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Old 06-10-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
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Help a noob with a budget?

Hey guys, first post here. Ive got an 86 GT, running speed density, with the average 5.0 parts. Short Throw, gears, lowered, king cobra clutch, aluminum quadrant, Hooker Supercomp long tubes, mid pipe, with hooker mufflers.

So ive got a pretty tight budget unfortunately, but im basically looking to make more power. I was thinking of picking up a set of GT40 heads, with the cobra intake, and doing the TrickFlow valve spring upgrade kit, with possibly 1.7 rockers on the stock cam. I have speed density, so I cant really do too much with the cam, but I heard the stock cam with 1.7 rockers will work just fine with that set up. Would I have to upgrade the injectors to maybe 24lb? Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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new here myself, so I don't know who the wrenches are here , I have used sbftech.com for a few years now , some very knowledgeable people there . as im sure there are here too. since you got no bites yet thought I would throw it out there.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:15 PM   #3
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new here myself, so I don't know who the wrenches are here , I have used sbftech.com for a few years now , some very knowledgeable people there . as im sure there are here too. since you got no bites yet thought I would throw it out there.

Well its only been about an hour. But I appreciate it!

Just to give some furthermore information, my budget is around 700-800 dollars. But I usually try to barter. I traded my old Halo seats for a set of gt40 heads with a cobra intake so thats one of the more expensive things on my list taken care of!
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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86 has the flat top pistons that may or may not have PTV issues even with GT40s. I don't THINK they will but check around some of the bigger forums or google it or just roll with it and make sure you clay it before you run it. You will definitely need better heads/cam/intake to make any meaningful power in an 86. Also you should convert to mass air and the 19lb stock injectors will be fine for a basic HCI but being over 25 years old you should replace them even with a new set of 19s.

Honestly the easiest thing would be to buy a lower mileage running GT40 explorer motor and drop it right in with a better cam, the TFS springs and a mass air conversion.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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86 has the flat top pistons that may or may not have PTV issues even with GT40s. I don't THINK they will but check around some of the bigger forums or google it or just roll with it and make sure you clay it before you run it. You will definitely need better heads/cam/intake to make any meaningful power in an 86. Also you should convert to mass air and the 19lb stock injectors will be fine for a basic HCI but being over 25 years old you should replace them even with a new set of 19s.

Honestly the easiest thing would be to buy a lower mileage running GT40 explorer motor and drop it right in with a better cam, the TFS springs and a mass air conversion.
I dont think id want to go as far as a motor swap, because my car has 80,4xx original miles on it. But you are absolutely correct about the PTV clearance. Its not going to work. Only the TFS heads would work which I believe are out of my budget. Any other suggestions guys? That news kinda sucks, but hey, glad I found that out!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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If you've done it before, the motor swap from running motor to running motor is really not any harder than a HCI and can be done in a weekend.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:26 PM   #7
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If you've done it before, the motor swap from running motor to running motor is really not any harder than a HCI and can be done in a weekend.

