What exactly do I need to convert mine to 5.0

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by terramir, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Okies folks it's time to make a junk yard shopping list!
    I have 2.3L 86 mustang LX 2.3 L with an automatic trans (13 screws no OD)
    I want to make it a 5.0 with Automatic (probably AOD because no computer)(stick is just sucky with me)
    I know I need a crossmember
    a K-member,
    the motor SEFI system distributor computer (out of which cars to pull? thunder birds are there gallore 5.0 mustangs are in short supply although I've seen 3.8's that still had motors at more expesive yards)
    fuel lines and dual exaust (i'll have to get that new the exaust do they sell lines by the foot?)
    I will need new shocks and struts (also store thing)
    And I'll have to pull the springs out of a 5.0 mustang ? is will thunder bird springs work (being old and the thunderbird having a little more weight will it balance out?)
    Drive shaft, and U joint.

    I will rebuild the engine and transmission mostly myself
    I might bring some parts to a machine shop though if needed
    What else do I need and what would be the best and second best considering I have limited availibillity.
    My car net value 400 bucks will have a major upgrade (why cheaper for me then keep fixing it #2 finding another foxbody in running condition with a 5.0 I will still have to change the transmission and god knows how long the motor will last a rebuild on the other hand will ensure reliability for a while)

    Please write my shopping list with identifying remarks and hints
  2. I strongly recommend not to do the swap if you are not mechanically inclined. I am doing the swap right now and it is a big pain in the ass. Do yourself a favor and buy a totalled 87+ parts car. If you try to piece this together without one, you'll never find everything you need. Especially if you are running an EFI car. I took the route of going non-computer controlled, carburated. I can build the car faster, and easier. You can pick up a non running 5L mustang totalled for $1000-$1500. Believe me, i wish i went this route. It has taken me a month to find the proper 87+ spindles to upgrade my front brakes. If you choose to piece it together heres a list:

    1)8.8 rearend
    2)K-member (maybe not necessary, not sure)
    3)5.0 Springs
    4)5.0 spindles/brakes/master cylinder
    5)5.0 engine
    7)85+mph guage cluster, tach with proper redline
    8)full computer harness
    9)ECU (87+ will work)
    10)all sensors including mass air, etc
    11)larger front sway bar

    Theres probably more but i forget.....buy the parts car though, trust me.
    Good Luck
  3. I've replied to this in detail at least twice on this board, search my user name.

    I agree, you're crazy if you're going the junkyard route. You REALLY need a parts car and line um up side by side for the conversion. It's not difficult if you are mechanically inclined, just VERY time consuming
  4. okies thanks for the replies so for but 87 plus donor car wouldn't that exactly give me the trouble?
    I thought after 86 they rekeyed everything at the factory?
    #2 I parts car I'm looking at 1000 plus dollars without the rebuild.
    and I will still have to find the tranny
    so I rather go the junk yard route
    A few questions I already learned about the k member asking questions as well as the cross and found out they will fit (so will everything else)
    I'm more electronically inclined but well if I can open up any device and find out what's wrong with it it can't be that much harder with the big parts (except for the lifting part LOL)
    I'm planning on picking up a tranny haynes manual in order to rebuild the tranny I already have the chiltons for the 5.0 rebuild. Although I might have to settle for a 5.slow (t-bird) then I'll have to pick up a chiltons as well.
    few questions what do I have to replace on the rear end (the entire axle?)
    do I have to replace the entire brake system or do I just have to do that if I decide to get 5lug rims?
    furthermore what exactly do I have to replace?
    I know the computer is gonna have to go, so the entire wireing job is gonna have to be redone (about due anyway) so no matter. bunch of wires and some crimiped on connectors should do that.
    The mechanical parts are what I'm gonna have to buff up on since the last time I fixed mechanical stuff it was bikes (the riceburner kind)
    The learning curve can't be that difficult.
    please get back to the parts list
    who knows what I really need based on a 4 banger 86 lx hatchback!
  5. Directly from the search, and a previous post of mine:

