11 Guests, 0 Users

Author Topic: What can be done to improve performance?  (Read 1716 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Walston

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 2
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature
What can be done to improve performance?
« on: September 07, 2017, 05:58:37 AM »
My Gazelle has a 1980 Pinto 2.3L engine and auto transmission. It is 100% stock (except I replaced the fuel pump with an electric one) and has about 25,000 miles on it. It runs fine but I would like a little more power. What can I do to improve performance? Any and all ideas welcome!

Many Thanks
Walston

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 02:42:10 PM »
There are a few things that will add minor gains. I will leave that to those with N/A 2.3 specific experience (like Dick..., who I'm sure will chime in soon). Unfortunately those gains will likely be less realized with an Auto trans.  Lastly depending on where you live, and the smog regulations there, you might not be able to do anything.  Is the car registered as a 1980 (based on the engine), or is it older?  The registration (year) status and the state you reside will be helpful for us to know.

At least here in Calif. if the car is registered based on the 1980 engine it would be held to ALL smog aspects for that year. Here anything 1976 and up must pass a biannual smog test to register.

Offline Walston

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 2
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 08:25:32 PM »
I am in Ohio and we do not require an annual smog test or inspection.
Walston

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 09:36:44 AM »
Sorry but nothing I've tried over the years will really make a big difference in power. What will help is of course a good header and good carb such as a 38/38 Weber. But even those items will not make a 2300 into a small block V8. A really GOOD tune-up will help most 2300 engines. Make sure you have as much spark advance as the motor will handle. Sorry again, but any gain will be small.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 03:40:51 PM »
Dick, does advancing the cam help at all with these engines?  A lot of cars in that era were noted for retarded cam timing. I thought it might help raise the dynamic compression ratio a bit and add a little power.  On my daily driver 2000 Mazda Protege (dual cam) I advanced the intake cam 3 degrees and the ignition timing 4 degrees and the best word I can use to describe the difference is "Crisp."  The car went from feeling it was half a step behind to a half step ahead in acceleration. While still subtle, it was a difference maker in how the car drove. Many people say the Mazda 1.6 engine has little left in it to get out. What I felt I did was push the small cushion Mazda designed into the engine.  Maybe the same with the carb-ed 2.3's?

 Do they make offset keys for the 2.3 engine, or is it that you need an adjustable cam sprocket???

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 04:09:32 PM »
It would help with low end power but not a lot. Cheapest way would be one of those cam pulleys with 6 key ways. Speedway has them and I'm sure others do too. Best way would be a Ranger roller cam and the pulley. Ranger cam are noted for having more low end power and as a plus they run smoother too. Hear again I'm just stating what I have done in the past. Another way would be a rear in gear change. Car may have a 3:00 or higher gear now. I've run as low as a 4:11 in a street only Pinto. BTW I've never seen an off set key for a 2300L engine. Speedway does not show one in their catalog too.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 04:19:54 PM »
BTW I just read Walston post over and I must note that the carb on a 2000 or 2300 Pinto does not need or want any thing over 4 pounds of fuel pressure ever. Higher pressure will cause a drop in mileage, flooding or both. E-gay has many low pressure pumps.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Walston

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 2
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 07:10:29 AM »
Thanks Dick. This is exactly the kind of help I was looking for. I did have 9 psi on the carb from an electric fuel pump that AutoZone listed as a direct replacement. I went to a 3.5-4 psi pump and that certainly helped. I then advanced the timing using an intake vacuum gauge. It was 15 in Hg and I advanced it as far as I could and it is now 19.5 in Hg. Those two changes have helped a lot. I can see how a cam pulley with multiple keys would help.

I have a couple other questions.

I have read that changing the exhaust manifold to an early 90's Ranger manifold helps the engine breath. This is pretty easy to do. Do you think it would help any? Or maybe an after market manifold, both are pretty cheap.

I see Crane Cam sell a cam for this engine :H-260-2. Says it is for stock applications and improves performance. What do you think? http://www.cranecams.com/186-187.pdf 

I really appreciate the help and it has already made my little car a lot more fun to drive.

Walston

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 09:27:05 AM »
I really like the cast iron exhaust manifold from 80's / 90's Mustang that I bought off of E-gay. Its a tri-y type which has been proven to help low power. But if your car is never going to see anything over 3000 rpm it will not help much if any. I really think the Ranger cam would give you as much low end power with less $$$$ spent. The Ranger cams are cheap and never wear out due to the roller rocker arms. If you get one make sure you use the belt pulley off of your stock cam as the Ranger cam uses a wider belt / pulley on some models. Back to the exhaust question, just make sure you do not have any bottle necks in your exhaust under the car. I still think a gear change in the rear end would help the most to give you that low end power. Hope this helps.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Walston

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 2
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 11:55:21 AM »
Thanks for the help. Any specific year on the Ranger cam shaft?
Walston

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 12:10:28 PM »
Has to be an early one as they changed the rocker arms slot size to a smaller one. Those rocker arms will not work on a early cam. Do a search on here for more info. I got mine off of E-gay.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 03:56:22 PM »
The Ranger Roller cams sell with rollers for about $100-$150 on Ebay.  I sourced mine from Pick Your Part at a 50% off sale (now 40% off) and I think the cam and 8 rockers were $25 out the door. Their current (non-sale) price is $25.61 ($2 core charge) for the cam and $2.04 (no core charge) ea. for the rockers. They have environmental fees and state tax too. There is also $2 admission, the price of gas, actually finding the needed vehicle and the effort to get everything out.

  One of the big surprises is that the cam won't come out until you remove two Philips screws and a plate at the hard to access back of the cam. A tip I used was a Phillips bit driver and a vise grip to get in the tight area and with a prayer get the screws out without stripping the screws.  Another removal issue is getting the cam over the radiator cradle. Mine came out of a Mustang. Thankfully the radiator and accessories had already been removed. Regardless the cam hit the cradle. Some people jack up the engine, but being it was a self serve yard I just cut the cradle top on one end and bent it out of the way.  While not super important I still prefer to run the rockers on the lobe they came from. So, eight numbered Baggies help.

Putting it all together on a non sale day it is probably about $50 out the door, $30 on a sale day. Removal time depends on the state of the engine as found (what has already been removed) and your skill level. I'd say 1-1/2 hours to 3 hours. As the saying goes, "Your money or your time."

Offline Walston

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • FeedBack: +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 2
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 07:18:39 PM »
Very helpful. Thanks.
Walston

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 04:23:59 PM »
BTW the roller cam came in late 80's to mid 90's Rangers and Mustangs. Easy to remove except the upper core support may need some BFH to clear the cam. You'll need an offset screw driver to remove the plate that keeps the cam from moving back and forth. A mirror will help you see the screws. E-gay sounds better all the time. I've never seen one with any wear on the cam or rollers (so far). Take a look at your valve stem seals while your at it. Cheap insurance to change now.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

  • Pinto Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 725
  • FeedBack: +139/-0
  • Soylent Green

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Fifth year Anniversary Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Mobile User Linux User Windows User
Re: What can be done to improve performance?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 07:42:47 PM »
I think the roller followers for our 11/32" valve stems were used in '88-94 2.3 engines, but I'm not positive. After that they switched to smaller 7mm stems and the slot won't fit over the valve tip. Any of the Ranger 2.3/2.5 Lima roller cams up to 2000 will work.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.