Ive done plenty of motor swaps, but mostly on Mopars. Maybe my best option would be some simpler bolt ons, maybe a cobra intake? Under drive pulleys? Electric Fans? AC Delete? Anything like that seem decent, or is it basically a waste of my time and money? Im looking to enjoy this car for another year or so until I am done with college, so a lot of money being dumped into this car is not something that Id like to do.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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If that is the case then just drive it for the next year and re-assess then.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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You know power isnt the only way to improve performance. Maximum Motorsports makes a very basic Street/Strip suspension setup box that is a great performer on basic bolt on cars. It should be in your price range if you were looking at GT40's. Greatness it is, unlike most street/strip suspension systems that are very agressive giving cars a spongy rear and jumpy front end this kit will not act this way. Reguardless of the Street/Strip labeling the kit will actually improve you handling and braking should you need to do an emergency lane change or slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. One of the reasons MM is able to acheive this is because their kit is based around the integral Eibach Drag springs which actually are close to the Mustang GT's stock spring rate. Bottom line, you could by another bolt-on to add power but without a change in heads the gain in HP will be miniscule. There is more performance to be found in your suspension since you cant afford heads at this moment and MM's gear can be purchased one component at a time so its bound to fit your budget. Furthermore if your going to sell the car in a year I agree with scotty and dont spend the money. A penny saved is a penny earned, yadda yadda. In all seriousness though, even the smallest investment has the potential to turn into a fortune. Since your in college and im assuming your young opening a IRA account with your bank could make you alot and I mean alot of money for retirement. or even pay for your house one day.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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You know power isnt the only way to improve performance. Maximum Motorsports makes a very basic Street/Strip suspension setup box that is a great performer on basic bolt on cars. It should be in your price range if you were looking at GT40's. Greatness it is, unlike most street/strip suspension systems that are very agressive giving cars a spongy rear and jumpy front end this kit will not act this way. Reguardless of the Street/Strip labeling the kit will actually improve you handling and braking should you need to do an emergency lane change or slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. One of the reasons MM is able to acheive this is because their kit is based around the integral Eibach Drag springs which actually are close to the Mustang GT's stock spring rate. Bottom line, you could by another bolt-on to add power but without a change in heads the gain in HP will be miniscule. There is more performance to be found in your suspension since you cant afford heads at this moment and MM's gear can be purchased one component at a time so its bound to fit your budget. Furthermore if your going to sell the car in a year I agree with scotty and dont spend the money. A penny saved is a penny earned, yadda yadda. In all seriousness though, even the smallest investment has the potential to turn into a fortune. Since your in college and im assuming your young opening a IRA account with your bank could make you alot and I mean alot of money for retirement. or even pay for your house one day.
Yeah Im on the younger side, turning 19 this year, but the more and more I think about my car, Im starting to like it, and I just might keep it because it is such a clean car, and I also got the thing dirt cheap. I recently went up to Loudon New Hampshire with a buddy of mine, and we took his car (04 GT) on the road course they have up there, and I thought it was a blast. I was planning on selling my foxbody for a down payment on a Coyote 5.0 in a few years, but I could drop a Coyote in my fox for about 10,000 completed if I end up falling for my car. Which I SHOULD be able to afford with the job im going to college for!

But to build off of what you said Diesel, I actually just ordered a set of Hotchkis Upper and Lower rear control arms, along with full lenth subframe connectors to hopefully stiffen the car up some.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:08 PM   #11
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Personaly as a mustang enthusiast I am not impressed by the new bloated S197 cars and Ive owned 3 of them. The FOX body is really the way to go if any form of dominating performance is desired.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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Personaly as a mustang enthusiast I am not impressed by the new bloated S197 cars and Ive owned 3 of them. The FOX body is really the way to go if any form of dominating performance is desired.
Thats what Im starting to see. They are so simple, light, the aftermarket is huge, and anything is pretty much possible as long as you have a big enough wallet. The only downside is the cheapish feeling interior of the 79-86 foxes.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:59 AM   #13
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Personaly as a mustang enthusiast I am not impressed by the new bloated S197 cars and Ive owned 3 of them. The FOX body is really the way to go if any form of dominating performance is desired.
+1 the s197 are so heavy
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:04 AM   #14
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Thats what Im starting to see. They are so simple, light, the aftermarket is huge, and anything is pretty much possible as long as you have a big enough wallet. The only downside is the cheapish feeling interior of the 79-86 foxes.
Ye an you will fine that your car with just h/c/I should have no problem keeping up the a stock 2012 5.0 my even take him an that will cost you alot less then the new 5.0 an the fox with the coyote will smoke the new 5.0 seen fox with the coyote on YouTube running 11.5x with just the long tubes that you have to use for the swap
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #15
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I've been reading up on speed density, and the plan you have sounds like a good one!
Running the gt40 heads and cobra intake is going to be the best option since you already have those items (if I read correctly) and will completely wake up your ride!
The only down fall I see is you won't be able to run a larger set of injectors to compliment the set up until a mass air conversion is made...well you can run 24lb'ers but you would need to tune it!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #16
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If you already have the heads and intake and still have a $700/800 budget, I'd make the mass air swap that comes 24lb injectors.
From there It will be easy for you to make a cam swap or whatever
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:54 AM   #17
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Ye an you will fine that your car with just h/c/I should have no problem keeping up the a stock 2012 5.0 my even take him an that will cost you alot less then the new 5.0 an the fox with the coyote will smoke the new 5.0 seen fox with the coyote on YouTube running 11.5x with just the long tubes that you have to use for the swap
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I've been reading up on speed density, and the plan you have sounds like a good one!
Running the gt40 heads and cobra intake is going to be the best option since you already have those items (if I read correctly) and will completely wake up your ride!
The only down fall I see is you won't be able to run a larger set of injectors to compliment the set up until a mass air conversion is made...well you can run 24lb'ers but you would need to tune it!
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If you already have the heads and intake and still have a $700/800 budget, I'd make the mass air swap that comes 24lb injectors.
From there It will be easy for you to make a cam swap or whatever