    You can do this the right way, and the quick way. To do it the right way:

    strip ALL MECHANICALS from the 4 banger car.

    hope to hell you guys have a v8 donor car, or you'll be collecting parts for the next ten centuries.

    after the mechanicals are essentially stripped to the shell on the 4 banger, swap the v8 quick ratio steering rack into the engine compt while the engine is still out. Swap the v8 spindles and front brakes too. Swap the ENTIRE v8 fuel line in from engine to gas tank, rip the 4 banger stuff out, it runs on the wrong side. We pulled the tank and swapped the pumps, but I've heard the 4 banger pump "may" be efficient

    Yank the 7.5 rear out of the 4 banger, swap in the 8.8 rear end. Not sure about brake lines, but I'm pretty sure for the rear at least those are plug and play. yank the 4 banger engine harness out, swap in the v8 engine harness (you can cut and splice the 4 banger engine harness, but this write up is for a factory looking conversion) swap in the v8 engine harness, and the v8 ecu and ecu harness. pull the 4 banger engine mount brackets off of the k member. K member is the same as the v8. On the bottom side, more good news, as the bolt in places for the v8 trans x member are already there, bolt in and go. Drop in the 5.0 and trans in as one unit, bolt it all up, connect your fuel lines and wires that are already ready to go. a note on the wiring harness, on aero fox's, the dash wiring harness back to the tails is ALL the same 4 banger or v8, so you'll just need to swap the engine harness and ecu harness.

    if you have an auto 4 banger, then you'll need to lose the shifter, and swap in your manual clutch pedal assembly, and swap in the 5 speed wiring harness.

    THis is no small project guys. Its extremely labor intensive, but very straight forward. My friend is 38, took him 3 weeks doing it after work 2-4 hours a night, then one last hurrah on the weekend when I was there to swap in all the v8 stuff (he spend the first part stripping the four banger and painting the engine compt)

    if you're not hardcore about this, you'll wind up sending both the 4 banger and your parts car to the junkyard. Good luck, the swap is WELL worth it.

    I need to emphasize that from me doing this swap, I came under the realization that ALL fox mustangs were built from the factory to hold a v8. They were then adapted with special mounts to hold the 4 banger. For this reason, any dedicated hardcore self wrencher should have no problem completing this swap, just leave PLENTY of time, and if you've got A.D.D. Like I do, have a friend help so you don't get sidetracked and abandon the project. If you have more questions I can try to help

    Replace the ENTIRE rear. the rear you have now is a 7.5 rear, you need the entire rear, drum to drum from an 8.8, though technically, the rear you have now the brakes are the same as well as the axle shafts, so those will swap over.

    swap over to the v8 brake booster and master cylinder. on the front end, swap over to the v8 spindle, calipers and rotors.

    Not sure about the brake lines, you MAY have to swap over the whole brake lines, you def WILL have to swap over the fuel lines.
  6. I have done the 2.3 to 5.0 swap. You dont need the brakes or k-member to make it work. You also dont need the 8.8 until 86 all 5.0 cam with the 7.5 rear. You do need the wiring, fuel lines, computer, tranny, tranny crossmember, gas and tranny cables. Be careful with going with a non-mustang 5.0 because most are not H.0. 5.0's. So the cam is different and that changes the whole firing order, and fuel system wiring on the motor. Save all the problems and buy a real 5.0. mustang that works. I know i have more money in my motor swap then it will ever be worth. :notnice:
  7. Are the engine mount brackets included with the motor mounts when you buy them? I did'nt pull them before junking the parts car. Dam pita neighbors.

  8. Could a 2.3-v8 swap be done in a school semesters time (including paint, etc.)? While I doubt I will do it, I have been considering a 4 banger to v8 swap for my senior project. I would have around 4 months, could start earlier if I had to (just get pictures and give them newer dates) and get it looking good for senior project presentation? How much money would be needed to do this? I'm debating modding the one I have now once I get a job, and doing something else for senior project, or building a stang for it. It would be a first time doing something like this to a mustang, even though my dad has a lot of experience with jeeps, basically he can take one completely apart and rebuild it. What do you guys think? I again doubt I will do this, but who knows. :D
  9. everyone forgot to post the number one thing you need to do this: PATIENCE. If you don't have patience with this then don't bother. I just started my conversion car up for the first time the other nite. 2 weeks of dedicated work everyday in the cold (just put in heat) in the garage. I'm not a mechanic, just have had many mustangs to learn from.

    You do not need to swap steering racks, you do NOT need to swap the crossmember, you do NOT need to change the springs, but I reccommend changing the rear suspension so you do not get wheel hop (ruined my old torque boxes on a past car). If you are building this for drag, don't bother swapping the front brake set up, 4 banger front brakes are lighter. Make sure you upgrade that rear, because chances are with a strong 5.0, you will probably snap that 7.5 rear. Anyway if you do choose to do this, pm me and I can help you out with info. Later

  10. oh yea, if you're going EFI and only using 19# inj, the 4 banger pump in the tank is the same as a 5.0 so don't bother changing the gas tanks , just fuel lines.
  11. 1)Do you have a good quantity of tools? Quality tools help; but are not an absolute nessessity....
    2)Do you have someplace to keep the car while it is down for a considerable amount of time? Neigbor's don't like cars that don't run & appear to them as an "eyesore" happen to get turned in. They just might not like you. But, you get this nice notice to "remove immediately" & all your plans get rearranged real quick.
    3)Do you normally "follow through" with projects or tasks in life? Be honest with yourself; it will take patience & "internal fortitude" to get the job done.
    4)Do you have a group of Mustang fanatical friends to help out when it comes to the "grunt work"? I did my conversion, with a wrecked donor car, in 13 days with a little help. I'm mechanically inclined; but i still needed some muscle when it came to getting things done quickly. We changed engine, trans, struts\spindles, P.S. rack, all fuel & brake lines, disc. brake rear 8.8 diff, etc. Without help from friends? One month minimum for me to have completed the job.....
    5) Do you really expect everything needed for the conversion to become available at the junkyards when you need them? Hopefully it works out that way; Just don't expect it. Start collecting now.
    6) If you do decide to attack this project "piece by piece"; better take some detailed photo's of same year V8 cars for future reference. Weather, time, etc may "push off" installing something you removed weeks ago & the details do get kinda foggy.....
    7)A complete donor car is the best route to go since everything needed to convert everything entirely to V8 spec. If you are patient; a wrecked donor car can become available that's been hit in the side or rear. Get the word out to the junkyards on what you're looking for & what you will pay if they get one. Keep an eye on both the Recycler, Auto Trader, Greensheet, & all Mustang web sites.
    8) Good luck whatever route you choose! You can at least take pride in the fact "you did it yourself" afterwards & enjoy the power increase!
  12. I started to convert my red '92 LX convertible over to a 5.0 5 years ago. I got it 90% done and got sick of it so I bought a '90 GT convertible. The conversion was way more work than I anticipated and the wiring drove me nuts. If you change it over to a carbed 5.0 it is easier.

    Anyone want to buy a 90% finished red '92 LX convertible ??
  13. I am considering this swap. I found a dirt cheap Thunderbird 5.0 car. Yes I know about the differences in the engine.
    Car is an 89 2.3 A4LD equipped car.
    87 Thunderbird 5.0 AOD car.

    I would be swapping out the heads cam manifold anyway so not concerned about that. The price is alright and I probably have some buddies who will lend a hand.

    I know about the k member brakes and rear not worried about those. Though I am curious if anyone knows if the Thunderbird V8 suspension is the same as the 5.0L mustangs? Also I still have a turbocoupe sitting in my garage should I use the V8 bird or the 2.3T birds sway bars? The Tcoupe has a 7.5 but what does the 87 bird have? I know the 87 Tcoupes had a nice 8.8 disc brake rear. Yes I know the Bird rear is wider and thats more than fine.

