Edelbrock is a company well known among automotive circles as makers of everything from aluminum intakes and cylinder heads to nitrous kits. Heck, their products can be found at most tracks, garages, and backyard shops around the world as the Edelbrock name is well-known and trusted.

But what many don't know is that Edelbrock has quickly become one of the leading manufacturers of performance crate engines in the world. And of particular note, they've substantially increased their offerings in the small block Ford world. We decided to take a closer look at what the "Big E" is now offering for those of you that bleed Ford Blue...

Edelbrock began as most companies do, small and without intention. Founder Vic Edelbrock Sr. worked first as a Ford vehicle delivery boy, and then as an auto mechanic through the Roaring ‘20s and into the Depression. By ’34 he has a shop of his own, and four years later he bought the car that would come to define Hot Rodding as an American past time; the deuce coupe...

The ’32 Ford Vic bought would set a national land speed record using the Slingshot intake manifold. So, from the very beginning, Edelbrock's roots were firmly plated with the Blue Oval.

Edelbrocks origins started with Ford, and that strong partnership continues today

Today, Edelbrock produces just about every part for the top end of your engine, from heads to nitrous kits. Of course, they still offer their competitive line of intakes which deliver excellent performance at an affordable price. There are plenty of dress-up options for your engine too, part of the reason why Edelbrock crate engines are so handsome. It all goes together so well.

Now, before Edelbrock turns a wrench on a crate engine, it has been spec'd out from a clean sheet of paper by a horsepower professional. Depending on the application, an Edelbrock engineer has chosen a completely matched package of components from compression ratio, camshaft and valvetrain, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and induction -- to give you an optimized, high performance engine for a reasonable investment.

Sure, you can do it yourself. But if you’re not the one building the motor, somebody has to. You want a professionally built motor if you’re going to pay someone else to build it and ship it to you. Who better than Edelbrock to know their own parts and to craft a power combination for you - complete with a warranty.

Let's start by taking a look at what goes into an Edelbrock Crate engine, and then we'll dive deeper into Edelbrock's specific offerings:

Edelbrock: The Crate Starts

As you well know, every engine starts out with the engine block as it's foundation, and then you add the crankshaft, rods, pistons, rings, etc. to form a complete short-block. To give you the best bang for the buck, Edelbrock has forged a partnership with Ford Racing. The process of building one of these Edelbrocks crate motors begins with a fully assembled Ford-provided 347 BOSS short block. Folks, that's not cutting corners.

“We feel the brand new short-block assemblies are a critical component to our success, and it underscores the quality we provide at a premium price,” says Jason Snyder, VP of Marketing for Edelbrock. “The fact that we utilize the Ford Racing 347 BOSS short-block is a huge statement of quality and partnership.”

Ford’s short block is based off of their own 347 BOSS stroker kit. The BOSS short block is strengthened by splayed 4-bolt main caps, a forged steel crankshaft, and forged aluminum pistons with cutout reliefs for many of the most popular small block cylinder heads provided by the Blue Oval. The pistons are .030-inch overbore and with the 4.030” bore and 3.400” stroke, they give the small block a total of 347 cubic inches, a popular stroker kit in the aftermarket today. Forged steel connecting rods attach everything, providing a strong and solid base upon which Edelbrock can add their own brand of performance.

Edelbrock Total Power Packages are professionally installed by a two-man team of trained technicians, on top of Ford BOSS 347 Short-Blocks.

With the Ford Boss short block already assembled, two Edelbrock engine pro's working in tandem go about the task of assembling the rest of the engine. All engine assemblers are trained by Research & Development specialists Curt Hooker and Robert Jung. “Both Curt and Robert have been building Edelbrock R&D motors for many years. They are great mentors to the Crate Engine program,” says Snyder.

The assemblers then go about putting together one of Edelbrocks “Total Performance Packages”. These packages consist of:

  • Edelbrock Cylinder Heads

  • Edelbrock Intake Manifold

  • Edelbrock Camshaft & Valvetrain

  • Bolts, Accessories & Gaskets

From there, engine assembly proceeds as it normally would. All the Edelbrock parts are properly lubricated, assembled, and torqued down to the proper specifications. In fact, everything is built to a pre-determined spec, allowing Edelbrock to deliver a consistent product and power rating.

Edelbrock does their machining in house, so you can rest assured that your Edelbrock cylinder heads have been built with precision and performance in mind.

Finishing Details

So you’ve made the plunge and committed to an Edelbrock-built crate engine. Great idea. But even Edelbrock can’t do all the hard work for you. Before you go dropping the motor into your own money pit, there are a few things to take care of to ensure a long and happy life for your engine.

If you’ve gone and purchased an EFI Crate Engine, you’re also going to have some wiring work to do. The Edelbrock EFI XT packages comes with a recalibrated computer, but the EFI 5.0 requires you to recalibrate your own computer (or buy one separately from Edelbrock). The fuel injectors are going to need to be hooked up, as will the fuel pump which are again included in the XT package.

Once the engine is all set to be fired for the first time, it should be broken in as you would any fresh mill. Since all the Edelbrock Small Block Fords come with a hydraulic roller camshaft, there is no need to put your pedal down for a half-hour of break in over 2,000 rpm. Of course, you will want to look for leaks, ensure the timing is right on, and the carburetor may need some adjustment (depending on your climate and altitude).

Edelbrock Small Block Ford Crate Engines: 4 Flavors

All four of Edelbrock's 347 crate engines make between 430 and 450 horsepower, so at first, it may seem like an apples to apples situation. It's not.. even though there are some subtle differences in power, you'll need to take a hard look at each crate to see where the rubber meets the road.

