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Offline rowdyrunabout

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cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« on: July 03, 2018, 05:08:13 PM »
OK- thanks to friends on the forum- got the wiring and fuel straight on my swap= 84 turbo tbird 2.3 into 76 runabout.
Runs good, but has a little hesitation. I think it is in the vacuum connections- I'm guessing a little. I need a diagram of the vacuum connections but haven't found a good one on the net. That's really not critical right now---- doesn't want to cool. I used a 5 blade fan and a new pinto AC rated radiator with with AC shroud. I used a fan extension getting the fan to about an inch of the rad. I changed the stock thermostat to a 160, so I could see if it was cooling without getting too far. It just doesn't cool. there isn't even a hesitation at 160. It just keeps climbing. MY big question... Is a pinto rad sufficient for a turbo swap??? Oh has a new water pump and it builds pressure- so I think it's good. Anybody ran into a similar prob.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 06:42:11 PM »
I'm assuming by your picture the car has the 20" (large) Pinto radiator.  I had to adapt from a 17" to a 20".  Being my car is a '73 there is barely any clearance between the front pulley bolts and the radiator (it's a LOT tighter than the image shows). So, no engine fan. I have about a 16" electric fan that is in the less desirable "pusher."


 Ironically I almost seem to have the opposite problem. Unless I'm in a long idling situation my car seems to run too cool. I'm not sure how accurate the gauges are. I adapted the Turbo Coupe gages and connect them through what I believe is the 10 volt gage regulator also from the T/C. Anyway, I hope that is correct and reading properly.


Whatever the real situation temp wise I don't have boil-over and thus I assume everything is cooling properly.  To that end I rarely hear the cooling fan go one.

Offline rowdyrunabout

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 08:02:53 PM »
yes- I have the large radiator. So from your situation- It will work. I'm going to change the water pump. The five blade fan that I have is from a Fairmont with a 6. It should be plenty. uses up the entire shroud. The only other thing I can think of is maybe I have something wrong with the cooling lines. I copied off of the donor tbird plumbing. I have a drawing, but can't scan right now. flows water outlet to turbo "t"off and on to heater core, out heater core to oil cooler. intake comes out and ties to oil cooler. then line comes out of cooler and goes back to the water pump. Of course I'm ignoring the rad out/in. even I can't mess that up. Not sure that makes sense or not.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 09:32:41 PM »
Yea, my heater/turbo cooling lines are a conglomeration of copper 1/2" tubing and short pieces of hoses with a BUNCH of hose clamps.

Regarding the shroud I've heard that you want a portion of the fan sticking out sticking out. I think about a third of the blade. So, it MIGHT be helpful to trim it if needed.  I don't get it, some cars have a small radiator, two blade fan, minimal shroud (Hummm..., sounds like a 2.0 Pinto) and cooling is not a problem. Other cars you do EVERYTHING and it barely seems to help.

On my 318 Valiant I went from a factory 7 blade fan to a 2" smaller, 5 blade fan and I was shocked at how fast the car overheated. Now I have a HUGE multi blade fan, a shroud and an oversized radiator. Overheat is NOT in that cars vocabulary.  As far as the Pinto goes maybe I'm just fortunate.  The 350 SBC in my '64 Studebaker Daytona also runs a pusher only (no engine) fan and as long as I'm moving it is fine. But get stopped too long, too often and it is a struggle to cool even with a 16" electric fan.

Offline Rawdawg510

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 08:11:53 PM »
I'm assuming by your picture the car has the 20" (large) Pinto radiator.  I had to adapt from a 17" to a 20".  Being my car is a '73 there is barely any clearance between the front pulley bolts and the radiator (it's a LOT tighter than the image shows). So, no engine fan. I have about a 16" electric fan that is in the less desirable "pusher."


 Ironically I almost seem to have the opposite problem. Unless I'm in a long idling situation my car seems to run too cool. I'm not sure how accurate the gauges are. I adapted the Turbo Coupe gages and connect them through what I believe is the 10 volt gage regulator also from the T/C. Anyway, I hope that is correct and reading properly.


Whatever the real situation temp wise I don't have boil-over and thus I assume everything is cooling properly.  To that end I rarely hear the cooling fan go one.

I have a 71 pinto I am currently swapping what radiator fits with little to no mods I tried a 1974 mustangii and it would hit the pulley bolts?
1965 Ford falcon
1971 Ford Maverick
1971 Ford Pinto
2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 04:14:59 PM »
For the 71 pinto radiator... i had a small.leak solderedon my my radiator and when I went to my radiator guy i asked him to guess what it was from and he guessed it was from an early mustang.. i told him it was from a pinto and he said they were the same...... however i have a 3 row radiator with a 16 inch electric pushed fan and it cools adequately.  Tried a 2 row and it is insufficient.  Both work too well with the factory 2 blade engine driven fan.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 09:04:12 PM »
I have a 71 pinto I am currently swapping what radiator fits with little to no mods I tried a 1974 mustangii and it would hit the pulley bolts?

You can see in the Reply #2 that my 73 Pinto (should be the same as a 71) has the bolts just miss the cross rod on the factory 20" radiator by no more than 1/4."  Also, as a point of reference the upper back edge of the '88 die cast aluminum valve cover is 1-3/4" from the firewall. If you have a stamped steel cover the rounded edge might make not measure as accurately.

 The 2.3 in the 71-73 Pinto's is very tight. Both 65 SC and myself had our engines in/out roughly 7 times before we commited to welding the mounts.

Offline Rawdawg510

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Re: cooling a 2.3 turbo swap
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 07:44:04 PM »
The thing is someone already installed the 2.3 before me and I just used the same mounts they used. The rear of the valve cover is really close to the firewall tho. I might try an aluminum 2 row for a mustang and try to get a slim push style fan
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