Engine Build


Background Info:

bulletWhen: October 2005.  The old engine had about 25K miles on the clock since the car was purchased in 2001.
bulletEngine Builder:  Keith Craft Racing, Arkadelphia, AK
bulletComplicating Factors:
bulletGarage was still under construction
bulletDriveway had not been poured... dirt only
bullet4-Post car lift had not been delivered
bulletBasic Task List:
bulletRemove old 460CID engine.  Deliver to Scott for his Kirkham build
bulletInstall new 514CID engine, transmission & Clutch
bulletRework fuel delivery system for EFI operation
bulletMount engine management & ignition control electronics
bulletWire & plumb engine
bulletWork out the bugs
bulletBasic Engine Specs:
bulletDisplacement: 514CID
bulletHP:  765HP @ 7,000RPM
bulletTorque:  695bl-ft @ 4,500RPM
bulletIntake:  8x 58mm induction stacks, 55lb/hr injectors
bulletRedline: 7,800RPM
bulletVideo of first startup:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVvu2fHzZ6I


First Engine Startup Video

New Engine Arrives:

It took only a couple of days discussion with Keith Craft Racing to settle on spec's for the new motor.  We agreed on a streetable, pump gas, solid roller, 514CID stroker motor with EFI stack induction.  KCR has pretty much formulaized this build and the only real twist was the stack induction.  In any case, we agreed the target output would be 700HP.  Turns out Keith is a carburetor guy.  His bet was that a single carb would make the same power as the much more expensive stack setup I was insisting on.  After a fair amount of study, my bet was the stacks would make more at the top end.  So the bet was on...

It took KCR 6 weeks to deliver the crated motor against his promise of an 8wk turn.  He called to say the dyno results were in and the engine made significantly more power that we contracted for and that the intake stacks had in fact added to the top end power band.  The totals were 765HP @ 7,000RPM and 695lb-ft @ 4,500RPM.  Redline @ 7,800RPM.  Smooth and wide torque delivery from 2,500RPM thru redline. 

In a funny side note, I was cruising around the TWM Induction Web site - the manufacturer of the induction stacks - and discovered a dyno chart that had EXACTLY my engine's numbers.  Even the time stamp on the chart was the same... and it was from Keith Craft's dyno.  Coincidence... I think not.  So I called TWM and sure enough, they had posted the chart even before I received the engine.  And it's still there.... see for yourself... compare to the chart (below) I received with the engine.

After 6wks, Keith Craft Racing delivered the engine. Scott and I picked it up at FedEx Freight, Oct '05

Engine package came complete with engine management, fuel injection, wiring harness and fuel pump

Unpacked from crate on shorty engine stand she sits ready to be hoisted into the garage

Hoisted from pickup and on its way to the garage where she will sit until the old engine is removed and the car prepared to accept the new EFI engine

Engine Dyno Chart - We contracted for 700HP... missing the target on the high side incurrs no penalty from me...


Old Faithful 460CID Removed:

As it turned out, car guy extraordinaire, Scott was building a Kirkham all aluminum Cobra and needed an engine.  Soooo, what are friends for... I sold him the motor that was coming out to make room for the shiny new Keith Craft engine.  Cleverly on my part, this also included Scott's help in extracting the old motor and installing the new one.

One post script to this happy little story is that the old 460 motor eventually threw a rod through the side of the block in his Kirkham when we were hot footing it on a local San Diego road.  Ok, this time it was my turn to lend a hand in building / transporting / installing a new FE motor in his car.  We made a one-day, 800mi run from San Diego to Fresno, built a short block build into a complete motor with parts we hauled up there, and made it back home before midnight. 

New Garage, No Driveway Yet

Added a hotrod garage to the N. side of the house when I retired. First project is an engine swap on the Cobra

Cobra Enters Operating Theater

The minute the construction crew left for the day, the Cobra went in. Note there are NO tire marks on the white flooring. That will soon change. Note to self - white is a bad color for a garage floor

Plank Driveway

Mud in the yard required planking to keep the tires from sinking in and make the step up to the garage floor

Best way to spiff up a new hotrod garage is to add hotrods. Cobra hood has been removed in preparation for the engine swap. Out goes the 460CID Ford racing crate motor and in goes a Keith Craft 514CID mountain motor.

No workbench, shelves or air distribution installed yet but we're going ahead with the engine bay work anyway... what the hell.

Engine Removal.

Old engine has been disconnected from the drivetrain and is ready to be lifted out.

Old 460 Motor

This carbureted 460 is going to a new home in a Kirkham Cobra owned by Scott Hardison. Transmission stays but would later be replaced by a stronger Tremec TKO 600RR

Scott Takes Old Motor

Scott is simultaneously in the process of building a Kirkham all aluminum Cobra that will be powered by the 460CID motor removed from my Superformance Cobra


New 514CID Stack Induction Engine Installed:

Many things were going on at the same time.  The original plan was to have the garage finished, driveway poured, and lift installed BEFORE the new engine arrived.  Well, it didn't happen exactly per plan.  The day the electricity was turned on in the garage, was the day the Cobra went in for an engine transplant.  By God, nothing was going to interfere with the engine swap. 

Workers were still busy painting, cleaning, and in general, finishing final details in the new garage.  The car came in under its own power, but off road... the driveway was mud.  Had to put down planking to keep her from sinking to the axles.  Fashioned ramps to get up over the curb and into the yard from the street and then again up the garage slab and on to the garage floor.

Then the fun began...

One of the first additions to the new garage was a Revolution lift. The lift was scheduled to arrive just as garage construction finished... didn't happen. Had to remove the old engine without the aid of a lift

Still no driveway. 2500lb lift was delivered via crain truck over the sidewalk and dirt yard. Note the portapotty far right. Driveway cement crew should have been here by now

Brother Marshall ministeres to the transmission that will be mated to the new engine. It is a Tremec TKO 3550. Eventually, this transmission gets replaced witha TKO 600RR. The 3550 will live on in Stewart See's '57 Chevy

Lots of work needed to be done for fuel delivery. There was only one small fuel line feeding the outgoing carbureted 460. The new 514 is fuel injected and needed larger fuel pump, fuel lines and a return fuel line.

Marshall envisions a new use for the empty engine bay.

Grafted in a new fuel pickup with return line. The part was for a performance Mustang and looked like it would work in the Cobra... not!!

The differential has been removed to provide working space for installing the fuel pump (red), filter and fuel lines. Picture is looking rearward toward the back frame rail. Differential mounts in the center. Axles go R & L.

Mounting a nice new aluminum Ford 8.8" differential. Foot note: the increased engine HP eventually tore the gears off their diff mountings and I had to go back to a heavier iron diff.

Looking up under the dash in the passenger footwell where the MSD ignition box and FAST engine control unit was mounted.

Marshall ponders the EFI wiring harness. This was going to get complicated. Lots of parts - throttle position sensor, ambient temp sensor, 8 fuel injectors, distributor position sensor, tach pulse output, water temp sensor, oil temp sensor, vacuum sensor, ignition pulse output...

Engine mated to transmission and ready to be dropped in.

Here we go, 800lbs of engine suspended over the Cobra body. It was tilt, lower, push crane foreward, repeat. Made it with only minor damage to the car body.

Tada! She's in and bolted down. Now it's on to hooking up the wiring harness, fuel lines, drive shaft, and water lines

End of the day. Eveything is hooked up and the engine fired the very first time, then quit... out of gas, dummy