'80 SA 5.0 Build - RX7Club.com - Mazda RX7 Forum

'80 SA 5.0 Build

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Old 11-29-15, 06:04 PM
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'80 SA 5.0 Build

Hello,

I am swapping the rotary out for a Ford 5.0 out of a '93 Mustang GT in my 1980 SA. I am doing this after being inspired by the "Drive" episode on NBCSN. I have another posting on GRM that is a more detailed. But I want to share here as well. I hope to inspire others as well as well as get advise from others who may have done this swap already.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/fo.../107096/page1/

Where I am at.

I have removed the 12A and sold it.



I have placed an order with Granny's Motorsports and have received the engine mounts/brackets, trans mount/cross brace, clutch master & slave cylinder. Still to come, radiator w/ brackets and driveshaft.



The car has sat for several years before I acquired it. I removed the fuel tank yesterday. I need to get the old fuel out and clean the tank.






Where I need some advise at the moment is with the fuel system. I am going from carbureted to EFI, so I need to replace the pump for a higher pressure one. Has anyone done this swap and can recommend a fuel pump and how they plumbed it in? I would like to mount the fuel pump where to OE pump is on that mounting plate but I am not sure it will fit. I also am unsure on weather the stock hard fuel line is large enough diameter to support the 5.0 fuel needs. The engine stock around 200hp but I want to build a fuel system for around 300hp for future improvements. I attempted to measure the fuel line yesterday but could not determine if it was 1/4" or 5/16".

Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-22-15, 12:02 PM
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Looks good so far, in my 85 I modified the pick up to run an in tank walbro, I have started the car up and it seems to idle fine but I still haven't driven it yet, I have an LT1
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Old 12-22-15, 02:51 PM
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Thanks I think I have decided to go with a Walbro inline pump. Mounting an in tank pump on an SA tank probably require cutting it open. Maybe in the future I'll mod the spare tire tub to fit an FB EFI tank.
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Old 12-24-15, 06:54 AM
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Does anyone have photos of an installed radiator using Granny's brackets/kit. His online instructions are a little vague on where I need to trim the sheet metal tabs to fit the lower bracket. I think it is where the sway bar bracket is, but I feel if I trimmed there is would weaken the sway bar support. It's a 1980 SA.

I have asked granny's for pictures but have received no response.
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Old 12-28-15, 11:17 AM
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I have the kit but for the FB...would that help at all if I took pics?, does the lower bracket fit in the car right now?
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Old 12-28-15, 11:38 AM
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It does not currently fit. Any pictures would be helpful. I have meant to take some photos of what is holding me back. Thanks.
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Old 01-03-16, 12:26 AM
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Here are a couple of photos of what I am referring to. These first two photos show the bracket sitting in place in the only spot the low radiator support can span between the frame rails. But I as I was stating previously, this area is heavily reinforced as it supports the sway bar and radius arms and I find it hard to believe I need to trim this area. Reading over the instructions again, they say the radiator should mount behind the sway bar for my year, not in front of it.






This photo shows the bare engine bay in what I am dealing with. I am beginning to think I have a weird production number as things are not making sense at the moment. Hopefully someone here can shine a light on what I am missing.


Here are the instructions off Granny's site:
"Installing the Lower Radiator Bracket...
The 1st gen RX-7's front chassis brackets changed slightly over the years. Early cars used a radiator/oil cooler assembly, where later cars used seperate oil cooler mounting tabs located down in the chassis just in back of the front sway bar. Depending on which style your car uses, installation is as follows...
'79-'80 SA Chassis...has rectangular sheetmetal "tabs" extending inward from the frame rails, located just in back of the front sway bar. Our lower rad bracket slides over these tabs. Some cars require slight trimming of the chassis tabs for a good fit.
'81-'85 FB Chassis...has oil cooler brackets extending upward from the chassis, with each bracket having a horizontal flat pad on top that has (2) holes. Our lower rad bracket for this chassis simply lowers onto/attaches to these pads, placing the lower part of the radiator mid-way between the RX-7's round front crossmember and it's front swaybar."

