Exhaust, Cam, injectors, intake... the lot really. - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 40 Old June 11th, 2014, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Exhaust, Cam, injectors, intake... the lot really.

Ok, I have been on here to ask questions before, but they were just silly little problems that seem so easy to me now after all these years with this car. Now, however, it is time for me to get into the messy bits and see what I can get out of this car and that means popping on over into the world of engine mods... something I am not as familiar with. Plus most of the exhaust system needs replaced or it wont pass inspection this next time anyways... oh goody.

As far as mechanical knowledge goes, I do all of my own work on all my vehicles, so I am not afraid to get elbow deep in axle grease or learn how to do new things. I am also not afraid of doing math to try and understand how things should work. I am currently studying to be a mechanical engineer anyways, so you could consider it an educational experience.

Now I know you use specific parts to make the engine run a specific way...
I drive this thing mostly as a sports car rather than a commuter car so what I am looking to do is get a fair bit more power out of my engine in the rev band that I normally use (being able to beat the average dump truck on a hill would be nice as well)... but there is a catch. In the future I plan to convert to a 5 speed so I don't know what I will normally use. I would imagine it wouldn't change much and would still be at about 3k or so but I would need advice on that from someone who drives one every day.

What I have now and will be working with:
- Bone stock 1988 Ford Mustang LX 2.3L auto
- Has 125,000 miles on the clock
- Newish sparkplugs and wires (within the last 3 years)
- Have been changing all fluids regularly since 2009 (when I bought it)

What I am looking to get out of my engine:
- Peak torque at around 2500 to 3500 RPM (if practical for transmission)
- Around 140 to 160 HP while staying N/A (more if possible, but with these mods, this is all I expect)
- Fuel milage to stay at the least above 15 MPG (should be the easiest part)
- Hopefully use the stock computer (I'm not rich, nor do I have access to a dyno unless there is an alternative)
- Not sound like a ricer (again if possible)
- Have this done before summer ends (possibly the hardest part)

Restrictions I must abide by:
- Noise, I can be very loud but I do live in a community and if I drive home at 2 AM (which I do a lot) I don't want to wake up the entire community.
- Emissions... I must have a catalytic converter, however, the emissions are not monitored where I live, so it doesn't have to actually pass any emissions tests.
- Gas... The gas out here is pretty crappy gas, so even perfectly new cars get goofed up a little bit. If you move up into the 90s you do get better gas, but I would prefer to stay at 87. 93 (or whatever it is out here) isn't to expensive, but 97 is really getting up there.
- Again, getting this done before summer ends.

Now I have been doing TONS of reading and from what I have managed to learn from on here I have come up with a basic idea of what to do already.

Exhaust:
- Some sort of header that would connect up fairly well with the stock exhaust tubing (some cutting may be required). I saw a post on here about a 4-2-1 header that was about 50 bucks for a ranger, but I never saw how it ended up working out. Also, a friend has told me that a 4-2-1 header is mostly for the really high RPM power... not sure how true that is. So there is also the Speedway header that I hear so much about as the second possibility.

- High flow performance Catalytic converter of some sort. I beleive that the one on my car is clogged and not flowing well, but if not I am sure this will help it in the long run.

- Resonator delete... Not sure if thats what the second thing is under there, but it just looks like it would rob HP so if thats the case I would like to just swap a tube in there.

- Flowmaster Super 40 Series muffler, because it is much higher flow than my old one, and from what I can gather it is the best sounding muffler for the Ford 2.3L. That along with I don't want to go overkill in terms of loudness.

- Stock exhaust pipes seeing as I cant see this thing getting into the 250 to 300 HP range, the stock diameter pipes should be fine, plus I have read that with the correct exhaust velocities, it should increase the exhaust scavenging effect leading to bigger numbers.

- EGR delete. Now there seems to be some pretty mixed feelings on here about this. Some say it hurts performance, some say the opposite. Now seeing as what it does I would imagine that it would hurt performance, however if the header doesn't have a hookup for it anyways then it won't even matter.

Intake:
- I have read from a lot of people that swapping in a K&N Cone filter along with some straight tubing right to the throttle body is the best way to go in terms of performance, that and it give a nice growl when you step on it supposedly.

- Possibly try to find a larger throttle body. I have heard talk that it is possible to swap over to a 5.0L throttle body, however, I am not sure if in my case it will really help all that much.

Fuel:
- Swap up to some new injectors. Since I plan on doing these modifications, I don't want to cap my power with the stock injectors. Now in a recent thread I read that swapping up from #14 to # 16.5 injectors with 4 holes would be best. However, that was on a stock engine with just speedway headers. I am doing a bit more than that so I might have to go up to #17 injectors... not really sure on this one.

