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Discussion Starter #1
How to make more power.

I've been looking into building a motor for one of my cars. It is a 1987 Mercury topaz, it has a 2.3L motor (140c.i.). I fried the head gasket about 3 months ago and parked it and am looking for a project so it sits there.

I am going to send the head to a machine shop and have them take 1/8th an inch off of it, what will this do to my compression (it was at 9:1 when it blew) and what could this do to horsepower. While the motor is out i'm building a header and intake for it and putting nitrous (35 shot) on it.

What type of power can be achieved if have someone port and polish your head?

I know my motor came out of the factory with 102 horsepower and 115 ft/lbs of torque. What type of power could I pull out after all of this is done?

Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.
Eric C.
 

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Go take an 1/8th" off and let us know.

I figure if .009 will take you from 10.5 to 11.5, 1/8th" should really boost the power.
 

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its not a performance engine. i wouldnt recommend it. turbo 2.3l made a little power and had forged internals. a topaz is not the case. waste of money, when you spray it will break and waste more money.

rethink this one
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lonestar,
I apoligize for all that was in that post. My computer keeps me logged on to this site, i use it often because i don't know much. My brother was the only one home (for a week) when i was gone.
I do have a 76 dodge that i drive daily,its not fast and i know that. I have a 51 studebaker pickup I've got from my dad but haven't had time to touch it yet. I do appoligize for my brothers actions (he drives a honda so i hate him as it is) and i still give him s**t because of him getting on here.

How much do you think an 1/8th of an inch would give compression wise?

Sorry,
Eric
 

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i think the 2.3 is a non interference motor,correct?

i dont think increasing the compression with in the bounds of normal gas will help much.maybe 3 hp per cylinder

what size are your combustion chambers?

honda makes a better 4 cylinder by far. but i guess you must be against them for other rasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spinn
"i think the 2.3 is a non interference motor..." I am not sure what you mean by a non interference motor, could you please explain?

As for the combustion chambers, i'm not sure what size they are, i will look at another site real quick to find out if i can, i think that they are about 56 or so but i'm not quite sure.

Eric
 

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I am not sure that I trust you.

I don't think you can get away with taking .125 off. I don't know the engine though.

I am working on a 2.0 Audi 4 cylinder. I would suppose it is probably close to yours. I am stroking it and I will be calculating what I can do the the head when the lower end is together.

Take your head off, put modeling clay on top of the piston, install head with new head gasket, torque to specs.

Turn the engine over a couple times (you may need to pressurize the oiling system)

Now remove head and look at the clay. If you see indentations where the valve has compressed the clay, carefully measure the thickness of the clay. You are looking for the thinnest point. If it is greater than .125, check the specs for proper clearance and that should tell you if you can get away with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand your reasons for not trusting.

I go to school with a kid that has shaved about 3/16ths of an inch of his 2.3 liter (same year) and is not having problems with clearence. I've talked to him and he said he did something with clay and didn't have any problems with hitting the head.

I know i have to take some off. When i blew the head gasket i warped the head (at the greatest point) .016 of an inch, measured this with feeler guages and a square.
 

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If your friend took .1875 off the same motor, then you shouldn't have an issue.

Horsepower increas would be negligable, but it is a start.

Out of curiosity, what happened with the tooth alignment on the timing belt? Is his timing ok?

This is an issue I have thought about but not checked out yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not sure about his tooth alignment. I haven't talkted much to him about his project.

I think that this might just be an overhead cam thing, if this is so he wouldn't have had to play with that, our cams sit kinda like a small block chevys cam, below the head. I'll see if i can find him tonight when i go racing downtown in my truck (it will keep up and beat most hondas but if it has an 8 cylender it will lose).
I don't think he had to do "that" much though, he put a turbo and all of that on so i'll ask if i see him.

Eric
 

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Ok, it's not an overhead cam. I told you I'm not familiar with the engine.

If you go searching on the net, there are sites about building the 2.3. Hot Rod magazine (I think) did an article about a 10 second Pinto with a 2.3.

I think I have it around here somewheres.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well thanks for the help Lonestar.

I do know of a kid who took his dual overhead cam sarurn and built his motor up alot (including taking .125 off his head) i'll ask him if he is out tonight what types of problems/solutions there are for that.

Eric.
 

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You would be better off finding a turbo T-bird engine and fitting it in place, rebuild it and add an intercooler and an aftermarket wastegate and 200HP is easily accomplished. Machining an 1/8" of a modern engine gasket surface is asking for trouble and will likely net you less than 20HP while requiring high octane fuel to prevent detonation, don't waste your time...just because someone else did it does not mean it was smart or durable.

If you only knew how many cracked head and block 2.3l Ford engines I have seen in my time you would think twice.;)
 

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how much power

Its doubtful that the deck of the head has 1/8th inch of thickness to it. To cut it that much will probably put you into the water jacket in the head. Knowing the close tolarances of the valve settings, I wouldnt recommend cutting the head more than .030", myself, and with that you could well put your static compression ratio over what your engine could tolarate on 91 octane gas. The 2.3 can be built up some, I would recommend going to racerwalsh.com , as they have a lot of goodies for the small Ford 4 holers.
 

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Hey guys, there were two completely different Ford 2.3L engines.

The one in the Mustangs and Pintos and such was for RWD applications, it was an overhead cam design, they also put it in a lot of Ranger trucks towards the end of its run. (line got ripped out about 5 years ago). It was built in both Lima Ohio and Brazil in a lot of different tunings and flavors including the turbo.... fair amount of aftermarket stuff available.

The engine in a Topaz is a completely different thing, built in Lima Ohio about 200 yards away from the OHC line, on a line that was converted from the old 200 cid I-6 that Ford put in the grocery getters. The design was basically the 200 with a couple cylinders chopped off and the also built a 2.5L variation that went in the Taurus for a little while. Pushrod engine, never heard of anyone doing much modification to them.

Some people that built them considered the OHC to be a neat little engine and the Topaz engine (called the "penta" or "HSC" or "high swirl" at the time to be a cheap piece of .......

The 460 line was there also, right in the middle of the plant....
 

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Hot Rod Magazine, April 1999, Volume 52, Number 4.

This guy built a Pinto with a 2.3 turbo motor and nitrous. He pulled 10 second 1/4's and got 20 mpg. He also was able to pass CA emissions inspections.

If you really want to make the car go on a 4 banger, swap out the engine for a turbo 2.3.

If you want the magazine, I'll mail it to you.
 

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i wanted to place this as a reply but i could not add. anyone who takes of 1/8th of a inch is asking for problems. this is a interference fit motor! if you dont know what that means you have no bussiness performing the mill! quit playing woth your dads lathe.people will read your thread and think its a good idea.i was trying to be the voice of reason

im not starting a war just havent had my morning coffee
here are some things to think about

4 cylinders have a power stroke every 180 degrees of rotation
8's have one every 90 deg ,thats also the angle for the most leverage for power

so the thing that makes the crank spinn, happens half as much!
simple power pyhsics!

the beneifts from having the ability for increase piston speed do not outway the negatives,at least from a pure performance side of view

i have rebuilt many honda and toyota 4's they are exellent. they wont handle shockloads well, no side-stepin the clutch

the neons and cavaliers where built with the cheapest quality parts and when the come in for head gaskets,and repairs ,the differences in quality are obvious.(the domestic turbos 4s were made with better quality,than non turbos)
 
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