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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm speaking to those of you who are more corner-burning loyal than brand loyal, but I'm sure to catch hell anyway...

If you weren't building a coupe to fit into any certain class, but you had an idea of what you wanted, what engine would you chose? Here's my (paper) plan:

'89 coupe, MM max grip box, 375-ish rwhp on 91-92 octane:eek:, T-56, Maier racing 3 1/4" fenders and quarters, 17X10" wheels... those are the "constants" so far...

Now, 331 or 351W based, or LS1 aluminum for less weight? Not set on EFI or carbed... what would you chose?

Plans would be to attend 3-4 HPDE's a year and autocross to help myself, not to be competitive in a crazy class I'd have to be in because of my mods.
 

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If I had loads of money to buy an engine and pay someone to do the conversion I would get an LS6. They go for about $3500 from the right source, the whole engine minus the intake. That's an easy 370rwhp with a tune from a factory built all aluminum pushrod V8. Plus they're fairly bullet proof from what I've seen. Guys in my region run the piss out of them and I have yet to see one pop.

For simplicity, and this is what I'm doing next year if money permits, I would go with a stock block 331 and keep the revs to 6200rpm max. You could go dart but that is a big $$$ and weight penalty. You should get good life out of a low revving 331, but making 375rw out of it might be a challenge. In the end this will be cheaper than an LS swap. Not sure about the weight comparison of an LS vs. a stock SBF though.
 

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From what I understand, the LS engines, aluminum mod motors, and aluminum-headed 289/302 based engines are roughly similar in weight. Since it appears that midrange torque is going to be more useful to you than peak HP, I'd go with some LS variant. Preferably in one of the larger displacements, unless there's a class weight break that you still want to fall on the "right" side of.

Something else to consider is the physical engine dimensions - the 4.6L 3-valve is a pretty bulky lump even if it isn't particularly heavy. I think the 5.0 DOHC I saw at an auto show a while back is even wider.


Over the years, hotrodders have been swapping everything from Chevys to Cadillacs into Fords - and plenty of diehard GM guys wouldn't use anything but a 9" out back. I don't think whatever engine you end up with will care what chassis it's sitting in.


Norm
 

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I would love to do an LS swap but you are looking at 7k+ easy in parts(Engine, transmission, and all the miscellaneous pieces). You would also have to fabricate and engineer many pieces to make it fit and work. It would be awesome if someone had a kit.

I like the idea of the 5.0 coyote. It offers more potential bolt on power than a stock LS6. It is all aluminum and shouldn't be much heavier than an LSX. Plus there is less to adapt to make it work. It could be a pricey swap though.

Sticking with a 331 would be the easy choice. It is an easy swap, and you will meet your power goals with the right parts.
 

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I would go LSx for the weight factor and because it is getting harder and harder to beat the bang for the buck they give you.

The coyote motor does actually weigh a good bit more than an LSx engine I have read(heads are much larger, extra cams, long timing assembly) and the weight of the coyote sits wider and higher since it is an OHC design. There is also the upgrade factor, coyote motor parts are noticeably more expensive than LSx parts.

You can go to a late model recycler and pick up a 400hp+T56 LS2 from a GTO/CTS-V for around 5k and now I am even starting to see the 430hp LS3 stuff from the new Camaro's show up.

-Tim
 

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What auot-x class could you run in with an LS engine? I know people like the LS engines but i'm one that thinks a Ford should remain a Ford. If I'm not mistaken the rules say the same.
 

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X Prepared is the class for engine swap projects, and it has a lower minimum weight than CP to boot. Flip side is that some things you can do in CP that are "in excess" aren't legal in XP.

Otherwise, E-Mod.