And as an update on the project, I have removed the front sub-frame, modified it, cleaned and painted it, installed the new engine brackets and reverse mounted it. Looks pretty good compared to the rest of the car.
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Old 01-05-16, 09:32 AM
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looks like your SA does not have the radiator mounts that FB cars have. Looks like you'll have to fabricate something. Subframe looks good though. are you upgrading the bushings for the LCAs as well? Would be a good time to do the steering parts as well. Also what motor mounts are those? I have pedestal style in mine

Below is the picture of my engine bay. Notice I cut the front cross member and added a bolt in custom spreader bar. It attaches where the towhooks are


Last edited by Freeskier7791; 01-05-16 at 09:36 AM. Reason: added picture
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Old 01-05-16, 10:13 PM
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Thanks for the help. I heard back from Granny's yesterday. He said there were some cars that did not come with either of the two style brackets/tabs (like mine). He said he would send me some tabs I can use to mount be radiator support but they do require some drilling. We'll see how it works. At least I don't feel to stupid at this point.

I do have plans to go through all of the suspension. The suspension and steering needs more than just some LCA bushings. I am working with a budget and limited time I can spend on the car. My focus at the moment is to get the car running. I would like to unload the donor vehicle ASAP but do not want to unload until I have passed the BAR inspection.

I do see how you cut the frame bar out. What was the need?
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Old 01-05-16, 10:15 PM
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I am not really sure of what engine mounts style I have. The brackets are all I have installed at this point.
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Old 01-06-16, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Yolo7 View Post
Thanks for the help. I heard back from Granny's yesterday. He said there were some cars that did not come with either of the two style brackets/tabs (like mine). He said he would send me some tabs I can use to mount be radiator support but they do require some drilling. We'll see how it works. At least I don't feel to stupid at this point.

I do have plans to go through all of the suspension. The suspension and steering needs more than just some LCA bushings. I am working with a budget and limited time I can spend on the car. My focus at the moment is to get the car running. I would like to unload the donor vehicle ASAP but do not want to unload until I have passed the BAR inspection.

I do see how you cut the frame bar out. What was the need?
Glad you got it sorted with them, from my experience they are great guys to deal with. I wanted to free up some space between the radiator and the motor, before the motor was 2 inches more forward, plus my crossmember was all dented up
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Old 01-18-16, 09:10 AM
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A quick update. Saturday I began the process of removing the engine from the Mustang. Before I removed it I thought it would be a good idea to take some compression reading. The PO said the engine smoked a little on WOT, plugs 4 & 8 both showed evidence of this. While l have no idea what spec is, I thought compression was looking good cylinders 1-7 at 120psi across all the cylinders. And then number 8. Number 8 was half of the other cylinders at only 55psi. Ouch.

I moved forward with continuing to pull the engine. Along the way I also found the coolant looked a little diluted. It was clean but not very green. Looking down in the radiator and t-stat housing some signs of corrosion or electrolisis. The water pump maybe leaking as well. I will attempt to finish removal today.

I am a little discouraged with some of the things I am finding on the 5.0. The initial plan was get the car running and go back later in time and do a rebuild and install Explorer heads and intake. The PO had failed smog for high HC. While the engine ran pretty good I am thinking this low compression is likely contributing to the failed smog condition. I am now thinking I will have to do a rebuild prior to installing into the 7. I will wait to do the Explorer parts. The car is going to have to see a Smog Ref, I need to keep it stock.
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Old 01-18-16, 10:13 AM
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bummer on the motor...but it is easiest to do the maintenance on the motor while it is out of the car. Really take your time to detail it up as well makes all the difference.
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Old 01-20-16, 12:38 AM
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you got it easy with a carb on that thing.
I got the injection system on my 5.0 and I am dreading the hook up...(FC though..not FB.)
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Old 01-20-16, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by misterstyx69 View Post
you got it easy with a carb on that thing.
I got the injection system on my 5.0 and I am dreading the hook up...(FC though..not FB.)
It is an EFI engine out of a '93. I just took the upper intake off to help make the removal a little easier.

The wiring does look like it is going to be a bit more work than I anticipated. Granny's instruction don't really speak of mounting the ECM. I noticed there are vehicle speed sensor wires that went through the floor board on the mustang. I imagine there are needed for the ECM but not hooked up through the engine wife harness.
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Old 01-21-16, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Yolo7 View Post
It is an EFI engine out of a '93. I just took the upper intake off to help make the removal a little easier.

The wiring does look like it is going to be a bit more work than I anticipated. Granny's instruction don't really speak of mounting the ECM. I noticed there are vehicle speed sensor wires that went through the floor board on the mustang. I imagine there are needed for the ECM but not hooked up through the engine wife harness.
You probably do not need the VSS unless you want the speedo to work, have you found any wiring diagrams for the 5.0? I would try to find as much info as you can on swapping a 5.0 so you can figure out what is needed for the car to run correctly.
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Old 01-30-16, 07:11 PM
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Styx Update:
I just got a Carbed Capri engine,so I am swappin that EFI engine out.
This thing is wired already so it should be minimal wiring,sort of just wire 12 volts to a couple tings and done..yay!
If you are interested I'll note the wiring changes and where the stuff goes and post it as I install.
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Old 01-31-16, 01:40 AM
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A quick teaser post. I've been putting what little spare time i have into the project and have some catching up to do on this thread. It's late and I will leave you with this photo and hopefully get back here tomorrow.

