Engine Building My First Fox Engine. Need Build Advice.

SlugJones

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Apr 14, 2017
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Ok, I should start by saying "I" am not building it, but will have my mechanic do it.

I used to wrench in my back yard back when I was a younger man in the late 90s/early 2000's. Back then I never had the funds to do much. My first car and the one I wrenched on was a 1992 5.0 LX hatch. I loved the car. Abused it for years. I sold it to my cousin and he let it set while deployed for years. I bought it back in 2010 and let it set this long.

It had some mods to start when I bought it, but not much. He bought some parts to stroke it but did not.

So what I have to work with is a car that has sat for the last 12 years or so. Not good. Mice ate most of the engine bay wiring. So, that's super.

It has 180k on the original block. Stock bottom end with Edelbrock Performer RPM II upper and lower intakes, Edelbrock 70mm TB, MAC equal length headers, stock e-7 heads and cam.
The performance parts I DO already have on had are Comp XE274HR Cam, the aforementioned Edelbrock Performer RPM II upper and lower intakes, Edelbrock 70mm TB, COMP Cams Aluminum Roller Rocker Arms (1043-16).

My cousin said he had a race shop rebuild the T-5 and they "claimed" it was beefed up to handle over 500hp all day. He was not sure if they were full of crap, though.

So, I have the funds to do something now but do not have the garage. So most will have to be done by my shop. I am not rich and only have around $8-10k to start. I am looking for a weekend car for fun. Maybe a pass or 3 on the strip now and then. I just do not know where to start. With modern cars (and trucks) putting down 350hp (even with v-6's like the ecoboost) I feel overwhelmed. When I was messing with the fox bodies 300hp was stout and 400 had you smoking most things on the road. Now 300hp might match you up with a sporty sedan. lol Times have changed.

Considering the mechanic costs, what route would you guys go to keep a streetable, but powerful mustang? What about that electrical? It's all ate up under the hood as far as the wiring. Would what people consider an engine wiring harness include the fuel harness, too? Is that a given or would it specify it comes with the fuel wiring?

Do I work around the cam, intakes and TB I already have? Should I sell them and go another route? If I want 400-500hp do I chance it with the stock block? Should I buy a Ford racing Boss 302 block with the 4 bolt mains? I have debated a 331 stroker kit and some decent heads like twisted wedge 170s, but am not sure I'll hit 400 hp with that alone.

So, then I debated going with the boss block and stroking it, going with some milder (and cheaper) Gt-40 type heads and keep my cam/intakes and stick on a low boost Vortec v-3 or an On-3 turbo at lower boost. But I fear detonation and have no clue what combo heads/cam/pistons to use to keep the compression low so I can use a turbo or supercharger safely.

So many variables that my head spins. Could you guys bring me back to earth? lol Maybe some builds you might do? Routes you have or suggest I take? I am open to anything. Just need some gearheads with experience to chime in and guide me so I don't screw up.

Thanks much!
 

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John Dirks Jr

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Jun 28, 2013
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You want 400- 500 hp? Any you want to start by paying someone to start putting things together? Your money can run out pretty quick. Why not drop a crate motor in that bad boy and be done with it?
 
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SlugJones

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Apr 14, 2017
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Great ideas, guys. The short/long block 351 does sound tempting.

If it wasn't for the wires being eaten up, I'd definitely get it running first. Which really isn't that bad an idea even with the wires ate up.

Would an explorer long block be stouter?

And definitely going to have to spend some money on brakes and other non-engine drivetrain stuff!