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KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 7:11 a.m.


So here is the result of yesterday's trip.  466 miles towing a borrowed trailer (thanks Paco!) to get this gem.  Again for the purposes of challenge math the car and it's parts were $1,000.  The hardtop was also $1,000 as that appears to be their going price.

Yes the wheels are hideous, better ones are going to happen but they weren't bad enough to sour this deal.

it's a 1993 with 125K on the clock and the engine is not currently in the car.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 7:16 a.m.

So here is the newly assembled engine.  (The old one literally blew apart and sheared the crank).  The short block is from a 2000 Explorer 5.0 and the heads are aluminum Edelbrock.  It can with a new flywheel and "racing" clutch.  Big injectors, a fancy intake, and a few other things.  I'm not familiar with Fords but the engine builder claims it should be good for around 380 hp.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 7:22 a.m.

And here is where I get to put it back together.  If you look closely you can see where the steering rod goes through the headers.

Apparently I also need to sort out the T5.  There are a couple of snapped ears on the bellhousing (more of a rant about that later) but also there is 1/4" of play on the input shaft (that seems bad).


KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 7:30 a.m.

So what the Ford were they thinking when designing the 5.0??  Only the top half of the transmission has anywhere to bolt on the backside of the block!?  This seems like a really shakey design and makes me believe the rumors of 5.0 blocks splitting when pushed past 500 hp.  I didn't get pics of the old one but I can assure you, it did.  The back end of the crank sheared off and exited its home taking chunks of block casting with it.

is there a way to prevent a repeat of this or is it just one of those "when your number is up" kind of things that just happens?

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/26/17 7:50 a.m.

If you scored a basket of parts that will assemble into a rust free V8 Miata, you scored one hell of a deal! 


What does it have for rear differential and axles?  Still standard Monster Miata stuff.


T5 gearboxes are great right up until the point where they are not. 300 ft-lbs of torque is about where they stop being great. Picture of third gear cluster from the manual.  Verify that it is at least a "World Class" version of the gearbox.


Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/26/17 8:11 a.m.

Awesome score!   We've done two 5.0 challenge Miatas.  

The monster mounts are pretty simple. The headers and rear end (if yours has it) is worth the price of admission.  Also get a copy of his book if you don't have one. Very helpful.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 8:25 a.m.

In reply to Greg Voth :  Motor mounts are already done and in place.  This already was a Monster Miata, it just needs to be reassembled.

I Haven't even crawled under it yet but the mechanic said it had a thunderbird rear end.  I can verify it has the Wilwood brakes.

All  and the dude had it rolling on 195 all season tires indecision

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/26/17 9:15 a.m.

Did you take a gun or a wallet when you picked it up, cause you stole this one. 

Martin was/is and advocate for the 7.5" rear differential whereas I feel safer with the 8.8 where it might get hooned on by some growed-up kid.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/26/17 10:14 a.m.

Yeah I saw the mounts.  Just mentioning that they are pretty simple when people inquire about swapping. The headers and the diff are the trick parts. 

We had a rx7 rear in our first 5.0 and the monster 7.5  with 3.27s in the current one.  Gearing wise the Ford rear is far superior.  1st and 2nd we're useless with the 4.10 rx7 unit. Now just first is useless.....  

The 7.5 performed well at the challenge an local autocross / back road testing.  The cars not on the street yet.  Right now its on 245 street tires.  I'd really only worry about moving to an 8.8 if it's going on slicks drag racing.  

dculberson PowerDork
11/26/17 2:00 p.m.

I almost bought that one. I'm a lot closer. Just couldn't come up with the time! Good deal. And good luck. 

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/26/17 2:08 p.m.
dculberson said:

I almost bought that one. I'm a lot closer. Just couldn't come up with the time! Good deal. And good luck. 

Yeah, it was a bit of a drive but should be worth it.  I've looked up the price on the heads this thing has: $1,200!!!  I'd hate to see how much money has been thrown at this car over the years, it has to be a bunch.


more questions:   What sort of redline can i set the 5.0 to and be safe?  Built heads and fancy cam but stock bottom end.

is there a way to tell if the transmission is any good before I either commit to tearing it out or building it back?

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
11/26/17 2:18 p.m.

How do you do the 7.5 swap on a challenge budget? I think i need to know this.


As far as the real topic here, great score! Heads were almost the price of admission without the hardtop. 

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/26/17 2:58 p.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

How do you do the 7.5 swap on a challenge budget? I think i need to know this.

Just got a great deal on an incomplete used monster kit.  Ended up making our own subframe but used the headers, rear etc.  

Robbie PowerDork
11/26/17 5:09 p.m.

Excellent score! 380 how will be plenty. You probably need a new trans though.

untchabl New Reader
11/26/17 9:39 p.m.

Even with the heads/cam setup I doubt you would need to turn that motor over 6,000 rpm, probably could shift at 5,500 and not be missing any power. As far as HP goes, 380 is quite optimistic. I had a 306 with Trick Flow heads, intake, cam, etc that we dyno tuned and it made 370 at the tires. Running fuel injection or carb?

Stock 302 bottom ends are pretty stout for what they are. Used to see a lot of them split when running belt driven superchargers like Vortechs. Basic S-trim kit was only a 6-rib belt and once you went to the smaller pulley on the blower to up the boost it would cause belt slip. The easiest way to prevent belt slip was crank down on the belt tension. This added a lot of force pulling the front of the crankshaft over to the side. The 2-bolt main caps didn't help. Wasn't hard to get 500-hp out of a heads/cam 302 with an S-trim on it though.

pres589 PowerDork
11/27/17 4:50 a.m.

What's the plans for an ECU?  

I agree with the suggestion of 6k for a redline.  Depending on the cam there may not be a lot of reason to go there.  Curious about this 'fancy intake'.

Seems like a very cool project.  Is a new trans in the budget?  Wondering about something like a TKO.  

akylekoz HalfDork
11/27/17 5:44 a.m.

No one here can have it yet but I am picking up a 7.5 trac lock with 3:73 gears today for $25.  Just a spare for our lowly Lemons mustang.

You say T-bird rear, IRS or Stick?  I assume shortened solid axle.  The lincoln IRS had more aluminum vs the T-bird.


KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/27/17 6:04 a.m.

Edelbrock intake and throttle body for the fuel injection.

IRS.  It's aluminum and much bigger than a Miata torsen.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/27/17 6:07 a.m.

In reply to pres589 :  The ECU is already installed, the wiring harness is ready to snap back on and go.

What is a "TKO"?  Sorry for my ignorance, Ford isn't a language I speak yet.


KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/27/17 10:55 a.m.

Anyone interested in some "spiffy" seat covers?  Also going away is the mousetrap style bar.

octavious Dork
11/27/17 2:09 p.m.

My 7 year old would think you had the coolest car ever with those seat covers. Lol

Crackers HalfDork
11/27/17 6:18 p.m.

In reply to octavious :

Thanks... Now I feel like a 7 year old. LOL

kazoospec SuperDork
11/27/17 7:42 p.m.

Leave the Storm Troopers, its the best way to guarantee you'll never hit anything.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/27/17 7:47 p.m.

TKO is an aftermarket Tremec trans which I understand is roughly based on a T5 but isn't glass. As seen in Dusterbd13's Duster and Bobzilla's C10. 

wlkelley3 UltraDork
11/27/17 9:04 p.m.

There is a local guy with a Charger painted like a storm trooper helmet, those seat covers would match the theme.


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