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How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford EnginesClick To Enlarge Product Image

How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines - Covers 4.6L & 5.4L Engines

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The replacement for the Windsor family of Ford V8 engines, the 4.6-liter Ford engine was introduced for the 1991 Lincoln Town Car and has subsequently gone on to become one of the foremost performance engines in modern times. As buy-in prices for Mustangs tumble, you might want to raise the performance of your 4.6-liter Ford engine to another threshold.

Famed engine-builder and tuner Sean Hyland offers complete insight into the building and modification of Ford's 2- and 4-valve 4.6/5.4-liter engines in the CarTech volume How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines.

Sean Hyland Motorsport has built more than 200 4.6 performance engines each year. Those engines include the one John Mihovitz used in his drag racer with a Mercury Cougar body that has run 6.94 seconds at 202 mph in the quarter mile. Hyland's drew also built the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter stroker that propelled Joe Hutchins's Pro Mod Cobra to a quarter-mile time of 9.9 seconds at 135 mph.

Hyland's 4.6 guidebook offers an outline of eight power packages that are highly recommended. You also get instructions on the buildup of the 405-hp naturally aspirated Cobra engine, step by step. Learn about block selection, crankshaft prep, cylinder head and intake manifold modifications in this 4.6 guide book.  The volume will also help you shop for high-performance Ford 4.6L engines. Get it with free shipping from The Motor Bookstore.

Book Excerpt


Ford experimented with the spray-bore block starting in about 1998. This involved using a 0.010-.012-in-thick material coating applied directly to the aluminum.

The material was developed by Sulzer-Metco, and is proprietary to Ford. I believe the intent of this technology was to produce a 3.70-in-bore, 5.0L version of the 4.6.

Unfortunately, the spray-bore block was not available to mere mortals like us, so we developed a thin wall sleeve to increase the bore to 3.70 in, creating a 5.0L version of the Modular 4.6L engine.

I approached the European company that makes most of the Formula 1 sleeves, and also does specialty coatings for many Winston Cup teams. Although they usually provide more exotic combinations, they provided us with ductile-iron sleeves.

The sleeve starts with a 0.080-in wall, which following installation into the block is honed to 0.060 in thick. We included a flange on the top of the liner to help keep the liner from moving vertically, a condition we have seen where the production liner has lifted proud of the deck surface, reducing head-gasket seal.

Ironically, the flange proved to be our undoing in the first engines we used it in. During the race, the engines were running lean and experienced detonation, which hammered the liner.

The liner was fractured at the flange, resulting in its rapid departure into the oil pan. Hey, if this was easy, everyone would want to do it.

In a subsequent redesign, we increased the flange thickness and revised the radius from the underside of the flange to the liner wall, resolving the problem.

When constructing a custom system or a race exhaust, one is faced with a multitude of muffler choices. There are several different methods of controlling sound used by muffler manufacturers.

One method is absorption, where fiberglass packing or stainless-steel wool is used to absorb the sound waves as they travel through the muffler.

Another method is noise cancellation, where the reflection of sound waves within the muffler can cancel out the objectionable noise.

For street systems, I prefer to use Magnaflow or Dyno-Max mufflers for a custom system, depending on the budget. Magnaflow has an extensive range of mufflers available in polished 304 stainless. These are perfect for custom systems, and will continue to look sharp for years to come.

Subject: How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines ISBN-10: 1932494685 | ISBN-13: 9781932494686 | CarTech SA82P


  • CYLINDER BLOCK: Block selection. Block machining. Sleeving for increased displacement. Bearings and clearances. Race-only modifications

  • CRANKSHAFTS: Crankshaft preparation | Trigger wheel | Flywheels

  • CONNECTING RODS: Steel rods | Lightweight rods | Rod bearings

  • PISTONS: Forged pistons | Overbore sizes | Piston domes | Piston pins | Piston rings

  • CYLINDER HEADS: 2-valve heads | 4-valve heads | Valves and guides | Port flow | Spark-plug threads | Head gaskets

  • INTAKE MANIFOLDS: 2-valve intakes | 4-valve intakes | Custom manifolds

  • ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION: Ford EEC-IV | Ford EEC-V | Spanish Oak | Aftermarket EFI systems | Injectors | Fuel pumps | Fuel lines and rails

  • CAMSHAFTS AND VALVETRAIN: Camshafts | Camshaft selection | Degreeing 2-Valve camshafts | Degreeing 4-Valve camshafts | Valvetrain

  • EXHAUST SYSTEMS: Cat-back exhaust | H-pipes/X-pipes | Headers | Mufflers

  • IGNITION SYSTEMS: Spark plugs | Ignition wires | Ignition coils | Ignition amplifiers | Battery

  • LUBRICATION: Oil pans | Oil filters | Accusump | Dry sump systems

  • COOLING SYSTEM: Water pumps | Radiators | Plumbing | Fans | Oil coolers | Transmission coolers

  • POWER ADDERS: Supercharging | Turbocharging | Nitrous oxide

  • SUCCESSFUL PACKAGES: Naturally-aspirated '96-'04 Mustang GT | Supercharged '96-'04 Mustang GT | Supercharged 3-Valve 4.6L | Naturally-aspirated '96-'98 Mustang Cobra | Naturally-aspirated '99-'01 Mustang Cobra | Supercharged '96-'98 Mustang Cobra | 2-Valve Supercharged 5.4 | Naturally-aspirated 4-valve 5.4 | Boosted '96-'98 Mustang Cobra


  • APPENDIX A: Engine Specifications | APPENDIX B: Source Guide | APPENDIX C: Glossary

  • Publisher: CarTech Books
  • Author: Sean Hyland
  • Pages: 144 - Hundreds of b&w photos and illustrations
  • Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
  • ISBN: 978-1-932494-68-6
  • How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines