2.3 road coursing - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 30 Old 06-01-2011, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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2.3 road coursing

Anyone build an n/a 2.3 for open tracking and auto-x, while still maintaining it for street use/dd? What set up did you find worked well on the track but still maintained good street manors (don't want to rev to 5-6grand on the street)

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post #2 of 30 Old 06-01-2011, 10:06 PM
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Our lemons car is dual plug 2.3 and even in a gutted out car it is very weak. The 2.3 is heavy gutless turd, but it is very reliable. It is a fun car though because you can really drive it as hard as you want and it will just keep on ticking. Spares are very cheap to almost free so no worries either if you pop a motor or trash the transmission. FYI on a 2.5 mile road course we are about 3-5 seconds slower than a V8 car with similair suspension/tires.

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post #3 of 30 Old 06-01-2011, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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is that in an entirly stock 2.3 or modified.
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post #4 of 30 Old 06-01-2011, 10:25 PM
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We have a ranger header, two chamber flowmaster with 2-1/4 exhaust, gutted air box, and only run the alternator. Other than that the motor is stock. The car has a 4:10 7.5 rear end with the T-loc. Rev limiter is 5800 stock, but we have been working with the tuning and have spun it to 6600-6700 which helps from having to shift so often.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-02-2011, 08:58 PM
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There is a local Chump car team who have built a couple of 2.3 cars and also autocross a DD. From what I remember from talking to one of them from an event they have kept it close to stock as far as the engine goes but have upgraded the brakes. Manual brake system from MM, home-built T/A and PHB, some advice from MM. Might be able to speak with them this weekend at an auto-X if you have any specific question. Heck, could be JW33 that I'm speaking of for all I know.

2003 GT | Modified for Open Track
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-02-2011, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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the motor is from a 1990 so single plug head. Was looking into milling the head down to get compression up and some head work, maybe a new custom cam (currently have a comp 260H), and an exhaust manifold. Anyone running a set up like that? Or overkill? find the 2.3 is a dog coming out of some turns and on the straights even with the manual and having it rev (keeping in in the band) so figure that should wake it up without adding weight to the front and screwing up the f/r balance.

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post #7 of 30 Old 06-02-2011, 10:21 PM
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I have the 2.3 in my Ranger. I think it runs fantastic out in the desert. It seems almost indestructible. Ever kick around the idea of turboing it? If you stick with it being n/a, 4.10 gears are a must, deck the head to bring up compression, get a cam and upgrade the valve springs. On my Ranger I ported the stock intake manifold, found a long tube header, 4.10 gears and it runs fantastic. I even thought about building another Ranger as a street truck with the 2.3 doing the same mods.

-'90 Mustang LX Coupe 5.0 SSP. 83 DSO US Gov't Issue. H/C/I Track toy
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-05-2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 93Krwy View Post
I have the 2.3 in my Ranger. I think it runs fantastic out in the desert. It seems almost indestructible. Ever kick around the idea of turboing it? If you stick with it being n/a, 4.10 gears are a must, deck the head to bring up compression, get a cam and upgrade the valve springs. On my Ranger I ported the stock intake manifold, found a long tube header, 4.10 gears and it runs fantastic. I even thought about building another Ranger as a street truck with the 2.3 doing the same mods.
was thinking of turboing it, but with the turbo a full dressed 2.3T weighs in close to a fully dressed 5.0. Or thats what I found from looking around.
How did you find the long tube effected your low end torque? Which long tube did you go with?
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post #9 of 30 Old 06-05-2011, 10:51 PM
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I've worked on a few 2.3's built for circle track and the only way to really make any power with these motors is to rev it, use a big cam, and do some head work. The one's i worked on were never driven on the street so I can't really comment on that. For a street motor though you should be able to make decent power if you mill and lightly port the head, put a decent cam in it, and rev it. I've heard that you can run some stock 5.0 injectors also. I've never done that personally but it might be worth a try if you've done the other mods. These motors have been used as dedicated race motors in the dirt track world for many years so doing a little research will probably give you some more tips and tricks.
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post #10 of 30 Old 06-06-2011, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniboy1983 View Post
I've worked on a few 2.3's built for circle track and the only way to really make any power with these motors is to rev it, use a big cam, and do some head work. The one's i worked on were never driven on the street so I can't really comment on that. For a street motor though you should be able to make decent power if you mill and lightly port the head, put a decent cam in it, and rev it. I've heard that you can run some stock 5.0 injectors also. I've never done that personally but it might be worth a try if you've done the other mods. These motors have been used as dedicated race motors in the dirt track world for many years so doing a little research will probably give you some more tips and tricks.
this. Stock parts can do 7500rpm+.

