Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was reading an article in a magazine recently regarding aftermarket Ford blocks. After seeing some of the insane horsepower numbers that some of them are capable of handling (2500 hp?!!), I got to wondering how much would actually be streetable. I mean, would you drive a car with 1000hp on the street? How about 1200hp? Since there are a lot of variables, just for the sake of discussion let's use a few guidelines. First let's use a 1st or 2nd gen Cougar as the vehicle in question. Second, let's eliminate a couple responses that I'm sure will come up. Through the new QE3 program, we are all receiving unlimited funds to build this car and a card for free fuel whenever we need it. So no responses like "I can't afford to build a car that makes 800hp" or "I wouldn't be able to afford to drive it" need not apply. And lastly, this is a car that you would drive on the street. Maybe not a daily driver, but a car that you would put the kids in the back seat and drive them to school. It's meant to go more than 1/4 mile at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts

To me, in a vintage muscle car, 400-450 in a small block is pushing thelimit on enjoyable drivability (my 70 Boss 302 has a new Ford svo block, pushedto 360 ci with Boss heads and a HM Dual 4V matched to a 5 speed with theoriginal 430 gearing, 550 HP (would make 100 more HP with a single 4).....thecar is a beast, loud, fun, exhausting to drive for more than an hour or so) Fora big block car I would say 450-600 the real issue is torque, with a big blockgobs of torque equals smiles on faces. This is my humble opinion.................andthis is for enjoyable driving, if you want to make a beast of a street car, Ithink anything over 700 in a vintage muscle car is complete overkill.

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
More HP= more heat, less in town driving with A/C. at every stop light you think, dang is that thing ever going change, look at that 250deg., let me get this thing home.
 

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
6,137 Posts
More HP = less reliable and I can think of nothing worse than sitting on the side of the road broken down with the kids in the back seat on the way to school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
More HP= more heat, less in town driving with A/C. at every stop light you think, dang is that thing ever going change, look at that 250deg., let me get this thing home.
More HP = less reliable and I can think of nothing worse than sitting on the side of the road broken down with the kids in the back seat on the way to school.
Both good points, but neither answers the question. There is no right/wrong answers and I'm not looking for any kind of input to use in building anything. It's just curiosity. I think Sho-Air is in the right range, at least for my taste. I don't know that I would want more than 6-700hp myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,518 Posts
I am to the belief that there is no such thing as too much. May be too much for the application, but for a car that is just for fun, there is no limit. Power adders can be a huge game changer too.

I have somewhere around 600 in my 351, and love it. It is still very streetable (to me anyway). I know guys at the turbo shop that I work at on occasion that are pushing 800 out of 3.8 V6's, that idle fairly smooth. There was a mustang up there once with a 427W, a 90mm Garrett, that was making 1200 at the wheels, and he drove it to the shop.

I have said that my car has too much before, but that is mostly because of the lack of traction (though it is fun).

I have the Tim Taylor mentality, "more power" is always good. So I may not be able to represent the average guy on this one. I thought that my Harley had more than enough power and torque when I first got it, it wasn't long before I was looking into a cam swap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,059 Posts
Assuming the rear, driveshaft, tranny & other stuff was up to the task, at some point you loose the ability to put that much power to the ground, or to make it stop once it gets going. So all you'd end up doing is making tire smoke.

So you could theroetically drive the thing with 1,000 hp, but you'd only be able to use 50% of that.

So to answer your question, I'm thinking 500 tq/500 hp is agood #, assuming you've upgraded the other stuff along with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
If I could seriously break traction at 50kms That would be fun. If I could do it with 400hp then anything else would be overkill-maybe. Hard question to answer. Go on youtube and check out the killer in car shots, Theres an older pontiac I think with mountians of torque and it looks to be a ball!. Gobs of low end torque would be very cool. Screaming small blocks are cool but to breal loose at low end and keep loose thru the revs is much cooler IMO!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,518 Posts
If I could seriously break traction at 50kms That would be fun. If I could do it with 400hp then anything else would be overkill-maybe. Hard question to answer. Go on youtube and check out the killer in car shots, Theres an older pontiac I think with mountians of torque and it looks to be a ball!. Gobs of low end torque would be very cool. Screaming small blocks are cool but to breal loose at low end and keep loose thru the revs is much cooler IMO!
Not good at metric conversions, but small blocks can do it too, I promise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8iEKQcnq5g And this is me still being scared of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
50 kms is approx 30mph. Your car looks to be a ball to drive. Street cars wouldnt need any more. Any more would be fun but mostly bragging rights, fun bragging rights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
600 HP is very doable, and very fuel conserving, IF YOU DO IT RIGHT. Look at the high HP of the late fuelie engines that are on the highways now. Don't SCREAM, but the Vette at over 600 and very easy on gas and drives like a much smaller HP unit.

