Ford Authority

The Last Ford Pushrod Mustang V8 Hits The Dyno


For much of the life of the Ford V8 engine, pushrods were the tech of the day. That tech has fallen by the wayside today. The last Ford Mustang to use a pushrod V8 was back in 1995. The engine in the images here with its graffiti is the very last pushrod V8 built for a Mustang. All the names scribbled on the engine are the names of the Ford workers on the assembly line when the last pushrod Mustang V8 rolled off in 1995.

The gang at Hotrod had the opportunity to take that last Mustang V8 and strap it to a dyno to see just what sort of power numbers the engine made after all these years. Challenge number one was getting the engine to fire up. The team trying to get the pushrod Mustang V8 on the dyno had to get a wire loom that canceled the factory sensors and wiring of the engine. The only change from what would have been used in a stock Mustang V8 was the use of a Holley EFI batch-fire setup.

The 5.0-liter H.O. small-block V8 was rated at 215 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque when it was new. The engine, in this case, is being tested alone, so the power numbers are at the crank. The engine made 251.9 horsepower and 320.5 pound-feet of torque.

Those numbers are both well over what the engine was rated for at the factory. Interestingly, the Hotrod crew has some other plans for the special 5.0-liter Mustang V8 engine. We wonder what is next for the motor. We also wonder if all the 5.0-liter V8 engines of the era were similarly underrated. Check out this 1983 Ford Mustang with a 5.0-liter V8.

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Source: Hotrod


Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. Michael Jones

    They weren’t

  2. Michael Jones

    The numbers aren’t underrated. Horsepower is more when the engine is outside the car. The 215 rated horsepower is the true in car tested rating.

  3. Rich

    215 is the crank hp number. Not in car.

  4. James Cathell

    Numbers weren’t underrated. Had quight a few 5.0’s. These were high 14 second cars. Lots of torque for their time. But no powerhouse.

  5. Brett

    I’ve seen lots of these cars post higher numbers when on a dyno at the wheels so I would say they were under rated. They all seem to be 230-250 range in stock trim.

  6. Ford Owner

    The V8 combustion engine have reached its end as this new century will be initially dominated by the turbocharged smaller engines and later all the combustion engine will be displaced by the eternal electric motor. Thomas Edison told Henry Ford that electric power was the future. Over a hundred years later, we acknowledge that Edison was correct.

  7. Mike

    I have to smile when I look at the horsepower ratings for the 5.0 engines. This is why . I used to be aTechnical Trainer for Ford motor company in the 80s and 90s. I toured the Cleveland engine plant where those engines were built. The guy giving us the tour took us into a dyno room where they had 5.0 L Cobra engines running. The engines were running at wide open throttle, factory exhaust headers were cherry red. Big electric fans were blowing air on the engines. He said the engines are run for a number of hours at wide open throttle then shut off, then fluid levels were checked and adjusted then they were fired back up and run at wide open throttle again. After 40 hours of WOT running, the engines were taken off the dyno and disassembled and checked/measured for wear. The engine parts were boxed with a date of manufacture and put in storage. He showed us the horsepower rating output on the dynos while the engines were running which was slightly over 300. He laughed and told us that Ford drastically lowered the horsepower ratings for Insurance purposes. I saw this in person that’s why I can tell you this.I own a 1994 SN95 cobra with the 5.0 Cobra engine with a Kenne Bell supercharger on it.

  8. Allan

    This Dyno test is 100% meaningless! The idea was to see what those engines produced in stock form, yet they used an aftermarket ECU! That throws the results out the window. It appears the guys at Hot Rod were just too lazy to round up an OEM ECU and wiring harness to get accurate results. Looks guys, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!!


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