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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-04-03, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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NA Fairlane performance mods

I brought an 1988 NA Fairlane about 2 months ago. Its a great car but I am seriously thinking about some power upgrades (1800 kgs is enough to make an stock 3.9 MPI a little bit tired!)

OK, so I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I'll ask it again anyway. What should I do to get the best streetable power out of an EA 3.9 MPI? They come 139 kw stock, I would like to aim for about 185 kw without a major engine rebuild. My plan and estimated costs are:

1) Extractors into a 2.5 inch exhaust system- $600 (hi flow cat etc)
2) K&N Panel Air Filter $120
3) Camshaft by COME or Crow Cams--used to increase peak power and to shift optimum power range into the low to mid range area (peak at 3800 rpm possible?). Cost ????
4) Editable ECU tuned by Unichip or similar--after other mods completed $750???.

Now I'm not sure on the prices or the method, so any criticism or advice would be greatly appreciated. Am also wondering whether some minor head work could be of benefit--Porting? Polished? Shave the head?

Any help appreciated...

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-04-03, 05:32 PM
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A different diff ratio would probably do a heap of good for your car.

If its a 3 speed, go 3.23 - 3.45 depending on the ammount of high speed driving you do, otherwise with a 4 speed, something even higher will help get that heavy car moving off the line, and still drive alright on the freeway.

Porting the exhaust ports will help out at high rpm, and while the head its out, you might as well throw in the XR exhaust valve.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 02:08 AM
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Maaaaaate. Good to see another person with an 88 NA Fairlane. Well from what i have read in my time on here and in my manuals, the NA Fairlane only weighs 1555kgs, so it so much of a heffer as what people have thought!

Onto the mods, well the first port of call is to ditch the transmission. The 3 speed is not built for performance, for $1500 you can get a tricked up hi-stall C4 3 speed transmission that should give you some good bang for buck. I would not upgrade the diff so high, like no more than 3.08 imo because the NA revs fairly high at 100 as it is.

Definately go the exhaust. In the next few weeks I am going to buy a set of Pacemaker extractors and get them fitted. Currently I have a 2.5in Mandrel bent, single muffler sports exhaust, it is nice and loud, turns heads. I also have the added benefit of an EBII 4.0 that I put under the bonnet when the old 3.9 crapped itself. Definately head work will help to make the 3.9 get up and move, Crow Cams seems to be the pick, their current cam, valve springs and cam gear kit for $1700 seems to be the go, with a reported 30-50rwkw increase, which is very decent.

If you put in an K&N Panel filter, then it would be advisable to go to your local Ford Spare Parts dealer and get an XH Ute intake snorkel. This is a wider intake by about double compared to the original NA's intake, this allows more airflow into the engine, and with extractors is a good combination.

With the few mods that I have done, I can generally keep up with most of the 6cyl boys in the club, even though I am hauling the extra weight.

Hope that helps,
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 02:27 AM
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Why hasn't anyone suggested a manual conversion? or is there some reason you can't put one into a fairlane?

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 02:38 AM
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I looked into the 5speed, its too much hassle for what it is worth. NA Fairlanes NEVER had a factory option as 5speed, so for insurance, you cant get it insured because it is not a standard feature, and apparently, in SA you have to get it engineered because the car never had that gearbox, that might be crap though, but it is what I have heard. I might do more investigation into it.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 02:46 AM
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That blows! It's the practically the same as an falcon/fairmont! Is there such thing as a stock fairmont ghia manual?

Now I'm all upset :(

Isj2000, it may be worth reading up on the laws in your state to see if a manual conversion is allowed...

P.S sorry to hijack your thread!

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 03:01 AM
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Have you considered a 5l EB motor from the wreckers

1997 EL Ford Fairmont.

1 Owner vehicle,
78000km's on the clock (12-1-05),
Showroom condition with all the fairmont goodies,
Metallic Silver.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by Rmyers
Is there such thing as a stock fairmont ghia manual?
You'll probably find at least a couple in the club. The only added complexity I can think of in converting a Fairlane to manual would be the tailshaft. Even then it should be teh same as a manual E-Series wagon.

Jack Travis, E-Series Acting President

1989 Ford Fairmont Ghia turbo/GL replica (underway)
1994 Eunos 800M
1990 Ford Laser S
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 05:49 AM
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personally, the manual would be THE single most performance-increasing mod you could do for under $1000. I just finished putting it in my eb, before that i put on el fuel injection and a few other goodies, sorta noticed it. Put in the manual, the car totally blew me away.
My brother has an 87 ea fairmont ghia, factory manual, my eb now will leave it for dead w/out trying......
The only problem I had was the wiring, the auto has some sort of inhibitor switch or something as well as the neutral switch, this has to be worked around.
But....WELL worth the time (3 days) and money ($800).

Proud TQE Operator and President of SEFAG - the Society for the Elimination of Ford Automatic Gearboxes

Pacemaker headers + 2.5" exhaust
EF Fairmont interior
MP3 player
Lowered King springs
5 speed manual
EF motor

Newest mod: EF Ghia wiring loom and dash
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-03, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all that everyone. Hey rmyers don't worry about the thread OK? Anyway, I have thought about putting a 5L EFi motor out of a newer falcon, but figured the cost a bit prohibitive. Would be good to catch one at the wreckers, what do you reckon, around 3 to 4 big ones for a complete cut?

Anyway, I reckon you guys are right about the manual convert--way to go but think I need to look into it some more. I'm in Qld, don't think anyone cares if you put a manual in a Fairlane.

I didn't realise the cost of a cam upgrade, I was told more around the $300 mark and put it in yourself--shows how much I know. But I guess I don't need to say the you get what you pay for.

And mightyNA, its also good to see someone with one of these rides. I've had it for 2 months and I'm stoked. I said 1800 kgs because with the towing rig they are supposed to be about 1650, add 50 kgs for the sound system I've put in, and well I'm about 80 kgs. Anyway, I read today that the BA GT is 1800 kgs, so its not such a bad number now is it? Be nice to have a Boss 290 and Tremec T5 tho... that would sort out the bank account for a few years.
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