Keith Craft 408 - Page 2 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 69MustangCoupe View Post
I'm finally ready to purchase the crate engine and transmission for my 69 Fastback. I've decided to go with the Keith Craft 408.

Craft Performance Engines | Arkadelphia, AR | 870-246-7460 | Made in the USA!!

My car currently has a stock drive chain from the old tired 302, c4 to the rear end. The rear was rebuilt last year but I know it will have trouble handling the 408's power. I'm planning on replacing all eventually. First the engine and trans and then shortly the rear. I'm planning on the PA26103 c4...

Performance Automatic

What else do I need to consider going to the 408 and not staying with the 331/347 that Keith Craft offers? If I'm planning on replacing all the drive chain anyway should I just go big? Any other costs like motor mounts etc that I am probably not thinking of for the swap? What would you recommend as far as other trans, rear gears etc to go behind this 408?

I'm having a local shop that a few recommended to do the work here in Houston. I just wanted to get some of you guys opinions before hitting the "buy now" button on this.
I've got a 408 in my ride, lemme know when you wanna go for a ride so you can get an idea what it's like.
Haha tempting! Where you at in Houston? Any shops you recommend? Houston is too damn big.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I’m considering maybe getting a long block from Coast High Performance. Not sure which yet. Their long blocks seem to have better parts than the Keith Craft Crate I was looking at.

What all else would I need for the long block? Would someone like me with no engine building experience be able to handle finishing it off and doing the swap?
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 11:27 PM
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Look at All American Racing Engines in New Caney. Guy named Stacey owns it. He and his dad have built and raced Ford motors he knows Fords better than anyone in the area. I know he has a Facebook page. Heís done some work for me and heís great
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 11:55 PM
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HP = HEAT may need upgraded cooling. better fan? better radiator? IF a stall maybe better trans cooling? IF all new, may consider Evans waterless in Texas.

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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Look at All American Racing Engines in New Caney. Guy named Stacey owns it. He and his dad have built and raced Ford motors he knows Fords better than anyone in the area. I know he has a Facebook page. He’s done some work for me and he’s great
Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check them out.
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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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HP = HEAT may need upgraded cooling. better fan? better radiator? IF a stall maybe better trans cooling? IF all new, may consider Evans waterless in Texas.
I have a Champion aluminum 3 core. It does have the old mechanical fan on the current engine. Trans cooler would be nice. I’ll check out Evans to see what they offer. Thanks!
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Look at All American Racing Engines in New Caney. Guy named Stacey owns it. He and his dad have built and raced Ford motors he knows Fords better than anyone in the area. I know he has a Facebook page. He’s done some work for me and he’s great
I saw a USA Racing Engines located on 7562 Dillon St. Is that the same place you’re talking about? Seems to have good reviews.
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 12:27 AM
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Iím considering maybe getting a long block from Coast High Performance. Not sure which yet. Their long blocks seem to have better parts than the Keith Craft Crate I was looking at.

What all else would I need for the long block? Would someone like me with no engine building experience be able to handle finishing it off and doing the swap?
Once I started adding up what the engine was gonna cost me, I realized I couldn't afford to do it twice. So a warranty became very attractive. After talking to an engine builder and being told they only warranty the labor, not the motor, I bailed and went for a crate motor with a 2 year warranty. Also dumped the heavy power robbing C6 and went with a manual tranny. Tremec TKO 600 would fit in the transmission tunnel without having to modify it. Rated for 600 foot lbs. of torque.

Another thing to think about is that Ford started reinforcing the shock towers on their big blocks about half way through 1968. With a 408 you will have the power and torque of a big block, and also the problem of the standard shock towers not being strong enough. I got mine reinforced at Classic Mustang of Houston. Upgraded my cooling system at Steve's Mustang in Hockley. Upgraded the rear end at Pyle Brothers in Baytown.

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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 69MustangCoupe View Post
I’m considering maybe getting a long block from Coast High Performance. Not sure which yet. Their long blocks seem to have better parts than the Keith Craft Crate I was looking at.

What all else would I need for the long block? Would someone like me with no engine building experience be able to handle finishing it off and doing the swap?
Once I started adding up what the engine was gonna cost me, I realized I couldn't afford to do it twice. So a warranty became very attractive. After talking to an engine builder and being told they only warranty the labor, not the motor, I bailed and went for a crate motor with a 2 year warranty. Also dumped the heavy power robbing C6 and went with a manual tranny. Tremec TKO 600 would fit in the transmission tunnel without having to modify it. Rated for 600 foot lbs. of torque.

Another thing to think about is that Ford started reinforcing the shock towers on their big blocks about half way through 1968. With a 408 you will have the power and torque of a big block, and also the problem of the standard shock towers not being strong enough. I got mine reinforced at Classic Mustang of Houston. Upgraded my cooling system at Steve's Mustang in Hockley. Upgraded the rear end at Pyle Brothers in Baytown.
I had my coupe worked on by Classic Mustang twice before selling to get the fastback. I wasn’t too impressed with them. Lots of small things bothered me about their attention to detail.

Steve’s Mustang did the rebuild on my rear diff and front suspension. They seemed reasonably priced and helpful. Probably need to give them a call to see what all they recommend.

I think the warranty of a crate is one thing making me want to do that route. Was the Tremec switch difficult? I have a c4 and considered switching to manual if not that pricey. Last time I drove standard was in my 73 beetle back in the day though haha
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:13 AM
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What makes you think kit car builders settle for crappy crate motors?

