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Old 06-02-2010, 02:08 PM
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5.4L SD Supercharger Project

Alright guys so the time is almost upon us for me to become the mad scientist again. I'm planning out the build I would like to do this winter if everything stays on track as intended (who knows though) so this is my first stop for some research.

My ultimate goal, which I don't know if anyone has done before:

24V DOHC Heads, Eaton M120 roots style blower/ intake system (donated from lightning), SVT Ligtning fuel injection system, and SVT Lightning computer.

I realize if I can pull this off I have a compression issue that needs to be addressed, but if the stock long block holds I can just run low boost until I can get oversized lower comp pistons.

Does anyone here on FTE have experience with supercharging or head swapping the 2V motors?

This project will ultimately make way for a GV overdrive unit.

Now I know someone on here will ask, why on earth would you do this? Well to put it simply:

1. I like to go fast, this entire setup is a fraction the cost of a fast car (wont be as fast but will be more fun) and fast cars aren't very practical and my fat *** don't fit in them very well

2. I want more power, but with a blown 5.4 setup it should be more economical than a built V-10. If you bring fuel cost into equation see point #1.

3. Prep for high altitude towing... where economy sucks as is. Diesel not option

4. With a GV over or under unit I can manipulate my gears up to 4.56 or down to 2.7X and remain at same final drive ratio as stock, with the performance of the other gearing with OD disengaged

5. Final step to the good life: 37's and minor lift.

Nitrous is not an option, its kinda like cocaine for a car. All is good fun until cardiac arrest (i.e. motor lets smoke out) and another piece of performance machinery is toasted. If Possible I would like a ZF1000 to throw in there as well but thats really expensive and with the shifter as long as it is I'm not sure I could row gears any faster than an auto will shift. Plus the auto is nice when I have hangovers and just want to drink a coke and eat some food on my drive to work. Please let me know your thoughts!
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:07 PM
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You want to supercharge the possessed truck?

Are you mad?

A more economical setup would be a belt driven centrifugal blower and a large intercooler. This offers many advantages over a roots style blower\, including more bang for your buck.

First, installation is easier. A 5.4L has quite a bit of room up front to play with. Plumbing an intercooler (say maybe a 6.0L intercooler?) would be pretty easy.

Using an intercooler, you would not have to drop your compression ratio.

Also, why 24V heads? Why not keep the 2V heads? If you're running boost, more flow is just a simple pulley change away.

Up top, the only change needed would be injectors that can keep up with the flow, possibly a new MAF sensor and a new tune that will keep everything happy and keep you from melting holes in pistons.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:20 PM
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My question is are the blocks compatible? I know chevys you can match and missmatch 30ys or parts but I was under the impression that the newer ford motors were not interchangeable. Meaning 4.6 and 5.4 engines coming from different plants have different parts that are not compatible. Sounds cool though someone actually doing this would be nice.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:44 PM
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Well I'm not an expert and that's why I'm here gaining knowledge

My impression was the entire modular V8 family was interchangeable. Yes there are changes that will effect inter-changeability such as COP vs the old style split coils, but to the best of my knowledge the hardware is mix and match. I may need new pistons because I don't know too much about the mod motor... yet.

Going back to redford, I'm a HUGE supporter of the roots charger. Each supercharger has it's advantages, but if i'd go the centrifugal route I'd be far better off going turbo. My main mentality behind supercharger is I want massive gobs of low end power. There are intercooler setups for rootschargers but they are very complex.

Also, the SVT lightning already exists and is the proud home to I believe an M120. All the architecture is there and ready to go. Theoretically, if the computers play nice, I should be able to go grab an SVT Lightning motor and do a simple plug-and-play. However finding the whole motor isn't as easy as one would believe.

