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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

I've come to this forum many times over the years and gathered a lot of really useful information. So first of all, thank you.

Second, I've just started a new project of swapping an aluminum block 4.6 3V into my 2V New Edge GT. My reasons for choosing the 3V basically boiled down to weight. I've gotten into track driving and these things are very nose heavy. The understeer is awful. I did coilovers up front, v6 sway bar, Dunlop Direzza ZIII's (255/40r17) and it helped a little, but it still doesn't like to turn. So the idea is to make this car into a track toy, get it going around corners much better and end up with about 340rwhp.

The 3V, from what I can find will save me about 100# off the nose of the car. Plus the weight savings of the MM K-member and A-Arms, and relocating the battery. And the fact that the k-member will fix my front roll center, it should turn a whole lot better. I will also be fabricating my own Panhard bar, though I cannot afford to go the torque arm/adjustable sway bar/coilovers route at this time, it should help tremendously in getting the rear roll center down lower and keeping the axle from shifting side to side in cornering loads.

Another reason for doing to 3V is that with a little tuning, locking out the phasers, and a few small mods to the wiring, this engine will run on the 2V ECU. So it makes it a really straight forward swap in that regard. It will require cutting a hole in the hood or buying a cowl hood, which adds some expense to the project. But these engines are pretty cheap at this point. I picked mine up for $750 with 106k on it. I later found the cams were scored up and one rod was bent, but we'll get to that.

Anyway, here is the car.



When I bought the car, the engine had just been replaced with a remanufactured long block. With all the bolt-ons and a tune it put down 242rwhp. Fun for burnouts and enough power to get me started, but I'm ready for more at the track.

I found the motor on marketplace. Already out of the car, but he had a video of a cold start and it sounded good. So, I went for it.

I ordered up my cams and started to tear into the motor. I knew I was going to be putting a Melling oil pump in it, so the valve covers, front cover and oil pump came off. Here's what I found...

One head looked like a 100,000 mile situation inside, the other looked new. At that point I knew something was not mentioned and that the 'timing set replacement' that was done 6,000 miles ago was more than that. It was a whole cylinder head- for reasons unknown. And down in the oil pan, blocking up the oil pickup, was a valve keeper and remnants of the old chain guides.

Where 3V's are concerned, I'm not sure what goes first, the oil pump or internals which contaminate the oil and take out the oil pump. Either way, this baby was shot. Oh well, I planned on replacing the pump anyway. Let's get the cams out and keep moving forward.

Upon removal of the caps, I found major scoring of pretty much all the cam journals and towers. Lobes and followers looked okay, surprisingly, as the followers are also a common failure. Nevertheless, these heads were trash. So, again, headed to market place and luckily found a set 40 minutes from my house with 55k miles on them. An unplanned expense, but thats how these things go, right?

When I saw the condition of the oil pump and the top end, I figured it'd be wise to get a closer look at the bottom end. Since the bolts are TTY, I didn't want to take the whole thing apart if I didn't have to, so I was going to check one rod and see how it looked. Luckily for me, I pulled the #1 rod apart and it just happened to be the only rod in the engine that was bent. I had no suspicions of a bent rod, and it is by pure luck that I found this. I've purchased and used plenty of used engines in my life, none have gone this poorly.

Here you can see the bent rod.

The block is bare and I've started removing the flashing and sharp spots in the skirt. The cylinders measure good for size with no taper or out-of-round, and the cross-hatch is still there. I'm going to run a ball-hone through it lightly and run it.

And that's pretty much where I stand with it now. The plan is a very budget overhaul just to get it back on the road/track for the season...
  • Order new OEM rods (very cheap)
  • Turn the crank .010" under (it is scored and at the bottom end of rod journal spec)
  • New hypereutectic, coated pistons from ModMax.
  • GT500 Oil Pump. (Tray and oil pan if nothing else comes up)
  • The valves all mic out good and the guides are fine as well, so I'll just be doing a quick cleanup and fine lap to touch up the seats.
  • PAC 300# valve springs
  • 127500 Comp Cams (phaser lockouts)
  • I'll balance the rods, weight match the rods and piston assemblies, then have the rotating assembly dynamically balanced.

