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The 7.3L Pushrod V8 Has Quite The Appetite For Power, But Ford Created The Engine For A Specific Use

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Muscle Car
Photo via Ford.

The appropriately nicknamed Ford Godzilla V8 engine is the highest displacement V8 gas engine in a production vehicle right now. It’s only been on the market for about a year, but it hasn’t taken long for the engine to capture the attention of Super Duty truck customers and hot rodders alike. The pushrod, iron block V8 effortlessly pushes out 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque to the crank, and is unrelated to any other engine in Ford’s portfolio currently. And when Ford added the Godzilla V8 to its crate engine portfolio, it didn’t take long for the aftermarket to start tinkering with it. Whipple, for example, is planning a massive 3.0L supercharger for the engine. Creating a Mega Godzilla, if you will.

So with all of this buzz surrounding the big pushrod V8, it’s easy to envision this engine in a more performance based application, such as the Mustang. But Ford has a specific mission for this motor: work, work, and more work.

“I’m not aware of any plans for (Mustang). This is a truck engine for commercial use,” said Pat Hertrich, engineering supervisor on the Godzilla V8. “If you look on YouTube you can see this engine put into people’s personal vehicles. As an engine person, to me, that’s very exciting. But that’s not the business reason for us having the engine. It’s not the design intent. It just happens to lend itself well to things like that.”

Ford Godzilla V8 Ford F-350 Tremor

The V8 bridges itself between the 6.2L single overhead cam gasoline V8 currently serving as the base engine in the Ford Super Duty Lineup with 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, and the incredibly powerful 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine which features as much as 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

“We built it to take a lot… it’s a solid engine,” said Hertrich, keeping the durability testing secrets close to the chest. Hertrich also mentioned that all of Ford’s commercial vehicles with gas applications get this engine, from box vans to the F-650 medium duty truck.

Just as with the case of the Ford Mustang, The Ford F-150 will also shy away from incorporating the Godzilla V8. But Hertrich is happy to see that the performance vehicle scene is attracted to the motor.

“When you’re putting out a gas engine this big, you kind of know that’s going to happen. People are going to look at (the Ford Godzilla V8) as options for performance. Anybody who is into muscle cars and drag racing will start immediately thinking big blocks and big power… but the prime objective here was developing a solid and reliable heavy duty truck engine.”

7.3L Ford Godzilla V8 Engine
Image via Ford

We recently tested the Godzilla V8 in a 2020 Ford F-350 Tremor. At no point did we feel like its output of 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque was inefficient. Moreover, its NVH levels were also impressive, partly thanks to the 10-speed automatic transmission its paired with. The engine effortlessly churns at highway speeds at around 2,000 rpm, and its flat torque curve means that passing power is found everywhere through the rev range. Indeed, Ford seems to have built the commercial market a very fine work horse, but it’s the performance applications from third parties that’s really exciting.

Ford Performance has priced the Godzilla V8 crate engine from $8,150. It’s actually more affordable than the Coyote V8 crate engine, which is priced from $9,500. But if you’re agnostic to brands, Chevrolet Performance does have a 454 (7.4L) high-output V8 with 438 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. It can be found for under $7,000 on some websites, but is missing parts like a throttle body, carburetor, and flywheel.

The Ford Performance Godzilla V8 crate engine includes an intake and throttle body, left and right exhaust manifolds, production oil pan/cooler, ignition coils and wires, production flex plate, M-6038-73 shipping and storage cradle, and factory lift brackets. The engine also comes with a warranty. However, it would be up to the owner to find a transmission to pair it with, as well as the various wiring and other plug-and-play equipment for their Ford Performance project.

2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor Godzilla V8

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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