This Four, Or That Four,...

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by madmike1157, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. I was at work Friday, thinking about my decision to run this little Duratec 2.3, and going over the pros/cons of the swap, when my friend that has the old T/C that I was thinking about buying called.

    Though the reasons for his call had nothing to do w/ anything,.... the conversation got around to the fact that he still had the car,.. and that I could still have it for 600.00.

    So,.. I told him I'd take it.

    The newer Duratec is all aluminum,... is a twin overhead cam unit w/ a plastic intake manifold,.. and makes like 140 hp N/A. It's backed by a 5R55e 5 speed trans,.. and it is tunable through an OBD-2 diag port.

    Presently,.. the engine isn't capable of handling any kind of boost that'll be sufficient enough to make the 300 WHP I want it to w/o upgrades to the pistons, the intake, and of course the fuel system. There are no over the counter turbo manifolds, or intakes either. The attraction to the engine is its weight, (or lack of, actually), the advanced tech incorporated ( Dohc, S.F.I, D.I.S.)
    Despite the stock limitations,.. there is a decent aftermarket, and you can make it capable of standing up to all the power you'd ask of it.

    This "option" will cost me 1000.00-1200.00 and I'll get the engine, trans, accessories,.. harnesses, and the requisite computers/controllers. I'll also get a 96 GT 5 lug rear included in my "deal".

    Got all that?

    The turbo coupe is an 88. I'd get the entire car as a donor. The Turbo'd 2.3 in that car already has forged internals, but is cast iron, has one overhead cam,.. a distributor, and the first gen OBD (eec what?) For an ecu .... But with the right cam, fuel, and turbo upgrade,.. will easily handle the power requirements I'm asking it to otherwise stock form.

    Since I get the whole car,...i'll be able to get all suspension componentry, (these cars had an active ride control provisioned in the computer) the 3.73 disc braked 8.8 rear as well,... all the wiring, the dash, GT style sport seats, and console which I would use. As a result, I will have an other than 1st gen fox dash, and console in that car.

    So what's the problem you ask?

    The auto trans.

    The auto trans is the stinkin' problem.

    All turbo Fours w/autos came w/a hand grenade ford called an A4LD. I really want this car to be an auto,.. and originally thought that they had an AOD behind them.


    I've been doing alto of reading (since the car is still not here yet), and A4LD'S are just junk. They cannot be prepped to stand up reliably behind any kind of power,... and even behind a stock explorer 4.0 fail, for a variety of reasons. The few out there that have got some sort of thing going to prep them to survive are transmission techs,... and away more capable than I w/ regard to rebuilding one.

    The Duratec has the much improved version of that transmission,.. the 5R55e behind it,... but even that trans,.. is not that sturdy when subjected to 300+ ft.lbs. of torque.

    Hence my dilemma.

    If I could just find a way to put a durable auto trans behind the Lima 2.3 engine that is in the T/C,.....I'd be a happy camper. I'm trying to avoid converting it over to manual,..since that seems to be the choice most make when upping the power on a 4 bangin' turbo combination.

    I prefer an auto on this build. I would rather take a slight loss in power to the ground, and not have to lift to shift when this thing starts honkin',...(or risk a missed shift while attempting a power shift on the 4 cyl T-5)
    There used to be an adapter plate out there that allowed for that,... but that company stopped making it.
    #1 madmike1157, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  2. I hate the "I have this friend who" stories, but here I go anyway... The guy who I sold/rebought all of my turbo tubing to/from has an '86 SVO w/ ~350 whp. It's the same 2.3, no? And if he has a T5 behind it, will an AOD not bolt up to the same pattern? I guess what Im asking is does the 2.3 in the TC have an oddball bolt pattern for the bell housing?
  3. Aod won't but a c4 most certainly will
  4. Yes, the 2.3 (both the old one, and the new one) have a bell housing bolt pattern that is exclusive to itself, and the stupid i6 that is gonna be in the car when I get it. The reason a t-5 will bolt up is that there is a bell housing that was made for it. The C-4 will also bolt up to the earlier C-3 bell housing that is out there for the I6. The flywheels/flexplates are away smaller as a result (like a 9" clutch for the t-5). As a testimonial to how weak assed the A4LD is,.. ford actually limited boost on the auto trans option to keep horsepower down to 140 to allow the trans to live,.. where as the t-5 equipped cars got to see 190 hp.

