An Introduction

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by JonDick13926, May 3, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone! First time poster here. I've been doing a lot of research lately, and this forum has come up many times so I thought it would be a good place to join.

    I'm planning on getting an '87-'93 mustang with the 302 at the soonest possible time. Originally I was going to do an engine swap on my 2000 accord with a JDM engine that has 200 hp stock (not bad for an N/A 2.0L), do a little modifying, and see if I couldn't pull about 220 out on the dyno, but I decided to leave it alone (for many reasons) and find something more fun to do.

    Not sure how long it will take, which is determined by how much money I have to spend, but I would eventually like to have approximately 300-350hp to the wheels. I plan on swapping heads, complete with new valvetrains, and making exhaust and intake changes and then having it dyno tuned.

    As for which heads and cams, I'm still not sure. I did a quick search on summit and was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have for the 302. It wasn't the quantity so much as the different durations and lifts and basic operating RPM of each cam. It's way different than dealing with imports where you have two or three different cams that can be used for street/mild track driving and you just pick one based (usually) on what you can afford, install it, and have it tuned by a professional. Anyway, I'll eventually figure this stuff out I'm sure. Glad to be here.
  2. Welcome.

    First, read, read, read. At the top of the Talk forum, there is an "official progress threads" thread. Its a ridiculously long list of builds people have done with the parts they have used. That will give you a rough idea of what you are getting into.

    Basic H/C/I swaps can get you to 350 hp at the flywheel. Your best bet to get that amount at the wheels is going to be a power adder of some sort (with an HCI swap), everyone has their preference on which type though.

    Any further questions will get answered, there is a vast amount of expereince and knowledge here!

  3. Welcome to StangNet!
  4. Welcome to Stangnet... :spot:

    Not all of us know how to fix everything, but some of us know how to fix some things
    with excellence!

    Places to check out here on Stangnet: How to do it tips for some of the most common problems and upgrades for 5.0 Fox body Mustangs. the collection of build/progress threads from Stangnet members. You get to find ideas and clues to what works well and what doesn’t. Has tech tips for common problems on Mustangs.

    If you are in California or some other state with strict emissions laws, part of the deal should be that the owner takes the car and has it emissions tested. If it passes, you buy the car and pay for the emissions test cost, if any. If it does not pass, walk away from the deal. For a mechanically inexperienced owner, emissions related problems can be difficult and expensive to fix.

    Keep in mind that states with strict emissions laws may make the go faster goals more difficult to reach. Some parts are OK to replace with aftermarket parts and others aren't. Check carefully before you get out your wallet and buy something you can't use in the area where you live.

    If you want to do the fix up & power up thing, make sure that you have some other form of reliable daily driver. That way the stang can sit while your wallet and hands take a rest from the last project that didn't quite get finished on that 3 day weekend. Things always cost more and take longer the first time you do them. Having some other working vehicle makes life easier since it isn't the big crush to get it running for the Monday morning drive to work or class.

    Plan on spending some money on tools it you don't already have them. The stang has both metric and American fasteners, so you really need two sets of wrenches. A timing light, digital voltmeter, vacuum gauge, compression tester, fuel pressure test gauge and fuel line coupler tools are some of the test & tuning tools you'll need. Visit the pawn shops and sometimes you can find a deal on tools & test equipment if you stick to well known name brands.

    A sheltered work area is almost a must, someplace that you can leave the car in pieces without upsetting anyone. Some guys here have changed a transmission in the parking lot of their apartment in a rainstorm, but they will tell you it wasn't fun. Depending on where you live, a warm dry garage is a nice place to do the winter projects that stangs tend to become.

    EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) Computer - every stang after 85 has or had one: don't let it intimidate you. The computer based EFI systems are not hard to fix and most of the time they tell you what's wrong with the engine. Here's a book that will get you started with how the Ford electronic engine control or "computer" works.

    Ford Fuel Injection & Electronic Engine Control 1988-1993 by James Probst: ISBN 0-8376-0301-3.