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Old 02-05-16, 12:39 AM
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..hmm..
"boxer" engine?..(chuckle!)
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Old 02-07-16, 12:10 PM
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The last few weeks I have been pretty busy. Any free time that I have had has been spent on trying to make progress on the project.






I decided it would be foolish to not take the time and rebuild the engine now. And with that I must also add the original budget is shot. While I am not too happy to endure this cost now, I know it is for the best. As I began to take the engine apart I could see several things that were going to haunt me if I hadn’t. Water pump, intake manifold, timing cover and rear main seal all beginning to leak. The connecting rod bearings are all showing wear. And most of the cylinders the cross hatching is all gone.

My trouble cylinder, #8, as anticipated shows the most wear. The piston rings have shaved enough material off the cylinders wall that there is about a 0.008”=0.010” lip at the top of the cylinder. I have not put my hands on a bore gage to accurately measure the diameter, but it appears to have been a standard 4.000” bore. I took a digit caliper and measured the bore at the top of the cylinder and it measures 4.00”. I have judged the wear of 8-10 thousands with a feeler gage up against the lip. So with my fingers crossed I am hoping to have it bored out at 20 or 30 over.






During disassembly I got in a fight with the timing cover.



One of the water pump/timing cover bolts broke off during water pump removal. At first I thought the bolt had seized in the block, but when I tried to slide the cover off I realized the bolt had actually became part of the timing cover (rusted). I tried to drill it out, but eventually the drill went a little off center and went through the cover. At that point I just went a little on the wild side. I will have to add this to the cost of the rebuild now.

What’s on my agenda? When I get a chance I want to clean the block deck and check it for straightness and condition. I am keeping an eye out on Craigslist and EBay for an affordable set of GT40 heads from an Explorer (anybody have some for they want to sell?). I am attempting to call around to machine shops in the Sacramento area for price quotes on cleaning and boring the block; decking the block (in case its needed); replace connecting rod bolts and realignment of the caps (I figure best to address these bolts before they become a problem); pressing piston pins; install cam bearings, and cost of cylinder head work (clean, resurface, valve guides and grind). If anyone has any recommendation on a machine shop in the Sacramento area it would be helpful.

At this time I plan on purchasing an engine rebuilt kit from Summit. A kit from Federal that come with about everything included hypoeutectic pistons is about $330. Additional items I plan on getting are new fasteners (most the fasteners did not look in great shape), water pump, alternator/air pump bracket (found that mine was broken from a previous alternator replacement), timing cover, shorty CARB legal headers and a new clutch (there is more to list but these are the larger items).

Hopefully I can get the block to a machine chop within the month. I am doing my best from stalling out on the project.
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Old 02-08-16, 07:51 AM
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definitely the right thing, dont give up! I just got my engine running after over 2 years of working on my project
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Old 04-20-16, 03:49 PM
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A quick update here while I am on my lunch break.

Engine is apart and the block and crank were dropped off at the machine shop last Friday.

2 weekends ago I set up an old PC in my garage and I now have Fords repair manuals to my access thanks to a friend.

With the wiring diagram on the PC I have identified most of the wire on the Ford wire harness I need to hook up to and labeled them.

Went to the junk yard Sunday and came up on 2 rear Tokico shocks that look pretty decent.

The fuel pump and system still give me a little anxiety on how to accomplish. I have been looking into how to add an in tank pump. There are some kits out there but they are either too expensive or require a larger diameter whole than I can in compass.

I'll try and post more soon with some pictures. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-16, 10:10 PM
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I also meant to add that a won an eBay auction a few weeks ago and came up on a pair of GT40 heads. Free shipping they cost me $355. They look pretty good. Seller had them listed as being freshly redone with one weekend of racing on them.
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Old 04-21-16, 08:18 AM
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Good progress, keep pestering for my pictures of my intank pump!! I was able to drive my car a little bit last weekend and it worked ok
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Old 07-06-16, 10:05 PM
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Doin same thing as u except I have a 79 and I started with a 94 explorer 5.0 to get the good parts and correct oil pan just requires I change timing cover distributor and cam to stang versions curious what did ur 12a and trans go for mine runs with 144k miles on them
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