Yes but my car, (1986) is the year with flat top pistons. I wouldnt be able to run the GT40p's on her because of that. There would be PTV clearance problems. So my only option would be to get some high dollar heads that are out of my budget, or basically yank this motor, buy one of out a junkyard explorer, and then put a fox cam, oil pan, and oil sending unit in that motor to drop in my car..

But ive also heard that the stock 19lb injectors will work fine for the GT40 heads/Intakes, and then throw a set of 1.7 rockers on the stock cam, and people have made 280-300 with that setup. I cant change the cam because the SD setup relies on vacuum to idle, and with a cam the vacuum would drop to much and id end up with a surging/stalling idle.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #18
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Yes but my car, (1986) is the year with flat top pistons. I wouldnt be able to run the GT40p's on her because of that. There would be PTV clearance problems. So my only option would be to get some high dollar heads that are out of my budget, or basically yank this motor, buy one of out a junkyard explorer, and then put a fox cam, oil pan, and oil sending unit in that motor to drop in my car..

But ive also heard that the stock 19lb injectors will work fine for the GT40 heads/Intakes, and then throw a set of 1.7 rockers on the stock cam, and people have made 280-300 with that setup. I cant change the cam because the SD setup relies on vacuum to idle, and with a cam the vacuum would drop to much and id end up with a surging/stalling idle.
I got a 460 you can put in there..
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:22 PM   #19
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I got a 460 you can put in there..

Id rather put a 340sixpak mopar in there rather than a big block ford

Uh oh the roots are coming out...
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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Even 79-86 Stangs can be recipiants of interior swaps or custom interior, again it just depends on how big your wallet is.

I did some thinking about your position with your car today. Next to gears the heads on these 5.0 cars are the easiest place to find performance and without some kind of work done to the heads any bolt ons you do will be leaving power on the table making them a crucialy important place to modify.

Next, I see a few different aproaches to throwing parts on these cars to make peoples individual power combos as budget friendly as possible. -A- what I do for my own car builds I am a fan of "Future Proofing." This means that in your possition I would wait until I could afford the TFS TW heads because once I have them they can be ported to handle up to around 1400hp should I ever take my engine that far which is initialy more expensive than buying a set of GT40 heads but can potentialy save me money in future if I continue to build my engine combination. Or -B- you can buy a set of cheaper heads that will meet your imidiate requirements with the intention of never taking your engine past the maximum potential of the cheaper heads. If B is your choice, for what ever reason, then buying a set of ported or extrude honed heads may be your best buy so you can move on to modding other componets and get the complimented performance of a little better flowing head for your exsisting and future bolt on mods. With that said I dont know what this guy charges but he may be a good option.
5.0 Flow - Porting for Small Block Fords
He claims his ported stock Intake and Heads outflow stock GT40 stuff and basic GT40 fox mustang build ups are mostly running 11.80's or better in the 1/4 with proper suporting mods and no power adders.

