5.0 HO Engine Specifications

by William Bronleigh
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Almost since the first day they debuted, the 302 and Mustang have been neigh on inseparable. There's just something about that magic combination of "5.0" and "Mustang" that rings true to the enthusiast's heart, connecting Mustangs present to those of the past. For more than a decade, Ford tried to pry the two apart with its otherwise excellent 4.6-liter modular engine; but, the 5.0-liter came back, paying appropriate homage to the little Windsor V-8 that started it all.

General Engine Specifications

The 5.0-liter V-8 engine had a bore and stroke measurement of 4 inches by 3 inches, or 101.6 mm by 76 mm. The compression ratio for the 1982 model was 8.4-to-1; that increased to 9.2-to-1 after the 1986 H.O. redesign, partly to take advantage of the new roller camshaft's better valve control. Compression dropped to 9-to-1 for the 1987 and 1988 models, primarily for emissions and better tolerance of California's 91-octane fuel.

Engine Evolution

In 1982, the 5.0-liter V-8 engine utilized a two-barrel carburetor, but got a Holley four-barrel in 1985. Ford switched over to a speed-density fuel injection system for 1987 and 1988, and later to an excellent mass-air system.

The 1982 version came equipped with an aluminum intake manifold and was carried through with slight variations until 1993. The main engine block change occurred in 1986 when a stronger 126-pound block was introduced, optimized for improved oil flow.

Performance Specifications

The 5.0-liter engine saw many alterations in performance during the Mustang GT models from 1982 to 1993. In 1982, the engine produced a relatively low 157 horsepower at 4,200 rpm. Models produced in 1983 and 1984 increased to 175 hp at 4,200 rpm. Horsepower increased in 1985 to 210 hp at 4,400 rpm, largely due to cylinder head and carburetor changes.

Models in 1986 saw a decrease of 10 horsepower to 200 horses at 4,000 rpm. From 1987 until 1992, the standard horsepower production was 225 horsepower at 4,000 rpm. Finally, in 1993, the Ford Mustang Cobra's 5.0-liter engine produced the highest power of all the High Output engines, 235 horsepower at 4,200 rpm.

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