While Ford has showcased the S650 Mustang in all its Dark Horse, dual throttle body glory, the 2024 pony won’t reach the streets for another year or so. Besides, no matter how cool the seventh-gen Stang is, the retiring S550 Mustang isn’t leaving the attention arena without a fight. And the example we have here? According to its owner, Emelia Hartford, this aims to be the “rowdiest S550 Mustang of all”, a title backed up by a supercharged Big Block that’s capable of 2,000 hp.
Not least thanks to the amount of effort and enthusiasts actress and car vlogger Emelia Hartford injects into her builds, we’ve been following her S550 all year.
Essentially, this 2017 Mustang dumped its 5.0L Coyote N/A V8 for a 598 ci (9.6L) Big Block Ford that works with a 14-71 roots-style supercharger coming from TBS (The Blower Shop). And, theoretically, the engine is capable of placing 2,000 hp at the mercy of the driver’s right foot. Or the left one is she goes really crazy.
The engine was rebuilt and it can roast tires like crazy
The unit is actually a bored and stroked 460 ci SVO block featuring a forged crankshaft, aftermarket internals, and an infinite list of custom bits… many of which have had to be replaced/upgraded after the V8 blew up during its first drag strip test back in April.
However, now that the engine has been fully rebuilt and has made its way back into the said pony, it’s time for the first blacktop test.
Given how the blower protrudes through the hood, Holley EFI (electronic fuel injection) and injector hat above it all, there’s just one way to go about such a maiden voyage. That’s right, a burnout! And you’ll get to see Emelia delivering plenty of tire smoke in the final part of the first video below.
In case you’re wondering, the built T56 Magnum XL manual transmission of the muscle car has lost 5th and 6th gears, as four ratios are enough for the drag racing raison d’etre of the car.
However, we’ve also added a second clip, which shows the gearhead flexing her builder muscle by assembling the engine with her usual tech wizard, Sandy Sausser (aka @thats_it_racing).
We’ve already covered many of the build’s tech details in a story from back in February, so we’ll skip straight to the bits that came with the engine rebuild that took place meanwhile.
The Big Block updates are extensive
To ensure no metal bits or debris gets to ruin the clean-slate effort, the block and all the components were thoroughly washed. In the pursuit of extra power, the V8 needed more boost, so the compression ratio was lowered via deeper-dish pistons, whose rings can hold up to 30 lbs of boost.
The crankshaft is now internally balanced, which reduces losses, the exhaust manifold is ported, but the team couldn’t find a fitting main bearing girdle that would stiffen the engine block, so fingers crossed that crank doesn’t come racing out the bottom of the engine.
Other important updates involve the new valve springs, aggressive Comp cam camshaft, and the porting process for the old cylinder heads.
In a nutshell, the engine is now completed, but the build still needs plenty of other components before it can break egos at the drag strip.
New suspension, axles, wheels, and tires (i.e. smaller rear wheels with larger-sidewall tires will also require braking system changes) and a slipper clutch.
As Emelia states in the first vid below, the last may prevent the car from being correctly dynoed, so we may never find out if this thing reaches its 2,000 hp initial target (she does hit at 1,600 hp when showcasing the new cam in the second clip below).
However, the benefit with the amount of slip introduced by this clutch is that the driver can sidestep their foot off the clutch at launch, while the pre-dialed setup will ensure optimal traction and consistency.
To tell you the truth, with SEMA 2022 over (it was a blast, albeit not at maximum potential), we needed an update on some of the builds that didn’t make it to the Las Vegas show this year. And we’re just as eager as you to see Emelia Hartford’s supercharged Big Block S550 Mustang tearing up the prepped surface of the track.