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Modifying Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads
Modifying Small
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4.6L Intake Manifolds
92-’98 2-Valve Intake
The 4.6-liter 2-valve engine uses a plastic intake manifold. This improves heat dissipation over an
aluminum intake, and is less expensive to manufacture. The ‘92-‘98 2-valve car engines all use a
similar version of the intake. In 1999, a new intake manifold was released to coincide with the
release of the power improved cylinder heads. The port configuration is different between the two
cylinder head types, so they are not interchangeable. The plastic intake manifold material does not
lend itself to modification, so the only scope for improvement with the stock manifold is with the
throttle body and the elbow between the throttle body and the intake. The original throttle body is
60 mm in diameter on the 2-valve engine. Aftermarket manufacturers have produced 70-mm
throttle bodies for the 2-valve engine for some time, but the gains from bolting one on are minimal.
A gain of 2-3 hp may be realized with a larger, more efficient throttle body installed.
Ford 4.6L Plastic Intake manifold
The production 2-valve
intake on the Mustang is
a plastic design. The
early (‘96-‘98) version will
not interchange with the
‘99-up style, due to the
different port design of
the Power-Improved (PI)
cylinder heads.
There have also been a couple of companies who have produced a 1-inch spacer, which is placed
between the throttle body elbow and the intake manifold, much like a carb spacer in the old days.
There is a power improvement of 4-5 hp to be found with a spacer, likely as a byproduct of
increasing the plenum size, which is too small to be ideal.
Accufab billet throttle body with elbow for a 4.6 Ford
This Accufab billet throttle
body with elbow picks up
192 cfm of airflow and
boosts a stock Mustang
GT up 10 horsepower.
John Mihovetz, of Accufab in Ontario, California has been a producer of high-performance billet
throttle bodies for years. He decided to produce a throttle body for the 4.6 Mustang recently, and
did a bunch of development work on the flow bench to determine why the 4.6 2-valve throttle bodies
on the market were not producing meaningful power gains. He found that the elbow between the
throttle body and the intake manifold was the restriction in the system. By casting a new elbow to be
used with his throttle body, the airflow went from 410 cfm to 602 cfm, resulting in a power gain of 10
hp on a stock 4.6-liter Mustang.
4.6 Aluminum plenum spacer
Aluminum plenum
spacer raises the
2-valve throttle body,
resulting in a 4-5 hp   
gain over a stock
Mustang GT.
The 4.6 and 5.4-liter truck intake manifolds are optimized by the factory for the lower-RPM ranges
they operate in, and the emphasis is on low- and mid-range torque, which is the most important
attribute for a truck engine. This will hinder the higher-RPM potential of a 4.6 or 5.4 using a truck
intake, unless of course, forced induction is used.
SVO Intake
At present, there are only two options other than the production intake for the 4.6. The first
aftermarket intake available was a long-runner intake from Ford SVO, released in 1998 to
complement the SVO heads that were released at the same time. The SVO intake uses a large
plenum located in the valley area of the engine, combined with large cross section runners of
reasonable length, fed by a twin-blade throttle body borrowed from the Cobra engine. This intake is
a substantial improvement over the stock ‘92-‘98 intakes. Unfortunately, the intake port only mates
with the SVO cylinder head, although if you really need to, a tig welder and die grinder will modify
this intake to fit other cylinder-head ports. The SVO intake also works quite nicely with
supercharged engines, and the throttle-body location, plus the fact that the throttle body is a Cobra
piece, means that the Cobra supercharger duct can be substituted for the GT piece provided with
the original supercharger kit, and everything will line up perfectly.
Ford SVO intake manifold for 4.6L engines
The Ford SVO intake offers an
increased runner volume
compared to the stock intake. It
also offers an increased runner
length for improved upper-RPM
power, combined with good mid-
range torque. Ford Racing offers
installation kits available for ‘96-
‘98 Mustangs, or the SVO intake
may be installed on other
applications with owner supplied
installation components.
Bullitt Intake
The Mustang GT Bullitt, released in 2001, uses a manifold that looks surprisingly like the SVO
intake. In fact it is very similar, but the port interface is designed for the 1999-up PI cylinder heads,
so this is the intake to use if you already have the PI heads.  Both the SVO intake and the Bullitt
intake can benefit from additional work, especially if the engine is naturally aspirated (NA). Due to
the enclosed nature of the runners, sending the intake to Extrude Hone for their proprietary
abrasive honing procedure will yield a 10% improvement in the flow. The throttle body on the SVO
intake can be substituted with an Accufab single blade unit, providing the area directly behind the
throttle body is opened up to accommodate the single-blade throttle body. The same exercise can
be performed on the Bullitt intake, but with the different idle air control valve location, the IAC will
not function as intended. This could cause some stalling conditions on a street car with a Ford
computer, although it would pose no problems for an engine tuned with an aftermarket computer
Mustang Bullitt intake manifold
The Bullitt intake borrows
many design influences from
the SVO intake. The Bullitt
intake is a bolt-on manifold
for ‘99 up Mustangs, or early
model GTs that have the PI
heads installed.
'93-98 4-Valve Mark VIII Intake
The 4-valve intake manifold has 5 separate and distinct types. The first to appear came on the ‘93
Mark 8 Lincoln. The intake was mated to the early twin-port 4-valve heads, so the primary port was
open all the time, and a computer-controlled secondary throttle valve located in a plate between the
intake and the cylinder head opens at 3200 rpm to access the secondary port. The throttle body
was located close to the firewall in a vertical position. This layout may be the best for some custom
engine installations where a low hood line is required. The runner size and length were optimized
for the idle to 5500 rpm performance range, which is perfect for the automatic-equipped Lincoln.
For engines with modifications designed to raise the operating RPM range up above 6000 rpm, this
is not the best choice for a manifold. On ‘93-‘98 Mark 8s, you can substitute the ‘96-‘98 Cobra
intake, and revise the intake duct for better high-RPM performance. The package still fits under the
stock hood to boot.
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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

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
8-1/2 x 11
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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