Complete Overhaul - MustangForums.com

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Complete Overhaul

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:14 PM
  #1  
rfp117
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Default Complete Overhaul

I have an 89 Mustang LX Convertible 2.3L Automatic.

Transmission is shot. Engine has about 130,000 miles on it. I want to completely overhaul the drivetrain. New motor new transmission, but want something bigger than the 2.3L....like 4.6,5.0, 5.8. I really don't know much about this, I would be paying someone to do this for me. It was my wife's first car when she turned 16 now it is dead but she would like to keep it, so buying a GT or something is out of the question. What would everything cost to get me running again without labor, buying all new parts.

What are my options as far as for an engine for fitting this particular model?

Any help would be grateful. I am an IT guy and a noob at cars, just want to make my wife happy.

Thanks in advance Ryan
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:27 PM
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GreyStang
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

What condition is the rest of the car in, other than the driveline? Are you willing to spend $'s on it? If you want new replacement stuff the job could wind up running a couple grand.. how's that sound to you?

As for engine,, forget the modular V8's (4.6, 5.6) your engine bay wasn't designed for that. You could make one fit, but it would be easier to stick a 5.0 in there, that was a factory option for the car.

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:30 PM
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TwotoneVert
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

Well, welcome to the board. There are a mulitude of possibilities for the swap. You can A) purchase a wrecked donor car, and swap the engine, transmission, ECU and harness to your car. B) Purchase all new components, crate engine, new harness, new transmission, new ECU. C) Find used parts from a salvage or EBay, 351 engine, transmission, harness, etc. Keep in mind, if you purchase all new components, you are looking at acost, used parts that need rebuild will be a different price. The costs can vary, and will not be the same for any two cars, unless identical parts are used. As well, most everyone has a different idea or aproach when it comes to this type of conversion, so that will vary the cost. I would take a wild guess and say you could get everything done for around 5k. There will be some that will argue that and tell you that it can be done cheaper. Which it can, however, you have already stated you are at the mercy of a mechanic or shop, and labor is expensive. You have begun to do your homework, and read all you can find on this project. Options for an engine for this car depend on what you want it to do. Stock 302, bored 306? Stroker? 351? How much performance do you want?
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:56 PM
  #4  
vt89gtvert
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

My comments are going to be based on the assumption that you aren't looking for something to run 10's in the quarter, more like a dependable 250 HP stang... I would look for a wrecked 5.0 auto. Then you can transfer almost everything out of the wrecked and into your stang. I would look for years 89 and up because of the MAF(makes it easier to make more power later). If you can find a good parts car, then I wouldn't expect to spend more then $1500 or so to make the transfer or everything (Based on prices friends back home charge to do work). But I would definatly stay away from the modular motors, since that would require a good deal more work.
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:32 PM
  #5  
rfp117
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

Assuming a 5.8L 351 would I be able to get an automatic transmission to fit this?
Would this warrant a new rear axle, brakes, suspension, etc... since the previous motor was a 2.3L?
The car is is pretty good shap (body), work was done about5 years back (rust removed, new trunk, painted), and had a new top put on in late 04. Since the car is automatic I'd probably keep it that way since the wife refuses to learn, but I want to keep it fun for myself to drive too, but 240hp5.8 is plenty for me and my wallet.

My Grandmother works for a car dealership and is able to get parts at a discount...so everything will probably be new. I've planned that this will cost 5k+.

But a wrecked 5.0 also sounds like a good option. I've been reading as much as I can but its hard to find specifcs. Thanks for all your help thus far.

ALSO:
I've recently found a used 2.3L motor and t5 tranny for $300 with 75K on it already pulled. Maybe i'll just fix up her car with that and get myself a matching one. Let me know what you guys think.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:34 PM
  #6  
GreyStang
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

Well a $5K budget certainly makes for a comfortable build. Yea you could get new-everthing-installed for that. And yes if going the V8 route, (especially a 5.7?) you're gonna have to beef up the brakes & rear axle and suspension too as the engine is heavier than the 4 banger. Don't forget the cooling system too!

You need to make a final decision on what exactly you want, then the pricing can get more specific. Do you want stock V8 power, or more than that? Personally I'd recommend staying with a 5.0 as you can squeeze a lot of power out of them, and that engine was an option for your year car (it'll fit easily!)

Sticking with a rebuilt 4-banger & tranny,, chances are U can be back on the road for $1K. That's a standard tranny you found though,, price goes up installing the pedals, clutch ,etc...


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Old 04-15-2007, 12:17 AM
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vt89gtvert
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

There is a 351 section on here, but if you are looking for 400 HP or so I would reccomend going that route. Getting a tranny to work with that motor should be a big deal at all, but I would ask someone who has done the swap first.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:29 PM
  #8  
88droptopgt
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

With the 5k you can guy a nice used GT!
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:38 PM
  #9  
79_4banger_hatchback
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Default RE: Complete Overhaul

Definently go with a 5.8L

It will be powerful and fun to drive.

Stick with the automatic though, and 5k should be just about as much as you'll need.
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