We wanted to do a online build-up of a recent race engine for one of our customers.  The customers goal for the 2000 Mustang GT was 470-500 RWHP. We figured we would share the build up with the modular community and show what it takes to build an engine of this Caliber . Follow with us as we complete the final assembly on this TFS headed  engine. Some areas we go into deeper than other so if you have any questions please let us know. This build is not intended to be instructional but more as just a rough outline of what goes into assembling a Modular Longblock, if you have any in depth questions feel free to call or ask us here!

The Build up is based on a N/A combination with a 5.4 forged MMR shortblock and TFS heads with compression in the 12 to 1 range (which of course can still be used on pump gas with the correct tune)


The Block begins with machining and decking to insure that the cylinders are square to the block, after the machining process the assembly begins:

The block is moved to the stand where all of the oil gallies and passages are cleaned with compressed air.



Once this is done we begin the assembly by placing the Clevite Main bearings into the block and adding Royal Purple synthetic assembly lube to the bearing surfaces.


Once the  bearings are lubricated we carefully lower the balanced crankshaft into place and install the ARP main studs and caps.

We can now check for adequate thrust clearance by adding a dial indicator to the block and measure for/aft movement.

Below you can see the ARP main stud kit installed with the main caps in place.


Next the tech sets the gap on the Speed Pro file fit rings , The rings are filed for each cylinder and then installed onto the Manley Forged Pistons



The Pistons and rods are assembled next using a light coating of assembly lube.

The pistons are now ready to be installed, a good quality ring compressor such as the ARP tool is recommended to prevent chipping rings or other piston damage, a light coat of

Wd-40 is perfect to help the piston slide out of the tool and is also helpful for a fast ring seating upon initial start-up.

We repeat the last step for all 8 cylinders turning the crankshaft through after each piston is installed to verify smooth operation and correct tolerances (rod side clearance)


With all eight pistons installed and the rods torqued to spec we can now concentrate on the top end of the build





The ARP head studs and dowels are installed next in preparation for the head gaskets and heads


Next we install the Head gaskets

Prior to installing the heads we give them 1 final wipe down with brake cleaner on the deck surface to remove any grease or oil that may prevent them from sealing


The Heads are installed on the new 5.4 Forged MMR shortblock and torqued to the manufacturers spec using ARP moly lube on the threads.

The picture below is a great shot of the new beefy TFS cam cap hardware, this helps eliminate unwanted flex in the valve train that can be power robbing!

Next we lubricate the cam journals and install the MMR custom N/A Camshafts and Billet cam spacers. New factory lifters and followers were used for this build-up.


Next we install the MMR Street/Race Oil pump and prepare to install the front timing components.

The gears, guides, tensioners and chains are installed and degreed per the cam card to verify opening and closing valve events. This is done using a degree wheel, a MMR solid lifter and a dial indicator.



Below we test fit the Moroso Sheetmetal valve covers. For those interested in this head/valve cover combo some clearancing is required.




Last but not least we top of the engine with a MMR port Matched Edelbrock intake and Port Matched 4.6 to 5.4 adapters.

This application will also use the MMR Adapter that allows the stock style plenums to be bolted on to the edelbrock intake.


Hope everyone enjoyed the build up, the final assembly on this build from the start to finish as shown involved over 14 hrs total labor and involved two different MMR employees. Some of the steps were not shown and we may go back in and add them if questions are asked regarding anything specific. Next is the installation and dyno test! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!




If you liked this build please also see the 2500HP Twin turbo engine build!