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What Does it Take to Make Your Very Own "Terminator"?? This is the BIG question everyone wants
to know....How can I take the tried and proven combination that Ford came up with, and make my own "Terminator" Engine. Well
I’m going to show you how.
Engine is much, much more then just a 4.6L DOHC Modular Engine with a Blower on it. Tring to create such
an Engine with used, worn and frankly inadequate parts is not a recipe for a high horsepower engine, it’s a recipe for
Disaster. The DOHC S/C 4.6L Engine and all it’s internal parts are very different
then those found in any other 4.6L Engine, even those in the Mach 1 Engine. What is so different ? I’ll
list the parts in the Short Block and the Differences.
Above: The Cranckshaft on the Left is a Fordged fully Counter-Weitghed unit used in the 4.6L DOHC
Cobra S/C Engine, while the other or Right Crankshaft is not fully Counter-Weighted and made of Cast Iron. The middle
picture shows the Crankshaft journal and the Connectiong rod, notice the Radius at both sides of the journal. The third
picture shows the Crankshaft getting it's Keyway cut into the snout, many times Racers cut an additional Key-way in the
snout to help keep the Pulley from turning under heavy load.
The 4.6L S/C Engine uses a Forged
Steel Crankshaft, with an 8-Bolt pattern Crankshaft Hub. All other Engines use a cast steel Crankshaft
with only a 6-Bolt pattern on the hub. The 03-04 Ford
Cobra Crankshaft is much stronger and more durable then the cast unit the other Engines use. The Crankshaft
is the Hart of the Engine, sort of like the foundation of a home. No matter how nice a home you build on it, it is only good
for so much load, exceed it’s capacity and you will lose your home. Same goes for the Crankshaft, if
you want a true 03-04 Cobra Engine, then you have to start with a Forged Crankshaft, anything else is just
a ticking time bomb. Stock "Terminators" or Ford 03-04 Cobra’s, were known as very Powerful but yet very Reliable Engines, they were engineered
to run over 100,000 miles before requiring a re-build. I have seen the insides of many of these Engines, and can vouch for
it’s durability. Without this vital piece, you have no Cobra Engine.
Above:Far Left is a picture of a normal Powder Metal Rod, which all Modular Engine had except for the
03-04 Cobra Engine. Top Right: This is a great shot of what it looks like when a Rod lets go...As you can see it takes
the whole Engine with it. I have worked on engines like this, one had three very large hols and completely took every
part in the Engine with it. Bottom Left: This is the ONLY way to seperate the Manley Rods from the Rod Caps, if
you don't have this device get one or let someone else work on it for you...If your going to work on these Engines
then you have to have the right tools. Bottom Right: This is the Manley Connecting Rod & Cap, It is a great
looking Rod and capable of 700HP...Add the Arora 2000 Rod Bolts and they are good for 950HP.
The Ford 4.6L S/C Engine used a very different Connecting Rod
then any other modular Engine in the Ford stable.
While all other Connecting Rods are made from powdered metal, those used in the 03-04 4.6L S/C Engine were
Forged Steel. The powdered Rods start as a metal like mixture, ground very fine to form
a powdery substance. The powdered metal is injected into a mold, or die where it distantly resembles it’s end product.
Finally, the end part is formed by applying pressure, high temperature, long setting times (during which self-welding occurs),
or any combination thereof. The Rods are formed with the end caps in-place, to separate the two from each
other a line is scribed, much like when you cut glass or tile, and the cap is broken off from the Rod. Because
there is no further machining involved, it is very important to not mix-up the Rod Caps when working on the
bottom end, they are unique to themselves. The Forged Steel Rods the 4.6L S/C Engine used is from Manley, a long time manufacture of both Factory and Racing Engine parts. These Rods
start out a one chunk of Billet Steel and are Forged under thousands of pounds of heat and pressure to form into the piece
they use. They are then machined to tolerance and bushings installed. The caps are also Forged Steel, but are made separate
not as a unit like the powdered metal ones. The Manley Rods use ARP,
another High End Supplier, for the Rod Bolts that hold the two ends together. The finished product is carefully
weighed and grouped in sets of eight, with a separation of ½ gram or less. These Rods are much more
stronger then the powdered metal rods, they are also way more durable. These Rods have the advantage of higher
RPM’s and loads then the other Rods used by Ford . Where these Rods will bend or deform under extreme stress, the PM Rods will
simply snap in two, causing Catastrophic Engine Damage. It is not at all un-usual for these Rods to last
75-100 thousand miles and only require new bushings at time of re-build. The only option for those wanting slightly more
'comfort room" when re-building or building your own "Terminator"
Engine would be to use the Aurora 2000 Rod Bolts, which make the Rod assembly
stronger, a great option to consider.
