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Thread: Swapping 89 5.0 HO into my turbo coupe

  1. #1
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    Default Swapping 89 5.0 HO into my turbo coupe

    Been gone for a while but I think I'm ready to get back into my turbo coupe
    I have my 89 fox mustang that was wrecked but the whole drivetrain is still in good shape, and since the head on my 2.3 is cracked, I'm thinking about just doing the swap
    I've read a couple of the threads here and know it's a pretty big job so I do need a few tips
    The teves abs brake system and electronic struts n shocks are removed from the car

    The donor car has a tremec 3550 trans with 2nd gear synrcho gone so Im going to tear into it and see if I should invest into it or just get another tranny

    From what I've read the best thing to do is get an engine harness from the same year tbird w/5.0 right?
    Or can I reuse the 89 mustang harness?

    From what car driveshaft will drop right in?

    Id also like most of the essential accessories to work like the power steering and AC system. I replaced most of the AC components on the mustang and it was fully functional running r134a so it should all swap right over correct?

    I have an evtm for my tbird and I'm pretty good with wiring so hopefully it goes smooth

    Any tips would be appreciated
    1987 T-Bird TC: 5-Spd, 5-lug conv., CHE Rear CAs, '04 Cobra wheels and 13" Brakes, Vac Assist conv: '93 Cobra BB/MC & Wilwood PV, Gutted/Knived Intakes, T3 turbo, RFE6 Mani, Stinger 3" Exhaust & Oil Feed, 255HP Walbro, Kirban AFPR, RR Cam, Esslinger Cam gear and Round Tooth Conv., Gillis Boost Valve, Speedway Dual Valve Spring, K&N, 130a 3g Alt conv., 140mph Speedo
    Running Better Than Ever

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    Just use the Stang engine & computer harness... Then cut off the plugs from the 2.3 engine harness and Stang body harness(leave 6" or so of wire) and wire them together color for color... Next connect them to their orig connectors(TC body & Stang engine harness), probably half or more of your wiring will be finished... Oh yeah you'll want to use the Stang fuel pump harness, as the relay for TC is in under hood harness... Motor mounts are a PITA as the ones in Bird are unique to '86-'88 models... It is possible to use the Stang crossmember but I believe it needs shimming at a couple points... I still have orig TC xmember in mine & the T5 D/S should fit with your trans..






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

  3. #3
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    If at all possible fix the 3550. They are hella stout compared to the T-5's and parts are available. The guy I get my Tremec parts from is Joe Dederichs out of Ft. Worth, TX. He is a master dealer and knows these transmissions by heart.

    http://www.dederichsmotorsports.com/

    Also, do a search for "aluminum driveshaft" and with the user name "vinnietbird". Vinnie pulled one from a certain car in a salvage yard and had is shortened for his car and is works very well. I know others have done this as well but I remembered the one Vinnie did as that thread got a lot of attention.

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    Thanks guys this is gold
    So the engine harnesses should correspond color for color?
    I'm definitely on the lookout for tbird 5.0 mounts now, your talking about the engine to motor mount pieces right?

    And yes I'm definitely hoping the 3550 is salvageable, I know a t5 is a step in the wrong direction and a tko is out if my price range atm.
    I know 2nd gear synchro is gone for sure, I used to be able to get it in without grinding for a good while but towards the end of it, it was grinding going into 2nd no matter what. Everything else on it was good no pop outs or anything.

    Thanks for the tip on getting parts for it, I know parts are getting hard to find for them

    As for the fuel pump wiring, would there be supply or just signal voltage coming from the ecu for the fuel pump.
    I replaced the fuel pump and sender harness on top of the tank on the stang and was actually planning to install relays close to rear end of the car since the battery was mounted inside the hatch on top of the tank essentially and that's probably what I plan to do on the bird.

    Also I have an aluminum driveshaft for the mustang but I'm guessing not too many lengthen them??
    Would it be worth the trouble or should I just run the stock turbo coupe DS.
    Thanks for the help, really, I've already started tearing the mustang apart here and there. It's a semi long term project but I'm really stoked to get it done
    1987 T-Bird TC: 5-Spd, 5-lug conv., CHE Rear CAs, '04 Cobra wheels and 13" Brakes, Vac Assist conv: '93 Cobra BB/MC & Wilwood PV, Gutted/Knived Intakes, T3 turbo, RFE6 Mani, Stinger 3" Exhaust & Oil Feed, 255HP Walbro, Kirban AFPR, RR Cam, Esslinger Cam gear and Round Tooth Conv., Gillis Boost Valve, Speedway Dual Valve Spring, K&N, 130a 3g Alt conv., 140mph Speedo
    Running Better Than Ever

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    For the most part it's color for color....... There's a couple of insignificant differences if you don't look closely like the a white/pink for low oil on the mustang and possibly 2-3 white/pink wires on the Bird for low oil, knock sensor and I think overboost buzzer.

    If the front end is good on the mustang.....You can always swap over the K member of mounts prove difficult to find. I suppose you could also cut off the perches on the bird and modify accordingly.

