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1996 Mustang (SN95) ---> 2.3t swap

I've had this 96 Mustang for ~6+ years. I bought it as a V6 w/out any options. I drove it a few months and, after I blew the engine, started putting a BBF in it. I had this car running with a BBF for a couple years. Its best et was 11.31 @ ~123 mph. I sold the old BBF and started building a 572 efi BBF. Part way through that build, I decided to go turbocharged and put the engine in a 2003 F150 Supercrew.


I tried selling the Mustang for a few months without any serious interest. Since the turbo BBF build will take a while to complete, I wanted something I can drive and have fun with without dumping $$$ and lots of time into. That's where this swap came to mind. I am familiar with the engines because I had a 91 Mustang w/ a 2.3 a few years ago that had most of the common mods (HX35, FMIC, ect.). So, I'm jumping in head first with this swap.

Here are some specs on the 1996 Mustang as it sits right now:

Front suspension/Engine Bay:
-- PA Racing tubular K-member w/ 1.5" dropped Pinto rack & pinion
-- Flaming River manual Pinto rack & pinion
-- Strange 10 way adjustable struts
-- Coilover kit w/ unknown springs
-- Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates w/ modified mounts. Lowered mounting point of struts about 2" over stock for increased extension travel on struts
-- Griggs Racing tubular lower control arms
-- Skinny Kid Racecars manual brake setup
-- Smoothed engine bay and recessed fuse panel
-- Modified radiator support pushed radiator forwards ~4 - 5 inches. This leaves lots of room between the water pump and radiator. This was a very nice bonus with the BBF.

Back of car:
-- Lakewood traction bars
-- OEM 8.8" w/ disc brakes
-- UPR Pro lower control arms
-- Fuel tank and spare tire cubby hole removed to make room for 20 gallon fuel cell. Fuel cell is mounted up high and is not easily visible from behind the car (sleeper).
-- 20 gallon fuel cell
-- Lakewood (I think) driveshaft loop.
-- Trunk mounted battery with safety shut off. Remove the four nuts on the passenger tail light and use one of the holes from the tail light for the safety kill switch.
-- Kenny Brown Extreme Matrix subframe connectors
-- Welded torque boxes

The wiring harness for the car has already been modified for a carb'd engine. With that being the case, I don't have to intermix two different wiring harnesses.

Planned Engine Build:
-- 2.3 from an 88 T-coupe
-- HE351VE turbo
-- 83 lb/hr injectors
-- MSD Digital 6 ignition
-- Megasquirt
-- 90* rotated upper.
-- log header

My immediate focus is to get the engine in the car and running with as many stock parts as possible. I couldn't start the engine before pulling it from the donor car. It had spark and the injectors were pulsing, but it just wouldn't quite start (it tried to numerous times). I could hear the fuel pump cycling, but I am guessing the fuel pump wasn't working correctly since the car sat a few months before I bought it.

The Mustang is setup for manual steering, manual brakes, and a motor plate. With that being the case, I only need to mount an alternator in the car. I am still undecided if I will fab a motor plate setup for the car or not... I have looked and I can't find anybody that sells a motor plate setup for these engines. That surprises me! So far, I believe the best spot for the motor plate is between the water pump and the block. AFAIK, the water pump pushes the water out of the 'back' of the impeller...not the sides, right? If that's the case, the motor plate will be pretty simple.

Alright, these photos show how I expect the engine to sit in the car. I don't see any clearance issues. There seems to be plenty of room on each side of the engine bay and a ton of room in front of the engine. Also, the shifter placement looks good.

As the car sits now:

Notice the fuel cell is barely visible:

Empty engine bay:


Shifter placement in interior of car:

Engine sitting in engine bay:


Have a good day!
1996 Ford Mustang
2.5t Folvo w/ HE351VE, MS3X, & TKO500

1958 Plymouth Savoy
Flathead 6 and 3-on-the-tree

2018 Audi RS3
2.5t, AWD
11.23 @ 121 mph

This will be a very nice car when completed. Will be anxious to see how it finishes out.
Ron Gibson

'83 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
'84 Mustang GT Turbo

Wow. lots of room in that engine bay. Im jealous. That will be a great sleeper. Stock looking V6 mustang. Cool project.
Matt Molner

1993 turbo notch
393 Windsor, Astro A5, Fast EFI, cobra brakes, MM suspension

Man,there sure is a ton of room in the engine bay.Should make it a breeze to work on.Cool project.Should turn some heads.
86 SVO Boport Stage 3 head,Boport header,Turbonetics T66,96lb/hr inj,lots of BOOST!

Cool project, keep us posted. How do you like the manual brakes?

Quote:Originally posted by s8v4o:
How do you like the manual brakes?
When I installed them, I drilled a new hole in the brake pedal for the master cylinder rod. I believe the hole was about one inch higher on the brake pedal. With the weight of the BBF, I had to stand on them a bit in a 'panic' stop or shutting down at the drag strip. I was OK with them, but my wife didn't like them much.

Since I'm converting the car to a manual trans, I'm getting another pedal assembly. On it, I will drill the hole a little higher. I will take some measurements and shoot for an additional ~40% leverage or so. Between that and the lower weight of the 2.3, I expect it to be good enough for myself and wife to drive.

Have a good day!
1996 Ford Mustang
2.5t Folvo w/ HE351VE, MS3X, & TKO500

1958 Plymouth Savoy
Flathead 6 and 3-on-the-tree

2018 Audi RS3
2.5t, AWD
11.23 @ 121 mph

very cool project..always wanted to see a SN95 with a 2.3T swaped into it..
86 mustang GT Turbo
14.0 @ 98.32

ihi 17psi/sunoco 94

Very cool. I read about a guy who was going to do that swap a year or so ago, but like so many projects, it never got done. Good luck!!

man thats alot of engine room. pretty sweet build.

anyone care to guess what "sandalwood infatuated moron" is going to drive 400 miles to get the shell?



looks like a cool build mike, cant wait to see it in person, and meet ya. maybe well have some beers before i head back west?

1987 TC - Goldie - Gone but not forgotten
1988 TC - Blue/Blue 5MT Check-off car, trying to save...
Sold the Coupe (hated it), Crushed the 85.5 (rust).

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