Cam:
- I am not entirely sure what to go with here, but I know this may be where I see the largest gains. Now even after all the reading I have been doing I am still having trouble understanding what numbers do what. The number 268 seems to keep coming up a lot so perhaps that is good? I dont know really.
What I would like is a cam that has big power gains (obviously). I don't really care about a lopping idle, it sound cool when it does that, so it can go pretty big. Not so big that I have to do major valve train work, I don't really have the tools for that, just something that I can swap in to replace the stock one.

Engine:
- I have read that these engines love high compression ratios, and I know that there is a head gasket out there (also read, don't know where) that is thinner so it makes for a little gain in compression ratio. Well, if its not to much trouble and doesn't mess up to much stuff, I may swap in a higher compression head gasket.

- Perhaps a set of underdrive pulleys IF I can manage to find them cheep enough. (just an after thought at the moment)


FUTURE MODIFICATIONS (for me to keep in mind while building this thing)
- Swap in a 5 speed transmission.
- T lock rear end
- Suspension lowering/performance kit (all needs replaced anyways)
- lightening of sorts (lighter hatch, hood, fenders... depends of price/ what I can find/take off)
- Major brake upgrades (it need them bad)
- Aluminium/Carbon Fiber driveshaft (again depends on price)
- Possible Supercharger: M90 or something along with the required forged internals (way, way off in the future but unlikely)
- Other (stuff I cant even think of yet )


Those are my plans thus far. It should work out pretty good in the end I would imagine.

I think by this point I have pretty much covered everything...

I do own 3 vehicles, so working on this while driving back and forth to work still is an option. Money wise, I'm not rich, but I can hold my own fairly well so some of the more expensive parts are still in reach. However I do need some advice as you can see because as some of the parts go, I just don't really even have a clue as to what is good or not, so any input... even if its to tell me I am going about this all wrong... I will be thankful for.

Real cars don't spin the front tires... THEY LIFT THEM!!!
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post #2 of 40 Old June 11th, 2014, 11:36 PM
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I haven't read the whole post, but in the first section, ill let you know that if you want any hp, you have to get away from that stock auto trans. I'll answer questions as I read through.

---------- Post added at 11:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 PM ----------

For the power you want, I will suggest a few things, the speedway header, Boport Racing Heads (Powered by CubeCart) for the cam, I personally would choose the stage 2.9, and buy the whole top end kit, its worth the money.

Use the stock airbox, with a k&n filter, strait tubing, I use 2 1/4" because its the same size as the throttle body opening. Run 2.5" exhaust, decent muffler, high flow cat, I would put another resonator in, like a glass packed muffler just to even out the tone, close to the end of the pipe.

These engines do love high compression, and for your power goals, it will help, and help keep good low end torque with the cam you will need. Your best bet is to shave .100" off the deck of the head, and use the thin head gasket I think from summit, if not its in jegs catalog.

will also want to do some surgery in the combustion chamber, the material around the intake valve is very obstructive to the flow, and making it flow away from the valve by about 5-10 degrees it will give you about 7% better flow on the intake side. I tested this on a flow bench, the numbers are real. I used an 80* valve seat cutting tool for mine.

1991 Mustang LX 2.3L 5 Speed convert
1989 Ranger 4X4 2.5L 5 Speed solid Dana 30 front axle, 4.5" suspension lift, 3" body. ( blown up....)
Entire turbo kit waiting to be used again.
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post #3 of 40 Old June 12th, 2014, 12:35 AM
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It would be easier to turbo it than supercharge it for the simple fact that parts are more readily available. Since they were offered with a turbo from the factory in earlier years.

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post #4 of 40 Old June 12th, 2014, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel89us View Post
I haven't read the whole post, but in the first section, ill let you know that if you want any hp, you have to get away from that stock auto trans. I'll answer questions as I read through.

---------- Post added at 11:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 PM ----------

For the power you want, I will suggest a few things, the speedway header, Boport Racing Heads (Powered by CubeCart) for the cam, I personally would choose the stage 2.9, and buy the whole top end kit, its worth the money.

Use the stock airbox, with a k&n filter, strait tubing, I use 2 1/4" because its the same size as the throttle body opening. Run 2.5" exhaust, decent muffler, high flow cat, I would put another resonator in, like a glass packed muffler just to even out the tone, close to the end of the pipe.

