Shelby GT350 5.2 Voodoo Engine Guide

The Ford 5.2 Voodoo is a truly unique muscle car engine. The 5.2L V8 utilizes a flat-plane crankshaft and is able to rev to 8,250rpm; it’s good for 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound overly impressive compared to the 760hp GT500 or even the base 5.0 Coyote with its 480 horsepower. However, the 5.2 Voodoo is an excellent powerplant that has a lot more to offer than just raw power and performance. In this guide, we examine the Ford 5.2L Voodoo and Shelby GT350 including specs, performance, reliability, and upgrades.

5.2 Voodoo Specs

Engine FamilyModular
ConfigurationV8, flat-plane crank
ValvetrainDOHC with VCT
Block & HeadAluminum
Bore x Stroke94mm x 93mm (3.70″ x 3.66″)
Compression Ratio12.0:1
Horsepower526hp @ 7,500rpm
Torque429 lb-ft @ 4,750rpm

Ford’s Voodoo engine was responsible for powering the Shelby GT350 and GT350R from 2016-2020. It’s one of few modern production V8 engines to feature a flat-plane crankshaft, alongside some Ferrari’s, the GM LT6 engine, and a couple others. Not only does the flat-plane crank make for some awesome, unique engine sounds, but it’s also largely responsible for the engines ability to rev to 8,250rpm.

Aluminator 5.2 XS

Like the Voodoo, the Aluminator 5.2 XS is based on the modular Coyote engine. It shares the same engine block as the 5.2L Voodoo, but drops the flat-plane crank in favor of a traditional cross-plane crankshaft. Other notable differences include a Cobra Jet intake manifold and throttle body.

It’s available as a Ford crate engine with 580 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. Ultimately, it’s worth a quick mention since it shares much in common with the 5.2 Voodoo. However, the characteristics of the engines are quite different due to the crankshaft designs.

5.2 Voodoo Engine Upgrades

The 5.2 Voodoo delivers 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque from the factory. It’s impressive performance, but the engine is capable of much more with simple bolt-on mods. Tuning, headers, an intake, and exhaust can push the 5.2L V8 to 580+ horsepower.


  • 10-20whp gains
  • Better throttle response
  • Maximize power gains from additional mods
  • 30+whp gains possible w/ better fuel

Cold Air Intake

  • 3-7whp gains
  • Awesome induction sounds
  • Cheap, simple upgrade
Ford 5.2 Voodoo Upgrades


  • 10-20whp gains
  • Reduced backpressure
  • Safer/easier on engine
  • Deeper, aggressive exhaust note


  • 3-7whp gains
  • Reduced backpressure
  • Awesome exhaust notes

More Performance Upgrades

The above 4 mods are the simplest, most effective basic bolt-ons for the 5.2 Voodoo. A tune, intake, headers, and exhaust can take the engine into the 580-600 horsepower ballpark. It’s possible to make even more power with better quality fueling like E85 or race-gas.

Afterwards, if you’re still looking for more power, there are a couple different routes to go. Heads, cams, a Cobra Jet intake manifold, and throttle body will help maximize NA horsepower. However, those upgrades can get pretty expensive and are best for those who really want to keep the Voodoo naturally aspirated.

Forced induction will offer the most potential and biggest power gains if you’re looking to push the 5.2L V8 to the limits. However, FI is also expensive and can take away from the simplicity and exciting nature of a high-revving NA V8.

5.2L Voodoo Engine Problems & Reliability

Ford’s 5.2 Voodoo and GT350 offer so much between their performance, uniqueness, and overall driving experience. There has to be a catch, right? Well, there might be a small catch when it comes to reliability. In our experience and opinion, the 5.2 Voodoo engine problems have been blown out of proportion on the internet.

However, the engine has run into some significant issues including high oil consumption and engine failures. Again, much of this has been blown out of proportion but it still can and does happen. These two issues are really the only drawbacks to what’s an otherwise phenomenal engine and car.

1) Maintenance Costs

This isn’t entirely fair since we’re predominantly focused on the engine. However, the 5.2 Voodoo was only used in the Shelby GT350/R and it’s far from your average car. Any performance car – the 5.0 Coyote and Mustang GT included – already tends to be more expensive to own. The GT350 takes things a step further and is a more track-oriented car compared to your standard performance or muscle car.

It comes with a staggered wheel setup running 305 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in the rear and 295’s up front. Expect the rear tires to last 4,000 to 8,000 miles and the fronts about double that – depending on driving style and use. These tires will set you back about $2,000 for the full set.

The rotors are 15.5″ in the front and 15.0″ in the rear. A full brake job with pads and rotors is going to set you back about $2,000, too. Those are two of the bigger points, but the list could go on. That’s true of the engine as well. High-performance, high-revving engines are also more demanding on spark plugs, ignition coils, expensive fluids, more frequent fluid changes, etc.

In our eyes, none of this is a true drawback or problem with the 5.2 Voodoo or Shelby GT350. The same could be said about any similar car like a Porsche, M3, M5, RS5, GT500, GT-R etc. You have to pay to play, and that’s really what it boils down to.

2) Oil Consumption

Excess oil consumption issues primarily affected 2017-2018 models with the 5.2 Voodoo. Some earlier models also run into oil consumption, but it’s a bit less common. Additionally, Ford made some updates to the engine for 2019-2020 and we’re not aware of oil consumption issues affecting any of those engines.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any truly known or understood reasons for the problems; it’s all just speculation. This does tie into the below 5.2 Voodoo engine failure topic as some engines ended up being replaced due to the excess oil consumption.

Again, we believe oil consumption and engines failures have been blown out of proportion to some extent. It’s still something to be aware of before purchasing a GT350 or GT350R, though. Ensure there aren’t any issues with this, especially if you’re looking at a 2017-2018 model. If there aren’t any problems present then it’s unlikely you’ll experience any issues in the future (at least not until the engine is much older and getting tired from natural wear and tear).

3) Engine Failure

There have been a number of different causes and reasons for 5.2 Voodoo engine failure. One, there are the oil consumption issues that led to some engine failures and replacements. There were also some recalls for 2020 Shelby GT500 and GT350’s due to timing chain tensioner problems that could cause complete engine failure.

Some 5.2 Voodoo engine failures have also been caused by low oil pressure due to the oil pump, filter, and/or low engine oil. There was a fault on the 2016-2017 models with the oil filter, so it may be a good idea to convert to the newer oil filter design.

Ultimately, engine failure isn’t anything we would worry about too much for the 5.2 Voodoo. As we discussed first, it is a high-performance, high-revving engine and it’s often driven hard and taken to race-tracks. If you’re frequently tracking the 5.2L V8 then engine failure is more likely to occur. Then again, that’s true of any car and you simply have to pay to play.

5.2 Voodoo Engine Summary

The Ford 5.2 Voodoo is an excellent engine and the GT350 & GT350R are great cars. It truly makes for a unique muscle car experience with the high-revving, flat-plane crank design and track-inspired nature.

With 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, the 5.2L V8 engine is no slouch from the factory. However, it has plenty of untapped potential. Simple bolt-on upgrades including a tune, intake, exhaust, and headers can take the engine to 580+ horsepower. There’s even more potential with bigger mods like heads, cams, or forced induction.

Potential drawbacks to the 5.2 Voodoo are a couple notable engine problems such as excess oil consumption and engine failure. However, these issues have largely been blown out of proportion. Maintain the Voodoo well, change fluids on time, keep an eye on oil levels (all the basics) and it can be a reliable and incredibly fun engine to own.

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