TTAC Project Car: Getting Down To Business!

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

ttac project car getting down to business

Adios Amigo…

Farewell to our Ford Sierra’s reasonably adequate, high compression and emissions free 2-liter Pinto motor because it’s time to visit Lima, Ohio — not Peru — with a bonus question for the truly tech-savvy among the B&B.

There’s a guy named Bo that’s earned quite the reputation in TurboFord-land. I’ve seen his handiwork kicking ass at LeMons races, but was worried after clicking his dead website. Shockingly, I found Bo on eBay; a few emails explaining the stupidity excellence that is TTAC’s chocolate-toned project car, and he was Down With The Brown.

I wanted a roller camshaft swap without resorting to the gutless cams (from a ’90s Ranger) that are easily available in a junkyard. It’s more money, but more bang across the powerband! Bo suggested the torque-savvy, street-friendly “BoPort 2.1” kit: new cam, valves, roller rockers (obviously) and the miscellaneous bits for assembly.

While TTAC’s Ford Sierra won’t be nearly as aggressive as this 2.3 Thunderbird, it has the same cam. The end result will nearly triple the original horsepower figures, with better fuel economy (EFI and an overdrive gearbox) and far better emissions controls. Yes, that means it’s getting a catalytic converter; modern day units flow far more CFM than I will ever need, they are not a restriction.

So let’s take a closer look at the Sierra’s engine.

From the valve springs, retainers and rockers, this is a pretty serious bit of kit.

All machined and ready to go. The block came from a 1985 Thunderbird Turbo with 109,000 easy, stress-free miles mated to an automatic transmission. No surprise that it still had the factory crosshatching in the cylinder bores. The machine work was minimal, a new set of bearings was the biggest expense. The cylinder head was cleaned up a bit and the new valves dropped right in with the roller cam. Done.

The finished product is a thing of beauty. Except we forgot one thing: engine paint!

Bam, son! Chocolate brown engine block for Rio Brown Ford Sierra Ghia!

Along with the color choice, the observant among the B&B may object to overspray. I thought the same, until I talked to the Sierra’s builder. Mr. Brian Pollock, with years of racing experience under his belt, convinced me otherwise: hell, it might even protect things that can rust when there’s no good reason for it!

Now here’s the tough one:

Surprise, surprise! The Merkur parts car from our last update sported these aftermarket fuel injectors. Apparently it was a common replacement/upgrade for Turbo Fords and Buick Grand Nationals back in the day. A bit of googling found this:

Well then! We learn something new every day. And now I have an interesting alternative to the fuel injectors in my 1985 and 1988 Thunderbird donor motors.

So here’s the question: Assuming all injectors are in good working condition (they all ran fine), do you go with the factory FoMoCo pintle-based injectors or these ToMoCo rotary-discs?

Off to you Best and Brightest. This decision is entirely up to you!

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3 of 21 comments
  • STRATOS STRATOS on Nov 21, 2015

    Why would anybody with any brain,paint the gasket surfaces,oil filter mount and other engine internals.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Nov 21, 2015

      Nah, it's easier to wipe the fresh paint from machined surfaces with acetone, than to carefully mask and paper the thing.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Nov 23, 2015

    I wonder if the Pinto forum on Facebook would have any interest in the old 2.0.

  • MaintenanceCosts Will the Bronco have a four-motor configuration a la Rivian? That seems to me like the right approach for an EV off-roader. Enables lots of neat tricks.
  • Lou_BC ERay? A southern model will be the BillyRay.
  • Lou_BC I've never used a car buying plan service. My Costco membership did get me 1,000 cash back on my last truck.
  • Jeff S I can understand 8 cars is a bit much unless you are a serious collector. I always loved the Challenger when it first came out and now. I don't need a car like this but I am glad it exists at least for 1 more year. If I had a choice between a Mustang, a Camaro, and a Challenger I would opt for a Challenger but probably with a V-6 since it has more than enough power for most and I don't need to be burning rubber. Challenger has the classic muscle car looks, more cabin room, and a decent size trunk which makes it very livable for day to day driving and for traveling. The base models of the Dodge Challenger has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that gives you 305 horsepower with 268 lb-ft torque. The car attains 60 mph from a standstill within just 6 seconds, which is quite fast. Even with their base engines, the Challenger and Camaro are lightning-fast. The Camaro reaches 165 mph, while the Challenger can go up to 11 mph faster!
  • Inside Looking Out I would avoid American cities if I can. European cities are created for humans and Americans for cars.