For golfers hitting the links, the goal is to come in as far under "par" as possible and hence have the lowest score with the shortest amount of strokes. For Ford enthusiasts looking for more power and a lower e.t., shortening your stroke is not the answer. In fact, it's quite the opposite when it comes to building a high-performance engine, as one key to big power is adding stroke. The question is what "club," err... crankshaft, rotating assembly, and block to use.
In today's world of high-horsepower engines, bigger is definitely better. Whether you're looking to add a little extra grunt to a street car, tear up a road course on open track days, or blast down the quarter-mile, a stroker engine is a cost-effective and reliable way to add copious amounts of power. The massive growth of the stroker-engine market over the last few years has put power levels previously found only in race engines in the hands (and budgets) of the backyard mechanic and/or common enthusiast.
And when it comes to engine types and stroker kits (and pre-assembled engines), we, as Ford and Mustang owners, are spoiled with the sheer plethora of options. While discussing choices, there is a lot to consider. Displacement, materials, budget, stock, or aftermarket block, and induction type, are all issues that need to be addressed. On top of this discussion you also have to decide what brand you want to go with. As you know, there are super affordable kits, as well as very expensive ones. Often you get what you pay for, so know that you might not reliably make 800 horses with the bottom-of-the-barrel crank, rods, and pistons, especially in a stock 5.0L block.
Thankfully, MM&FF is here to help guide you through the stroker situation. We are going to take a few pages and do some of the heavy lifting for you, to inform you of what is out there, and what may be best for your budget. As with any project you may undertake, knowledge is key. So make sure to do your homework and talk to the guys at your local installation and machine shop to figure out what the best combination will be for how you use your car and the power level you're looking to achieve.