397hp, 428ci Windsor Ford - Horsepower!
John Calvert, Lancaster, CA
We love talking horsepower and engine components with racers. There’s always a bit of wink-and-nudge when they’re pressed about details like camshaft specs. We find it difficult to fathom that this 351-based 428 makes only 388 hp, but “that’s what NHRA rates them at according to Stock Eliminator rules,” car owner John Calvert tells us, and that’s the story he’s sticking to. He bought this ’10 Mustang GT through Ford’s Body-In-White program, and he and his son Brent have already been campaigning the car at a few NHRA and PSCA events. His best run so far is a 9.80 at 136 mph.
We were surprised to see EFI on Calvert’s engine, but it is required for Cobra Jet 352 or 428 engines competing in Stock Eliminator. It sits atop of a Ford Racing Cobra Jet Pushrod 428 EFI single-plane intake manifold. The fuel injectors are also from Ford, but the fuel rails are from Edelbrock. A BigStuff3 ECM runs the show.
That’s a pair of handbuilt headers. Calvert built one side, and his employee Mike Hernandez built the other side. Calvert had them ceramic coated when they were done.
3. Cam and Valvetrain
These items are a secret. We’re guessing big-lift cam with a tight lobe-separation angle, hardened pushrods, and aluminum roller rocker arms.
That is a pair of Ford Racing’s venerable Z cylinder heads. With 204/85cc intake and exhaust ports, 2.02/1.60-inch valves, and 63cc combustion chambers, these heads seriously outperform anything the factory offered for a Windsor engine.
This began life as a 351 Windsor but got a big bump in displacement thanks to an overbore and a long-stroke forged crank. The stock bore and stroke of a 351 W are 4.00/3.50 inches, respectively. By comparison, Ford Racing sells a 427ci Windsor-based crate engine with a 4.125-inch bore and a 4.00-inch stroke. This engine is probably similar. Calvert says the rotating assembly is all forged stuff, and the compression ratio is 14.0:1.
An MSD distributor is front and center, and an HVC-2 coil shoots the sparks. It’s controlled by an MSD Programmable Digital 7 box.
Nothing exotic here. There are stock-style struts up front, and Calvert added some Team Z Motorsports parts to the rear. He tweaked them slightly to get the car to go down the track the way he likes.
Behind the engine is a C4 transmission built by Joel’s on Joy in Detroit (as in Joel’s shop on Joy Street). After that is a 9-inch rear with a spool and Hoosier 30.0/9.0-R15 slicks.