And the 331 project finally begins...

Sit back and relax. This is the place to chat about anything and everything.

Moderator: MalcolmV8

Post Reply
User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

It seems I've been talking about this project for the past 5 years now. But as of today, the project actually has an engine to begin work on. It won't be done any time soon. But at least this is a start. I was the winning bid on a 97 Explorer 5.0L off eBay for $280. The plan is to drive to North Carolina this weekend and pick it up.

I'm also buying aluminum and steel porting bits so I can port the heads and lower intake in the meantime. The head work, block work, and stroker kit will be much later in the year. But this will at least give me something to do in the meantime that feels like forward progress.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
Dave
Supporting Member
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:36 pm
SM: No
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by Dave »

Well congrats Chris! I was bidding on one six months ago (think I posted pictures of it) but it finially went for $940. Best looking, most complete one I've ever seen on there. Going to give you something to work on during the Winter? Going in same truck or going to splurge and get another one, or do you still have that other one?
Dave
After thought also - If you are going with the Torque Monsters this time, order early. Just talked to him on Monday and he is really getting busy and backed up with header orders.
Last edited by Dave on Thu May 13, 2010 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'66'Ranchero 302/5 speed
2015 Stage 3 Roush - rated at 670 hp
2000 Ext Cab/4 door swap project
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Summer beater
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Winter beater
1969 Fairlane Cobra in Barn, just waiting

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

The intention is to build a mild 331 torquer engine. I'll mildly port the GT40p heads & Explorer lower myself. I also want to put in stronger valve springs, better retainers, 1.6 RRs, better cam (not difficult compared to the weak Explorer cam), 3-angle valve job, thin head gasket to improve quench & increase compression, and finally larger injectors. I'd like to build something that'll run nicely on E85. But until E85 is available in my area, I need something that'll run premium.

The hope is that the upgrade won't change the outward "shape" of the engine so it'll fit right where my existing engine is. It should be as plug-n-play as possible. Ideally, when the engine is ready, I'll pull the truck in on a Friday, pull the old engine, put the 331 in, and drive the 331 to work the following Monday. If the old one fits, this one should too. My ONLY worry is that the RRs and higher lift will force me into taller valve covers which will force me to revisit the AC box.

I've heard numbers from 280-350hp for target numbers. I'm thinking I can get 300hp. I wish I could get a 1-to-1 ratio of HP and CID, but the components and cam will be a bit too mild for that. The torque range will be idle-4500. It should pull to 5000 and above, but the shiftpoint will be shortly after 5000. This will not be a high RPM screamer that is designed to get into the 6000s. Then again, it's going in a daily driven truck, not a street/strip Mustang.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
Dave
Supporting Member
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:36 pm
SM: No
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by Dave »

Chris,
I remember CJ having some clearance problems when he was running the "E" cam and 1.7 RR. Very slight and only at the baffle. Think he just used some machinest blueing to find the spot and dremeled it out. FelPro also makes a .188" thick VC gasket that might just be enough. What cam are you going to use, I can guess it's a higher lift but short duration?
Dave
'66'Ranchero 302/5 speed
2015 Stage 3 Roush - rated at 670 hp
2000 Ext Cab/4 door swap project
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Summer beater
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Winter beater
1969 Fairlane Cobra in Barn, just waiting

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

I remember CJ having cover clearance issues. I didn't remember if he actually got the Explorer covers to work before he ditched them for some TBird/Cougar 5.0 VCs. I remember he painted them a dark blue. They are visibly taller than the Explorer covers, but in a 95-newer engine bay, that's not an issue since the AC Box is redesigned to clear the V8 in an Explorer (same basic engine bay as an Explorer of the same year).

As for a cam, it's a tossup between the Crane Powermax 2020, Comp XE258HR, and a custom grind. They all are RV/Truck oriented durations to keep the torque production strong in the idle-4500 RPM range. It's only the high lift and FAST ramp rates allow them to extend their gains further into the RPMs above 4500 before they give out of steam. Obviously the better the heads can flow and make use of the open time and higher lift, the higher the RPMs will be extended. GT40p heads, even ported, are not going to be the best at that. So I'm figuring 5500 RPMs will most likely be the tipping point where the HP will be dropping off fast enough that it'll be more beneficial to shift than to hold on the throttle any longer. At 5500, if it's not the cam, it will be the intake.

