What is a Barra engine? Everything you need to know Barra

What is a barra engine? What is a Ford barra engine? When a Ford six-cylinder engine earns a greater performance reputation than the V8s it sold alongside, and is also embraced by the aftermarket to the point where it’s being fitted to Holdens (not to mention everything in between) you know you’re looking at a landmark powerplant. And the engine in question is Ford’s in-line DOHC six-cylinder code-named Barra (short for Barramundi, a prized indigenous sport fish).

What Is A Barra Engine?

The Barra engine is a straight-six engine that was developed by Ford Australia and produced between 2002 and 2016. It was used in the Ford Falcon and Ford Territory vehicles. The Barra engine is known for its power, reliability, and tunability.

What is a Barra engine

The Barra engine has a cast iron block and an aluminum head. It has a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) design with four valves per cylinder. The compression ratio ranges from 8.47:1 to 12.0:1. The engine is available in a variety of displacements, including 4.0 liters, 4.6 liters, and 5.0 liters.

The Barra engine is known for its power and reliability. It can be easily tuned to produce more power, and it is known to be very durable. The Barra engine is also relatively fuel-efficient.

The Barra engine is a popular choice for engine swaps in other vehicles. It is a relatively inexpensive engine, and it is easy to find parts for. The Barra engine is also known for its reliability, which makes it a good choice for a project car.

Here are some of the features that make the Barra engine so popular:

  • Power: The Barra engine is very powerful, especially when tuned. It can produce up to 500 horsepower or more with the right modifications.
  • Reliability: The Barra engine is known for its reliability. It is a well-built engine that can withstand a lot of abuse.
  • Tunability: The Barra engine is very tunable. It can be easily modified to produce more power, torque, and fuel efficiency.
  • Cost: The Barra engine is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to other high-performance engines.
  • Parts availability: Parts for the Barra engine are readily available, both new and used.
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If you are looking for a powerful, reliable, and tunable engine, the Barra is a great option. It is a popular choice for engine swaps and project cars, and it is sure to provide years of enjoyment.

Why Tuners Love The Barra Engine

While the Barra engine’s horsepower numbers out of the box are great, the internals can take a huge amount of strain. That’s demonstrated by the fact that when Ford turbocharged the Barra, it didn’t replace internal parts with forged items.

What is a Barra engine

According to enthusiasts that have taken the engine to breaking point, it can be pushed to around 800 hp before upgraded parts in the bottom end are required. See why it’s the Aussie 2JZ-GTE? With that strength comes reliability, and the Barra is known to go 250,000 miles plus in stock form without any major problems.

That makes it an excellent choice for just about all disciplines anywhere between off-roading and drag racing. And because of all that, a huge aftermarket industry has evolved around the Barra, including conversion kits for engine swaps.

Ford Barra Cars

We wondered what cars had the Ford Barra engine from the factory other than the (sadly now defunct) Falcon; we couldn’t find many. However, along with the last generations of the mundane Fairlane and LTD cars and Territory SUV, the Barra engine served in fleets, including taxis, powered by Liquid Propane Gas (LPG).

Unfortunately, the Barra engine went out of production in 2016, and the engine isn’t as easy to come by as it was. Plenty out there need a rebuild, which isn’t a costly proposition, but finding an untouched low-mileage one that tuners haven’t snapped up is becoming harder now.

As it’s a six-cylinder engine, its popularity with tuners is immense. Still, Ford Barra crate engines were never popular, as racers in Australia tend to base their cars around a V8.

What About American Ford Barra Engines?

It’s a pity that Ford didn’t bring the Barra engine here to the US, since something to fill the hole left by the legendary Toyota 2JZ that departed in the 2000s would surely have been embraced by tuners. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

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You can find a Ford Barra engine for sale in the US from importers, and people have built cars here using the Barra engine. After all, fitting a 2JZ into a Mustang would be just wrong and it’s a little easier to overnight parts from Australia than Japan.

However, the Barra is a little heavier than the 2JZ. The Barra engine weight is around 525 pounds while a 2JZ comes in around 440 pounds. One of the most famous examples of an American Barra-powered car is YouTuber Adam LZ’s Mustang Shelby GT350 swap.

The Ford Barra’s Legacy

When it comes to an Australian-developed engine, the Barra is the finest example we know of. Regardless of where your particular favorite straight-six turbo engine is made, nobody can deny that the Barra is one of the best straight-sixes built yet.

What is a Barra engine 2

In its base naturally aspirated form, it’s solid and tunable for just about any use, including off-roading. For people that just want to drive their car, the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo was one of Australia’s finest sports sedans and came with rear-wheel-drive, European-tuned suspension, and over 400 hp on tap. It’s the kind of car we’ve missed from Ford for a long time.

With the ability to go to 800 hp without forged parts, the Barra engine can be tuned to suit any build. With forged parts, the sky seems to be the limit power-wise. To demonstrate that, drag racer Maria Passo recently laid down 2,048 hp to the wheels with his methanol-drinking street-spec car while using forged parts in the stock bottom end.

It’s also an ode to Australia’s love affair with power, which can’t be tempered by adding taxes to cylinders on cars, anti-hoon laws, or whatever the latest stupid regulation Aussie politicians try to enact is.

Why Is It So Outstanding?

A factory-fresh engine producing nearly 500 hp, especially one with only six cylinders, has got to be phenomenal, right? It’s safe to assume that many other Australians agree with us, as this is one of the most frequently performed engine swaps.

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“When boost is accounted for, it is the engine’s robustness that makes it such a great candidate for making a lot of power. Because the engine is so solidly constructed is why. “It would be ideal to give the later models a substantial turbo boost. A stock bottom end can make 600 hp at the tyres with just a few simple supporting mods.” With that result, the quarter-mile time for the Mighty Car Mods’ Toyota Cresta project was 9.90 seconds, etc.

In addition, the engine generates respectable amounts of torque thanks to its undersquare design and large displacement, and the powerband is one that is of great practical use. “They make torque from low down in the rev range, creating as much as 425 lb-ft of it from 2,600 rpm. If you build it yourself, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a thousand horses out of the engine and to the back wheels. Although it generates over 2,000 hp and revs to over 10,000 rpm, the Dyno-Mite Performance Barra-powered drag car uses the factory block and cylinder head.”

As we move away from the specific advantages of the Barra and into the realm of general engine theory and design, we can say that the Barra also takes advantage of the benefits that are inherent to the use of a straight-six platform. The straight-six engine’s design is, by itself, exceptionally well-balanced. Because the pistons move in tandem with their mirror images on the other side of the block, the reciprocating forces are balanced out nicely. The retaliatory forces are nicely balanced out.


What is so special about Barra engine?

The strong architecture means it can handle huge power-ups, and 600kW is quite a realistic target. By adding stronger valve springs, a huge turbo, and an electronic tune to harmonise it all, big numbers have been produced on stock bottom ends.

What cars have Barra engines?

The Barra 195 is the last version of the naturally aspirated I6 engine and is found in the FG/FG-X Falcon and SZ/SZ II Territory.

Are Barra engines still made?

The mighty Barra six was produced by Ford Australia for its Falcon product from 2002 through to 2016.

Above is information about What is a barra engine? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of What is a Ford barra engine? Thank you for reading our post.

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