Engine - I put a 351w V8 into a 99 Wagon | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
  1. Wash your hands and do not touch your face, keep it safe and clean. Long live Feoa!

Engine I put a 351w V8 into a 99 Wagon

Discussion in 'Engine Swaps' started by BigBad, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Started about three years ago. I had been making some modifications to the stock engine, but a couple things happened.

    We had gotten the wagon from my wife's grand father, who had passed. No one wanted the car, so we got it with very little miles. After having this car for 20 years and working travel jobs for all of that time, I ended up putting 300,ooo miles on the car. The engine and trans mission were tired. I had a 'fan' belt come apart and I was done with it. Only thing was, everything else on the car still worked. It had been a great car.

    Then a friend calls me up, and says did you know that so and so was getting rid of all his hot rod stuff. I ended up with a 351w block, a box of pistons, a cam, and some other engine parts. Oh and he gave me the AOD transmission to go with it.

    I looked around for a good older Ford Truck or Mustang to put it in, but nothing came together. I began assembling the engine and that's when I had the dumbest thought ever... and then I acted on it. I wasn't sure the engine would fit. There was a company that makes the kits to put a V8 in the Focus, so I called them up. Great guys. Yes they had made a kit to put them in a Focus, but the Escort was very different and would need a blank sheet. After doing the Focus, they passed on any idea of doing an Escort based swap.

    I picked up a Mustang front clip K member from a junkyard. It enabled me to see how I could try to get the thing in there. It became evident that the 351w would fit, but the I would have to fabricate the hole front section. After cutting off the front of the car, and adding some formed chromoly rails to run the length of the car, it gave a basis to the rest of the build to work from.

    Attached Files:

  2. Swift

    Swift FEOA Donator

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    293
    Now that is serious fab work!
  3. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Trophy Points:
    413
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Wow! That's the most outrageous Escort modification I think I've seen on this board.
    Looking forward to more pictures, I don't a Facebook account.
  4. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Thank you Swift!
    I keep posting photos, Joey, but keep in mind that the link to the FB page photo album is public. You should be able to see it without an account. If not, let me know and we can figure out a better place to upload it. There are about 1,000 build photos. 20190914_154031.jpg
  5. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Originally I meant to just do some reinforcing under the car, tie it into the front clip and be done with it. Years ago a friend had a Monza that we shoved a seriously built 350 into. You could write your name in tire, with the thing. It was great, but the frame cracked in three places. I knew from that, and other projects, that torque is the best thing ever, all except for the car. Torque wrecks the frames
    After setting up the tubes that ran under the car body, I knew if I was ever going to race it, I would need some kind of roll cage. Most rules say you have to weld large mounting plates. You can forgo those, if you are connected to the tube chassis underneath. Cool. So I did that.
    To that point the build was still reasonable. It went over the top went I tried to figure out the back half. I needed to put a rear end in the car. To do that, I picked up a Ford 8.8 rear out of a Grand Marque. It had disks and came with a drive shaft and some other parts. To stick it in the car ended up requiring a four link. To have something to mount it to, required more cage. That's when it was just easier to cut the bottom out and tube the whole car.
    I narrowed the rear quite a bit. I'm not sure what the measurement was but it's written in sharpee on my work bench. I had to scratch build most everything due to not really having any cash flow for the build. Even if the part was only $100, I would look at material costs of $20 and say, well I guess we need to figure out how to make that part too.
    The four lile turned out great, but that's because it has a lot of holes in it. Lots and lot. And for every hole there are four more that you can't see, that were needed to get to the final whole size. If I was going to do it again, I would buy a set.
    23000462_10214171898354209_6759676136053098186_o.jpg 23467416_10214270030127442_3237755780373430226_o.jpg 25659399_10214612900578989_9201614849250993843_n.jpg 29196944_10215322400716049_2844914232959434752_n.jpg
  6. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
  7. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Ohio
    Nice work. I seen quite a few EXPs get the v8 treatment but never a wagon.
  8. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165

    Thanks Austin! The EXPs are quite the tight fit too. Not an easy thing to do. They make for a great sleeper. Really neet cars.

