1985 LTD 302 V8 Cheap begginer project car - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-31-2003, 08:38 PM
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1985 LTD 302 V8 Cheap begginer project car

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this. I ran across a car for $100 last week that didnt run. I was able to get it running for under $11.00 (starter Seleionid). Currently im in the process of chaning the plugs, wires, o2 sensor, distributor cap, roater, air breather, pcv valve, and the exhaust so i can get it to pass the state inspection here in missouri.

Im 24 years old and know general maintance of cars etc, but as a child i always helped my dad work on his 57 chevy. I want to get a nice hot rod project car like that in the future, but im using this car to learn on.

From my experiance i dont see a differnce in HP using more expensive spark plugs etc.

Since i need to replace the exhaust on the car, i may go ahead and get some headers, and then replace the exhaust. and i would like to put dual exhaust on it if possible.

The car does have a catalic converter, so would i need to get 2 to have dual exhaust? or does it Y after the converter?

what other modifications can i make to the car that would increase the HP?

from what i know about the car / engine its a V8 302, (would rather to have a 351c but im not going to go through the expense of replacing the engine, and since my dad is not here i am uncomfortable taking a job on like that this early.

so the main questions of this topic are basically....
1. Whats envolved with putting on headers and changing the exhaust to dual exhaust?

2. What other modifications increase HP, that dont require pulling the motor completly out of the car?

3. Do you notice a differnce with the more expensive spark plugs (i.e. the platnium 4)

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Old 11-01-2003, 02:08 AM
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The 85 LTD is built on the same platform (Fox) as the 79-93 Mustangs, 83-88 T-birds, Fairmonts, & Mercury variations of those cars. I got a whole dual-cat Mustang exhaust system from headers to mufflers for my T-bird free from a guy who was hotrodding his Mustang. Stock or aftermarket H-pipes will work, though your column shift may need modification. The stock iron manifolds will not work with Mustang pipes, so you must use Mustang headers. Mustang rear ends also bolt in, & you might find one with posi & gears somewhere. 5.0 Mustang brakes (87-up models are bigger), wheels, quick steering racks, & sway bars can also be used. Your car has a longer wheelbase, so the Mustang driveshaft will not work.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:33 AM
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you wanna go cheap edelbrock intake and an edelbrock carb....it would help a bit to put a shiftkit and stall in the tranny give it a little kick in the shift
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:41 PM
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I think the LTD II was a Fox but the full sized version is a full framed car. Even at that you can look to mustangs for some higher performance parts. I'm assuming it is still a carburated car, IIRC efi came in 86. As such it is a feedback carb and a rather horrid system at best. Made during those transitional years where Detroit was hanging all kinds of crap on 20 year old technoilogy trying to meet federal standards. I'm not sure what your emissions test requires, can you do any modifications? A simple swap to a 4 barrel carb, dual exhaust and an earlier Duraspark II ignition would give you a more tunable car and probably pep it up quite a bit.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stPROJECTcar
Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this. I ran across a car for $100 last week that didnt run. I was able to get it running for under $11.00 (starter Seleionid). Currently im in the process of chaning the plugs, wires, o2 sensor, distributor cap, roater, air breather, pcv valve, and the exhaust so i can get it to pass the state inspection here in missouri.

Im 24 years old and know general maintance of cars etc, but as a child i always helped my dad work on his 57 chevy. I want to get a nice hot rod project car like that in the future, but im using this car to learn on.

From my experiance i dont see a differnce in HP using more expensive spark plugs etc.

Since i need to replace the exhaust on the car, i may go ahead and get some headers, and then replace the exhaust. and i would like to put dual exhaust on it if possible.

The car does have a catalic converter, so would i need to get 2 to have dual exhaust? or does it Y after the converter?

what other modifications can i make to the car that would increase the HP?

from what i know about the car / engine its a V8 302, (would rather to have a 351c but im not going to go through the expense of replacing the engine, and since my dad is not here i am uncomfortable taking a job on like that this early.

so the main questions of this topic are basically....
1. Whats envolved with putting on headers and changing the exhaust to dual exhaust?

2. What other modifications increase HP, that dont require pulling the motor completly out of the car?

3. Do you notice a differnce with the more expensive spark plugs (i.e. the platnium 4)
Lot of car not a lot of engine, unless you're thinking of a 347 stroker kit or stuffing a 351 into this you may not be happy with where you have to go to get performance out of the thing and how much it costs to get there. I think you'll quickly find that the expense of swapping the engine will be the less expensive way of getting the bottom to mid RPM torque this car needs to move out sharply. The 302 would have to be built up for upper end horsepower to accomplish the same task. This takes you into hot rod designs of more cam to get to higher RPMs where the power in a small displacement engine is. Then comes higher compression to compensate for the cams lost bottom end power. Then the torque converter stall has to be raised to let the engine idle. Then the rear gears need to be changed to get the revs up to the power band. then the Ford automatic will prove to be inadequate for the power and RPMs going through it and will have to beefed up or replaced. I don't like throwing cold water on you, but this will get more expensive than you're imagining for less result that you're imagining very quickly. Which is why I recommend shopping for a good 351 and its transmission. Or a 351 and a Chevy TH350 or 700R4 which has become a common swap to improve tranny reliability without spending all your Lotto winnings on the Ford transmission.

The 85 302 is suffering through the final years of second generation smog designs. There really isn't much that headers and intake manifolds can do for this engine. The problem which is pretty universal for anything of that period is inside the engine. The pistons need to go for a better crown shape thus improved compression and flame propagation, the heads have poorly designed combustion chambers they need replacement for improved compression and better fuel and air management which improves the combustion that makes the power. The camshaft needs to be replaced with something healthier just to get mixture in and out efficiently. Headers and duals only regain power lost onto themselves on a stock smog engine they have a small improvement but nothing like a car like this one needs. The gains from these outside bolt on's aren't realized till the insides of the engine are improved.

Frankly if the car was a freebie or nearly so I'd take it for the engine and driveline and look for a Ranger to put it into then scrap the LTD body.

Bogie

Last edited by oldbogie; 05-27-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stPROJECTcar
so i can get it to pass the state inspection here in missouri.
There's the kicker right there. Do not spend a dime on this car other than standard replacement parts to get it running good. Once you have it running and it has passed inspection, call around to the inspection stations and find a referee (the guy or guys at a particular inspection station who answer all the out-of-the-ordinary questions) like, can I put headers and duals on my 85 LTD 302 and if I can, will I need two catalytic converters?
A couple of decades ago, I was messing with this kind of thing so much that I knew all the referees by first name.

Now, having said that and having you understand that the fate of the modifications are in the hands of the emissions referees, I will say that I absolutely agree with bogie. The stock 302 was worthless as a starting point. The heads are worse than awful. Been there, done that. Ask the referee about doing a swap to a 351W. They'll probably tell you that you can swap to any motor that was offered in that car at the factory as long as you use the same year or a later year motor.

I have a great deal of respect for bogie's opinions, but even I, as nutty as I am, would not use the 302 as a swap motor into ANYTHING. Later model 5.0's are a different story.
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