If you still have your GT40 stuff you could probly sell it through this site pretty quick and get the money you need to get some ported stock stuff. Or you could save the GT40 stuff and look into having your pistons fly-cut or even replace the stock pistons. Or your could just scrounge your money for a set of TW heads. Or even purchase used TW heads and have them milled for straightness. Any way you slice it your going to end up with about the same performance ability level reguardless of the money you spend.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #21
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:19 PM   #22
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Even 79-86 Stangs can be recipiants of interior swaps or custom interior, again it just depends on how big your wallet is.

I did some thinking about your position with your car today. Next to gears the heads on these 5.0 cars are the easiest place to find performance and without some kind of work done to the heads any bolt ons you do will be leaving power on the table making them a crucialy important place to modify.

Next, I see a few different aproaches to throwing parts on these cars to make peoples individual power combos as budget friendly as possible. -A- what I do for my own car builds I am a fan of "Future Proofing." This means that in your possition I would wait until I could afford the TFS TW heads because once I have them they can be ported to handle up to around 1400hp should I ever take my engine that far which is initialy more expensive than buying a set of GT40 heads but can potentialy save me money in future if I continue to build my engine combination. Or -B- you can buy a set of cheaper heads that will meet your imidiate requirements with the intention of never taking your engine past the maximum potential of the cheaper heads. If B is your choice, for what ever reason, then buying a set of ported or extrude honed heads may be your best buy so you can move on to modding other componets and get the complimented performance of a little better flowing head for your exsisting and future bolt on mods. With that said I dont know what this guy charges but he may be a good option.
5.0 Flow - Porting for Small Block Fords
He claims his ported stock Intake and Heads outflow stock GT40 stuff and basic GT40 fox mustang build ups are mostly running 11.80's or better in the 1/4 with proper suporting mods and no power adders.

If you still have your GT40 stuff you could probly sell it through this site pretty quick and get the money you need to get some ported stock stuff. Or you could save the GT40 stuff and look into having your pistons fly-cut or even replace the stock pistons. Or your could just scrounge your money for a set of TW heads. Or even purchase used TW heads and have them milled for straightness. Any way you slice it your going to end up with about the same performance ability level reguardless of the money you spend.

I REALLY appreciate the help Diesel! Big time.. BUT I have some news. I have a good buddy that is into mustangs, and he has a 1996 Ford Explorer with a 5.0 in it... I asked him what he would want for it and he said that he would take the old motor that is in my car now, and the old halos I took out along with the rear seats, and he would trade me for the complete Explorer. I am not using any of the seats, and obviously I wont need the 86 motor after I throw the explorer motor in, so it seems like ill be making out good in this deal. I could sell the tranny and transfer case, cut the cats off, turn them in, and then just scrap the whole explorer and end up making cash on this deal. It seems like a win win to me. What do you guys think about that? Because with this setup Ill have decent power for a while, while I save for a HCI kit or something of the sorts.

Do you think this is a good idea or what? Honest criticism is the best!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #23
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I REALLY appreciate the help Diesel! Big time.. BUT I have some news. I have a good buddy that is into mustangs, and he has a 1996 Ford Explorer with a 5.0 in it... I asked him what he would want for it and he said that he would take the old motor that is in my car now, and the old halos I took out along with the rear seats, and he would trade me for the complete Explorer. I am not using any of the seats, and obviously I wont need the 86 motor after I throw the explorer motor in, so it seems like ill be making out good in this deal. I could sell the tranny and transfer case, cut the cats off, turn them in, and then just scrap the whole explorer and end up making cash on this deal. It seems like a win win to me. What do you guys think about that? Because with this setup Ill have decent power for a while, while I save for a HCI kit or something of the sorts.

