Ford Performance Vehicles has brought a true Boss engine back to Australia by developing a premium engine for the GT, GT-P and Pursuit ute that is built on the only V8 engine assembly line in Australia.
"The new engine is not only unique in the Ford world, but is built here in Australia – starting from just bare blocks and heads," said Ford Performance Vehicles Managing Director, David Flint.
"We have maintained and built upon the standard previously set by Tickford to produce a premium performance engine that specifically meets Australian requirements.
"As we worked through its development, we kept coming across remarkable parallels with the first Boss 302 in the 1969 Mustang – which led us to believe there could only be one name for this new engine - Boss."
There are two versions of the new Boss engine, a 260 kW version for the Falcon XR8 and 290 kW for the GT, GT-P and Pursuit Ute.
It is the first V8 engine ever offered in an Australian model with quad overhead camshafts and 32 valves, an advanced specification more than capable of writing a new chapter in the Boss and the GT legends.
The GT, GT-P, Pursuit Ute and Falcon XR8 also share a specific Boss power bulge bonnet that is factory-styled, tooled and stamped as a single steel panel.
This ensures that the engine’s position in the engine bay and vital performance equipment are not dictated by low bonnet height. It also helps generate the required ground clearance for the sump and allows additional airflow around the engine bay. This original equipment build standard separates the new GT, GT-P and Pursuit Ute from the enhanced vehicle practice of cutting a hole in the bonnet around a larger engine and covering it with a fiberglass panel.
The original and the new
The first Boss 302 V8 engine was born in 1969 by combining the latest and proven cast-iron Windsor 302 block with the larger, deeper-breathing Cleveland heads to generate a new Mustang legend in Trans-Am racing. It was a legend that had an unforgettable Australian chapter starring Allan Moffat and his factory Trans-Am Mustang Boss 302.
The original Trans-Am race-bred Boss 302 featured an aluminium high-rise manifold, four barrel carburettor, 4-bolt centre main bearing caps, forged crankshaft and special pistons. It delivered 290 [email protected]
rpm on a compression ratio of 10.5:1.
Both the 260kW and 290kW versions of the new Boss engine start with the rigid cast-iron block and high torque of Ford’s proven 5.4-litre V8, with forged steel crankshaft and cross-bolted main bearing caps as manufactured by Ford in Windsor, Ontario. The block is from the same all new V8 engine family introduced across the BA Falcon range.
The very latest development of the Cobra R alloy cylinder heads, with twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and high performance alloy inlet manifold, are the 21st century equivalent of the Cleveland heads. They are added to the latest version of the 5.4-litre block to create a new Boss that is even more formidable than the original.
The new Boss 290 delivers 290 [email protected]
rpm, the same icon power figure in kilowatts as the brake horsepower figures for the original Mustang Boss 302 and the first Falcon GT 351 on their 1969 release. It also shares its 10.5:1 compression ratio with the original Boss 302 while the [email protected]
rpm torque figure launches the new GT, GT-P and Pursuit ute into a class of their own.
The parity between the Boss 260 and Boss 290 is also remarkably similar to the two-barrel (250 bhp) and four-barrel versions (300 bhp) of the Cleveland 351 V8 available in the XY Falcon GS 351 and GT 351 in 1970-72.
Now, as then, the GT, GT-P and Pursuit ute are the ultimate expressions of a clear hierarchy of factory performance models to wear the Ford badge - along with the extra cachet of the Ford Performance Vehicles badge to highlight total performance engineering and focus.
Boss cylinder block
Source: Ford Windsor, Ontario
Cast-iron for exceptional rigidity. Up to three times stronger than aluminium for extra durability reserves and refinement under high horsepower and torque loads. Maintains tolerances better. More stable over a wider temperature range. Less movement at critical sealing points for superior resistance to oil and coolant leaks. Regarded as the most rigid and stable starting point for a high performance engine as evidenced by V8 Supercar control engines.
