Engine Probably Going To Get Flagged But Need Help On Engine Build

Jan 28, 2014
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#1
I am a new to this engine building scene and would like a little help if possible.
First off this is my first post on here and I would like to say hello to everyone.
My mustang is a 1987 mustang gt that I received from my father.
I do not really think it has anything aftermarket done to the engine, besides a old cold air intake and a msd distribution cap.

I have been reading and reading trying to figure out what I would like to achieve with this car. I do not plan on making this a drag car but more as a weekend cruiser that has some get up and go.
My goal is 400 hp at the crank. I would like to be able to build this N/A and then maybe add a blower when the time and funds come.
That being said I would like this to be able to handle the power of a s/c.
My budget would be 3000 dollars at most for this engine build. Not including labor. If I could achieve this for less that would be great. I do not want to use NOS that :poo: scares me lol.

I would just like to know someone's preference on what I would need to buy and how much each part is.
I have a complete engine right now, was planning on buying another to build off of. Any help is appreciated.
 
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jrichker

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#2
noobie-help.png

Far too many people put a dab of this and a dollop of that, and then wonder why the car doesn't run worth beans. Then they think off the shelf computer chips will fix their mismatched parts problem. It won't You have to have a plan for what kind of performance you want: Hot street. Street/Strip, Pure strip, Autocross or Road course. Each one requires a different strategy and a different set of components.. Mismatch the components and you’ll have a car that falls flat on its face when you demand performance.

Everyone thinks HP! HP! HP! and thinks that peak HP is what they need. Peak HP is great for a drag strip car when it has the proper gears and tires to get the car up into the high RPM range where it develops that high peak HP near the finish line. On a street car, that strategy will have Honda Accords outrunning you, because you will never get the engine RPMs high enough without running over everything in your path.

Here’ the strategy: Always remember that there are some tradeoffs in any engine combination. Most of us don’t have enough money to “have it all” as if it was possible by some masterful combination of parts and tuning.

The following recommendations are for 5 Speed Manual transmission cars without NO2 or pressurized induction, stock short block.
1.) Hot street: Broad flat torque curve, high velocity airflow in the intake and heads for best throttle response. Gears suitable for reasonable gas mileage and long road trips without excessive engine RPMs. Stand on the gas pedal from a rolling start to squeeze into that gap in traffic in front of you, and it jumps quick and hard to get you there. Max RPM’s are 5200-5500 RPM for best power. Lopey cams may sound cool, but run poorly in a low RPM street environment.
Use stock cam, stock, GT40 or mildly ported stock heads, Cobra or Explorer/GT40 intake, advanced timing, stock 19 lb injectors, stock fuel pump. Use some good 1.6 or 1.7 ratio roller rockers for extra punch. Use a King Cobra clutch, with stock iron or steel billet flywheel. MAF cars can use a 65 MM TB from the Explorer intake manifold and a 70MM MAF from a 94-95 Mustang. Drive train: 3:55 gears with soft tread compound tires. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, stock 2 1/4” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. The stock computer will handle all this with no problems and doesn’t need any help in 90% of the cases. No skinny or grossly undersize tires for the front: remember you still have to stop quickly in traffic. Make sure all the rubber bushings in the front and rear suspensions are in first class shape. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Street/strip: A little more slope to the torque curve with a gently sloping peak. Use slightly larger port volumes on intake and heads for more peak HP. Uses 3.55 or 3.73 gears to get the RPM’s up into a higher range quicker. Be prepared to sacrifice some low RPM throttle response in exchange for high RPM power. This by necessity will be a Mass Air or Mass Air conversion on 86-88 5.0 Mustangs, since stock speed density will not run well with the changes in engine airflow. Don’t get too crazy on any one engine part since you still have to drive the car on the street, and a mismatch can make street driving miserable.
Use stock or mild aftermarket cam, Ported GT 40, or 165-180 CC port volume aftermarket aluminum heads. Use a Trick Flow, Edelbrock Performer or equal intake manifold. Take a 73 MM aftermarket MAF calibrated for 24 lb injectors, and 24 lb injectors, 155 LPH fuel pump, Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Be prepared to shell out some $$$ for a custom burned chip using data gathered from a dyno run. Mass market chips will not get the job done. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, aftermarket 2 1/2” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. Drivetrain: expect the stock T5 to fail, so save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Carry spare tires and wheels for the drag strip: skinnys for the front and drag radials for the rear. No skinnys for street driving! Over 85% of the breaking power is generated by the front tires, so skinnys won’t do the job in a panic stop situation. Disconnect the front anti-roll bar at the strip; reconnect it before you drive home. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Strip only: High RPM, High flow heads (185-215 CC port volume), wild cam, high flow intake manifold, 70 MM or larger TB, 80 MM or lager MAF, strip everything out of the car that doesn’t make it go faster. Carbs are OK if that’s what you want, but remember that as the temp/humidity/ barometric pressure/altitude changes, you have to re-jet and readjust the carb. EFI eliminates most of that with its built in compensation or you can tune of the fly with a high end Motes or Tweecer system combined with a wide band air/fuel ratio meter. Use custom headers, dumps and minimal mufflers. How fast you can go on 5 liters is a function of the skill level of the driver/mechanic and the size of your wallet.

