The aluminum dual-quad intake was cut, welded, and machined to order (they don't call it "custom" for nothing). The three throttle bodies are 48 mm and flow 700 cfm each, so air volume shouldn't be a problem. And F&B designed this intake as a "dry" system, meaning that it's only used to flow air; the fuel injectors are located right at the entry to the cylinders, so the fuel never has to travel through the intake. This design is more efficient and should go a long way toward helping us hit our 500-plus-hp target.
The combination of the AFR heads, the great-flowing intake manifold, and the properly selected cam are the real keys to ensuring that our engine makes big power. Tony Mamo at AFR even jumped in to do some serious porting on the intake, to open up the ports, clean up the runners, and smooth out all the rough surfaces. Through hours and hours of weekend work with a handheld grinder, he perfectly port-matched the intake to the aluminum heads. This extra step will give our old-school manifold a real shot at making 550 horses while still fitting under a stock 427 hood.
Putting the Pieces Together
The lead engine builder at LWA is Jonathan Crosby, and the accompanying photos show the complete assembly process as he degrees the cam, installs the AFR aluminum heads, adds Comp's Ultra Pro Magnum rockers, and, last but not least, our Tri-power fuel-injection intake.
Everything Crosby touches is meticulously cleaned with lacquer thinner and then hit with a blast of high-pressure air. He degrees the cam, checks it, and then degrees it again. Every bolt is treated to a little antiseize lube and torqued to the exact spec, and then double-checked. Everything installed at the factory, like the screw-in studs in the heads, is removed and reinstalled with Rite-Lok thread sealant and torqued as required. He's not one to put his name and the LWA stamp on an engine assembly without checking and double-checking every step of the build. In short, it ain't done until he says it is. And when it's done, as we found out on the dyno, it was better than expected.
In our next installment, we'll show you the complete installation process, highlight the performance upgrades we've chosen, and bring you along as we build a bulletproof IRS differential and a super-duty Gearstar electronic 4L60E automatic transmission. Stay tuned.