The Livernois Long Block Hits the Dyno

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The Livernois Long Block Hits the Dyno


This series has been one of redemption. Going from a practically unsalvageable, blown-up stock Coyote engine, to a full Race-Series long-block from Livernois Motorsports and Engineering has been an exciting process. We’ve explained the ideas and theories behind the components used in the build, but the time for talk is over.

Now, it’s time to put all the shiny new parts to the test, to see what they are truly capable of on the dyno. First, we have to get the new long-block into the car. Thankfully, since there are no exterior physical differences between the OEM engine and the aftermarket powerhouse from Livernois, installation should be a simple replacement.

A Quick Recap

In case you haven’t been following the series, in Part Two, Livernois built us one of their stock-displacement Race-Series short-blocks. Using an OEM block, Darton sleeves were added, along with an OEM crankshaft. Livernois then installed a set of its own forged Powerstorm connecting rods and custom Powerstorm pistons.

Then, in Part Three, the short-block was topped off with a set of Livernois Race Series Coyote cylinder heads, which received the full CNC treatment on the intake and exhaust ports, as well as the combustion chambers, along with some upgraded Ferrea valves. The cams were left stock as is the norm for street-driven big-power supercharged Coyotes, and the Ti-VCT system left intact and fully functional.

From the outside, there isn’t much visually letting you know how impressive this engine is. While its OEM appearance belies the level of modification, it does make for an easy, direct drop-in replacement with no changes.

A set of Mahle MLS head gaskets and ARP head studs attach the heads to the block, and some Livernois Powerstorm timing chain guides and Ford Performance chains ensure the engine stays in time at 8,000 rpm while gulping down boost.

Livernois says that the combination will support 1,000 horsepower at the wheels, and that is the project’s ultimate goal. However, for this first dyno session, conservative is the name of the game until we get his fuel system sorted out in the next article and crank up the boost.

Once the crate arrived from Livernois, Ivan Korda, the project’s owner, was quick to get to work and get the engine back between the framerails. However, there were still a few new bits and pieces that needed to be bolted onto the engine.

Exhausting Work

Ivan’s old 1-3/4-inch primary headers were already proving to be a choke point on the previously-stock engine with 2.3-liter Roush TVS supercharger. With the larger supercharger in store, as well as significantly more flow capability from the Race-Series heads, a header upgrade was in order. For that, we turned to Dynatech.

The Dynatech stainless longtubes mate up to its catless X-pipe, which then attached to Ivan’s Ford Performance exhaust.

Starting with 1-7/8-inch-diameter 304 stainless steel tubing, Dynatech mandrel-bends each primary tube for maximum flow. Those primaries then feed into one of Dynatech’s CAD-designed Aero-flow merge collectors with a 3.0-inch outlet. From there, the headers feed into Dynatech’s non-catted intermediate tubes (A.K.A. an X-pipe) and then bolts up to the Ford Performance exhaust on Ivan’s car.

The header and intermediate pipe kits come with all the needed hardware and band-style exhaust clamps, as well as oxygen sensor extension harnesses. With advertised gains of 32 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque on an otherwise stock car, the 1-7/8-inch diameter long-tubes should free up significant power on Ivan’s new combination. The 100-percent stainless construction allows Dynatech to offer a lifetime warranty on its kit.

The Dynatech headers feature OEM-style flanges for easy installation, and a unique four-bolt ball-and-socket flange to connect to the intermediate pipe. They also feature Dynatech’s CAD-designed Aero-flow 3-inch collectors.

Cool Tools – Motion Raceworks Lift Plate

One of the tools that made the reinstallation of the engine incredibly easy was the Motion Raceworks Coyote-specific lift plate. A CNC-laser-cut piece, its tolerances are exacting, providing for a precise fit. It features five lift positions, giving the user a variety of balance options. The plate came with all the required hardware, and doubles as an intake port cover while the engine sits without an intake manifold.

An Injection for the Patient

The car’s fuel system and injectors were adequate for making 710 horsepower in the previous combination of a bone-stock long-block topped off with a Roush 2.3-liter TVS supercharger. But, one  thing we knew right out of the gate, was Ivan’s current 1,000cc/min injectors weren’t going to be enough to feed his new combination, especially with the lofty final power goals.

In addition to the new long-block, which flows significantly more air than the OEM variant, the blower is also getting upgraded. The Whipple Gen 3 offers an additional 26-percent displacement over the previous 2.3-liter supercharger, along with higher efficiencies. All these factors combined mean that Ivan will be making significantly more horsepower.

In preparation, we contacted DeatschWerks and laid out our current and future goals. Since 1,000 horsepower at the wheels, on E85, is a realistic next step for the engine combination, DeatschWerks recommended its 1,500cc/min injectors to give Ivan plenty of headroom to grow. Which is nice, because changing injectors once the Whipple is on is not an easy task.

While the DeatschWerks EV14-style injectors appear unassuming on the surface, as you can see from the data sheet, the 1,500 cc/min rating can be increased almost 25-percent by running additional base fuel pressure. These should have no problem supporting 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower with E85 on a supercharged Coyote, while still maintaining solid street manners.

On E85, 1,500cc/min injectors should support 1,200 crank horsepower, at 80-percent duty cycle, with another 92 cc/min in reserve. Since Ivan’s ultimate goal is 1,000 at the wheels, through the 6R80 transmission, 1,200 at the crank sounds like a safe figure with which to work. Afterall, better to have slightly too large of an injector than slightly too small.

For Ivan’s application, DeatschWerks sent a set of eight EV14-style injectors (P/N: 16M-23-1500-8). These injectors are rated at 1,530 cc/min (145.7 lb/hr) at 43.5 psi of base fuel pressure. They can be bumped up to a stout 72.5 psi for a whopping 2,062 cc/min (196.4 lb/hr) of fuel flow. So, short of Ivan deciding to double his power output, these should be the last set of injectors he ever needs for this engine.

