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4.6L Connecting Rods
All the Ford modular engines except the ‘03 Cobra come from the factory with powdered-metal,
cracked-cap rods. The ’03 Cobra is produced with Manley forged-steel rods. The relatively new
technology of powdered metal is the most cost-effective method available to mass produce
connecting rods. The methodology involves forming the rod in a permanent mould using metal
powder under heat and pressure. The rod is formed in one piece and machined. Then the cap is
cracked using pressure and score marks in the rod surface, much the same as sheet glass is
scored, then cracked along the score line.
Ford 4.6L powdered metal connecting rod
Stock 4.6-liter engine uses a
powdered-metal rod with a cracked
cap. The unique surfaces created
when the cap is cracked and
separated from the rod. This means
each cap must remain with the
connecting rod it came from, for the life
of the rod.
This method creates a unique interface on each connecting rod, which prevents the substitution of
one cap to another rod. If the big end of the rod goes out of round, the method used to salvage the
rod is to hone the big end bore oversize by .002 inch, then fit an oversize OD rod bearing. The
oversize bearings are also available with undersize inner diameter (ID) to accommodate crankshafts
ground undersize on the rod journal. While these cracked-cap, powdered-metal rods are
acceptable to a certain power level, we have seen mid-beam failures as the result of detonation or
overload conditions.
Image of a Ford 4.6 Liter engine that has thrown a connecting rod
This is a stock connecting
rod that has broken mid
beam, destroying the engine.
Upgraded rods would be a
wise investment for any
power level. This
400-horsepower Cobra
engine broke the rod while
leading the race.
Likewise, there are certain road-race classes where we have produced 400 hp using these rods,
and they have operated successfully for an entire race season. At present, my recommendation is
to limit use of the stock rods in engines of 450 hp or less. Preparation of these OEM rods requires
nothing more than a visual inspection, confirmation of the correct rod and pin end oil clearances,
and replacement of the TTY (torque-to-yield) rod bolts every time the rod is serviced. The stock
powdered metal rods weigh 575 grams.
Steel Rods
In 1996, I approached Manley to produce aftermarket forged connecting rods for the 4.6/5.4-liter
engines. Tripp Manley asked how many of these rods I thought we could use, and I committed to
100 sets as I recall, so Manley would tool up to produce them. Today, I would say that Manley has
the position of being the preeminent manufacturer of rods for the modular engines. The
Sportmaster rod is a forged rod. It was originally an I-beam design, but it changed to an H-beam
design in 2001. This rod is adequate to 700 hp, although in fairness, I am sure some have
experienced a great deal more power than that, and I have never had a single rod failure. The
Tourlite rod is a lightweight rod (522 grams versus 602 grams for the Sportsmaster) that we have
used on road-race applications up to 500 hp.
Manley H beam Connecting Rod for a 4.6L Ford Engine
Manley H-beam 4.6 rods
are produced with
3/8-inch ARP rod bolts.
The rods weigh 602
grams and will support
power levels of 700 hp.
High-horsepower engines producing 800-1200 hp need the Pro Series I Beam rod. It incorporates a
7/16-inch ARP rod bolt, instead of the 3/8-inch diameter used in the Sportsmaster. It also utilizes
vacuum-melted 4340 steel for increased purity. In 2002, John Mihovetz surpassed the design
criteria of the Pro Series rod, and he designed our own special connecting rod that Manley
produces for us. This rod uses 300M steel, increased section thickness, and modified radii. It was
designed to withstand 2000 hp.
Manly 4.6 Connecting Rod installed in a cap seperator
A rod cap separator, like
this unit, is the best
damage-free way to
remove the rod cap from
the connecting rod.
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This has been a sample page from

How to Build Max Performance 4.6 Liter Ford Engines How To Build Max Performance 4.6 Liter
Ford Engines
by Sean Hyland
This revised edition features new and current
information throughout the text, an additional 16 pages,
and all black and white photography.
When the ’96 Mustang came out with the 4.6-liter V-8, some
performance enthusiasts were scared away by its technology. But
those days are long gone. Ford added horsepower and torque to
its 2- and 4-valve V-8s over the years, and the number and
quality of available aftermarket performance parts has exploded.
Ford took things to the next level with the new 3-valve Mustang
GT engine and the 5.4-liter GT and Shelby GT500, adding even
more high-performance options.

In this updated edition of How To Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter
Ford Engines, Sean Hyland gives you a comprehensive guide to
building and modifying Ford’s 2-, 3-, and 4-valve 4.6- and 5.4-liter
engines. You will learn everything from block selection and
crankshaft prep, to cylinder head and intake manifold
modifications. He also outlines eight recommended power
packages and provides you with a step-by-step buildup of a
naturally aspirated 405-horsepower Cobra engine. This is the
definitive guide to getting the most from your 4.6- and 5.4-liter
Ford.

Temporarily Out of Stock - More On their way!

Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter.
Chap. 1 - Engine Block
Chap. 2 - Crankshafts
Chap. 3 - Rods
Chap. 4 - 4.6 Pistons
Chap. 5 - Cylinder Heads
Chap. 6 - Int. Manifolds
Chap. 7 - Fuel Injection
Chap. 8 - 4.6 Camshafts
Chap. 9 - 4.6 Exhaust
Chap. 10 - Ignition
Chap. 11 - Lubrication
Chap. 12 - Cooling
Chap. 13 - Power Adders
Chap. 14 - Packages
Chap. 15 - 405HP Engine
Softbound
8-1/2 x 11
1
44 pages
445 B/W Photos
Item #SA82P
Price: $22.95
Click here to buy now!
This is a great book that any modular engine owner or enthusiast will enjoy!

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