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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
During my latest round of insomniac web serchings on mod mod motor tech I came across this thread. It has some of the best tech I have read in a while and I thought I'd share it with you all. Although at one point it gets into a pissing match it still has really great information.



Aluminum vs iron: (blocks)

Block History and Connecting Rods (original thread)

"Back in 1996-1999, the aluminum heads and blocks were cast at a foundry (TEKSID) in italy, the same manufacturer of aluminum blocks and heads for Ferrari. Threre are a few reasons why ford, at the time outsourced production on these pieces. They did not have the experience and knowhow on the casting technology and engineering aspects of a durable aluminum block. Ford ended its contract with Teksid in 1998, enough blocks were produced for the 1999 run. Ford tried to get into the aluminum block design and foundry process in 1999 and released the "explorer block, or more commonly called the "mountain" motor. It had extra material around the outside of the cylinders and in the valley of the block. The problem was not the engineering or cast shape or amount of material that the explorer block had over the Teksid block. The metalurgy was incorrect and fatigued at the 700 rwhp mark. The explorer blocks cracked in the valley and in between the cylinders. Several proven racers like Joe Stewart, Dave King, Bob Trianese, Tim palmer, and John Mijovitz have identified the shortcomings of the "explorer" blocks and have found that they are useless after 700 rwhp mark period. Not One Teksid block had failed due to too much horsepower.
Moving forward.......

With the 2003 cobra in the drawing board, ford found that its current technology with aluminum blocks did not meet the durability standards that they desired. They went with a GT romeo block that was CNC machined for straightness, thats it. They have 4 mains, not six. The cobra crank was carried over from the previous versions."




More from Corner-Carvers.com (see WangStang's post)

The 91-01(Mark VIII and Cobra) AL blocks were all made in Italy because ford didnt have it's own Al block plant on line. In 01 the plant was brought online and the manufacture of blocks for the 02 Cobra, Mk VIII, and Explorer modular V8 started up.

It is also improtant to note that the main reason the Al block was only used in "high end" versions of cars rather than in every car was due to the fact that the Italy plant was not able to produce the number of blocks needed for cars that were not considered "Limited" production. Because of this, ford was able to get their feet wet with aluminum blocks and not get to worried about extream loads testing because the cars they were putting the blocks to use in vs. having to set them up to work in something like an Expedition/Navigator.

As ford continued to conduct severe duty testing of the 4.6 block on test stands in preperation for use in more than just cars and in cars that were going to see extream stress loads, much like the testings that the 03 cobra engine saw, it was decieded that the block design was to weak to take continuous high RPM operation along with other testing such as having load was applied in situations similar to engine bog with out having stress cracks form in the block. This resulted in the improved block design which has shown up in the 03 model year. But, why it didn't show up in the Cobra seems to be that the deck faces were weaping and getting stress cracks durring extended service testing as I was told by a conection at Roush Ind. who was working on the engine via a ford contract.
Two weakest links he was aware of:

* The deck, especially on the aluminum blocks(from what he said I think they tested standard GT iron blocks as well), isn't thick enough
* The end of the aluminum block at the bellhousing isn't as strong as it needs to be. Roush testing team has seen several returned motors with cracks in that area, and some extending to the rear main. From what he said most were pulled from Cobras that ran track days.


The aluminum block failed their durability tests...most wouldn't keep a head gasket seal for more than 50k miles or so.
From what I was told, by the time the revised block for the 03 model year came along so far into the R&D of the 03 cobra's settings and design that they opted to go with a Cast Iron block. The 03 cobra's block as a result was a slightly reviesed version of the GT block which is indicated by the "B" in the last prefix of the part number.




Mustang Weekly


Corral thread about KarKraft blocks



Aluminum vs iron: (connecting rods)

Connecting Rods 101

Connecting Rods 102 (pdf file)



Other great tech info
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The main information I wanted to convey is in regards to the Aluminum vs. Iron block discussion. I know its a long post, but if you take nothing else away from it at least make sure you read the first paragraph :D



Edit: More info
http://www.modularfords.com/forums/printthread.php?t=10808

"According to the Hyland book.
Teksid 96-98, PART NUMBER F6LZ-6010-AB includes 93-98 Lincoln Mark 8
teksid 99, PART NUMBER XR3Z-6010-CA 99 Cobra
newer windsor blocks NO PART NUMBER LISTED"


The orignal thread above said 98's were carried over to 99, but maybe they did cast new ones. I have read other sources saying the 99's are strongest, maybe there was a different casting. If anyone know for sure it would be appreciated.
 

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I'm not worried about my Explorer block cracking after reading that. I can only dream about having 700RWHP.
 

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I don't know how I missed this thread the first time around. Cool info.
 

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High-Mileage 4.6L Thrasher
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Kentwood said:
Do you know what alloy and casting process is used for the mountain block?
That "mountain" block is nothing more than an Explorer block.That misleading sack of **** at KarKraft is selling them off as special when they were pulled from Mountaineers/Explorers.
JL.
 

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Johnny Langton said:
That "mountain" block is nothing more than an Explorer block.That misleading sack of **** at KarKraft is selling them off as special when they were pulled from Mountaineers/Explorers.
JL.

Yeah I know, I have an exploder engine that's why I was asking
 

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Refrigerator Raider Hater
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tinman_72 said:
I'm not worried about my Explorer block cracking after reading that. I can only dream about having 700RWHP.
:zwthstpd:
 

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I rebuilt a '99 Supercharged Cobra engine in Dec of '03 that had cracked the block in 2 places, but he was an idiot and liked to hit the rev limiter on 9lbs of boost, and I would bet money that the car was untuned. Total damage: destroyed block, 6 broken pistons, a bent rod, and a screwed up crank.
 

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Rich95XR7 said:
I rebuilt a '99 Supercharged Cobra engine in Dec of '03 that had cracked the block in 2 places, but he was an idiot and liked to hit the rev limiter on 9lbs of boost, and I would bet money that the car was untuned. Total damage: destroyed block, 6 bent pistons, a bent rod, and a screwed up crank.
lol well I guess if you're gonna destroy an engine you might as well go big
 

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the problem is, he could barely afford to pay the payments on the car, and didn't want to pay to have it rebuilt correctly, so it turned into a big deal. I just reread my post, and it was broken pistons, not bent. There weren't many ring lands left, and what were left, the rings were wedged in, and couldn't even be pried out.
 

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Overkill Fetish Freak
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My '01 Cobra block withstood a complete lockup while smoking the tires at around 6 grand without any major damage other then a hole in the head (fixed) and a slighty 'pissed off" CP piston.


On this Mach1 motor a hundy shot without the proper tune made a nice hole. Not the motors fault but the dumba$$ behind the wheel.




Alum blocks are strong enough for most plus lighter so I'd say that's a good thing on such a heavy ride and SHM is still gay.

-Scott
 
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