The RM Compeition custom grind cam is like the E303 in that it is designed to work with 100% stock valvetrains. So it only lifts to .512"/.508". Although Randy (the owner of RM) highly recommends spring and retainer upgrades due to the fast ramp rate having the potential to float stock valvetrains at high RPMs. The stock rockers are on the edge of not really being able to handle that kind of lift, so RR upgrades are also recommended, but not required if the engine isn't going to be raced. The Comp (.533"/.544") and Crane (.530"/.530") sticks are way beyond what stock components can do. I'm wanting to replace the rockers no matter which cam I go with just to reduce friction, improve fuel economy, and increase longevity. Comp Cams are notoriously expensive as compared to other offerings so I'd originally given up on even considering it. The reason it is still a consideration is because I think I can get one for free. I've been promised it. But it's not in my hands, so we'll see on that. As for Crane, since Crane closed and reopened I have no clue if the Crane Powermax 2020 is even available anymore. Summit doesn't list it as an available part. So I may be forced into the custom grind (or looking for something else) if I don't get that freebie Comp stick.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

Well, I drove to NC to pick up the engine. For $280, I can't be too disappointed, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed. The heads and block are the main things I was after. The engine looks like it was allowed to go rolling around in the bed of someone's truck. But I was really hoping to get all the peripheral stuff on the engine as well.

Here's the list of what's wrong:
  • The ISC is crushed
  • Both coil packs are smashed
  • One of the idler pulleys is bent
  • The AC compressor clutch is smashed and the compressor feels locked up anyway.
  • The fan is bent all to hell
  • The PS pump reservoir is bashed in, but the pump and pulley look like they MIGHT be OK.
  • One of the crappy tube manifolds is cracked, but that was disclosed in the auction. Regardless, there's no loss there. Those things are crap anyway.
  • No EGR or tube. I was hoping to get another EGR tube in case I wanted to go back to a tube-style EGR system. But none of that...
  • No solenoids. No big deal. I still have the ones from my running engine.
  • Almost all the vacuum lines are cut with a knife instead of being unplugged like a sensible human would've done.
  • The upper intake is corroded and the gray powder-coat is peeling like the engine has been driven in the north where there's salt on the road all the time.
  • The upper also has a fresh gash/notch in the metal where something hit it fairly hard in the ridges on the driver's side edge. It's only cosmetic, but still. It did get me to consider possibly grinding those ridges off and polishing it smooth, then power-coating it black. It wouldn't look quite as good as the GT40 Lightning tube intakes, but it'd look better than it does now.
  • Valve covers are dented and the oil fill tube is broken off the passenger side cover. And the fill tube & cap themselves are missing.
  • Oil pan is cracked, but that was disclosed in the auction. I was replacing it with a dual sump anyway and I still have my old engine's pan. So no loss there.
  • Fuel line is missing the Schrader valve thingie to tap for fuel pressure. I'm not sure what's up with that, but you can't pressurize fuel fuel line. Fuel would squirt straight up through the provision where the Schrader should be. This is a minor loss as I was hoping to reuse the fuel rail. I'll have to find a used one that's suitable to replace it with I guess.
Fortunately, the only things I needed were the block, heads, lower intake, and accessory brackets. I just hope those are all good. They appear to be, but that's not saying much considering all the crap that I can see that's busted on this thing. Thank goodness I don't really NEED all of it. But it sure would've been nice to have just so I could completely outfit this engine as much as possible to minimize on the swapping of parts from the old to the new when it came time to engine-swap them.

When I got home Saturday, I wasted a few hours just trying to get my engine hoist to work so I could get it out of the bed of my truck. The ram got to where it wouldn't pump up anymore for some reason. After taking it apart and pulling the pump cylinder off the base, I found a piece of trash under the check-valve (steel ball). Once I cleared it of that rubber trash, it worked just fine. But figuring that out was a bit of a pain. And of course, now it wants to leak even though I put the parts back together tight. Always Somethin'.

