Tom Lucas at FE Specialties is the west coast Cobra authority and held nothing back when putting together the engine. Tom started by decking the Shelby aluminum block and, using torque plates, align boring the cylinders 0.050 inches over stock to 4.280 inches and then align boring the main bearing saddles to ensure blueprint quality. We originally wanted the motor to run on pump gas, but after simulating some horsepower numbers we felt the additional compression would make the motor more responsive, and of course produce more power, so we opted for the 12.4:1 Ross custom pistons and pins fitted with Childs and Albert plasma moly rings. The Scat billet crank and Scat h-beam billet rods were fitted with Federal Mogul race bearings and produced a final stoke of 4.250 inches, for a total displacement of 490 cubic inches. This rotating assembly is kept in line with a Crower custom roller cam using a Milodon gear drive.
Tom does all of his head work in house and gave the Edelbrock aluminum heads a stage III port job and a four angle valve job. The Ferrea 2.25 inch intake valves and the 1.75 inch exhaust valves were fitted with Crower roller valve springs, locks and retainers, while Sig Erson rocker arm assemblies and Smith Brothers push rods maintained valve geometry. Everything was sealed up with Cometic MLS head gaskets followed by porting and matching the tunnel wedge intake. The tunnel wedge was sent to Mike Thermos at Nitrous Supply to be plumbed for a Pro Shot fogger nitrous oxide system and to ensure all the lines and fittings met Tom's specifications. The induction system was topped off with dual Road Demon Junior 725 cfm carburetors. Spark is controlled by an MSD digital 6-plus box, an MSD coil and billet distributor feeding the Taylor Spiro Pro race-fit eight millimeter wires.
Since the rack and pinion steering setup made a front oil sump configuration impossible, Tom decided it was best to go with a dry sump system from Aviaid. This includes a custom Cobra, low profile, three inch sump oil pan with internal baffling and a windage screen, a four stage series I dry sump pump and a remote filter adapter. The pump has one pressure and three scavenger sections that use a Gilmer belt drive system attached to the crankshaft. The oil storage tank is an Aviaid six inch, eight-quart oil reservoir which is mounted and hiding under the passenger side fender well.
Soon after Tom had the engine buttoned up, it was transported over to Rex Hutchison's dyno facility in Elk Grove, California for testing. After a brief break in and final tuning it was put to the test without the enhancement of the 200 horsepower NOS ProShot fogger nitrous. Naturally aspirated on Sunoco 110 the aluminum FE produced 705 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 639 ft/lbs of torque at 5000 rpm. Once the car is on the ground and all systems are functioning, another dyno run with the nitrous will be scheduled, but for now everyone is happy.