Engine rebuild kit?

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by jasoncarmony, Jul 14, 2004.


  1. jasoncarmony

    jasoncarmony New Member

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    i hate to ask this question because I know that everyone wants the speed, but right now i neither have the money or the know-how to drop in a turbo or 5.0.
    My question is does anyone know where i can find a rebuild kit for an 88 2.3 n/a. Is there even a kit? Does anyone know what I will need to accomplish this? I plan on putting in a ranger roller cam to give me a little more speed.
  2. Asha'man

    Asha'man Founding Member

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    Why do you need to rebuild it in the first place? If you don't have the money or knowledge to do a motor swap, I'd say you probably don't know how to rebuild an engine either.....:shrug:

    Ash
  3. 351wcoupe

    351wcoupe New Member

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    yeah the swap is way easier. Building an engine isn't hard but its hard to really get it right.
  4. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    Rebuilding an engine is no walk in the park. Everything needs to be re-assembled perfectly and torqued down to spec or you are going to have yourself big problems. If you're still a rookie when it comes to mechanical inclination then leave the rebuilding to the pros. You could probably pull the motor apart yourself, hell, that's how I learned half of what I know today. But don't try to re-assemble it on your own. With that being said, Esslinger may be a place to look for one. Or just go your local machine shop and get a quote on parts. One more thing though, you won't know what needs to be replaced until you have pulled it apart and somebody with experience takes a good look at it.
  5. Ray III

    Ray III New Member

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    Take it apart and take the block, crank, rods, pistons to a machine shop. Have them rebuild the bottom end for you, then you can put the rest together. They can get parts cheaper too. If you have money for it also take in you head and have them replace valve stem and cam seals, perform a 3 angle valve job, replace cam bearings. You can also mill the head for more compression.
  6. jasoncarmony

    jasoncarmony New Member

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    sorry, i did forget to mention that i have friend who will do the rebuild for me. he knows what he is doing. i just cant find a turbo that i can afford right now.
    i have some major engine leaks and my mechanic (whom i trust) said they would have to pull the engine to fix the problems. they quoted me about 500-600 for parts and labor. i think it would be cheaper if my friend and i can do it ourselves. i would love to put a turbo in it, but then i would have to swap in a different tranny along with all the other things that go along with a swap.
  7. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    You dont need a different tranny to do a turbo swap. Here is what you should do. You should put the forged pistons in it, the same ones that the turbo motors have. You should also have an oil return line put in. I'm pretty sure that's the only differences in the motor. If you do those two simple little things when you are rebuilding the motor then you can put a turbo on anytime and you won't need to swap in a new motor, just bolt on the turbo. There may be something else that I can't think of right now and I'm sure somebody will chime in. Trust me, those two little things that really shouldn't cost much more money at all and you are turbo-ready.
  8. jasoncarmony

    jasoncarmony New Member

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    Thanks James,

    Do you know what it would cost to do what you suggest? Also, what does a turbo kit cost to buy and install?
  9. BlackPony2000

    BlackPony2000 New Member

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    don't forget about the rods.. isn't the whole bottom end forged on the turbo engines???
  10. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    I don't have any personal experience with turbos or turbo kits so I don't know what they would cost. Forged pistons and a oil return line can't be more than an extra $200 or so. That would be my assumption, $200 max, probably less, I really have no experience with either of these two things either. All I know is that when I rebuilt my n/a motor the stock n/a pistions were a lot cheaper than I suspected. I think they were around $20 a piece which is around $15US. A turbo you can probably pull from a junkyard for very little money seeing as though you should be able to get a turbo motor with a turbo for no more than a couple hundred.
  11. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    I wasn't aware that the rods needed to be changed in order to accompany a turbo. I don't think the whole bottom end is forged out in turbo motors, atleast I have never heard anybody say anything about that before. But Jason, you should definitnely run a StangNet search and figure out what else you are going to need to do to your motor in order for it to sustain the power boost of a turbo. I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. Better to be safe than sorry.
  12. jasoncarmony

    jasoncarmony New Member

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    Thanks james, do you know where i could look for forged pistons? What about a wiring harness, would that need to be changed too. Your help has been good. I wasn't really thinking of doing a turbo that way, but I am seeing that it is possible. What are the rods that were referenced? My friend would know if I mentioned it, but i don't.
  13. fastmonkeywheel

    fastmonkeywheel Member

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    the rods are the same from the N/A motors and the turbo...