But it's up on the engine stand now. So I guess I can start stripping it of the damaged crap, and get to the good parts. I'm excited to do some real porting. The guy I bought the engine from is a professional engine builder. He's got a section of his shop where all he does is port heads and intakes. He was showing me his little setup he made for holding the heads while he ports on them. It can hold the heads at about any angle you want. He was also showing me some of his low-tech tools he has also used from time to time for holding the heads up where he can see into them. It was quite obvious he was NOT the one that pulled the engine from whatever wreck it came from. He said he bought it like that, thought he might do another Ford some day and use that, but a Ford job never came along so he sold it to get it out of his shop. I do wish I'd know what all was wrong. I might would've passed on the bid, but it's bought-n-paid for. No time for regrets now.

While I was there, I showed him the V8 in the Ranger as well as the tuning software datalogging the engine as it idled. He wasn't big on engine tuning, but was curious about it and thought it was neat that I bothered with a tuner on a near-stock engine. While the engine is in near-stock form, it's not a stock engine to the Mustang EEC that's controlling it, so there was plenty to tune and get working. The drive home was uneventful, although I did appreciate the V8. It didn't have a bit of trouble taking off in traffic or keeping up on the Interstate. I could feel the engine back there, but it didn't slow me down like it would've in any other Ranger. The suspension was surprisingly strong too. I expected the truck to roll more than it did, but it held curves and turns without leaning over at all.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
Dave
Supporting Member
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:36 pm
SM: No
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by Dave »

Well you got it home, not exactly as you wanted but for the price - that's a set of heads and then more for the intake. That's why I posted eariler that I had bid up to $910 on an Explorer motor. It was is in such good shape that I saved the pictures for future reference. They are getting hard to find in good shape anymore. Just those front brackets can run a couple hundred, new fans get crazy prices. Anyway, get busy, get something to show us!
Dave
'66'Ranchero 302/5 speed
2015 Stage 3 Roush - rated at 670 hp
2000 Ext Cab/4 door swap project
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Summer beater
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Winter beater
1969 Fairlane Cobra in Barn, just waiting

User avatar
MalcolmV8
Supporting Member
Posts: 2591
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:50 pm
SM: Yes
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by MalcolmV8 »

Awesome, glad to hear the project is underway. Now you just need to get a good blower :)

Man sucks your motor sounds like it rolled around in the back of a cement truck mixer for a while. The motor I got for my blue truck was similar but not as bad as yours. Once you tear it down and get all that junk off you'll be feeling a lot better about it because the block and heads should be solid and once you start building it everything will be real nice.
92 302 Ranger - sold
94 302 Ranger AWD - sold
07 BMW 335xi - tuned, boost turned up, E85 - sold
04 911 TT - to many mods to list. Over 600 All Wheel HP on pump gas - sold
2015 Coyote - daily driver
03 Cobra - 2.3 TVS on a built 12:1 CR motor with ported heads, cams, long tubes etc.
MD Racing Lean Protection Module
E85

Tuned by MD Racing

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

Well, I got the engine torn down, at least partly. Heads and accessory brackets are still on the engine, but the top plenum, and all the useless/damaged crap on the engine is now off. And I notice something and I'm not sure how big of a deal it is:
Image
Image

Is that a problem?
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
MalcolmV8
Supporting Member
Posts: 2591
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:50 pm
SM: Yes
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by MalcolmV8 »

Chris, I would think it needs to be as balanced as possible to reduce harmonics on the crank. Even if the vibration can't be felt I wouldn't want to risk bearing damage or anything else. As tiny as that is there is probably no reason to worry but someone who knows for sure should chime in. I know me personally it would drive me nuts, every time I popped the hood that's all I'd see and it would make me crazy till I changed it lol. But that's just me.
92 302 Ranger - sold
94 302 Ranger AWD - sold
07 BMW 335xi - tuned, boost turned up, E85 - sold
04 911 TT - to many mods to list. Over 600 All Wheel HP on pump gas - sold
2015 Coyote - daily driver
03 Cobra - 2.3 TVS on a built 12:1 CR motor with ported heads, cams, long tubes etc.
MD Racing Lean Protection Module
E85

Tuned by MD Racing

User avatar
Dave
Supporting Member
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:36 pm
SM: No
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by Dave »

