There’s a meme that is perpetually making its rounds on the internet poking fun at where you think a 1,000-horsepower engine is built (with a photo of a laboratory clean room) versus where 1,000-horsepower engines are actually built (with a photo of parts being hosed off on grass). While that’s a funny joke, the truth is, we took one of the nation’s top engine builders and pulled them out of their normal assembly environment, in order to build our Summit Racing 1,000-horsepower twin-turbo 7.3-liter Godzilla giveaway engine live on the floor of the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis, Indiana in early December 2022.
As we’ve discussed previously, we’re building this 1,000-horsepower monster to give away to a lucky winner through www.EngineLabsGiveaway.com. We’ve teamed up with Late Model Engines and Ford Performance Parts, as well as our presenting sponsor Summit Racing and a host of other partners, to take this engine from a basic crate engine off the factory assembly line to a twin-turbo beast, ready to power someone’s project car. So let’s look at the parts we used to take the engine from a block and a bunch of boxes to a complete engine in our booth.
A Big-Block Base
The basis of this whole project is one of Ford Performance Parts’ 7.3L crate engines, right out of the catalog. We dynoed the engine in its base form (you can see the results of that test, here) before we disassembled the engine and shipped it off to the Indiana Convention Center in order to be transformed into the twin-turbo beast we’re giving away.
As a base, the OEM Godzilla block is a great core upon which to build. It’s a cast-iron block with a semi-closed deck design offering significant support to the cylinders, as cast. The engineers at Ford have machined slots in the deck in between each cylinder to enhance coolant flow and prevent hot spots, while on the underside, the main caps feature a robust six-fastener design (four vertical bolts and two side bolts per cap).
The OEM caps were replaced by a set of billet-steel main caps from Energy Manufacturing along with a main stud kit from OptiTorque. Both parts are made from high-strength steel, improving the power-holding ability over the factory parts and providing insurance for us while we more than double the factory output. Secured in the mains is the factory 3.976-inch stroke crankshaft.
It’s a forged unit from the factory with incredible machining, and has proven to be more than capable of holding the power we’re going to be throwing at it. Interestingly enough, we not only used OEM Ford main bearings, but we REused the ones that came with the crate engine. They only had initial dyno time on them, and they came out of the block pristine, so there was no reason not to reuse them.
Hanging off of the crank is a set of K1 Technologies’ forged 4340 steel H-beam rods. Measuring in at 6.319 inches, center-to-center with a 2.236-inch big end with a set of MAHLE H-series 2.086-inch rod bearings. (Does that number look familiar? It should, since the rod-journal diameter is the same for a Coyote and a Godzilla.) The rods come weight-matched out of the box. The pin end is a beefy .990-inch diameter, and the double-rib cap is fitted with 7/16-inch ARP2000 rod bolts to hold significant power.
Hanging off of those rods are a set of Wiseco 4.220-inch forged 2618 pistons built for boost. The 2618 alloy is designed to be stronger under increased combustion pressure, while the 22.0cc inverted dome design keeps the stock compression with the worked-over cylinder heads. The skirts are coated to reduce friction and the pistons come with a heavy-wall .990 wrist pin from Trend Performance. The pistons also come with a .043-inch/.043-inch/3.0mm ring package, as well as oil support rails, since the wrist pin intersects the oil ring land.
The factory variable oil pump assembly was retained, as was the factory cast 8-quart oil pan — fitted with oil drain fittings — as the OEM pump has unique clearance demands. The front cover is a billet aluminum piece, which is part of the Indy Power Products front drive kit, which we’ll discuss a little further on in the article. But with that, our stock-displacement short-block for the giveaway engine was wrapped up on day-one of the show.
A Monstrous Top End And Valvetrain
While we maintained the OEM displacement, we will be moving a lot of air, above and beyond the factory 7.3 liters of displacement. In order to flow the air, we utilized the factory cylinder heads that have been kissed by Late Model Engines’ CNC department, to clean up the intake and exhaust ports and eliminate the pushrod bumps in the airflow.
The factory chambers were left as-is, along with the OEM valve sizes of 2.170 inches on the intake and 1.660 inches on the exhaust. However, LME did upgrade the valve guides in these heads. To seal the top end, Cometic’s .040-inch five-layer head gaskets were utilized, along with a set of OptiTorque Torquemaster head studs — a combination proven to withstand serious boost.
Getting into the valvetrain, the core of the engine’s brain is a Callies Performance camshaft. Using the “012” grind (P/N: 175-012), we have 238 degrees of duration at .050-inch on the intake and 246 degrees on the exhaust. With the factory rocker ratio of 1.8:1, the valves peak at .635 inch of lift on both the intake and exhaust, with a 116-degree Lobe Separation Angle. With this much camshaft, a Willis Performance VVT lockout kit from Indy Power Products was utilized.
