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Is The 7.3L Ford Godzilla V8 An Underrated Powerplant?

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When the 7.3L Ford Godzilla V8 debuted in the 2020 Ford Super Duty, it instantly became a popular choice among truck buyers. Here is an iron block, pushrod, large-displacement engine that makes fantastic low-end power at a reasonable price, all of which is music to the ears of those looking for a cheaper diesel alternative. But what about the enthusiast side of things?

Ford Performance offers the 7.3L Ford Godzilla V8 as a crate engine, but we haven’t seen many in real-world projects yet. In fact, only a small handful of folks are even bothering to explore the Godzilla’s power potential, even though what we’ve seen so far is incredibly promising and potentially vastly underrated from the factory.

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Heck, retired director of Ford Racing Brian Wolfe has already squeezed 789 horsepower and 558 pound-feet of torque out of a naturally-aspirated 7.3L Godzilla V8, and expects to eventually coax 1,600 horsepower out of the mill with a Whipple supercharger before using it in NMCA drag racing competition. And that’s with only a few mild modifications and as-of-now stock heads.

Then there’s the Godzilla-swapped S197 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet that we reported on recently. Built by Blaine Ramey and Paul’s High Performance, the pretty much stock mill propelled the Mustang to an impressive 10.97-second quarter-mile. That would seem to indicate that the 7.3L is producing more than Ford’s ratings of 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.

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And sure enough, at least in that case, it most certainly is. The shop put the swapped Mustang on the dyno, and it laid down 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque at the wheels, which is quite a bit more than The Blue Oval’s stock ratings. Generally, two-wheel-drive vehicles lose roughly 15 percent of their engine power through the drivetrain, so that pegs crank horsepower and torque at around 575 each – a truly substantial difference.

Thus, this begs the question – is Ford underrating the 7.3L Godzilla on purpose, as it once did during the muscle car era, or is this particular engine just a super hot outlier? Given the fact that Wolfe’s motor is also producing surprisingly big power with mild modifications, we’d lean toward the former conclusion. And if that’s really the case, we bet there will be many more Godzilla-swapped street and strip applications coming soon.

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We’ll have more on Ford’s mighty new Godzilla soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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17 Comments

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  1. I want one in a white KL f250 automatic 8 1/2 foot bed crew cab. I white with AC power locks and mirrors cruise and a sink radio system. But who can afford one? Not me.

  2. Ford has both a regular performance version and a lower performance version of this new engine. The lower power version 350 HP is for the heavier trucks such as the F450, up to the F600, F650 and F750. Check with your fleet dealer for the proper specs of the lower HP version. I assume it has a lower compression ratio but basically it is set up for better MPG. If you want to put a blower or a turbo on your aftermarket version, buy the lower power version, then you won’t have to replace the lower CR pistons. Just add a better cam and away you go, no boring out the engine for new slugs. This will save you a lot of time and over $1,000 if you don’t bore out the engine and put in new pistons and rings.

    • Do you mean the one available from a regular parts catalog from the dealership? The Ford Performance version has a 10.5:1 comp ratio, which isn’t all that high either. It would be interesting to see the cost difference since the crate engine from Ford Performance is $8100, I can’t imagine it being that much cheaper…

    • No, it’s not underrated. There is a ton of hype being pushed around this engine. It’s just another large displacement pushrod engine, which is a good thing for Ford. At the same time it’s probably not overrated either. There should be a lot of power potential locked away in this engine.

      The main thing going for it that it has over a GEN5 SBC or new Hemi is its bore diameter. Godzilla is a BB and it rocks a large displacement BB sized bore. To put this in prospective a GEN5 SBC 6.2L and 6.6L use a 4.065″ bore, 6.4L Hemi uses I think a 4.09″ bore, LS7 uses a 4.125″ bore and Godzilla uses a 4.22″ bore. That’s nearly a .100 difference between Godzilla and LS7, and that can be huge in terms of how efficient the heads that are available for the engines flow. For example a 6L LS engine can use noticeably better flowing heads than a 5.7L LS motor due to the fact that it has a .102″ larger bore and can therefore house larger valves in the cylinders that flow noticeably more air into and out of the cylinders. If you can get heads for a LS7 that will flow 440+ CFM on a 7L engine with a 4.125″ bore, then imagine what an aftermarket head for the 7.3L engine with a 4.22″ bore can potentially flow.

