LS-swapped XF Falcon coming to Drag Challenge Weekend 2019

This XF Falcon is a seriously fast piece of kit set to compete at Drag Challenge Weekend 2019, but it just might anger a few Ford purists


CORY Read has been contesting Drag Challenge events for a couple of years now in his XF Falcon S-Pack sedan, with decent results. But the purists might want to look away now before we reveal what’s lying under the bonnet.

“The car originally had a Windsor, but I wanted to go faster, and to build a Windsor that would make the sort of power we’re making now, the costs just would’ve been ridiculous,” Cory says. Therefore, under this Falcon’s bonnet is a turbocharged LS1. As we’re beginning to find out, slotting an LS into this era of Falcon is as easy as buttering your toast. “I used a Tuff Mounts kit and the whole lot slotted right in with no dramas at all,” Cory says.

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Having successfully campaigned the LS1-powered Falcon for the past few years, Cory is now working on an LS3 build for his XF as he prepares for Drag Challenge Weekend, 3-6 May in Queensland. “The old LS1 was making around 650rwkW (870hp) on 19psi, with just pistons, valves and all the basic stuff to make it live,” he says. The car did quite well in that guise, finishing the week on debut at Drag Challenge 2016, before bombing out on Day One in 2017. Cory returned for DC 2018, finishing fifth in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class, with a best of 9.70@138mph. The car has gone quicker than that though, with Cory’s PB standing at 9.45@148mph.

The new LS3 had just 6000km on it when Cory pulled it out of a fire-damaged VF Commodore, and he’s in the process of fitting it out with pistons, rods, cam and all the other fruit. The BorgWarner S475 turbo will carry over from the old engine, and on E85 fuel he plans to push it somewhere in the vicinity of 700-800rwkW (940-1070hp) in his pursuit of an eight-second ET.

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Backing up the new LS3 will be the same driveline that lived behind the old LS1: a transbraked Turbo 400 from Paul Rogers housing an Altorque Converters 4000rpm converter, and a nine-inch rear end with a 35-spline Strange centre sporting street-friendly 3.5:1 gears.

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2019 will be Cory’s first crack at our shorter Drag Challenge Weekend, and he’s elected to stay in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class, with plans to try and run a slick bigger than a 275 if he can make it fit. Needless to say, we’re all stoked to see him come back for another year, and we hope he can crack an eight-second pass during the weekend.



Class: Turbosmart Outlaw Blown

Engine: LS3

Turbo: BorgWarner S475

ECU: Re-tuned VZ LS1

Transmission: Turbo 400

Converter: Altorque, 4000rpm stall

Diff: 9in, 35-spline, 3.5:1 gears

Current PB: 9.45@148mph