Street Machine - - Urban Warfare -

I’VE al­ways had a bit of a soft spot for the XE ESP Fal­cons; my first WAR car – WAR351 – was an XE ESP, af­ter all. So when we spot­ted this mon­ster XE, owned by Queens­lan­der Fabian Huff, we had to find out more.

Fabian has sur­rounded him­self with some great help and trans­formed this for­mer 302/auto com­bi­na­tion into a 1200rwhp killer aimed squarely at the seven-sec­ond zone on 275 ra­di­als.

The car came from Fabian’s step­fa­ther, and was pretty cherry when he got his hands on it. It’s had a num­ber of dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions, the most re­cent be­ing a 383ci 4V-headed stro­ker that ran 10s. But this lat­est trans­for­ma­tion has taken six years, with the goal of mak­ing the XE a sev­ensec­ond street car, so there was plenty to do.

Much of the work has been per­formed by Kyle Hopf from 6boost, with Terry Seng from Para­mount Per­for­mance also play­ing a prom­i­nent role, and Robby Ab­bott from Ab­bott En­gine Re­con­di­tion­ing and Stu­art Henry pro­vid­ing other pieces of the puz­zle.

The en­gine used to run in Stu’s Capri, but af­ter a night at the drags, Kyle con­vinced Fabian that this was the pack­age for him. The tur­bocharged 420ci small-block Ford of­fered all the goods with a Dart block, Scat crank with Ea­gle H-beam rods and CP pis­tons, and topped with a set of 3V al­loy heads ported by the cap­tain of the Aus­tralian drink­ing team at Hot Rod Drag Week, Robby Ab­bott. The pack­age was ma­chined by Robby and as­sem­bled by Stu­art.

It’s a wet-sump deal with four-into-one head­ers by 6boost and an 82mm turbo (275-le­gal) that is maxed-out.

Two 50mm Race­gates are plumbed in on the hot side, with a gen­er­ous bar-and-plate in­ter­cooler by Matt Ro­gan feed­ing a CHI in­let man­i­fold with 16 in­jec­tors – eight Bosch 2000cc pri­maries with 2300cc Mo­ran sec­on­daries. While the Bosch in­jec­tors are enough to feed the mo­tor on E85, the sec­ond set will come into play if and when the con­ver­sion to al­co­hol is made.

To feed the en­gine, a belt-driven Water­man pump runs off the front of the mo­tor, fed by a custom rear tank, and it is also T-pieced to an Aero­mo­tive EFI pump that is used to prime the mo­tor. A Wel­don ris­ing-rate reg­u­la­tor han­dles fuel pres­sure, while a Sys­tem 1 fil­ter keeps the junk out of the in­jec­tors. The en­gine is con­trolled by a Hol­ley ECU with Hol­ley smart coils on the ig­ni­tion side.

As with most EFI deals, there was a bunch of wiring re­quired, which Fabian and Terry took care of, and Fabian also re-pinned the MOTEC wiring loom that came with the mo­tor to make it Hol­ley-com­pat­i­ble.

To get the mill fit­ted with the ex­ist­ing hot-side plumb­ing, Fabian had to notch the tow­ers and go to a strut front end with rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing.

Backing up the mill is a Usa-built Keith Neal two-speed Pow­er­glide with a Pro­torque con­verter. The whole rear end has been over­hauled by 6boost, with a chrome-moly sheet-me­tal nine-inch rear hous­ing fit­ted with 40-spline axles and a floater kit. The centre sec­tion is a Strange bolt-through affair, with 3.2:1 pro gears swinging 275 ra­di­als.

On the dyno the 420ci mill punched out 1200rwhp on just 22psi.

Fabian is pretty com­fort­able shoot­ing for the seven-sec­ond bar­rier. “I wanted to own a sev­ensec­ond street car and this is what I have built,” he says mat­ter-of-factly. “From here we just need to run the num­bers, and I want to get straight into it at Street Machine Drag Chal­lenge Week­end. But first we are go­ing to pull the en­gine and get Robby to fit a Tor­ring­ton bear­ing on the thrust side of the crank for good mea­sure. The clock is cer­tainly tick­ing, but we will get it done.”

Drag Chal­lenge Week­end will have been run and won by the time you read this, so stay tuned to see how Fabian fared.

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