      The main thing going against it is it’s a BB. It’s a large/heavy engine. 4.22″ bores mean large bore spacing which makes for a long motor. For how big it is it really isn’t all that heavy. If Ford developed an aluminum block for it then that would help lighten it up some.

      IMO Fords best engine should of been the Boss 6.2L. With a 4.03″ bore, if Ford would of developed it into an all aluminum, DOHC 4V engine it would of ate the competition alive. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

  3. Freddie ford it’s about time Ford goes bigger and stop putting all the money in 5.0 motors with every one else going bigger start leading the pack instead of waiting to see what everyone else is doing

  4. Weird how the GM 8100 never got anywhere this much “respect” from “automotive journalists”. Just like as always this Ford “big-block” with “large displacement” is ridiculously crippled with “small-block” cylinder head combustion chamber volume. And that volume is the “displacement” that REALLY MATTERS TO “MAKE HORSEPOWER” AT A REASONABLE, REAL-WORLD AND RELIABLE AND DURABLE ENGINE SPEED.

    THE MUCH “RESPECTED” FORD 390 BOAT ANCHORS ARE SADDLED WITH 70-72 CC CHAMBERS AT BEST AND THAT’S BEFORE IDIOT “ENGINE BUILDERS” START MILLING HEADS AND BLOCKS AND PUTTING IN “HIGH PERFORMANCE” THIN-AS-POSSIBLE HEAD GASKETS AND USING HEAT-SUCKING (WHICH OF COURSE IS THE “POWER” IN AN ENGINE) ALUMINUM HEADS AND “HIGH PERFORMANCE” CAMS FOR “MORE FLOW” AND “MORE LIFT” WHICH ARE USELESS UNLESS YOU HAVE MORE SPACE TO FILL ABOVE THE PISTONS AT TDC AND BDC WITH THE FUEL-AIR MIXTURE THAT MAKES THE “POWER”.

    70-74 CC IS 35O CHEVY CHAMBER VOLUME AND 76-78 IS 400 CHEVY CHAMBER VOLUME AND REAL BIG-BLOCKS THAT SHARE “ARCHITECTURE” SUCH AS ENGINE MOUNTS, FLYWHEEL HOUSING BOLT PATTERNS, DUAL-PLANE INTAKE MANIFOLDS WITH “SIAMESED” INTAKE PORTS, 5 HEAD BOLTS PER CYLINDER, IDENTICAL COOLING SYSTEM DESIGN AND ARE ACTUAL BOLT-IN “SWAPS” FOR THEIR SMALL-BLOCK “SIBLINGS” HAVE CHAMBER VOLUMES SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER TO MAKE MUCH MORE USABLE “POWER” AT THE SAME EVERYDAY FAR FROM “REDLINE” ENGINE SPEEDS AND TO OVERCOME THE SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER “LOSSES” FROM PUMPING MORE AIR PER MINUTE PER RPM WITH SIGNIFICANTLY HEAVIER RECIPROCATING AND ROTATING PARTS AND MORE FRICTION AND PUMPING “LOSSES”.

    THERE’S A REASON THE BEST ANY SUPPOSEDLY “UNDERRATED” FORD “BIG-BLOCKS” RATED AFTER SAE NET HORSEPOWER BECAME “INDUSTRY STANDARD” EVER ALLEGEDLY DID ON A FORD “DYNO” IS “375 HP”.

    BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME THE HOTTEST 327 CHEVY WAS 350 SAE NET HP AND EVERY CHEVY “FIRST-GENERATION” SMALL-JOURNAL AND LARGE-JOURNAL (GOTTA LOVE THE WAY SOME “EXPERTS” COUNT/DEFINE SBC “GENERATIONS” GIVEN THERE WERE EASILY AND OBVIOUSLY 3 “GENERATIONS” BY 1967 WITH 1955 262 SMALL-BLOCKS BEING A “GENERATION” UNTO THEMSELVES, SMALL-JOURNAL 262/283/327 SMALL-BLOCKS BEING ANOTHER AND ’67-UP LARGE-JOURNAL 4″ BORE 302/327/350 SMALL-BLOCKS BEING THE THIRD BUT THEY EXCEL AT MAKING UP HISTORY AS THEY GO ALONG WHETHER THEY CAN TELL A 265 FROM AN SB2.2 WITHOUT “TALKING POINTS” PREPARED FOR THEM OR NOT) UP TO AND INCLUDING THE “OVERRATED” 350 CHEVY IN “LT-1” FORM EASILY MADE OVER 1 HORSEPOWER PER CUBIC INCH. THE LT-1 BEING RATED AT 370 SAE NET HP.

    WHAT A COINKADINK THE “MOST POWERFUL” FORD “BIG-BLOCK” OF THE SAE NET HORSEPOWER “MUSCLE CAR ERA” JUST BARELY “EDGED OUT” THE HOTTEST SMALL-BLOCK CHEVY BUT DIDN’T DARE ECLIPSE THE HOTTEST REAL BIG-BLOCK “COMPETITOR” IT HAD TO FACE ON THE STREET OR STRIP. THAT BEING THE FORMER “MYSTERY MOTOR” CHEVY 396.

    WHICH INCIDENTALLY IN THE HANDS OF A “COLLEGE DROPOUT” NAMED WILLIAM “GRUMPY” JENKINS AND “TUNED” WITH THE ALLOWABLE “MODIFICATIONS” OF “BLUEPRINTING” AND SUBSTITUTION OF A FEW FACTORY STOCK PARTS FOR OTHER FACTORY STOCK CHEVROLET BIG-BLOCK PARTS SUCH AS A 435-HP 427 CAMSHAFT WAS GOOD FOR “ABOUT 540” PRESUMABLY “HP” ON HIS OWN DYNO WHEN NOT UNDER THE HOOD OF HIS “SUPER STOCK” CHEVY CAMARO.

    WHICH WAS GOOD FOR DOZENS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF LEGIT “10-SECOND QUARTER MILES” ON ACTUAL QUARTER-MILE DRAG STRIPS IN ACTUAL HEADS-UP COMPETITON AGAINST ACTUAL COMPETITORS IN THE OTHER LANE INSTEAD OF THE “1000-FOOT QUARTER MILE” RAN ON A “RENTED TRACK” DURING A “TEST DAY” AGAINST NO COMPETITION AND WHICH ISN’T “TIMED” UNTIL AFTER THE “RACER” AND HIS “DRAG CAR” FINALLY BREAK THE “BEAM” AT THE START LINE HOWEVER LONG AFTER “GREEN MEANS GO” AND THEY FINALLY GET AROUND TO “LAUNCHING” WITHOUT EVEN BEING “STAGED” AND WITH ZERO CHANCE OR EVEN ABILITY TO “RED LIGHT” AND A HUGE “HEAD START” ON THE “QUARTER MILE” THAT’S ACTUALLY ONLY 25% LONGER THAN AN 1/8TH MILE ON ANY AND EVERY “NHRA SANCTIONED” DRAGSTRIP IN THE COUNTRY TODAY INSTEAD OF TWICE AS LONG.

