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Author Topic: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!  (Read 1923 times)

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Offline dianne

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Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« on: May 16, 2015, 09:40:07 PM »
Found a 2.3 Turbo from a Thunderbird. It's been sitting for 3 to 5 years after a rebuild supposedly. Fill it with some oil and hope it doesn't scratch anything I guess. I'm thinking that the 79 gets the 2.3 EFI that I redid for the wagon and the turbo goes into the 73 wagon. Finding a wiring harness is now the issue. Finding them online, but dang they are expensive as are the ECMS.

I'm going to start calling around and seeing if I can find something at a yard around here. Oh boy, found a Turbo for the wagon! That's my baby you know!

Picking it up tomorrow!
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2015, 10:55:45 AM »
This is what the wagon is getting :)

My new 2.3 turbo. It looks really clean, but going to do a refresh on it. This one is a winter project!
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 09:57:39 AM »
I hope I don't come across as obnoxious or arrogant, but here..., again..., is a link to my build. http://www.fordpinto.com/index.php?topic=11908.msg76893#msg76893 Likely relevant in this case because I also did the turbo engine swap into a '73 wagon.

A couple of additional comments; watch out for steering rack clearance. The 73 rack is a one year only item and the area of the pinion is rather bulbous. Do all alterations at your own risk, but I indented the oil pan and ground down a portion of the bulbous rack area before I felt comfortable with the (minimal) clearance. Be patient with the engine position before you commit to welding in the mounts to the frame rail.  Both 65SC and I have discussed that it was around 7 times we had our engines in/out before feeling comfortable to begin welding. You have the earlier engine where the throttle body crosses higher over the valve cover. Your probably going to have have some form of a hood scoop. Even with my lower '88 intake system and an engine as low as one dares to go I had to grind the TB/intake mating junction as much was possible and the engine still vibrates the hood at times.  The front pulley to radiator clearance is tight where as the later cars have about an inch more clearance. And speaking of radiators most concur that the 17" radiator in the '73's is too small for the turbo motor.

Anyway, one step at a time.  I just wanted you to be prepared because the 2.3 swap into an early Pinto is not as easy and a later one.

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2015, 10:35:48 AM »
Thanks and doesn't sound bad, like throwing a V8 in there also LOL

I am doing the 79 Pinto first with the EFI I built for the 73 wagon. Have the ECM and even the wiring harness. For the 73 wagon, there are a bunch of older Thunderbirds around also. I know I can get ECMs and harnesses easily. The car will be a winter project when the garage slows down I hope.

I've been following all the turbo conversions also, so I know I've got a ways to go on it now and I have to be careful each step of the way.

I bookmarked your thread of warnings also :)

Thanks a million!!!!
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 11:01:29 AM »
Oh and any feedback is appreciated BTW from anyone.

I have a good team at my garage, but too much work is coming in now :( I think it slows down in winter and why I'm going to wait. The 79 is a good test run for us :)

Dianne
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline 76hotrodpinto

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 11:16:42 PM »
What year is that one? It does look pretty clean!

 Popped the plug out of the front dip stick hole and plugged up the rear one, on mine today. Turned down a tiny titanium plug to stuff in there.
1976 half hatch 2.3 turbo w/t5.

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2015, 05:55:59 AM »
Hey I need a plug for one going in my 79 that was originally going into my 73 and being replaced by this one. I'm not certain of the year. I know, I was more concerned with missing parts and what it needed, like the turbo rebuild. I'll look soon since I now have to hunt down the ecm and a wiring harness. The engine supposedly has 3 thousand miles on it but sat for 3 to 5 years. It is clean, but I'm going to refresh it anyway and maybe have it hot tanked :)
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2015, 05:56:55 AM »
Hey I need a plug for one going in my 79 that was originally going into my 73 and being replaced by this one. I'm hoping I can just call the auto parts place and order one :)

I'm not certain of the year. I know, I was more concerned with missing parts and what it needed, like the turbo rebuild. I'll look soon since I now have to hunt down the ecm and a wiring harness. The engine supposedly has 3 thousand miles on it but sat for 3 to 5 years. It is clean, but I'm going to refresh it anyway and maybe have it hot tanked :)
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline 76hotrodpinto

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 10:32:05 AM »
I'm doing kind of the opposite. Putting in the greasiest high mile motor out of the bunch. I plan to do my learning on this one, then start putting in my rebuilt/shiny stuff as I grow more confident in my knowledge on turbos. Gotta say though, I'm as excited about the wc t5 trans. swap as I am about the turbo!
1976 half hatch 2.3 turbo w/t5.

Offline dianne

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Re: Found a 2.3 Thunderbird Turbo engine!
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 11:32:56 AM »
I'm doing kind of the opposite. Putting in the greasiest high mile motor out of the bunch. I plan to do my learning on this one, then start putting in my rebuilt/shiny stuff as I grow more confident in my knowledge on turbos. Gotta say though, I'm as excited about the wc t5 trans. swap as I am about the turbo!

I'm going to be doing that swap also. I'm watching your thread, so learning from you and the others doing these.

I'm pretty darn excited about this, wanted the turbo for the 73 wagon all along. The EFI I rebuilt with the ECM and wiring harness is going into the new to me 79.
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
- 1973 Ford Pinto wagon (registered ride 195)
- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
- 1978 Mustang King Cobra II
- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
- 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied