Is my idea worth a hoot? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums


Is my idea worth a hoot?

Old 04-29-2011, 07:38 PM
TufTruk90 is offline
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Is my idea worth a hoot?

I will apologise now as this is my first post ever. And its long.

For starters, my daily go-getter is a 1987 standard-cab short box ranger. I built a nice little n/a 2.3 to replace the motor that came in it, which was a poor little 2.3 bored over .060 with a warped head. Mine I built with a '88 mustang block and head, a '70s intake and holley/weber 32/36 and a long tube header out of a fox. I also got a late roller cam and swapped it in. I have the TK-5 trans and 3.45 gears. I run 225/70/14 and with all this I get about 20mpg average, but that is a fair bit interstate and trailering (read: lots of too fast and some of too heavy). The way I have it figured, I weigh about 3500Lbs on a given day, and the way I have it built I'm at maybe 125hp. 130 if I'm lucky. But thats just a guess. So my power to weight is like 28lbs/hp. This thing also really hates wind, but it is shaped like a brick.

I've toyed with the idea of the jeep axle swap and seeing if I could do it without any lift the keep the truck highway friendly but gain a sold front and a little tracking width. And 3.55 gears which I think would run great with the M5R1 which has a little steeper Overdrive. Plus that nice low range for jockeying trailers

Now, I have read many (but no where near all) of the ranger and 2.3 threads here and elsewhere. I like the idea of megasquirt, specifically the latest version that supports full sequential fuel. I have all the efi manifolds and whatnot from the 88 stang motor, and I cam build a cam sensor out of a distributor I bet, so there's that. I would like to get a power to weight ratio of like 16lbs/hp, which sounds like a huge leap, but when you look at it, its not close to some of these foxes running around, albeit I'm a lot heavier. So, my goal is 250hp or so. I really like these little Lima's, so I have started a small collection. I got my hands on a 2.5 rotating assmebly, and some newer motors with more roller cams and the 8-plug heads that I've read will flow pretty well with a little work and have nice sized combustion chambers. Now I start looking at turbos.

So the question is, given the time and money, with the forged pistons and rods needed to keep a low compression ratio, and roller cam in the .430 lift range, would a 250hp turbo 2.5L on pump gas be doable? Worth doing even? I know a ranger is no race car but a little more oomph would be awesome. I rack up a lot of miles so other things come to mind. Would such a build last a couple 100K? I want to keep the front end light so I'm not really looking at V8 swaps. This truck sees trailering and backyard soft spots, so is it gonna idle way high and cause crawling issues? MPG gains given my right foot doesn't get any heavier?

Am I crazy?

I'm sorry guys I know its a long post but from what I've seen this is the place to go for knowledgeable advice. Maybe someone's built a motor like this and I just haven't found it yet. Maybe someone has done a stock ride height SAS, but that's for another time and place.
Old 04-29-2011, 11:38 PM
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Ziegelsteinfaust is offline
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I would say up to roughly 250HP on a 2.3 Ford would be quite easily done, but getting closer to 300 or over one would need much more work.

I base this on what I have seen people I know go thorough with 1.8 gti's. While yes smaller they were built to be turbo'd, and the aftermarket is there for them.

One thing I would do is try get ahold of a turbo grind cam. Comp has them for many V-8's so they probily could give you a generic one that would be lots better then a typical performance cam.

Have you heard of Esslinger eng? They specialize in the 2.0-2.3 motor.
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