The Ultimate 7.3 Godzilla Engine Reference. Despite being unveiled in 2020, Ford’s 7.3 Godzilla engine harkens back to a simpler time. A time when big-block V8s with pushrods terrorized the roadways and ripped up the pavement. This was before direct injection and twin-scroll turbochargers were crammed into small-displacement inline fours and V6s. It was a time when power and simplicity were valued, and you were judged on the roar of your engine rather than its gas consumption.
With its huge 455 cid naturally aspirated displacement, the Ford 7.3 Godzilla V8 brings all of that back and more. Ford has mostly utilized it in Super Duty and commercial vehicles, although it is also available as a crate engine for anyone seeking to use it in a swap. The engine was engineered by Ford to create large levels of low-end torque, making it ideal for hauling almost anything. It is, nevertheless, extremely compact for its displacement and output, making it very easy to work on and maintain.
In addition to the gasoline-powered 7.3 Godzilla engines, there are propane, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and compressed natural gas (CNG) versions. Most gasoline variants are also flex-fuel, which means they can run on ethanol or E85 as well.
The History of the Ford 7.3 Godzilla Engine
The 7.3 Godzilla engine was initially introduced by Ford for the 2020 model year. It is the somewhat smaller 6.2 Boss V8 and 6.8 Triton V10’s successor, however it is substantially different. The Boss and Triton engines are both part of Ford’s modular engine family, but the Godzilla is a one-of-a-kind design. Ford engineers chose a new single in-block camshaft and overhead valve (OHV) train over the modular block with a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) valve train.
According to Ford experts, the explanation for this is simple: low-end torque, simplicity, and – unexpectedly – fuel economy. They intended the engine to be used primarily in trucks with GVWRs greater than 8,500 pounds and capable of heavy towing. Depending on the model, it produces 300-430 horsepower and 425-475 pound-feet of torque.
While most DOHC arrangements perform at mid and upper RPM, OHV pushrod layouts excel at low-RPM torque development. This is precisely what you require for towing, and it also aids in fuel economy. When you can produce maximum power at a lower RPM, you consume less petrol, thus the larger displacement actually saves you money at the pump. While it would not function in a smaller vehicle, such as an F-150 or lighter SUV, it is ideal for Ford’s Super Duty and commercial trucks that frequently tow.
Furthermore, the OHV system is far less complicated than the DOHC setup, not least because it only has one camshaft rather than four. This also contributes to the engine’s compactness, as it is actually shorter than the 6.8 V10 Triton it replaces. The Godzilla was created with a race car pedigree in mind, and it boasts variable valve timing for performance and fuel economy.
Godzillas of Alternative Fuel
There are various variations of Godzilla that run on alternate fuels in addition to the regular gasoline-powered 7.3 Godzilla engines. It’s also worth mentioning that many gasoline-powered models can run on E85 flex-fuel. There are also many power options for the Godzilla, depending on what your truck or van needs to convey.
You can choose between the budget and premium tunes for the E-Series and medium duty trucks (F-600 or greater). The economy tune produces 300 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque, but the premium tune produces 350 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque. The economy tunes are designed for folks who do not tow as much and wish to increase their gas mileage.
There are also various alternative fuel versions of Godzilla made by aftermarket firms, some in collaboration with Ford. Roush provides a “Roush CleanTech” alternative fuel system that enables the Godzilla to run on propane, often known as propane autogas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This is available on the E/F-450, F-550, F-650, and F-750 motorhome stripped chassis, as well as the F-53 and F-59 motorhome stripped chassis.
Medium duty and bigger Fords can also be ordered with a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system. Landi Renzo USA also designed a CNG-powered fuel system for the Godzilla. The CNG fuel system from Landi Renzo is available for the same vehicles as the Roush CleanTech.
Using alternative fuels decreases pollution and improves fuel efficiency while not reducing horsepower or torque. In rare circumstances, it may even increase it.
Godzilla 7.3 School Buses and Motorhomes
Even if you can’t get your hands on a 7.3 Godzilla, your children may get to see one on their way to and from school. Blue Bird school buses announced in early 2021 that they would begin production of buses powered by the 7.3 Godzilla. Even better, they’re reducing pollution by employing the Roush CleanTech propane autogas fuel system.