TRAILER the car to the race track since it won’t be legal to drive it on the street. Drag slicks in the rear, skinnys up front, use 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) in the rear axle. Since you won’t be driving on long trips, the big gears with work with the high RPM power curve to get the best results. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Remove the front sway bar, put an airbag in the rear spring of the side that spins the tire the most. Plan on a roll cage if you are truly serious about going fast: most strips will require it once you get to a certain ET range.

Autocross is a combination of Hot street engine and street strip chassis prep. The engine must accelerate quickly from low RPM and needs a broad, flat torque curve. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Most of the time you’ll never hit third gear, so some 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) may help a lot. You’ll have to spend some more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. A 87-88 T Bird Turbo Coupe or SN 95 rear axle will be your best bet. Autocross will severely strain 1st & 2nd gears, so your T5 may take a premature dump. Save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices.

All out road race is the most difficult of all: an engine that will run at high rpm hour after hour and never fail, yet pull hard out of the hairpin turns that will require a lot of torque at lower RPMs. In my opinion, guys that can successfully build a winning road race engine are the cream of the crop. Top this off with a chassis built for strip only duty, but with changes to the settings of springs, tires, roll bars brakes and shocks. It’s a whole other world of racing.
You’ll have to spend lots more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. Air ducting to cool the brake rotors will be a must. The brake rotors of cars on a high speed road course glow red after several hard laps of racing. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600, and T56 close ratio are the best transmission choices.
 

RangerJoe

I leave the horn on while driving
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Apr 26, 2010
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#3
Welcome. $3k is not a large budget to achieve 400hp n/a. You could probably get in the ballpark with a s/c on a stock engine. If you are wanting that n/a, the first thing that comes to mind is the trick flow top end kit. I am sure there are other ways to get there, such as what J posted, but it is usually the small things that eat up your budget.

Perhaps shopping used would carry you farther. Here is just one way to get close to your goal:

Tfs 11r heads
Systemax intake
Custom cam
Needed gaskets

If bought new, that is almost your entire $3k above. That is no fuel upgrades, no maf or TB upgrades, no gear upgrades, no exhaust upgrades, etc.

I do think $3k will get you a good start, but I would expect close to double that even shopping wisely. don't get discouraged, just continue researching and saving.

Joe
 

a91what

I plan to eventually problem is time
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#4
Start with the major components, the cylinder heads are where the power is made. Spend your money on a good set do not cheap out on them, no amount of bolt on and cam can make up for cheap cylinder heads. Get a parts list together and we will help weed out the problems.
 

Noobz347

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#5
Start with the major components, the cylinder heads are where the power is made. Spend your money on a good set do not cheap out on them, no amount of bolt on and cam can make up for cheap cylinder heads. Get a parts list together and we will help weed out the problems.
I disagree. I can bolt a supercharger onto any healthy roller 302 with stock heads and make more than not just a good set of heads. I'll make more than an entire HCI.

You know this already so I have to assume you meant that some other way. :p
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#6
I wanto rebuild the bottom end if the block as well. Can anyone give ke an estimate of what it would cost to rebuild the bottom end. My goal is 400 crank and 350 at the wheels hp wise.
For cam i was thinking e303 or if someone suggests better.
Intake manifikd upper and lower i found a cobra one for 350 its very nice and heads my budget would be 1200 or so for those cheaper the better but i do not want junk .
Any recommendations would be great.
 

a91what

I plan to eventually problem is time
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
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#7
Nooooo........! Nonthaburi the e303 lmfao.
Get a CUSTOM CAM, take it from me I have the e303.
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#8
I dont understand how xustom cams work where would i get one made custom and what do they run price range why no respect for the e303
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#9
If anyone has a blog or build thread step by step of building a 302 please pm it please
 

jrichker

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#10
Before your turn a wrench or spend a dollar, you need to decided what you want to do with the car. Otherwise you will be overspent and underwhelmed by your results....