Most of the Factory Five guys I knew did auto-x, drag racing, and road racing, motorsport activities that most Mustang owners on this forum will never do. I would just like to know where this comment came from?
Donít get me wrong Iíd like to own a FF Cobra itís just I never see them on the road or at auto cross events. I only see them in garages with covers on. Maybe itís where I live as I it tends to be cold, wet, or hot?

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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:49 AM
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The only point I would bring up is a question: how will you use the car? If you want best handling, stick with a 347, if its just tooling around and smoking tires or drag racing, the 408 is the way to go. Your gonna want 2 1/2" exhaust, good motor mounts or at least pin the stock ones. Stroked motors tend to be mid-range power so shorty headers are a nice way to go in terms of good performance, looks like long tube headers from the top and makes life much simpler working on things down under.



I'd be inclined to go with better heads especially If those Chinese heads have any identifying features like the Promaxx emblazoned across the front of the heads. The last thing I would want on an American muscle car I put my heart and soul into is people seeing Chinese heads on my car. Its just not right but if you can sneak them on without anyone seeing, I guess its ok but you know they're gonna ask. I like old-school names on an old school car but again that's just me. e.g. Holley, Edelbrock etc...

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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 69MustangCoupe View Post
I see your point. I would love to buy a nice short block and build it with high end stuff by myself but I have no experience with engine building. I donít think I can trust any engine builders here in Houston yet. Can anyone recommend any here in Houston Texas?
They make several different 408's, here's the one I chose:
Craft Performance Engines | Arkadelphia, AR | 870-246-7460 | Made in the USA!!

Don't be afraid to spend a little more money on your car, you can always retire a year or two later to pay for it

t
t



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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 11:45 AM
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You may want to go with mini-tubs to get enough meat under the rear to use even a fraction of the power a 408 will give you.

When I replaced my C4, I went with a 4R70W for the overdrive and it was the best mod I've ever made to my car. So much more enjoyable to drive, especially with 70 MPH speed limits on some highways now.

That was many years ago. If I was going to do it today, I'd probably also consider a 6R80, as it's beefier and has 2 more gears. I know US Shift has a compatible controller and someone has an adapter plate out there. I would think good/used 6R80 would be easy to find in a junk yard....and likely for not a lot of cash. If not...the 4R70W may be a great choice too.

Of course even I must admit, a manual with a man pedal would be even cooler. I'm just not sure my junky left knee could handle it for long drives.

Phil
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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:47 PM
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I see your point. I would love to buy a nice short block and build it with high end stuff by myself but I have no experience with engine building. I don’t think I can trust any engine builders here in Houston yet. Can anyone recommend any here in Houston Texas?
Craft Racing will build whatever your budget allows. They have budget engines for the price shoppers all the way to ones in the five figure prices. A quality engine shop in the Houston/Pasadena area is Houston Engine and Balance. Jeffery ( the owner) is a "Ford guy" and can build you what you need.

The 408 is easier to build power with simply because of the cubic inches. A mild build on an engine should get 1 horsepower per cubic inch so a 400 hp 408 would be in that mild category (IMHO anyway) If the costs are the same why settle for 330-350 in a 331-347? IF you had a 65-66 engine bay space becomes an issue but is no concern with your '69. My 408 is a '94 hyd roller block , CAST 4" stroke crank , "offshore" rods , 4032 alloy forged pistons ( dished for 9.7 compression) , a Ford X302 hyd roller , "X" GT40 aluminum heads , and an RPM air gap intake. It made 480 hp on 87 octane Arco gas. My labor was free but I spent LESS than $3,000 including a day of dyno testing to dial in the ignition timing and carb jetting. It took some "careful buying of parts" and some were used , but "I" did it. 30,000 miles later it is still chugging away. Sure I could have spent DOUBLE by getting a forged crank and other more expensive heads etc. BUT I got more HP than I expected for that "budget" build, My latest is a 521ci 460 project that I want to make 600 hp on premium pump gas. Looks like it's going to be about 3,800 with dyno testing. Lots of used parts went into it including aluminum early CJ heads and a dual four intake.
Randy
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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 02:31 PM
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Craft Racing will build whatever your budget allows. They have budget engines for the price shoppers all the way to ones in the five figure prices. A quality engine shop in the Houston/Pasadena area is Houston Engine and Balance. Jeffery ( the owner) is a "Ford guy" and can build you what you need.

The 408 is easier to build power with simply because of the cubic inches. A mild build on an engine should get 1 horsepower per cubic inch so a 400 hp 408 would be in that mild category (IMHO anyway) If the costs are the same why settle for 330-350 in a 331-347? IF you had a 65-66 engine bay space becomes an issue but is no concern with your '69. My 408 is a '94 hyd roller block , CAST 4" stroke crank , "offshore" rods , 4032 alloy forged pistons ( dished for 9.7 compression) , a Ford X302 hyd roller , "X" GT40 aluminum heads , and an RPM air gap intake. It made 480 hp on 87 octane Arco gas. My labor was free but I spent LESS than $3,000 including a day of dyno testing to dial in the ignition timing and carb jetting. It took some "careful buying of parts" and some were used , but "I" did it. 30,000 miles later it is still chugging away. Sure I could have spent DOUBLE by getting a forged crank and other more expensive heads etc. BUT I got more HP than I expected for that "budget" build, My latest is a 521ci 460 project that I want to make 600 hp on premium pump gas. Looks like it's going to be about 3,800 with dyno testing. Lots of used parts went into it including aluminum early CJ heads and a dual four intake.
Randy
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