Top Left: Sock Hypereutectic Piston is fine for Medium Duty, But not nearly capable of Supercharger use.
Top Right: This is what happens when detenation occures. Detenation is the self-firing of the intake charge mixture
before the piston has risen to or past Top Dead Center. Bottom Left: This is a manley Forged Piston, notice the dome
on this piston is inverted, the S/C Engines only had 8.5:1 compression and this is how they achieved it. The newer Manley
Pistons have a special black coating on the Piston Skirt to help with friction. Bottom Right: This is a Stroker
Piston, notice how high the Piston Pin Hole is, they have raised it to account for the longer stroke, if your going to run
a larger then stock stroke, you have to use these special Pistons.
Like the Rods the Pistons used in the Ford 03-04 Cobra Engine are Forged Pieces made by Manley. These Forged units are much stronger then the Cast or Hypereutectic Pistons
used in the other Ford 4.6 and 5.4L Engines.
Forged Pistons can endure much more abuse then the other two, abuse in terms of RPM, Cylinder Pressure, Heat,
Stroke and Wear. Forged Pistons due a better job of staying round in the Cylinder Bore, and that keeps the
Ring Faces in contact with the cylinders for more power. They do require more Static clearance then Cast or Hypereutectic
Pistons, which means they may make some added noise at start-up, this goes away once the running temperatures
are reached. Forged Pistons like the Rods, are much more Expensive then the alternative,
one very good reason Factories don’t use them, COST.
Top Left: Casting Flaws in the stock Oil Pump can be a source of Failure, you have to disassemble
the Oil Pump and inspect for damage. Top Right:The stock Oil Pump Gears or Rotors are made of Powdered Metal, and are
prone to failure. Bottom Left: This side shot of the Cobra and GT Oil Pump Gears shows the differance in width,
the Cobra Rotor is 1mm wider. Middle Right: This is a picture of the Ford Stock Oil Pump for the Cobra Engine,
it comes complete with Pump Housing, Rotors and Pick-Up Tube. ottom: This is the Melling Replacement
Oil Pump for the 4.6 DOHC Engine, they make a good standard replacement and a very good Racing Quality Oil Pump, I like ither
one, But would only lean toward the racing Oil Pump if that was the intention.
The Oil Pump on
the "Terminator" is larger in capacity then the other stock 4.6L engine.
Because of higher demands placed on the Supercharged Engine, this Engine was given a slightly wider Oil Pump Housing,
which allowed Wider Gears and high capacity. One area of concern on the S/C Oil Pump was
the Gears themselves. These are made from Powdered Metal, and under certain conditions, mainly high RPM and Racing condition,
can crack resulting in loss of oil pressure and engine failure. Most users would not be in danger of this happening to them,
but if you think you may be pushing the Engine to it’s upper limits, then replacement gears, which are Forged
Steel, would be a great ideal. The Oil Pick-up Tube form the Cobra
Engine is also larger then the other 4.6 engines. It stands to reason that if you have a Oil Pump capable
of more capacity, then you would need a larger Pick-up Tube to supply it.
