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'98 Contour SVT Build

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  • '98 Contour SVT Build

    Hello everyone,

    I've been a member of this forum for a little while. It started way back in my high school days (about 10 years ago) when I bought a 96 contour V6/AT with a bad motor. I 3L-swapped it thanks to the help of this community. I always loved the way that car handled and it still holds a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, I only got to drive it for a few years before the AT gave up, and I didn't have the time, money or patience to put another transmission in. So I ended up taking the motor out and junking the car.

    Fast forward a few years after that, and I found a '98 Silver SVT with a bad motor on our local classifieds. I forget how much I paid for it, but I want to say it was around $500. The car had a bad motor and over $200k miles on it, and later I found out that the trans housing had a missing chunk where it connects to the mount. However, the body was in decent shape and I was even able to drive it a couple miles before it fully gave out.

    It's been sitting in my carport for over 5 years waiting to finally be brought to life again, and I'm excited to say that the build has officially started.

    The main priority for me is to get the thing running, as I'm tired of it just sitting in my carport and taking up all that space. Not to mention, it's not doing any favors to my house.
    I don't plan this to be a full-out build, but I do want it to get to a place where I have a good foundation to start so that I can add more mods in the future.

    Having said that, below is the list of parts I already have in hand or have been ordered:

    -3.0L ported Duratec engine taken out of my '96 contour
    -'98 SVT transmission - need to find a modified "keyed" shift tower, no LSD at this time due to lack of funds
    -New stock LIM with green injectors (#19lbs i believe?)
    -SVT cams
    -MSDS headers and y-pipe
    -DMD pulley
    -Fidanza flyweel
    -Metal propeller water pump
    -Luk clutch
    -Solid Frame Bushings
    -Nylon Shifter Bushings

    It's been kind of sad see the decline in activity in this forum in recent years, but hopefully that is a sign that most of these cars are running without issues or there's just enough information on here that there isn't a need to post new topics. So I'm not sure how much i'll post on here, but I'll probably upload a few pictures here and there of the progress. I'm also thinking of starting a page on fordcontour and perhaps even a youtube channel for this and other projects I'll be working on (because I'm a millenial and that's just what we do).

    With that said, I'm really excited to finally get to drive an SVT. I really liked my '96, auto trans and all, so I can only imagine how fun this car will be to drive. I also think this car has a potential to become a classic in the future and maybe regain some of its popularity, much like the E30s did. Maybe that's just me being hopeful, but you can never really know.

    I'd really appreciate it and it would really help my motivation to see some people interested in this... that would definitely drive me to upload more pictures and stuff. Also, any advice is welcome and greatly appreciated.

    Lastly, I just wanted to thanks to everyone in the community for the support and knowledge sharing all these years... It helped me a lot, especially as a high school kid doing his first motor swap. I am now a Mechanical Engineer, and I can truly say that working on cars has made me a much better engineer and has given me many real life examples of how to design things, and sometimes more importantly, how NOT to design things haha..

    Anyways, cheers. Long live the CSVT!

  • #2
    Good for you! I'm an ME also, and working on / modifying / racing cars was extremely good for my growth in the profession.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the shifter, maybe just replace "the bolt" with a high quality new one and be fairly gentle on the shifting, it makes everything last longer anyway.

    I had Terry Haines (RIP) put a new (non LSD) diff in my trans years ago, and did get the key mod. But that was at 120,000 mi meaning that the initial bolt lasted 120k. The std diff is a real wseak point, in mine the spider gears wore down to nubs. Terry put in a very early diff that used "real metal" (ie not powder metal) gears. My car is a just a DD so I've never really wanted an LSD.
    Al Seim
    2000SVT Contour


    • #3
      Thanks for the info, that's good advice. I'll look for an equivalent sized bolt out of SS, put some thread-lock, torque it to spec and call it a day. Good to know about the diff, I'm leaning towards just biting the bullet and buying a Quaife diff, and have a local shop put it in. Worst case, I'll just see if I can source one of the pre-98 diffs from somewhere.


      • #4
        here's a quick preview of the state of the motor. I should be getting the powder coated timing chain cover this week and be able to put the motor back together next week.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          quick update, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a Quaife differential. I'm hoping this is the last major piece that I need to buy before everything goes back in. *fingers crossed*. Now just need to get it installed and I should be golden.


          • #6