    THEN THERE ARE THE “CORRECTION FACTORS” AND “CALIBRATIONS” WHICH ARE PART AND PARCEL OF ANY AND EVERY “TIMESLIP” AND “DYNO CHART” EVER PRODUCED DURING “TESTING” AND/OR “TUNING” BY THE KIND OF “EXPERTS” THAT THINK “RWHP” MEANS JACK SH!T ON A “CHASSIS DYNO” WHERE THERE ARE ZERO “LOSSES” ACTUALLY MOVING THE “MASS” OF THE CAR ANYWHERE WHATSOEVER AND THAT “ET” MEANS JACK SH!T WHEN “HORSEPOWER” IS NOTHING BUT HOW FAST AN ENGINE IS/WAS “DOING
    WORK” AND NOT A “MEASUREMENT” OF ANYTHING BUT THE “RELATIONSHIP” BETWEEN ENGINE TORQUE AND ENGINE SPEED.

    HP = (TORQUE X RPM) ÷ 5252. WHICH IS WHY TORQUE AND HORSEPOWER ARE ALWAYS “EQUAL” AT 5252 RPM ON EVERY “DYNO CHART” AND WHY “500 HP” IN A 20,000-LB. 10-WHEELED SEMI TRACTOR WITH A TURBOCHARGED AND AFTERCOOLED 15-LITER DIESEL RUNNING 40 LBS OF “BOOST” AT 1500 ENGINE RPM (GAUGE – GOOGLE GAUGE AND ABSOLUTE IF THAT CONFUSES YOU AND YOU MIGHT UNDERSTAND WHY SO MANY IDIOT “TUNERS” CLAIM “20+ PSI OF BOOST” USING MAP-SENSOR (MANIFOLD ABSOLUTE PRESSURE) DATA WHEN THEY’RE ACTUALLY GETTING “20+ PSI OF BOOST” ABSOLUTE MINUS “14.7 PSI AT SEA LEVEL” GAUGE “BOOST PRESSURE”) WILL KICK THE SH!T OUT OF “500 HP” FROM A 7.3 LITER “GODZILLA” IN A “STOCK BODIED” MUSTANG 2500-LB. RACE CAR AT “7500+ RPM” IF AND WHEN YOU PUT ENOUGH “LOSSES” BEHIND THEM TO REALLY GET “500 HP” OUT OF THEM IN EACH AND EVERY “GEAR” THEY CAN HIT IN THE “QUARTER MILE”. ABOUT 60,000 LBS SHOULD DO IT.

    WHERE ARE ALL THE 7.3 GODZILLA “RACE TRUCKS”, BY THE WAY? AND WHAT TRANSMISSION ARE ALL THESE GODZILLA “SWAPS” EQUIPPED WITH AND HOW COME WHATS HIS NAME’S “1600 HP” GOAL FOR “ULTRA STREET” MUSTANG-ONLY “COMPETITION” HAS DROPPED FROM THE 1800+ HP HE SAID WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE “COMPETIVE”? AND DID HE DECIDE WHAT “SOMETHING WITH THE CRANKSHAFT” HE’S GOING TO HAVE TO DO TO GET TO OR UNDER THE 440-CUBE LIMIT IN “ULTRA STREET COMPETITION”? MAYBE HIS NEW “GOAL” IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME ONE EVERY FORD “TUNER” AND “BUILDER” AND “RACER” HAS, HAS HAD AND WILL HAVE TO “COMPETE” IN SO-CALLED “MOTORSPORTS” AGAINST OTHER “COMPETITORS” TO ENSURE “SUCCESS”.

    JUST “BUILD” A NEW “CLASS” AND/OR A NEW “RULEBOOK” FOR AN EXISTING “CLASS” THAT FITS YOUR “BUILD” AND KEEP “TUNING” THE CLASS RULES UNTIL ALL THE OTHER ACTUAL COMPETITION IS “DISQUALIFIED”.

