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Ford Spectron F2T turbo conversion

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  • Ford Spectron F2T turbo conversion

    Hey Everyone.

    This is my 1985 Ford Spectron.
    Last edited by the_bard; 08-07-2018, 12:35 PM.

  • #2
    Hey Everyone.

    This is my 1985 Ford Spectron. Like most Fords of the era (aside from Falcons) its actually a re-branded Mazda. In this particular case; a Mazda Bongo.

    If youve got no idea what a Bongo or a Spectron is dont worry neither did I when I bought it even the internet in all its infinite wisdom doesnt have many entries. Basically its an 8 seater passenger version of the Ford Econovan.

    Its actually pretty cool all the seats fold down so you can turn it into a sort of bed and the front row of seats swing around to face the other way so you can set up a table and eat or whatever.

    The Spectron comes with a Mazda F8 engine which is an 8 valve SOHC naturally aspirated carburetted jobby. It has some sort of 5 speed gearbox with the most complicated loosest gear linkage Ive ever seen. Im also pretty sure its running a 4.11 or a 4.44 diff which is really bloody annoying doing 3300RPM @100kph.

    The guy I bought it off had the rear seats removed and this wheelchair lift installed along with 4 big hold down things for the wheelchair I think he was using it to take his disabled son around. Kinda cool but completely impractical so it had to go. (I sold this for $600 which basically paid for the roadworthy). The rear seat did come with the deal.

    I welded up the rear bolt holes but the forward ones were right over the fuel tank so I made up these plates with half a chain link welded on for tying stuff down.

    I did a couple of mods including a 7inch double DIN touch screen central locking and cruise control. I left the rear seat out and just used the car like this for a couple of years.

    The old worn F8 was slowly causing issues and one day it decided that the head gasket should go on strike. Rather than the sensible option of repairing it I decided it was time for an upgrade.

    This is a 1993 Mazda MX6.

    It has a Mazda F2T engine which is a 2.2L turbocharged SOHC 12-valve fuel injected engine. It also has an automatic transmission which doesnt work at all. $350 well spent!

    The Mazda F series of engines are all built around the same cast iron block with different displacements which means that all the mounting points are the same across the F8 and the F2T (As well as the FE which is the 2L version their diesel engines also use the same block which shows how strong these engines can be!) This means that although this is a FWD and the Spectron is a RWD I can just use the original engine mounts off the F8 on the F2T.
    Similarly the crank bolt pattern is the same so even though the F2T is an auto I can use the original flywheel starter and bellhousing from the manual gearbox.

    I was originally looking at getting an engine from a Kia Sportage which has an FE3 (a DOHC 2L) however apparently (I didnt actually get confirmation) these use a 8 bolt crank pattern instead of a 6 bolt. You can get an FE3 which is used on Mazdas however theyre sort of a JDM special have to be imported and normally go for BIG bucks.

    I got to work pulling the engine from the Mazda.

    I also got myself a RWD head from an Econovan you can see that the FWD head has the dizzy mounted on what will be the back of the engine which would be poking through the firewall in the Spectron. It also has the thermostat housing in a completely impractical spot.

    I swapped the heads over changed the timing belt and did as much else as I could to the engine whilst it was on the stand.

    I made up a turbo flange from an old chunk of steel using an angle grinder and a couple of hole-saws.

    I actually just reused the old clutch it still had plenty of meat on it its not that hard to change and to be honest Id rather be slipping clutches than breaking gears!

    And a new dump pipe from the old exhaust on the Mazda press bent but should work for the moment.

    I pulled the engine out of the van and gave the bay a bit of a spring clean.

    Turns out I needed to cut a chunk out of the firewall anyway to get the throttle body to fit.

    I mounted the new engine and gearbox in one go by putting them on the ground and lifting the van up and over them using the engine crane to lift from the bull bar. Sorry no pictures of that.

    Next up came pulling the fuel tank to install the fuel pump that I stole out of the Mazda. The F8 used a low pressure on engine pump so I had to weld in the mounting bracket etc. for the pump which was interesting but it seemed to work alright. You can just see where Ive joined the pipe and the bracket is welded to the top.

    I also replaced the old low pressure filter with a high pressure one in the same spot as well as using all new high pressure lines.

    I remounted the vacuum components in the battery tray and did a hell of a lot of wiring to get it all to reach with the remounted distributor thermostat etc.

    Im running all of this with the stock computer from the Mazda which sits nicely here behind the firewall it was a bit of a pain but I basically terminated everything that went to the auto gave it a power and a ground and it seemed to work OK.

    I really wanted to do a front mount intercooler which the Mazda actually had stock however with the reoriented engine the turbo outlet and the throttle body point towards the back of the car and the radiator didnt leave any room to get piping through to the front. So I ended up mounting the intercooler behind the driver seat.

    I also made a custom air box which sits in the same location as the old one and takes the Mazda air filter and the air flow meter. I had to mount the air flow meter upside down to make it clear the passenger seat when its lowered but it seems to work alright like that.

    The engine cross bracing which holds the handbrake and the drivers seat needed some serious work to clear the new intake manifold.

    Then we had to move to a new house with no time to finish the car properly I just had to get it moving as I didnt want to pay for a tow truck.

    I bodged up some intercooler piping out of PVC pipe (Im really sorry everyone!) as with the air flow meter this car has you cant just bung an air filter on the intake and use it NA I joined the dump pipe to the tiny stock exhaust and just jammed the rest of the car back together as well as I could.

    It ran and drove but not well. I managed to get it to the new place quite well and even take a couple of loads of stuff. All in all I think I drove about 100km with the set up. After the 3rd or 4th time lying on the side of the road burning my arm on the exhaust trying to re tighten the PVC pipe that had popped off I decided that I really needed to fix it properly.

    It had some serious overheating problems as well I think this is a combination of a leaky heater core some blocked up return passages too small a thermo fan insufficient air flow through the radiator and probably a few other things I havent thought of yet.

    In typical project car fashion its now been parked with no work done on it for about 4 months.

    Heres a photo of the new engine in the car.

    I hope that by showing you guys what Ive done already and putting up some progress I will get some motivation to finish it off. So here is a (hopefully) exhaustive list of things that I think are required to get it running and on the road.

    Finish welding up the engine cross brace in order to actually get the handbrake working
    Fix the heater so its not leaking coolant
    Make some proper intercooler piping
    Replace the clutch master cylinder (its got a slow leak)
    Make up an A-pillar style gauge pod for the boost oil pressure and volt sensors
    Fix up some of the bodgey wiring
    Fix up the coolant return pipes
    Get the A/C working (again slow leak)
    Sort out the thermostat housing with a thermo switch for the fan
    Replace the fan
    Put the rear seat back in
    Make ducting/deflectors for the radiator/intercooler
    Make a new exhaust.

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by the_bard; 08-07-2018, 02:36 PM.


    • #3
      Hi Mods, (or anyone else that can help)

      Struggling a bit here, I'm trying to upload a post about what I've done with the car with a bunch of embedded photos from imgur.

      It keeps telling me that I have to upload a photo to post and then when I do it chops off the whole post except the first half of the first line...

      Any ideas?

      Thanks Tom

      Edit: Never mind i did some research turns out the site doesnt like a bunch of punctuation and since I was coping this from a word document it didnt like it too much all fixed now.
      Last edited by the_bard; 08-07-2018, 02:37 PM.