These engines do love high compression, and for your power goals, it will help, and help keep good low end torque with the cam you will need. Your best bet is to shave .100" off the deck of the head, and use the thin head gasket I think from summit, if not its in jegs catalog.

will also want to do some surgery in the combustion chamber, the material around the intake valve is very obstructive to the flow, and making it flow away from the valve by about 5-10 degrees it will give you about 7% better flow on the intake side. I tested this on a flow bench, the numbers are real. I used an 80* valve seat cutting tool for mine.
Dang you respond fast!

Well, for starters, I would imagine we would be talking about this header correct?
www.speedwaymotors.com

Secondly, did you mean stage 1.9? Because the site only has 2.5 and 3, and for some reason 2.9 sounds a bit big (but they go all the way to 4 so what do I know... I thought 3 was the highest before)
www.bo-port.com

Now as for the Exhaust, I would imagine that it would go from the 3" collector to a 2.5" the whole way back to the bumper? Thats no real problem except I may need to figure out how to bend the pipe that goes up over the axle after the muffler cause I can't seem to find one to buy. I'll keep looking for that though... perhaps just the left side of a 5.0L exhaust would work?

As for shaving the head, I am guessing I will have to locate a shop to do something like that because after watching this, I know I don't have the tools to do that...

Head gaskets looks like your talking about this one perhaps?
www.jegs.com

For the combustion chamber and intake valve, For the valve kit you mentioned, I will have to also shave it out to fit bigger valves as well right? So I would probably do these at the same time I would assume? Would that 80* valve seat cutting tool do both of these? Obviously I have never done these things before.

Edit: Never mind, I just saw that they offer stock valves... how silly of me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juice_man_86 View Post
It would be easier to turbo it than supercharge it for the simple fact that parts are more readily available. Since they were offered with a turbo from the factory in earlier years.

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I know, but like I said, that would be WAY off (like 5 to 10 years down the road) so It would literally just be a fun project to keep me busy by then. That and it would be a heck of a machine supercharged!!!

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post #5 of 40 Old June 12th, 2014, 11:15 AM
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Yes that header, and this gasket http://www.summitracing.com/parts/cgt-c4481-030

Also you have to think about your injection, you will need at least 25# injectors, and a tuner.

If they only have the 2.5, then yes that's the one. The 1.9 is a really aggressive low lift cam, and will run great but it will lack bottom end torque.

1991 Mustang LX 2.3L 5 Speed convert
1989 Ranger 4X4 2.5L 5 Speed solid Dana 30 front axle, 4.5" suspension lift, 3" body. ( blown up....)
Entire turbo kit waiting to be used again.
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post #6 of 40 Old June 12th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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To add to this discussion, I would like to throw in a few suggestions;


As Mike suggested, you need a fuel system to support more HP on the engine. Ideally, a tuner (Moates Quarterhorse + software). I would strongly suggest you work on this first.


Don't take this advice lightly and try to perform your mods the other way round. Speed density fuel systems, like those found in your car, are hyper sensitive to changes in engine vacuum and usually respond poorly to modifications which can decrease engine vacuum; such as a cam swap.


In general, the stock 2.3L fuel pump is barely adequate for the stock engine and I would highly suggest using one from a 5.0L, which goes right in.

A mod that really works, which you could perform right now, would be to advance the ignition timing. I’d suggest 18-22 degrees of initial advance, if you hear knocking or pinging, back the timing off incrementally until all noise goes away. Grab a timing light and try it.

Another thing you can do, if you haven’t all ready, is to remove the intake baffles from within the stock air silencer. They impede intake flow noticeably.


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post #7 of 40 Old June 13th, 2014, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel89us View Post
Yes that header, and this gasket http://www.summitracing.com/parts/cgt-c4481-030

Also you have to think about your injection, you will need at least 25# injectors, and a tuner.

If they only have the 2.5, then yes that's the one. The 1.9 is a really aggressive low lift cam, and will run great but it will lack bottom end torque.
That makes sense, and I guess I will need a tuner... time to do more research...

Quote:
Originally Posted by OHC230 View Post
To add to this discussion, I would like to throw in a few suggestions;


As Mike suggested, you need a fuel system to support more HP on the engine. Ideally, a tuner (Moates Quarterhorse + software). I would strongly suggest you work on this first.


Don't take this advice lightly and try to perform your mods the other way round. Speed density fuel systems, like those found in your car, are hyper sensitive to changes in engine vacuum and usually respond poorly to modifications which can decrease engine vacuum; such as a cam swap.


In general, the stock 2.3L fuel pump is barely adequate for the stock engine and I would highly suggest using one from a 5.0L, which goes right in.

A mod that really works, which you could perform right now, would be to advance the ignition timing. Iíd suggest 18-22 degrees of initial advance, if you hear knocking or pinging, back the timing off incrementally until all noise goes away. Grab a timing light and try it.

