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The Challenges of This Engine

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What were the challenges of using this engine in the ‘33 Sedan ?


     This is a great question and one that will most likely help others. The challenges were many, and I’ll list the main ones here.


  • Converting the engine to a Return less Fuel System
  • Mating a Ford 4R70W Automatic Transmission to the engine, when it never came from the factory with an Automatic.
  • Modifying the engine for greater power, yet keeping it street-able
  • Transferring the electronics
  • Completely re-wiring the engine and modifying the computer
  • Modifying the engine bay to accept the engine
  • Adapting the sub-systems to work in the car

Converting To a Return Less Fuel System



     The stock
Ford Cobra engine uses a Non-Return Fuel System, this means that the fuel drawn from the fuel tank is one a one way trip to the injectors, it will sit in the fuel line till it is needed, then be injected into the engine and burn in the combustion process. In a Return Style System the fuel is drawn from the fuel tank and sent Straight to the fuel rails, there if the system doesn’t need all the fuel present (the fuel regulator determines this) then it is re-routed back to the fuel tank. In this system the fuel pump runs at a steady pace always suppling 100% of the fuel it can, the regulator is responsible for determining just how much fuel is needed. This need is dependent on engine Speed, Load and Driving Conditions and of coarse Boost. The main difference between the two systems is with the Non-Return Style system the fuel pump is controlled by a driver, and the driver is controlled by the computer. The computer uses a fuel pressure sensor to monitor fuel pressure, then considering load and need, the computer varies the output of the fuel pump to match the need. There are pros and cons to both systems, but most would agree for outright Power and Performance the Return System is preferred.



     The stock
Ford Cobra engine uses a Non-Return Fuel System, this means that the fuel drawn from the fuel tank is one a one way trip to the injectors, it will sit in the fuel line till it is needed, then be injected into the engine and burn in the combustion process. In a Return Style System the fuel is drawn from the fuel tank and sent Straight to the fuel rails, there if the system doesn’t need all the fuel present (the fuel regulator determines this) then it is re-routed back to the fuel tank. In this system the fuel pump runs at a steady pace always suppling 100% of the fuel it can, the regulator is responsible for determining just how much fuel is needed. This need is dependent on engine Speed, Load and Driving Conditions and of coarse Boost. The main difference between the two systems is with the Non-Return Style system the fuel pump is controlled by a driver, and the driver is controlled by the computer. The computer uses a fuel pressure sensor to monitor fuel pressure, then considering load and need, the computer varies the output of the fuel pump to match the need. There are pros and cons to both systems, but most would agree for outright Power and Performance the Return System is preferred.



     The stock
Ford Cobra engine uses a Non-Return Fuel System, this means that the fuel drawn from the fuel tank is one a one way trip to the injectors, it will sit in the fuel line till it is needed, then be injected into the engine and burn in the combustion process. In a Return Style System the fuel is drawn from the fuel tank and sent Straight to the fuel rails, there if the system doesn’t need all the fuel present (the fuel regulator determines this) then it is re-routed back to the fuel tank. In this system the fuel pump runs at a steady pace always suppling 100% of the fuel it can, the regulator is responsible for determining just how much fuel is needed. This need is dependent on engine Speed, Load and Driving Conditions and of coarse Boost. The main difference between the two systems is with the Non-Return Style system the fuel pump is controlled by a driver, and the driver is controlled by the computer. The computer uses a fuel pressure sensor to monitor fuel pressure, then considering load and need, the computer varies the output of the fuel pump to match the need. There are pros and cons to both systems, but most would agree for outright Power and Performance the Return System is preferred.




Mating a Ford 4R70W Automatic Transmission to the engine, when it never came from the Ford Factory with an Automatic.

     As stated the Ford Cobra engine was never offered with an automatic transmission, why? I am not sure, but most likely because most performance drivers prefer an manual transmission.?. I think a Automatic option would have helped sales personally. I choose to use a 4R70W Ford Automatic Transmission because it would be the better option for my car.  Automatics are quicker, smoother and take up much less inside room compared to an manual transmission. I choose the 4R70W because they offer the same transmission in the Ford Mach 1, which has a very similar engine, same except for the supercharger. This was the obvious choice because the transmission fit the engine perfectly and without modification. All I had to do was change out the fly wheel for a 8-hole flex plate, remove the needle bearing in the end of the crankshaft, and bolt the whole thing together. My automatic has been rebuilt by Performance Automatics, and has been modified to with stand the additional power and torque the engine will produce, I also run a slightly higher stall torque converter. To keep the car working properly and computer controlled, we used the EEC or Computer from a 2005 Ford Mach 1 with a automatic transmission.(yes I know there was not a Ford Mach 1 offered in 2005, but they sell the computer for one? Go figure?) By using this computer we already had all the code for complete transmission control, now all we had to do was to modify it to accept the additional code for the Cobra’s Supercharged engine.