    Here's a shot of the engine after I got the engine mounting plate attached.
    33894907_10215901176385079_4501323350538190848_o.jpg
    austin86 likes this.
  9. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Ohio
    A stock EXP would be tight fit. All the ones I need with a v8 have a full chassis and cage and are setup for drag racing and are anything but stock.
  10. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Roger that. Often it's easier just to delete the bottom of the car, and gently lower it over a built chassis. Couple zip ties and going racing. Lol
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Trophy Points:
    413
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
  12. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Thank you, Joey.
  13. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    586
    Trophy Points:
    263
    This looks a lot like the Nova project I have going. I did the same thing for the most part and cut the firewall, floor and trunk out and had a tube chassis built for it. I used Corvette C6 lower arms and custom uppers for the front and rear. The chassis was built to house the Corvette rear transaxle and, originally, I had bought an LS7 for it but sold it and bought an LS3 block and LS7 heads since I was going to run a dry sump oiling system on it. Gonna fill it with Callies rotating assembly and JE Pistons. I'll leave the stock LS3 cam as it's got a great profile for what I want to use the car for. Carbon fiber drive shaft to top it off.

    You mentioned tying in the roll cage to the chassis. I did the same thing but I incorporated the A pillar roll bar into the actual A pillar on the car.

    If your interested I can send you pics of the bar work that was done on the chassis. The shop that did it for me did an awesome job.

    BTW you did a great job. Stuffing a V8 into one of these cars can't be easy. Were you able to retain the rear seat? Did you have to fab a tunnel for the drive shaft? Looks like you had access to a water jet for the 4 link mounts.

    [​IMG]

    John
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    BigBad likes this.
  14. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Nova II are one of my favorite body styles. Old school but in the right size package. You have a great car.
    I appreciate the complement on my hand fabrication with the four link. No cutting table. Only plasma cutter and a grinder.
    The cage was pretty tough. I did not have a lift, so I could not completely lift the body off. It would have been way easier I think. I ended up cutting holes in the bottom of the car, slipping the tubes from the cage through to meat the runners underneath. Then I would slide the whole mess up and down about 3" to have access to weld the backsides of the joints. It was a tedious process, but I needed to keep the car intact due to the heavy rain we can get here in Orlando. I would jack the car up on blocks but the rain can still bounce up into what you are working on. Once I had the main runners connected, I could cut out pieces of the floor to connect each cross tube. The welder I was using was a gas powered field welder from the Saturn V project. It has a really good high frequency box with a fluid cooler. It made welding the tricky stuff much easier.
    I will take a look at the chassis setup. I always want to see how pro shops do their stuff. I know that I need to add some cross bracing in the back. The back seat was one of the first casualties of the project. I will post up some of the cage in a minute. I don't have them on my phone. 19055764_10212859015372955_4219377317567284519_o.jpg 20190707_213900.jpg 20190722_222026.jpg
  15. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    The back enter part of the chassis centers around this loopy thing I made. I turned out to be a good place to connect everything else. It also provides a kind of overkill on the drive shaft loop. 20180315_004044.jpg
  16. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    This is a good shot of dropping the cage down so I could do complete welds, but still have a cage the formed tight to the body. 20180329_214204.jpg
  17. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
  18. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Underside, dropping frame down to weld... 20180407_185802.jpg
  19. BigBad

    BigBad FEOA Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    165
    At some point I would end up with some key tubes attached, that I would no longer be able to drop the cage and have access. I was at this point I had to redo the head liner. It would be the last time I would have been able to remove it, fit it, and put the liner back in.
    20180401_211415.jpg
    20180404_212059.jpg 20180404_212125.jpg
  20. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    586
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Wow! Really clean work.

    I noticed in one of the photos the rear shock tower is notched and sitting on top of the tire. I'm assuming this was pre-tub? Did you completely remove the rear shock towers? Curious to see how you dealt with that.

    Another 60's resto I did. Buyer bought it from me when he spotted it in the parking lot of the grocery store I was at.

    [​IMG]

    Some fab shots of the Nova.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    John
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020

Share This Page