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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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!

Brad
 

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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.

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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).
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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!

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Back in business, guys and gals! I've been so buried I haven't had time to update this thread. I actually dyno'ed the car last weekend and made some great power. But we'll get to that. For now, here are some more build photos.

I decided to go with some new stainless valves and after a lot of reading and research, I found an article where Joe Mondello talked about how important throat ratio was on a street engine for low-mid lift flow, and decided that for the throat size that I arrived at after cleaning up the bowls, I needed oversized valves to keep the ratio correct. I definitely plan to track the car, but I didn't want it to be a turd in the lower RPM's. So, I ordered 1mm oversize, but when the seat grinder arrived and I started fitting the valves, I found the seat inserts weren't large enough to get that big a valve in there. I ended up putting these on the same grinder I used to face the old valves and cut the OD of the heads down, then refaced to get the margins right and touched up the back cuts.

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I ended up doing a 4 angle job on the intake side and a 45º seat with radius bottom cut for the exhaust. The top cuts ended up being mostly in the aluminum which made for a fun time with the stones. A little WD-40 helped them not to load up so badly, though. Once I got into the rhythm of it I really enjoyed it.
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This is the setup I came up with to make sure all the seats were the same height from the deck surface.
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And a pointer to help guide me in the top and bottom cuts to keep everything nice and consistent.
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Valves installed. I checked them by bounce, light, water and vacuum. Passed all tests and I have excellent compression now that the motor is together. Haven't done a leak-down test yet.

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I had to grind every valve tip in order to get the correct amount of lash, but it was well worth it because the valve train is nice and quiet. One head ready to install.
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Time to start assembling the engine. Verifying bearing clearances with micrometer and bore gauge.
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My shop made bolt stretch gauge. The tool expenses add up quick, so I opted to make as much of it myself as I could.
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Beautiful Clevite bearings.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Almost forgot- I CC'd the chambers. All the care taken to get the valve seats in at the same height and the chambers opened up by template paid off. A .6cc variance across all 8 chambers. Smallest was 51.4, largest 52. This brought me to 11:1 compression ratio.

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Okay- back to the engine. Rods and pistons assembled.

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Rings filed.
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Short block assembled.
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I misplaced two of the cylinder head dowels, but with one cylinder head on I started timing the camshafts. I went with a 102º Intake Centerline. These are Comp Cams 127500 camshafts.
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I made some new dowels after calling around to dealerships and having no luck and got the rest of the engine assembled. (I of course found the dowels while cleaning the shop last week.).

No-one makes a header for this engine in this car, so I opted to cut the flanges off my 2V headers and weld on some 3V flanges.

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I had to re-route the No. 1 primary a little as it was hitting a boss on the cylinder head. So I stuck it in the car to make sure it wasn't going to interfere with anything else and tacked it in place. I've got about 1/4" clearance to the subframe rail.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lightweight aluminum flywheel and RAM 11" clutch installed.
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The t45 was shifting pretty rough last year, so I ordered up an overhaul kit from Hanlon Motorsports with the carbon fiber blocker rings. It shifts a whole lot better now.

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Finally, the whole powertrain was sitting in the car.

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I got to work on the wiring harness. There are a few connectors that need to be lengthened and relocated and also swapping fuel injector connectors. I laid the harness on the engine and plugged everything in that could be plugged in, then unwrapped it in an effort to keep everything straight, swapped the fuel injector connectors one-by-one, re-routed the cam sensor to the opposite bank, lengthened the TPS wiring, re-routed the IAC and temp sensor wiring, and taped it all back up. Easy work but also easy to get messed up. I accidentally had the 3&4 coil connectors swapped when I first tried to fire it up. Pulled up a schematic and start verifying wire colors and found the problem. Luckily they reached their respective homes and I didn't have to take the harness back apart again. And I numbered the connectors with a paint marker for next time it's apart.

It's necessary to use the 2V fuel rail pressure sensor, but it is too small for the 3V fuel rail. I machined up an adapter.

