THE new 7.3-litre V8 destined for Ford’s 2020 range of Super Duty F-series pick-up trucks is big news for one reason: it’s the company’s first pushrod, in-block-cam V8 since it phased out production of the Windsor small-block in the 90s. While GM has persisted with old-school pushrod technology in its LS series and more recently the LT series, Ford went overhead cam in 1991 with the 4.6-litre Lincoln Town Car and gradually rolled out variations of its new Modular motor across most of its V8-powered products, and has stuck with it ever since – until now.
The new 7.3-litre (445ci) V8, codenamed ‘Godzilla’, is a brand-new, clean-sheet design that has no relation to any previous Windsor, Cleveland or big-block Ford motor. Ford remains tight-lipped on a lot of specifics about this engine, but we do know that it is an iron block with four-bolt and crossbolted main caps and a forged steel crank. It also features oil-cooled pistons and the compression ratio sits at 10.5:1.
So why have Ford revivedthe pushrod V8? “Part of the reason why we favour pushrod for this engine is in this class, the engines don’t run at extremely high speed where dual overhead cam has its advantages. This engine is optimised to run at engine speeds that customers will run it at, around 1400-2500rpm,” said Mike Pruitt, Ford Super Duty chief engineer.
The pushrod V8 with the cam in the block historically makes lots of low-rpm torque, so you don’t have to rev it out to feel the power, which also has huge benefits for towing heavy loads. And that was one of the main reasons Ford developed this new engine – torque. It also has variable valve timing to again improve low-end and light-load torque and fuel economy, and a variable oil pump to provide more oil when needed or reduce drag under low load.
“With the technologies we have used with this engine, we didn’t feel the need to go direct injection and add the extra cost to the customer,” said Pruitt.
The other reason for the new engine was size – and weight. If you’ve seen a Ford Modular V8 with their massive dual-cam cylinder heads, you’ll know they take up a hell of a lot of room. While Ford hasn’t supplied engine dimensions, it has confirmed the new engine is far narrower – which might make it a better candidate for swapping into old-school muscle cars.