Winter Build - Short Block Opinions And Experiences Appreciated

Been a while since I last posted, but I need some help making decisions for what I will be doing this winter. Right now my car has the PI head swap and your basic bolt ons. I have saved my money and want to start fresh. My goal for the car is somewhere around 425 - 450 horsepower from the motor. I don't take the car to the strip, and it's more of a weekend play toy....but that doesn't mean I don't want more power. I am looking at buying a short block from either MMR, DSS Racing, or Coast High Performance. I am going to stick with a 4.6, not a stroker set up, and put either a procharger on it or vortech. I'm thinking around 8-10 psi of boost at the most. From everything I have read, this set up with one of the basic short blocks from these companies (MMR 600, CHP Street Fighter series) should get me around my horsepower goal. Ialso have purchased a tKO 600 transmission for the car that I already have. I need your opinions/experiences with these short blocks to help make the best decision. The pricing is roughly the same for each option. Thanks for the help.
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Special Agent Mukity-Muck Whats in Charge Round Here
Dec 1, 2002
Are you dead set on a prebuilt shortblock? Are you open to just purchasing the rotating assembly and having someone build it for you? I decided to save a LOT of money and just buy the rotating assembly and building it myself. I bought Manley forged -18cc (9.5 cr) coated pistons, Manley forged H-beams, moly rings, and ARP fastening hardware for just under $1000. I then bought a Kellog forged crank. Those alone are good for well over 1000hp. I reused the stock iron block which is also pretty stout. I saved about $2000 over having a prebuilt shortblock with the same internals.

I got all of that through MMR. I highly recommend them. Excellent quality, great prices, and even better customer service.

I also recommend thinking down the road. If you're going to build the motor, then why limit yourself to 8-10psi? But the necessary fuel mods (which you will need to do anyway) and run some serious boost like I did.
Good points, and I appreciate the responses. I am not set on buying an all new short block, it was just a starting point. There is a guy that is close to me that has a great reputation for building modular motors. I'll probably try to talk with him in the next week or two and see how much he wants for a rebuild with my current block. For some reason, I thought that a good rebuild with forged internals would end up costing about the same. As far as boost, I won't say that 10psi is the absolute max I would go, but given my horsepower goal it seemed to be about right.


10 Year Member
Apr 23, 2008
NC State University
Unless you want a REALLY REALLY fast, ridiculous car (doesn't sound like you do), a completely built shortblock isn't necessary. A lot of people don't realize how fast a 500 rwhp or 600 rwhp car is, and it's not until after that level that you really start spending a lot of money. 500-600 can be made for 'relatively' little money.

To get 500 rwhp, you NEED:
  • 03/04 Cobra rods/pistons or a cheap set of aftermarket rods/pistons.
  • Fuel. 39 pound injectors, SVT Focus pump, GT, or Aviator pump, and a Boost-a-Pump (or a dual pump hat and Cobra, Focus, Aviator, or GT pumps).
  • Clutch. And at least an input shaft for the transmission.
  • I'd personally upgrade to 31 spline axles. People have broken stock axles at much lower power levels, especially with a manual.
You do NOT need:
  • Aftermarket block
  • Upgraded crank
  • ARP hardware
And really the only things needed over this to get 600 rwhp is 60 pound injectors and dual fuel pumps (Focus, Aviator, or GT). The rest of the stuff is still fine to 600 hp.

Sounds like your goals are a good bit lower than that, so you should be fine.