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MikeD New Reader
11/6/10 6:54 p.m.

off topic, Snipes- nice looking SPG, is it yours?

Raze Dork
11/6/10 8:50 p.m.
Winston wrote: Stop it with all of this XR4TI talk... you guys are making me want one.

smog7 Dork
11/7/10 12:16 a.m.

hmm are these considered rare in the u.s.?

MikeSVO Reader
11/7/10 9:29 a.m.

When it comes to engine stuff, I'd say to keep it simple. For your power goals, you DON'T need a tube header. You DON'T need to upgrade the throttle body. Even the turbo, head and cam will get you there. Injectors, intercooler, more boost. Tune it up and you're there.

Tuning is so key for these since you really, really need to get away from the VAM to make good power. MS is the popular answer around here, but we still use the Ford computers with Moates tuning hardware and my friend John tunes it with Binary Editor.

My car right now has an LA3 from an 88 T-Bird and a slot-style (05+ Mustang/Ford) Mass Air meter made by HPX.

The Esslinger heads are bad ass pieces, but they are pricey. One of the reasons people like to use them is because the cast iron heads are known to crack, and are not easily repaired. So why put a bunch of money into modifying something that's going to potentially turn itself into scrap? After all the parts are ordered and the mods are done, you might be in the Essy price range anyway.

More on heads...

If you ever pull yours, you might see cracks between the valves. If it's a hairline crack, I'd still (and I have) run it as-is. If it's actually showing a gap, then you probably want to begin looking for a replacement. I would almost say don't even bother pulling a head off a turbo motor in a junkyard - it's probably going to be cracked, too. The N/A 2.3 heads work, but the chamber is a slightly different shape (heart shaped, vs. the turbo motors D-shape), so you'd either have to modify it or just be aware of a bump in compression while tuning it. Persoanlly, I don't think it's a bad thing - the compression on these is so low anyway.

Early carbed motors have oval port heads, and those can be used, too. They have the same chamber as the turbo motors, and despite the oval ports in the head and the D-port in the intake, it seems to work well. I ran a setup like that for quite a while with good results.

There are actually a few different Esslinger heads, too. Very generally speaking...

-The D-Port 'street' head, which is the 'drop in' replacement head.

-The SVO head (not related to the Mustang SVO) which has radically different intake ports and IIRC, no provisions for the factory hydraulic lifters. Larger valves, radically different chambers. When you see one of these for the first time, you just sorta go, 'Oh...I see how that would work well...'

-The ARCA head, which is similar to the SVO head, but the exhaust ports are rectangular.

And if you're a wild and crazy guy, you can try the VOlvo head thing, though for some reason, you don't see people really beating up on those setups. It's like they're afrad to lean on them or something... I don't know, I'd like to try it, but at the end of the day, the really fast 2.3 (based, most are larger by that point) guys are using the last 2 Essy heads.

LordTurbonia New Reader
11/7/10 12:03 p.m.

Guys, I just want to say thanks for all the input. I KNEW that I could bring up this car in this group and hear all sorts of useful information.

That being said, going over the car yesterday revealed a number of, ahem, tragedies . . .

1) It doesn't have the correct radiator. The rad is about 2 inches too short to tap into the upper mounts.

2) The trans cooler is an aftermarket trans cooler TWIST TIED(!!!) to the back of the radiator! I knew the setup looked off when I was doing the whole pre-purchase lookover, but I was of the mind of "Hey, it runs!" and decided not to question it too deeply. Big mistake.

3) It has a water-cooled turbo, which I didn't think was stock on these. The compressor housing says "AR .60 M11", which according to my research was a Turbo Coupe piece.

LordTurbonia New Reader
11/7/10 12:31 p.m.

4) The C3 has been rebuilt at least 3 and perhaps 4 times since the car was new. 3 are documented in the wonderful, yet useless pile of paperwork I received from the PO. Fluid looks nice though! :)

5) Last but most certainly not least, the entire cooling system is suspect. The coolant looks gravelly and horrifying, the hose routing is not factory and beyond bizarre, there are leaks all throughout the bastard, and I can almost smell the overheating and warped heads.

Next weekend, the engine and trans are getting pulled and the engine will be torn down, hot tanked and hopefully magnafluxed before getting rebuilt to straight ill levels. Volvo head? Maybe. 2.5 stroker? Perhaps. Then the whole shebang will be put in front of a T-5 able to handle the torque and boosted to the moon by a Holset.

The universe has handed me a unique opportunity in the form of externally mandated scope creep and suggestions are gladly accepted. `(Pic thread this afternoon . . .)

darkbuddha New Reader
11/7/10 9:50 p.m.

The stock turbo is water cooled. It should be a .60/.48 T3 Garret, so the "AR .60 M11" stamping sounds correct for the cold side housing.

The standard coolant hose routing on these cars is bizarre from the factory, especially because of the heater control valve (next to the battery). I'm not sure what radiator you have right now, but it may not be consequential depending on what you wanna do. Stock replacement radiators are typically unduly expensive and there have been lots of swaps developed to avoid paying the cost for another crappy stock radiator. For example, I'm running a Saab 900 radiator because it's a perfect match for the Cosworth 2wd IC I'm running. A simple crossmember secures the bottom of the radiator, and the top of the radiator bolts to the bottom of the IC, which bolts right into the stock radiator location on the chassis (no drilling, hacking, or nonsense).

For the motor, you've got lots of options... spend some time on turboford.org. I don't know what your budget is, or if you even have one, but the Volvo head and 2.5 stroker options add expense you don't really need to reach reasonable (300hp) levels. You can get there with bolt-ons fairly easily with a tubular header, Holset, 3" exhaust, mildly ported head, gutted/ported intakes, standalone, etc. But if you're ready to get real serious, a Volvo headed 2.5 stroker with all the bolt-ons can definitely get you pointed in the direction of 500+ hp if you want it. It's like anything else, it's just a matter of money.

Raze Dork
11/8/10 7:11 a.m.
LordTurbonia wrote: ... Then the whole shebang will be put in front of a T-5 able to handle the torque and boosted to the moon by a Holset. The universe has handed me a unique opportunity in the form of externally mandated scope creep and suggestions are gladly accepted. `(Pic thread this afternoon . . .)

We have a T5 + Holset it's a blast...

Sounds familiar, our XR4 was supposed to be for the $2006 GRM Challenge, we totally got carried away...

snipes Reader
11/12/10 9:29 a.m.

I have a few saab 900 rads if you need one. pay the shipping

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