Blue Bird had previously used the 6.8 V10 Triton as its power plant, but needed something easier to operate on, less expensive to power, and with lower pollutants for the children’s health. The first Godzilla-powered Blue Birds were released in 2022 and are still being manufactured as of early 2023.
Ford has also made the Godzilla engine available for its F-53 and F-59 Motorhome Stripped Chassis. These are adaptable chassis that can serve as the foundation for larger commercial vehicles. Ford has always intended to use the Godzilla for the largest operations conceivable, and these can power chassis with GVWRs of up to 26,000 pounds.
Specifications for the Ford 7.3 Godzilla Engine
Vehicles Using the Ford 7.3 V8 Engine
The Ford 7.3 Godzilla has appeared in the cars listed below:
- Ford Super Duty F-250/350/450/550/600 (2020-Present)
- Ford Medium Duty F-650/750 (2020-Present)
- Ford F-53 Motorhome Stripped Chassis (2020-Present)
- Ford F-59 Commercial Stripped Chassis, 2020-Present
- Ford E-350/450 from 2021 till the present
- Blue Bird Vision school bus, 2022-present
Fundamentals of Ford 7.3 Godzilla Engine Design
The Godzilla engine has a total displacement of 7.3 liters (445 cid) and a 90° V8 layout. The bore and stroke are 4.22′′ x 9.976′′ (107.2 mm × 101 mm), and the block may be bored and honed to nearly 8.1 liters (500 cid). The cylinder heads are made of aluminum, and the cylinder block is made of cast iron. The cylinders in the block are deep-skirted and siamesed, with four cross-bolted main bearings. The bell housing pattern is shared by the 4.6/5.0/5.4 modular engines.
The pistons are constructed of hypereutectic aluminum, the connecting rods are made of powdered metal I-Beam, and the crankshaft is built of forged steel. Ford intended the combustion chambers to be wedge-shaped and efficient, with the spark plug situated in the center of the dish. Oil-squirters cool the pistons, preventing detonation under high-load conditions and extending their life. A variable-displacement oil pump maintains oil pressure. Depending on the driving situation, the pump can change pressure on the fly, reducing parasitic losses.
Fueling and the Valve Train
Tall apertures on the metal heads provide for the optimum flow and charge-air motion. The valve train is an overhead valve (OHV) pushrod configuration with two valves per cylinder (16 total valves) with a single in-block camshaft. Forged aluminum rocker arms with a die-cast roller fulcrum and unusually tall Beehive valve springs are used on the Godzilla. The lifters are hydraulic rollers with plastic holders, and the cam journals are each 60 mm long.
The system employs a single timing chain with two tensioners. For performance and fuel economy, the camshaft features durations of 201°/212° (intake/exhaust @0.050″), lifts of 0.539″/0.595″, and variable valve timing (VVT). On all versions, compression is set to 10.5:1.
The fuel is delivered using sequential multi-point electronic port injection. The throttle body measures 80 mm in diameter, and the Godzilla has a drive-by-wire electronic throttle control system. Because of a flex-fuel system, most gasoline-powered Godzillas can also run on ethanol or E85 instead of 87 octane.
With the Godzilla, Ford provides the option of using air brakes and other air systems (suspension, horn, etc.). It was previously only available on their diesel options, but Ford added an engine-driven air compressor to make it available on the non-diesel Godzilla as well.
The Godzilla 7.3 Crate Engine
In addition to being available in the Ford Super Duty, commercial vehicle, and RV models, the Godzilla is also available as a crate engine. It costs $9,175.00 and is made in Canada at the Windsor facility. It has the same specs and internals as the production model and is rated at 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.
The Godzillas of Alternative Fuel
As previously stated, a few alternate fuel systems have been developed for the 7.3 Godzilla. The Roush CleanTech system comes first. CleanTech is a propane (also known as propane autogas or liquefied petroleum gas – LPG) fuel system that meets CARB nitrogen-oxide emission criteria. It is powered by a Gen 5 engine with forged fuel rails. Roush introduced CleanTech in 2010 and has now installed it in over 40,000 vehicles.