Do you think this is a good idea or what? Honest criticism is the best!
As long as its good running.. A lot of people will swap cams.. The explorers got more low end torque must the mustang is more performance cam.. Besides cam there almost no different in motors compared to 87-95 mustang 5.0. Seams to be a good deal overall.. I myself am debating on rebuilding my 93 cobra motor or finding a explorer 5.0.. Idk..
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #24
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As long as its good running.. A lot of people will swap cams.. The explorers got more low end torque must the mustang is more performance cam.. Besides cam there almost no different in motors compared to 87-95 mustang 5.0. Seams to be a good deal overall.. I myself am debating on rebuilding my 93 cobra motor or finding a explorer 5.0.. Idk..
Yeah I planned on getting a Stage One TF cam, because eventually when I get the funds id like to get some TW heads, and a TF intake. But I also have to change the oil pan, and I also heard that id have to change the "oil squirters" ..?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:30 AM   #25
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Sucks doing buisness with friends is my first responce. My second responce is you dont want explorer heads. My third responce is you dont want to have your daily driver apart for that long and be a carless college boy, I garantee you it will make you miss out. My fourth responce, be realistic, do you have a place to do the swap, have to tools or have to buy them, have any experience in engine swapping? The swap you are talking about is a medium difficulty swap. There are alot of little odds and ends to make this kind of a swap work, trust me I have a 2000 explorer and have extensivly researched it. The 00 and 96 5.0 explorer motors are different in a few ways and even with the 96 being easier it is still alot. My advice is to seriously leave it alone. There are much easier, cheaper and more practical ways to increase your performance.

I really think if you persue this option you will end up pockets turned out and still not have your car running. It would be different if your stang was a secondary car and not your DD this is not a risk you should be taking as a college student.

SixPac. The explorer cams are different from cobra gear reguardless of what youve have heard, they are dual profile with larger lift on the exhuast side and have poor power capability past 4600rpm due to the dual profile cam designed to help compensate for the lower emissions gear for the heavier smog machine. They are in no way shape or for a performance cam.

And No "oil squiters" required for TFS swaps. You will however need bigger fuel injectors with matching mass air sensor..

For competitve performance parts on the cheap. Anderson Ford Motorsports is my solution for you.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:55 AM   #26
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Sucks doing buisness with friends is my first responce. My second responce is you dont want explorer heads. My third responce is you dont want to have your daily driver apart for that long and be a carless college boy, I garantee you it will make you miss out. My fourth responce, be realistic, do you have a place to do the swap, have to tools or have to buy them, have any experience in engine swapping? The swap you are talking about is a medium difficulty swap. There are alot of little odds and ends to make this kind of a swap work, trust me I have a 2000 explorer and have extensivly researched it. The 00 and 96 5.0 explorer motors are different in a few ways and even with the 96 being easier it is still alot. My advice is to seriously leave it alone. There are much easier, cheaper and more practical ways to increase your performance.

I really think if you persue this option you will end up pockets turned out and still not have your car running. It would be different if your stang was a secondary car and not your DD this is not a risk you should be taking as a college student.

SixPac. The explorer cams are different from cobra gear reguardless of what youve have heard, they are dual profile with larger lift on the exhuast side and have poor power capability past 4600rpm due to the dual profile cam designed to help compensate for the lower emissions gear for the heavier smog machine. They are in no way shape or for a performance cam.

And No "oil squiters" required for TFS swaps. You will however need bigger fuel injectors with matching mass air sensor..

For competitve performance parts on the cheap. Anderson Ford Motorsports is my solution for you.
Why wouldn't I want explorer heads? Those are the gt40 heads, right? And the mustang isn't my only car. I have a small pickup and a subaru. I've done engine swaps before, as I grew up with this hobby. I have the place to do it, my family is into racing so I have a pretty big shop in my backyard with all the tools I'd need. But I appreciate the input, it just seems like my year motor is the mod restrictive when it comes to making more power on a budget.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #27
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Simply put the explorer GT40's are better than the stockers but they are the least desirable of the GT40 family. On the other hand the Explorer intake is boss of the GT40 intakes. I suppose you could get the swap done but still is alot of work.