    

Modifying the Engine for Greater Power, yet keeping it street-able


     I modified many aspects of the engine, most for power and many for looks. A Hot Rod has to catch your eye and spark the imagination. First up was the blue powder-coated valve covers and chrome coil covers, they really make the engine look nice. The next most obvious change was the polished aluminum blower or supercharger. I had the blower Polished and Ported for both looks and performance. The polish supercharger really gives the engine a new look and the port job is good for about 60 extra horse power, when combined with a smaller front pulley. In that same area you would notice the polished intake manifold and throttle body, both are from Accufab and both work to add 10-15 more horse power then stock. If your going to be adding more air, you are going to need more fuel, it’s just that simple with an internal combustion engine. So we added 42lb/hr Ford Fuel Injectors, Billet Fuel Rails, Fuel Regulator, Walbro Fuel Pump, Fuel Filters, AN-8 Feed lines and An-6 Return lines. These will flow more fuel then the stock set-up and not require the computer to run the fuel pump. Next we added a breather system to the valve covers, this takes the oil mist out of the air before it re-enters the intake system and keeps the intercooler and manifold clean, something of a problem for the "Terminator" Engines. The front Idler Pulleys were changed out for some Double Ball-Bearing Aluminum units, and we add a new Idler Pulley just below the supercharger that will help keep the belt from slipping under load. Next we added BBK Ceramic Coated full length Headers and a full 2-1/2" Dual Exhaust System from Borla. This will allow all that extra air to exit the engine and probably add another 10-20 HP. We have several other performance items that are not attached to the engine but really help make more power. The Kenny Bell Adjust-A-Pump supplies extra voltage to the fuel pump to get extra capacity and pressure, while the Kenny Bell Boost-A-Spark does the same thing but this time to the ignition coils, adding extra primary voltage which will increase the secondary voltage at the coils, this produces a extra intensive spark for better fuel burn under heavy load and boost conditions. We also installed a new and much larger intake air system, this along with the new 90mm Mass Air Sensor allows for more and correct regulation of that air. This about covers the major changes made to the engine. On any modern Electronic Fuel Injected engine, you have to modify the "Tune" anytime you make changes to the engine operating system you have to modify the electronic tune in the computer. This is a major deal and requires specialized equipment and knowledge of the operating system. We had this none by "The Detail Zone" the same time they removed the anti theft system and the EGR system from the computer. While this put us very close to the final tune needed, we will still have to take the completed car to a shop where they will load it onto a Dynometer and measure the power and set the final calibration.

Transferring the electronics

Completely re-wiring the engine and modifying the computer


     Since our engine is being mounted into a new and very different car, the computer, relays, fuse block and all other need electronics are not there. We must transfer or in our case by replacements for these pieces. To mount the computer and make the whole thing easier, I went to " The Detail Zone" again for there Tolorvek panel. This is a separate device form the computer that every sensor and actuator terminates to, then the panel has a 104 pin plug that plugs into the computer. Again since we are installing this in a totally different car, the wires are all the wrong size and length. The Tolorvek System comes with 100% new wires pre terminated at the connectors end and ready to plug in. The other end has 20 feet of wire so you can dress the wire as needed, and then terminate them at the panel for a neat and professional looking job. Every wire has it’s use printed on the exterior of the wire every 12 inches, this really helps when wiring because you never have to guess what wire is for which terminal. Once the engine is in place, you simply plug the terminated end into the device like a TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) and then dress the wires along the engine and eventually back to the panel location, which for us is in the back of the vehicle. The amount of wiring is staggering, to cover the engine and transmission functions, we will need over 200 wires, this covers both computer & non-computer controlled item. Wiring is a very specific job, and will make or break the installation. If you do not feel comfortable doing the wiring, then please get a professional to do it for you. I could not think of a more frustration job then to try and figure out a bunch of wiring related problems.


