Check out this mild looking Ford EB Falcon. There’s no turbo or supercharger under the bonnet, no nitrous and it’s only a six cylinder. So how the hell can it manage low 13 second quarters?
With a highly R&D’d engine build together with drag racing suspension and driveline mods.
Say hello to the red rocket owned by Brendan Mock of Jim Mock Motorsport (JMM). This EB Falcon was previously employed as a JMM customer courtesy vehicle and back then it was a slow-poke base model with a centre-point EFI motor and 3-speed auto. The big Falc served faithfully as a run-around until somebody cooked the engine...
At that point, Brendan took ownership of the EB and decided it’d be cool to drop in an AU-series 4-litre six with a Powerdyne supercharger. This combo made an easy 230 – 240kW at the back wheels. But let’s face it, there’s no rocket science in making big power with forced induction. After fitting the blown AU engine, Brendan wanted to go fast without the help of a pumping device.
Something nobody else could do with a Falcon six.
The Powerdyne-equipped motor was pulled out and replaced with an EB XR6 engine that Brendan says was sitting around the workshop. The bottom-end was treated to a standard-spec rebuild and fitment of ACL pistons providing a 9.8:1 compression ratio. This is considerably higher than any factory version of the SOHC Ford six but is low enough to survive on PULP.
Big power came from a JMM DEV 5 upgrade. Using an EL Falcon head as the base, the DEV 5 upgrade brings extensive porting and combustion chamber work, a radical camshaft and heavy-duty valve springs and retainers. The heavy-duty valve springs are necessary given the engine is now rev limited to 6250 rpm - the standard rev limit is around 5400 rpm. With the DEV 5 cam and head work, Brendan says the engine really pumps out torque between 2000 and 5800 rpm. DEV 5 also includes a high-flow 2½ inch exhaust with specifically chosen mufflers.
In addition to the DEV 5 upgrade, Brendan’s red EB boasts the optional JMM Race Series headers, high-flow cat and intake pipe (a 3 inch mandrel bent pipe between the throttle and airbox). The airbox is equipped with an XR6 over-the-radiator intake snorkel and a secondary 3 inch snorkel that Brendan runs to the front bumper. We don’t reckon there would be much pre-airbox restriction with this dual snorkel setup...
The original centre-point injection system is long gone and you’ll now find a Hawk programmable ECU teamed with a standard Ford multi-point EFI fuel system. The relatively low-pressure centre-point fuel pump had to be upgraded as part of the conversion. The ignition remains stock aside from JMM spark plugs and 8mm silicon leads.
Backing the tuned 4-litre is a Ford 5-speed ‘box and short ratio LSD. The gearbox is an unmodified T5 which is fed through an Xtreme brass clutch and 1000kg pressure plate combo which Brendan says eliminates slip while maintaining good pedal pressure and feel. The standard tailshaft has been balanced and connects to a Borg Warner 3.9:1 LSD with 28 spline axles. It’s nothing elaborate but it gets the job done without any reliability issues.
In this configuration, Brendan’s EB has shown its tail to many cars down the quarter mile. With very little initial sorting, the car ran a 13.78 second ET with a very leisurely 60 foot time. Brendan says, despite using 10½ inch Mickey Thompson treaded drag radials, one of the biggest difficulties is launching cleanly.
The launching situation has recently been improved by fitting relatively soft front suspension to aid weight transfer to the driven wheels. Brendan uses AU dampers and Ghia springs, which are soft and long – the springs were cut to provide a suitable ride height. The rear suspension was left the same as used with the previous engine set-up – there are King lowered springs and conventional Bilstein sports dampers.
Amazingly, softening the front suspension shaved almost 0.2 seconds off the quarter mile time. A 13.6 was recorded with absolutely no extra power – not bad, eh?
The next obvious upgrade was the fitment of an EL variable length intake manifold. Brendan also whacked in a slim-line throttle shaft while he was fiddling around in that area. Interestingly, the new manifold and throttle mod didn’t provide any more power (a measured 185kW at the wheels on JMM’s Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno) but mid-range torque was improved. This dropped the EB into the low 13s – a 13.4 to be precise.
By now, Brendan’s unlikely looking EB was a hot topic of conversation in Ford groups. But, still, there was a lot of room for improvement – traction from a standing start remained poor.
Brendan’s next trick was to alter the pinion angle of the differential. By installing EL Falcon upper control arms (which are much shorter than the EB arms) the differential is now angled downward – a tried-and-proven drag racer’s trick to improve traction. Unfortunately, this mod causes considerable driveline vibration and, as a result, Brendan says the Falcon is no longer suitable for the street.
And the benefit of altering the diff pinion angle?
The car’s best time to date is a 13.36. Quick enough to dismember tweaked current-model Falcon XR6 Turbos and really stir a commotion!
Brendan points out that in a modern context, the EB is quite light. The base-spec EB has minimal sound deadening material and the glass is thinner than up-spec models with factory tint. The factory weight for an EB 4-litre is around 1400kg - incredibly, almost half a tonne lighter than a current XR6T!
Brendan has also kept the interior completely intact – no need to strip out seats and audio components to run a quick time. A conversion to XR6 seats makes the ride more comfortable and you’ll find a timber steering wheel, Clarion head unit, VDO speakers and a giant tacho. The heater is fully functional but there’s no air conditioning – this was stripped from the car when the supercharger was installed.
Cosmetically, Brendan has given the car a tidy up – nothing more. After 15 years of weathering, he whacked on a new coat of Monza red paint, colour-coded the bumpers, installed clear front indicators and updated to EL mirrors and door dandles. You might also notice the cut-out in the front bumper. This was to accommodate the front-mount intercooler used with the blower set-up – Brendan now intends to use it to feed the airbox. Oh and, for street use, the car rides on 16 inch Simmons B45s wearing 255/50 Sumitomo tyres - not that the car is driven on the street very much these days.
Out of all the modified Falcons he’s owned, Brendan says he loves the EB - there’s just something about it. Its honest-to-God performance, total reliability and unlikely appearance give it a certain appeal.
But Brendan isn’t the sort of guy to stay content with that. Only now - after running a low 13 quarter - will Brendan look at nitrous and turbocharging. Believe it when he says he’ll be shooting for 9 second passes!
JMM (Jim Mock Motorsport)