Drag to reposition cover

BUILD 1984 SVO Build - 4G63 / TH400 / E85


b00sted

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Posts
5,038
Reaction score
5,492
Table of Contents:

Introduction and History:

Some of you may remember from a previous thread that I bought this SVO last summer. It had a hurt motor(rod knock and a ton of leak down on cyl #2), but it was a good deal and I primarily bought it for the super clean body. It has 85k miles and originally came from California. It is 100% rust free except for two spots at the top of the c-pillar behind the hatch where it's a little scaley, but easily fixable. The floors, strut towers, doors, etc are incredibly clean. It just needs a good paint job and it'll look killer.


20200911_173222_IMG_6129.JPG



My original intention was to do a turbo LS - primarily because it's a direct bolt-in, easy to make a bunch of power, and I already had a ton of parts laying around to do it. So I went out and picked up a 5.3 from the St. Charles Yacht Club:


signal-2020-12-27-222154_001.jpeg


However, I realized that everybody has an LS swapped fox-body and I felt extra bad for wanting to do it to an SVO.

So then I went out and picked up a known-good ford 2.3T motor out of a Merkur. It is in great shape, had been rebuilt at some point in the past with Clevite bearings, ARP head studs, etc. I went through it and re-gasketed it, checked the rod bearings, added a billet BoPort cam/nicer springs/roller rockers, round-tooth timing belt, etc - Just to make it a little more fun than stock:

20201226_184031_IMG_6508.JPG


20210322_173552.jpg



But then I started realizing that these 2.3 motors objectively suck. It's 1970s pinto technology that they just strapped a turbo on at some point. The iron head is a boat anchor - it flows about 140cfm on the intake, and with extensive porting and a bunch of valve lift, it'll still only flow like 225-230. Esllinger used to make aluminum heads for it, but they're no longer in production and the existing Esslinger heads sell for $2-3k or more. The aftermarket for these motors is pretty small to begin with, and seems to be shrinking rapidly. I realized I was putting too much effort into an engine that would struggle to make 300 rwhp reliably, when I knew I wanted way more than that. I needed a more modern engine with a much better aftermarket - but I wanted to stick with a turbo 4-cylinder to kind of stay within the spirit of what the SVO is/was.

Enter the 4G63:

20210508_174108.jpg


I have always been a big fan of these engines for obvious reasons, and know a decent amount about them just from reading over the years. They have a huge aftermarket and can make great power with relative ease. This particular engine came out of a Galant VR4 and is in great shape from what I've seen thus far.

My plans so far are:
-Stock bottom-end for now
-Rebuilt head with 272 cams, upgraded springs, etc
-ARP headstuds
-JMFab Billet RWD intake manifold
-Sch10 turbo manifold with a Holset hx35-ish turbo
-Built th400 w/ transbrake
-MS3 Pro ECU

The goal is to make 400-450rwhp on the stock bottom end through the th400, which shouldn't be too difficult. I'd like to go mid-high 10s with it, which should be fun on the street for a little while.

Future plans - Built bottom-end, possibly a 2.3 stroker. I'm doing the th400 for now because it's easy and I have a nice one sitting on the shelf. But, I'd like to go back to a 5 or 6 speed (Tremec TKX, T56, or some other variant), something along the lines of a gt35 turbo, and then do some nicer suspension and brakes. The goal would be to make 500-600+rwhp reliably and have excellent handling - basically taking the original vision of the SVO and introducing it to PCP.

I'll keep this thread updated as I go along. I have a ton of parts already with a few more that are on order.

P.S. - I'm not making any irreversible changes to the car(aside from maybe frame ties and torque-box reinforcements). I'm going to mothball the original engine, the replacement Merkur engine, and all the oem parts I take off of the car - just so I can revert it back to stock in the future if I want to.


NEXT POST - HEAD REBUILD
 

Sprayin

Public Enemy #1
Donating Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Posts
20,078
Reaction score
3,642
Location
Chicago, IL
This makes my pants tight. I've always wanted to build a badass 4g63, even bought a 1G Talon a couple years ago but ended up parting ways with it. 4g63 in a Mustang sounds hot. Csnt wait to see this thing come together.
 
