Ford gave its new 7.3-liter truck V8 some mighty big boots to fill when it named it Godzilla, but fill them it has. Tuners love its boost-compatible, 1,100 horsepower-capable stock internals, which in less stressed, naturally aspirated stock form should be good for decades of use. Between this durability and its impending ubiquity—it’ll be found in F-Series truck, E-Series vans, and crates—it’s sure to become a staple of modern performance vehicles. And maybe older ones too, like this radical 1993 F-150 prerunner apparently nicknamed the Cleveland Steamer.
This rig got its crass name from the 351-cubic-inch (or 5.8-liter) Cleveland V8 it arrived with at Lenger Racing in Wyoming—that’s the city in Michigan, not the almost escalator-less state. There, technicians transplanted the Godzilla from a 2020 F-Series, adding a giant intake that uses two filters from a Dodge Viper, side pipes, and important quality-of-life enhancements—heat, air conditioning, and a GM alternator, for the sake of interchangeability with the owner’s GM-running off-roading compadres.
The Godzilla breathes its fire through a similarly GM-sourced transmission; the THM400 three-speed automatic, a stout box popular in drag racing and off-roading alike. It exclusively powers the rear wheels, where Lenger Racing said it consistently measured about 340 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque on the dyno. Those may not sound like a lot to some, but keep in mind, those are the survivors of that heavy-duty transmission and those beastly 40-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR3 tires.
Keep in mind that it’s also a prerunner, not an outright race truck, so durability and longevity are more important than outright speed, and it’s lacking in none of these departments. It rides on King long-travel coilovers with external bypass shocks, and chugs from a rear-mounted 65-gallon baffled tank. Somehow, Lenger Racing stuck the truck’s rear sway bar through it too. Bless engineers and their brilliant brains.
With what tuners are getting out of the Godzilla on its stock block and crank, it almost seems a shame to leave so much potential for power on the table. Maybe that’s why Lenger Racing hinted it’ll experiment with nitrous, spraying a bottle of the stuff in the last few seconds of its dyno video. Guess it doesn’t really matter where the boost comes from as long as the Godzilla’s guts can take it… And can they ever.
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