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Been researching engine swaps for my 1957 Austin Healey 100-6. Thinking about a 2.3 turbo with a T-5 transmission.
Lots to digest. Use an 87-88 Thunderbird 2.3 Turbo, Mustang SVO, Ranger roller rockers, Duratec etc??. Can anyone point me in a direction? What is the best combination of engine and trans? What is the most practical to buy these days? Can I even find the right combo as a whole car or they all in pieces these days? If EFI, I would need a donor car for the wiring harness and ECM. My desire is to make 200hp. The original Austin Healey engine and trans weigh over 700lbs and only makes 117bhp. Looking to lighten it up and make more ponies.
 

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King Trashmouth
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The 2.3T and a T-5 are a great combination for that kind of car. Although the 2.3 is surprisingly heavy for what it is, or at least that's my opinion.

You might be able to get your hands on a 2.3T and/or a donor car these days, but it's not as easy as it used to be. You might have to do a little bit of scrounging around depending on where you are. You might be able to scavenge one out of a turbocoupe, SVO/turbo Mustang, or even an xr4ti. If you have a general 2.3 harness, turbo or not, you can do a little modification to run whatever ECU you want. There's some minor differences between Mustang/Thunderbird/Ranger harnesses anyway.

If push comes to shove and you can't find a donor, you can also make due with an NA engine and some modifications. That's what I've had to do. The big differences (other than the exhaust manifold, turbo, and electronics) are the rods, pistons, and cylinder head. The rods and pistons are the big ones. You can run the NA head if you have to, seeing how rare the turbo ones are that this point. And to that effect while the 8 plug heads are more common at this point, the turbo engines were set up for the 4 plug.

As for combination, there is a great writeup and information from Stinger Performance here: https://www.stinger-performance.com/faq.html That will pretty much tell you everything you need to know. You can see there if you're only shooting for 200hp a pretty stock 2.3T with a good intake and exhaust will get you there, and that's with the lousy stock intercooler.

As much as I enjoy the 2.3T, in such a light car I would probably look more to a lighter, high revving NA all aluminum 4 cylinder versus the heavy iron 2.3. It looks like the engine comes in at 450lb with accessories, plus 75lbs for the T5, so maybe 525lb. I'm shocked that's lighter than the original engine. You can shave off some weight and pick up a whole lot of performance if you have the fabrication skills to do a Folvo swap, which involves adapting an aluminum Volvo DOHC head to the 2.3.

If you like the turbo four pot, there's also one of my other favorites, the Chrysler EDZ 2.4T. It's a lot lighter at 340lbs, all aluminum, very stout. Puts out 250hp in stock trim. Very well supported and you can drag them out of SRT-4s, Stratuses, and PT Cruisers (not to mention NA versions you can adapt as well.)
 
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