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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, maybe it's me, but just where the heck do you find these nowadays? I've called around, googled, Fleabayed, Craiged; I just can't find anywhere that's got the SVO's! I'm just exploring avenues now and building up priceguides and the like (planning ahead sucks), and even finding a place that'd sell the things crate would work. But I'm just having no luck at all.

So. Help?
 

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Hard to find em around here with original motor still in em. freaking guys love to put 302s in them to call them 5.0 gt's like a bunch of fools. i know a guy that sold one last year for 5,000 thats was in great shape but i had my 7-up at the time
 

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I think a lot of guys pull the engines out of turbocoupes. I have been searching for one too, they seem to be very scarce.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know! You'd think with an engine like that there'd be at least someone who makes them crate or something. Heck, I can't even seem to find the block to one online.
 

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try searchtempest, let's you search all of craigslist. I just found 5 or 6 on the first page starting from my zip code, 72712..
 

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The block itself is nothing special, just the extra hole drilled on the side for the oil recirc line. The real difference is in the forged pistons and turbo accessories. I know of at least 6 Turbo Coupes at my local salvage yard still in the car.
 

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67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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'85-6 TurboCoupes are favorite, particularly the five speed cars as they had slightly bigger stock turbos. There exist Cougars too, but they are pretty rare. '87-8 Turbocoupes had the same engines but got smaller Ishi-Warner turbos which aren't too good and not readily rebuildable. The earlier cars had Garret T3's. '85-9 Merkur XR4Ti's are essentially the same setup as '85 Turbocoupes but with the smaller Garret turbos. The automatic cars are substantially detuned. Ignore Mekur Scorpios, they had 2.9 V'6s.
Which had what turbo doesn't matter much if you plan on using one of any number of aftermarket turbos. Many of these cars had their Garret turbos replaced at some point, I've seen "big" turbos on cars that were supposed to have the smaller ones, and vice-versa. Don't expect much from a 25 year old turbo anyway.
There were some '79-81 Fox Mustangs with turbos that weren't SVO's. Back in the day, in stock form, they quite frankly sucked. They were carbureted, gutless, and quite frankly no fun to drive. If you plan to throw the complete modification/rebuild book at one, I guess one might do for a start. I'd personally hold out for a slightly later model setup.
 

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The 2.3 turbo isn't my favorite motor, it's buzzy and shaky and heavy and really doesn't make much power unless you build the crap out of it.

That said, as others have noted the SVO motor was pretty similar to all the other injected 2.3 turbos, T-Bird/Cougar, XR4Ti, etc, power differences are down to turbo, intercooler, and tuning. Unlikely you'll find a used one in usable shape, they're all going to need rebuilding by now, so just grab a decent core and start figuring out what parts you want to use.

If you're going big on HP by the time you're done you'll have a Ford block and maybe a Ford crank and pretty much everything else - head, exhaust, intake, turbo, pistons, etc etc etc - is going to be aftermarket.
 

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There were some '79-81 Fox Mustangs with turbos that weren't SVO's. Back in the day, in stock form, they quite frankly sucked.
127HP, carbureted. Of course the non-turbo 2.3 made a whole 84HP or so, the 2.8 V6 made 115 or something like that, and it wasn't until a few years later that the V8s even touched 150.

Those were not the good old days.
 

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There's two in the Raleigh craigslist right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmph. Was actually hoping to find something aftermarket, like Year One, to build up from. But, time to contemplate regardless. Thanks for the search investment guys; never even heard of searchtempest before.
 

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David, if you need any pointers on building a powerful 2.3L, just let me know. There are manufacturers of high performance 2.3L parts out there, unfortunately it costs anywhere from 3-5 times more than what it takes to do the same from a good SBF. It is definitely a different ride and makes for interesting conversation as well. Best of luck.
 

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i have 3 in my possesion, well... 2. One is in my 68 coupe. They are great motors, and can make as much power as the 302. Plus the block is alot tougher than the 302 IMO. just find an 84-88 turbo coupe.

Oh anything you want to know is at www.turboford.net its a 2.3 junkie's dreamsite
 

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They really are tough engines. Hence the reason that there are some out there in the 8's (yes 1/4 mile). The only downside is everything for them is pricey and there are fewer manufacturers than what the small block crowd enjoys.
 

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They really are tough engines.
My objection to them isn't that they're not strong, or that they can't make power, but that like just about every non-balance-shaft four over 2 liters, they vibrate a lot and pass a lot of those vibrations into the car. Some people care about things like this, some don't.

I've helped friends with three or four of them and they seem to shake their accessory and bracketry bolts loose; common as not when tearing one down you can unscrew an unusual number of the accessory bracket, turbo, manifold bolts by hand.

If I were retrofitting one I'd look at doing some fluid-filled engine mounts, maybe something off a Volvo S70 since they're a pretty straightforward design, and a high-mounted torque-reaction dogbone with some voided bushings in it.

For that matter, I wonder how much work it'd be to put an RWD transmission on one of those Volvo turbo fives...but if I were doing anything in that vein I'd be looking at a Saab B234T motor. Dirt-cheap from the junkyard, very strong once you change the cam chain sprockets, 300+HP with a stock head...
 

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I agree with that assessment and wonder why so many people choose to run them without the dampeners that were originally put on them to assist the motor mounts (At least on the SVO's I've owned). I have been fortunate with my aluminum head, as everything has remained tight, but I can see where the cast iron would loosen up some items too.
 

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A good friend of mine open tracked an '86 SVO up til about 2005 or so.
He had everything AND the kitchen sink under the hood. The block was
about the only stock thing he ran.
The turbo 2.3 has an Achilles heel or two. If you want to know what
breaks, I'll ask him....my memory is definitely not good on the exact details.
 
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