OP
b00sted

b00sted

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Posts
5,038
Reaction score
5,492
This makes my pants tight. I've always wanted to build a badass 4g63, even bought a 1G Talon a couple years ago but ended up parting ways with it. 4g63 in a Mustang sounds hot. Csnt wait to see this thing come together.
Same here. I've always wanted a 1G Eclipse/Talon, but they're getting really pricey for clean ones.
 

Bru

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Donating Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Posts
39,232
Reaction score
3,309

DanJ

>
Staff member
Moderator
Donating Member
Joined
May 25, 2007
Posts
31,254
Reaction score
4,883
Location
Aurora
That’s awesome. I don’t know if you mentioned it, but has this been done before?
 

v6buicks

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Posts
3,041
Reaction score
3,201
I like this idea muy mucho.

This might be a bit late now, but did you consider building a Folvo? That would have addressed the crappy Pinto head. I heard recently that the big plate welded on the rear of the Volvo head was no longer deemed to be necessary. You can just slap the Volvo head on the Ford block and run it because the port that appears to be a leak doesn't actually have coolant in it? I used to have one of those heads for my 240, but I sold it while they were still cheap. :confused: I still see them for about $400 every now and then.

Either way, the 4G63 is a solid upgrade and way less cookie cutter awful than an LS swap.
 
OP
b00sted

b00sted

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Posts
5,038
Reaction score
5,492
I like this idea muy mucho.

This might be a bit late now, but did you consider building a Folvo? That would have addressed the crappy Pinto head. I heard recently that the big plate welded on the rear of the Volvo head was no longer deemed to be necessary. You can just slap the Volvo head on the Ford block and run it because the port that appears to be a leak doesn't actually have coolant in it? I used to have one of those heads for my 240, but I sold it while they were still cheap. :confused: I still see them for about $400 every now and then.

Either way, the 4G63 is a solid upgrade and way less cookie cutter awful than an LS swap.
Yeah I was reading into it and it still sounds like a pain to do. In order to do it without welding a block of aluminum to the head, there's 3 holes(iirc) in the deck of the block that need to be drilled, tapped, and plugged. And then the pistons need to be fly-cut or custom pistons need to be installed. Then there's still the issue of that head not exactly having a large aftermarket either - I was reading that it's hard to find aftermarket cams and stuff for it.

I just decided to get away from the Lima platform altogether.
 

v6buicks

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Posts
3,041
Reaction score
3,201
Yeah I was reading into it and it still sounds like a pain to do. In order to do it without welding a block of aluminum to the head, there's 3 holes(iirc) in the deck of the block that need to be drilled, tapped, and plugged. And then the pistons need to be fly-cut or custom pistons need to be installed. Then there's still the issue of that head not exactly having a large aftermarket either - I was reading that it's hard to find aftermarket cams and stuff for it.

I just decided to get away from the Lima platform altogether.
I hear ya. I'm pretty sure yoshifab sells good car cams for those now, but it's still a pain to gather all the parts for that when you can just buy a full engine and start from scratch.

I was unaware that the Ford pistons also needed to be cut or replaced. This is a big reason why I have no desire to 16V swap the 240.
 

Mr_Roboto

Doing the jobs nobody wants to
Donating Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Posts
16,179
Reaction score
4,106
Location
Joliet
I like this idea muy mucho.

This might be a bit late now, but did you consider building a Folvo? That would have addressed the crappy Pinto head. I heard recently that the big plate welded on the rear of the Volvo head was no longer deemed to be necessary. You can just slap the Volvo head on the Ford block and run it because the port that appears to be a leak doesn't actually have coolant in it? I used to have one of those heads for my 240, but I sold it while they were still cheap. :confused: I still see them for about $400 every now and then.

Either way, the 4G63 is a solid upgrade and way less cookie cutter awful than an LS swap.
There's a place for the cookie cutter LS swap but honestly the 351W seems to be really under rated from a turbo standpoint in the LS world these days. I guess that could be considered cookie cutter in these too but still probably less so at this point in time.
 
OP
b00sted

b00sted

TCG Elite Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Posts
5,038
Reaction score
5,492
Had Delta Cams regrind my OEM cams. I went with the HKS 272 profile, which seems to be a very popular grind and will be more than enough for the stock bottom end.

I'm in the process of rebuilding the head and will post all that later today or tomorrow.

signal-2021-06-23-111343_001.jpeg


signal-2021-06-23-111343_002.jpeg


signal-2021-06-23-111343_004.jpeg
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom