Saturday, January 7, 2012

Choosing the Right Engine

Quick recap...  At this point you know that I bought a Mustang that I shouldn't have, and it has a bad engine in it.  Now I need to decide what engine to get and what are the pluses and minuses of them?

I have a decision to make.  Do I put the stock engine back in the care, or do I take this opportunity to upgrade what is there?  The problem is, I am on a tight budget because we weren't planning on replacing an engine so soon.  This brought us to buying a used engine instead of purchasing one that has already been rebuilt or rebuilding it myself.

Something I am assuming you know, but never really mentioned.  I am pretty handy.  I usually fix my own cars as long as they are not under warranty.  So a rebuild is not out of my mechanical ability.

After reviewing all of the necessities that go along with rebuilding an engine (getting the block dipped, making sure the cylanders are good and honing them, boring them if necessary, pistons, etc...) we decided that used was going to be the route I should take.  Now I just had to find one.

I started looking for an engine on  The budget that I have is about $1000.  Something to know is that this was going to include all fluids, filters, etc...  What I came to realize is that buying a Mustang engine was not going to be cheap.  Unless I wanted to buy a high milage (150-200k miles) we were going to be close to hitting our budget before I did anything else.  Not to mention that the car I have only has 102,000 miles on it.  Why would I want to do that?  I wanted to target an engine between 70 and 100k miles.  This was getting a bit on the harder to find side.

I have been reading about Mustangs a lot since buying my first one.  One of the common threads that I found was that people would take the heads and intake off of an Explorer and put them on their mustangs.  This gave a horsepower boost of about 70 hp (or so I have read).  At this point I am thinking, why not look at an explorer engine instead?  hmmm, maybe he is on to something.  I could get a different engine, and have 70 more horse power at probably the most convenient time to do this.

So I started the search for an explorer engine.

Low and behold, I found that I could get an explorer engine for about 1/2 of what a higher milage mustang engine was going for.  Oh, I am getting excited. now.  This could be the big task of the winter...  Installing an explorer engine.  Now all I had to do was research what was different between these two engines.  Figure out the cost differential and then see if it is worth it.

You can read more about what it takes to put a ford explorer engine in a mustang in my next post... "Exploring into the Mustang"

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