Another thing you can do, if you havenít all ready, is to remove the intake baffles from within the stock air silencer. They impede intake flow noticeably.
So I should to a full fuel system upgrade first before I do anything else? I suppose that makes sense seeing as like you said, none of this will be able to keep up with these upgrades. Time to do some snooping around and see what I can find.

Real cars don't spin the front tires... THEY LIFT THEM!!!
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post #8 of 40 Old June 13th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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Yes on full fuel system, I forgot to mention that, but that's why OHC is the man to listen to! I just recently got a quarter horse myself, and love it!

1991 Mustang LX 2.3L 5 Speed convert
1989 Ranger 4X4 2.5L 5 Speed solid Dana 30 front axle, 4.5" suspension lift, 3" body. ( blown up....)
Entire turbo kit waiting to be used again.
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post #9 of 40 Old June 17th, 2014, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHC230 View Post
In general, the stock 2.3L fuel pump is barely adequate for the stock engine and I would highly suggest using one from a 5.0L, which goes right in
A little random, but going down through the shopping list today and realized... could a fuel pump from a 4.9L i6 out of a 94 F-150 possibly be enough to feed it? Its only a 10th of a liter off so I figured possibly it could work.

If it did have enough flow, would it fit? Possibly not but thats why I am asking... if its not a direct drop in and plug match then I won't do it.

I was just curious because I actually have one sitting around and I can't imagine it would be that much different.

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post #10 of 40 Old June 17th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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You can buy a 225lph mustang pump on eBay for $50.

1991 Mustang LX 2.3L 5 Speed convert
1989 Ranger 4X4 2.5L 5 Speed solid Dana 30 front axle, 4.5" suspension lift, 3" body. ( blown up....)
Entire turbo kit waiting to be used again.
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post #11 of 40 Old June 18th, 2014, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I was just curious because, if I had something that would work just lying around I might as well use it... but if it doesn't work then I will just continue along the original plan of action.

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post #12 of 40 Old June 19th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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I wish I knew where the spec book on fuel pumps was at work I could get ya a better answer.. I'll try to find the rating on the pump when I go to work.. If it don't work the 5.0 pump would be a great swap or even eBay or I've seen them on rockauto


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---------- Post added at 08:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

I wish I knew where the spec book on fuel pumps was at work I could get ya a better answer.. I'll try to find the rating on the pump when I go to work.. If it don't work the 5.0 pump would be a great swap or even eBay or I've seen them on rockauto


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post #13 of 40 Old June 21st, 2014, 10:05 AM
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I love the fact that you are doing your homework first. Too many people jump into a project feet first and end up with a project that never works right. Have you considered a turbo swap? I did it last summer and absolutely love it. All of the mods you are mentioning will serve the turbo 2.3t well also. Just a thought.

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post #14 of 40 Old June 22nd, 2014, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, I figured I would get all the details worked out first... Make a big shopping list... Acquire a large pile of parts... And then tear into it already knowing what to expect. I figure that way there will be less surprises along the way that could throw a wrench into the equation.

And as far as a 2.3T, yea, I have thought about it, but seeing as parts cars are few and far between here (all the junk yards updated there stock to just 2000 and later cars except one, and it only has 1/2 of a 5.0 Mustang) so the only one that has a parts car is me... And that one isn't a turbo... Now I know there are the turbo coupes as well, but I searched high and low through that junk yard and couldn't find one.

What I am getting at here is everything I would buy would be on EBay or otherwise off the internet, and I'm not so sure how much I would trust buying an engine... However if I find one I'll throw the link on here... Cause I am willing to try new things!

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post #15 of 40 Old July 3rd, 2014, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I did find this engine sitting on eBay. It looks like it is missing the turbo, that and it is a little expensive compared to what I have seen before, but what do you guys think? I looks to not have any computers or anything... just the bare bones engine.

eBay engine

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post #16 of 40 Old July 7th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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what are you gonna do with the vacuum lines that attach to the air box? I can't figure out where people are moving them.
sorry if this is off topic or in your way
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post #17 of 40 Old July 8th, 2014, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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I'm presuming that you are talking about doing a N/A to turbo conversion? I personally do not know seeing as I haven't done it. I also think I'm not gonna do it and I am just gonna stick to my N/A engines, but I am sure someone knows what you are looking for.
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post #18 of 40 Old July 9th, 2014, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Well, I did find this engine sitting on eBay. It looks like it is missing the turbo, that and it is a little expensive compared to what I have seen before, but what do you guys think? I looks to not have any computers or anything... just the bare bones engine.




