My 1986 2.3L LX notchback/turbo conversion build. - Mustang Evolution

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Old 03-26-2015, 08:41 PM   #1
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My 1986 2.3L LX notchback/turbo conversion build.

Back in 2008 I purchased my first car. 1986 mustang lx. Ya know, the 4 cylinder with the 3 speed automatic. Click image for larger version

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She had around 75,000 miles on her, no body rust, no cancer, and ran like a rapped ape. All factory parts. Click image for larger version

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In fact a couple years after I had her, I got to watch the odometer roll over all zeros. Click image for larger version

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Fast forward several years, and several vacuum leaks. I'm now driving my beloved stang two footed due to carb issues and vacuum issues. There's a slight knock to the motor but otherwise healthy and reliable.

Fast forward a couple more years and I'm driving said stang 1000 miles to get home. SHE MADE IT!

A few months later she committed suicide by sucking her all thread through the air cleaner and into the carb ultimately making a bunch of noise and busting my head.

Since then she has been under reconstruction to upgrade and fix her. Hopefully I can make her into something I am proud to affix a pony badge on. (She didn't come with any. Factory.)


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:27 PM   #2
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My 1986 2.3L LX notchback/turbo conversion build.

First things first. After she choked on her nut, I started taking apart the top end of the motor hoping to fish out any metal that was left and to check on the cylinders to find out if there was any damage or if I could clean her out and fire her back up. I was trying to stay positive since I killed the motor immediately after the clunking started.
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As you can see I wasn't that lucky. The cam is grooved and the tops of the cylinder head have grooves as well from the metal.

Bummer. So I yanked the motor.
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Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
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A few interesting things I found when I took her apart: the cam was in backwards. The distributor had been stabbed at 180 off. And my plugs were ran to different cylinders so that the firing order was right for all the backwards sh*t someone had done to it. Smh.

I'm surprised she even ran.


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:02 PM   #4
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Wow that is crazy, never heard of someone doing that before. May want to look into one of the new Ecoboost setups, unless you already have the SVO 2.3L! 1981 thru 1986 175-200 HP stock, Ecoboost 305 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:23 PM   #5
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You could probably put another head on that short block, and that engine would run for another 100k.
I used to have a Turbo Coupe, back in the day, and it was a fun car!
I don't think that there are any currently active forum members who own 4 cylinder Fox cars, but I see that you have already found some of the old threads.
And, if you haven't already found a donor power train, you might want to explore some of your other options, as well... such as a V8 or even an Ecoboost like suggested above.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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Yes I agree with straybullitt, it depends on what your budget is! You could go with a V8 swap if you are looking for a bit more power, and there are a ton of them out there that you could make work!
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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My goal is a 5.0 eater that appears stock (sleeper). I looked around on the craigslist and found a totaled SVO and pulled all the suspension and the rear end from it. The motor had already been scrapped. I was lucky that the SVO donor also had a 5 lug conversion and cobra s wheels to go with.

Originally I was going to find a new head for the block and have it fortified to handle boost, what I found instead was an 89 lx with some 50,000 miles on it and a VERY CLEAN motor. So, I decided to use the 89 motor. It is fuel injected instead of carbureted so I get an upgrade and don't have to replace my busted carb.
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89 donor

I rebuilt the fuel injectors and the motor got cleaned out and all new gaskets. I hand painted the fuel injector and the motor with high heat paint to give it "that look".

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Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:40 PM   #8
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That is amazing. good job


Vicious Mustang: Racing aluminum heads. Professional products lower and upper intake. 75mm throttle body. trickflow stage 1 cam. PYPES headers, h pipe, exhaust. T5z transmission. Spec stage 1 clutch. 4.10 gears. Tubular lower control arms. Powerdyne supercharger 42lb injectors @9psi.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:44 PM   #9
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Sweet, she will be nice when you get it all back together. She will handle and stop a lot better also!
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:16 PM   #10
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Thank you, Thank You!


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:57 PM   #11
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No motor

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Finally the motor is in!!!


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:08 PM   #12
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This is the point my stang sits at. I need to finish fishing the wiring harness out of the 89 donor car so that I can hook everything up. I need brakes and lug nuts. And a bit other odds and ends before I can at least fire it up and run around the block. Small stuff like the battery and starter cylinoid. Small stuff adds up in price and so I am at a stand still until June.


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:11 PM   #13
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My 1986 2.3L LX notchback/turbo conversion build.

Opinions on putting the wing from the 89 hatch on to my 86 notch?

You guys think it looks good or funny?

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I was thinking about removing the third break light from the window and hook up the one in the wing instead.


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:56 AM   #14
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Guess it depends on if you like it or not, from the photo is doesn't seem to set just right but that may be because it is not bolted to the trunk lid yet. I had a 86 GT will see if I can dig up some old photos of it!
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbone007 View Post
Guess it depends on if you like it or not, from the photo is doesn't seem to set just right but that may be because it is not bolted to the trunk lid yet. I had a 86 GT will see if I can dig up some old photos of it!

