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Replace a 2.0 with 2.3

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What is involved in replacing a 2.0 motor with a 2.3 in a '72 Pinto?  Easy swap or more to it?


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. The link to part 2 is at the end of Part 1.

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 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

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.

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! 


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