Engine Mustang Ii 76, 4 Cyl - Upgrade

Discussion in '1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech' started by Ole Andreas, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Hello,

    This is my first thread here on this forum.

    I have inherited a Mustang II 76 4 cyl. The car has been in a garage in about 20-30 years, and I wondering about sending it to Poland or Latvia to fix it up.

    However I am wondering the possibilities to upgrade the engine. I guess the car only got about 70 hp at the currently moment, in my opinion its too little for a vet.

    What i possible in terms of upgrading the engine? Any ideas?

    Looking forward to hear rom you,
  2. Ah yes, the good old 2.3.

    Fanstastic engine, believe it or not.

    Let's get started!

    If your car is a factory 2-barrel carbureted car, you actually might not want to bother with an intake or a carburetor. The 2-bbl intake from Sheffield installed from the factory actually flows VERY well, and the Holley/Weber/Motorcraft 5200 family of carburetors is a really good design. It's pretty much half of a 4-barrel carb, with progressive venturis. If you live in an area that doesn't check for such things, you can delete the EGR plate between the carburetor and intake with a Mr. Gasket 2-bbl-to-2bbl adapter, then remove the pipe that runs to the exhaust manifold and install a pipe plug in it. You also could upgrade to a Holley 2300 or Autolite/Motorcraft 2100 family 2-bbl if you REALLY wanted to, but you'd have to fabricate a throttle cable bracket.

    If your car is a factory 1-barrel carbureted car, then you're desperately going to want to upgrade. Get either an OEM 2-bbl intake, a 2.3L lower intake and the adapter plate from Racer Walsh, or find an Offenhauser 4-bbl intake on Ebay. If you find the 4-bbl intake, the carburetor to go with is the 390-cfm Holley 4-bbl, if you go with one of the 2-bbl intakes, any of the 2-bbl carburetors I mentioned before will work just fine. Heck, at one point I had a 500cfm Rochester 2G carburetor from a Chevy pickup on my 2.3... (long story)

    On the exhaust side, the stock manifold is pretty decent for a cast iron piece, but a little junkyarding can get you a big upgrade in the way of a tubular steel header from a 2.3 or 2.5 SOHC Ranger.

    The stock head flows "okay" for the displacement of the engine, but a little port work never hurt if you know someone or are brave enough to try it yourself. If you have deep pockets, Esslinger makes full-blown race heads for them, or if you wanna be different, there is also a Volvo DOHC head that bolts to the 2.3 with slight mods (you'll have to re-align the timing belt as a maintenance item after though).

    Last, but not least, would be the camshaft. There are roller follower cams from the aforementioned Rangers that are a great upgrade in low-end torque. There are high performance options from Esslinger. Sealed Power used to make a "high efficiency" cam that I ran in my old 2.3 with a 4-bbl in my '74 II when I had it.