Back in the good old days of hot rodding, if you wanted more power the solution was rather simple — build a bigger engine. These days, automakers are doing the exact opposite. Instead of one-upping each other in terms of displacement, they’re in a race to downsize. Instead of relying on natural aspiration, they’re slapping turbos to make up for the power difference.
That being said, installing a newfangled turbo V6 in a classic Ford truck just feels wrong, even if it isn’t. What you really need is big time cubic inches! Typically that comes in the form of a big block, but a bored and stroked small block might actually be a better idea. Ford even offers several brand new, increased displacement small block crate engines that work beautifully in old trucks.
The 306, 331, 347, and 363 cubic inch V8s simply aren’t enough for some folks like Doug Aitken, who owns and operates Prestige Motorsports in NASCAR-crazed North Carolina. Aitken runs a full service shop that offers everything from custom-built engines to paint and body work. But his crowning jewel might just be his largest small block Ford – a 460 Windsor.
Stuffing a 4.250 inch stroke in a bored out 351 results in something quite magical. Aitken routinely gets anywhere from 650-700+ horsepower out of these puppies with rather streetable parts. They make loads of low-end torque, which is perfect for a truck. The only problem? Aitken doesn’t recommend exceeding 6,500 rpm.
The fact that this is such a simple swap for most old Ford trucks makes it very much worthwhile. Unlike a small block to big block swap, you don’t need to change a bunch of parts, or worry about fitting issues. Of course, that’s music to our ears! Almost as sweet as the music this baby puts out at full throttle.