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btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 1:47 p.m.

We have a 90 Mustang LeMons race car. We've gotten it to work really well in the corners, and the brakes are great. It has all the power you would expect out of a 20 year old worn out 2.3 (88hp when new). I'd like to increase the power without upsetting the handling, fuel mileage, or reliability of the car. I also want to keep the new to us T5 in place.

1st choice: I'm thinking a ranger 2.5 right now, same basic engine with about 130hp, but we'd have to rewire the car with the ranger harness and computer.

2nd choice: 3.8 or 4.2 V6. Lighter weight - aluminum heads, bell housing and motor mounts are easy. We'd still need to rewire the car. I don't know about their reliability. SC T bird engine is an option this way.

3rd choice: I dunno. I can make motor mounts, and we'll have to rewire the car regardless. Is there anything interesting we can use with the cable clutched T5?

This will be our 3rd LeMons in the car. I know out and out power isn't the way to win, but we need more to place in the top five. It pains me to say this but, no V8 swaps. Also, I need the motor to come out of a car I can part out to recover our money.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 HalfDork
3/5/09 1:50 p.m.

The Supercharged 3.8 Supercoupe motor is the CLEAR winner in this category if you can find one.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
3/5/09 2:04 p.m.

The 2.5 is the easiest swap, if you use the 2.3 head and intake on the 2.5 then you can use the existing Mustang FI stuff. A Turbo Coupe motor would be perfect and those can be found reasonably cheap. The tranny and misc body parts could be sold to recoup your bux.

3.8's are hard on head gaskets. Ask me how I know. Plus the older ones with carbs and TBI aren't much punchier than the 2.5 you mentioned and honestly are not that light. The MPFI motor makes more power but you run into the same rewiring that the Ranger motor would require. We looked at a couple of SC's when planning the repower of the TT and people seem to think they are made of, well, not gold but certainly not scrap iron. Plus the one that was closest to our price range had a mystery misfire that the owner said he didn't hear.

Older 302's are plentiful and cheap plus there is a reasonably inexpensive oil pan to make it fit a Fox chassis. That would be my choice, personally.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/5/09 2:08 p.m.

You don't need to swap the whole 2.5, If you are running a Dual Plug 2.3L you can swap out a lot of the sensors and components to make it work in place of the 2.3L

Raze
Raze Reader
3/5/09 2:17 p.m.

I'm going to second what Jensenman has already said, you're basically looking at doing 1 of 4 things from fastest/easiest to most time consuming/hardest:

1) try and hop up an anemic 2.3 N/A which is neither cheap nor productive, mostly the latter...

2) swap in a 2.5, easy, straightforward, cost effective, and most important should be reliable, can be done with direct swap or swapping parts, I'm pretty sure it's got a different crank... just not going to get gobs of power...

3) 2.3 Turbo swap. This can actually be accomplished 1 of 2 ways. The first method is to swap out the engine/trans and drop in engine/trans from TurboCoupe, SVO, or XR4Ti. This is admittedly more expensive and will give you as much power as you can tune given you get a big VAM and a better computer, else you'll need standalone controller, and then the upgrade list goes on and on up to however much you have $$$/time for. Second method is to get the pistons, rods and head off a 2.3Turbo and swap the internals of your 2.3N/A. Add a turbo exhaust manifold and downpipe, computer, injectors and an oil return line from the turbo and you're in business, all w/o having to mod your trans/stock engine config.

4) 302 swap, most power for minimal time/setup/tuning put in. Requires front subframe mod or swap for mounts, will require trans swap as the input shaft for a 4cyl T5 is different than a V8 (there's a bushing kit but i think its for V8 T5s going behind 4cyl turbos not the other way round). Good parts upgrade availability for cheap.

Let us know what you decide...

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
3/5/09 2:23 p.m.

I believe 4 cylinder and V8 mustangs had the same k-member and engine mount stands. It's either the V6 or I6 (or both) that have the different mounts.

Anyway, for lemons, I just don't think you'll be able to realistically (or believably) get all the V8 swap stuff in under the budget. I know you don't want to do this and this is likely why (nor do I know why everyone else keeps brining it up when you've clearly said it's not an option...oh well).

