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V8 Conversion

 
  #1  
Old 04-25-2012, 08:49 AM
Brian Skinner
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V8 Conversion

I don't know if this question is stupid or not but I was just wondering on any 86-95 aerostar if a v8 can be put in place of a v6 (or 4cyl) and if there are any kits available? I have a 95 aerostar 3.0 a4ld. I am thinking about the conversion in another because I would like to leave this one stock. It only has 122000 miles, but I think it is highway miles so its got a lot of life left in it. I was just wondering if it is the same process as a ranger or if there is massive modifications. The engine is a 5.0 ho out of a mark 7 with a aod from that same engine. Any help or step by step process would gladly be appreciated because ive had no luck finding such information on various websites. Thanks Brian
 
  #2  
Old 04-25-2012, 09:56 AM
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There was a tread awhile back here in the Aerostar forum about adding a v8 into on, do a search in the forum for it.
 
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Skinner View Post
I don't know if this question is stupid or not but I was just wondering on any 86-95 aerostar if a v8 can be put in place of a v6 (or 4cyl) and if there are any kits available?
No kits are available, but as bertha mentioned, do a search from a year or three ago and you'll find the thread. This will take a lot of measuring, head scratching, cutting and home-made parts fabricating.
If I remember correctly, I made a comment wondering why the owner put a carburetor on a V8 Aerostar because of the extreme heat generated in such a small engine compartment. If you plan on doing this, see if you can get a fuel injected V8 in there, IMO.
 
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:24 PM
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:07 AM
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That would be a tight fit.
 
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:57 AM
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The 5.0L V8 can be made to fit, but you will need to trim some of the sheet metal around the dog house and reshape that, and you will have to use an e-fan a low profile type with a high CFM rating. Custom motor mounts, and a trans that can handle the torque are also requirements.
 
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:10 PM
Brian Skinner
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V8 Conversion

I was thinking of using the aod from the mark 7 that the engine was hooked up to or would that not be enough? My wife and I plan on both using the van which ever one that is. I plan on getting another aero in the future and was thinking on doing the transplant to that one. I am also planning on using an 8.8 rear end as well
 
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Skinner View Post
I was thinking of using the aod.
I am also planning on using an 8.8 rear end as well
Both of those should hold up with a mild 302.
I would do a mock assembly with the intake and the air conditioning, alternator and power steering in place and measure everything twice before attempting this. Also, there are some short water pumps out there that are almost a necessity for this swap. There are some good short front assemblies out there. Somebody might pipe in with a better one, but a belt assembly for a 5.0 88 Thunderbird would be a good start.

Out of curiosity, what is your goal for this finished V8 Aerostar? Looks? Towing? A nice V8 rumble? Performance?
 
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:45 PM
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I think we went through this before a couple years ago. The summary is that the v8 will be a few inches deeper than the v6, and because the tunnel tapers down toward the rear, it will have to be cut and widened to accommodate the additional depth. Also, with minimal widening, you can shoehorn the engine in place, but you probably won't be able to remove the spark plugs without additional widening.

Check out this page for the external dimensions of a small block Ford:

Kelly hotrod - Ford Engines Page 1

They also have link to transmission dimensions.

I think the 94/95 v8 Mustangs had shorter water pumps.
 
  #10  
Old 04-29-2012, 01:58 AM
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The general consensus is the for the time and effort you could put into this you could get a better fit, better performance, better results, by pushing more power out of an engine that fits, rather than making an engine that doesn't really fit work.

To start with, the engine compartment has to be slightly reshaped, so this is not a bolt in swap. Combine this with the trans swap that has to go along with it, thats significant expense.

The engine compartment will still be crowded, in fact more crowded than it already is. It will not only be harder to work on, but overheating might be more of an issue. So it probably won't be that reliable.

The weight balance is not an issue to take lightly. You are dramatically increasing the engine weight, which the sock suspension was not designed to handle. Add to this that the van is no even more front heavy than it already was, which can create significant handling issues.

Add to this that you might get all done and find out you can't register the vehicle (check your local laws on custom vehicles).

The 3.0L Vulcan can be bored and stroked to increase power. If you did port work, you could get acceptable power. However, the 3.0L Vulcan is a lousy engine to deal with from a performance standpoint. The 4.0L Cologne can also be bored and stroked, it responds better to such mods, and makes a better staring point. With the right mods, you can get a 200+ hp engine.

My personal favorite, not for the faint of heart, is the 2.3L turbo motor swap. Blow away what a V8 could do, is cheaper, and won't have the same heat issues. A stock 2.3L turbo motor is 160 - 190 hp at the crank. Thats about 140 - 160 at the wheels. With simple mods, you can get that motor to 300+ hp at the wheels, a lot more than you will get out of a V8 crammed into a crowded engine bay.
 
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:22 PM
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Installing a 2.3 liter into an Aerostar should not be difficult, since the early models came with that engine. There should be room for a turbocharger and even an aftercooler. However, you're definitely going to have heat issues if you do that, as it gets pretty hot under the hood already. You will need to provide lots of ventilation to get rid of the additional trapped heat, which is what a turbocharger will be doing.

