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Engine Choices

By: Nelson 08/12/2019

At this time I set about seeing what my options for rebuilding the engine were. Yuma does not have much to offer in terms of machine shops compared to other places, but there are 3 in town. I selected one and took my engine down for them to take a look at. They looked it over and said it was not in bad shape, but couldn't say if they would need to bore it or not. With a quote in hand, I started to weigh all of the options. In then end, I found a new motor for less than it would have cost to machine my current engine.

The engine came out of a 87 Mustang. Being from an 87, it has the stronger block casting, roller cam provisions, and came with forged pistons from the factory. The guys I got it from had pulled it from the car his son wrecked and got it machined, planning to build a Cobra kit car. It then sat for almost as long as my car did. I got the motor and set about cleaning it up. The guy had the block tanked, new cam bearings, and cylinders honed back in the sat. After a bit of cleanup effort, the block looked like it had survived its long wait. I polished the lifter valley, got the block painted up and stuck new freeze plugs in it.

The only part of the engine that was missing was the crank, he said he had sold it for some reason after he got it turned. So, I found a replacement crank and set about starting to build the engine.

Needing to keep in my budget, I started looking for a cam. Part of the reason I had looked for a roller block was that there are more cams available for lower prices, and roller cams have many other benefits that made it worth it. After trolling Craigslist, I came across a guy with a Trick Flow Stage II cam that he had run in his drag car. He made 2 passes on the cam and decided it wasn't big enough for his engine, so he took it out. I got it for $50. Specs are .542 Intake / .563 Exhaust with 224/232 @0.050. Probably too big for my engine, but it was cheap.

I installed it with stock type Ford lifter and dog bones. I had no idea if the cam would clear my pistons, but I would cross that bridge when I got to it.

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