    CAN ANY “EXPERTS” SHOW MANY ANY REAL (I.E. NON-FORD) EXAMPLES OF CORRECTLY “RATED” AUTOMOTIVE SPARK-IGNITION NATURALLY-ASPIRATED ENGINES MAKING HUNDREDS MORE “HORSEPOWER” THAN LB.-FT. OF TORQUE AT AN ENGINE SPEED “REDLINE” THE VEHICLE IS ACTUALLY MECHANICALLY AND MATHEMATICALLY CAPABLE OF REACHING IN “HIGH GEAR” ON THE. “STREET” MUCH LESS THE STRIP WHERE THE “HORSEPOWER” IS ACTUALLY REQUIRED TO MOVE THE VEHICLE FORWARD AND DOUBLING “SPEED” REQUIRES QUADRUPLING “POWER”?

    I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT. BUT GIVE ME ACCESS TO A “CLOSED TRACK” AND “CHASSIS DYNO” AND “ENGINE DYNO” FOR HALF A DAY ALONG WITH THE RESPECTIVE INSTRUCTION MANUALS FOR THE “TEST EQUIPMENT” (TIMING SYSTEM AND TREE, DYNO “COMPUTER” ETC) AND A LITTLE “QUALITY TIME” IN THE CORRECTION FACTOR AND CALIBRATION “SOFTWARE” AND I’LL GET YOU 10-SECOND “QUARTER MILES” AND “500 RWHP” AND “1600 FLYWHEEL HORSEPOWER” OUT OF A BONE-STOCK “GODZILLA” IN WHATEVER FACTORY STOCK “RACE TRUCK” YOU DELIVER IT TO ME IN. WITHOUT LIFTING THE HOOD.

    IT’S F’ING HILARIOUS GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF HYPE FORD HAS “COMPENSATED” SO MANY “AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALISTS” AND “TUNERS” AND “ENGINE BUILDERS” INTO GIVING “GODZILLA” ENDLESS “RESPECT” FOR/AS EVERYTHING BUT A “NEW” FACTORY STOCK “BIG-BLOCK” AND THE NUMBER OF THEM FORD HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN ABLE TO “SPARE” TO THE POINT OF “RELEASING” THEM AS A SUPPOSED “SWAP” CRATE ENGINE BY “FORD PERFORMANCE” WHEN THEY’RE ACTUALLY OBVIOUSLY “AVAILABLE” WITH A FORD PART NUMBER AS “SERVICE REPLACEMENT” ENGINES FORD WILL OBVIOUSLY NEED IN “VOLUME” AS “GODZILLA” ACTUALLY HITS THE STREET AND GETS “TUNED” AND/OR “UPGRADED” AND THE “TEETHING ISSUES” THAT FORD HAS HAD AND WILL HAVE AS LONG AS ITS IDIOT “INVESTORS” AND “EXECUTIVES” AND “ENGINEERS” AND OTHER “INSIDERS” AS WELL AS “OWNERS” INSIST ON PRETENDING THEY CAN “COMPETE” WITH “CHEVY” IN THEIR ENTIRELY IMAGINED “RIVALRY” AND YET ANOTHER “NEW ENGINE FAMILY” FROM FORD MOTOR COMPANY SUFFERS FROM SELF-INFLICTED “INFANTICIDE” EVERY TIME A NEW MEMBER IS “BORN”.

