Cheap, effective speed

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by toadstang, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. Ello ello,
    I was wondering if anyone knows a cheap way to gain horsepower on these 2.3's, I'm on a budget, a very, small, budget... :(
  2. There is no cheap way to gain a decent amount of horsepower on these cars. The basic bolt-ons really don't do that much. Your only real options are
    A. Nitrous
    B. Turbo swap.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. How small is "really small", like you can only spare $20 a month or what?
  3. Thanks, not that small, but eh, maybe you could help me with another detail, turbos, would it be better to perform a complete engine swap or can I use the old motor and place a turbo on it? And if so, what is a recommended turbo, or will any decent turbo do. I'm new to my Mustang, just got it less than 6 months ago as a gift and I just want that thing to move, to beat those nasty ricers. I'm sick of Fast and the Furious wannabes :nonono: :bang:
  4. It would be wiser to build another motor, turbo 2.3's have a thicker piston and the block has bees drilled and tapped for a oil return," all thow thats not necessary you could also put a hole in the oil pan with a fitting too" it's definetly not a cheap conversion unless your lucky enough to find a complete tt coupe motor or mekur motor but that motor is not intercooled for sale. I bought a complete turbo coupe intake to oil pan with turbo for 200 bucks i did have to rering,deglaze and put new bearings in but hey it was cheap enuff while i build my other motor
  5. Pick up a junkyard carburated 302 and drop it in. Cheap. Won't be too fast but alot faster than you are now.
  6. (First, if you have an automatic, stop worrying about making it faster and swap in a T5.)

    Here are your choices.

    You are gonna want to find a donor car. The easiest one to find is a Thunderbird Turbocoupe. If you get an '87 or '88 model, you'll want to swap out the tiny IHI for a T3. Pull the motor and trans out, take it apart (the motor), and clean it up. Gather the remaining wanted/needed parts to put it in (i.e. new gaskets, boost controller, blow off valve, front-mount intercooler and ducting, 3" exhaust, LA2/LA3 computer or LB2/LB3 for automatics, 35lb (brown top) injectors, big Vane Air Meter (VAM), and any other modifications you'll want). Put it back together, pull out your old motor, and drop in the new motor. Get it running, and enjoy. That is just the simpllified process. In a stock configuration, running ~19lbs boost, you should make around 230hp. Mileage may vary.

    Good step-by-step instructions can be found here: (Stinger's website)

    This is a much more challenging route. Pull out your old motor, and take it apart. Get the bare block vatted. Get high-compression forged pistons, and stronger rods. Shave the head a bit. Get a better n/a cam (the A237 is a popular one). Gather any other mods you'll want (bigger throttle body, mass air swap, custom-burn chip, 2.5" full exhaust, ported head, ported intake manifold, etc.). Put it all back together, and drop it back in. Get it running. This is also a simplified prcoess. This should net you ~140-170 total hp, depending on how extreme you take the cam, compression, porting, etc.

    Same as n/a. I would guess a 75-100 shot should be OK with forged pistons on the street w/ pump gas.

    Be sure to check out the Tech Articles Thread at the top of the 2.3L forum page.

    Some other good links:

    Good luck!

    - Chris
  7. Looks like it will be a long time before I get anything done.... :shrug:

    Stupid money loving world :bang:
  8. Oh yeah, thanks for the help everyone. :D
  9. Not necessarily, I bought a running '84 Turbo Coupe over the summer for $150. Granted it had no title and was pretty beat, but it ran, that's all that matters. I pulled the engine and sold parts from the car and got back almost all of that $150 too :)
  10. cheap affordable speed, 2 words :150 shot :eek:
  11. thats a cheap affordable way to have the car headin to the junkyard
  12. oh common killjoy! i said it was cheap and it sure would speeeed up its eventuall death. But , i would be fun....dont say you havent thought about doing that , just too see what would happen :D
  13. when i get my 5.0 i'll post the video of saying good by to my 2.3l gonna hook up my friends 150shot and welll wait and see. should be about febuaury ish
  14. :nice: ill be waiting!
  15. Just be sure that you don't get beat by a four cylinder stang with a stock cam....

  16. I WILL BEAT YOU ALL!!!! ..................................................................... When Donald Trump recognizes me as his legitamate son.... :jester:
  17. If you were donald trumps legitimate son, your last name would be trump too, and donald would just be senile and not recognize you (maybe a new haricut?).

    Anyways, how cheap is a cheap budget. I'm going the turbo route, but a piss water cheap way is to buy a crappy non-HO 5L like those found in exotics like grand marquis and crown vics. You could buy the whole car for like 300 dollars and be set. Assuming you have a automatic (becuase you'd probably kill the 2.3 manual, and have to buy a 5L bellhousing). Off course all the extra weight would kind of kill handling, especially with the 2.3L suspension, and the non-HO's are like what 150-160hp 275ft lbs (guessing), so you wouldn't be all that much quicker. But you can brag about having a 3 aught 2.
  18. there are plenty of HO 5.0's in the jy's around here, its finding a 2.3t motor that is hard! A 5.0 swap to a 2.3 car is probly more exspensive. You have to re-do the front springs, computer, tranny (2.3 tranny is too differnt), maybe gas tank? i know my tank only holding 11gallons, on a 5.0 i would go like 100miles ;0)
  19. Cheap Budget = 80 bucks a month, better start saving. I have no job thanks to my health issues.

  20. If you got a complete car then the computer and wiring isn't a issue, only things like motor mounts and exhaust. A non-HO 5L probably wouldn't break a 7.5", they make less power then the old pre-8.8" 5L's (1985?). Handling would be crappola, I've been in a 5L with 2.3 suspension, it'll go straight pretty quick, but turning left or right is really scary.

    What year is your mustang, what kind of shape is it in, how mechanically inclined are you, 80 bucks can dissappear really quick in labour. And does 80 include gas costs, because if your budget is that small you might need to buy some stickers to make'er quicker.

    One unpopular idea might be to sell your mustang and buy a chrysler 2.2 turbo/2.5 Turbo car, those are REALLY cheap to buy/work on. A Daytona IROC-Z (they bought IROC from Chevy, I'm not thinking of camaros!) can be bought pretty easily for less then a grand in private deals (shelby's a little more). They make 150hp, but 200ftlbs at 2000 rpm which isn't too bad for a 2700 pound car. And chrysler put 2.2T/2.5T in everything from cars to trucks to minivans, so parts are cheap and plentiful. I have a video of a 2.2T reliant doing a 10 second quarter mile which is pretty damn cool.

    Just throwing out ideas, best of luck