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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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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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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.
JW33 – Thanks for choosing Flowmaster for your car. Do you have pictures of your car? It sounds like fun!
 

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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.
 

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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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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.

T4 at Texas Motor Speedway


 

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What about the Volvo head swap? Old news? Not allowed?
 
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