Professional Formula Drift racer Justin Pawlak proved last year how reliable Ford Performance’s Aluminator crate engines actually are. Making over 800 rwhp while being brutally abused in the rigors of drifting, JTP’s team didn’t need to do anything more than change the oil in his 2013 Mustang. For 2016 Pawlak is building a brand new S550 chassis Mustang with, you guessed it, a 2015 Ford Performance Aluminator crate engine. While last year’s engine was the low compression 9.5:1 version, this year Pawlak opted for the 11:1 Aluminator.
“I’m really excited about the new 2015 Ford Performance Aluminator and redesigned Roush Performance supercharger for this year,” explained Pawlak. “I feel we were successful running a crate engine all year without any issues. It’s definitely a testament to Ford and Roush with their crate engine program to be able to be competitive in a pro series with a crate engine and supercharger you can order out of a catalog. We decided to step up our game going from the 9.5:1 version Aluminator last year to the 11:1 version this year. The bump in compression paired with a more efficient supercharger from Roush Performance has shown a huge jump in horsepower, which we’re really excited to get into the car and start shaking down. We don’t have crank horsepower numbers from last year, but we made 700 horsepower to the tires and there wasn’t once that I felt we didn’t have enough power. However with everyone in our series constantly pushing harder each year, the extra horsepower we’ve found should be a great addition to our program”
The short-block of the 2015 Aluminator is largely similar to the out going 2011-14 Aluminator. The same factory block and forged crank are used, though the slugs are updated to Mahle Hard Anodized forged pistons with Grafal low friction coating, while the Manley H-beam connecting rods feature ARP 2000 bolts. The bottom end still includes BOSS 302 rod bearings, high capacity oil pan, and billet oil pump gears.
The top-end of the engine is where the updated 2015 Aluminator shines. Revised cylinder heads in cast form flow as much as the out-going BOSS 302 heads. Updated lobe profiles on the 2015 Mustang cams also come with increased lift — 13mm (+1mm) on the intake and 13mm (+2mm) on the exhaust, while the duration remains the same at 260/263.
75mm pulley (16 psi) with 1-3/4 primary headers – 946.4 hp / 770.1 lb-ft
75mm pulley (16 psi) with 1-7/8 primary headers – 946.4 hp / 781.2 lb-ft
69mm pulley (19 psi) with 1-7/8 primary headers – 986.0 hp / 831.6 lb-ft
The main theme in this test is creating tune that’s reliable. Pawlak very much wants to run an entire season on the same engine as he did last year. It’s clearly visible that there’s more power to be made at higher RPM and the engine would have easily made over 1,000 horsepower, but keeping the limiter at 7,200 rpm will increase the overall durability. Pulls were made with both 75mm and 69mm supercharger pulleys. The combination actually made a so much low end torque — 831.6 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm — that Westech had trouble loading the dyno brake and required a 4,000 rpm start point for the pull.
We look forward to seeing what this combination will make once Pawlak puts the engine into his competition vehicle!