Recently we ran across this video from our friends at Street Machine, of a healthy big-block Ford engine. Put together by Competition Engines out of Victoria, Australia for a customer looking to compete in the Street Machine Drag Challenge (the Aussie version of Drag Week), the name of this game was reliable power.
“The plan from the start was to make over 2,000 horsepower,” says Zoran Makarovski. “It’s a street motor, not an all-out race piece, because it will drive in the Street Machine Drag Challenge, and it needs to make it to the end. It’s a big motor, with big turbos, and it’s going to be reliable.”
The owner attempted the feat with the engine last year, but was sidelined on the first day of competition. “Originally the owner had this motor in a naturally-aspirated configuration, with a healthy dose of nitrous. He had a lifter failure on day one of last year’s Drag Challenge, which prompted him to change combinations this year,” Makarovski says. “We retained the block, connecting rods, crank and the bare cylinder heads from that previous combination. It had a 4.500 inch stroke and a 4.600 bore, for 598 cubic inches. We bumped the bore up ten thousandths with the new pistons for a 601.”
The twin 80mm Garrett GTX45 turbochargers are the heart of the combination, providing in the neighborhood of 26 pounds of boost to the big-block. A Precision PT3000 air-to-water intercooler keeps the inlet air temps in check, while a Haltech Elite 2500 engine management system controls the monster.
“This engine has pretty much all the good gear,” says Makarovski. “In the heads, we have titanium intake valves and retainers. Big Crower .937-inch lifters, and big pushrods to handle the power. We’ve tried to keep the top end light, combined with a tame cam, so we don’t have to run a lot of spring pressure. This is 100-percent about reliability.”
Perhaps the most impressive part of this engine project is that the motor made its incredible 2,075 horsepower and 1,810 pound-feet of torque on 98 octane gasoline (approximately 94 octane, when measured by US standards). “You could probably run this on pump 98 octane, but the 98 octane race fuel gives that little extra margin of safety, and the owner wants to make sure he finishes the Street Machine Drag Challenge,” says Makarovski.
At the end of the day, it worked, as not only did the engine hold together for the entire event, but the owner took first place in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class, and ninth overall in the event, proving that this 2,000-horsepower pump-gas big-block Ford is not just a dyno queen.