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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By undy

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2017, 03:03 PM
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Cobra Make, Engine: Superformance, 427 FE
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Default Where are they now?

As my new stroked 427 is getting ready to into the car. I wonder how all your engines have been doing? Those HP/TQ FE monsters.
We write on here about the builds and the problems, but what about:
Reliability?
Long life?
Too much power (I know, never enough) for your type driving?
Satisfied with your choice?

It is easy for us to make big claims when we first put-em-together, but how about after some miles?

I can say from my past relatively stock 428. A original 66 block and heads. Mild cam and intake. My thought was keep it close to stock and I should have many trouble free miles. After all if it could run around in a pickup it has to be solid in the Cobra, right?
Staring with the "stock" build it ran hot. It went through multiple blown head gaskets and a broken piston. All in less than 10,000 miles. A different builder and a sonic test reviled the issues. Retrospect says, it should have been pulled on gasket number 1 and sent to someone new. But from working on older cast engines, putting on a new head gasket and having it work for miles seemed ok - Mea Culpa!
So to sum up, I was not happy with my choice of being too simple and thinking "it should be fine". I believed the guy I bought the engine from and I believed the guy that took it apart and put in new parts (I am not calling him a builder).

So now my Cobra is on engine #2.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:45 PM
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I've put over 10K miles on my aluminum Pond block 482" side-oiler built by Keith Craft and it's been rock solid. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had the car corner weighed and it's 49% front and 51% rear with me out of the car. Its handling is very neutral.

Power??? I'm still thinking about installing a "hidden" 300Hp progressive nitrous fogger system as there's never enough horse power. Just for that pesky sport bike that's in search of a lesson... (()
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:57 PM
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Scott I have just over 4000 miles on my Craft built all aluminum 482. I have had zero issues with it so far. It made 595 Hp/ 625 tq on the Craft dyno. This of course comes down a lot when you have it in the car (alternator, water pump, more restrictive inlet and exhaust and power train losses). It is still a lot of power in a light car. More than you can use in most circumstances. Interestingly though you do get used to it and after a while it doesn't seem so extreme anymore (until you get back in your daily driver and it feels like there is a block under the accelerator and the parking brake is on).
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:20 PM
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I just got my Cobra back from the shop (Panavia in Campbell) with all fluids drained and changed. Steve at Panavia showed me the old engine, tranny and diff fluids, in clear cups, and they all looked good, no metal, but then, I haven't driven my car nearly enough. But my plan is to get it out there on the road more and drive it. And new Avons are awesome too.

I have a 482/600+ HP with a Shelby alloy block w/ported Edelbrock heads and it runs great. Tom Lucas at FE Specialties built the engine about 10 years ago with a "medium-sized" (just perfect) "custom" (they all are) Crower hydraulic roller cam.

As for choice of engines, I've lamented here before that I've always wanted a SOHC (Cammer) engine, the sound, the looks. But recently I saw an NOS Ford crate Cammer sold for $60,000 on eBay. And the aftermarket Cammers have proven to be a little less reliable (and too expensive also) for my taste. A SOHC in my Kirkham would be the ultimate for me.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undy View Post
I've put over 10K miles on my aluminum Pond block 482" side-oiler built by Keith Craft and it's been rock solid. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had the car corner weighed and it's 49% front and 51% rear with me out of the car. Its handling is very neutral.

Power??? I'm still thinking about installing a "hidden" 300Hp progressive nitrous fogger system as there's never enough horse power. Just for that pesky sport bike that's in search of a lesson... (()
Ive got a little over that on my Kraft 482 no issues 600 track miles on it so far, still runs like a pissed off bull
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:14 PM
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FE engines are pretty tough if built correctly and no material flaws. In my younger days my folks had a '66 Galaxie XL with the tried and true 390 4 bbl (dad refused to get a 428 because he had a 430 in his 60 T-bird and it kept burning exhaust valves so for some reason he thought the 428 would have the same issue even though it's a totally different engine....and the 427 mill was a $1030 option...on a $3000 car). Anyways I can tell you I had that 390 rev'd up "as far as it would go" meaning it would not rev higher, in 1st and 2nd gear, on many occasions, showing my buddy that it was faster than his '77 Camaro (and it was). It never broke. Sold that car with 125K on the original engine in '84.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:20 AM
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I would say that I have had only minor issues with my Shelby Aluminum FE. I am up to about 13,000 miles now and still smile when I go to the garage!

Phil
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:50 AM
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I wonder who has the highest mileage aluminum FE.

On a ford truck forum I go to it gets to be the same. Excited about getting a new to them truck, add on's and the breakdowns. Not much on the how good and reliable.

I am also sure those contemplating one of these engines would like to know the end results.
Mike, you have been reassurance for me.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:10 AM
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Little over 17k on my Roush alum FE.. Shelby alum block. love it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:12 AM
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It's all about the builder and the parts he preps and chooses to install (not just the ones that are ordered).
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
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It's all about the builder and the parts he preps and chooses to install (not just the ones that are ordered).
Most definitely.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:15 PM
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OH, I get that. Just nice to hear the success stories
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:24 AM
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Brent Lykins built my 482 side oiler for me. I asked him to make it street able with lots of low end torque. He used a Pond alum block with Pond CNC heads and custom hydraulic roller cam, which dyno'ed 580 hp and 656 foot pounds. It is perfect. I have 550 miles on it so far but have not floored it. I have opened the secondaries after checking around for cops first. It is a beast. I have had it down to 1700 rpm cruising in 5th gear and had no hint of trailer hitch jerk. Brent really hit the target.
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