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classicJackets New Reader
6/1/15 9:32 p.m.

What's up guys, I'm new to the forum and glad to be here. I'll get right down to it. Bought this little truck back in January. Fell in love with it but it's so dang slow. I've been doing what I can to keep it running right, as it's my dd. Hasn't failed on me yet, other than when I had rodents eat through my fuel lines in the driveway (seriously, wtf).

I knew that I eventually wanted more power, and occasionally checked CL for the Ford 2.3T. Last week I stumbled across one about 10 minutes from where I'm living this summer for a good price, complete with T5, electonics, and an extra short block. I don't exactly know what I'm doing, but I plan to learn along the way and rebuild the extra short block, and hopefully just swap the head and turbo over, make some mounts and run stock power at first. Eventually I'd like to do the 8.8 rear end with disc brakes from an Explorer. I have disc hubs and spindles for the front ready to go on after I get new calipers, rotors, and tires for all around haha.
On to the pictures..

[URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/20150307_155016_zps8nfxoerx.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150307_180320_zpsvxmclnjf.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150203_212617_zpstw1pzq3l.jpg.html][/URL]

Today in front of my newly rented storage unit: [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/20150601_170731_zpsvhmwwd2p.jpg.html][/URL]

[URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150526_175815_zpshxrhe605.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150526_175838_zpsmcejht4n.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150525_184129_zpsok2aldkc.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150525_184108_zpsv4tbpiby.jpg.html][/URL] [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150525_183903_zpsrivwdgbz.jpg.html][/URL]

"New" wheels don't fit my style, but they were cheap and will fit over the disc brake conversion. [URL=http://s1025.photobucket.com/user/laxands13/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150312_160439_zpskz3eohef.jpg.html][/URL]

I'm still in college so this will be a bit of a budget build, but I do my best to not cheap out on important stuff. Input and advice always welcome, I kinda fly by the seat of my pants usually.


EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
6/1/15 9:38 p.m.

Welcome Doug! That's a great looking truck, I can't wait to read more about your build.

bgkast UltraDork
6/1/15 9:47 p.m.

Sweet truck. Sounds like a cool project.

nepa03focus HalfDork
6/1/15 9:56 p.m.

Cool little truck. As someone who also doesnt know what they are doing, I look forward to following along.

fujioko HalfDork
6/1/15 10:02 p.m.

Wow, I don't think I've seen a Courier that clean since the late 70's.

dropstep Reader
6/2/15 1:48 a.m.

have a soft spot for these, my dad had one as a parts truck when i was a kid. great paint and wheels but it lacked power! the 2.3t is a very solid little motor.

wheelsmithy HalfDork
6/2/15 5:38 a.m.

Um, ... WOW!

Mazdax605 UltraDork
6/2/15 5:46 a.m.

Sweet truck! Basically the same as my REPU short of some different sheet metal parts, and the engine. I love mine, and couldn't see myself without it. Mine isn't slow, and never was. Good luck with the swap. Should make it even faster than mine.

RossD PowerDork
6/2/15 7:12 a.m.

Nice truck. I always wanted to do a Zetec swap in one. Does it have a Ford or Mazda engine?

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
6/2/15 8:03 a.m.

My best friend has one of the mazda version. 1980.

Same wheels as the ones you got.

Great truck. He's had his since I met him in high school. Almost 20 years ago. His was always slow too.

Im going to watch this for inspiration for his.

84FSP Reader
6/2/15 8:09 a.m.

My brother had one in high school and we got into all kinds of trouble with it despite being slow. Looking forward to it and glad to see it didn't go 5.0.

Rusted_Busted_Spit UberDork
6/2/15 8:16 a.m.

My FIL had a "Cat Crap" yellow one of those before the wife and I got married. It was slow but I always liked that truck and I really with I could have talked the SO into letting me buy it from him.

trucke HalfDork
6/2/15 8:20 a.m.

Awesome truck! Welcome to GRM.

I learned to drive in a '76 LUV and it was very slow.

This will be a neat build to follow. Can you finagle a way to score some college credits for the build?

rob_lewis SuperDork
6/2/15 9:47 a.m.

