Ford's 7.3-Liter V-8 Can Make 600 Naturally-Aspirated Horsepower With Basic Mods

Ford raised some eyebrows last year with an all-new 7.3-liter gasoline V-8 engine for its 2020 line of Super Duty pickup trucks. A large-displacement naturally-aspirated gasser with a decidedly old-fashioned pushrod design seemed like a departure for Ford, the company that was the first to champion small turbo engines in light-duty trucks. But Ford says a torquey, low-revving V-8 can return superior fuel economy under heavy towing and hauling conditions. So, the automaker now offers the largest displacement engine you can buy in a new pickup truck today.

Of course, it didn’t take long for tuners and drag racers to start fiddling with the big 7.3, nicknamed “Godzilla.” And some of those folks have already gotten the big-inch Ford engine to make 600 horsepower with just some relatively basic modifications—and, more importantly, with no turbos or superchargers needed.

YouTube’s REVan Evan visited Michigan-based Team Z Motorsports to chat with Brian Wolfe, former head of Ford Performance and a guy who can teach us all a few things about the new 7.3. Evan’s got four videos so far on his channel, detailing the intricacies of this all-new engine, its benefits for tuners and drag racers, and most importantly, what kind of power this engine can support beyond the 430 hp and 475 lb-ft it puts out in the Super Duty F-250 and F-350.

Part 1: Fox-body swap

In the first of (so far) four videos on the “Godzilla” motor, Evan shows off Team Z Motorsports’ Fox-body project. Thanks to its relatively compact cam-in-block pushrod design, the 446-cubic-inch Godzilla engine is pretty close in size to an old-school Ford 351 Windsor engine—and way smaller than an overhead-cam 5.0-liter Coyote. What’s that mean? You can slip it into a Fox-body Mustang, or just about any Ford of older vintage, without having to undertake painful body and suspension mods. Team Z Motorsports is even working on a swap kit to make it even easier to build the 7.3-liter Fox of your dreams.

Part 2: Modifications and dyno results

Next up, Brian shows Evan what the 7.3-liter can do with some standard mods. After some intake and exhaust porting, a custom intake manifold, and a high-lift cam, the big-inch motor cranks out nearly 600 naturally-aspirated horsepower.

Part 3: Bottom-end teardown

With the help of a cut-away engine block, Brian shows Evan what all went into Ford’s new 7.3-liter engine. Six-bolt mains, an iron block and a forged crank all contribute to stout reliability for truck duty—and they happen to be great news for drag racers. Brian says the 446-cubic-inch engine can probably be bored out to 480 cubes, but with a factory stroke of nearly four inches, it’s probably not going much farther than that. Lots of coolant flow will keep this engine alive.

Part 4: Top-end teardown

A pushrod V-8 may sound old-fashioned, but Ford put a lot of ingenuity into this engine. In the final Godzilla video, Brian shows off the new Ford’s variable cam timing, innovative variable-displacement oil pump, and high-durability valvetrain.

via The Drive

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