The truck came with a 2.8L V6 from the factory, and that was the biggest engine they put in them in '85. With the 33s I swapped to 4.10 gears but I still had an extremely slow take off, and would even lose power going up hills. The engine was just too bogged down with the big tires and guzzled gas worse than most V8s.
I started looking for a 302 to drop into it and found a wrecked '88 Crown Vic with a 5.0L. But a stock 5.0 wasn't going to be enough for me either so I built it up some as I rebuilt it, I concentrated mosty on gains in low end torque instead of horsepower. It came stock with a roller cam so I put a Ford Racing E303 grind cam in it. Swapping cams forced me to swap pistons to ones with valve reliefs, so I got pistons that bumped the compression to 10:1. I rebuilt the rest of the engine with a high volume oil pump, double roller timing chain and all new rings, bearings and seals. I used an Accel distributor, Super Stock coil and plug wires with Bosch Platinum 4 spark plugs. I topped it off with an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and 600 cfm Permormer carb. For the exhaust I bought Hedman Hedders shorty headers that are made for the swap. I also needed an oil filter relocation kit. I used a Summit aluminum radiator and seperate oil and tranny coolers and dual electric fans to cool it. I finally got to fire it up when I got back from Japan and apparently sometime in the 4 years it was built but never started a bolt got dropped in the intake - it then made it in with the #8 piston and destroyed it, which twisted that connecting rod, bent the pushrods, ruined the head and gouged the cylinder wall. Here's some pics of it in the original car, finished on the stand, in the truck after sitting for 2 years while I was in Japan, and back on the stand after destruction..
Now I had to build or buy a new engine for it so I decided to start from scratch and build a small block stroker that would have gobs of torque and last. For the short block I started with a brand new 5.0L Block, added a balanced rotating assembly from Eagle with 3.4" stroke steel crank, forged rods and -12.5cc forged pistons; I got a Trick Flow main girdle and ARP bolts to help hold it all together. For heads I went with World Products' Sr. 200 cast heads with 200cc intake runners, 2.02" intake and 1.60" exhaust valves, and 64cc combustion chambers. I added 1.7 ratio Trick Flow roller rockers to compliment the Trick Flow stage 1 roller cam and give me big lift with short duration for lots of low end pulling power. I topped it off with the Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and 600 cfm carb that I had on the 302 but went with a Summit Billet HEI distributer and coil, Accel wires and NGK plugs. I couldn't fit a 14" air cleaner with the new HEI distributor in the way so I came up with using a cold air intake made for a late 90s Dodge Ram; it has me set up to put an air box around the filter and feed a snorkel into it though. It's now a 342 cubic inch (3.4" stroke but stock 4" bore) stroker, with 221 int/225 ex duration and .530 int/ .542 ex lift; so it should make around 450 hp with tons of low end torque. It breathes out Hedman shorty headers into seamless, fully welded stainless 2.5" true dual exhaust, through stainless MagnaFlow performance mufflers and out Polished stainless 3.5" tips. It is very LOUD - about as loud as straight pipes but the MagnaFlows give it a nice deep tone.
Next thing I had to worry about was the transmission, so I traded a junk yard the rest of the Crown Vic for (among other things) a C6 tranny mated to an NP205 transfer case, rather than buying a $500 adapeter that mates the weak AOD to the weak stock transfer case. The worn out old C6 didn't last long behind the new stroker motor and just got a fresh rebuild and got beefed up a little.
The stock 7.5" rear and Dana 28 front axles weren't going to handle the V8 power or the bigger tires so I found a '79 F-250 with a Dana 60 rear and High Pinion Dana 44HD solid front axle. I swapped the stock 4.10 gears out of the front and rear for 4.88 gears. In the front I added a mini-spool to completely lock it into a fulltime posi (when the transfer case and new Superwinch hubs are locked in). In the rear I added a Trac-Lok limited slip differential, to give me posi traction without making it out of control in turns. I converted to disc brakes in the rear to help stop the 39" tires and got heavy duty driveshafts custom made by High Angle Driveline to fit. I also got a Transfer case mounted driveline brake to use as my cable operated parking brake.
For the suspension I cut the spring and shock perches off the rear axle and moved them in some and welding them back on an to get the ride height I wanted I made a custom leaf pack based off Chevy 1/2 ton packs and relocated and used different rear brackets and extended shackles - NO BLOCKS to prevent axle wrap. For the front I didn't want to swap to the leaf spring set-up of the F-250 so I got radius arms from an F-150 dana 44 and ordered axle wedges to weld onto the F-250 axle, then I had to move the stock B2 radius arm mount back and bolt it back onto the frame. I made my own track bar and beefy mounts.
Page 1: Current exterior
Page 2: How it got there
Page 3: Engine, Drivetrain, and Suspension **Newly Built 342 Stroker**
Page 4: Interior **New Dash panel, carpet, seats, and system**