    I also have a complete turbo setup minus cooler that I was about to list on ebay, I bought another and don't need 2...if your interested I'd like to sell it to someone on here then some smoe on ebay. If you're interested in the turbo email me at [email protected] I'm looking for 100 plus shipping, it came from a running 87 turbo coup that was wrecked and parted out.
  14. JamesBaumann

    JamesBaumann Member

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    Yes, you will need to swap in some turbo wiring harnesses and maybe a new computer and what not, but mainly the important part for you right now is to make sure that your engine internals are sufficient to harness a turbo. The rest of the stuff such as a wiring harness swap and a header swap (I think you need to put on a new header so that the turbo will bolt up to it) can be done later. Here is a really popular website around here that gives you the turbo swap overview and wiring swap info and what not. Incase you don't already know, that site belongs to and was constructed by Stinger who is an active member of this forum.


    Side note - I am not sure exactly which forged pistons came in turbo motors, but if you go to your local machine shop/engine rebuilders and just ask them for a stock set of forged pistons from an 85-86 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 2.3 then those will be the ones that you will have to use. Usually machine shops can get you internal engine parts for pretty cheap prices because they just order them direct from the factory.


    http://projecthp.ford23.com/TechMain.html
  15. kiddiccarus

    kiddiccarus New Member

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    LOL I am rebuilding mine and it is killing me, Dude if you can avoid it do it.
  16. BlackPony2000

    BlackPony2000 New Member

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    ok, so the only thing forged in the turbo motor is the pistons??? hmmmm, i'd be worried about the rods if i was going to be eventually pushing 25 psi..LMO..
  17. Ray III

    Ray III New Member

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    Only forged pistons and a slightly lower compression cylinder head were different on turbo engines. The head doesn't matter but the N/A pistons are some cheapo trash, don't leave them in there.
  18. Ray III

    Ray III New Member

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    you'll break the crankshaft before you break a rod.
  19. Rebel-OUTLAW

    Rebel-OUTLAW Founding Member

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    Heres my 2-cents

    Jasoncarmony...
    Check out http://northernautoparts.com they have some kikazz prices on engine kits...I've found the best price there...they also give you a choice of Felpro or Victor gaskets.

    The full bottom end of a turbo motor is forged...crank, rods and pistons. Cast and Hyperutectic pistons are never recommended with a turbo setup.
    The pistons used in a turbo motor were made by TRW and carry P/N#L-2500-F. FoMoCo also no longer has any stock.

    Installing a roller cam gives you little or no performance gain, it cuts on some internal friction. I think the highest a stock N/A 2.3L made power wise with roller cam was about 100hp and the carbed version w/o roller made like 95hp?

    Rebuild your engine putting in as little $$ as you can (assuming you need the car to get around) and drive it. If you need speed a light shot of spray will help you out! :rolleyes:

    The reason I'd leave your engine normal is your motor dosen't have forged internals, the turbo oil drain back hole, oil cooler and is also sporting 9.0:1 CR(turbos have 8.0:1)and a Dual plug head(krap) yes/no? If you wan't to really do it right, get a complete turbo motor (best of all a complete donor car). Look for a 85 1/2-86 SVOMustang or 87-88 T-Bird turbocoupe with 5-spd. You could also scam the gear set from the rear axle (3.73/3.55:1) and mabe some other stuff too!
  20. Ray III

    Ray III New Member

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    crankshaft is not forged.

    cast = hypereutectic.

    roller cam has a longer duration at same lift and DOES make more power.

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