Top Left: Thw WAP Block or Fords answer to the Teksid Block shows the ribbing added and is
5lbs lighter then the Teksid Block. The right Block is a Teksid Block and although 5lbs heavier then the Ford Repalcement,
is an easy 2-3 times better, in fact the Teksid Block made in Turin, Itally is the strongest production Aluminum block available
for the Modular Engine. Top Right: The WAP Block has more matterial in the main bearing area, but the
windows they cast in the web area are the weakest point, without extensive deburing stress fractures can occure. Bottom
Left: The 4.6L Windsor Block is identified by the large "W" cast into the valley area. Ford makes another
Iron block known as the Romeo, while they look simular the main bearing do not interchange between the two block. Bottom
Right: The Ford 5.4L Iron Block is deminsionally the same as the 4.6l Block with the exception of the Crankshaft Center Line
to Top of Dech Height. The 5.4L Block measures 10.079" while the 4.6L Block comes in at only 8.937"
Engine Block Windage Tray
The Ford 03-04
Engine used a Cast Iron Engine Block, something very unique to that version of the Cobra Engine. Most Cobra
Engines used an Aluminum Engine Block, which cuts down on front end weight by almost 85lbs.. Why did the
03-04 Cobra use the heavy Cast Iron Block ? That’s a long story, but I’ll try to condense it
for you. In the beginning, 1993-94 when Ford first started using the 4.6l DOHC Engine, they used only Aluminum Blocks for the DOHC Engines and
Cast Iron Blocks for the rest. The DOHC or 4-Cam Engines were premium Engines and only used in there premium
vehicles, the Engine gave maximum power and the Aluminum Block saved weight and made huge strides in vehicle dynamics. The
Aluminum Blocks were farmed-out to a place in Turin, Italy called Teksid. Naturally these blocks became know
as Teksid Blocks, while Ford
cast there own SOHC Engine Block themselves. Teksid is a world class leader in lost foam casting, and really
made a great Block for Ford, in-fact these Blocks
were so well built, they are still considered the Block to have for all High Performance Engines. Ford used Teksid, Blocks, number F6LZ-6010-AB,
from 1994 to 1999 and 1999-2001 Blocks XR3Z-6010-CA. Then they started to cast there own Aluminum
Blocks. Only problem was Ford changed the design
and didn’t use the same quality materials or process to make their Engine Blocks. Conciquently, at
the time the 03-04 Engines were being tested for reliability and performance standards, the Aluminum Block wasn’t capable
of containing it. Ford reluctantly went back
to the only Block they had in inventory that would work, the Cast Iron Block.
Many people offen wonder what was Ford thingking, putting a heavy Cast
Iron Block in the leading Performance Sports Car, knowing heavy nose weight kills perofrmance and agility. Now you know
the rest of the story. If things would have worked out, the "Terminators"
would have and should have come form the factory with lighter Aluminum Engine Blocks, not the Heavier Cast
Iron ones. I look at it as a blessing, If Ford
would not have caught this problem, or simply over-looked it, the 03-04 Engine might not have grown to enjoy the large following
it has. If nothing else, The Ford 4.6L DOHC S/C
Engine has always been durable and Reliable. Many 4.6L Engines come with just 2-Bolt Main
Caps, the "Terminator" Engine has 4-Bolt Main Caps.
As you would likely assume, with 4-bolts holding the Crankshaft in place, the DOHC Engine is much stronger
then one with only 2-Main Cap Bolts.
All Cobra engines had a Windage Try, but the 03-04 Windage Tray was longer and covered more of the area
under the Crankshaft. These Engines require a special set of Main Bolts or Main Studs if you chose to use APR Studs,
which is a great additional item that is better then stock. The Main Studs have a combination of different length
studs to accomodate the Windage Tray and the spacers it uses. The Far Right: This is the Canton Windage Tray,
while I don't care for there Oil Pan, I do like the Windage Tray they sell and It fits great under the Moroso Oil
pan I Prefeer.
The Windage Tray on the 03-04 Engine is also unique to that
particular engine. It is both longer and wider then the others, and offers greater protection from windage losses.
The stock factory Front Timming Cover you would get from Ford
comes with the Belt Tensioner attched as well as the Idle pulley shown here. They also come with the 3-different gaskets
attached as well, That seal the Timing Cover to the Engine Block.