    Regardless,... a C-4 isn't what I'm looking for,.. as it's not an OD trans.

    Since posting this thread,.. I bounced back over to TRF,..and they are indeed making a buttload of power w/the duratec,... and having to completely forge the bottom end to do so. Looks like those that are running an auto are either running the 5R55e, and the required eecV ECU, or a t-5. There is one guy that made an adaptor plate to allow for a fullsize SBF bell. (but he was going after 800 hp or some crazy s hit like that.)
  5. The good ole' internet,........ you can find anything,.... you just gotta look.

    Canfield industries in Ft. Collins Co. makes this thing. 185.00 solves the weak-assed transmission option problem permanently. :banana:
    A5literMan and hoopty5.0 like this.
  6. So....AOD now?
  7. I'm confused....
  8. aod yes but!!!! with a custom convertor... it would need to have a snout the same diameter as the 2.3 crank youre looking at around 500 for just the convertor.
  9. How about a Gear Vendors OD unit behind the C4? You get 6 gears that way and a stronger tranny. And I bet with the Zepher Fairmont's length, little floor modifocation. If any?
  10. Awesome option, just very expensive! We have tossed that idea around for years in my brothers 93' coupe with a C4. They will seriously take any torture that you throw at them and are far stronger than any C4 input shaft I've ever seen!
  11. No,...turns out that the adapter will only work w/ a "special" manual flywheel, that is SBF diameter,...but drilled for the 2.3 crank.


    Yes, know what I'm talking about then. ( I don't, evidently)

    Waaay too much money for now,...especially since all I really have to do to fix my "problem" is not be a candy ass,...and just install a manual trans.
    Yeah,...well let's not forget that the rated power handling capability of that unit will greatly exceed the objective power goals of my project.

    In reality, my last project,........ the words: "Drag slick/radial", Burn out, Stage, Launch, Hook, Sixty foot, Eighth mile, Quarter mile, and E.T., will never escape my mouth when talking about this car.

    Given that I'll never really subject the poor little trans to that harsh treatment means I'll probably be able to get away w/ a 4 cyl T-5. (just like the one I sold when I bought the Cobra).
  12. I'm just gonna sit and watch and see what happens
  13. Any ETA of the car arriving? Is the 4 cyl T-5 the same as the 5.0 T-5 ( I am assuming no, but have never checked). Can you not change out the bell housing and input shaft (maybe a strong aftermarket one) to be able to keep a 5.0 T-5 otherwise?
  14. no, I think they are a weinier version of the V8, ( smaller input shaft at least).
    there are now two adapters that will allow me to upgrade though.

    and NO, no update on the ETA yet, I'm getting ready to fly out there and drive it back, if nothing happens soon though

    ( Like that's not the stupidest thing I could do ...driving a 35 year old car 1500+ miles across the desert southwest)
  15. a v8 WC T5 can be used if you swap the pilot bearing. I think the one for the 80's diesel ranger si the correct one. Not sure a manual transmission was in your build plans though. This looks to be a cruiser.
  16. Thanks for that,....I'm figuring I'll have to find one of those now.
    It's looking like a manual trans is gonna have to be in my build plans (unless I wanna spend alot of time on my back,....under the car,......removing blown up automatic junk)
    RangerJoe likes this.
  17. honestly look for the t5 that cam behind a Merkur/TC/SVO. they are just as robust as the v8 models and will bolt right in. If you arent hot rodding the car and powershifting to keep in the boost I think the T5 will hold up very well.
  18. Not power shifting to keep in the boost? Then why not keep the decrepit old I6 and auto?

    Mike is getting pretty old, you know...
  19. Older,...wiser,...vastly more interesting.:cool:

    I wanted an auto to keep it 'in boost" w/o having to worry about bending a shift lever, hurting a synchro, or blowing some gear off of the main shaft.
    Speaking of age,...let's do some math then shall we?......

    Husky,..I don't know your exact age, but from what I read I'm thinkin early 40's

    Thats a 15 year differential between you and me.

    I can honestly say that I left my right foot on the floor while pulling the shifter from first to second when I was 17.

    That means that while I was "power shifting" the first 68 mustang I ever drove that had a were still filling your baby shaped kimbies with yellow fungue.
    #20 madmike1157, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
    95BlueStallion and stykthyn like this.