Search



Go Back   MustangForums.com > Ford Mustang Tech > 4 Cylinder NA and Turbo
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search

4 Cylinder NA and Turbo This section is for questions pertaining to stock or modified 4 cylinders, including the performance 2.3L applications

Welcome to Mustang Forums!
Welcome to Mustang Forums.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!


Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-05-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
evintho
2nd Gear Member
 
evintho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Vehicle: Turbocharged 1989 Mustang convertible
Location: sunny California
Posts: 490
Default How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

Because this question arises at least once a week, I've decided to address the topic and hopefully the administrators will make this a sticky in tech so those wanting to know can simply click on a sticky post.

How do I turbo my normally aspirated 2.3?

You can install a turbo on a N/A 2.3 but don't turn the boost up past 5-6 psi. If you do, the pistons will disinegrate! And, even running that low psi, they probably won't last very long anyway! True turbo motors came from the factory with forged pistons. Forged pistons will take the heat and pressure of forced induction. N/A pistons are made of cast metal. They're very brittle and simply can't take the heat and pressure. So, if you're going to rebuild your motor, simply replace the cast pistons with forged units. You'll also need to fabricate some sort of oil drainback for the turbo. Oil is fed into the center section of the turbo from the top, circulates and drains back into the oil pan. 2.3 turbo blocks have a threaded drainback hole thats tapped into the block just above the oil pan to accomplish this task. If you have a bare N/A block, you can drill and tap this boss in the block and acquire the appropriate brass fitting to screw into it. The fitting can be found on any turbo block in the junkyard and occasionally they're for sale on Ebay. Another alternative is to tap into the oil pan, above the oil line and run a hose from the bottom of the center section to the pan. That's it for the actual shortblock. True turbo heads have a different combustion chamber and port configuration than N/A heads along with exhaust valves made from a stronger metal known as Iconel.

Turbo motors use a Vane Air Meter and larger 35# fuel injectors for fuel and air delivery. Both can be found in the junkyard or on Ebay. To provide the appropriate amount of fuel to the injectors along with the correct metering of air, you'll need the right computer. An LA2 or LA3, found in '87-'88 Thunderbird TurboCoupes with 5-speeds is the one you want. An LB2, LB3 and PE will also work. The LB series is for TC's with automatics and the PE, the most aggressive of all computers, is found in the Mustang SVO. The computers themselves are easily swapped. You'll also have to repin the wiring harness computer connector. Most people give up here because it sounds like such a daunting task! It's probably the simplest procedure in the whole swap. There are several websites that give you step by step instructions. To correlate with the new computer, you'll need an Air Charge Temperature (ACT) sensor. It threads into the side of the lower intake manifold. You can swap in a lower intake from an '87-'88 TC or drill and tap your existing manifold to accept the ACT sensor. In addition, you'll need either a factory or aftermarket boost controller to control your boost pressure. A good idea would be to add a 255 lph fuel pump to provide the additional fuel that's needed. Too many turbo applications have died due to lean conditions!

By far the cheapest, most thorough and simplest way to add a turbo to your N/A Mustang is to purchase a donor car and swap everything over. The first choice would be a '87-'88 Thunderbird TurboCoupe. They come with a factory 195 hp turbo'd 2.3, T5 and 8.8 rearend with disc brakes and 3.55:1 gears. All this can be easily swapped into a Mustang. In addition, you'll have everything you need along with a zillion nuts, bolts, fasteners, etc. There are many other parts that can be swapped into a Mustang as well. Interior pieces, suspension pieces, brakes, the list is endless. Here's the kicker. '87-'88 TC's are a dime a dozen, at least on the West Coast. $500 will get you a good running, high mileage TC. And as you know, 2.3's are pretty much bulletproof! The iceing on the cake is, what you don't use on your project, you can resell on Ebay or any of the message boards dedicated to 2.3 turbos. There's a good sized market out there for used TC parts. Your $500 will be recouped in no time!

If you can't find a '87-'88 TC, the next best thing would be a '83-'86 TC, followed by an '85-'89 Merkur XR4ti. There are turbo Cougars out there that are also good candidates. I believe '85-'86 are the years for them. Of course an SVO would be the ultimate! However, they're pretty rare and you probably wouldn't want to part one out. Below is a list of websites of both vendors and just regular Turboforders that offer tons of information. I hope this addressed some of the basic questions of turboing a N/A 2.3. It really isn't a very hard swap. If you have some basic mechanical ability and a good set of handtools, you can easily perform this swap. You'll learn a few things along the way and the sense of accomplishment you'll acquire will make it all worthwhile. Oh, and you'll be amazed at how quick you car is gonna be!

