Would I be crazy to flip all the pistons? I realize it would probably void the warranty, though I am pretty sure that will be only one of many things I do to void the warranty.
You may be thinking "what's 15hp?" Well, I'm the guy who likes to do all the 5-10hp little tricks hoping it will add up at the end. To me that's what hot rodding means. If you do three or four things that "aren't worth it" you may end up with 375hp instead of 350hp, which is huge.
I can't remember the subject title, or the consensus of what experienced builders on this site have said, but this was a pretty good discussion here on the VMF some years ago referencing that article. I'll try to search on here to see if I can find it.
In your case that you're buying one assembled, you won't be able to just take the piston/rod out and flip it. You are going to have to press the wrist pin out, since I doubt it's a floating pin, then flip all the pistons around and re-press the pin in.
Do you know if this motor has the off set piston type? Otherwise, it's definitely pointless.
People have found this to not be the best idea with forged pistons as with the added clearance they need they can be prone to breaking piston skirts when cold . Remember Ford's first Boss 302's? With hypereutectic pistons you would be much more likely to get away with it. I wouldn't do it. I seriously do not like startup clatter and building for compromised longevity.
IMHO, in the few+ decades I have been on this earth, I have more than once read articles by these "magazine guru's" that well, what it all comes down to is fraudulent articles. I the few instances when I personally chased down item by item, builds that they had done, part numbers (they supplied) did not even exist...not that it was either obsolete or was not yet ready for production....but just simply did not exist! and the claimed parts mfg, advised they had no knowledge or even communication with the editors or writers. This really started about the late 70's and the 1st time that I had heard of this was by HRM on a Mustang build- A reader tried to duplicate part by part what was publicized in HRM, and it could not be done, the Machine Shop was Kelly's block welding service in West LA and Ed Reath Automotive- both very well known & respected shops. When the reader wrote into HRM expaining the situation, the editor at the time gave more excuses than a "pregnant nun" (excuse my language), and if you look very closely at much of the staff that exists today at these mags, allthough they have built cars & are no doubt enthusiets, their admiited backgrounds and ethics are at best questionable.
Joe Sherman himself is reputable in spite of possible journalistic expression. Also note that the article is pretty vague in and of itself. It mentions, intake manifolds, a 750cfm carb (which on dyno mule is probably a 4150 double pumper with mech. secondaries), ported stock heads and some stock reciprocating parts, but only really goes into detail on the pistons and cam. Seems to be an advertisement for the piston and cam manufacturers really. But that doesn't mean Joe Sherman didn't build this engine.
This brings back memories, I have not heard anyone talk about this is 20 years. That was back when there were no aftermarket parts for Fords like heads, good intakes, and cam and carb technology was no where near what it is today. I think with the ease of assembling a good SBF now out of a catalag, I would not waste my time with it.
That being said, in the early eighties, a local guy with a Boss 302 claimed he "installed the pistons backwards" and the damn thing would fly. It was stock other than that and it took quite a few nights of beer drinking together before he told me this. I thought it was BS. I do remember 2 minutes after starting it you could not put your hands on the valve covers - it would get hot quick. Who knows.......
Better to just build a motor with more modern pistons with thinner rings which will give you a friction decrease that will give you just as much horsepower for real without compromising the engine's longevity.
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