Chris,
Is that damage to the upper plenum more or less cosmetic or is it worse? If it is jsut dinged up, easy fixes out there.
Were getting Atlanta weather for the next 5-6 days, 89-90 and humid.
Dave
'66'Ranchero 302/5 speed
2015 Stage 3 Roush - rated at 670 hp
2000 Ext Cab/4 door swap project
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Summer beater
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Winter beater
1969 Fairlane Cobra in Barn, just waiting

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

Malcolm,
Yeah, that's kind of my thinking. A replacement from AutoZone is only $70 for the balancer, ring, and pulley. It might be worth just buying another one to keep from having to pull the balancer bolt from this crank. It's rusted on pretty well and I've heard war stories about getting those bolts off. Hell getting the fan off yesterday took longer than everything else did. I didn't have one of those thin wrenches to hold the water pump still. I had all sorts of crap rigged up around the pulley to try to keep it from spinning. I eventually figured out that I could wedge a pry bar under the pulley and that did the trick. The fan spun right off after that.

Dave,
The upper plenum is only dinged. It's not terrible, just cosmetic...along with the peeling powder coating. See (the brown is just dirt):
Image
Image

It's not a big deal, but between the ding and the corrosion/peeling are blemishes my existing upper doesn't have. That's why I was considering grinding those ridges smooth and repowder coating it a nice shiny black. Maybe that would be dumb. But after seeing how nice the Lightning uppers look, I thought that would be a nice touch.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
Dave
Supporting Member
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:36 pm
SM: No
Location: Central Wisconsin

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by Dave »

Had fan fun? With out them tools you have to be inventive. jamb big screw drive, priy bar or what ever. I think you can rent or borrow from one of the Auto stores. I found a set on E-bay for $35 and then drew them up if someone ever wanted to copy them. Hardest part for some is remembering its left hand thread. Remember when putting every thing back together, make "Never Seize" your friend! I would think a wire wheel would clean that grung off and maybe try and form some liquid alum in there.
Dave
'66'Ranchero 302/5 speed
2015 Stage 3 Roush - rated at 670 hp
2000 Ext Cab/4 door swap project
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Summer beater
2000 Ext Cab/4 door, Winter beater
1969 Fairlane Cobra in Barn, just waiting

User avatar
cgrey8
Supporting Member
Posts: 4048
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:23 pm
SM: No
Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)
Contact:

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by cgrey8 »

Yeah, the right or left hand thread is one to ponder before applying braun. My original 2.9L V6 had V-belts and the fan spun on with a standard thread. The Explorer engines and my 97 Ranger's 4.0L have a serp-belt and spin the fan counter-clockwise so the fan installs with an opposite thread. So I can see how that can throw people. Fortunately, that wasn't my issue. There's nothing more frustrating than to wind up putting the thing on tighter before figuring out that mistake. I learned that lesson years ago before the V8 ever was a thought. The bad part was it was learned on a customer's vehicle. :oops:

And going back together, no fan! I run electric fans. I don't miss it either. I always hated that design. I understand why Ford did it. It's simple and cheap. But I still never liked it because FORD never used antiseize.

As for the balancer, I'm fine with replacing it. If a new one was $150+, I'd consider trying to reuse the existing one or using the one on the working engine. But for only $70, I can swing just replacing it. I think I even have a $20 off coupon from AutoZone making it even more compelling.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

Admin of EECtuning.org

User avatar
MalcolmV8
Supporting Member
Posts: 2591
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:50 pm
SM: Yes
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: And the 331 project finally begins...

Post by MalcolmV8 »

Motor turning over when you don't want it to is a pain. When I was putting together the 4.6 in the Cobra last year I built this

Image

Image

That held the crank. Then when I had the outer pulley on and could not use that tool any more I took some flat bar and drilled a couple holes in it and bolted it to the rear of the crank and let it spin till it hit the engine stand and locked in place.

Image

without something like that holding the motor properly there was just no way to get correct torque readings while assembling.
92 302 Ranger - sold
94 302 Ranger AWD - sold
07 BMW 335xi - tuned, boost turned up, E85 - sold
04 911 TT - to many mods to list. Over 600 All Wheel HP on pump gas - sold
2015 Coyote - daily driver
03 Cobra - 2.3 TVS on a built 12:1 CR motor with ported heads, cams, long tubes etc.
MD Racing Lean Protection Module
E85

Tuned by MD Racing

Post Reply