    What will I need other than parts on the car to make this work? The 87 Bird is a fully running car. Just the body is rough. I plan on having the engine rebuilt and the trans replaced anyway. So just do a quick run through. I have done engine swaps so I know its a fair amount of work. Just write down flat out and straight to the point what needs to be done. Also if anyone wants a 2.3T turboCoupe thunderbird shoot me a pm for pricing car is in st.louis!

    Ok fire away!
  14. i have a question that no one can answer, i have a 93 LX. i pulled the 4 cyl out and already have the 5.0 HO droped in and bolted to the T5 and everything. i am just stuck on the wiring. i got the conversion harness from ford racing and this is all i need to finish my conversion besides the correct belt. the diagram they sent doesnt tell me what to do with the old wiring thogh. i need to know on the ecc, what im to do with the factory harness from it. the harness they sent me if you are familiar with plugs in to the 60 pin ecc. it also has 9 wires to be spliced into and then a fuse panel. basicly what i am asking is what do i do with the old harness.do i yank it all out or leave some in if you can help me or know some one that may know it would be much apreciated.

    and one more thing, since i had a dual plug motor, does the cpu have to be swaped?

  15. The four banger ecu goes in the garbage, won't work at all with a 5.0. A9P or A9L is the computer you need for the car.
  16. ok can any one help me on this. im still having trouble with the wiring on this thing. ive got power on everything but the fuel pump. ive tested and moved the ground and i still get nothing, i used a test light on the positive wire and nothjing form the harness. the instructions dont tell me crap and im going nuts with out my car. help if yah can
  17. The following assumes thaty you are going EFI.

    Fuel Pump Troubleshooting for 86-90 Mustangs

    Clue – listen for the fuel pump to prime when you first turn the ignition switch on.
    It should run for 5-20 seconds and shut off. To trick the fuel pump into running,
    find the ECC test connector and jump the connector in the lower RH corner to
    If the fuse links are OK, you will have power to the pump. Check fuel pressure –
    remove the cap from the Schrader valve behind the alternator and depress the
    core. Fuel should squirt out, catch it in a rag. A tire pressure gauge can also be
    used if you have one - look for 37-40 PSI. Beware of fire hazard when you do this.

    No fuel pressure, possible failed items in order of their probability:
    A.) Tripped inertia switch – press reset button on the inertia switch. The hatch
    cars hide it under the plastic trim covering the driver's side taillight. Use the
    voltmeter or test light to make sure you have power to both sides of the switch

    B.) Fuel pump power relay – located under the driver’s seat in most stangs built
    before 92. On 92 and later model cars it is located below the Mass Air Flow meter.
    C.) Clogged fuel filter
    D.) Failed fuel pump
    E.) Blown fuse link in wiring harness. All the applicable fuse links are in the wiring
    harness up next to the starter solenoid.
    F.) Fuel pressure regulator failed. Remove vacuum line from regulator and inspect
    for fuel escaping while pump is running. If you find fuel escaping, the regulator has failed.

    Theory of operation:
    The electrical circuit for the fuel pump has two paths, a control path and a power

    Control path:
    The control path consists of the inertia switch, the computer, and the fuel pump
    relay coil. It turns the fuel pump relay on or off under computer control. The
    switched power (red wire) from the ECC relay goes to the inertia switch
    (red/black wire) then from the inertia switch to the relay coil and then from the
    relay coil to the computer (tan/ Lt green wire). The computer provides the ground
    path to complete the circuit. This ground causes the relay coil to energize and
    close the contacts for the power path. Keep in mind that you can have voltage
    to all the right places, but the computer must provide a ground. If there is no
    ground, the relay will not close the power contacts.

    Power path:
    The power path picks up from a fuse link near the starter relay. Fuse links are like
    fuses, except they are pieces of wire and are made right into the wiring harness.
    The feed wire from the fuse link (orange/ light blue wire) goes to the fuel pump
    relay contacts. When the contacts close because the relay energizes, the power
    flows through the contacts to the fuel pump (light pink/black wire). The fuel pump
    has a black wire that supplies the ground to complete the circuit.

