Team Z Motorsports drops 7.3L Ford V8 into a Fox Body Mustang

40-year-old Mustang platform meets a 588-hp Godzilla

Brian Wolfe is a lifelong Mustang drag racer, and during a lengthy tenure at Ford Motor Co., one of his stints included running Ford Racing Technology. Dave Zimmerman owns Team Z Motorsports in Taylor, Michigan, which specializes in building Mustangs for the strip. The two men have worked together for years, a recent effort that started life as the "Bionic Banana," winning its first qualifying race in 7.829 seconds at 177.14 miles per hour. So when Wolfe got hold of a 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 Ford designed for its new Super Duty trucks, he hauled it to Team Z for installation into a Fox Body Mustang. The Drive caught wind of YouTuber Evan Smith, known as REVan Evan, documenting the engine and the build process in a series with five episodes so far.  

Engine aficionados might want to head straight to episode two, which breaks down Godzilla's top end, episode three, which does the same with the bottom end, or episode four, with a deep dive into the valvetrain. The second installment also compares Godzilla's dimensions to other popular Mustang swaps, the Coyote and the 351 WIndsor. The 7.3-liter is about 4.5 inches narrower than the Coyote but a little taller, so the truck engine slips into the comparatively narrow Fox Body without too much modification. Because Team Z needed to move the steering rack down about an inch, and redesign the oil pan around the mechanicals. Zimmerman said that since the external oil pump serves the Super Duty's towing applications, the pump can be moved or deleted. With an eye to making the swap easy for future builders, Team Z is working up plans for plug-and-play kits that include mounts and K-braces for the motor and 10-speed automatic transmission, oil pump relocation or delete kits, and a hood providing the extra two inches in height needed to clear Godzilla's top.

Episode five dives into weights and power figures. Evan put three engines on the scale, the Coyote registering 404 pounds, a 428 Windsor weighing 471 pounds, Godzilla topping them both at 538 pounds. One of Wolfe's reasons for wanting this engine in his Mustang explains the weight penalty: Godzilla was designed for durability, providing a solid platform for the 1,700 or 1,800 horsepower Wolfe eventually wants to get out of the engine for Ultra Street competition. After first-step modifications like cleaned-up heads, a new intake and camshaft, and some calibration, a dyno run returned a naturally aspirated 588 hp and 548 pound-feet of torque; the 7.3-liter leaves the Ford factory with 430 hp and 475 lb-ft. And the sound it makes — righteous. It's a good time to be a Mustang drag racer, and this is a video series well worth the watch.

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