Another 2.3 to 5.0 swap. Need help - Mustang Evolution

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Old 11-29-2017, 02:09 PM   #1
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Another 2.3 to 5.0 swap. Need help

I got a 88 lx convertible 2.3 picked it up a few months ago for 500. I have everything I need for the swap except for wiring.

I have a t5 out of a 3.8, 8.8 rear end, drive shaft, and 5.0 out of a 01 mountaineer with the complete wiring harness.

I was wondering if it was possible to splice the wires together and use the explorer odometer but I would have to use the pats system to run the engine.

The other option is getting a wiring harness and ecu out of a 86-95 5.0 and use that. And I also know I have to use the timing cover and put a distributor on it.

Would the mustang 5.0 engine wire harness plug up to the 2.3 body harness or would I have to re wire the whole car? If I have to do that then I miswell just use the explorer wiring and steering column.

What are the best options for the wiring? I'm at a loss and can't find clear answers
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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You are going to find a lot of dry rotted and corroded wiring. I would replace as much as possible. As for the PATS, get a chip or tuner and turn the system off.

If you don't want to do that, you can secure a chipped key inside the steering column. The cluster will not know the difference.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:11 PM   #3
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You are going to find a lot of dry rotted and corroded wiring. I would replace as much as possible. As for the PATS, get a chip or tuner and turn the system off.

If you don't want to do that, you can secure a chipped key inside the steering column. The cluster will not know the difference.
I have gone through this car from top to bottom. It is in imaculate condition. It was kept in a garage it's whole life except for the past 2 years. It belonged to an old man that bought it brand new in 88, but he did drive it a lot. I can assure you the wires are clean and still in good condition. I just want to know what would be easier. And if the 5.0 wire harness will plug and play into the rest of the car wiring because I want to avoid stuffing the explorer dash harness along side the stock harness behind the dash.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:23 PM   #4
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I'm not 100% certain, but I think that the odds are very good that the body harnesses are the same whether the car is a 4 cylinder or 8 cylinder.
If you want to know for sure, you will need to find some wiring diagrams and see if there are any differences.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dasan458 View Post
I have a t5 out of a 3.8, 8.8 rear end, drive shaft, and 5.0 out of a 01 mountaineer with the complete wiring harness.

I was wondering if it was possible to splice the wires together and use the explorer odometer but I would have to use the pats system to run the engine.

The other option is getting a wiring harness and ecu out of a 86-95 5.0 and use that. And I also know I have to use the timing cover and put a distributor on it.

Would the mustang 5.0 engine wire harness plug up to the 2.3 body harness or would I have to re wire the whole car? If I have to do that then I miswell just use the explorer wiring and steering column.

What are the best options for the wiring? I'm at a loss and can't find clear answers
First, you mentioned the distributor. The '01 system, not having one, obtained crankshaft position data from a means other than the distributor/TFI system. It would be nice to use the 01 wiring harness and ECU, yes, but how will you address the ignition?
Second, the 2.3 fuel pump will likely be inadequate.
Third, did the 2.3 not use single O2 sensing? The 01 may have had double.
Your best bet would be to use OBD-I EEC-IV electronics, up to '93 5.0. Stay away from '94/'95 because the system changed, different O2 sensors, etc. Lots of 89-93 parts are available.
Here are a few pics of a conversion my nephew did this past summer: 1965 Galaxie 500, brand new (stored 20 years) 5.0HO. He used '93 parts wherever possible, had to change water pump to long-shaft '93, aftermarket front brackets for alternator and steering pump, added an idler bracket and pulley in place of a compressor, aftermarket radiator.

He is in the Marine Corps., was pressed for time at Ft. Leonard Wood over the summer, now deployed to Japan. I have the car here in AZ. Yes, he left some loose ends, wire nuts, etc. But it sure runs nice! imp




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Old 11-29-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
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You'll need a new harness and not a 94/95 one, you'll want a COMPLETE setup from a 87-93 and try to get it all from the same year as there were differences even in those years. Example... if you have a 91 5.0 you need a 91 computer and 91 harness. Yeah...

Easier (and better IMO) is to get a 96-98 donor GT and modswap it and do the PI swap to the engine as well while its out. PI swapped 96-98 will have way more power than the GT 302, easier to tune, parts everywhere and much better interchangeability. You can get a whole car that runs and drives for under $1k and that'll include EVERYTHING you need from the engine to the fuel system to the trans to all the wiring to new/better brakes on the front and back, GT suspension, 5 lug swap etc... etc... all in one go.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 65 k car View Post
First, you mentioned the distributor. The '01 system, not having one, obtained crankshaft position data from a means other than the distributor/TFI system. It would be nice to use the 01 wiring harness and ECU, yes, but how will you address the ignition?
Second, the 2.3 fuel pump will likely be inadequate.
Third, did the 2.3 not use single O2 sensing? The 01 may have had double.
Your best bet would be to use OBD-I EEC-IV electronics, up to '93 5.0. Stay away from '94/'95 because the system changed, different O2 sensors, etc. Lots of 89-93 parts are available.
Here are a few pics of a conversion my nephew did this past summer: 1965 Galaxie 500, brand new (stored 20 years) 5.0HO. He used '93 parts wherever possible, had to change water pump to long-shaft '93, aftermarket front brackets for alternator and steering pump, added an idler bracket and pulley in place of a compressor, aftermarket radiator.

He is in the Marine Corps., was pressed for time at Ft. Leonard Wood over the summer, now deployed to Japan. I have the car here in AZ. Yes, he left some loose ends, wire nuts, etc. But it sure runs nice! imp




That sounds like an awesome swap. What I meant by distributor is if I went the mustang 5.0 wiring route.

The explorers used coil packs but also had the security system with a coil around the ignition to detect the chip in the key. That then ran through the PATS module located behind the passenger airbag and for some reason the module that tells the computer if its a 4wd or 2wd is thrown in the mix, can remember the name but it's behind the radio.

I was planning on tracing wires through the dash and under hood wire harness from those back to the computer and which plugs into the engine harness and keeping only those wires that go to the computer and the PATS system and removing the rest. I would then have to somehow connect the wiring to the mustang wiring to feed power to the rest of the car. Also was wanting to use the explorer or a 94+ dash cluster.

The other option and I have done some more research was to get a engine and headlight wire harness and ecu from a 87-89 (only years that would work. Each year after had different wires) 5.0 and plugging it into the under dash wire harness to the 2.3 mustang and that would require using the timing cover and a distributor off the 5.0 mustang, and possibly the MAF, along with all the Sensors and connectors.

My only other option is to slap a carb on the engine which would be easiest but that is also probably the most common swap and I want to keep it efi if I can. I'm planning on using this as a weekend/street car. Not really a daily or trip car except for out of town car shows.

Oh and I almost forgot yes it does have 1 o2 sensor. Sorry if you didn't understand that I have a hard time explaining things. I can see it in my head and I know what I'm thinking about it's just hard to put it into words or on paper.

Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:06 PM   #8
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Also regarding the fuel pump. The tank was rotten from sitting and so are the fuel lines. I was planning on making my own tank and putting gt fuel lines in along with a good pump.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:42 PM   #9
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Use any 87-97 fuel pump and lines. All the same. Save yourself time and money.

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