This page is being started about 1.5 years after performing a 2.3 turbo swap into my 91 Mustang. Originally, it was an anemic 2.3 without the help of a turbo... Show more.
This is how the car looked before starting the swap.
I bought a complete, running 88 T-bird that had everything I needed. I drove the T-bird for a short while to make sure everything in the car was a good candidate for the swap.
I am skipping the pictures of the actual motor swap. That information is available elsewhere on the internet. The starting point for this page is after I got the motors swapped and the turbo motor running decent (bugs worked out).
I wanted to do a rotated upper intake. I also wanted to get rid of the power steering. After a little thought, I decided to combine the two mods. A rotated upper intake requires that the alternator be 'flipped' outwards. I didn't like how close that set it to the starter solenoid. Besides, it made the engine bay look crowded...
With the alternator relocated:
- The distributor hold down is much easier to reach.
- A large amount of adjustment was gained for the rotation of the distributor.
- The weight savings of course! :)
- Cleaner engine bay.
After I relocated the alternator, I started working on the rotated upper intake manifold.
After I had the rotated upper intake finished, I took and hour and done a trial fit on the car. Show Less
After I trial fitted the upper intake and moving the alternator, I was ready to mount the FMIC. I bought the FMIC off www.turbomustangs.com. It is off a Ford... Show more Powerstroke and was modified by a previous owner to fit a Mustang.
I don't have any pictures of the mounting process... but I removed the bumper and mounted the intercooler. I had to clearance some of the bumper 'shock' brackets. I also had to cut the lower air dam out some. Eventually, I'll buy a new bumper, but here is how it looked.
After lots of research, I found that many 2.3 guys are going with the HX35. The HX35 comes on 3/4 and 1 ton Dodge trucks with the Cummins diesel.I found and bought one off Ebay. when I got the turbo, I gave it a thorough inspection. I found excessive shaft play. This allowed the compressor wheel to lightly contact the housing. Since I just wanted to get it running for now, I decided to continue on with the swap.
This is a size comparison of my new and old turbo.
I removed the exhaust housing so I could port the wastegate hole. That is a problem when putting this large of a turbo on a smaller motor. The factory wastegate does not allow enough air to escape. Therefore, boost has a tendancy to creep.
The exhaust on this turbo is what's called a split scroll design. The split scroll design seperates the exhaust gases from the two cylinders and allows the turbo to spool more quickly. Since the wastegate airflow is an issue, it is common practice to cut the divider out as far back as possible. If this is not done, only half of the exhaust is going out through the wastegate while the other half continues to spool the turbo.
The HX35 is a LOT larger than the puny IHI turbo I took off. Along with its additoinal size came a decreased amount of clearance at the strut tower. This is why the wastegate was such a problem.
The wastegate actuator (WA) was a pain in the arse! I built and threw away 4 or 5 different 'attempts'. I finally got something that worked nice though. The probelm was due to the proximity of the WA to the strut tower. There just wasn't very much room to work with.
That last picture also shows a failed attempt at the oil drain line. After swapping turbos and starting it, the car smoked very bad. Because of that, I bought a new CHRA. It done the same thing with the new CHRA though. The reason it was smoking so bad was because the oil drain line wasn't draining good enough and oil was backing up and pushing out the seals. Show Less