Your least-cost-involved option is to keep a 4 cylinder in the car. Sounds like you've got some good direction there.

I don't think a turbo would be the way to go for a lemons car. I, personally, would run the stock 2.3 before I tried to get a 2.3T to run reliable and, more importantly, tried to do it under budget.

You'd want a donor car to do a 2.3T swap and finding a runner under $500 is not a common thing (in my experience here), not that you'd have $500 to spend on a swap anyway.

Clem

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
3/5/09 2:44 p.m.

I thought the 1990 Mustang would have been a single plug head? That's why I recommended swapping the head, for simplicity's sake.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/5/09 2:48 p.m.

You are correct Jens, I was thinking 1990 started the DP, it is 1991.

Swap the head onto a 2.5L block and go fishing. Use a revised Ford turbo head gasket, a 1999 Ranger Tubular exhaust manifold and if you are daring enough port the upper and lower intake and use a larger throttle valve.

jwdmotorsports
jwdmotorsports Reader
3/5/09 2:53 p.m.
Raze wrote: 4) 302 swap, most power for minimal time/setup/tuning put in. Requires front subframe mod or swap for mounts, will require trans swap as the input shaft for a 4cyl T5 is different than a V8 (there's a bushing kit but i think its for V8 T5s going behind 4cyl turbos not the other way round). Good parts upgrade availability for cheap.

You should be able to swap the transmission yoke on the driveshaft and be set I believe.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
3/5/09 2:54 p.m.

BTW: if you are willing to set your standards low enough a V8/MT swap can be done pretty cheap. We are talking a carbureted with points V8 which had been in a shipping container since 1988 and a cast iron 3 speed tranny which when I went to pick it up was stuck nose first in the dirt like a big old lawn dart. The shocker: the driveshaft yoke from the C3 in the 'Bird slid perfectly into the old cast iron Toploader 3 speed and when we used the stock tranny mount that came with our 'box on the Thunderterd crossmember the driveshaft length was perfect. The clutch linkage took some, er, creative thinking.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/5/09 3:16 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: BTW: if you are willing to set your standards low enough a V8/MT swap can be done pretty cheap. We are talking a carbureted with points V8 which had been in a shipping container since 1988 and a cast iron 3 speed tranny which when I went to pick it up was stuck nose first in the dirt like a big old lawn dart. The shocker: the driveshaft yoke from the C3 in the 'Bird slid perfectly into the old cast iron Toploader 3 speed and when we used the stock tranny mount that came with our 'box on the Thunderterd crossmember the driveshaft length was perfect. The clutch linkage took some, er, creative thinking.

If you are going to that degree of cheese wiz (just a saying), wouldn't JB's I4 suggestion be better? Or is the crappy V8 that much better?

I'd kind of lean toward the I4 for the Lemons. Better fuel economy, and lighter weight on the front end (less stress to the rest of the car).

Just a theory, as I don't know 'stangs that well.

E-

btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 3:20 p.m.

V8 swap isn't an option. Too heavy, too much fuel / too many fuel stops, too hard to cool, it is easy though and there is a pilot bearing to use the 4 cyl trans behind a V8.

The 2.3 picked up 20 - 25 hp between 90 and 91, and another 20 with the increase in displacement in 98. I'd hate to swap a 2.5 shortblock and put the single plug head on it. Also don't know how well the speed density system will put up with mods.

If the 3.8s are hard on head gaskets than I'm totally not interested, especially in the blown one.

I've seen too many turbo problems at lemons to run one myself.

Here's a good general question. Is cooling more dependent on horsepower than cubic inches. IE, will a hypothetical 200 horsepower 2.3 be harder to cool than 150 hp 302?

btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 3:23 p.m.

Also, I don't think the 2.5 has provisions for a distributor, so we couldn't run our existing FI.

jstein77
jstein77 HalfDork
3/5/09 3:24 p.m.

How do you do all this within the $500 Lemons cap?

