Project EFI Stroker
An Article by Ken Mattice
Preface: Ken Mattice has produced a really astounding story about his "Stroker Tiger". The subject is not just limited to the "Mods" in our community, but can even appeal to those confirmed in the "keep-it-stock" creed. Whatever your personal preferences, we are not driving LBC's with a Ford V-8 because it's "cute". Who, amongst us, has never had the thought about what "could" be. Well, here's the story of the one who decided to find out. Ken has used a lot of unique components and approaches in his project, and achieved the "modest" goal of the "Twin 400" 400 lb-ft of torque, 400 Horsepower, modest compression, useable rpm range, well behaved throughout the reasonable rpm range.
Paul Mattice was a visionary artist, our Ken Mattice, in his chosen art form, in no less. Read it and dream!
NOTE: Look at ALL the pictures, even the Title Pictures, there are no two alike!
Having had two previous small block Ford stroker motors, I am pretty enamored with the stroker concept for street driven Tigers. What better way to get real useable mid-range power without the traditional "big cams", high compression formula, that brings with it corresponding overhead baggage relating to drive-ability, and the dreaded heating equation. Nowadays, strokers are relatively cost effective, as well.
I will skip the part of "why I need it", but of course, as confirmed Tiger nuts, you already know that part
suffice it to say that I wanted to have another stroker built that meet the following criteria:
- Move the Torque curve a little higher up the RPM scale and advance the useable RPM from 5,800 to 6,500.
- Had to have Compression Ratio of 9.00 to 1 or less.
- Had to maximize the cubic inch displacement, w/ the short deck block.
- Had to produce the requisite 400/400 Torque & HP numbers.
- Had to be overbuilt and interesting, with non-formula parts.
- Had to have superb low and mid-range throttle response.
With that, I pieced together on paper the following general outline of the engine, to use as a basis of discussing the project with potential engine builders:
- Start with the not yet available (then) R-302 4-bolt main Siamese bore block, SCAT 3.40 stroke crank with Chevrolet rod journals. JE custom forged pistons to arrive at 9 to 1 compression ratio. Hydraulic roller camshaft. Titan Speed Engineering twin pickup oil pump w/ Billet Fabrication custom road racing billet aluminum pan. Oliver or Eagle 5.4" rods
- Dart Windsor 64cc aluminum heads, Ferrea Pro Series SS valves. T&D Machine shaft mounted rocker arms. Electronic engine management system and electronic individual runner fuel injection.
I spoke with 2 or 3 potential builders who mostly wanted to fit me into a different and somewhat standardized combination that they had perfected. Then, I went to see Ken Duttweiler in Oxnard, California who is known for low compression and twin turbo powerhouses. Ken doesnt build many street motors these days, but he listened. He was trying to beg off, when I got to the part about possibly using a sequential IR fuel injection system, controlled by a sophisticated electronic engine management package
by the trade name Speed Pro, as manufactured by Federal Mogul.
The electronics and the EFI caught his interest, and he agreed to build it. I had been trying for months to get one of the new blocks, and consistently was told it was not yet available and hadnt been released yet. Duttweiler picked up the phone, talked to someone at Ford SVO, redialed a race team in Texas that had several of them, and in 5 minutes it was agreed that one of them would be on a truck to California the next day. Wow!!!
For anyone interested in a project like this, a few words about blocks seems appropriate. While an R-302, with the 4 bolt mains, sounds very glamorous, it is really an overkill. The R blocks are still available but not the best choice for a relatively low RPM stroker for several reasons:
- There is a new 2-bolt Sportsman block that costs half as much, weighs less, and is good to 600+ HP
- The R model block is very very unfinished, requiring tons of machining..Ford definitely planned on selling it only to real racers.
Take a look at our Regional Clubs section for more information and tips.