List of websites:
www.stinger-performance.com - wiring conversion
www.flemworld.com - wiring conversion
www.turboford.net - turbo 2.3 website
www.turbotbird.com - TurboCoupe website
www.craigslist.org - if you're looking for a donor car
www.ebay.com - all the used parts you could ever want
www.forced4.com - lots of 2.3 performance parts
www.esslingeracing.com - more 2.3 performance stuff
www.racerwalsh.com - even more 2.3 performance stuff
www.summitracing.com - cheapest forged pistons I've found - P/N - TRW-L2500F
www.rockauto.com - dirt cheap namebrand auto parts
www.boostvalve.com - aftermarket boost valve[/align]
This ad is not displayed to registered or logged-in members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Mustang Forums!
__________________
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

1989 Mustang convertible w/built and turbo'd 2.3.

evintho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
Jugador
5th Gear Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bangladesh
Posts: 4,836
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

short and sweet. i'll link this thread to the sticky up top. thanks for the effort
__________________
by the time you've finished reading this sentence, you'll realize you wasted like 5 seconds of your life
Jugador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 04:27 PM   #3
93whitelx
2nd Gear Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location:
Posts: 171
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

really helpful , i have though about doin this
__________________



~93 lx 4cyl
some mods
white mother of pearl

~84 gt
rebult engine
8pt roll cage
fuel cell
93whitelx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 05:53 PM   #4
sleeper_inc
6th Gear Member

 
sleeper_inc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 1988, Mustang, LX
Location: Regina Beach, Sask
Posts: 9,990
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

If I can't find a TC engine, I'll do this if I have the money, it is cheaper to get a TC then Turbo an N/A engine.
__________________
1988 Mustang LX
Ex 2.3 N/A car, built 2.3 turbo with LOTS of goodies! now I gotta find a rear end and a ps/pump XD

1989 Ranger STX 4x4
2.9L auto
274,xxx km's
tinted windows, 2 - 12" kicker comps with a 400.1X at 500watts
sleeper_inc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
EmperorOfChicken
5th Gear Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,170
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

WOW. thank you SO MUCH. this has been something I've been very interested and will probably be doing as a summer project starting in early june! Thanks alot man!
__________________
445 rwhp 393 rwtq

EmperorOfChicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2007, 04:45 PM   #6
pfs4life
3rd Gear Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 93 mustang hatch
Location: Jersey
Posts: 739
Send a message via AIM to pfs4life
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

can i use the stock trans on my 2.3 on the TC 2.3?
__________________
'93 mustang lx 2.3 (shelby)
pfs4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 07:25 PM   #7
sleeper_inc
6th Gear Member

 
sleeper_inc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 1988, Mustang, LX
Location: Regina Beach, Sask
Posts: 9,990
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

Whats transmission do you have?
__________________
1988 Mustang LX
Ex 2.3 N/A car, built 2.3 turbo with LOTS of goodies! now I gotta find a rear end and a ps/pump XD

1989 Ranger STX 4x4
2.9L auto
274,xxx km's
tinted windows, 2 - 12" kicker comps with a 400.1X at 500watts
sleeper_inc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2007, 08:20 PM   #8
pfs4life
3rd Gear Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 93 mustang hatch
Location: Jersey
Posts: 739
Send a message via AIM to pfs4life
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

stock 4cyl. auto
__________________
'93 mustang lx 2.3 (shelby)
pfs4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2007, 09:54 PM   #9
sleeper_inc
6th Gear Member

 
sleeper_inc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 1988, Mustang, LX
Location: Regina Beach, Sask
Posts: 9,990
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

You need an LB computer to run the stock auto trans
__________________
1988 Mustang LX
Ex 2.3 N/A car, built 2.3 turbo with LOTS of goodies! now I gotta find a rear end and a ps/pump XD

1989 Ranger STX 4x4
2.9L auto
274,xxx km's
tinted windows, 2 - 12" kicker comps with a 400.1X at 500watts
sleeper_inc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 07:47 PM   #10
Bansheeman6100
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 26
Default RE: How to turbo your normally aspirated 2.3L.

so, how do you think i would make more power, buying a TC, or building the N/A engine a little? and, will the stock rear-end out of a 92LX be ok?
Bansheeman6100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 07:47 PM
MustangForums
Ford Mustang




Paid Advertisement

 
 
 
Reply

Tags
1988, 23, 23l, air, build, compression, ford, lb2, mass, mustang, na, parts, performance, systems, turbo

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Advertising

Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
New Sponsors
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 PM.

© Internet Brands, Inc.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

This forum is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Ford Motor Company and is not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company or its related companies in any way. Ford® is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company
Emails Backup