As far as your engine being mod restrictive thats not necisarily true. If I may offer another solution that was popular in 86 and still is. The 86 cars are the easiest of the EFI cars to convert to carborated. A carb and intake manifold would net you better perofrmance than what the explorer motor will offer. I personaly would go that route before spending the time to swap an entire motor. Besides carb engines make more power than EFI anyway.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #28
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This guy did a decent carb conversion write up.

EFI to Carb conversion..... - Ford Mustang Forums

Carb the best way to go if your trying to get as much power as possible for a N/A or Nitrous application.

Just trying to offer other options so you can make an informed decision.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:31 AM   #29
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If super cheap and easy is your game then a stock upper efi intake ontop of a junkyard F-150 lower manifold will perform like a GT40 intake. And you could try porting a set of stock heads yourself if your looking for a project.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:53 AM   #30
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If super cheap and easy is your game then a stock upper efi intake ontop of a junkyard F-150 lower manifold will perform like a GT40 intake. And you could try porting a set of stock heads yourself if your looking for a project.
I was actually thinking about doing that. When I was building the small block 318 for my truck, I ported and polished the intake, and the heads. Actually picked up 32.4 horsepower at 4600 rpm. So maybe when I take it off the road for the winter, I could pull the e7's off and work them a bit. Because it seems like you know what you are talking about, and if you say it's a lot of work, I'm sure it is.

Any clue how much power I could pick up porting and polishing the heads?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:26 AM   #31
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I would guess 25-40 RW or even more from ported and polished stockers with a unported but polished lower F150 manifold. But most of that will depend on how well the heads are ported and if you increase valve size or change comp ratio.

And a good cam will undoubtedly make you a good amount more power than that. And since you will have the motor apart here is my recommendation for stock heads. Voodoo Hyd Roller Cam - Ford 351W 302HO 262/270 - Lunati Power

Between this cam and you porting and polishing the stock heads and the polished F150 manifold you will make more power that the GT40 stuff using a stock cobra "B" cam. Not to mention it will be easier, less stressful, cheaper and overall alot less headache.

Furthermore if you go ahead and do the cam, which you should, I would also recommend replacing the springs. I strongly feel that this is your best option. So start saving every 5 dollar bill you get your hands on and you wont have a problem getting this acomplished this winter.

Overall with cam and springs I would guess 50-70 RWHP improvment which is almost like buying a top end kit from Edelbrock or TFS. Difference is your engine will have better drivability with the Lunati cam.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #32
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I would guess 25-40 RW or even more from ported and polished stockers with a unported but polished lower F150 manifold. But most of that will depend on how well the heads are ported and if you increase valve size or change comp ratio.

And a good cam will undoubtedly make you a good amount more power than that. And since you will have the motor apart here is my recommendation for stock heads. Voodoo Hyd Roller Cam - Ford 351W 302HO 262/270 - Lunati Power

Between this cam and you porting and polishing the stock heads and the polished F150 manifold you will make more power that the GT40 stuff. Not to mention it will be easier, less stressful, cheaper and overall alot less headache.
I agree with everything you're saying, BUT keep in mind I am running speed density. I can't go with a cam with too much lift, because speed density relies on vacuum to idle. Would some 1.7 rockers be good enough for that setup?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #33
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I agree with everything you're saying, BUT keep in mind I am running speed density. I can't go with a cam with too much lift, because speed density relies on vacuum to idle. Would some 1.7 rockers be good enough for that setup?
Personal I suggest first mod is get to MAF make things Easyer from there..
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #34
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Lunati cams make very good vacum and were made with speed density in mind, you will have no issues with that specific cam. Also with that specific cam there is no need to go to 1.7 rockers, your stock rockers will actually work better. If your talking about running 1.7 rockers instead of doing a cam I would only do this if you cant afford the cam and springs for it. This cam will not only work for your combination but its the heart of it and literally perfect.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:27 PM   #35
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After your finshed with the HCI combo there are a few things that need to be on your wanted next list. You should be looking for C-clip eliminators, sticky MT tires and a somthing to reinforce your torque arm box's. Stay away from heavy aftermarket wheels. All this together plus a few more simple bolt ons and you will be running consistant 11's.
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