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Since the 3V is drive-by-wire, a Cobra throttle body has to be retrofitted to the engine. The throttle body has IAC passages within it so an adapter plate to block them off is needed.

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I couldn't find a crossover from a 08-10 Mustang with the thermostat in the housing in the salvage yards or used on eBay, so I opted to make this one from an Explorer work. Cost me $40 rather than getting a new mustang unit for over $200. The heater hose nipple is on the front on the Explorer, while the Mustang's runs under the intake manifold. I also needed to install the temp. sensor where the nipple was. So I drilled out the heater hose nipple and ran a pipe tap in it for the coolant temp sensor, then drilled and tapped the bottom of the crossover for some brass fittings to connect the heater hose.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Temp sensor installed.
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Rather than buying some $75 rubber elbow, I decided to fabricate the whole tube from 16ga aluminum tubing. I hadn't welded aluminum in almost 10 years, so this was an interesting process. I ordered 4" aluminum intake piping and made some pie slice cuts on the band saw. Then formed them into an oval shape and welded it all together. You can see the oval transitions to round in the straight section. All in all, it came out alright. I need to polish it up, though.
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The 3V is also a bit taller than the 2v, so I had to make some room. I've never been a huge fan of cowl hoods, so I will probably end up making a foam mold and laying up my own fiberglass bump for this hood. For now, the Frankenstein look is fine.
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Other details-
I installed a Maximum Motorsports K-Member and fabricated my own lower control arms. My thinking behind building my own control arms was being able to run r-joint rod ends and a rebuildable ball joint from Howe Racing, for which they offer different length studs. I'll be able to play with roll center a little bit that way and minimize compliance in the front suspension.
Here's a quick overview of the control arm build-
In the fixture.
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Almost done. Need sway bar brackets and some reinforcements.
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Finished.
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Painted and installed.
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The MM K-Member shifts the wheels forward .75", my control arms shifted them forward about the same. The sway bar had to be moved forward as well and I made some copy-cat sway bar relocating brackets. I plan to make something that looks nicer this winter, but these work for now.
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Besides making a lot more power than the 2V, the main purpose behind the swap was taking weight off the nose of the car. With the aluminum 3V engine, MM K-Member, tubular control arms, removing the A/C and relocating the battery to the trunk I estimate 150-175# off the nose. The difference in handling is already apparent in just the little bit of time I've had to drive it so far.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, so I got the car over to the dyno for some tuning and to see what kind of power this thing was going to put down. First, an overview of the engine build-
Bored .020" over
Mahle Flat Top Pistons
Forged Eagle Rods
Stock Crank
Ported Heads
Comp Cams 127500 Camshafts and Livernois phaser lockouts (102º ICL)
Stainless Ferrea Valves
~51.7cc Combustion Chambers
~11:1 Compression
Aluminum Flywheel
11" RAM Clutch
Cobra 57mm throttle body
Stock 3v Intake Manifold
BBK Long Tubes (1-5/8")
BBK H-Pipe (2-1/2")
Bassani Mufflers
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It made 352hp and 350lb.ft. of torque to the rear wheels. By the 85% estimation, I'm sitting at about 415hp at the crank. Just shy of a Coyote.
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That yellow dotted line? That's from my 2V which I had tuned there prior to the engine swap. It blows my 275's off through second gear and is still pulling hard at 120mph. My bump steer still isn't completely dialed in so I'm nervous to go any faster than that. At the end of the day the project was a huge success. With the additional suspension mods I'm making to it this winter this will be an extremely effective track toy come next season.

Thanks for following along. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey folks. Been driving the car for a little over a week now. It feels awesome!

I have a FRPP Intake and Accufab throttle body coming in this week so we're hopefully gonna get it on the dyno one last time before I put it back in the barn for the winter suspension mods. Here's a photo I grabbed walking the other day showing the 17x10" Konig's and the engine peeking out the hood.
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