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Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Selecting the best motor
« on: January 31, 2013, 11:27:22 PM »
hello all,
I have a 75 wagon with a 2.8 and c-4. After tearing it down to determin overheating cause discovered both heads cracked between the seats. Also one of the pistons has collapsed and the cam is on its way out.
So, trying to decide best option for new motor or put the money into this one. I am not looking for a hot rod but more of a reliable daily driver but I would like to get the most hp for the $ invested. I would also like to go with a 5 speed trans.
I have read allot about the 2.3 turbo swap and V8 swaps and I know that they would provide the most hp gain but I would like to keep this as inexpensive and simple as possible and not involve allot of wiring and computer upgrades. I really like the look of a clean uncongested 4cyl. I would like to here from other members on their motor choices and upgrades, problems with the swap and if they would do it again.
Also has anybody tried to swap in a 4cyl Chevy into a pinto? In my research it seems to have a large amount of inexpensive aftermarket support and descent hp for the dollar? Just a thought.
Appreciate all input and information.
Thanks.

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 10:22:03 AM »
You can put a later 2.8 V-6 in , after all Ford kept importing the engines, into the late 80's. Merkur Scorpio for example. If you do any other swaps you will have to change the bell housing etc at least. As for the Chevy 4 banger which engine ? The quad 4s where computer controlled. You could just do a Ranger 2.8 and up V-6 without having to make any real changes.I do not know if the 4.0 the latest and greatest V-6 will fit.You could use a same year V-8 without to much trouble because the V-6 had heaver springs in the front , rear  and 8" rear end etc.The only thing would be the exhaust headers etc. I think the engine mounts are similar.
As a side note 2.8 heads are still out there and so is the rest of the parts for a rebuild it might be more cost effective to get uncracked heads and rebuild the engine.

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 10:44:36 AM »
think a couple of guys on here have some 2.8 motor parts they would be willing to sell and help you out.
 
1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
1978 mercury bobcat wagon 2.3l - soon to have a 88 tc drive line
1975 ford pinto - drag car - 2.3l w/t5 trans - project car

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 11:52:30 PM »
Thanks for the input on my questions.
I know that there will be some modifications for any motor swap to some degree. I really don't want a v8 the v6 fills the engine bay as it is so I would assume a v8 will only make things more difficult to access. I am looking more toward simplicity and ease of service than lots more hp.
I have been looking into the difficulty of installing a Chevy 153 or mercruiser 181 4cyl into the pinto. These motors are basically a 250 in line 6 with the two rear cylinders removed from the casting. They use the same bell housing as a small block Chevy so trany selection is wide open. Very durable motor with lots of aftermarket support. Anybody ever considered this swap??   

Offline johnbigman2011

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 11:57:34 PM »
What transmission do you have it it trhe C3?
1972 Trunk Model..... Yeller Feller
1979 Wagon Turbo.... 85 2.3 Turbo
1923 T- Bucket ...... 2.0 Pinto Powered
F 250 Redneck Lincoln .... Pinto Picker upper

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 12:20:02 AM »

(What transmission do you have it it trhe C3?)
It has a c4. But I would like to go with a T5

Offline johnbigman2011

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2013, 12:24:41 AM »
I have a complete 2.3 and trans sitting in the garage that I could make you a good deal on.. Are you close to Houston Texas by chance?
1972 Trunk Model..... Yeller Feller
1979 Wagon Turbo.... 85 2.3 Turbo
1923 T- Bucket ...... 2.0 Pinto Powered
F 250 Redneck Lincoln .... Pinto Picker upper

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 01:29:15 AM »
(johnbigman2011
I have a complete 2.3 and trans sitting in the garage that I could make you a good deal on.. Are you close to Houston Texas by chance?)
Thanks for the offer jonbigman2011 but I am in northern Ca.

Offline johnbigman2011

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 01:39:07 AM »
Just trying to keep another Pinto on the road, is all we try to do here. Sometimes looking for parts is half the fun of owning one for sure.
1972 Trunk Model..... Yeller Feller
1979 Wagon Turbo.... 85 2.3 Turbo
1923 T- Bucket ...... 2.0 Pinto Powered
F 250 Redneck Lincoln .... Pinto Picker upper

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 01:47:32 AM »
johnbigman2011,
Is the motor in your avatar in a wagon? 