    WHEN THE MOST “POPULAR” FORD V8 AND THE LAST ONE NOT TO HAVE MAJOR CATASTROPHIC “TEETHING ISSUES” IN “VOLUME” SUFFICIENT TO HAVE THEM LINED UP WAITING FOR “SERVICE” OUTSIDE FORD DEALERS BEFORE THE FIRST ONE WAS OUT OF WARRANTY IS THE 7.3 POWERSTROKE WHICH WASN’T EVEN A LITTLE BIT “FORD” (NAVISTAR “LONG-BLOCK” AND CATERPILLAR “HEUI” FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM AND A “GREAT” ENGINE BECAUSE NEITHER “PARTNER” LET A FORD “INSIDER” WITHIN MILES OF ONE DURING “DEVELOPMENT”) AND BECAUSE EVERY NEW “FORD” ENGINE FAMILY SINCE HAS LOST FORD “MARKET SHARE” IN NOTICEABLE VOLUME BASED ON JUST HOW “POPULAR” THEY ARE ON THE “STREET” AFTER THE “TEETHING ISSUES” ACTUALLY “GO PUBLIC” AND FORD IS SO DESPERATE TO “COMPETE” EVEN WITH “DODGE” IT TOOK THE SNEAKY, CROOKED AND OH-SO-FORD STEP OF MAKING AND CALLING ITS “NEW BIG-BLOCK GAS ENGINE” A “7.3” IN AN OBVIOUS AND PATHETIC AND PROBABLY “CRIMINAL” EFFORT TO GET “FLEET CUSTOMERS” GIVING “ORDER FORMS” AND/OR “SALES MATERIALS” A CURSORY GLANCE TO SEE IF FORD HAS/HAD “ADDRESSED” ITS ONGOING 6.7 POWERSTROKE “RELIABILITY ISSUES” TO SEE “7.3” BUT READ/THINK “7.3 POWERSTROKE” AND AT A $5000 “DISCOUNT” VS. THE 6.7 IN “SUPER DUTY” PICKUPS AND “TRUCKS”, YOU KNOW FORD IS “COMPETING” THE ONLY WAY IT HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO.

    BAFFLE WITH BULLSH!T THOSE IT CAN’T DAZZLE WITH BRILLIANCE. WHICH IS EVERY “LOYAL CUSTOMER” FORD HAS BECAUSE AND ONLY BECAUSE THERE ISN’T A GMC, CHEVROLET OR RAM DEALER AND DAMNED FEW “USED CAR DEALERS” THAT WILL TAKE A FORD ANYTHING “ON TRADE” FOR/AT $XXXXX “TRADE IN VALUE” UNLESS THE “OWNER” IS WILLING TO PUT $XXXXX + $1 IN CASH “DOWN” AND TAKE HIS/HER “TRADE-IN” HOME WITH THEM.

    IT’S EASY TO SELL “NEW” TO IDIOTS WHO CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO “TRADE” THEIR “OLD”.

    JUST LIKE IT’S EASY TO “MAKE POWER” IF YOU KNOW YOUR WAY AROUND “SOFTWARE” USED TO “MEASURE” ENGINE AND/OR VEHICLE “PERFORMANCE”.

  5. The GM 8100 was an all iron low compression pile of dog $h!t that had no power no torque and no terms of performance parts availability it was a tote goat nothing more and want to talk weight, how much do iron heads weigh? I’m guessing 80 pounds a piece fully built that’s before we even talk aluminum block and BTW HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD IT TAKE TO POLISH THAT TURD! It’s 2020 not 1971 dude

  6. I love it when LS guy’s pipe up about new ford engines. These new 7.3 GODZILLA V8 engines are truck engines, name one heavy duty pickup that has an ACTUAL LS engine under the hood I guarantee it would be NONE those are sports car engines, they are not designed to pull 10,000 plus pounds. At my local mechanics shop there are 3 VORTEC 6000 engines with rods sticking out the side of the block. There was only one FORD engine in his shop and it was mine which was a 5.4 triton 2V that was fully built with ported and polished intake ports larger valves high comp. pistons and long tube headers and 1100 cfm throttle body and fatter injectors and more besides, not sure on power but I wager more than my buddies 6.2 L9H Chevy!

  7. I’d love one of these motors for a replacement of the 4.6 in my 99 F150! Motor sadly worth 4-5 times the value of my truck.

  8. We’re looking at fitting one of these into a Landrover Defender here in the UK as an alternative to other tuners who fit the LS. We’ll let you know how we get on.

  9. Ford needs to donate one to me for my ’67 AMC. I would love to pop the hood and gleefully say ” not another LS swap”….

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