The Front or Timing Cover on the 03-04 Engine is a unique piece, it is the only Front Cover that will work
with the supercharged engine. Physically they are dimensionally all the same, it’s the lay-out of the front cover that
makes them unique. The Supercharged Engine has Two Accessory Drive Systems, one for the Supercharger
and the other for Accessories. The Supercharger Drive, because of the added
resistance it has, uses a 8mm wide Drive Belt, which also means the Pullies have to be 8mm wide. The Accessory Drive
uses only a 6mm wide Drive Belt and Pulley. The Front Cover to the "Terminator"
is one of the most sought after pieces on E-bay. They are realativly rare, and go quick when one is listed, expect to pay
a premium for one it you find one. The only alternative for this cover is to buy a new one from Ford,
and there they list for almost $700.00. If you ever run across one of these Front Covers,
purchase it, even if you don’t intend to build a "Terminator"
Engine, they are money in the bank.
Above Top: The stock Ford Modular Oil Pan, While a Good Oil Pan I prefeer the Moroso 7 qt Unit shown
in the other two pictures. Another popular cohoose is the Canton Oil Pan.
Pan used on the 03-04 Cobra engine is a good piece, but if you are building one from scratch, I would think the Moroso 7qt. Oil Pan would be a much better choice. It has Extra Oil Capacity,
comes with 2-seperate 1/2" NPT fittings for Oil Temp Sensors or special return fitting, all ready installed. It
will cost more, a Stock Oil Pan is about $50.00 where the Moroso
Oil Pan would run closer to $250.00. The stock Engine Oil Level Indicator will fit both pans, but I like to
switch it out for the Lokar Billet/Flexible Oil Dip Stick. It
looks great and is more flexible with regurads to location, they run about $45.00.
These were the differences on the Short block, and as you have seen, are
very much different then any stock factory engine of the modular family. These differences can not be overlooked or under
estimated when building your own personal "Terminator" Engine. Next
we will look at the rest of the Engine, and see what makes the 4.6L DOHC S/C Engine so different.
Above: For the longest time there were no other players
in the Coil-On-Plug arena, other then Ford and there
stock factory pieces. While these Ignition Coils are fine, I would have to give the nodd to Accel,
MSD, Ganatelli or the newest and best looking prospect, Snipper. The Ignition System
in a Blower Engine is very important, it becomes increasingly hard to light the fuel charge as the Boost
pressures rise. I currently run the Stock Ignition Coils and a Kenny Bell Boost-A-Spark. If I
was building a new Cobra S/C Engine, and had to purchase the Coils new, I would go with an aftermarket Coil like one
The Cobra Engine uses Coil-on- Plug Technology, this is also shared with the other
Engines in this family, but the 4-Valve engine has a unique Ignition Coil, one that will only work with the
4-valve Cylinder Heads and Valve Covers.
4-Valve, Valve Covers are much larger and wider then 2-Valve Valve Covers.
But the 03-04 engine share the same Valve Cover with the rest of the 4-V Engines. While the aftermarket has
been slow to address the Engines Valve Covers needs, there are two versions from Ford
Racing that really dress's-up the engine, they are the Powder-Coated Blue and Chrome like Valve Covers.
The 4-valve Engine also use a Coil Cover, this piece covers and protects the coil-on-plugs and
there wiring. As with the Valve Covers, Ford Racing offers several
alternatives to the stock factory pieces.
The Cylinder Heads on the 03-04 Cobra Engine are differnet from the other DOHC Engines. They use there
own casting, and differ from thew 99-04 DOHC Heads. These Heads are know in the industry
as "C" Heads or "Tummble Port Heads". These Heads use 37mm Intake Valves and 30mm Exhaust Valves.
They have a Rocker Arm Ratio of 1.79:1 and a Compression Distance of 1.220, and a Stock Compression Ratio of 8.50:1.
These Heads were the first DOHC Heads to have a dedicated Left and Right casting, which cured the Hot spot
normmally found on the Left side cylinders 6,7,and 8.