The Landi Renzo USA compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system for the 7.3 Godzilla is also available. It is primarily intended for commercial vehicles such as airport and hotel shuttles, as well as delivery and package trucks. It is EPA and CARB certified, and when fitted, it preserves the Ford guarantee.
For the F-600 series and greater, Ford can also order the Godzilla to run on natural gas. The valve train is improved and strengthened to handle higher temperatures in order to simplify the natural gas fuel system.
Common Ford 7.3 Godzilla Issues and Reliability
Given that Ford only debuted the 7.3 Godzilla engine for the 2020 model year, it is still fairly new by manufacturing standards. As a result, determining the engine’s dependability might be difficult. However, the minimal information available so far indicates that Godzilla is a dependable and strong engine.
Godzilla is frequently utilized in commercial cars by fleets and organizations. So, even after only a few years, there are already those with significant mileage. For the most part, they’ve proven to be tough enough to take a hammering and capable of long-distance towing.
The only issue that some owners have encountered is spark plug wire harness failure. We already discussed the issue in our 7.3 Godzilla reliability article on our partner site Diesel IQ. The wire harness is crucial because it links the spark plug to the ignition coil. Detonation and cylinder misfires can occur as a result of faulty harnesses. Ford acknowledged the problem and resolved it, making it a non-issue on all new Godzillas.
Aside from that, the Godzilla has proven to be a pretty reliable motor thus far. We fully expect it to travel more than 300,000 miles before requiring a complete rebuild.
Performance and Upgrades for the Ford 7.3 Godzilla
Let us now discuss the most interesting aspect of the 7.3 Godzilla: Performance. The Godzilla produces 300-430 horsepower and 425-475 lb-ft of torque depending on the variant. The most powerful versions are found within the Super Dutys, with 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The crate engines have the same rating. The Godzilla can tow an incredible 37,000 pounds inside the F-750.
However, given that the Godzilla has a massive 7.3 liter displacement, there is plenty of room to make even more power. The 7.3 Godzilla has been demonstrated to be capable of producing more than 750 horsepower on pump gas while remaining naturally aspirated. The Godzilla is easily capable of more than 1,000 horsepower with the correct blower.
Furthermore, despite its 7.3-liter capacity, the Godzilla is remarkably tiny, making it excellent for swaps. It is smaller than Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine from their modular engine family. If you really wanted to, you could fit Godzilla inside a Foxbody-era Mustang. It is, however, significantly heavier, weighing around 130 pounds more than the Coyote, owing to the cast iron block.
The Best 7.3 Godzilla Engine Mods
There are a few simple upgrades you can make to a mild Godzilla build if you’re just looking for some extra horsepower and torque for greater passing ability and towing capacity. Long-tube headers and tuning are the two hands-down greatest upgrades for mild 7.3 Godzilla builds. As YouTuber ReVan Evan shown, the Godzilla produced more than 500 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque with only headers, tuning, and high-octane fuel.
The next stage is to install a higher lift, more aggressive camshaft, and possibly a new intake manifold. When compared to simply headers and tuning, adding the camshaft increased the Godzilla’s power by more than 50 horsepower and 25 lb-ft of torque. If that wasn’t enough, the Godzilla produced 790 horsepower naturally aspirated with a new billet intake manifold, new lifters, a more aggressive cam, and titanium valves. That includes the stock block and heads.
Then, adding a blower or turbocharger can provide you with all the power you could ever want. With 790 crank horsepower, even a tiny blower will easily push it above 1,000 horsepower.
Summary of the Ford 7.3 Godzilla Engine
During its short production run, the Ford 7.3 Godzilla has shown to be a solid and durable engine. It was debuted by Ford for the 2020 model year, thus it has just been on the market for a couple of years. Still, Ford is ramping up production of the Godzilla engine family, which is being used extensively in commercial vehicles and even school buses.
The simplicity of the Ford 7.3 Godzilla is its beauty. The 7.3 Godzilla has a cast iron block, an overhead valve train with pushrods, and a single in-block camshaft. Nonetheless, it has proven to be a fantastic tank of a towing machine, fitting right in with the times. It is not a slouch in terms of performance, producing 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque in its more powerful edition.