Nitroracer
Nitroracer Dork
3/5/09 3:25 p.m.

The results from the latest LeMons race show that having a four cylinder mustang isn't necessarily a penalty versus and V8 stang. There was a one second lap time difference between the cars, and they finished 1-2.

That said I'd go with the newer ranger 2.5 and run it on the old modified electronics.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
3/5/09 3:30 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: How do you do all this within the $500 Lemons cap?

Like I said, set your standards low. Speaking of low standards: you should see a couple of my team mates.

(I keed, I keed! Luv ya, guys!)

The V8 swap is the most bang for the buck. That's why we decided to go that way instead of trying to resurrect the stock 3.8 or go with a SC motor, we could see those turning into time and money pits in a hurry and there was the reliability issue. Of course our Thunderbird has a lot more 'junk in the trunk' which (it weighs 3000 pounds!) meaning it really could use the extra horsepuppies to move and the greater weight past the rear axle helps offset the V8's greater weight in the nose.

btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 3:49 p.m.

The car that finished 2nd belongs to friends. We drove down to Houston and pitted together. The have 20 more hp and 20 more ft lbs. They just dynoed the car and had 85 whp. We probably have no more than 70. Our car did well because it's really nimble, but I felt like getting out and pushing down the front straight.

Doing it on budget is easy. Jay valued the car at $300 this morning. He said if we send a video of it blowing up with a brick on the throttle he'd devalue it accordingly. Buy a crashed Ranger for <$600, sell a few things and have room in the budget to spare.

btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 3:50 p.m.

I really want to weigh the mustang. I'll bet it's not 2400 lbs.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
3/5/09 3:52 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: How do you do all this within the $500 Lemons cap?

Parts are cheap if you look in the right places. Heck, just going to a U-Pull yard will get you a complete engine and transmission for $250 and those come with a warranty! As mentioned, you can buy a whole Ranger for pretty cheap. If you're justing wanting an engine and wiring/ECM you can get those even cheaper.

Bryce

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
3/5/09 4:06 p.m.

Wait.

Someone DYNOED a LeMons car?

Buzz Killington
Buzz Killington New Reader
3/5/09 4:08 p.m.
jstein77 wrote: How do you do all this within the $500 Lemons cap?

you'd be shocked at what can be done w/ in the cap. we were talking about that the other day...about how luxurious a $2009 budget would be ("you mean we have another $1509 to spend?!?!?").

Jensen is right. it's mostly about shopping carefully, buying the right car, and doing a lot of creative thinking.

too many people just buy the first $500 POS they find and try to make a Lemons car out of it (which, i suppose, is kind of the point). a little (or a lot) of patience and searching can net you some surprisingly cool stuff to run.

i can't wait for Carolina in April.

btp76
btp76 New Reader
3/5/09 4:48 p.m.

Anybody have any off the beaten path ideas, maybe something from a focus, escort... Something else entirely? What can I bolt to the t5?

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
3/5/09 4:52 p.m.
Buzz Killington wrote: you'd be shocked at what can be done w/ in the cap. we were talking about that the other day...about how luxurious a $2009 budget would be ("you mean we have another $1509 to spend?!?!?").

Yeah...although it's nice in LeMons that you don't have to worry about being pretty or even being fast. You just have to keep it running for several hours a time. When $2009 competitors are running 10s in the quarter and come with a fully repainted car, that's a whole new ballgame compared to the rats we've brought out to LeMons.

Bryce

RobL
RobL Reader
3/5/09 4:56 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: Wait. Someone DYNOED a LeMons car?

You've never seen this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RT-y8hyNVc

Hal
Hal HalfDork
3/5/09 5:08 p.m.
btp76 wrote: Anybody have any off the beaten path ideas, maybe something from a focus, escort... Something else entirely? What can I bolt to the t5?

You could use either the 2L Zetec or the 2.3L Duratec from a Focus. Both will put you in the 130 HP/135 Lb/ft at the crank range. T-5 Adapters for both motors are available from Quad 4 Rods.com but the cost ($475) would be a problem on a LeMons budget.

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