    It's about $35-$45 from see . Select books and then select search. Use the ISBN number (without dashes or spaces) to do a search

    Use the ISBN number and your local library can get you a loaner copy for free. Only thing is you are limited to keeping the book for two weeks. It is very good, and I found it to be very helpful.

    For lots of great ideas and tech notes on upgrades and repairs, be sure to check
    out “Useful Technical Thread Index” sticky at the top of the 5.0 Tech forum.

    Things that break often:
    T5 5 speed manual transmission (syncros go bad, mostly 3rd gear)
    TFI Module (Thin Film Ignition module - mounts on the distributor)
    Electric door locks (see the link in my sig for a cheap & easy fix)
    O2 sensors(oxygen sensors) They are good for about 60,000 miles and start to go down hill after that.
    TPS Sensor (Throttle Position Sensor) causes flaky problems with idle & acceleration.
    Fog lights They overheat the wiring and cause the headlights to flicker. The fix is cheap and simple if you can do electrical stuff.
    Harmonic Balancer – they separate between the hub and outer ring. A harmonic balancer puller is a must have to change it. You can rent or borrow a puller from most of the larger auto parts stores.

    Things that are very durable:
    Engine - as long as it hasn't been abused, it will run good for 150,000-200,000 miles without an overhaul
    Rear axle - other than an occasional case of worn clutches in the traction lock, they almost never have problems.
    Computer - believe it or not, the computers seldom have problems of their own. Most of the problems are with the sensors and the wiring.
    Suspension – the front and rear suspension has very few problems if the car hasn’t been wrecked or seen a lot of drag strip runs. The drag strip runs tend to distort and tear the mount points for the rear axle control arms. Revving the engine up to 4000 RPM and dumping the clutch with slicks or drag radials tends to break things.

    Things that don’t break often but are hard to fix:
    Water pump mount bolts – they corrode and shear off when you try to change the water pump.
    Rear oil seal on the engine – lots of parts to remove to get to a $20 seal.
    Power steering pump – the pumps are noisy and the pulley requires some special tools to remove and install. If you have the tools, they are easy to do. Again, the larger auto parts stores will rent or loan the tools for the pulley.
    Power Steering rack - it is hard to get the toe in set so that you can drive the car to the shop to get it properly aligned.
    Starter – the top bolt is hard to get a socket on if you don’t have the right combination of socket, universal joint and extensions.

    Everything considered, 5.0 Mustangs are not hard to work on. They just require some patience and though before you get started.
  5. Consider that the New Testament of mustangs ^^^
  6. The trickflow top end kit will get you where you want to be power wise. If you want more, you'll need to stroke it or boost it...But I would worry about getting a car first before you start thinking about mods. Anyways, Welcome to the forums. You can find just about anything you need on here if you search around a little bit.
  7. Thanks for the welcome everyone!

    I do have two quick questions.

    1. How different are the 302's from the explorer and f150 from 87-93ish? Are the heads different only? Or is there other major differences, like sensors, pistons, etc?

    2. If the 302 has a good bit of miles (>120,000) and I did a tune up consisting of cleaning the block and applying new rings, bearings, and seals along with using synthetic oil and new heads with a new valvetrain, would the engine last another 120,000 miles with ease?
  8. Explorer 5.0 had the gt40 style intake and gt40/p heads.
    Iirc,F150's come with E7's, not exactly sure about that though.

    I'd say that's a rebuild, not a tune up.
    Seeing as I'm on 230k+ miles with just standard maintenance, the answer to question 2 would be yes.
  9. Thanks for the quick reply.

    And yes, I suppose that would be a rebuild. Lol.

    As for your answer to question one, the reason I asked is because I'm almost certain I know EXACTLY where I can get a high mileage mustang for cheap and also it's common to see 302's from trucks around here with around 100,000-120,000 miles for cheap. Where I live, EVERYONE has F150's and Explorers. So, I was thinking that I could get one of those 302's, rebuild the block like I said before, and put it in the mustang if it would have no issues going in. Slowly I could then work on intake, heads, and exhaust.

    Also, as I note because it was mentioned before, there is no emission testing here in WV and I wouldn't be surprised if there never was.