We've had some great info on the 2.3 specs and changes through the years, thanks to all that posted.
Now, if you were to build a 2.3 for all around street performance i.e not a race engine how would you build? Assuming going in an early ranger/courier 2wd manual trans NA DSII or sim ignition for daily driver- sleeper.
Which crank/ rods/ pistons?
Which head/ cam/ valves?
Which intake/ carb?
Which exhaust man/ header/ pipe?
What machining, other than typical rebuild?
this is what I am doing now and am putting it a 90 ranger 2wd with manual 5 speed with OD, I am still looking for decoding of my block to get the year bracket.
Since the internals were already with the block and head but not assembled when I bought it. I don't know what brand cam but can give you the specs of what I know so far.
the block is approx. an 86 lima 2.3
bored 0.30 over
Lift is 270/270
duration is 218/218 at 0.50
printed and balanced
head,intake, and exhaust has been ported and polished.
The exhause manifopld is a factory header
the intake manifold is an EFI tuned port with a 2 inch rise adaptor and a 4412s holley 500 using a restrictor kit for the 4cly.
The idea was to put it in a 23 track "T" roadster. with a C-4 (which I still have) using an 800 stall converter.
I don't have the converter as I decided to put this outfit in my 90 ranger that I am restoring and am changing the track "T" to a "T" bucket with a SMB chevy ( that I had already had done up)
Until it is in the ranger an dyno'd, I have no idea what it will do, but the family I got it from said that the man said it would spin 13 inch slicks with no problem. A shame that he passed without finding out for himself.
This is what I have but it is a start. I am sure there are better ideas.
Won't matter which block, just a good idea to sonic test it before boring. Later blocks were thinner walls and had some core shift. .030 normally is no problem. ALL 2.3 engines used cast crank. Approx 89 & later blocks went to small journal. There is no performance difference between the two. Rods are all the same, there is no such thing as a turbo rod. Randomly thru the years ford produced some rods that did not have the oil squirter hole drilled, boss was there thou. Better to have the squirter for street. Resize, good bolts, Pioneer or ARP and have them bushed for floating pins if running aftermarket pistons.All N/A engines had cast flat top piston, turbo engines had forged dished top piston. KB pistons are better than stock replacement, cost a little more, SRP forged are better, and naturally custom are best, however a little pricey for the street. Go with the KB's.The best head was the 74 oval port, more meat for porting. The the later oval, and D port open chambers. After that came the closed chamber d port. Exception is the 81 - 84 ranger round port. Two versions 2.0 small valves, 2.3 had bigger valves same as all other 2.3 heads. The best stock intake would be a d port EFI w a Holley adapter with the carb mounted ahead of the intake centerline. Best stock exhaust manifold from the later N/A engines looks like a tri y. Stay away from the factory stainless header looking manifold, it does not flow as good. Of course a good header Automotive Component Engineering would be best. Good cleaning, take out the oil plugs and run a brush. Line hone mains, bore to mains and hone with torque plate. Pre assemble measure deck height of pistons and deck block for 0 deck. Decide what compression ratio you desire and cc and deck the heads to achieve it using a .045 head gasket.Camshaft choice is a little more tricky, solid or hydraulic, flat follower or roller, rpm range, type of fuel and weight of vehicle.More tech info @ Automotive Component Engineering
They have a cylinder head that Jack Roush used to make right at 700 hp in the trans am Merkurs.
Also, the turbo blocks are thought to have a little more nickel content to make them stronger. After miles and miles of use, the cross hatch from the hone is still present in the cylinders with very little cylinder wear. No one has proved the validity of this however. The blocks are super strong as are the cranks. Over 400 horsepower with no problems.
Also, Race Engineering, and Racer Walsh. They all have tons of information on these engines:
The only difference between the turbo and N/A blocks was the oil return boss on the pass side. The layout and composition was otherwise the same. The two alum heads are the raised port SVO and the ARCA head. The ARCA was the strongest and most expensive.
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