Forged steel crankshaft for strength and refinement under high power and torque loads.
Oil pump is driven directly off the crankshaft. If the engine is running, the oil pump is pumping. Eliminates the potential for engine failure that can occur when a separate oil pump drive breaks and the engine continues to run.
Deep skirt block, which extends well below crankshaft centerline and encloses the crankshaft for maximum strength and refinement. This allows a non-structural low profile oil pan with single plane oil seal and fully enclosed one-piece rear main bearing seal.
Six-point main bearing location is comprised of two cross-bolts, two vertical bolts and two vertical locating dowels for each main bearing cap. Together, they provide six-point mounting with superior and more precise location compared to a six-bolt mounting. In combination with the rigid deep skirt cast-iron block, they deliver exceptionally stable and highly accurate crankshaft location for superior durability and refinement under high performance loads.
Highly accurate three-grade engine tolerance system measured in microns that matches crankshafts, pistons, block, conrods and bearings within three measurement grades for perfect fit. Accurate component matching by tolerances and weight improve performance, durability, refinement and fuel consumption.
Undersquare bore and stroke ratio delivers the flexibility, fast response and strong pulling power from low engine speeds expected from a premium performance V8.
Special high tensile bolts stretched under torque for maximum strength and extra resistance to loosening are used in critical engine joins.
Long life galvanized and stainless steel welch plugs.
Sintered conrods for uniform weight and high strength. Conrod big ends are separated by controlled cracking process for main bearing insertion leaving a highly accurate and multi-ridged join unique to each conrod that is exceptionally strong and virtually invisible.
Eight bolt flywheel clutch-mounting for uniform clutch attachment and strength.
Ford Performance Vehicles block upgrades for Boss 260
The FPV oil pan and oil pick-up shared with the Boss 290 features a front well to clear the cross member and to provide adequate ground clearance compared to the rear well of US engines. This oil pan was also subjected to exhaustive development under high “g” circle work to avoid oil starvation under high cornering loads.
Ford Performance Vehicles block upgrades for Boss 290
Locally supplied high performance pistons with domed tops lift the compression ratio from the Boss 260’s 9.52:1 (91RON ULP) to the Boss 290’s 10.5:1 (96 RON PULP only) for a major improvement in engine response. The Boss 290 revives the high compression edge and crispness for which the original Boss engine was renowned. It also improves overall engine efficiency and fuel economy under light throttle loads.
These high strength pistons feature a larger gudgeon pin, larger internal pillars to support the gudgeon pin and a special ring pack to match the higher compression, extra power and torque loads. The top piston ring is optimized for high engine speeds, higher compression and stringent internal oil consumption standards.
Each piston is graded according to Ford’s original factory three-grade tolerance matching system to ensure exact compatibility with other engine parts.
Each conrod is re-engineered to accommodate the larger gudgeon pin and reshaped to clear the larger gudgeon support pillars inside each piston for significant gains in strength and durability.
Each Boss 290 crankshaft undergoes a special balancing process at FPV prior to assembly to match the new piston and conrod combination for exceptional refinement and reduced stress on engine components at all engine speeds.
Locally sourced high performance tri-metal main and big-end bearings are specified for extra durability under higher engine speeds and peak power and torque loads. All bearings are graded according to original factory three grade tolerance matching system.
The FPV oil pan and oil pick-up shared with the Boss 260 features a front well to clear the cross member and to provide adequate ground clearance compared to the rear well of US engines. This oil pan was also subjected to exhaustive development under high “g” circle work to avoid oil starvation under high cornering loads.
Cylinder heads and ancillaries
Source: Cast by Ford US, machined by Cyltech
Twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder to produce a deep breathing, high performance engine for exciting and consistent power and torque delivery right up to the red line. Although these heads add extra weight over a pushrod engine, this is more than offset by power and efficiency gains.
Cast in aluminium alloy to minimize weight increase of larger heads and extra valves and to reach operating temperature faster.
