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Thread: Best bang for buck upgrades on a dead stock motor or best cheap mods

  1. #1
    SCFoxbodyswap Guest

    Best bang for buck upgrades on a dead stock motor or best cheap mods

    So I am swapping the heart from SC into my foxbody. While it's out I'm doing a full tear down and hoping to get away with just a re-ring kit with bearings as it ran perfect for last cpl years. Obviously a supercharger pulley is first thing. I will also be cleaning up the heads and port matching at the least and probably some light porting. I'm not looking for max power or insane rpm just above stock where the factory parts are still very reliable as I intend to actually drive this car. So things like a tune or what can I get away with on the stock ecu? Are there any tricks for blocking that bypass on the supercharger? Or is stock best setup? I was pretty happy with the power of this SC with the manual trans so in the much lighter mustang it will be fun enough for me. I don't know how to tune ecu's but I've built a few motors and like I said I'm fine with near stock power levels. In my swap I am literally swapping in every wire and do-dad I can into the mustang. I have never worked with boost so please treat me like a nube that gets it. Do I use the mustangs brakes? Or do I swap in the master setup from the SC? Fuel pump issues? Foxbody is a 87 2.3L convertible and the SC is a 90 with manual trans lower trim level. I have more time than money so cheap is the key here. Thanks in advance for any constructive advice. Hope I'm not making people angry with this swap but the SC is just rusted beyond safe conditions and they were both hail sales and the pony's rust free

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Welcome to the forum.

    Definitly stick with the Mustang brakes. The Teves ABS is much more trouble than its worth as I think most on here will tell you. Mostly because of the difficulty to service and get parts for.

    You will need to swap out to 5.0 Mustang front springs. A fully assembled 3.8 SC weighs more than a 5.0, so the 2.3 springs will not hold the nose up.

    Don't force the bypass closed. It serves no purpose to do so. The bypass prevents the engine from being put under boost when your foot isn't touching the pedal.

    As far as tuning goes, the stock pcm is fine. Most tune using a Moats Quarterhorse. Which is a chip that plugs into the J3 port under the little steel cover on the back of the eec. You can find more about tuning in the tuning section for members. XR7 Dave is the guy to go to for custom tunes or to purchase tuning hardware.

    You can also find all of the wiring diagrams for an SC in the members section.

    The M5R2 5 speed from the SC is much longer than the T5 offered in the Mustang. While the M5R2 is stronger, you may find it best to stick with a T5. The shifter on the M5R2 will be somewhere between the back rests on your front seats, or close anyway.
    Last edited by TBirdJKC; 06-23-2017 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    A tune will pretty much be mandatory if you want higher than stock power levels, as the stock injectors are pretty much maxed out in stock form. As far as best bang for the buck mods, upgrading to a 94/95 blower is cheap and gives a nice power increase. You can also swap the 89-93 blower pulley onto the 94/95 blower, which will give you a slight overdrive of the blower basically for free. If going this route, you will need at least a set of 36# injectors, but 42s are also pretty cheap and can sometimes be found used on mustang sites. Obviously a tune will be required for the larger injectors, but between a tune, the larger injectors, and the newer blower and inlet, you can probably get an additional 30-40hp over stock, which in a car that weighs probably about 800lbs lighter, should be lots of fun.

    For the brakes, keep the Mustang brakes. Also for the trans, get yourself a T5 setup from a 5.0 Mustang, and you will also need to get a flywheel and clutch for a 2001-04 Mustang V6 with a 5-speed to work with the SC motor and the T5 trans. That will make the whole trans a bolt-in swap, whereas trying to make the M5R2 trans work in a fox body will require lots of figuring and lots of custom work.

  4. #4
    SCFoxbodyswap Guest
    Well I'm almost glad to hear about the trans cause this one was rough going into 3rd two years ago and lets just say I never went easy on it lol. Now it hates 2nd and 3rd so it was being replaced. These are the little things that add up. Like I said this is just a toy using what I have laying around to build my first midlife crisis on the cheap. At least no one has cursed me for cutting it up but the SC was not safe anymore for the road. Just put subframe back in and found both motor mounts were toast and so is the steering coupler but its good enuf to roll it outside and free up my bay again. Are there headers for these things anymore or is it too old for people to make parts for anymore? I was just gonna redo this blower do to cost. This engine ran decent still and there aren't any tracks where I live so no need to build a drag car. At least I do own a decent OBD1 scanner for when it's together.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Since you are using a fox body, you can use headers for a 94-04 v6 mustang. I wouldn't spend any money on the early style blower. If it works fine, then you can re-use it, but if it needs repairs, a good used 94/95 blower and inlet will be cheaper, and will give you a significant performance increase.

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