I figured it was time to put up some sort of a list. If you know of any parts or vendors I missed (prefer 2.3 liter specific vendors - NOT summit or JC Whitney) - please PM me so I can add them to the list. This will keep things tidy and in ONE post to read - not 3 or 4 pages. These are JUST engine upgrades. No brakes, no wheels, no suspension, no tranny, no differential.***PLEASE NOTE: This is a thread from 2003. Things change, vendors come/go, etc. Please use this thread as a BASE LINE for your performance upgrades and not the be all to end all. Thanks ***
I would prefer no OFF Topic replies at all to this FAQ style post. Thx.
1. Get your car in GOOD TUNE. I always suggest using Motorcraft parts, ie: plugs, wires, PCV, TPS, TFI/PIP - hoses, belts, etc. If you car is not in tune - it doesn't matter what amountof money and parts you throw at it .. it's not going to be a fun car.
2. K&N air filter (cone type). Dyno proven by one of our own (svoEric) to give a gain of 9 rwhp on back to back runs at the dyno. Remove the stock air box and put a K&N Cone filter attached directly to the VAM. 86 owners can also use a cold air kit to relocate their filers to the fenderwell.
3. Replace your stock BCS (boost control silenoid) with a Manual Boost Valve. Stock levels are 84-85: 14lbs, 85.586: 15lbs. Start off with it at 16-17 psi and work up with it from there. Be careful not to lean your motor out. The higher you boost - the more fuel you'll need - see: #5 & 6. 84-85 owners - you will need to disconnect your Boost Control Module as well (the gray box just below your BCS) when making this upgrade.
Joe P MBC
Ric Gillis Valve
3A. Compressor Bypass Valve. Please do a search for "Bypass Valve" as we've discussed it quite frequently. Currently - there's no vendor supplying a "bolt on" kit for using a Bypass Valve on your SVO. You will need a recirculating valve unless you use a Bailey's Blow Off Valve - it's really the only BOV that works correctly with our car's system.
4. EXHAUST. The cars love exhaust work. 3" Downpipe to start. Eliminate the cat (or highflow cat if you must pass emissions). As far as I know .. currently, SVPU, Motion Dynamics, and Tiny Avenger are all out of stock on 3" DPs. If anyone knows any difference - please PM so I can change this. ATR is expensive - and sometimes fitment can be an isuue. .. buy hey, they about the only game in town as of now.
5. Fuel Pump. The 84-85s have a dual pumps. One in the tank - one on the rail. The 85.5/86s have one intank pump. Neither set up will be able to keep up from here on out. Might as well get the biggest intank you get - 255lph high pressure. It's only a few dollars more than the lower pressure ones, but why buy it twice, right? Walbro makes a good 255lphHP.
6. Adjustable fuel pressure regulator. This will allow you to turn up the fuel pressure with the higher boost. It's a must. Also - get a fuel pressure gauge. Makes life so much easier knowing your pressure at a glance. Kirban makes the best bang for the buck for our cars.
7. Injectors/Computers. the 35lb injectors and PE should support 300hp in stock form. The 84-85 owners will benefit greatly by upgrading your stock (green top 30lb) injectors to the brown top 35s. You will also need to upgrade your computer to one that's calibrated to the larger injectors. The 87-88 TCs have an excellent computer. It's very easy to change over - to do so - 4 pins need to be swapped out in your factory computer harness plug. See this website below for instructions. Thanks to Lew (GT350R) for making these charts available to the public. If you HP levels start demanding larger fuel supply (close to or over 300hp levels) - then look into the EEC tuner (piggy back style) or some form of stand alone management set up - ie: SDS, MOTec, Electromotive, Holley, etc - along with some larger recommended injectors (42lbers and up).
R C Engineering
8. Header or Ported E6. It's all about the $$ on this one - but they're all worth the effort.
9. Alum Driveshaft and Alum Flywheel. Reduces rotational weight. The theory is: for every 1 pound of rotational weight relieved from the drivetrain ... it gains back 2.5HP to the wheels. Dunno if it's factual - but they definitely increase the motors rev speed from mid to high end RPMs. The D/S is 6 lbs lighter over stock - the Flywheel is 10 lbs light than stock.
10. Cams. There's alot of them on the market. Try not to get caught up in the hoop-laa. Two types: Slider (flat tappet) and Roller. They both offer pretty much the same HP increases. No one has shown me any difference. The ROLLER style does add reduced friction and will wear better than a slider. It's also twice the price. Motorsport offers the A237 (roller) and A234 (slider). For cheap upgrades... a Ranger from the last 80s-early 90s use a Roller cam that will bolt on. For 84-85 owners .. the 85.5-86s had a bigger slider cam. Otherwise - opinons on cams will vary (greatly) from person to person. You also need to consider using an Adjustable Cam Sprocket so you can 'fine tune' your cam.
Boport Racing Heads
Crower Cams PN#24273
11. Intercoolers. The 87-88 TurboCoupe IC will bolt right on in the stock location. It's 40 CFFM larger than a stock SVO IC. The problem - it's still in the stock location. Front Mounted ICs will offer the greatest efficency. They don't increase HP - they increase your ability to effectively lower intake air temps - thus allowing higher boost without fear of detonation. Spearco makes a (some what) bolt on kit (big bucks)... or you can use many different JunkYard configurations .. such as ones from an Isuzu NPR, Conquest/Starion, or 944 Porsche.
Pic of small NPR
12. Ported Iron head/larger valves or Esslinger's Alum Street head. Prepare to spend money. It takes talent to properly port an automotive head so choose wisely.
Boport Racing Heads
13. Ported factory intakes. 85.5/86 style (can also be found on Merkurs and TCs - but you'll need the lower profile valve cover as well). You can port them yourself if you feel comfortable doing it or pay someone for the service. 84-85 owners that want to use the later style intakes will be required to drill/tap a new bolt for in the factory head in order to mount a box style intake. You will also need the 86 style fuel rail - the stock 84-85 rail won't fit the box style intakes.
13A. Larger Throttle Body. You can use larger TBs from a 94-95 5.0 (60mm) or a larger aftermarket (65mm) from the same application. T/A makes a complete adapter kit or you piece one together yourself. The TB will have to be slightly modified to fit (by elongating the bolts holes). David Godfrey also offers many "custom" built items/services.
David Godfrey's Homepage
14. Turbo. The Hybrid is the most wildly used upgraded turbo. It's features the combination of a T04 and a T03. We recommend one of our most dedicated club sponsers, Evergreen Turbo, for all turbo questions... and recommend you get them to build you one to fit your application too.
15. Stroker kit. Yes, you can stroke a stock block 2.3 out to a 2.5. It's really not necessary as there's plenty of people making HIGH horsepower without them. It you haven't upgraded your engine to the above 14 listed items thus far ... I don't recommend building a stroker. Or you can build one yourself by using a 2.5 crank - Ford part # F87Z-6303-AARM - also listed is Race Eng for HiPo engine parts
Racer Walsh (offers fully assembled short blocks)
16. N2O - yes, you can run Nitrious on your turbocharged motor. I would suggest seeking advice from other who currently use it or make a call to a N2O kit supplier's tech line. Most recommend applications on a street driven car are going to be 50-90hp shots from a wet system.