Funny how many of us remember these. Best friend had an orange one in high school, the "Orange Bullet" that he wailed on regularly. For those of us uneducated in all things Ford, what does the turbo 4 come out of?


classicJackets New Reader
6/2/15 11:27 a.m.
nepa03focus wrote: Cool little truck. As someone who also doesnt know what they are doing, I look forward to following along.

There are dozens of us! Lol. Looking forward to figuring it out.

It's a Mazda engine. As far as I know it's pretty much entirely Mazda apart from a few branding statements and the front end.

It's definitely fun to see how many people remember these. Have had 2 people offer to buy it so far, haha.

If I'm lucky I can do some crazy stuff for senior design, but I've got at least 2 years before I'm in that position and hopefully this'll be "done" by then.
The turbo 4 came out the Mustang SVO for a few years and the Thunderbird TurboCoupe for a few years. This engine was in an SVO but I'm not sure thats where it originally came from.

The truck is pretty clean overall but needs some serious going through to keep the areas of surface rust from becoming structural. Has had a water leak for who knows how long, so the floors are getting pretty rough. Hoping to tackle that this fall when I'm back at school and not working. Need to get the windshield seal replaced first, though. One step at a time... Doug

2002maniac Dork
6/2/15 12:12 p.m.

Sweet project! I've been looking for an old mini truck to daily.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
6/2/15 1:51 p.m.

That is an awesome project. I was planning on a Ranger turbo build before someone canceled my plans. I just gave away the 2.3 N/A sitting next to the house.

Mazdax605 UltraDork
6/2/15 2:49 p.m.

Here's mine working:

My project that I will never finish:

And again at work:

BlueInGreen44 HalfDork
6/2/15 5:44 p.m.

Cool truck! I'm excited to see what you do with it.

classicJackets New Reader
6/2/15 9:40 p.m.

Mazda, your truck is beautiful! I really like the front end that the early Mazdas got (I have a soft spot for "dual" headlights), and you seem to have a pristine one! What's the deal with the red one?

Well, seeing as it's my DD and it's been running a little warm lately, I had a new water pump, thermostat, and temperature sensor sent. The radiator is nasty and It took probably 5 flushes to make the water coming out of it be clear instead of rusty, but I can't really afford to replace that for now. Got everything opened up today after work, and just have to swing by the store tomorrow and get a 36mm socket to get the crank pulley off so I can get the Water pump off.

Surprisingly, everything came off pretty easily. Here's where I left off at the end of the night.

I'm expecting it to make 400 miles total this weekend so that I can bring back my actual project car (83 civic) and work on it in a storage unit here for the summer while I have time and an income, haha. Need to bring a hoist, engine/trans, top box o' tools, engine stand, wheels, and front brake assembly along with other misc odds and ends up here between this slow piece and the two vehicles participating in the towing. Going to be an interesting, slow ride.

Here's the biggest imperfection in the body on the truck. Not a killer but it definitely threw off some of the alignment of the front end body panels. Most don't sit quite right.

(Don't worry, currently surface rust on the fender. On my list of things to grind/sand down and bedline/paint)


Mazdax605 UltraDork
6/3/15 4:24 a.m.

^^ Thanks for the compliments on my truck. It is not pristine in any way shape or form, but a nice solid driver. The red one was purchased locally two years ago, and I had grand plans for it until I found the rot on the cab. I'm not sure what the heck I am going to do with it now. I did steal the differential from it last summer to use in my green truck because I chipped a few teeth off of the pinion gear. I love that you are resurrecting the Courier. Keep up the good work. Maybe you can inspire me to get busy on my truck.

RossD PowerDork
6/3/15 8:14 a.m.

If the shifter doesn't line up well with the Mustangs T-5, Jeeps T-5 came with a different tail housing that puts the shifter in a more common truck position.

hobiercr Dork
6/3/15 9:01 a.m.

Can you do a full engine shot of the current drivetrain from in front of the radiator. Just from that little side peek that motor looks suspiciously related to the 1.3L TC motor in my GLC. Great build. I will be watching with interest as I also just picked up a 2.3T drivetrain to put into one of my cars.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
6/3/15 9:05 a.m.

My first job at a tire shop one of the mechanics had a Ford shotgun motor stuff in a courier that was caged, tubed and he drove it on the street.


wlkelley3 SuperDork
6/3/15 8:56 p.m.

Those were the rage when I was young. Some kind of side exhaust or Lakes pipes behind the cab under the bed helped even out the look.

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