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How reliable is a donor 87-93 5.0 (maybe 120K)typically if I were to just replace the bearings, oil pump and gaskets. (planning to change cam, heads (prob gt40p), intake, injectors, throttle body and mass air mm). How much do I have to worry about the bottom end? I am planning on going donor pallet from Cypress due mainly to deed restrictions in my neighborhood.

Havent yet decided if I was going to go efi or carb yet but am leaning heavily towards efi considering that I will be using this as a daily driver and the high humidity and heat in my region.
I just ordered my kit the other day and the engine has been the only thing I havent really been able to decide on over the past few years. Would love to hear some words of wisdom.

Thanks,
Josh
 

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It will blow. The bearings are old and worm, if you drive the car hard - it will blow. Mine lasted about 2 years, 5000 miles. It had 90k on the shortblock with everything else new. It started with a 20psi hot oil idle pressure. I threw in the towel when it was down to 9psi.
Good reason to have the motor in my sig built - what a beast!
good luck, trevor
 

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Runs with scissors!
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If you do a bearing and re-ring in addition to the other new components you mention, you've essentially got a new engine and it will last quite a long time if you take your time during assembly.

Have fun!
 

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I had a '89 GT conv. with 250,000, ran it hard every single day I owned it, never gave me any problems, sold it to a friend who put another 50,000 HARD miles on it before his son wrecked it on a snowy day. They should have good oil pressure even with higher miles. If it only has 20# it might blow...The 5.0 I have in the Mark I is still going strong with great oil pressure. It is VERY much fun with 3.55 gears.

[ June 08, 2007, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: 97-motoguzzi ]
 

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Josh,

If you want to do a donor build and just clean up the engine and put it in the frame you might consider the newer SOHC 4.6 donors. Stock they have about 260 horse power. The engine is not real pretty but you can find low mileage donors for reasonable prices. I found one with 57,000 miles on it for $2300.00. I cleaned the engine with engine cleaner, put a new clutch in it and put it in the frame. If you are interested check out the 4.6 part of this forum.
 

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My 91 5.0 had 144k on the clock. I just wanted a cheap rebuild to sort the car out. I picked up a New 5.0 from MAX for the finial engine.
The donor engine measured only .ooo3 cylinder wear, crank was standard size. I replaced the timming chain, measured the oil pump and resused, new valve springs and seals, new rod and main bearings, new rod nuts, hand lapped the valves, new oil pump rod, and new gaskets. Broke the glaze on the cylinder walls. I Got all the parts at PAW. Best price around. I used 4 cans of carb cleaner to clean up both outside and inside.
Tim
 

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Ask Traveler....
 

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dreamer turned builder
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My daily driver 1992 5.0 has 230,000 miles on it, motor is bone stock. I bought it 5 years ago with 153,000 miles on it. I have raced it at the 1/4 mile several times over the years, with 3.73s and drag radials. Stock motor and stock T5, no problems. This car has never left me stranded, and still gets me to work every day.

Plenty reliable in my book.
 

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Originally posted by Perl:
Josh,

If you want to do a donor build and just clean up the engine and put it in the frame you might consider the newer SOHC 4.6 donors. Stock they have about 260 horse power. The engine is not real pretty but you can find low mileage donors for reasonable prices. I found one with 57,000 miles on it for $2300.00. I cleaned the engine with engine cleaner, put a new clutch in it and put it in the frame. If you are interested check out the 4.6 part of this forum.
With the four-into-one FFR headers and exhaust, just adding an Accufab plenum and 70mm throttle body (about $400) to the stock 4.6L SOHC will get you near 300hp and 315lbs of torque. With 3.55 or 3.73 rear end that'll be plenty of fun, yet still be a reliable and fairly economic daily driver.
 

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The 5.0s run forever (well not quite but lots of these engines have 150k+) - don't forget you are going from a 3400# car to about a 2000# car as well.
 

