“The Cleveland offers many advantages that people don’t realize,” says Titus Performance Products‘ Mark McKeown. The longtime engine builder saw those advantages a few years ago, and set out to develop his own take on the venerable Ford engine.
His improvements have allowed the company to build a product that offers the largest cubic inch capacity of any small-block Ford engine on the planet – 500 cubic inches with nary a sneeze. “Years ago, the Cleveland-headed Windsor block combination was a way to build big horsepower, and now we can use the advantages of the Cleveland platform to achieve better results,” he says. One advantage of the Cleveland is its raised cam placement in comparison to a Windsor, allowing for long-stroke crankshafts to be used with ease.
Proof of concept was achieved in the 2012 Engine Masters Challenge, where the naturally-aspirated platform turned in 932 horsepower and 693 foot-pounds of torque from the 455 cubic inch engine in the Extreme Street class.
Using standard Cleveland accessories and hardware, McKeown engineered the block to accept bore sizes from 4.000-inch to 4.200-inch, with an oiling system that’s been redesigned for priority main oiling to provide consistent performance. Solid main webs offer more material in the areas of greatest stress, while retaining the 4.380-inch bore center and allowing the Titus block to accept readily-available excellent-flowing cylinder heads that are already available.
The engine is available with water jackets for streetable combinations, and also with a solid block configuration for maximum performance.
As the block is machined fully in-house in the Titus Performance facility in Maryland, deck heights can be adjusted from 9.100-inch to 9.700-inch to achieve the large displacements. The block is available in either a 14 or 18-bolt fastener arrangement, will accept a dry sump or external oil pump, and gives the ability to use custom lifter diameters and placement.
One neat feature is the block-mounted starter on the driver’s side, permitting the user to remove the bellhousing without disconnecting the starter, making for simple between-rounds maintenance on clutch-equipped drag race vehicles. O-ringed, screw-in freeze plugs are standard, as are the splayed billet main caps that tie into the solid outer pan rail.
“We can customize the block for however the customer would like to use it,” says McKeown. For more information, check out their website.