Rule #1 Making 400 HP but having to turn 6500 RPM to do it is not a good recipe for a car that is street driven 95% of the time.

Rule #2 If you race it, you will break it - sooner or later...

Rule #3 Always have a beater to drive while the car you raced is broken.

Rule #4 Everything costs twice as much and takes three times as long to do. Don't believe me? See madmike1157's progress thread Build Thread - The Gila Monster. | Mustang Forums at StangNet ...
 
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84Ttop

They make new pistons every day, so why worry?
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#12
My winter rebuild every years costs in the neighborhood of 1,500$. For that money I'm getting gaskets rings and bearings (labor of course too). If there isn't anything wrong with your bottom end now then leave it alone, the factory components live longer and support more hp than your engine block. How many miles are on the car? Stick or Auto? Does is burn oil? If 3,000$ is your top end budget then you will need to settle for a stepping block on the way to your goals.
Rather than throw an arbitrary number at the internet hp wise, start piece by piece with a good plan in place to improve upon. Rome was not built in a day :)
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#13
Its a 5 speed. Miles are exempt i assume prob 200000 miles could have been rebuilt before i really dont know. How much would it costs to build a dexent bottom end if i used my current block do you have apart list of eveything i would jeed i can jist start there. I could jist but a complete other engine akd build on it and leave my current engine in the car
 

84Ttop

They make new pistons every day, so why worry?
Mod Dude
Jul 2, 2009
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#14
I would look for a low mileage explorer engine and leave the bottom end alone, the factory crank/rods/pistons exceed the strength of the block so no need to replace them. I mean no offense by this but it sounds that you have a bit of research ahead of you. We are all willing to help point you in the right direction. There isn't 1 recipe of these exact parts or those exact parts that work leaps and bounds better than the next set of parts. Sure, there are parts that work well together but at the end of the day you can skin a cat 100 different ways.

Explorer Short Block
TFS Top End Kit
75MM Throttle-body and spacer
75MM Mass air meter
Shorty Headers
H-Pipe
Clutch
Subframe Connectors
Rear Control arms

This ^^^ Is where I would start looking personally and piecing together. IF you wanted to add a blower later on you will be able to do so and make 500hp all day long with supporting fuel and ignition components
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#15
Ok thank you all. I will continue to look around i just wanted to rebuild a bottom end so i could learn and fogure about how much it would cost to rebuild the bottom end
 

a91what

I plan to eventually problem is time
Mod Dude
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#16
If that is the case I would suggest a stroker kit, comes with all new parts. Just have the parts ready and tell the machine shop what your plans are.
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#17
So that would be a 331 kit right . I was Planning to jist keep it a 302 becauae a 331 or 347 is expensice i feel like
 

84Ttop

They make new pistons every day, so why worry?
Mod Dude
Jul 2, 2009
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#18
So that would be a 331 kit right . I was Planning to jist keep it a 302 becauae a 331 or 347 is expensice i feel like
Rebuilding a short block is expensive no mater how you shake it... hence my recommendation to use a good explorer short block for you build.
 
Jan 28, 2014
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#19
What should i pay for a explorer short block and what would be a proce range for a 302 rebuild kit ? Also this is a little off topic but os a cobra upper and lower intake wprth 350
 

TOOLOW91

If you're the village idiot what's that make me?
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#20
I wouldnt pay 350 for a gt40 cobra intake. Now if you told me you were getting the explorer gt40 which is the same intske for 150 bucks then id say hop on it. there are much better options out there either way. No matter how you slice it rebuilding your stock bottom end with machine work and parts and all you'll be somewhere in the 1000-1500 range using what is in there and just re ring and re bearing with freeze plugs and cam bearings.

Why the dire need to rebuild? why not just throw an HCI on the car or put a blower on it with supporting stuff and make close to if not 400 hp on a stock engine and have it drive just like stock.