    Fuel pump is a ground signal.....If your planning on modding it's no big deal. Like mentioned the birds wiring runs all the way from the front to back of the car and requires modifications to work with the mustang conversion.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunk View Post
    For the most part it's color for color....... There's a couple of insignificant differences if you don't look closely like the a white/pink for low oil on the mustang and possibly 2-3 white/pink wires on the Bird for low oil, knock sensor and I think overboost buzzer.

    John
    This is true, I neglected to mention there will will be several unused wires as overboost, low oil level, etc won't be used(no doubt low oil could be if you have appropriate oil pan)... Ford wire color has mostly been same since mid '60s, '65/'66 Stang's I've wired have same wire colors for temp and oil pressure circuits as my T-Bird or even my '96 F-150.. Use caution though, sometimes colors were altered OR a wire or two were substituted as apparently manufacturing was out of a certain color... I found a couple cases of this in the '87 5.0 Bird harness that's in mine... I used a Bird harness as that what I had, would have used Stang if that was what was on hand...

    There's a thread around here that lists most of the conversion steps, always seems difficult to locate and I no longer have the 'puter it was bookmarked on...






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

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    Thought I would update this, I bought a good head to get my turbo coupe back on the road and it's running great with the 2.3t that is, it's a semi daily and I happy it's not just sitting
    As far as the 5.0 swap, I've already got the 5.0 on the stand ready to go through it, tore down the tranny and found out it'll need a new 1-2 slider assembly and some synchros so I went ahead and ordered up that with carbon synchros which should definitely help make it a smoother shifting tranny
    I'm still tracking down some mounts so if anybody has any stock 5.0 engine mounts or even some Chuck motor mounts let me know, definitely interested in them
    1987 T-Bird TC: 5-Spd, 5-lug conv., CHE Rear CAs, '04 Cobra wheels and 13" Brakes, Vac Assist conv: '93 Cobra BB/MC & Wilwood PV, Gutted/Knived Intakes, T3 turbo, RFE6 Mani, Stinger 3" Exhaust & Oil Feed, 255HP Walbro, Kirban AFPR, RR Cam, Esslinger Cam gear and Round Tooth Conv., Gillis Boost Valve, Speedway Dual Valve Spring, K&N, 130a 3g Alt conv., 140mph Speedo
    Running Better Than Ever

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    Well looks like I've got most of the swap squared away short of the installation. The tranny is rebuilt and ready to roll, engine is on the stand with some almost new gt40x heads, fresh bearings and gaskets and ready to be installed. I also have all the small odds and ends like the cable style pedal assembly, some chucks motor mounts, all the under the hood harnesses, etc.
    So before i really tear into it and take my T-bird off Daily driver duties I figure i get everything fully squared away.
    As far as the wiring, I already have mustang wiring harnesses off the car and have it ready to clean up. Would it not be easier to just swap in the whole mustang harness and ecu and work from there as far as the fuel pump circuit goes. It seems like it would require a whole lot more work to splice in the mustang wiring from the firewall forward into the Tbird harness behind it. From the diagrams I've seen there isn't much wiring that stays behind the firewall except for a couple relays and some of the HVAC wires.
    1987 T-Bird TC: 5-Spd, 5-lug conv., CHE Rear CAs, '04 Cobra wheels and 13" Brakes, Vac Assist conv: '93 Cobra BB/MC & Wilwood PV, Gutted/Knived Intakes, T3 turbo, RFE6 Mani, Stinger 3" Exhaust & Oil Feed, 255HP Walbro, Kirban AFPR, RR Cam, Esslinger Cam gear and Round Tooth Conv., Gillis Boost Valve, Speedway Dual Valve Spring, K&N, 130a 3g Alt conv., 140mph Speedo
    Running Better Than Ever

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramos617 View Post
    As far as the wiring, I already have mustang wiring harnesses off the car and have it ready to clean up. Would it not be easier to just swap in the whole mustang harness and ecu and work from there as far as the fuel pump circuit goes. It seems like it would require a whole lot more work to splice in the mustang wiring from the firewall forward into the Tbird harness behind it. From the diagrams I've seen there isn't much wiring that stays behind the firewall except for a couple relays and some of the HVAC wires.
    Use the method that you're comfortable with but in my opinion it's FAR easier to splice the 5.0 engine harness to the original TC body harness... I used the body harness connector from a 5.0 Bird & 2.3 engine harness to fabricate a interface adapter, for most part everything on mine is plug in... Of course mine still retains the ride control and ABS that both still function...






    My other rides (that actually do run & drive)

    1969 Fairlane Cobra 428CJ 4-Speed

    1972 Comet GT - 306 C4

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    ∆∆∆ Agreed!...... My ABS and Ride Control we're pooched so I had no problem using a mustang engine bay harness and moving pins around to match at the connectors on the drivers side firewall and down in the passenger kick panel. I was even able to retain the overboost circuit. The only thing I haven't done is finish the brake warning circuit. It's all there.... I've just gotten lazy. I can't remember exactly what I did....it was so long ago but I have the fuel pump and I think the EEC relay under the passenger seat. I believe everything you need is in that kick panel, just grab the relay pig tails from the mustang and make the connections.

    John

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