When searching different cam catalogs, Petralia found a particularly nice solid roller grind with specs that looked really favorable on paper. But when test-fitted in the 438, there was literally zero piston-to-valve clearance. So a new custom cam would have to be designed from scratch.
The custom Comp Cams roller stick features over .740" lift, and was degreed-in @ a 106-degree intake lobe centerline (ICL), which means it was installed "2-deg advanced" from the 108 Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) ground into the cam.
Hardcore has worked closely with Comp Cams engineers trying new ideas and making big power many times in the past. But this was a particularly tough challenge, because now they were trying to create lobes that'll make the power and rpms they wanted, but had to fit in the engine they've already built. after hours of research and dozens of phone calls & emails, they ended up with a custom roller that sacrificed 2-degrees intake duration at .050-lift, and .015-inch total intake lobe lift. But, it offered .017-inch less intake, and .020-inch less exhaust lift at TDC-overlap, yet featured the same .050 duration with even more total valve lift on the exhaust side than the catalog grind! (For more info on the importance of lobe lift @ TDC overlap, see Sidebar about PTVC). We ground the new cam on a 108 LSA and we found the best fit installing it 2-degrees advanced (106 Intake Lobe Centerline). We combined the new cam with .052-inch thick Fel-Pro MLS head gaskets (PN 1134SD5) which provided enough PTV clearance for comfort.
With the new cam in place, an Edelbrock 2924 Super Victor intake manifold was hand-ported to match the raised runners of the TFS heads. The ported manifold, along with 1.7:1 ratio Jesel Pro shaft rockers, would give enough breathing to support over 700hp.
The Edelbrock Super Victor intake manifold comes pretty clean out of the box. But the intake runners had to be raised to match the taller ports in the TFS heads. The ports were finished off which a semi-smooth polish about 2-1/2-inch into the runners and a little cleanup work was also done in the plenum area.
Milling the heads meant the intake bolts no longer fit. Instead of taking the time to "slot" each bolt hole, it's just simpler to enlarge them to the next size drill bit since Ford bolts go straight in.
A particularly stiff valve spring requires extra thick, .135-inch wall x 3/8-inch diameter Comp Cams Hi Tech pushrods. These larger-than-stock diameter pushrods offer a lot more stiffness, but also needed a lot more clearance to run. So the pushrod holes in the TFS heads were milled until there was no more rubbing.
The Milodon windage tray didn't clear the 4-bolt billet main caps on the SHP blocks, so Petralia cut clearance slots on its sides. It also required some trimming in front near the oil pump (left side in photo). But once clearanced and seated properly, the tray had no trouble clearing the 4.100-inch stroke Scat crank and connecting rods.
During installation of the Milodon Racing oil pan, which is specced to fit the common Fox-body chassis, there were plenty of spots that needed extra clearance. Like around the large billet steel main caps of the Dart block. The oil pan also featured an extra-wide passenger-side kick-out which limited our starter clearance. Even with a hi-torque mini starter from Powermaster featuring "Infini-Clock" positioning made to clear most headers and oil pans, they still had to massage the outside of the pan to fit.
Moving to the front of the engine they had to machine some custom spacers for the MSD crank trigger mount, and Powermaster alternator kit, since neither were engineered to bolt onto an engine running a GZ Motorsports vacuum pump and Meziere Enterprises billet electric water pump. Luckily, the water pump had dual-side inlets allowing the lower radiator hose to mount on the driver's side of the engine, or you'd never be able to see the timing pointer.
A 950cfm Trick Flow double-pumper set up with drag-strip calibrations right out of the box topped off this awesome engine. The custom-painted TFS cast valve covers match the engine block's classic VHT Ford Light Blue color to really set this build apart from the rest.
Mounting the Powermaster 100A , 1-wire alternator required the fabrication the of longer billet aluminum spacers and longer bolts to work with the GZ Motorsports vacuum pump drive pulley, (not shown in this photo). See lead photo for the alternator pulley setup installed.
The big 2.0-inch Kook's stainless headers left no room for spark plug wire boots, requiring removal of the headers to check/change the plugs. Some of the header flange was later ground away allowing enough clearance to get the boots on and off.
After a serious flogging on his 2,000hp Land & Sea engine dyno, Petralia found some power with jetting and air-bleed mods, and some timing adjustments. Best peak horsepower (735hp) was found using a 2-inch tall HVH "Super Sucker" carb spacer. And then they tried a 1-7/8-inch open spacer from Wilson Manifolds that sacrificed a small amount top-end HP (731hp, or just .5%), but made +12 ft-lbs more at peak TQ. Either way, when combined with the already tall Edelbrock intake, the spacers put the carb pretty high above the engine so a giant hood scoop is definitely in order.
A 1,050cfm Holley Dominator was tried to add more top-end. Two different carb adapters were used to fit an otherwise stock, out-of-the-box Holley 0-8896-1 on top of the 4150-flange manifold.
Highest peak horsepower, 735hp, was achieved using a 2-inch tall HVH "Super Sucker" tapered 4-into-1 plastic carb spacer. But more torque was found with a different spacer in a later test.
A 1-7/8-inch open plenum Wilson Manifolds aluminum spacer actually netted the highest peak torque, (621 ft-lb @ 5,300rpm vs. 607 ft-lb @ 5,200rpm with the 4-into-1 spacer). But the Wilson spacer gave up 4 peak HP. Both spacers peaked @ 7,000rpm. Petralia says he keeps about 50 different carb spacers in stock at all times because not every spacer is the best for every application.