Read the book 'Supercharge it' by Corky Bell and it'll give you the in depth sciences behind my desire for the roots charger. I'd love a whipple but those are kinda pricey. However, I wont lie, if the roots charger turns into too much of a PITA a centrifugal is definitely not out of the question
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:59 PM
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Yes the heads will work with a few things to keep in mind. Be sure to use the "C" heads off preferably off an 03/04 cobra. Best place to look for swap info is The Corral Its the FTE equivalent for mustangs and is flooded with a ton of good info and people.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:36 PM
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I've looked into this a few times. I can't remember why, but there was an issue throwing a lightning computer in place of my 5.4/auto F250 4x4's. I can't remember if it was GEM or 4wd issues. Which is why I went with the tuner I have.

The heads and all should work, as long as you stay with the 2v. 4v heads would be a problem with the lower manifold, as I haven't found 5.4l 4v motors that were supercharged. 3v heads are a pain because of the vvt.

I recall the pistons being hypertuaric (sp?), so you really need to make sure it gets plenty of fuel. Starving it down wouldn't be good. Then there was the issue of the bottom end. The lightning had a forged bottom end and the N/A motors didn't. You kind of need to keep that in mind as you shoot for power and reliability.

Which is why my conversion is at a stand still. I want to fix up the bottom end first, then slap one of the bigger kenne bells on it. Which you may want to look at, KB had an upgrade option for the Eaton drives. I can't remember if it was the 1.8L, 2.4 or 3.2L blower, but it was an upgrade and relatively cheap.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:50 PM
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I've looked into this a few times. I can't remember why, but there was an issue throwing a lightning computer in place of my 5.4/auto F250 4x4's. I can't remember if it was GEM or 4wd issues. Which is why I went with the tuner I have.

The heads and all should work, as long as you stay with the 2v. 4v heads would be a problem with the lower manifold, as I haven't found 5.4l 4v motors that were supercharged. 3v heads are a pain because of the vvt.

I recall the pistons being hypertuaric (sp?), so you really need to make sure it gets plenty of fuel. Starving it down wouldn't be good. Then there was the issue of the bottom end. The lightning had a forged bottom end and the N/A motors didn't. You kind of need to keep that in mind as you shoot for power and reliability.

Which is why my conversion is at a stand still. I want to fix up the bottom end first, then slap one of the bigger kenne bells on it. Which you may want to look at, KB had an upgrade option for the Eaton drives. I can't remember if it was the 1.8L, 2.4 or 3.2L blower, but it was an upgrade and relatively cheap.
Hyper-eutectic pistons, its the alloy they are cast from. There is not enough money in the world that would make me put that crap in my engine... and I'm truly shocked that Ford put them in the 5.0. They are an alloy that uses second phase silicon modules as a foundation to hold the alpha aluminum in place better (there's actually a bit more too it, but if you aren't familiar with metallurgy what I just said will probably sound greek so I wont elaborate unless you want me too). Long and short of it is, hypereutectic holds more heat, is much harder, and is much more brittle than a forged piston. They hold much tighter tolerances but do not react well to knocking, lean conditions, or valve train failure.

I forgot that the 4WD is computer controlled to a degree, that can cause an issue. What tuner do you use? Does the 5.4 have 4 bolt mains? the forged bottom end is good, but IMO i'd run the stocker till it breaks then upgrade, just hold the boost back to 5-7 lbs or so, maybe get up to 10. But therein if I'd run such a low boost a centrifugal may not be such a bad idea.

But also, just think outside the box here, are any of you familiar with the Super Coupe t-birds? Remote mount Eaton M90, if my memory serves me correctly an M90 is good for up to roughly 300-310 ci displacement, the 5.4 is only 20-30 inches larger, perhaps running a slightly undersized blower with the high compression set up and stock computer may work out in our favor? Not to mention the local yards sell M90's for $150-200 out the door.

I need to consult the manual
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:16 PM
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Does the 5.4 have 4 bolt mains?
The 5.4L has four bolts holding the mains -- 2 normal bolts and two cross bolts.

The V10 actually has real four bolt mains AND cross bolts, so six total!
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:49 PM
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The 5.4L has four bolts holding the mains -- 2 normal bolts and two cross bolts.

