2.3 Performance Help!

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by citadelcdt15, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. I just bought a STOCK '93 LX 5 spd with the N/A 2.3 and am looking to get a little more than the rated 93hp out of it. Im not looking for a 300 hp 4banger by any means, just something a little more fun. That and I am a broke college kid so price is definitely a factor. Would it be worth it to invest in cold air intakes and cat back exhaust or what? Is there any tricks to the 2.3 to squeeze a little more out of it? Just trying to find the smartest way to create a little more fun out of a DD.
  2. There aren't any cold air "kits" or exhaust "systems" out there for these cars. A little ingenuity is required.
    Cold-air kits for some 5.0L's can be modified or you can create your own.
    Pacesetter makes a header for these cars but you're on your own for mid-pipes/cat. Just use your choice muffler/tailpipe for a 5.0 to finish things off.
    Neither of these will net you much power but are the easiest ways to get a little more power out of the car without performing an engine swap.
    Good tires will make a difference also. Use google to search for intake/exhaust setups.
  3. That being said, the vehicle came stock with a CAI. Its stock exhaust is also suitably sized. They will gain you little. You could port the heads and run larger valves, those should pick up a little. Don't expect miracles though, it would outrun any stock 2.3L N/A at that point, but is still not going to be fast. You can get a different cam and that will make a big difference.

    If you are broke college kid, as you claim, you should not worry about getting more performance, reliability is far more important than performance when you are on a budget. The old adage holds true for this, if you want cheap and fast, it won't be reliable, if you want cheap and reliable, it won't be fast, if you fast and reliable, it won't be cheap.

    There are virtually no easy cheap bolt on parts that pick up significant gains over stock on most engines, the Ford 2.3L are no exception. If you want to get to any reasonably power level, you need to spend money.

    The best bang for the buck, the most performance for dollar for your setup, is to swap in a Ford 2.#L turbo out of an SVO, Turbocoupe, or Merkur. This will step the power to between 150 - 190 hp in stock form, more than double what you have now. Obviously this option isn't cheap, but it is cheaper for what you get than a CAI ($50 - $300 depending on complexity) or a full exhaust ($75 - $500 depending on size, complexity, muffler choices, cat choices, etc.) i.e up to $800 to gain you an optimistic 10 hp. You could buy a turbo motor and the immediately related parts complete with VAM and computer ($250 - $1800) and gain as much as 102 hp. With a few more simple mods, like a manual boost controller, a proper intercooler, and larger exhaust, and you can get that to around 250 hp. Again though, obviously not cheap, you are still into it a bit at that point.

    Again, if you really are a broke college kid, save your money, focus on school. Then get a good job with your education, and then use that money to pay off student loans and buy nicer things. Don't try to mess with things like getting more power out of a car while your funds are tight.
  4. I would agree with Khan, if you want any real performance out of a N/A 2.3, you have to spend big money. Full head work, cam, larger TB, larger MAF, heavier injectors, computer reprogramming, and full exhaust with header. But if you do those mods, you also have to think about building the lower end of the engine up so it can hold the increased pressures. i.e. forged pistons, and rods. Also, if you start putting decent amount of power to the stock drivetrain, it isn't going to hold up. So now you are looking at swapping the rear with a 5.0 rear (move up from the 7.5 to the 8.8) and also the stock transmission is weak, so you would have to find a suitable replacement. If you are looking for small power gains, exhaust and intake will help, but it is still going to be slow as s***.
  5. The turbo way is the way to go. Or you could get a cam kit 380$ deck the head 30/1000 intake exhaust an bam! 50 extra hp.(depending on the cam if its not to big. Racerwalsh.com) Then rear gear and your in the 30s for gas. I know cause I've done just that. O an tca7291 just thought Id throw in there that if you have to change the rear end you've already blown out the clutch without trying. High performance fly wheel and clutch....600$. Forgot why we went with that but we weighed our options. Is it carbed, dual plugged or single?
  6. Thanks for catching that, deff need a stock clutch upgrade!
  7. I heard you can take a civic intake from autozone and mod it to you mustang.I might be looking into that until i can afford my TC swap.