The new Ford 302 has the potential to produce 600 plus, but a carb car, well such isn't the future. IMO I have a 600 HP small block, and can tell you it requires expensive fuel, I am always playing with the carb and plugs, NOT THE WAY TO GO, TODAY..........When right, it flies, but that requires thrashing far to often, IMO.

Dale in Indy
 

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
6,137 Posts
Going with "old school" technology, the Buckeye Boys have a 70 GTO in the fleet that puts out 650 HP via a punched out 427 BB Chevy coupled to a Doug Nash 5 speed and the original 12 bolt rear with 4:10 gears. Ladder bars keep wheel hop to a minimum and BFG Drag Radials make it hook... kinda....

It idles like a popcorn machine, sucks race gas like there's no tomorrow, runs hot in traffic and needs to have the disclaimer lettered on the passenger side of the dash: "Not Responsible For Items Left In Your Shorts!!"

But it's a hoot to drive. Just don't plan on a long distance trip without access to a trust fund.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,950 Posts
How about a nice round number like 425 - she's easy on gas (w/AOD), good mannered, and knows how to pass a gas station now and then. The 600+ range is like watching a bad porno flick, nasty attitude, noisey, throwing crap in places it don't belong, not a hose in the neighborhood she don't want to suck on, but yet -- still fun! ;>)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,191 Posts
This is a difficult question for most people to answer, mainly because we have no actual sense of what HP we are really running. My guess is that all the "desk top" dynos and "it feels like" comparisons are BS. My sense is that a "for real" 450 HP engine with 3:50 t-lok gears and traction bars is more than most folks have the wits to drive, or at least drive safely or practically. Don't tell me you and your car drive around town with 600 HP without the dyno sheets to prove it.

Have you every tried to slow down from 140 MPH on the freeway when someone pulls out in front of you? Does granny really have a sense of what you're doing when she thinks she has 20 car lengths to merge? Remember.....the question you asked was "around town". The crotch rocket crowd has a good perspective on this question, I'm sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,972 Posts
My Z06 has about 530 HP and it is an absolute handful if you decide to use all of it. I could not fathom any of my Cougars with that much power. Controlling it and stopping it to me would be out of the realm of these cars. That being said, I get 21 mpg average in my Vette on my daily commute. I would think 400 - 450 of useable and reliable hp out of a small block (351W) would be ideal... that is to say you have a nice 5 spd (or AOD), rack & pinion, gears and a quality brakes behind it. What gets me is the guys on the Z06 forum looking for more power with blowers & turbo's. That to me is insane!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Some kind of surprising responses to this question. I thought for sure there would be a couple of guys that would reach for the stars. But most seem to be a bit on the conservative side. Of course I'm still expecting 68Fastcat to show up and tell us how his car is going to have 6500hp and be able to travel through time. :bloated:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,950 Posts
LOL - I hate it when I overdrive my headlights! Plus the eyebrow moulding start to peel back....... ;>)

"He just went plaid...."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
400 HP from a 289 would be a beast for a D.D. but from a 408W or a 460 based engine would be mild and a pleasure to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
There are a LOT of 638 HP Vettes on the street, and probably NONE have dyno sheets to prove such. My 600 HP runs a TRUE 14 to 1 compression, and does run smooth on the street, WHEN ALL IS TUNED PROPERLY. If I were do another engine, it would be a high HP fuelie crate motor, and 6-speed OD tranny. I, like some you have driven a ZO-6, a ZR-1, and also my brothers GT-40, and all were very street friendly, but when you wanted to MOVE, well it was there for the asking. Kind of like the ad stated when Honda first came out with the 750. " CLIMB ON, TWIST THE THROTTLE, REMEMBER, YOU ASKED FOR IT". Needless to say, by today's standards, it doesn't get with the program.

Dale in Indy
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top