The 03-04 Cobra Engine had it's own special Camshaft. This piece was built specificly for
the Eaton Blower and proved to be a very good and universal piece. When you switch over to the 03-04 Cobra Engine, you
have to also install this Camshaft, or you will not get the full benifit from the Blower and you will not
have a 03-04 Cobra Engine.
4-Valve Engines have a different port design then 2-Valve Engines, while the 4-Valve
ports are the same as other 4-vale engines, the factory cast iron exhaust manifolds are unique to the 03-04 Cobra. Aftermarket
suppliers have several different headers available for the 03-04 Cobra Engine. These have proven to be wise and very popular
additions among Cobra owners and can increase torque and horsepower.
Engine Oil Cooler
The 03-04 Engine has a engine oil cooler unique to it’s self. This oil cooler
is located on the drivers side, front of the Engine block and uses the Engine coolant to help cool the Engine oil. The Engine
oil filter mounts directly to it. There is a large 1-1/2" hose that comes from the thermostat housing to feed the cooler.
Power Steering Pump
The Power steering Pump is also mounted to the
drivers side of the Engine block, right above the Oil Cooler/Filter assembly. This pump and it’s pulley is unique to
the "Terminator" Engine.
This is the 03-04 Cobra Alternator, it is unusual because of where it is located on the engine, on the
lower drivers front. Most mount up high. The red piece is a special 90° adapter, to turn the power cable to
avoid contact with other objects, make sure you have one, they are not expensive. Also remember the alternator has an
upper and lower bracket.
Like the Oil cooler and power steering pump, the alternator is also mounted on the
drivers side, just above the Power Steering Pump. This is different then all other modular Engine, most have the alternator
located in the center on the Engine just above the timing cover and in front of the intake manifold. Because of the supercharger,
the alternator was moved to the side of the Engine. There is also and upper and lower bracket that keeps the alternator in
place. The Alternator Pulley is 8mm wide and is driven by the supercharger belt.
This first picture is the thermosate housing seperated, and you can see where the thermosate would go,
right in between the two pieces.
Most 4-valve Engines have a remote mounted Thermostat and Housing.
This is very unusual for most Engines, most have the Housing and Thermostat located on the front portion of the intake manifold.
The Housing itself comes in two separate pieces, connected by 2-small screws and 1-O-ring. The Thermostat itself, sits on
the inside, and the housing has large three hoses connected to it. One from the bottom of the radiator, one to the cross-over
water tube, and the other to the engine oil cooler. It’s not so un- likely that these engines have a hard time ridding
themselves of air, once the system has been opened. A trick many prefer to use, is to drill two very small (1/8") holes
in each side of the thermostat, 180̊ part, this allows the trapped air to escape,
making it much easier to bleed after repair. When transplanting the engine into other vehicles remember that there are many
obvious and some not so obvious differences between the Ford Engine and others. These Engines use a separate piece to fill the cooling system, while most other engine use a
cap on the radiator.
The Front Drive
Assembly on The Ford
03-04 Cobra has a very special and unique set-up. Because of the Supercharger, there was a need for a Double Drive
System, and only the "Terminator" Engine has it. This system
has an Inter and Outer Drive System, so we will break them down accordingly.
Belt Idler Pulley
Crankshaft Extension Pulley
Belt idler Pulley
Component Location - Accessory Drive
Belt Idler Pulley
Belt Idler Pulley
Belt idler Pulley
Power Steering Pulley
Coolant Pump Pulley
AC Compressor Pulley
Accessory Drive Belt
Supercharger Drive Belt
For more on the Front Drive Assemblies go back to the Cobra Home Page
Idler Pulley Bolt
Drive Belt Tensioner
Bolt - 4.6L
Drive Belt Tensioner Bolt
Cooling Hose Mounting Bolt
Belt Idler Support
Assembly Bracket Bolts
Air Intake Scoop Bolts
Air Intake Scoop Bracket Bolt
Air Intake Scoop Bracket Nuts
Air Intake Scoop Bracket Throtle Body Nut
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Vacuum Regulator Solenoid Bolts
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5937 Ethan Drive
Burlington, KY 41005