For years, Ford enthusiasts have used clever means to build bigger-inch yet sturdy small-blocks. So-called “Clevors,” 347 strokers and other combinations are some of the ways Ford engine builders have tried to extract maximum horsepower from the small-block engine. And while builders have had good luck with creative displacement experiments, almost all involve compromises of one type or another.
Last year, however, World Products began producing its Man O’ War Windsor-type block casting and most of the old small-block compromises were made obsolete almost overnight. The Man O’ War looks and feels like the very Windsor engine it is based on, but is strategically bulked up inside to support dramatically increased displacement and power.
With guidance and suggestions from a prominent Ford NASCAR team, World Products improved the design of the Windsor small-block, adding about an inch of material to both the front and rear bulkheads. Iron also was added to the cylinder banks and decks to add strength and provide water passage room for large-displacement combinations.
The Man O’ War weighs about 60 pounds more than a standard Ford 302 block, but is considerably stronger throughout. The thicker block complemented with standard splayed four-bolt billet steel main caps, which should all but eliminate the tendency for catastrophic cracking that isn’t uncommon with the production blocks.
That’s all well and good, you’re thinking, but the question is how far you can stretch the Man O’ War. Farther than any blue oval fan is used to, that’s for sure. World offers crate engine combinations of 427 and 460 cubic inches. These mammoth small-blocks, not surprisingly, aren’t cheap. But at 500 and 575 horsepower, respectively, it’s hard to argue with their dyno numbers.
One of the more interesting combinations is the 375-cube engine, which promises more power and torque than, say, a comparable 347 stroker, but without compromises like a stud girdle. So, we visited World Products to learn more about what goes into the assembly.
The 375 is rated at a stout 455 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque. It usually takes a 302 and a centrifugal blower to make those kinds of numbers and this engine just sucks through a single four-barrel. Aluminum heads can be added for a few extra bucks and they add 30 horses and 20 lb.-ft. to the bottom line. Had the heads been in stock for our test session, we’d have ordered them up.
World Products offers the Man O’ War in four deck heights, including 8.200 inches, 8.700 inches, 9.200 inches and 9.500 inches. The 8.200- and 8.700-inch decks are 302-style blocks, while the two taller decks are 351-style blocks. The minimum deck thickness is 0.600-inch.
A “C” version of the 302-style block is available with mounting positions for the oil pump and distributor in the same location as the 351 blocks. With standard Ford 302 blocks, interference with the oil pump keeps maximum displacement to about 347 cubes, but this unique combination permits a 375-cubic-inch “302” – and that’s just what we’ve got.
The World Class 375, and its “C” block, has an 8.200-inch deck height, with a 4.125-inch bore and 3.750-inch stroke. The crankshaft is a 4340-forged part, with sturdy forged H-beam rods and forged pistons comprising the reciprocating assembly. The bottom of each cylinder is notched to make room for the long-reach rods.
World wouldn’t give up the secrets of its custom-grind hydraulic camshaft, but tells us it is designed to maintain a streetable idle quality, but still deliver a noticeable lope as well as high-rpm performance. The block is topped with a pair of World’s own Windsor Jr iron cylinder heads, which boast 180-cc intake runners and 58-cc combustion chambers.
The tunnel-like intake path of the ports is considerably larger than comparable Ford heads, which have 124-cc runners. Consequently, the valves are matched to the heads’ tremendous flow, measuring 2.02 inches on the intake side and 1.600 inches on the exhaust. Not surprisingly, stiff, dual 125-pound valves springs complement the valvetrain, along with custom aluminum roller-tip rocker arms.
Feeding the heads’ big ports is 4150-type 870-cfm carburetor mounted atop an Edelbrock single-plane intake manifold. It’s a simple, but tested combination that provides excellent tractability across the rpm band; at least, that’s what we saw during testing on one of World’s in-house engine dynamometers.
The remainder of the engine’s components makes for a complete package, including a deep-sump Canton oil pan, SFI-approved balancer and even an HEI-type distributor from Mallory. Spark plugs and wires are installed, too. World’s crate engines come with a 2-year/24,000-mile warranty, which provides, we think, good peace of mind for a sizable investment.
Whether in an old Mustang or late-model racecar, getting big-inch power for your Pony just got a whole lot easier.
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Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
The Great Crate Engine Power and Price Ladder
World Products offers a dizzying number of Man O’ War crate engines, each separated in a specific hierarchy of power output and price. It’s a carefully crafted spread of offerings designed to appeal to every level of enthusiast desire and/or budget.
The five-step hierarchy includes Daily Driver, Cruiser, World Class, Hardcore and Limited Edition. Each comes with iron cylinder heads and, approximately 9:1 compression – all, that is, except the Limited Edition engines, which come with 10.5:1 pistons and aluminum heads. Aluminum heads are upgrade options on the other engines classes. Here’s how the classes stack up:
The “entry-level” Daily Driver engines feature stock displacement, a 750-cfm carb, mild hydraulic cam and, for example, output of 351 horsepower in the 351-cube version. It lists for $6,995.
Cruiser-class engines and above can feature increased displacement and correspondingly larger heads and carb. For the Man O’ War, there are 351-inch and 427-inch Cruiser engines, rated at 370 horsepower and 450 horsepower, respectively.
At the World Class level, like the 375-cube version in our story, larger Windsor Sr. heads are added, along with an 870-cfm carb. A 427-cube version is rated at 495 horses with the optional aluminum heads, while 351- and 375-inch versions also are available.
At the Hardcore level, the 427-cubic-inch engine swaps the hydraulic cam for a solid lifter type, bumps up compression to 9.5:1 and is topped with a 1050 Dominator carb. It’s rated at 500 horses with iron heads and 525 with aluminum lungs – the top-rung 525-horse version listing at $9,795.
The king of the hill Man O’ War crate engine is the 460-cube Limited Edition, which has a solid roller cam, 4.155-inch bores, a Dominator carb and a 10.5:1 compression ratio. For a list price of $10,995, it cranks out 575 horses and 550 lb.-ft. of torque.
AT A GLANCE: World Products World Class 375-CID Crate Engine
Engine type OHV V-8; iron block with aluminum heads
Displacement 375 cu in
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Horsepower 455 (advertised)
Torque (lb.-ft.) 445 (advertised)
Cylinder block high-density cast iron
Main bearing caps four-bolt splayed; billet steel
Deck height 8.200 inches
Cylinder bore 4.125 inches
Stroke 3.500 inches
Crankshaft 4340 forged steel
Connecting rods 4340 forged steel H-beam
Pistons forged aluminum with coated skirts
Cylinder heads Windsor Jr iron; 180-cc intake runners
Combustion chamber 58-cc
Valves 2.02-inch intake; 1.600-inch exhaust (stainless steel)
Intake manifold single plane
Carburetor 870 cfm (4150-type)
Additional components deep-sump oil pan, spark plugs, plug wires, oil pan, polished valve covers, SFI balancer