Modifying the Engine Bay to accept the Engine


     This is one of if not the biggest small blocks there is, we had to make several major modifications to the body to get it to fit and clear everything. We first cut out the original firewall and added the biggest modified firewall we could get, it was made to accept a big block chevy engine, but still was way to small and we had to section it for better filament. The BBC firewall was cut and 4" added to make it deeper, then we had to section the two sides to clear the huge heads. It is the heads that gave us the most trouble, they are so tall and wide they require a lot of room. By going with this engine, and modifying the firewall like we did, we ended up with very little space behind the dash. The top of the supercharger is not an issue in this car, as it sits relatively low, but because of the heads, we most likely will not be able to install the side panels that sit under the hood. This would be a problem for the owner that likes them on the car, but for me it was a worth while trade off. Of-coarse we had to fabricate our own engine mounts, we used polyurethane mounts and made the parts that attach to the frame. This wasn’t that complicated, but you would need welding skills to finish it. This engine is also not a light weight by any means, in-fact it weights in right around 640lbs complete with engine and transmission attached, which makes it one of the heavier engine packages. We are lucky that we were able to set our engine back, and that the original flathead was mounted so far ahead of the front axle.

    

Adapting the sub-systems to work in the car


     Sub-systems are all those systems mounted to the engine or in that location that are not vital to the engines function. Our sub-systems are:


  • Power Steering System
  • AC System
  • Alternator System
  • Supercharger Water Cooling System
  • Water Injection System
  • Nitrous Oxide System
  • Data Recorder System

Power Steering, AC System, Alternator & Supercharger Water Cooling Systems

Alternator & Supercharger Water Cooling Systems


     The Power Steering and AC Systems are pretty common and self explanatory, as is the Alternator System, but the Supercharger Water Cooling System isn’t. You see the Supercharger makes extra HP by cramming extra air into the cylinders, this extra air has extra oxygen so we can add extra fuel and get extra power. But the process of compressing air also heats the air, and in automotive engines, you have to really watch how much you elevate the incoming air temperatures. To help control this, our blower has a Air-to-Water Intercooler under it, this allows the heated incoming air to blow down through the center of the intercooler and transfer that heated air to the cooler surface temperature of the intercooler, there by reducing the incoming air temps. Like we said, it’s a Air-to-Water Intercooler, so the water inside the Intercooler has to be pumped to another front mounted heat exchanger (another word for Intercooler or Radiator, but usually reefers to the cooler that removes the system heat and not the compressed air heat)where air blows through the cooler removing the heat it expelled from the intake charge. This is a simple but complicated system, and has to be thought out correctly, you have an Electrical Water Pump, Heat Exchanger, Intercooler, Hoses, Fill & Expansion Tank and Coolant to mount and hook up.



Water Injection System


     Water Injection, this is a separate system that will induce a Water/Methanol Solution into the combustion chamber to lower the intake charge temps and release extra oxygen molecules for a more powerful burn and more power. The system has a Holding Tank, High Pressure Pump (250psi), Hoses, Injection Nozzles, and Control Computer.

Nitrous Oxide System


     Nitrous Oxide System, this is another separate system that uses stored Nitrous Oxide from a Tank and mixes it with an additional amount of gasoline to produce more power. These systems can be jetted to produce from 25 to 600 more horse power. The system consist of a Storage Tank W/High Flow Valve, Tank Heater & Pressure Gauge, Hoses, Purge System, Injector Nozzles, Injector Jets (For both the Nitrous Oxide and the Gasoline), Electrical Relays and Solenoids, Electronic Timers and Controllers. The system is very complicated and can lead to great performance, but if not installed correctly or used with reason, can lead to permanent and instantaneous engine damage.

Data Recorder System


     This is another separate system that monitors the engine and all it’s vital functions. We will monitor the Intake Air Temps, Engine Coolant Temps, Oil Temps, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure,Transmission Temps,Nitrous Bottle Pressure, Blower Pressure, Exhaust Gas Temperatures (at all eight cylinders), both Headers for Oxygen Content, Vacuum, Throttle Position, RPM, Cylinder Head Temps,  Injector Duty Cycle, and many other Pressures, Temperature, Positions and Conditions. All this data will be recorded so we can, at our leisure, look inside the engine and see what is happening, how hot it is getting, what pressures are present, and what is open or closed. This data will aide us in achieving the correct tune-up.


Wiring


     Wiring is a major, major role in installing any new Electronic Fuel Injected Engine into another vehicle. Because it is so important, we will dive further into the wiring of the engine and all the sensors and actuator necessary for proper engine function. Like I mentioned earlier, I used the Tolorvek wiring panel and there pre terminated connectors for Project COBRA’33. Quality wiring and connections can not be overstated on a project like this, there are hundreds of wires needed to run the engine and other supporting functions and a bad connection could take days to diagnose. The following is a list of every wire needed to run the Ford 4.6L DOHC S/C engine. This will be very similar to other 4.6l Ford engines, just there may be less connections to make. If you have any question you can call me or Scott from The Detail Zone for help.

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