Improved Cobra R design with a better breathing, straighter inlet port.
Hollow camshafts for reduced weight, less inertia and faster response.
Low friction camshaft followers for more precise valve control.
Sealed high-quality timing chains are lubricated by the engine’s oil supply for long life, giving a major reduction in maintenance costs compared to timing belt replacement and all but eliminating the possibility of engine damage through a missed timing belt change. They also feature hydraulic tensioners that automatically compensate for wear. While these timing chains add extra weight, they are especially reassuring with the Boss 290’s high lift camshafts and long reach valve stems.
Ford Performance Vehicles head and ancillary upgrades for Boss 260
Specific inlet camshaft to match the Boss inlet manifold and exhaust header system. This camshaft matches the profile of the Mustang Cobra’s inlet camshaft, an engine renowned in Australia for its thoroughbred sporty feel.
More upright long runner inlet manifold with tuned length intake trumpets to match straighter inlet port for strong torque at lower engine speeds, accessible power at everyday engine speeds and deep breathing at high engine speeds. Manufactured in Australia.
Specific Boss fuel rail with upgraded injectors to suit inlet manifold, camshaft and cylinder head characteristics. Specific high quality fuel lines with high-pressure unions.
A 75mm throttle body with drive by wire throttle linkage. This replaces a mechanical throttle linkage, which can generate a noise and vibration path into the cabin. It also reduces maintenance, allows more accurate throttle control and optional pedal adjustment on automatic models.
The Boss cast alloy plenum cover is profiled for optimum breathing and to fully exploit the raised bonnet clearance to meet the specific air flow and volume requirements of the Boss intake system. Manufactured in Australia.
Boss low restriction air-intake system developed and manufactured in Australia incorporating the high volume conical filter element from the Mustang Cobra. Positioned and shaped to deliver higher density cooler air with optimized air flow to meet volume requirements of the inlet system. Tuned induction system also generates deep-breathing sound commensurate with performance.
Fabricated stainless steel exhaust headers up from T3’s 1 ¾ inch to 1 7/8 inch for a total breathing package to match the performance inlet manifold, high lift cam profiles and 32 valve heads. This exhaust system also contributes to the deep and purposeful sound that only a premium V8 performance engine can generate. Reduced weight compared to cast exhaust manifolds. Manufactured in Australia.
Cylinder head cooling system inlet pipes are sealed into the thermostat housing with dual O-ring sealing system to maintain cooling system integrity under high temperatures.
Additional Ford Performance Vehicles head and ancillary upgrades for Boss 290
All Boss 260 upgrades plus:
Cobra R profile inlet camshaft that increases inlet valve lift from Falcon XR8’s 10 mm to 13 mm for improved inlet flow, fast response and easy-revving high performance feel.
Cobra R profile exhaust camshaft that increases exhaust valve lift from Falcon XR8’s 10 mm to 12 mm for more efficient exhaust gas clearance.
Longer valve stems and springs to match high lift camshafts for longer reach and improved gas flow in and out of the combustion chamber.
Re-profiled valve stems at valve base for optimum gas flow in the port area.
Longer finger followers to match higher cam profile and to ensure accurate valve control through the extremities of valve lift.
Modified camshaft cradle to provide extra clearance for longer finger followers.
High-compression Terminator head gasket engineered for supercharged application allows extra margins of sealing strength for non-supercharged Boss 290 application.
Special high-tensile head bolts stretched under tension for maximum strength and head gasket stability have enlarged bolt head surface to spread torque loads over a wider area of head and gasket surface.
Highly sophisticated Boss 290 engine management system takes catalytic converter protection under high engine loads to another level. Normal cat-protection modes automatically dump extra fuel into the engine under high engine loads to preserve the converter, which generates high emissions and excessive fuel consumption. The Boss 290 engine management system monitors cat-converter function and will activate a cat-protection strategy only when necessary, maintaining optimum mixture control for better performance, low emissions and improved fuel economy over a much wider range of conditions.