'80 Fairmont w/straight 6 and turbo? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-02-2003, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Question '80 Fairmont w/straight 6 and turbo?

I have a '80 Fairmont with a straight 6 engine. I was going to drop a injected 302 in it but am hesitant to yank it out because it runs flawlessly and the AC still blows cold. I also have a 5-speed that I want to put in it.

So, I got the notion to possibly put a turbo on the six-cylinder and was wondering if anyone has ever done anything like that before. There is plenty of room under the hood and I figured a t3, say off a GN, would be plenty to pep the little motor up.

The only problem I can think of would be the carburetor: it has a one barrel on it. My only options would be to convert to a Holley 300cfm or 500cfm two-barrel.

I would appreciate any opinions, ideas or constructive criticism on this notion. I don't even know if it would even be worth the trouble. If it ran as good as stock 5liter(14s or even better 13s) I would be happy. Tell me what you think. Thanks.


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post #2 of 8 Old 05-02-2003, 04:29 AM
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Well if you really wanted to do it. It would be mild. The power gain will be nice over the stock 6. But bang for the buck is thr 5.0 swap. I have bought many and 5.0 blocks are dirt cheap. Now to keep it simple and at low unintercooled levels you would want to run about 4-7 psi. There are 301 straight sixes with turbo manafolds. You can make some fit. Then rig a hybrid turbo to it. Get the information on how the car is gonna flow before you pick a turbo. IE get you block, heads cam combo sorted out before you select a turbo. Proper sizing will gain you the most horsepower. You can get ahold of flow charts for new turbos, as well as old. Through the compressor maps you can determine which turbo will be best suited to the engine. Its alot of work and math but its free tuning you can do. You also might want to think about fuel delivery. Going to a newer truck or car fuel injection intake might be better. You would have to wire the computer in as well. But it might work. Then you can upgrade the injectors to about 24-38# depending on you combo. You also want to think about if you want to run it intercooled or not. Cost would dictate this. But assuming you had the cash to make this car right. Its gonna be a cool little sleeper. If you run with a front mount intercooler on the fairmont. The Volvo intercoolers from the turbo sedans/wagons from the mid 80 up had nice big intercoolers that are a nice junkyard find. There are others to be found. Dropping the intake charge will help quite a bit. This combo with some decent cash thrown at it will make a solid 300+ hp. You could go the cheap way. Slap a junkyard turbo on a manafold you find. Buy a new carb and have the turbo plumed into the carb. It would produce a mild gain turned right. Sorry i cant explain things more im typing this as a got back from the bar. LOL

Good luck

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-06-2003, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! I think the cost (to do it right) would be more than it's worth. But, I've ran nitrous and superchargers so now I really want a turbo(or turbos)!

The budget for the Fairmont will be taking the back seat to complete my '91 coupe(EZ Street build-up, rolling chassis complete, starting on motor soon), so it would not be huge.

Looking at it, I may just drop in a rock-stock 5-liter for now and build a junkyard twin-turbo set-up for it later. I have the wiring harness off of my Mustang and a set of 36lb injectors I used when the car(the 'stang) was supercharged.

Using a pair of Turbo-coupe turbos, a cheap set of shorties and a junkyard intercooler, how much (ball park) do you think this would cost? I have a buddy that owns a muffler shop, so that will be convenient.

Also, could I retain the AC? It must stay!
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-06-2003, 01:55 AM
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ok.. first, get a reality check. The I6 from your fairmont wont stand much abuse. How do I know? I blew one with nitrous after hiting it with just a 50 shot. No detonation, a rod broke.

Now, for the price of the turbo kit, you can easily drop a 302 with a/c. if you are mechanically inclined you can do it almost yourself, except charging the a/c system.

If you really want to do that I6, you would need a holley 600 cfm double pumper, and adapter plate for it, a TO4b turbo ( the T3 is too small), custom header/downpipe. You would also need a carb bonnet. Now, you should run an intercooler, even if its a small one.

The head of the I6 doesnt flow well, and the bottom end is very weak.

do you still want to spend all that money? and if the I6 is giving you good service and cold a/c, why in the hell would you take that engine out?
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-06-2003, 02:40 PM
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I don't know much about Fairmonts- which I-6 did they use on it?
I'll bet a straight 6 will be an overheating nightmare with a turbo.

I have some experience with the 300 in an F150 and Bronco, much the same block and hardware as the 250s used in Mustangs and Mavericks. You can purchase a mild cam upgrade, 4-barrel carb (I used a 500 cfm Edlebrock) & manifold, headers & exhaust system, and mill the heads (increase compression) to get much improved power and better low-rpm torque than the 302. FWIW, the bottom end on the 300s are bulletproof- really built strong w/7 main bearings and beefy. If you have the 250, the 300s are available and would drop right in. I believe the 250/300 is a great block for supercharging, but I wouldn't put a turbo on a truck in hard use.

I believe the 302 V-8 is a better car engine; the 300 is great for off-roading and towing.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-06-2003, 07:19 PM
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I would guess that the Fairmont 6 is a 200. If so, I have some experience to lend. I have a 200 with three 1bbls, a custom solid lifter cam, head work, headers/dual exhaust, stall converter, 4.11 gears, etc. I have learned that the 200's potential is pretty limited unless you do a BUNCH of work. The intake/head don't flow well. The hydroplane racers that run the 144 (same family) start by milling the intake off and building an injection manifold (stacks). I don't agree with the weak bottom end opinion. Mine has 7 main journals, is balanced and has gone to 8500 rpm.
If you want to do a decent performance turbo setup on the 200 (or 250) you will REALLY need to be in love with it. I would build a turbo header (the stock exhaust manifold is pretty bad), mill the intake off and build a new one, do some head work and then comes the issue of fuel management. Carbs are simple, but not the best for a turbo setup. The engine management system from a Tbird SC might be similar enough to the I6's needs (# of cyl, displacement, boost, etc.) to work. I don't think it would be practical.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-07-2003, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Looks like the old 'mont will be getting the V-8 like originally planned, aside from the fact that I am hooked on the idea of the turbo (or turbos w/ the V8). I'll just leave the six in until I get everything gathered up for it. I just need an idea of what I need to start gathering. I already have a set of 36lb injectors, computer and wiring harness so all I need to know is recomendations on turbos (make and model of cars to rob them off of), what type/model of wastegate, intercooler and anything else you all can think of that I will need. Thanks.

With a twin-turbo'd 302, some quiet mufflers and a 5spd, it ought to be a fun sleeper and decently cheap to do!
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-07-2003, 01:14 PM
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you can do the junkyard turbo setup for cheap. you should look into it while you are putting in a new motor. some have gotten their kits for under $1000

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