Offline johnbigman2011

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 02:51:58 AM »
Actually that motor is in my trunk model... 72. I do have a 79 wagon with the 85 turbo coupe and 5 speed.
1972 Trunk Model..... Yeller Feller
1979 Wagon Turbo.... 85 2.3 Turbo
1923 T- Bucket ...... 2.0 Pinto Powered
F 250 Redneck Lincoln .... Pinto Picker upper

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 02:55:39 PM »
johnbibman2011,
How do you like the turbo motor in the wagon? What were the problem areas in the swap? Is the motor fairly easy to access for maintenance? Would you do it again?

Offline DreamBean

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 05:02:58 PM »
Mercrusier? Now you have my attention.What Intake & Exhaust manifold would you use?  (not a boat person, Sorry) Water pump? Tried doing some research on this motor for a car, But not much luck. C3 or C4 bolt up to it? How bout a T5? What about cam options?
Go Ford, Go Fast Or Go Home!

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 11:52:25 PM »
The 181 Cid 140 hp Mercruiser engine is based on the old 153 Ci Chevy that was used in the 60's in Chevy II and Nova. It is basically a 250 Chevy straight 6 with the last two cylinder castings removed from the mold. It uses the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the small block so almost all GM trany's from powerglide to t-5 will bolt up to it. The Mercruiser is a heaver duty version with more counterweights in the crank and a better flowing head with individual intake and exhaust ports instead of the Siamese style on the 153 head. This engine has been used quite a bit in the oval dirt track racing circuts that limit the Ci displacement of the engine. The motors are very durable and have no issues with cracking heads, overheating or oiling problem's. The Mercruiser is rated at 140 hp @ 4800 rpm in a boat application but with a few modifications 200 hp could be possible. Clifford products and others make aftermarket headers and intake manifolds for this engine. With some modifications you could even install a small block Chevy head on this.
I was looking for a simple yet reliable motor for my wagon and ran accost this thread in another forum.
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=651235&showall=1
I don't know what modifications would be needed to fit this in the pinto but it seems like it would offer a very good alternative to the Ford options.
Would like to get some feedback on this.

Offline johnbigman2011

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 12:41:51 AM »
75 Wagon, that is interesting for sure.. As far as my turbo and t5 in the wagon it is a blast to run around in... All the power you could need and plenty more available with bolt ons and such.. Parts are pretty easy to come by as well.


The most trouble I hear of people installing them in the pintos are the wiring..., I was fortunate and purchased mine already installed.

But the boat motor would be a cool discussion point for sure. Heck I'm running a 2.0 pinto motor in my 23 T with a soon to be AK miller turbo set up on it.

John
1972 Trunk Model..... Yeller Feller
1979 Wagon Turbo.... 85 2.3 Turbo
1923 T- Bucket ...... 2.0 Pinto Powered
F 250 Redneck Lincoln .... Pinto Picker upper

Offline Grumpy

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 01:29:32 AM »
75Wagon 2.8

I think the Mercruiser they are talking about is the 3.7 liter(230 ci) 470 series 4 cylinder inboard engine. It is based on the internals of the 429/460 Ford in a Mercruiser aluminum block. The heads, pistons, rods, timing chain, lifters and flywheel were off the shelf Ford Big Block parts(well the flywheel was a 5.0). Only the block, crank, water pump and cam were unique to the 470. They were rated at 150-188 hp. And they bolt up to a Chevy smallblock bellhousing. With an aluminum 460 head the whole motor weights about what a 2.3 does and can be made to make about 300 hp naturally aspirated(oh, with 300-400 ft lbs of torque from 2000 to 5500). It's a very big four cylinder


[size=78%]


To give you an idea of the level of power available I would point out that the manifold on the right carried a spread bore Q-jet 750, the same carb GM used on a lot of engines over 400 ci. And that's before you mount a Boss 429 head on it, a Sawed Off Shotgun, so to speak! Sounds like fun to me.


Grumpy[/size]
79 Pinto Hatch, Yellow w/White Pony stripes, Pony wheels, 6650 miles

Offline 75Wagon 2.8

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Re: Selecting the best motor
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 09:37:14 PM »
Grumpy,
The 3.7 Merc is another option but I was looking at the 3.0. The 470 is a combination of chevy, ford parts and would require more modifications to put in pinto but it can be made to put out some power.