Keith Craft 408 - Page 3 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 02:43 PM
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Why look for a builder just in Houston? I used ZSR Engines in mine and am really pleased. Zach built up a solid short block that I topped with AFR205's that is a monster. He did a custom cam grind and built the engine to match my wants along with tire size, trans, and gearing.

I do not know what it makes to the tires but I have 0 issues breaking them loose in any gear and it's flat out FUN! I have a tremec 5 speed, 3.70 tru trac 9", 275-40/17 rear tires in a 66 mustang.
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 03:37 PM
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I really don't have a problem with that crate engine, no I don't have a 408 (would love it) but I see little wrong with that build. Chinese castings don't mean they're crap, depending on where the final machining was done. If it was done stateside and blueprinted and flowed you should be good to go. Just make sure what type of valves, retainers, locks, and springs are on it. The pistons are hyper, nothing wrong with a non forged piston, hell the crank is cast and I would assume you're not planning on twisting that tight, what with the torque that will be available.
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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 06:55 PM
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The problem with the Chinese heads is the valvetrain and guides. I'd guess that an outfit like Keith Craft is buying just the bare cores and building them right. I believe this is what Skip White does with their $700 (pair) performance heads. The heads don't flow more than TFS 170s, but for $700, what do you want?

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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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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?
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
I could keep saving. A good engine is expensive if you don’t have the know how like me to build one. The one you got looks amazing but way out of my price range right now! Took me long enough to save what I have now to spend.
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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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The problem with the Chinese heads is the valvetrain and guides. I'd guess that an outfit like Keith Craft is buying just the bare cores and building them right. I believe this is what Skip White does with their $700 (pair) performance heads. The heads don't flow more than TFS 170s, but for $700, what do you want?
That’s what I was thinking originally. If Keith Craft is doing the building then it must be good. I’ve only heard good things about them.
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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 09:48 PM
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So if your building a new motor and can specify pistons that will work with the M'erican made TFS 170 heads, why not go that way? The KB Hyperutectic pistons specified on your engine have a reputation of skirt breakage. Please Google it! I had a machine shop show me a half dozen of those pistons with broken skirts on their wall of shame. I had my 331 in and out of my car 5 times and made every mistake possible and don't want anybody else to have to go through that.

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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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So if your building a new motor and can specify pistons that will work with the M'erican made TFS 170 heads, why not go that way? The KB Hyperutectic pistons specified on your engine have a reputation of skirt breakage. Please Google it! I had a machine shop show me a half dozen of those pistons with broken skirts on their wall of shame. I had my 331 in and out of my car 5 times and made every mistake possible and don't want anybody else to have to go through that.
I certainly wouldn’t want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think I’m going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 09:58 PM
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I certainly wouldnít want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think Iím going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
The KB Hyperutectic pistons are probably fine for a cruiser that you get on once in a while. A real 500HP goal! Wow! Thats going to require a little saving but will be a blast when it's done.

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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I certainly wouldn’t want broken pistons or to settle on anything for the engine. I think I’m going to hold off on the engine for now and keep saving while I do more prep on the car to handle around 500hp.

Can anyone recommend what I should do to prep for 500hp? I was thinking subframe connectors and maybe some stiffening of the shock towers?
The KB Hyperutectic pistons are probably fine for a cruiser that you get on once in a while. A real 500HP goal! Wow! Thats going to require a little saving but will be a blast when it's done.
I don’t plan on taking it to the strip or anything similar but I would love it to handle anything I want it to 🙂
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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 02:28 AM
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Problems with KB pistons are a measurement/machining/assembly problem. Period.

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post #41 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 12:31 PM
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I donít plan on taking it to the strip or anything similar but I would love it to handle anything I want it to 🙂
You have to decide what you want the car to do, and how you want to drive it.
For example; There is nothing wrong with a high HP number @ 7000 rpm, but unless you are going to the drag strip regularly, it isn't something you use while street driving that much. It is a number that you can talk about/brag about though.

The opposite of that would be a motor built like a truck motor. Gobs of torque down low, but dies out quickly as the rpm climbs. Great for trucks, RV's and tow vehicles.

Do you care about street manners, idle /stopping at traffic lights? Are you going to want to run power steering a/c? Reliability?

Are you going to scale the motor up in the future? ie look for more power, or not?

Where do you plan on driving? Racing only, pub burner, cruiser, road trips? Is fuel economy remotely important?

Not saying a crate engine won't do those things, but a good engine builder can help you choose and build what's right for you.


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post #42 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:19 PM
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I saw a USA Racing Engines located on 7562 Dillon St. Is that the same place youíre talking about? Seems to have good reviews.
No itís not. AARE is in New Caney. PM me if you need contact info
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post #43 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Problems with KB pistons are a measurement/machining/assembly problem. Period.
I’m planning on going with a better crate now from Keith Craft that have the Mahle Forged pistons and Brodix heads. I just have to save more now.
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post #44 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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I don’t plan on taking it to the strip or anything similar but I would love it to handle anything I want it to 🙂
You have to decide what you want the car to do, and how you want to drive it.
For example; There is nothing wrong with a high HP number @ 7000 rpm, but unless you are going to the drag strip regularly, it isn't something you use while street driving that much. It is a number that you can talk about/brag about though.

The opposite of that would be a motor built like a truck motor. Gobs of torque down low, but dies out quickly as the rpm climbs. Great for trucks, RV's and tow vehicles.

Do you care about street manners, idle /stopping at traffic lights? Are you going to want to run power steering a/c? Reliability?

Are you going to scale the motor up in the future? ie look for more power, or not?

Where do you plan on driving? Racing only, pub burner, cruiser, road trips? Is fuel economy remotely important?

Not saying a crate engine won't do those things, but a good engine builder can help you choose and build what's right for you.
I want a car that will be fun to drive around town. Very spirited driving after the red light turns green. I won’t be doing any long distance driving, road trips or care about fuel economy. I’m sure I will be fine with that power and won’t be trying to scale up the numbers more.

Just a fun car to take out on the weekend or drive to a car show if it’s not too far away. I do want reliability and driveability. Not a drag car but lots of power. I don’t care about having AC but I might do power steering down the road maybe.

What do you think of this one? Does it fit what I want or is it too much for my needs?
https://www.craftperformanceengines.com/crate7.html
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post #45 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:18 AM
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Iím planning on going with a better crate now from Keith Craft that have the Mahle Forged pistons and Brodix heads. I just have to save more now.

I imagine that would be a pretty good price jump
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