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Author Topic: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3  (Read 422 times)

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Offline LesAlbin

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Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« on: February 24, 2022, 03:50:28 PM »
What is involved in replacing a 2.0 motor with a 2.3 in a '72 Pinto?  Easy swap or more to it?

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2022, 11:05:02 PM »

The 71/72/73 engine mounts need to be cut out and the '75 - up mounts welded in. It is very critical. I "test fit" seven times before I committed to welding. 65 Shelby Cobra basically did similar test fits. The distance from the radiator to the front nub of the water pump is VERY close. About 3/16". I run a front mounted "pusher" electric fan and no mechanical. The clearance at the steering rack is very close. I have the turbo/injection set up from a Turbo Coupe and yes, clearance at the hood is so tight I filed the intake/throttle body until I almost hit threads to clear the hood.

If you charge the trans to say a T-5 it becomes more complicated. Then the trans mount need to be reversed, slots filed and clutch cable elevated. And it requires the correct bellhousing too. The driveshaft might be an issue.

Here is a link to a two part swap where I put an '88 Turbo Coupe/T-5/8" in a 73 Pinto wagon. https://www.fordpinto.com/general-pinto-talk/so-you-want-to-build-a-turbo-pinto-part-1/msg76893/#msg76893 The link to part 2 is at the end of Part 1.


Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2022, 03:54:10 PM »
unless you have a turbo coupe doner car just stick with the 2.0.and spend your money on a solid rebuild and if you want performance build the 2.0

with minimal.upgrad es like a cam and improved carburetation like a ford 2100 2bbl you can get good performance and reliability.

a well built 2.0 can make up to 130 hp with minimal mods and revs.farther than a 2.3.

most drag racers prefer the 2.0 over the 2.3

also adding an adjustable cam pulley for 6 degrees advance, a pertronics ign system and re urved distributor makes a lot of difference.

in europe they used the 2.0 up to the 1900s and have some good stuff like fuel injection and turbochargers.

.check out iveyengines.co m  they now do 1600 kent engines but used to do a lot of 2.0.

they claim to be able to build a 2.0 to ford factory specs that makes 130 hp
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2022, 12:00:23 PM »
I agree. But considering he asked I figured I'd let him know what it took to put a 2.3 in an early Pinto. When someone askes about the swap being "easy" more often than not they are looking to hear "yes." But Ford didn't go through work they did to make the 74-80 Pinto modifications compatible with the 2.3 and the Mustang II for nothing. Unfortunately when questions are posed they often lack the intended purpose, the persons skill level and budget and thus it makes it difficult to advise.

Not that a stock 2.3 is a power house but the 2.0 seems to make its power in the upper RPM range and on the street for daily driving that might not be the best. And, the parts to do so are often expensive (comparatively) most coming from England. So, that would be my only opposition to staying with the 2.0. It would be interesting to see a drag race with a stock 71-73 2.0 and a stock, later 2.3 that was choked with smog devices and additional weight.

Offline PintoTim2

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2022, 10:30:50 AM »
2.0L with a turbo AK Miller exhaust manifold and blow thru carb!  Old School like 1970s cool.  Then add a Type 9 trans to give you a 5 speed & you are cruisin' in style.   I've Been collecting the parts for this  - I have a 2.0L bored .040 over, 8.0:1 forged pistons & 2.3L valves in a ported head (my buddy Bob Mc made it)...  I have run out of Pintos in the barn to put it in....   Might need to get a wagon ???   ::)

Or a 2.0L with sidedrafts.... .   That's real cool! 

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2022, 02:19:43 PM »
You asked for it.... 73 pinto 2.0 with 2 SU HIF side drafts on custom manifold.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline PintoTim2

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2022, 12:49:40 PM »
You asked for it.... 73 pinto 2.0 with 2 SU HIF side drafts on custom manifold.


That's AWESOME !   Love the dual "Y" custom manifold.  And in a wagon..  Very Nice....  Thanks for the picture!