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post #11 of 30 Old 06-06-2011, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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this. Stock parts can do 7500rpm+.
heard the stock rods in the 1990 blocks are only good too 6500/6800 rpm then they like to let go.
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post #12 of 30 Old 06-06-2011, 02:37 PM
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If you replace the stock rod bolts you can see 7K safely. I heard the rods that came in turbo motors were better but that may only be internet chatter.

If you're going to keep the stock FI then in only makes sense to turbo it. If you want to stay NA then go with a carb on a ported FI lower using an addaptor.

I bought a project car years ago that came with a 2.3L. It also came with but not installed, a dual Weber sidedraft intake and carbs. How rare are those! I gave it to a friend who was racing a Mustang 2.3L in production class as this project car was going to be a street car and turboed.

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post #13 of 30 Old 06-08-2011, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jw33 View Post
Our lemons car is dual plug 2.3 and even in a gutted out car it is very weak. The 2.3 is heavy gutless turd, but it is very reliable. It is a fun car though because you can really drive it as hard as you want and it will just keep on ticking. Spares are very cheap to almost free so no worries either if you pop a motor or trash the transmission. FYI on a 2.5 mile road course we are about 3-5 seconds slower than a V8 car with similair suspension/tires.
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post #14 of 30 Old 06-08-2011, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny2.3 View Post
was thinking of turboing it, but with the turbo a full dressed 2.3T weighs in close to a fully dressed 5.0. Or thats what I found from looking around.
How did you find the long tube effected your low end torque? Which long tube did you go with?
I really don't think that a 2.3T weighs the same as a 5.0. Its half the motor, and + ~40lbs of turbo gear. I've lifted a bare 302 block, and a bare 2.3 block into the back of my truck and the 2.3 is way lighter.

The header made power better in all RPM range. I have no idea what brand it is though, $20 junkyard find. Pulled it off another square bodied Ranger.

-'90 Mustang LX Coupe 5.0 SSP. 83 DSO US Gov't Issue. H/C/I Track toy
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post #15 of 30 Old 06-08-2011, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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engine pounds (ref.) comments
Ford 2.3 Lima/Pinto L4 450 (2) (turbo)
Ford 2.3 L4 Turbo 380 (162) Turbo T-Bird engine w/turbo, flywheel
Ford 5.0 V8 450 (109)

http://fixrambler.com/engineweightchart.txt
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post #16 of 30 Old 06-08-2011, 02:46 PM
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Wow! Not to threadjack, but read this article on a composite version of of the 2.3:
Popular Science - Google Books ....318hp from a 152lb 2.3 engine...back in 1983!!!
It's reading stuff like this that has me convinced that Detroit (heck, the entire automaking industry) can EASILY build high performance, gasoline engine cars, that deliver 50+mpg in the city (that aren't the size of those stupid 'smart' cars).
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post #17 of 30 Old 06-08-2011, 07:50 PM
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I would have loved to seen a production DOHC aluminum head for the 2.3 along with a all aluminum high compression 2.5 block. It really is a great motor.

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post #18 of 30 Old 06-09-2011, 04:02 PM
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What about the Volvo head swap? Old news? Not allowed?