The V10 actually has real four bolt mains AND cross bolts, so six total!
Interesting... also found some good reading:

Whipple Industries Ford 1998-2004 5.4L/2 Valve Supercharger (Engine Performance - Superchargers) at Truck Hownd
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:21 AM
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Why not just keep your eyes open for an engine from a wrecked Lightning? There must be plenty of them out there.

I had a Thunderbird Super Coupe. The 3.8L V-6 had an Eaton Roots-type blower, and it was a very nice setup. Economy if you kept your foot under control, and far more power than you would expect (in such a heavy car) if you romped on it. I got in the habit of driving by the boost gauge.

BTW, the Super Coupe had an intercooler set up with the Roots blower that was very clean. Next time you get a chance, check one out!
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:44 AM
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My experience with blown 2V's only includes centrifigul blowers and 4.6's. Of course the heads are almost (if not totally) identical to the 5.4's.
From the builds I've done, I've seen HUGE gains with boost-specific cams. I mean, to the tune of 50-60 HP increase from adding blower-cams over stock cams. Don't rule out a quality set of cams to the mix. It's an easy job, and well worth it.
Intercooling is a must IMO. I ran these on more than one car cxracing.com: 31x12x3 inch Universal Intercooler + 3" Piping Kit For MUSTANG 3000GT SRT-4 with great results!!
Of course, if you're going with a roots-style blower, you'd just run the heat exchanger that sits under the blower - again, I'm just thinking about centri-blowers.
Also, the best driveability came from HPX blow-thru MAF's VMP Tuning - Buy Ford SCT & GM Custom Handheld Flash Tuners Performance Economy Towing: HPX 05+ Slot Style MAF Sensor.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:05 AM
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I was thinking about your setup.... first question would be are the Pistons notched to accept the new heads? And the second would be regarding detonation and or preignition from the compression ratio. I know that you used to be able to get a shim that goes between the head and block for warped cylinder heads that were machined past mininum deck height. Maybe you could use a shim to reduce your effective compression ratio.... just a thought
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:10 PM
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Why not just keep your eyes open for an engine from a wrecked Lightning? There must be plenty of them out there.

I had a Thunderbird Super Coupe. The 3.8L V-6 had an Eaton Roots-type blower, and it was a very nice setup. Economy if you kept your foot under control, and far more power than you would expect (in such a heavy car) if you romped on it. I got in the habit of driving by the boost gauge.

BTW, the Super Coupe had an intercooler set up with the Roots blower that was very clean. Next time you get a chance, check one out!
My buddy has a super coupe, and one of my good friends as a Regal GS with the 3800 Super on it. The roots style blower makes a great improvement, and everyone I do know with centrifugal blower doesnt really pick up that much power on the bottom end... where I need it most.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:52 AM
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My buddy has a super coupe, and one of my good friends as a Regal GS with the 3800 Super on it. The roots style blower makes a great improvement, and everyone I do know with centrifugal blower doesnt really pick up that much power on the bottom end... where I need it most.
That has more to do with matching the supercharger to the engine. A centrifugal supercharger is a positive displacement charger, just like a roots blower. Most don't provide a lot of bottom end boost because they are small and not driven fast enough at idle to make a difference.

Been doing some reading on this. There does seem to be a lot of options when it comes to roots style blower on a 5.4L for 2V, 3V and 24V heads. Also, there are a few companies making high flow 2V aluminum heads. I guess it just depends on your budget.

One thing does puzzle me a bit. What is a 24V engine, anyway? I have a 3V engine. 3X8=24, so what is the difference between a 3V engine and a 24V engine?
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:43 AM
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One thing does puzzle me a bit. What is a 24V engine, anyway? I have a 3V engine. 3X8=24, so what is the difference between a 3V engine and a 24V engine?
Wonder if he meant 32V? Didn't some of the Navigators have that engine? That could be interesting!
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