Mulling Over Mod Motors


You were a great help when I started my current project (building a custom from a ’49 Lincoln that I have changed into a Mercury). The car was requested at last year’s Toppers car show in Fargo (in bare metal) to show what’s involved in a 4-inch chop.

My questions to you today are: Do you know of any company that makes an intake manifold for two four-barrels to replace that stock Ford V-10 fuel injection, which in my opinion, does not “look” very “hot rod”. I do have the “donor” vehicle so can go that route if, as I’m finding out, nobody makes anything for that motor, Also, do you know of a company that makes the necessary computer to fire the motor if it’s got carbs?

The Corvette wheels I asked about previously look great, and with the V-10 they sort of set it “apart” from most Mercs of that vintage. Thank you.

Roger Lonnstrom
Henning, MN


The 6.8L (413 cid) SOHC V-10 was created for use in trucks and has been produced in two versions. The two-valve was introduced in 1997 and was rated at 305 hp with 420 lb-ft of torque in the E-series—horsepower jumped to 310 and torque to 425 lb-ft for F-series trucks and Excursions. The three-valve V-10 came out in 2005 and was rated at 362 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.

Both two- and three-valve V-10s have a bore of 3.552 inches and stroke of 4.165 inches, which is the same as the 5.4L V-8. These engines are often referred to as “modular” because they share a considerable number of parts, however that is a misconception. The modular concept actually has to do with the tooling used in manufacturing—Ford could change from building one engine to another in a short period of time.

Since these engines are primarily found in truck applications there are headers, high-flow air filters, and enhancements for the electronic engine controls to increase horsepower and mileage in towing and RV applications. However, proving yet again that somewhere someone somewhere is hopping up any engine ever made, there are those who have embraced the V-10 as a performance powerplant. One of the best sources of information on that subject is the Modular Fords website ( You’ll find information on intake manifolds there.

Another option to blow new life into your V-10 is one of the supercharger kits available. Paxton, Powerdyne Automotive, and others offer centrifugal supercharger kits. Whipple Industries offers a twin-screw supercharger and some creative types have adapted 5.4 turbocharger components to the V-10.

You’ve certainly taken the road less traveled with your Merc, but that’s what makes this hobby what it is. Keep us posted on your progress.

Ron Ceridono

However, proving yet again that somewhere someone somewhere is hopping up any engine ever made, there are those who have embraced ...

Better Binders


I have been reading STREET RODDER since 2005; it’s the best one for my purpose. I am looking for advice on converting my ’31 Model A brakes to hydraulic [juice] brakes. I would like to install Ford F-100 hubs and drums, however the process is confusing. For example, will ’46-48 Ford car backing plates work or will drilling and welding be required? What spacer is required? Looking at past articles I have not found the exact process. Would also like more articles on wheels—what fits what? (As an example, Model A hub fits what wheels?) For some of us the obvious is not obvious. Thanks for your attention to this.

Dennis Tate
Via the Internet


There are two different scenarios here—F-100 brakes are 11 inches in diameter and the ’39-48 brakes are 12 inches, so the complete assemblies of each type must be used.

The most common brake swap for Model As is the installation of ’39-48 hydraulics. There are some modifications that are required to make the change. The four 1/2-inch mounting holes in the later backing plates are plugged and then new 3/8-inch holes are drilled that match the smaller-diameter Model A bolt pattern. In addition the center register of the late backing plates are larger in diameter than the A’s; check with MT Car Products ( they can provide an adapter ring that properly locates the backing plates on the spindles. M/T can also supply the required wheel bearing/seal adapter that presses onto the spindle.

As with the front brakes, when installing hydraulics on the rear of a Model A the holes in the later backing plates must be filled and re-drilled. Another issue is interference between the wheel cylinders and the stock spring perches that prevents the backing plates from seating properly on the axle housing. There are several methods to deal with this. One is to simply mount the backing plates upside down—just make sure to reorient the bleeders. They must be at the high point of the wheel cylinders so air can be removed from the system. Another method to gain the necessary clearance is to rotate the backing plates just far enough (roughly 15 degrees) for the wheel cylinders to clear and then drill new mounting holes accordingly. Notches in the backing plates will still be necessary for spring clearance.

Before the later hub/drum combinations can be installed on the A axles, the flanges on the backing plates have to be trimmed roughly 1/8-inch to provide clearance. In addition the inner edge of the brake drums have to be trimmed the same amount.

To eliminate the need to modify the backing plates and drums, M/T offers two sets of spacers. One set provides the registers the backing plates precisely and provides the necessary clearance between the backing plates and the spring. The other adapter moves the drums further out on the hubs so no modifications for backing plate clearances are required. Of course when installing hydraulic brakes a master cylinder, lines, and hoses will be required. M/T can come to the rescue again with all the parts necessary for the conversion.

As for wheels, the Model A pattern is 5-on-5.5 and is what Ford used on passenger cars from 1928-48 and trucks through 1996. The only issue here is when wire wheels are used. A ring, available from our friends at M/T, supports the centers of the wire wheels and keeps them from cracking.

Ron Ceridono