    Remember that the computer does not source any power to actuators, relays
    or injectors, but provides the ground necessary to complete the circuit. That
    means one side of the circuit will always be hot, and the other side will go to
    ground or below 1 volt as the computer switches on that circuit.

    Diagram of wiring for 86-90 Cars

    Diagram Courtesy of Tmoss and Stang&2birds


    See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/

    Ignition switch wiring

    Fuel pump, alternator, ignition & A/C wiring

    Computer,. actuator & sensor wiring

    Now that you have the theory of how it works, it’s time to go digging.

    Power circuits:
    Look for 12 volts at the Orange/Lt. Blue wire (power source for fuel pump relay).
    No voltage or low voltage, bad fuse link, bad wiring, bad ignition switch or ignition
    switch wiring or connections. There is a mystery connector somewhere under the
    driver’s side kick panel, between the fuel pump relay and the fuse link.

    Turn on the key and jumper the fuel pump test connector to ground as previously
    described. Look for 12 volts at the Light Pink/Black wire (relay controlled power
    for the fuel pump). No voltage there means that the relay has failed, or there is a
    broken wire in the relay control circuit.

    Check the Red/black wire, it should have 12 volts. No 12 volts there, either the
    inertia switch is open or has no power to it. Check both sides of the inertia
    switch: there should be power on the Red wire and Red/Black wire. Power on the
    Red wire and not on the Red/Black wire means the inertia switch is open.

    Pump wiring: Anytime the ignition switch is in the Run position and the test
    point is jumpered to ground, there should be at least 12 volts present on the
    black/pink wire. With power off, check the pump ground: you should see
    less than 1 ohm between the black wire and chassis ground.


    Control circuits:
    The Tan/Lt Green wire provides a ground path for the relay power. With the test
    connector jumpered to ground, there should be less than .75 volts. Use a test
    lamp with one side connected to battery power and the other side to the
    Tan/Lt Green wire. The test light should glow brightly. No glow and you have a
    broken wire or bad connection between the test connector and the relay. To test
    the wiring from the computer, remove the passenger side kick panel and
    disconnect the computer connector. It has a 10 MM bolt that holds it in place.
    With the test lamp connected to power, jumper pin 22 to ground and the test
    lamp should glow. No glow and the wiring between the computer and the fuel
    pump relay is bad.

    If all of the checks have worked OK to this point, then the computer is bad. The
    computers are very reliable and not prone to failure unless there has been
    significant electrical trauma to the car. Things like lightning strikes and putting
    the battery in backwards or connecting jumper cables backwards are about the
    only thing that kills the computer.

    Fuel pump runs continuously: The tan/ltgreen wire has shorted to ground. Disconnect
    the computer and use an ohmmeter to check out the resistance between the light blue/orange
    wire and ground. You should see more than 10 K Ohms (10,000 ohms) or an infinite open
    circuit. Be sure that the test connector isn’t jumpered to ground.
  18. Ok yea so basically the best way to go about this is to find a donor car. Jack off all parts to this car after gutting yours and how long would it take you to actually complete this project? Also if you have a 4banger and its automatic how hard would it be to make it manual? Is there anyway you could get a aftermarket maybe sports shift transmission?
  19. I beg to differ!

    I beg to differ really on the swap not bing worth it. I have less than $1500 in an 88 with a 5.0 HO. One that is in really good shape (Or was rather before I stripped the paint off of it and primered it). Not to mention the upgrades you get along the way. For instance I am going to be using the shifter from cougar that donated the powertrain. If you have the time, know-how and patience.(Along with and large supply of cigarettes and Tylenol) you can make a swap worthwhile. This is all in addition to the fact that when you are done(Done being relative to the swap, mustangers are never"done") you have the feeling that you know every nut bolt and anything about your car. Most guys that are serious about taking on a swap really value having that kind knowledge about their ride and take alot of pride in it. If you bought a mustang as an investment then why screw with it. If you found your mustang for the experience that is "mustang" then such endeavors are invaluable to you.

    Just my .02