Re: Ford Taurus engine
I had an '89 SHO, and know a few things about that motor. The SHO motor is not entirely different from the run-of-the-mill 3.0. In fact, it is built on the same motor- block and crank assemblies are almost the same. Ford commissioned Yamaha to build the SHO motor from the basic 3.0- Yamaha's core technical knowledge is tuned tubes, evidenced by them doing everything from musical instruments like trumpets to 2-stroke motorcycles. That's why the first-gen SHO motor featured a "bundle of snakes" intake- that's how Yammie does things.
The SHO produced 215 horsepower. Paltry by today's standards, perhaps, but recall the 5.0 Mustang GT only made 10HP more, back then. When it was introduced in 1989, the SHO was the ONLY 4-door sedan that sold for less than $100,000 and could do 140MPH. The car was only available with a 5-speed manual transmission for the first years, an automatic was an option later.
My previous car was an '86 Taurus with the standard 3.0, the SHO was a considerably different experience- but only if you got on it. Aside from "having" to shift the gears, and the improved, more sport suspension, the two cars drove much the same, with the SHO being a a real wolf in sheep's clothing. Few visual clues were noticable- "SHO" was molded into the front and rear bumper covers and slightly-agressive side skirts, but the letters were body colored, so one had to look close to see them. From a performance standpoint, however, the SHO could literally run rings around the basic 3.0, or 3.2 L Taurus.
There was a "stroker" kit for the SHO, it was basically the 3.6L block and bottom end in place of the 3.0, and resulted in a motor as reliable as the 3.0. All things are relative, though- the SHO was far from the most reliable car. Virtually ALL the SHO-specific parts were dealer-only parts- the clutch was smallish in diameter and thus did not last as long as it might have, and a set of spark-plug wires, (again, only available from FOMOCO dealers, and we are talking the early 90's) cost a whopping $256.00. The SHO was NOT a car for the faint of heart- or faint of wallet.
Ford also made a "police-spec" Taurus 3.6 car, but contrary to the way cops like to believe, it was not one whit faster than the regular 3.6 Taurus, and could not hold a candle to the SHO. I lived in New Orleans when I owned my SHO; the NOPD had a fleet of police-spec Tauruses at the time, most were painted the same black as my SHO (others were painted white.) NOPD used most of them as unmarked cars, but most of the people in NO recognized them as cop cars. Most of the people in New Orleans thought my car was a cop car, too, so I could get away with some pretty aggressive driving- one of those times, when I did my headlight-flash-to-pass on I-10, traveling at least 80 mph in a 55, I happened to do it RIGHT NEXT TO A NOPD TAURUS. I must have been very conviencing, because the cop looked over at me but didn't do another thing. I guess he just thought I was another cop...
In a drag race, the Mustang 5.0 would easily beat a SHO, due to RWD working better for drags and the Mustang's slightly less weight and slightly more power, but in a real-world way, the SHO was arguably the better car. It was very likely the inspiration for Chevy's re-born Impala SS, which out-muscled the SHO with off-the-shelf stuff, whereas Ford got creative and made something almost entirely new.
A SHO swap to a Ranger would probably incur some of the same fitment problems any other DOHC motor swap would, left and right, but it is not a long motor, so radiator problems might be minimal. You would need to find a transmission that would bolt up; I'd look to either Ranger or Aerostar 3.0 motors as a start. Clutch issues may be the biggest bugaboo you would face. SHO cars sell pretty cheap, these days, but most are probably in poor shape, you should expect to do an engine rebuild which will NOT be cheap.
Later SHO's had a transverse-mounted OHC v8; it was a bit more powerful, more reliable, and not much larger, externally. I would think that would make for a better swap.
'95 XLT, 4.0L.AOD swap- "The Green Flash"
'73 Mustang Convert
'03 Mazda Protege
'01 Triumph Sprint ST- "The Green Flash II"
Last edited by stevieb; 04-23-2011 at 11:43 AM.