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post #19 of 30 Old 06-09-2011, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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What about the Volvo head swap? Old news? Not allowed?
I'm a blue oval guy. something about putting a Volvo head onto a ford motor just doesn't seem right.
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post #20 of 30 Old 06-10-2011, 07:29 AM
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Well, Ford did own Volvo for about a decade...
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post #21 of 30 Old 06-12-2011, 09:44 PM
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I know you were interested in the weight.
The 2.3 is not NEARLY as heavy as what you have posted

"I weighed mine in a state of it running. This is the 2.3 lima with a t3 turbo, t5 attached including flywheel clutch ect. starter alternator coil ect. All wiring ecu radiator included. Full oil and coolantand transmission fluid. This also had a small 2foot exhaust resonator attached. Also had the vam box and piping on it.
The engine was complete and had been run in this state.
525 lbs
Dale"


Thats a complete motor, trans, harness, turbo, and everything else.

-'90 Mustang LX Coupe 5.0 SSP. 83 DSO US Gov't Issue. H/C/I Track toy
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post #22 of 30 Old 06-12-2011, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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I wasn't looking at just the motor,I was looking at all the extra weight the turbo, piping, vam, etc. all added to the weight of the 2.3. With all that extra weight supposedly it is getting up there with the 5.0 V8. I'm assuming that those numbers are for using a similiar starter, t-5 and all those "interchangeable" parts if they are weighing it with other drivetrain components.

I understand what you are trying to say though
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post #23 of 30 Old 06-12-2011, 10:41 PM
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Well that was a complete running motor w/ accessories, full of oil, wiring harness/ ecu, clutch, flywheel, and bellhousing.

I've done a couple SVOs and the turbo stuff isn't as heavy as you think. A E6 manifold, t3/t4 turbo, stock intercooler, and the VAM, will add MAYBE 50lbs to the 2.3.

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post #24 of 30 Old 06-12-2011, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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going to look more into the weight of the 2.3T with a large front mount, a stand alone ecu (megasquirt), and all of those components over a 2.3 n/a. if the weight is as close as you say it is, will see what happens with the build.
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post #25 of 30 Old 06-13-2011, 12:25 AM
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going to look more into the weight of the 2.3T with a large front mount, a stand alone ecu (megasquirt), and all of those components over a 2.3 n/a. if the weight is as close as you say it is, will see what happens with the build.
I think I might have a stock e6 manifold and turbo I can weigh. That will give you an idea.

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post #26 of 30 Old 06-13-2011, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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I think I might have a stock e6 manifold and turbo I can weigh. That will give you an idea.
Will probably look into the stinger exhaust set up with the down and oil lines. Will be turboing the n/a block (new rotating). But if you dont mind posting will help with getting the idea of weights.
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post #27 of 30 Old 06-29-2011, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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guys with boosted 2.3s how do you find they are for long stretches on the road course. any issues with heat soak, or heat in general?
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 10:39 PM
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The 2.3 is heavy gutless turd, but it is very reliable.
That's for sure. It's got 218k miles on it and it hasn't been started in 2 years. I charged up the battery tonight, and it started right up.

Oh, and another time, a local shop changed the spark plugs (don't know why I let anyone else work on it) and it wasn't until 300 miles later that I realized they had two spark plug wires switched.


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guys with boosted 2.3s how do you find they are for long stretches on the road course. any issues with heat soak, or heat in general?
I was talking to the owner of this 2.3T being built for American Iron...


...and he said the key it lots of cooling. I'll be picking his brain as I move forward on my project, too, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind some more questions if you have some.

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post #29 of 30 Old 07-16-2011, 10:01 AM
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I was talking to the owner of this 2.3T being built for American Iron...


...and he said the key it lots of cooling. I'll be picking his brain as I move forward on my project, too, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind some more questions if you have some.
I've been watching this build for a long time. A quick google under Horsewidower will turn up pictures of the build. Seemed like there were many issues with getting the 2.3 running and durable. Love this car.

Neal
-86 coupe project sitting in my garage on a 5 lug conversion.. and the motor is in.. and it runs
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post #30 of 30 Old 07-16-2011, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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I've been watching this build for a long time. A quick google under Horsewidower will turn up pictures of the build. Seemed like there were many issues with getting the 2.3 running and durable. Love this car.
ya thats one of the concerns with the 2.3T. Don't know how hard it will be to build a 2.3T that will run at 20+psi all day, and then drive to and from the track without causing a sh&t load of issues. And also be street driven as a "DD" in the summer.
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