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Go Back   The Ranger Station Forums > Engine & Transmission Forums > Forced Induction

Forced Induction This forum is for ALL Turbo and Supercharger topics. This includes the 2.3L Turbo topics. Forum sponsored by Banshee Supercharger

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Old 01-22-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
mallardhunter83
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Default best 2.3 engine for turbo

I am building a vw rail and planning on using a 2.3 engine. wanting to build engine and run turbo. What is the best motor to start with (year and vehicle)? I am looking for something fairly easy to find, and not too expensive. Do i want carb or FI? What would be the best upgrades/ parts to use in a build to get max 250 to 300 hp? The more specific the better for me. Any estimates of how much a motor like this would cost me to build assuming i do all the work?

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Old 01-22-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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also what do i need for a computer/sensors since this is going in a sand rail?
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:25 PM   #3
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1983 thru 1988 Thunderbird turbo coupes came from the factory turbocharged. 1987/88 were intercooled, prior were not. These two years also were equipped with the smaller IHI turbo. Prior years were Garrets. I think all the Garrets were oil cooled, and the IHI's were water cooled.

1984 thru 1988 Merkurs. All were Garrets, water cooled, no intercoolers.

1984 thru 1986 Mustang SVO's. Highest performing of the 2.3 turbos. 205 hp. They were Garrets with intercoolers. Hard to find. These cars are becoming valuable for restoration, and not many are being parted out.

Mercury Capris had 2.3 turbo's for one year, 1986 or 87. Can't remember. I think also the Cougar for same amount of time.

These blocks in stock form will handle 300+ hp, and is easy to obtain.

Look in the technical section at the top of this page, and if you have any other questions, post them here.shady
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:36 PM   #4
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Seems like these engines would be hard to fine because the salvage yards get picked through a lot. If i were to get a ranger 2.3, to rebuild and put a turbo on, what would be the best (easiest and most economical) year to do this.

Will i use the stock computer from the ranger and piggy back something? or how would i do this since it is going in a rail buggy.

To get the hp i am wanting, what would i need besides forged pistons/rods?

I have no knoledge of the tuneing process, and have no experience with turbos. I just need more hp for my rail and i cant see spending 5 or 6 grand on building a vw motor that would max at 160/170 hp.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
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be aware that a turbo and sand dont mix, you sandblast the fins of the turbo and thats the end of it, get a good filter (not k&n) and mount it as high as you can to keep away from the sand. sorry k&n fans, ive used one b4 and when i went to service it and seen dust on the inside of the intake tract of my old offroad vehicle, i was not impressed. street wise, excellent flow, just had it in a remote location away from oncoming dust etc. all im saying is be prepared for the conditions your running. now if your building it for mud, just run it high away from the mud and rooster tails and give her hell! if your going to get the forged rods/pistons you might want to look into a higher performance crank that can take the beating and beef up your valvetrain, the cam may need to be ground as well, and im pretty sure the ports need some work too. try looking around at other builds and talk to the owners and see what you come up w/, 2.3T's are common from what im seeing.

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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not much sand here in alabama, mainly using for trail riding and climbing hills. If a turbo is not good for this application (i dont know) how much hp can i get without a turbo building the engine
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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good question but not much considering its a standard 8 valve pushrod engine, if you can find one w/ twincams and 16 valves you can get around 180 hp depending on the engine, ive done honda mods in the past and a b18 built up will get around 196 hp. ford wise im not sure havent seen a dyno sheet or anything. not trying to discourage you but the head needs to have boost cuz it wont pull as much fuel w/ the 8 valve heads as a 16 valve can. look at the other thread w/ the guy using the volvo head and youll see what i mean.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:54 PM   #8
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Cranks in these engines are capable of withstanding over 400 horsepower, so should not be a problem. To reach high horsepower levels, you raise the boost, step up the fuel system, and several differnt methods of tuning the computers depending on what the engine needs.

High power levels have been gained by using the Ranger roller cams. Exotic cam profiles are not needed, but are available. Mild porting on the heads is all that is needed with the installation of slightly larger valves. Not a big problem at all. Aluminum heads are available for these engines if you want to go that route.shady
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:34 PM   #9
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The 2.3 is a VERY capable engine. If you only want 250 hp, an 88 turbocoupe motor with a hacked off exhaust, and the T3 turbo @ 18-20# and a decent intercooler ought to get you there.

All pre 1996 (i think) 2.3 rods are forged. As shady said, you dont even need to think about a crank upgrade, you arent shooting for 600+ hp.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:50 PM   #10
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planning on getting a motor and completly rebuilding it, just wanted to know which engine would be my best bet on fairly easy to find, and best to produce high horsepower easily as in which has the most information on turboing and tuning, i can build motor but have no experience in turbo or tuning. Can someone send me a link to the aluminum heads. Are these just lighter weight? which vehicles came with the 16 valves?
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