1986 Ford Mustang SVO-ND Part Deux

If you haven't read about this project car before, I suggest a little background reading to be found here. If you are here to read about the experiments with the Garrett GT37v EVRT turbo, you can find out about them here.

The SVO-ND began as basic transportation. Of course, it is impossible for me to leave well enough alone. The last engine in the car was a 5.700" 'long-rod' engine, which really did not meet my expectations for a street engine. It made great power very high in the RPM band, but was very unfriendly in day to day driving. As I was beginning the build up of that engine, I also began building up another engine that would replace it. (Yes, I am sick, and need help) That engine was to be another 2.3L long-rod engine, with a modified Volvo B234F 16 valve cylinder head on top. There's lot of information out there about this swap. The problem is that there are only two or three cars out there running with the swap. Never afraid to break a car, I embarked on this project, ready to bust all engine components (and my budget).

I learned a tremendous amount about the characteristics of a long-rod engine, and about running high compression (8.9:1) with a turbocharger on the street. I found out that both were a bad combination, as the octane found at the pump just would not keep up with the massive detonation potential of the high compression and longer rods. To compound this issue, my family and I moved (again) from the panhandle of Florida to the mountains of northern New Mexico. This posed three major problems to running this last engine. First, the fuel octane available dropped from 93 to 90 (ouch). Second, there is no humidity in the air. In most cases, tuners don't like humidity, I love it. I'll gladly lose 4-5hp in exchange for detonation suppression, any day of the week. However, the summers are now much more bearable. An thirdly, I now live at roughly 7000 feet elevation. This does wonders for your low end power and torque. Even the higher compression of this latest engine was not enough to overcome it. Throw on top of that the fact that it knocked so easily, and I had a bad combination for what I needed.


Enter the new engine. I can't report on how well this is going to run, yet. But I can tell you that a lot of thought has gone into it. The new engine will use the B234F cylinder head, but will be put on a late model (small journal) Ford 'Lima' block. Displacement is 2.5L with 5.500" Crower rods and custom forged Diamond pistons. I also have a windage tray under the crank. The crank was modified to accept a roller pilot bearing to use the T-56 6 speed transmission. I had a tremendous amount of trouble with the bronze bushings. Other than that, the short block was actually pretty easy and straightforward.

Now, before we begin, we better at least mock-up this setup. So, in 2003, I did just that. Here is a pic of a B234F head on top of a rather greasy 2.3L N/A short block.

It fits way *too* well. You would almost think that Ford and Volvo collaborated on this one. The bores are almost on center (off just by thousandths), and the head bolt holes all align. Where this don't work out too well is in the rear of the head, as shown below.

Yes, that's bare, open block. Not good, but it can be 'fixed'. Go on to the next page for more.

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