Plugging The Gap

When it comes to high-power supercharged Coyotes, pretty much every engine builder, tuning shop, and race team recommend the same spark plug. For so many people to agree on one part is pretty rare in the Mustang world, so that tells you something.

The Brisk Racing Silver RR12S spark plug is two heat ranges colder than the OE spark plug, and is considered ideal for high-compression forced-induction applications. The silver center electrode is touted as the best thermal conductor of all metals, as well as being quite resistant to fouling under light load.

When it comes to supercharged Coyotes, the Brisk Silver RR12S seems to be one of the most popular choices on the market. The silver electrode is advertised as having the highest thermal conductivity of any electrode metal, while still being resistant to fouling.

Fueling the Fires

When it comes to fuel for the project, Ivan was set on E85, as it is both plentiful and inexpensive while offering excellent performance in boosted applications. The one downside to E85, is the variety of factors affecting the mixture of fuel you get at the pump.

While ideally, you would always get a blend with 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline, that’s seldom the case. Seasonal blends, careless storage, and even cost-saving blends utilizing lower-quality gasoline in the mix can all affect the quality of what you get at the pump.

To avoid this, we turned to Renegade Race Fuel and its Pro E85 fuel. Designed to be a consistent ethanol fuel, not only will it always contain 85-percent ethanol, but the gasoline component is a premium alkylate, leading to improved performance from the blend.

For the new engine’s break-in, of course we used proper break-in oil. Driven Racing Oil‘s BR 15W-50 is a conventional oil with a full load of zinc and phosphorus to protect the engine on initial start-up and run-in. Once break-in was complete, Dynospeed did a full oil change on the dyno with Driven’s E85-compatible DT50 15W-50 synthetic oil.

In addition to the increased performance, knowing  your fuel is a consistent mixture eliminates the need for testing and constant tune adjustments. Measured using the same R+M/2 octane rating as normal pump gas, Pro E85 comes in at 100.1 octane. Renegade also offers a version of their Pro E85 that uses high-octane leaded gasoline for the non-ethanol portion of the mixture, which significantly increases the octane rating.

However for Ivan’s application, leaded race gas isn’t appropriate, because the system still utilizes oxygen sensors. Also, by tuning slightly conservatively on the Pro E85, pump E85 can be used in a pinch without worrying about the tune being too far off.

Renegade’s Pro E85 provides a consistent, controlled blend which is always the same regardless of the time of year. In addition, the 15-percent of gasoline is made up of premium alkylates, ensuring a solid 100.1 R+M/2 octane rating, every time.

Spinning the Rollers

With everything installed, plumbed, and wired, it was time to head to the dyno to get the new engine combination tuned. To do that, Ivan headed to Dynospeed Racing in Memphis, Tennessee. Dynospeed is known for some incredibly powerful Mustang builds, including co-owner John Bonner’s personal seven-second S197 Mustang.

Bonner is also quite familiar with the man tickling the keys on Ivan’s ECU, as Sai Li of Li Tuning and Racing also tunes his car. Li is known for his remote tuning of high-power forced-induction Mustangs. The combination of Bonner and Li working on Ivan’s car made life easy, especially since Li tuned Ivan’s previous engine.

“Ivan’s car falls into what is typical for me,” says Li. “[Ivan’s new tune] isn’t starting from scratch, but I made adjustments for the new parts to make sure everything is working together. E85 usually needs about 30-percent-more fuel than 93 octane, and also allows me to run more timing due to its cooling characteristics and higher octane rating.”

The Whipple Gen-3 2.9-liter screw blower features efficient rotor design and an intercooler built into the intake manifold for solid power-producing boost. For the first dyno session, the 3.750-inch pulley originally supplied with the kit was ditched for a 3.250-inch version from Whipple.

Li left a little bit of wiggle room in the timing in case Ivan needed to use pump E85 of a lesser-octane seasonal blend. “I usually like to leave a little bit of room on the tuneup in case he gets a batch of lower content E85,” explains Li. “I wouldn’t say the tune was conservative, but I would say we were still about 2-3 degrees of timing away from maximum horsepower. Those 2-3 degrees can usually save an engine in case of lower-content E85.”

After some refining of the tune and a few pulls on the Dynojet, some solid numbers were established, but an issue was encountered. There wasn’t enough fuel pump to keep going. While the new 1,500 cc/min injectors had no problems, the GT350 twin-pump setup couldn’t keep up with demand.

John Bonner at Dynospeed did an incredible job working remotely with tuner Sai Li of Li Tuning and Racing on our project. The pair work together on Bonner’s own seven-second Coyote-powered Mustang, as well.

Unfortunately, our session ended with only 822 horsepower at 7,400 rpm, and a weird torque hiccup at 6,300 rpm. Taking that out of the equation, peak torque appears to be about 630 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm. With peak boost numbers right at 16 psi, there is definitely more room in the supercharger.

“If this was a track-only car that was only ever going to run barrel fuel, I would feel comfortable pushing the car to its peak limit,” Li says. “Usually that 2-3 degrees of timing on a supercharged car means around 40-60 horsepower at the wheels, depending on the combination.”

So while this dyno session was cut short by running out of fuel pump, stay tuned. In the next installment, we’re going to rectify the fuel system situation, and add more boost to the mix.

While 822 horsepower isn’t the number we hoped for before we ran out of fuel pump, it is still a stout baseline. Once we get the fuel system sorted, we can switch to a smaller pulley to add in some more boost and spin the engine all the way to 8,000 rpm.



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