If you are going to stick with an N/A platform, then the turbo engine won’t do you a lot of good anyway. Although turbo pistons were forged from the factory, they’re going to lower compression on your engine and that’s going in the wrong direction. I would think it would be more worthwhile for you to search for a junk yard 2.5L bottom end out of a Ranger and then search for some forged flat top pistons for the 2.5L, or even better, have some pistons cut down to allow for minimum deck clearance.

Esslinger sells 2.5 pistons for stock length 5.2" rods as well as 5.7" long rods. The pistons they sell can withstand immense abuse.


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post #19 of 40 Old July 14th, 2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHC230 View Post
If you are going to stick with an N/A platform, then the turbo engine won’t do you a lot of good anyway. Although turbo pistons were forged from the factory, they’re going to lower compression on your engine and that’s going in the wrong direction. I would think it would be more worthwhile for you to search for a junk yard 2.5L bottom end out of a Ranger and then search for some forged flat top pistons for the 2.5L, or even better, have some pistons cut down to allow for minimum deck clearance.

Esslinger sells 2.5 pistons for stock length 5.2" rods as well as 5.7" long rods. The pistons they sell can withstand immense abuse.
Yea, I kinda figured that... what I was thinking about doing in the way off future was possibly rebuilding this engine with forged internals and possibly doing a turbo/supercharger upgrade (depending on fab skills and money by then)

That also would include doing bottom end work like the crank and other stuff then, but for now I think I want to stay out of the bottom end and just stick to modifying the top end. I would also prefer to not have to pull the pistons this time around because I really don't want to have to yank the engine. However that is really good food for thought...

On another note, since I am still doing research into the fuel system (want to make sure I buy the right parts the first time around) I was doing some research into fuel injectors and discovered something I wasn't thinking about earlier. I noticed that a lot of the injectors give the lbs/hr with different fuel pressures... makes sense. But then I got to thinking, if I use a 5.0L fuel pump what will that make my pressure?

So I guess the real question here is, will it matter? I noticed (doing more research) that both the 2.3L and the 5.0L seem to run around 30 to 45psi. Now that may be the max pressure the pumps are built for or the fuel pressure regulator holds them back or whatever... will running a v8 pump on a 4 cyl make the pressure double because its only feeding half an engine now or what? It may just be regulated, but I just want to make sure because I noticed that on one set of injectors (45lb admittedly but it was the only ones I found at the time) made a difference of over 15lbs/hr with just 10psi increase.

Now if it is all regulated and the 5.0L pump will just be capped by the computer until its needed, then this is all just a bunch of worrying nonsense. If it does make a difference though, and I get the 24lb I wont be flooding my engine out from the increased pressure will I?

Obviously I am more of a carburetor guy so this would all matter on a carbureted car... the whole Fuel injection computer system is still a bit of a mystery to me. I understand how it works but I don't know what all the computer on this car is capable of regulating.

Also, another side note, I noticed that the fuel injectors seem to fit a LOT of different engines... the ones i found on summitracing seemed to fit not only Ford but Chevy, GM (same I suppose), Mazda, and Volvo engines. Now I have heard of the Volvo head swap, but Mazda too? Are injectors just some sort of magical universal upgrade or am I missing something here? I ask this because I noticed a lot of guys on other forums talking about differing resistance and impedances when swapping injectors... now this was from a 5.0L to a 2.3L injector swap, but still, if I buy uprated injectors for the 2.3L engine I shouldn't have to worry about any of that right?

So many questions, so little time (last one for this post I swear). OHC230, you stated that I should buy a quarterhorse chip along with some tuning software to enable me to tweak the settings. I found the quarterhorse (wasn't very hard) but I didn't see anything in there about software package that came with it. It does say that it supports many different types of editors however so I went looking to see what I could find. After some research and saw some people said that Binary Editor is the software of choice with this system. What do you guys use? I am just looking at what will enable me to get this right the best way possible really.

Edit: Well I somehow missed the software and drivers section in the Quarterhorse website... I'm so smart...
But still the question stands, what is the best bang for my buck? I see that the prices range everywhere from 20 to 400 bucks... thats a bit much for me.

Edit of the Edit: After MORE screwing around I found that I can install that Binary Editor for free... but I have to register it to tune it... makes sense, but I don't know the cost... gonna try and find that now.

Real cars don't spin the front tires... THEY LIFT THEM!!!
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post #20 of 40 Old July 14th, 2014, 10:07 PM
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Its not too expensive for the license, I can't remember what I paid.

1991 Mustang LX 2.3L 5 Speed convert
1989 Ranger 4X4 2.5L 5 Speed solid Dana 30 front axle, 4.5" suspension lift, 3" body. ( blown up....)
Entire turbo kit waiting to be used again.
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