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2.3 Ford Four Cylinder info

April 9, 2008
2.3 Ford Four Cylinder info

I know it's not period correct, but it's a pretty easy engine to use 'cause of availability. It's served me well. I decided to post my 2 cents here for everyone. I don't claim to be an expert, this is just what I've found/learned. I'll enjoy seeing other opinions and success stories.

So here's what I'd look for or watch out for when using a 2.3:

1) DIS stuff, it means, NO DISTRIBUTOR! Unless you're going computer controlled, you don't want that stuff. Most later model stuff is DIS.

2) Don't go for the 2 spark plug heads, I hear theres no benefit... also I think the D port head is the best... but unless you're racing, the oval's probably just as good. There's also an aluminum head and a full ARCA racing block... Bring cash!!

3) to run a solid lift cam (that's what I have) you need to modify the head. Try to find one that's already done, depending on if you want to buy the tool to do it yourself. And the roller-follower heads are cool, but it'll be a little harder to find cams; there are alot of roller heads out there

4) STROKE IT! If you end up buying parts, instead of a finished engine, go for the chevy rods or a longer rods with shorty pistons. It's better for torque. You can pretty easily get to 2.7L. (with the Ford SVO tall deck block, you can get to 3.0L!)

5) also, try to find a 2.5L crank. You might have to get some main bearing inserts (not that expensive) but it's a cheap 200cc's! Later model Ford Rangers had the 2.5 w/o the distributor.

6) If you're gonna run an automatic, don't feel like you have to find the elusive (=pricey and often cracked) 2.3 to C4 bellhousing. The C3 I have has served me well with a shift kit and rebuild. It shifts hard. The only trouble is the stock stall converter. But, Hughes, here in AZ will build a custom converter for only about $300. By the time you buy a C4, build it and buy a higher-stall converter, I think you'll save money. I'm using a slightly modified Chevy 350 Genie shifter too (with a killer ChromedRat shift knob!). If I had room for another pedal, I'd run a manual and solve a BUNCH Of problems! NO can-do in a narrowed 27 modified.

7) The valve cover selection sucks, that's why I designed the finned one. The one on my car is the nicest of what's out there, but the last one like I have sold for $174! Try to find a chrome, stamped one, or a stock one and pinstripe it up!

8) For the intakes, you can get an Esslinger-2 barrel or Offenhauser 4 barrel one fairly easily, they come up all the time (I have an extra Esslinger). Watch what the ministock racers are running. The one I have is custom, but you can buy a similar one from Esslinger. Watch out for interference with the distributor for trick custom intakes.

9) Websites: turboford.org (mostly turbo guys, but a good crowd); esslingerengineering.com; http://racerwalsh.zoovy.com/ (under 4 cylinder) those are the ones I've used. And, I just found this... http://www.ringsurf.com/ring/ford23/ its a 2.3 web ring. I'm gonna check it out. There are many other sites.

Finally, watch out for other Ford 4 banger stuff. To my knowledge, NOTHING interchanges. 2.0 stuff won't work and later model 2.3 stuff (ztec) won't fit. I've found the COOLEST valve cover, but it only fits the 2.0.

Here's my ebay searches to narrow the search for the right 2.3 parts. You still get some crap, but it's less. You should be able to cut and paste, then save the search.

("2300", ,, "2.3", ,, esslinger,, "racer walsh") -"2.3" -,autometer, -fiat, -vega, -monza, -mazda, -mercedes, -focus -aspire -topaz -probe -taurus -bronco -"f-150" -windstar -f150 -honda -chevy -(harley, headlight, light, shirt)


"2.3" ford -focus -aspire -topaz -probe -taurus -bronco -"f-150" -windstar -f150 -honda -chevy -(harley,headlight,,light,shirt)

I hope this is useful to someone!


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