Tech: 5.3-liter Modular Short-Block

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Big Package

Inside Ford Performance’s rugged, big-bore modular crate engine

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Performance Parts

Recently we shared Ford Performance Parts’ announcement that the OE hot rodding division is now offering a 5.3-liter modular short-block (PN M-6009-B53; $6,800). This part attracted a lot of attention from those looking for project-car propulsion or an engine refresh for a high-mileage modular. Since it resonated so, we decided to learn a bit more about this engine.

If you are in need of a new modular engine for your project car, Ford Performance offers this 5.3-liter short-block based on its rugged Boss 5.0 block. It is a direct replacement for a Two-, Three- or Four-Valve 4.6, but depending on front cover you use, you may need to seal off one of the bolt holes.
If you are in need of a new modular engine for your project car, Ford Performance offers this 5.3-liter short-block based on its rugged Boss 5.0 block. It is a direct replacement for a Two-, Three- or Four-Valve 4.6, but depending on front cover you use, you may need to seal off one of the bolt holes.

To do so, we went right to the source and contacted Ford Performance Engine Engineer Tom Dettloff about his creation, which is based on the rugged Boss 5.0 block (PN M-6010-BOSS50; $1,950). This block actually makes the big-bore engine possible, but it was actually employed out of necessity.

“It was getting harder and harder to get ahead of the game and keep the pipeline loaded with reclaimed blocks. So, we looked back into our catalog and the Boss 5.0 was just sitting there, so while it is an iron block and you give up a weight penalty, it is also a considerably stronger block due to the mechanical properties of iron versus aluminum,” Tom said. “A lot of these combinations tend to see supercharger applications, which certainly means you are heading in the right direction by heading down the road with an iron block.”

For the full story, click here to visit the thread on our forum.

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