Also, boosting a 2.3 liter engine to provide 300 RWHP is not going to help its reliability; you'll be stressing it out twice as hard as a 5.0 liter v8, which can easily get 300HP with readily available heads and cam. The v8 will make a lot more low end torque, which is more appropriate for a heavy van than a boosted small engine.

The stock transmission will not like either option, so a rebuild ore replacement will be needed for both.

Finally, no Aerostar ever came with a turbocharger, so it will be just as unacceptable as a v8 by the smog checkers.
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:17 AM
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A boosted 2.3L will have no difficulty at all. A stock 2.3L can run up to 450 hp on all stock internals. So asking a modest 200 - 250 hp would be ideal, couple it with the fast spooling Warner IHI that comes stock on a Turbocoupe (AKA the heavy car) which is suitable for that power level, and it will be a fast screamer. The turbo motor is still a 2.3L, so registering it as a 2.3L won't be hard, the turbo motors if they are in good condition burn very clean, so passing smog should not be an issue. the basic specs for how much power a 2.3L turbo will support is: 450 hp on the stock pistons, 480 on the stock rods, 600 on the stock crank, and 900 on the stock block. Of course you need lots of supporting mods to get anywhere near those figures, but 200 - 250 hp is easily done with only a small handful of supporting mods. Pretty much with 3" exhaust, run the boost to 18 psi, front mount intercooler, slightly elevate base fuel pressure, 250 lph fuel pump, and you are there, roughly 215 - 250 hp at the wheels, which is way more than the V6s push out. Plus its lighter, so its quicker and more composed.

If you run with a 4.0L radiator, heat should not be an issue, especially since the engine is less crowded, so you get more airflow around the engine.

It is true, a stock trans will not handle it, but a M50D (stock Aerostar manual trans) will work fine with a good clutch, and a beefed up A4LD will hold up well. Alternately you can swap a T5 in, but custom driveshafts and trans mounts would be needed. If you do a V8 swap, the M50D and A4LD are out, you are stuck with transmissions that will not fit well and will have to have driveshafts made. Either way, custom driveshafts is not the end of the world.

The A4LD is compatible with the AWD if you wanted to keep that system. The 2.3L turbo option is way better than any V8 option.
 
  #13  
Old 04-30-2012, 11:50 AM
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Khan is spot on, turbo 2.3L > any Ford V8 in an Aerostar. The turbo 2.3L is somewhat of an 'ugly duckling' in the automotive performance world but is absolutely no joke. I learned this years ago when a friend took me for a ride in his turbo 2.3L powered Merkur. At the time that engine was making ~400whp and the same unopened engine is now making ~650whp, note that is wheel HP. This is after many years of racing abuse and a lot of boost on a regular basis. I cannot wait until I have the resources to swap a nasty turbo’d 2.3L in an Aerostar.
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:12 PM
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I can see a 2.3 liter I4 boosted to 200-250 not being much of a strain, as that's what came in the SVO Mustangs. However, all the ones I know of had blow-by problems after about 80,000 miles of too much fun. My friends thought they were due to the low tension piston rings and looser fitting pistons that Ford was using at the time. One of them even had one souped up with a bigger turbocharger, putting out some 400 rwhp, as you describe, but he also had blow-by problems. Also, he's always having to re-tighten nuts and bolts, as the 2.3 liter I4 has some really bad vibratory modes, worse than a v6. Otherwise, that sure was a fun car.

I remember reading about the RS200 Evolution with the 650HP Cosworth 2.1 liter engine that terrorized Rallye circuits of Europe. But at full output, the engine only lasted about 10 hours according to Cosworth. I think even a 5 liter v8 pushed that hard will wear out faster.

I've driven Thunderbird Turbo Coups before, and most of them required a bit of revving and burning of the clutch to get off the line fast. Otherwise, it takes some time to get the turbo spooled up and really start moving the car. So in a heavier van, such as the Aerostar, you definitely have to tune the turbo for more low end torque, while keeping it from surging at the higher end.

If you're going to put a T5 behind a 2.3 I4, it would fit just as easily (or difficultly) as behind a 302 v8. It will probably live longer behind the smaller engine.

Around here, there are visual inspections as part of the smog check, so if they see a turbocharger in a car that did not originally come with one, they will not pass you.
 
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:22 AM
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Most of the blow by problems that seeming happen are due to faulty or aftermarket PCV valves, and to add to it, most of those engines were no broken in correctly in the first place, which contributes to more blow by as they engine builds up mileage.

My Turbocoupe was set to run at 18 psi boost, and had no blow by issues, even though it had 168,000 miles. Now sure you don't get boost right off the line, but if you have a manual, you can slip the clutch to help launch faster, and if you have an automatic, its a matter of setting up a torque converter with the right stall speed. If you get it just right, the turbo will spin very fast. A 2WD Aerostar is not much heavier than a turbo coupe. Its aerodynamics that slow the Aerostars down the most, but by the time aerodynamics become a real factor, you turbo should already be engaged.

For whats its worth, lots of people have argued that a turbo Ranger would not be any good for hauling weight because it would be too slow off the line. In reality, it works just fine, they haul a lot better than the V6 motors do. A loaded Ranger versus Aerostar is not that different.
 

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