Green-top Ford Barras have long been internet-famous as the readily available wrecker engine of choice for making bulk horsepower on the cheap. The reason they were so good is simple: strength, availability and price.
The factory LPG-only version of Ford Australia’s 4.0-litre six, the green-top was fitted with thicker rods than the aspirated and early turbo Barras – the same rods as turbo Barras from BF onwards.
That, combined with the fact that wreckers were littered with junked LPG Falcons, meant you could score a Barra with boost-ready rods for less than $200.
Slap a bunch of good bolt-ons onto them and it was possible to make up to 550rwkW (737hp) with the stock bottom end.
It was such a good recipe that we stuck multiple stock-bottom-end green-top combos into Turbo Taxi and our Barra-swapped MX-5.
Unfortunately, much like the days of cheap LS engines, the run of cheap and cheerful fun with green-tops is all but over. It seems everyone jumped on the green-top train, driving prices up and thinning the herd down to examples that were not well looked after.
So in this little bonus episode of Carnage, Scotty asks Maxx Performance bossman and Barra expert Zane Heath to explain why green-tops are no longer a thing. They also give some advice on what to do now if you’re after a big-grunt Barra. So, sit back, relax and let Scotty and Zane tell you why you should be very wary when chasing the green-top dream.