It doesn't quite sit right. But you are correct it's not bolted on.

The the front ledge of the notchbacks truck lid has a ridge and the sides of the wing hang over the trunk lid side a bit but not over the actual car.

But I think with some heat and bolting it down I can get the wing to conform to the shape.

I think it looks nice. But I've had mixed opinions from others.


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:26 PM   #16
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I'm a Bullitt fan so... I like it smooth and clean.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:40 PM   #17
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[QU as OTE=straybullitt;2202390]I'm a Bullitt fan so... I like it smooth and clean.

[/QUOTE]


I do as well. The idea came from setting the wing back there just as a place to set it. Normally I would have kept the 86 all stock lookin on the outside but I do think this Wing looks good.


Currently- 1986 2.3L lx notchback, conversion to SVO 2.3L turbo automatic notchback.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:46 PM   #18
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Great project you have going there.
I had an 88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that I did a fair amount of work to the motor. The biggest factor in making HP was the head and cam, I had Esslinger Engineering go through the head/cam/injectors which added an extra 70rwhp. They are strong motors and with a little work can make a lot more HP than any stock 5.0l V8.
Can't wait for you to get her running.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:10 PM   #19
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It looks like Crystal went MIA olerodder...
Do you know what that means?



I had an 83 1/2 Turbo Coupe. When they were first introduced, Jackie Stewart was promoting them for Ford and he broke the track record at Laguna Seca, for engines of that displacement, in a completely stock car!
The car was a blast to drive! For the era.
The first generation Turbo Coupes were very light. They were slightly lighter than a V8 Fox body. It was great fun beating ALL of my friends through the twisties in that car.
It did have some issues though. Mainly, due to it being one of Ford's very first production vehicles that was equipped with fuel injection, the technicians were learning about fuel injection systems on the customer's cars so the "service" was sometimes "spotty".
However, when everything was working correctly, it ran really good. And those engines were as close to bulletproof as you will find.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:14 AM   #20
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Not MIA. Ran outta funding. My project had to take the back burner for a bit... But I just picked up an esslinger built 2.3 to stab.... Should get me closer as I don't need all the electronic components since it's carburated. (Currently fuel injected and not running)

I'll update as I go. The goal is motor stabbed and running by Jan 1.

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Old 10-23-2017, 09:39 AM   #21
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Life happens and projects are usually put on the back burner...as long as they aren't put out to pasture and forgotten. It took me 7 years to build/restore my first car.
Would love to hear more about the Esslinger 2.3l.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:45 PM   #22
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Getting ready to put that fuel injected 2.3 for sale... Whadda y'all think I could get for it?

Its still fresh as the day I stabbed it. 50,000 miles.

Hoping to get some spending money for the stang.

'86 Mustang LX Notchback
orig. 4cyl 2.3L carb. c3 auto. 88hp.
1 of 16 Color codes.

1st (incomplete build)- motor swap 4cyl 2.3L fuel Injected. c3 auto. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv. ?hp.

Current- upgrading to Esslinger built 2.3 c3 auto w/ t9 goals. N/A garrett airResearch T3 Turbo, Holley Blowthrough. 250+ hp. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv.

Future Dreams- DOHC
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:43 AM   #23
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It really depends on the demand for 2.3 engines in your area.
Is the engine turbocharged? And complete?
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:45 PM   #24
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Turbo charged no. Complete... oh yeah.... Its completely gone through. Rebuilt fuel injectors and new gaskets throughout. 50,000 orig. Miles.

'86 Mustang LX Notchback
orig. 4cyl 2.3L carb. c3 auto. 88hp.
1 of 16 Color codes.

1st (incomplete build)- motor swap 4cyl 2.3L fuel Injected. c3 auto. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv. ?hp.

Current- upgrading to Esslinger built 2.3 c3 auto w/ t9 goals. N/A garrett airResearch T3 Turbo, Holley Blowthrough. 250+ hp. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv.

Future Dreams- DOHC
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:53 PM   #25
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In our area anywhere from $400 to maybe $600. Just not a big call for the the little 4 cylinder.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:21 PM   #26
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That around what I was thinking. So far no bites though.

'86 Mustang LX Notchback
orig. 4cyl 2.3L carb. c3 auto. 88hp.
1 of 16 Color codes.

1st (incomplete build)- motor swap 4cyl 2.3L fuel Injected. c3 auto. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv. ?hp.

Current- upgrading to Esslinger built 2.3 c3 auto w/ t9 goals. N/A garrett airResearch T3 Turbo, Holley Blowthrough. 250+ hp. SVO suspension. disc brakes. 5-Lug Conv.

Future Dreams- DOHC
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