Hecht
Adam Hecht

Why do these links always crash my phone and computer?

Luis Pupo
Luis Pupo

Bought my crown Vic 10 years ago, been supercharged for 3 years, other than a built tranny stock bottom end. Most reliable car ever!

Andrew Hershfeld
Andrew Hershfeld

Miss driving a crown vic, those big ass cars could really move with the p71 package installed

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