What’s old is new again
By Brian Roberts
The new (2016) Ford 5.2L Voodoo V8 engine for the Mustang GT350 has given new life to the old flat plane crankshaft used in many early automobiles. Granted, flat plane cranks are also used in some exotic sports cars as well but are uncommon for mainstream production vehicles. The flat plane crank is well suited for balance on this V8 engine. The evenly spaced 180° power strokes allow 4 pistons at TDC to cancel out the mass of the 4 rods and pistons that are at BDC. The result is a well-balanced rotating assembly that does not require heavy counterweights to smooth things out. This balance is appreciated given the engines 526 horsepower that is produced at 8,250 rpms. Combined with the very stable DOHC valve train assembly and the CNC-ported heads that breath well and takes advantage of the high rpms the engine produces.