Here are the basic choices:

  • Performer 5.0L EFI - 430 Horsepower - EFI 9.9:1 compression

  • Performer - 438 Horsepower - Carb 9.9:1 compression,

  • Performer RPM XT - 449 Horsepower - XT EFI 9.9:1 compression

  • Performer RPM Dual Quad - 449 Horsepower - 2 Carbs 9.9:1 compression!

The biggest difference between the different crates, BEYOND the choice of induction system (5.0L EFI, Carb, Dual Carb, or Edelbrock XT EFI), is that the crate lines feature two different cylinder heads. The 5.0L EFI, and Performer XT Crate both us the Edelbrock RPM Xtreme heads, PN #51259, while the Carb engines - the Performer & Dual Quad - use the Performer RPM #60259 heads.

While the engines only vary in power by about 20 horsepower from top to bottom, the Edelbrock RPM Xtreme heads that are installed on the EFI engines offer much greater "out of the box" flow and capability than the carb heads, and even include upgrades such as titanium retainers and 8mm valves included. So if you are buying your Edelbrock Crate to modify it down the road for increased horsepower, we say take a look at the EFI Crate's because of the head upgrade.

Here's a little information on the RPM Xtreme head:

  • All-New Design that includes CNC Porting by Edelbrock in the bowl, intake and exhaust runner

  • CNC ported 59cc Combustion Chamber, 2.02 and 1.57-inch valves

  • 18-degree valve angle is rolled over 2-degrees from stock

  • Lightweight 8mm stem valves, conical springs & titanium retainers

From there, the engine flavors come down to choices between fuel or carbureted injection. According to Jason, most people still prefer carbureted motors over the fuel-injected options: “EFI is a popular option that people are interested in, but it costs more money than a carburetor, and for most, carburetors are a big part of the look and feel of a hot rod.”

Of the four Ford crate engines offered by Edelbrock, two are fuel injected, two carbureted, while offering equivalent performance and quality. “What you get is more than a long block and a little less than a turn-key motor. We let the consumer select their spark-plugs, ignition wires and fuel pump (on carbureted); EFI motors include the proper fuel pump and fuel system components.”

So that being said, here's a quick overview of each Crate, starting with our favorites, the RPM Xtreme headed EFI engines:

Performer 5.0 EFI: 430 Horsepower 420 ft-lbs Torque

The Performer 5.0 EFI is the closest in spirit to the famous 5.0 motor made by Ford, even though it displaces another 45 cubic inches thanks to the stroker kit. The intake is an RPM II 5.0, which uses a V-shaped crossover with increasing cross-sectional, showing big gains over stock intakes in the 1,500-6,500 RPM range.

RPM Xtreme heads top the block, featuring 2.02 intake valves and 1.57 exhaust with a 59 cc combustion chamber, giving this engine a 9.9:1 compression ratio. This is coupled with Edelbrocks own 1.6:1 roller rockers and a Performer Plus roller camshaft, providing 430 horsepower 420 ft-lbs of torque. Rounding out this package is Victor aluminum water pump and a rear sump oil pan, as well aluminum engraved valve covers which makes it the perfect swap into old Fox-body Mustangs. This kit comes with a three-bolt damper as well, but no fuel injectors, and will require all the other front accessories (alternator, power steering pump) as well as recalibration of your stock computer to drop in.

This is the best choice for 5.0L Mustang retro-fits, and anyone planning to use a stock 5.0L EFI computer in their vehicle.

Performer RPM XT EFI: 449 Horsepower 417 ft-lbs Torque

For a more complete package, Edelbrock offers another step up with the Performer RPM XT EFI. This includes the Edelbrock XT EFI fuel system and XT EFI intake instead of the Performer RPM II.

Like all the other engines, it makes use of the same base BOSS block and forged internals, but adds a different top end package. The XT EFI is a completely assembled package, assembled with fuel injectors, fuel rails, and a 90 mm intake, making it even closer to a turn-key engine. It also comes with its own calibrated engine control unit (ECU) as well as a hand held module that allows you to adjust the settings from the driver’s seat.

As with the other EFI Crate, this one gets the RPM Xtreme heads and the same roller cam and rockers as the Performer 5.0 engine, as well as the Victor series water pump. The XT EFI system also adds a Mallory distributor, two-piece wiring harness for the intake, fuel pump, fuel filter, attaching hardware and software. All told, this package offers an impressive 449 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs of torque.

Performer RPM: 438 Horsepower 413 ft-lbs Torque

The “base” Performer RPM crate engine is built on the same 347 cubic inch foundation all the motors and is equipped with an RPM Air-Gap aluminum manifold. This manifold features an open space, or Air Gap, between the manifold runners and the engine itself, allowing for cooler, and thus denser air to flow into the engine.

Equipped with a Performer Plus camshaft and topped with RPM aluminum heads, which have 2.02” intake valves and 1.60” exhaust valves, these motors make 438 horsepower and 413 ft-lbs of torque when coupled with Edelbrocks own Thunder Series 800cfm quad carburetor. We especially like the EnduraShine which gives it a show-engine look.

Performer RPM Dual-Quad: 449 Horsepower 417 ft-lbs Torque

But why settle for one carburetor, when you can have two? More is better, after all. So Edelbrock took the carbureted Performer RPM package, but replaced the Air-Gap manifold with an Air-Gap Dual-Quad intake. The intake is part of the Dual-Quad package, and tops the intake with dual Thunder-series 500 cfm carbs.

There is also a Rollin’ Thunder Performer RPM roller camshaft with plenty of duration and lift to get the 1,000 cfm of fuel and air through the engine. The result is 449 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs of torque, the same as the XT EFI but without the cost of fuel injection. Along with the Endurashine, the Dual Quad really adds to the look of a classic Hot Rod or Street Rod.



Web: www.edelbrock.com

Phone: (310) 781-2222

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