What Is The Ford Godzilla V8?
In 2020, Ford created the latest in high-displacement work engines. While the only competition had been the Chevrolet LS V8 for years, Ford’s development of their all new 7.3 liter V8 created a new major superpower in the engine development market. The engine, dubbed “Godzilla” for its capabilities at low RPM and potential for upgrades, is Ford’s first major non-hybrid or EcoBoost engine development in a long time, and with its old-school layout with its iron block the Godzilla motor is able to handle massive amounts of strain. Although not in any cars currently, the Godzilla motor begs tuners and hot-rodders to swap in the behemoth of an engine to build monstrous power and torque figures, even enough to offset the engine’s 920 pound weight.
The Godzilla motor is the result of Ford’s work truck division needing a high-output naturally-aspirated engine to reliably tow or move heavy loads. Additionally, the engine was designed with the intention of being able to be worked on easily, which explains the basic pushrod V8 setup. At 7.3 liters, this is Ford’s largest displacement engine available for purchase in any vehicle, larger even than the V10 found in the now-defunct Ford Excursion and is reminiscent of the 7.5 liter V8s of the 1990s.
With the world of fuel economy and gas miserly behavior, the introduction of the 7.3 liter V8 may seem a bit odd for many vehicles. Ford already has a 6.7 liter turbo-diesel motor that puts out more torque, had supercharged V8 motors putting out over 700 horsepower, and a huge line of either hybrid or electric vehicles, shying away from the naturally aspirated gasoline motor. There is a major argument for the Godzilla motor though, and that argument comes from its potential as a buildable motor for multiple different vehicles.
What Is The 7.3L For?
The Godzilla motor was developed initially to be a workhorse engine, meaning that it had been designed for heavy-use trucks for ease of use and maintenance. The naturally aspirated iron block motor is larger than any found in the normal F-150 models and much larger than the twin turbocharged engine found in the Raptor, although the first generation Raptor motor was much closer at 6.2 liters. The Godzilla motor is a cast iron V8 block with a steel crankshaft and steel bearings while most motors have moved towards aluminum for weight savings. The engine uses cooling jets on the pistons to keep them cool under pressure, and has other additional cooling setups to maintain a lower engine temperature.
The Godzilla motor is found mainly in Ford’s work fleet vehicles, including the Econoline chassis setups, the F-650 work truck, the Super Duty line, and other heavy vehicles like it. By running such an easy to maintain motor in these vehicles, the Godzilla block should make running costs decrease in work vehicles as well as in the Super Duty trucks that customers might buy for themselves as opposed to worrying about reliability or maintenance issues. This 7.3 liter V8 used in these vehicles is designed to be simple and straightforward with the pushrod setup and single camshaft which are proven to be reliable even if they are fairly dated by today’s standards.
How Does The Godzilla V8 Compare?
Compared to many of the other motors in Ford’s work truck lineup, the 7.3L V8 stacks up fairly well. With the main engine options being the 6.2L flex fuel motor that has been found in trucks since 2010, and the PowerStroke 6.7L turbo-diesel motor found commonly in the middle-duty work trucks. Compared to both engines, the 7.3L V8 puts out more horsepower (430 hp) than the entry level 6.2L (385 hp) and only slightly less than the PowerStroke motor (450 hp). Additionally, it puts out more torque (475 lb.-ft) than the 6.2L (430 lb.-ft) but nowhere near as much as the PowerStroke (935 lb.-ft). These figures are good for a naturally aspirated V8 and the engine itself is easier to maintain than the PowerStroke engines, relegating them to lighter towing use than the diesel models but for a longer time. As a result, these engines are usable in passenger-spec F-250 and F-350 Super Duty since they work incredibly well for towing up to 19,000 lbs of personal or work-related goods or products.
Compared to outside competition, the Godzilla motor shines. With the main competition coming from the Chevrolet Silverado HD, the F-250 Super Duty with the 7.3L block makes 11lb.-ft more torque and 29 more horsepower. The 7.3L also outpaces the Ram 2500 by 20 horsepower and 26 lb.-ft of torque. As far as heavy-duty personal trucks go, the Godzilla motor has so far proven itself to be not only incredibly durable and reliable but also more powerful than any of its competition.
What Is The Godzilla V8's Potential?
One major benefit of such an old-fashioned design is tuning ability. Many pushrod V8 motors are insanely capable of holding power from aftermarket upgrades and forced induction. With the LS serving as an example of the benefits of classic pushrod V8s, it makes sense for the Godzilla motor to take to modifications like this with ease. With an iron block as the base of the engine and a steel camshaft, the engine is solid enough to handle heavy boost.
Like many iron block engines, the Godzilla motor has been tested with aftermarket boost setups to see exactly what horsepower the engine can manage without facing any issues. With the hype that surrounded the engine just before its debut, brands like Whipple and Procharger immediately set to work on developing supercharger systems for the engine. With only a supercharger, these motors have been showing well over 1,000 horsepower with some reaching as high as 1,450 horsepower while still on the stock block and crank. The engine is showing that it is durable at massive horsepower figures and torque figures over 1,000 ft.-lbs, meaning it can very easily be turned into a monster of an engine, one worthy of the Godzilla namesake.
With the motor holding well under superchargers, rumors have even made their way out from Ford themselves about a high-output variant of this block. Ford has teased a possible twin-turbo version of this engine which would most likely be found in a high-output truck of some sort, but it could in theory be used in a performance version as opposed to a work version. With the engine being sold already as a crate option, buyers now are able to modify their engines to fit various builds too. The twin-turbo setup, although it has not been confirmed by Ford, could easily bring the engine to the high 600-low 700 horsepower before further modification. As a platform, the 7.3L V8 is a massive yet versatile one for building into a car or truck.
Image Credit: Autoweek, Ford Authority, Ford Media