That's the plan so far. I'll share more about what else will be happening to the car itself in later posts. Thanks for reading!


2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Hey guys and gals, I've got some updates on the build as well as some exciting news. First, I want to give a shoutout to Dewayne Logan (@LoganD), who is currently building a 400 rwhp, N/A 3v (check out his build thread HERE)and has been an invaluable resource for me on this swap, and in making this car what it is in general. He's been in the game of making Mustangs go fast for a long time and really knows his stuff. Having a guy who can rattle off part numbers in casual conversation has definitely been an asset!

Anyway, at some point (it's all been kind of a blur, haha) I was reviewing where I'd be once I put all my low-buck parts back in this engine and decided that I'd rather go for it if I was going to do it. I ordered up a set of Mahle forged (M124P) pistons, .020" oversize, and some Eagle rods. Hoping that since I'm also doing some porting to the heads and running the comp cams, I wanted to be able to reliably spin it as fast as it was able and willing to continue making power.

I've built a number of engines, but they were mostly old ford small blocks and I always had my dad's help. He unfortunately passed away a couple years ago, so just to make sure I had all my ducks in a row I purchased a course from HP Academy on performance engine building. It was a good course and inspired me to take things to the next level. So, while saving up the funds to order up parts and have the machine work done, I made this rod balancing fixture. Both ends are on ball bearings so the rod accurately centers itself each time. I work at a machine shop by day, so I had access to all the necessary equipment to whip it up fairly easily. In fact, other than the big end roller, this could be very easily made on a drill press in anyones garage. Very simple, yet effective tool.


The Eagle Rods made it finally, along with a lab quality scale. My rig worked perfectly and I was able to get all the rods balanced on the big ends, as well as overall weights to +/- .03g. (606.34-606.4).

Also got the pistons weight matched. The set was only out by 1g as delivered, so it didn't take much work. Mahle pistons are also delivered with a Phosphate Coating on them that gives them the grayish hue. Just to double check that this wasn't some sort of thermal barrier coating that allowed for such tight piston-to-bore clearances, I reached out to Mahle to double check. This is the response I got-

"The grey coating is phosphate and is for lubricating the ring grooves and pin bores. It will not harm the piston to remove the coating elsewhere."

So, I was cleared to remove material from the bottom of the pin bosses to get these pistons all to within .05g of each other. Some might call this overkill on an engine that might not even see 7000 rpm, but I enjoyed it and it didn't take long.

Livernois Motorsports honed the block for the new pistons and cleaned it up for me. The crank is at a local shop called Crankshaft Craftsmen. They ground the journals for me and currently have my #8 assembly to setup bob weights to balance the crank. They estimated having the crank back to me this week.

So, while I wait on parts and machine work I went ahead and got all the ring gaps set last week. My dad had a ring filer but I haven't seen it around lately so I ordered up this very cheap unit from Proform. I didn't get any photos of that process but did take some video, so once I get the motor assembled I'll have a new Engine Build episode to share.

Along with filing ring gaps, I've also been working on porting my heads. Mostly, it's a pocket port/port cleanup. The ports are only enlarged by a very small amount, as well as un-shrouding the valves. And in an effort to keep everything as consistent as possible, I devised this routing template to run a round nose router bit in my laminate trimmer to rough out the combustion chambers.

I found some information on how to calculate the amount of clearance a valve needs at a certain lift in order to be mathematically un-shrouded. So after marking that out on a scrap head and shaping it in by hand, I used a ball peen hammer and some card stock to make a template. Which I transferred to a piece of MDF and made the actual routing template. The template is secured in place with 7/16" bolts through the head bolt holes with nuts on the back side.




Once they were roughed in with the router I just finished them in by hand with sanding rolls. Then I glued 220 paper to a sheet of glass and laid it on a 6" granite surface plate to flatten the deck surface. even though I've decided to build with better parts, I'm still doing as ,much as I can myself in order to keep the cost down.


And being mindful of how much material was coming off to not cause any timing issues, I zeroed a dial indicator on there valve cover surface and checked often as I flattened the head. Took me about 15 minutes per head and took only .0025" off to get it dead flat.

A valve seat grinder is on the way and I'm close to wrapping up the porting. More photos to come!

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