To translate the cam lobes’ shape into vertical motion, a set of Johnson hydraulic roller tie-bar lifters were used. These feature .095 inch of travel and a body diameter of .842 inch. Riding on top of those lifters are a set of Manton’s 3/8-inch Series-5 8.450-inch pushrods. Made from seamless 4130 chromoly tubing with a .145-inch wall-thickness, these pushrods will handle anything this combination can throw at it with minimal deflection.
Translating cam motion to valve motion are the OEM 1.8:1 rocker arms with a Manton trunnion upgrade installed in them. Controlling the valves are a set of PAC Racing Springs conical valve springs along with the OEM locks and retainers. Topping off the cylinder heads are a set of LME’s gorgeous billet aluminum valve covers. Finishing off the giveaway engine long-block is an ATI Performance Super Damper. The SFI-approved elastomer torsional damper is a common sight amongst the high-end builds coming out of LME’s shop, for good reason.
Topping off the Combination
There’s no denying that one of the most recognizable features of the Godzilla engine is the “unique” intake manifold design, which was built to clear the obstacles inside of an F-250 engine bay. Getting rid of that OEM manifold, we opted for one of Brian Tooley Racing’s new Trinity manifolds for the Godzilla. Trinity refers to the three-piece design, which allows the runners to be removed from the plenum. This makes porting easy, and also allows for different runner designs to be utilized with a common plenum.
The runner sections also have mounting bosses for secondary injectors (or nitrous nozzles), should you want to add them. The plenum has a large opening and mounting pattern for LS throttle bodies, in order to allow for a large selection of readily available units right out of the gate. The fuel injectors actually fit into bosses in the head rather than the intake manifold, and for this application, a set of Deatschwerks 1,500cc were fitted. These injectors flow more than enough Boostane E85 to meet the 1,000-horsepower goal.
With the intake manifold on, we moved on to the rest of the front drive accessories from Indy Power Products. These include a Powermaster alternator mounted high on the driver’s side, a Turn 1 power steering pump opposite that on the passenger’s side, an air conditioning compressor low on the passenger side, and then one of the cooler features of the Indy kit, a 1994-’95 Mustang reverse-rotation water pump. Another cool feature of the kit is that the front cover has most of the mounts machined into it, greatly reducing the amount of bracketry needed for the components, and tucking them into a nice, compact package.
Spinning the Turbos
The final piece of the giveaway engine puzzle came together on the final day of the PRI Show, and that was the turbo system. We started with a pair of Kooks upwards-swept forward-facing stainless turbo manifolds. Designed to fit the Godzilla engine into a Fox body, the all stainless-steel 1-3/4-inch primaries help get spent gases out of the engine and to the hot side of the turbocharger as efficiently as possible.
Attached to the headers are a set of connector pipes fabricated by AldoWelds, which not only have T4 flanges to attach to the turbochargers but also a well-designed wastegate flange that puts a pair of Precision Turbo 66mm wastegates (one on either bank) right in the exhaust stream for optimum boost control. The piece(s) de resistance are the Turbonetics 6473 turbochargers.
Fitted with a billet compressor wheel with a 64mm inducer and 84mm exducer diameter, as the name suggests, the turbine wheel has an 80mm inducer and 73mm exducer diameter. The twin-scroll T4 turbine housing features a 1.00 A/R ratio and the compressor cover has a 4.00-inch inlet diameter with anti-surge slots with a 2.50-inch outlet. The journal-bearing turbochargers should provide plenty of boost to make our desired 1,000 horsepower from the giveaway engine.
Wrapping the hot side of the turbochargers are a pair of DEI’s Titanium Turbo Shields. Designed as a custom-fit heat management solution, the blankets keep heat in the turbos and out of the engine bay. While the cold side wasn’t at the show, it will feature a pair of Precision Turbo 50mm blow-off valves to make sure that when the throttle blade closes, all of the boost is efficiently vented.
And with that, the engine was complete by noon on day-three of the show. Now, all that’s left is to have AldoWelds fabricate the cold side, and get the combination onto LME’s dyno to see how much power we can make with these turbos. After such a stout performance on the baseline dyno, the team is confident that the 1,000-horsepower mark is going to be easily achieved, with plenty of room to grow. So stay tuned as we bring you behind the scenes of the turbo kit’s fabrication and the final dyno of the engine.
The awesome EngineLabs’ giveaway engine journey to 1,000 horsepower, as well as one lucky fan’s dream, is made possible thanks to our partners in this project: Summit Racing Equipment, Late Model Engines, Ford Performance Parts, Mountain Top, ATI Performance Products, BOOSTane, Brian Tooley Racing, Callies Performance Products, Cometic Gasket, DeatschWerks, Design Engineering, E3 Spark Plugs, Indy Power Products, Johnson Lifters, K1 Technologies, Klotz Synthetics, Kooks Headers, Operational Speed Supply, Precision Turbo, Ryno Classifieds, SCT, Wiseco Pistons, and Wrenchers.