171 Cubic Inch V-6 Motor In 78 Mustang 2

Discussion in '1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech' started by 65fastbackresto, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Not knowing much about Mustang 2`s, is this a common motor? And is it a good motor? I just got this today and I`m not sure what i got into here.
  2. I have one as well. It's a German-made 2.8L v6 with gear-driven cam and solid lifters (hence the sewing-machine sound). It was pretty common though the 4-cylinder was more popular. It's a very solid design for the most part -- the most recent 4.0L v6 was a direct descendant and folks often refer to it as the Taurus v6. Our exact motor was used up until 1985 in the Bronco II (before they bumped it to 2.9L and made it somewhat less reliable) so there are many out there if you're in need of a block or full running motor.

    The only major flaw was the use of a plastic cam-gear. It wasn't uncommon for those to fall apart as they aged, but metal replacements are available. There's also one hot-spot between the siamesed cylinders that folks sometimes modify when rebuilding but it's not a huge concern. Well-maintained (especially using some quality synthetic oil to address some top-end oiling deficiencies as well as keeping the valves properly adjusted) and these are hard to kill.

    I love my v6. With the right exhaust setup it sounds amazing. I think the biggest challenge you might have is if you want it to be faster -- speed parts are very limited (there's a single aftermarket 4-barrel intake available as well as a performance cam grind). It's only rated at about 105hp iirc, but it's got a lot more torque than the 4-cylinder rated at around 95hp. The 302 v8 was only rated around 120hp at the time so squeezing 105 out of 2.8L was pretty impressive.

    Here's a few links if you'd like to know more:

    Not too many v6's left around (people tend to either go with the 2.3L turbo or drop in a 302). Which is a bit of a shame since this was Ford's 'Euro' version of the II (the engine was very common in the European Capri) and it's a very lightweight engine. Should you ever decide to do so, a modern 4.0L makes a nice drop-in upgrade. If mine gives out that's probably going to be the plan.
  3. V-6`s do sound awesome with good pipes, I`ve heard a few. Hopefully I can get this running, thanks for the solid lifter tip that will keep me from ripping the valve covers off in the first 30 seconds...lol. Thanks for the info.
  4. Anybody ever pull the distributor out and the oil pump shaft get cocked off to one side enough you couldn`t get the dizzy back in on these little motors? I`m about to cry, like 5 other people have tried too so i know it aint just me.
  5. I've not had that specific misfortune thankfully... the only distributor I've pulled off this engine was one that had rusted into place so it wasn't 'pulled' as much as 'smashed.' :) That one never went back in.

    Was the distributor relatively easy to remove? If it hesitated a lot it may have pulled the shaft up with it and cocked it over to the side when it dropped. That would be a serious pain in the rear and your worst-case scenario.

    If the distributor was out for a long time, corrosion can make it very hard to push down so you might want to clean it and the block up some. It may not be hanging up on the oil-pump shaft but rather trying to go into the block.

    Does the shaft move around easily in its locating-ring? If so you could try stuffing some grease down there to hold it reasonably steady and center it as best you can with a screw-driver and try stabbing it again. Repeated up & down gentle 'hammering' motions while twisting the rotor back & forth have always done it for me. The top of the pump-shaft should be tapered so it goes in provided it's lined up with the flats of the shaft.

    This thread has a few ideas for you too (like bumping the engine with the starter just a little to get things lined up better while someone's pushing down on the distributor (carefully and without the rotor so they don't lose some fingers))...
    #6 jozsefsz, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  6. We only pulled it to try and correct the timing, it was out for just a few minutes while we hit TDC on number 1. It came out rather easy but I do think it pulled up and fell to one side. i`ll read your link and get back to you tomorrow and let you know how this turns out, thanks for the info.
  7. If it hasn't fallen all the way into the pan a telescoping magnet can definitely help you out! Good luck!
  8. By the way I caught your thread in the other forum about hacking this poor car up for other projects and that the 2.8 is a piece of crap (which it isn't, it's actually a pretty cool motor). The Mustang II community would appreciate it if you wouldn't hack up a clean and rust-free example. You could turn around and make your money back and then-some by reselling it and get all the nice aftermarket II-front-end parts you could dream of. Just a thought... (I actually love these cars as do a lot of other folks)

    Edit: and I see you posted it for sale so we reached the same conclusion. :)
  9. Yea I realized i had kinda a rare car and would rather someone enjoyed it than me mess it up. This car really does need to be driven, I do want some of the parts off of it, but nothing that can`t be replaced easily.