If that's not motivation for a hot 2.0L build, you must not have a pulse....

Offline LesAlbin

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2022, 06:05:19 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  After seeing what has been posted I'm thinking I'll stay with the 2.0.  Probably a mild cam, headers, and perhaps a Holly Sniper EFI.

Offline PintoTim2

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2022, 08:04:11 AM »
LesAlbin,   I'm no expert, but I have some knowledge on 2.0Ls.   Racer Walsh has parts for the 2.0 and several cams.  Brian Walsh has been very helpful to me.  Just be patient, they are swamped currently.   The carb setup that alot of 2.0Ls end up with is a Offenhouser 4bbl manifold (2.0L - the 2.3L is different)  and a Holley 390.  Easy to set up and maybe almost as good as a well tuned sidedraft system (just not as cool....) - Probably the best bang for the buck....   Look for a Type 9 trans (Merkur XR4Ti) - it's almost a bolt in 5 speed replacement if you're into shifting gears.   Get one of Racer Walsh's adjustable cam gears - it's amazing what cam timing will do for you.  There's a good book on rebuilding the 2.0 - David Vizard's How to Hotrod your 2.0L OHC.   It's known as the "Pinto" motor in Europe.  Lots of utube stuff there.....

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2022, 07:29:22 PM »
i would reccommend a stock cam with a STEEL not alloy adjustable cam pulley, advanced about 4-6degrees for  better bottom end and it will stlll pull to 6000 rpm.

carb wise, use what the circle track racer and drag racers use, a ford 2100 2 bbl or ford or holley 350 cfm 2 bbl with an adapter to fit onto the factory manifold.

pertronics electronic module, facrory bosch distriburtor, vacuum advance removed recurved for about 14 degrees centrifugal advance, initial timing 12 -14 degrees at 1200 rpm idle max advance about 30-34 degrees at 4000 rpm.

a friend of mine in houston ran a pinto with a 2.0.with radical cam and stronger bottom end and pistons with a holly 500 cfm 2 bbl and would leave the starting line at 7500 rpm and rev to about 9000 down the strip.

also if you decide to do a 2.0, investigate reducing the port diameter in the head by about 25 percent to improve airspeed. some folks add about 1/4" of epoxy filling to the bottom of the ports.
when i built the  custom manifold i extended the runners into the ports about 1 inch right to 5h3 valve.

note the runners protruding into the ports
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2022, 07:32:25 PM »
another cool option
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2022, 07:47:52 PM »
also, dont be too anxious to install a high lift, long duration "facing " cam. t99 much cam can reall6 mess with low end torque and drivability.

the factory cam starts making power about 3100 rpm and the factory carb runs out around 4500.

advancing the cam and adding carburetion  can allow torque to start at about 2200 and will still pull to 6000. factory rods are rated at 6400 rpm.

i once had a 72 capri with a 2.0, isky .465 lift x 310 degree duration and holly 390 cfm 4 bbl.  even with 13 inch tires it was a dog starting out , carb and cam started working at 4500 rpm and would pull to 7000 rpm.

also with stock cam ( about .390 lift)  the 2.0 is a non interference engine, meaning that if the timing belt breaks there is clearance between piston and valves.

any cam with more than about .425 lift makes it an interference, that is the pistons  would hit the valves if the belt breaks.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline LesAlbin

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2022, 04:23:56 PM »
I was able to download the How to Hot Rod your 2.0.  Lots of interesting information there.

Offline PintoTim2

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Re: Replace a 2.0 with 2.3
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2022, 08:15:15 AM »
Also check out "Ford SOHC 'Pinto' & Sierra Cosworth High-Performance Manual" by Des Hammill.   I paid $65 bucks for a book, but it's available online too.   Lots of good info here.   Looks like most of the high performance 2.0L stuff I've been collecting is overkill for the street....   Oh well, maybe I'll still build an 8,000 RPM motor just because....