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Old 03-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Boozehero's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 1,074
Vehicle: 1994 Nissan D21 (sold), 1987 D21 powered by 2.3 Ford Turbo, too many more
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Default Ford 2.3 Turbo Hardbody

1987 D21 short box with Ford 2.3 Turbo
I saw this rig in the 'for sale' section of this forum. Four Eyed Turd had posted it for sale last year. He got a few bites on it, but no one hooked.
I finally decided to go for it, so I drove from Baton Rouge to Waco last weekend to pick it up... Ugh, over 1,000 miles, $400 in gas and all in less than 24 hours driving.
I had a chance to look it over on Tuesday, and take it out for a test ride. The bed had all of the PO's Nissan parts packed in it, 2 rear ends, tires/wheels, interior parts and miscelaneous stuff. Alot of weight, needless to say.
I warmed it up and drove around the block. It sputtered and skipped, but it felt like it had some bag to it.
I bought a new set of plugs, a dizzy cap and the truck ran great after installing the parts.

Here's the run down:
The engine is out of an '84 Cougar. (Same as a Mustang - Fox body)
2.3 Turbo 4 banger
T5 Borg Warner tranny
Stock Nissan rear end

The install looks pretty much like a factory issue. The fabricated motor mounts look very good and the engine sits correctly, the tranny sits properly on the cross member, the drive shaft was cut to accomodate the T5 yolk. The stock radiator is cooled by an efan and the exhaust is a 3 incher running to a HUGE muff. Very quiet.

Alll of the wiring functions, although it needs a clean up to make it look good. The gauges work, and the shifter sits back about 8 inches in the tunnel. The interior has been updated to the round dash, but needs completing and detail.

The body is almost perfect, although the R fender has a few dents in it and the paint is faded. It has a 2" body lift and 16" wheels/tires that are very tall. It looks like a 4x4.

The future:
Body -
Paint - stock white (Very low profile)
Low profile tires
Lower body back to stock height
Lower suspension 2/3
Lots of finish/detail work
Isuzu Dana 44 posi disc brake rear
Clean up wiring
Larger turbo
Moates quarter horse for ECU and tune (he's here in Baton Rouge)
Re plumb 3 " exhaust
Intercooler - if possible (limited space)
Re plumb intake components
Bigger throttle body
SVO intake manifold or ported stock unit
Performance cam
Major engine compartment detailing

My objective - a totally stock looking sleeper. I have seen these engines run 10 second 1320s in Mustangs.
Realistically, I'd like to have a mid 12 second sleeper. Maybe I can do this with the right combination of parts
(oh... and lots of $$)

I'll post pics of this gem tomorrow.

Last edited by Boozehero; 03-06-2013 at 03:24 PM.
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