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220kW XR8 Built Slowly To Go Fast

The new XR8 engine offers much more than a simple 10 per cent power increase.

Each V8 engine is hand-modified by a Tickford engine builder before it is installed in a customer’s vehicle.

Tickford Managing Director, David Flint, explains.

“This exercise is not just about horsepower. It’s about craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each engine will be signed by the person who modified it,” he said.

“To pay for an upgrade like this in the aftermarket would cost thousands of dollars,” he said.

Once the V8 is delivered from the Ford plant, it is stripped down to a short block (block, pistons, rods and crankshaft).

The engine is then fitted with a Tickford-designed camshaft that features more aggressive timing.

Once the new camshaft is in place, the engine builder refits the sump, timing chain and cover and water pump.

The next step is to fit new cylinder heads with improved breathing and performance.

The heads incorporate new, larger stainless steel valves and springs, while the ports are opened up to accommodate the new larger valves.

The combustion chamber is also modified to improve the airflow around the valves, while the heads are shaved to get the compression ratio down to 9.4:1.

Once the new heads are fitted, the engine builder re-assembles the lifters and pushrods and fits new, low-friction roller rockers.
The roller rockers allow the engine to rev higher and deliver more consistent valve operation.

The lower intake manifold is modified to match the resized cylinder head ports. The injectors and wiring are then re-attached to the lower intake manifold.

The upper intake manifold is also opened up to enable the installation of a unique Tickford designed 70mm throttle-body.

A recalibrated fuel regulator, which increases fuel pressure, is fitted before the rocker covers are re-assembled and the modifications are complete.

The engine builder signs off on the job by engraving his signature on a special plaque on the engine.

Finally, each engine is hot tested before being shipped back to Broadmeadows for installation.

The vehicle returns to Tickford for the finishing touch: a unique low back pressure, high flow exhaust manifold and system that optimises the performance of the XR8 powerplant.


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