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If you're going to put all that time & money into the donor engine, why not just look at buying a new long block or crate motor. You may find that it won't cost you much more to get a new engine with a warranty.

Add up the costs before you decide. I'm finding that trying to do my own rebuild to make my car strong enough for a supercharger is almost as much as buying a shortblock built right by a pro.

There is an extra cost, but it's not as much as you'd think.
 

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Seems the majority that start donor builds eventually end up with a car that is 95% new parts. If you're looking at setting up a car with the amount of power you're describing you may want to reconsider the donor approach, unless your going to rebuild the majority of the part from the bottom up. My .02.
 

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The Traveler
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I think that generally it's hard to kill the 5.0L engines. BUT if you get a pallet you have little to know about the history of the car/engine. When I got my donor I got to see the car it was in. I even found in the glove box all the service records for the car. It was well taken care of until the "other" car ran a red light and took out the side of the car. I had the yard pull all the parts I wanted. (Thus had no old junk car to clean up after!)
It had about 370,000 miles on the donor engine and it was still running well then I finally pulled it!
 

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If you want to go 5.0, get an Explorer engine. They ran 5.0's through 2001. Usually can get them pretty cheap with pretty low miles. Paid $350 for mine with 80k miles, looked brand new on the inside. Plus, they come with the GT40P heads.
Just another option.
 

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Naga's pallet donor supposedly had 70K on the Odo. Given that it wasn't the original T5, I assume it was more like 170K. I've put probably 20K on him in 4 years on the road.
He still runs like Jack The Bear.
Don't be afraid of a donor that's not showing obvious signs, i.e. low oil pressure, blowby etc.

I've seen guys with brandy new crates on this forum have problems. I've seen people build their own engines and mess something up.

The main advantage of a crate is the warranty.

Good donors are VERY reliable but not ALL donors are good donors.

HTH,

d



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the 87-93 5.0 engines are incredibly durable. i remember reading about drag racers running great times on 220K short blocks.

my car has 1300 autocross runs and 35K street miles on its stock short block, motor couldnt be stronger, compression tested out at 155-160 all around a couple of years ago.

borden ran a blower for 550hp on a donor short block and the donor T5 and a high mileage t bird IRS with sticky race tires for years.

amazing motor.
 

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As mentioned earlier, as long as you refurbish the bottom end with bearings, rings , and seals, and you might replace the lifters (cheap), you will be alright for another 100K or so....Other things to change are the timing chain , and oil pump (NOT HI-VOLUME!)...
I did mine twice, once without the bottom end (mistake), and once with (great)...
Check the roundness of the cylinder walls (probably o.k.) , and the end play on the cam shaft (also , probably o.k.)
 

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personally, I would just remove the pan and take a look. I'd check a main bearing and a rod bearing, If they're worn replace them. You can see the bore from underneath and if it still is crosshatched I would leave the rings alone and button it up. If you go for a cam change then replace the timing set. I wouldn't pull the heads, I would add a 5-6psi blower and call it a day. Once you open a motor all the way up your cost really start to increase. Adding a blower to good condition donor I feel is best bet for power on a F.I. motor.

My $.02

Michael S.
 

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Crap shoot unless you take the time to do a good tear down and inspection measureing the block,crank. the meotor may have been abused or may have been babyed in it's former life. Really no way to know for sure without an inspection.
 

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My block had 147K on it...still had the cross-hatches, so I "buttoned it up"...turned out, while the bores and crank dimensions were fine, the rings and bearings were not....I ended up rebuilding the engine, the second time , IN THE CAR, and on jack stands! Not fun, but I was able to do it....
Out of the car, the bottom-end is relatively easy to do, and not that expensive....
If you redo everything, including all new lifters, and push rods, you will have about $700 in parts (assuming you use the same crank, cam, pistons and rods) and your heads are in good shape ... If you add roller rockers, and a valve job , with springs and retainers, you will spend another $500 , or so. This is worth it, if you feel you are up to the challenge...It's a long way from the $4000 for a long block. Just my 2cents.
 
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