ford racing engine on a stand prior to assembly
lubing an engine camshaft prior to install
installing an engine timing gear and chain set
installing hydraulic roller lifters into an engine
fitting a ford engine with an oil pump
installing an oil pan on an engine in a stand
installing a harmonic balancer on an engine
grinding clearance on an engine block
man installing rocker arms into a cylinder head
installing a clutch onto a ford engine
installing a pressure plate onto a ford engine
installing a bellhousing onto a ford engine
installing a tremec transmission onto a ford crate engine
lowering an engine into a shelby cobra kit car
view of motor mounts on a factory five cobra kit car
close up of msd box installed in a cobra kit car
adjusting a carburetor on an engine
engine installed in a shelby cobra kit car

Order Summit Racing’s Short Block package (SUM-CSUMFFC01), and you’ll get Ford Racing’s 427 short block (FMS-M-6009-427F). This assembly is the ideal foundation for building your high-horsepower Boss engine, consisting of a Boss 4-bolt main, cast-iron block with a 9.500 in. deck height and a 4.000 in. stroke steel crankshaft. Pumping the crank are forged pistons in a 4.125 in. bore with steel H-beam connecting rods and floating pins.

For a smooth idle on the street yet good performance on the strip, the Short Block package’s hydraulic roller camshaft is a Trick Flow Track Max. The red assembly lube shown here sticks better to metal surfaces and helps with break-in of the engine.

After inserting the camshaft, install both the timing chain and gear, followed by a Edelbrock Timing Chain Cover. Tech tip: use a short piece of exhaust pipe and a plastic mallet to tap the gear in place. And make sure to align the “O” with the keyway for a straight-up, stock setting. When putting the chain in place, no adjustment is needed. Just line up the upper and lower marks. Then torque the cam retaining bolt to spec. Then bolt on the timing chain cover.

The hydraulic roller lifters are self adjusting and the rolling tips offer less resistance. Use Ford Racing’s roller lifter install kit, and as with the camshaft, use lots of red assembly lube.

Included with Summit Racing’s Oil System is a Melling High Volume oil pump. It fits right in, without having to clearance the crank.

Other components of the oil system include a Milodon 7QT oil pan with a front sump and comp baffling, plus oil pickup, and ARP’s oil-pump drive and oil-pump bolts.

When adding the Harmonic Balancer, remove the counterweight, since the crank comes already balanced.

After checking for clearance, we removed the Harmonic Balancer and used a disc grinder and carbide bit to open up the tolerances a tad, at least 1/16th of an inch of space next to the block.

Once the Trick Flow heads are positioned on the block, they’re torqued down to spec with ARP head bolts. The Trick Flow chromoly pushrods and 1.6-ratio roller rocker arms go on next. Lifters are adjusted on the base circle of the camshaft (bottom of lobe) for maximum depth. Also, initially there should be zero lash between the stem of the valve and valvetrain. Then add a half-turn past zero lash on the rocker arm adjustment nuts.

After the intake manifold, distributor and plug wires were installed (not shown), we next fit on the flywheel and clutch kit.

Those components are then followed by the pressure plate. We recommend ARP’s pressure plate bolts.

Next go on the Quick Time bellhousing and clutch fork as well. The pilot bushing is from Ford Racing.

Lastly, a Tremec TKO 500 short-ratio transmission is bolted on.

A cherry picker and several pairs of hands lower the engine and transmission together into the chassis.

Factory Five’s motor mounts are slotted to allow for proper positioning of the engine.

Summit Racing’s ignition package (SUM-CSUMFFC05) includes MSD’s Digital-6 Plus electronic ignition module (left), installed on top of the passenger-side footbox, which is programmable and includes a rev limiter as well. This system also includes MSD’s Pro Billet distributor, MSD Blaster coil and MSD Ignition Wires. Spark wires are from NGK.

Atop the Summit Racing’s Stage 2 Intake is Holley’s 770cfm Street Avenger/Fuel Line Pro Pack (CMB-03-0242). Also needed is an Aeromotive Electric fuel pump and fuel filter.

With the engine and transmission installed, we’re almost ready to test-fire them. Before doing so, though, add break-in oil, six quarts of Lucas 20W50. Then we replaced that with Royal Purple 20W/50 Synthetic, 6 qts. along with a fresh K&N oil filter. For the transmission, we use Synchromesh Fluid from GM Performance and in the rear axle, Lucas Gear Oil 2 qts. Our next installments will cover body prep and finishing trim.

There’s usually at least one thing missing from a kit project: the engine.

While Factory Five supplies most of what’s needed to complete the Mk4 roadster, getting it running on the road requires some horsepower. That’s where Summit Racing comes into the picture, drawing on 45 years of experience to help you pick just the right powerplant.

A wide range of engine options are available, from a basic street block to high performance to all-out racing. Or even a custom build to suit your budget and particular application. And if you decide to install power adders later on, that’s not a problem. Just tell us what you want, and Summit Racing will make it happen. There’s no need to scrounge for junkyard parts or strip a donor car. Summit Racing’s aftermarket parts are all new, so they carry warranties, too.

For this particular project, we went with a 427 Ford, but not the old-school version from the Sixties. Instead, it starts with a stroked 351 from Ford Racing, enhanced by a number of choice upgrades. So you get best of both worlds: the peak power of a big-block V8 with the weight of a small block. Check out the accompanying captions to see what we bolted on in just a matter of hours (with a bit of help from SKJ Customs). It’s that easy!

So what’s holding you back?

Photos: Steve Temple and Donny Clements
Source: SKJ Customs

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