Norm
 

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EFI LS3. New 5.0 motor would be fun, but who knows what issues you are going to run into in a swap car and the donor market is really slim for now. It is also a physically large motor and a good portion of the weight it up high in the heads. FWIW an ls3 will make close to 500whp with your choice of a camshaft kit. My car has an LS2 with an FTI cam and it makes over 420whp and about the same amount of torque. Everything else on the motor is designed to support that HP too. TB, intake, MAF, cylinder heads are all stock parts. It's a small/crisp motor too with outstanding throttle response and driveability.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
EXCELLENT!!!! jw33, do the LS3 thing and sell me your LS2/T-56! You're at my hp goal already, haha!
Any regrets? You have basicly what I'm wanting to build. -not very feasable for where I live, but it's what I want none the less.
If you have any guidance for me, send it all! [email protected] Thanks!:salute:
 

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If you ever plan on getting serious about going fast, keep in mind that the LS3 and LS2 have oiling issues on a road course. In particular when taking high G left turns. It is even an issue with the LS6, but not anywhere near to the extent of the new engines. GM tried many different solutions with a T1 racer, but their final solution to the problem was a dry sump system. That is why the new Grandsport now includes it as part of the package.

Here is a link discussing the issue:
LS3 oiling issues
 

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Yes the LS series motors will suffer from oiling issues in high lateral-G loads like 1.3g+ especially on left hand turns. We are starting to get into the relm of full out race car stuff though invovling R-compund tires. Any real race car should have a decent dry sump ($5K and up) though and that will take care of those issues. For a 50/50 street/track car you will be fine. Dump an extra quart of oil in the motor and have fun.
 

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I think it would be a fun swap especially for the enthusiast, but I would take that info into consideration if my goals involved open track events. My car is not a race car and I hit 1.2 g's easily on Nitto NT01 tires. At Road Atlanta, I have hit 1.3s a few times though. You start running anything stickier (Hoosiers or Kumho) and then it becomes a problem.

This problem is really more specific to the LS3 and LS2. I wouldn't hesitate to run the LS6 or even an LS1. Out of all the track events I have run with a Z06, I only had one moment when I ran low on oil pressure (warning light came on). I immediately slowed down and pulled into the pits and the engine was fine. Even though I was running an extra quart, I still managed to get a warning light.
 

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he's asking for a 375rwhp, not 475rwhp, which is nothing that a decent 331 shouldn't be able to deliver for less than a done right LS swap :salute:
 

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The LSx oiling issues have gotten a bit over blown. There are a few companies that offer drop in oil pan baffles for the f-body, corvette, and truck pans that solve the issue.

GM didn't baffle the pans from the factory because they live under the delusion that no one will ever drive their sports/pony car in a spirited fashion.

-Tim
 

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The LSx oiling issues have gotten a bit over blown. There are a few companies that offer drop in oil pan baffles for the f-body, corvette, and truck pans that solve the issue.

GM didn't baffle the pans from the factory because they live under the delusion that no one will ever drive their sports/pony car in a spirited fashion.

-Tim
You should read the thread. For the longest time, there were no aftermarket road racing oil pans for the LSX. Recently a company offered a road racing pan, but the guy who did the LS3 testing doesn't think it would solve all the issues. The issue is partly an oil drain back problem in the heads among a few others.

And again this is only a concern for those that want to push their cars to high levels with an LS3 or LS2 (that means modified suspension and race tires). Also if GM didn't listen, why did they make the Grand Sport with a dry sump system, bigger brakes, and oil and diff coolers? Sounds like major overkill for the average Corvette driver.

Here are some links with more info:
New LSX Road Race pan
More LS3 oiling issue discussed
 

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he's asking for a 375rwhp, not 475rwhp, which is nothing that a decent 331 shouldn't be able to deliver for less than a done right LS swap :salute:
Who are you to show up here with some common sense? :)

I'll second this motion.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
he's asking for a 375rwhp, not 475rwhp, which is nothing that a decent 331 shouldn't be able to deliver for less than a done right LS swap :salute:
Correct, but with the LS, it'd be cheaper/more reliable to go from 375hp to 400+ than it would w/sbf. -man, it hurts to say that:crying:

I think an LS2/LS3 would get me through my learning curve in a "new" '89 coupe with MM grip box and Maier Racing 3.25" flared fenders and quarters, 17X10" wheels on all 4. And of course T-56 and good brakes...

THEN, I could go dry sump, turn up the wick and really tear stuff up, :rofl:.
 

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In the meantime . . . Accusump it.


Norm
 
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