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3l Swappin' Contour

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  • 3l Swappin' Contour

    The vehicle as it sat the day I bought it:
    filedata/fetch?id=1826445&d=1628725056&type=thumb filedata/fetch?id=1826446&d=1628725058&type=thumb filedata/fetch?id=1826447&d=1628725058&type=thumb filedata/fetch?id=1826448&d=1628725059&type=thumb
    It's an apparently very early build 1998 SVT Contour, in Toreador red. I found the original FS thread on here and it suggests that I'm the third owner, after picking it up off of a fella who was local to me that'd had it for a few months as the FS ad suggests. He didn't have the time or space to really give this thing the love it needed, and I was itching to get into another project, as my Pro5 is in need of a transmission and having something that's not my GTI to tinker with throughout the rest of the summer was a desire. This was almost a parts car, but the bloke who almost bought it to part out was kind enough to let me have first dibs at it. He's a mate of mine, and ended up coming into another parts car that had a 3L and LSD-equipped MTX-75 transmission, among other goodies, so I am happy he made out well there!

    I got it back to a mate's place relatively trouble-free. The cooling fans were on all the time, and there was a switch panel in the radio spot with two switches, neither of which seemed to do much... That said, my Contour-owning friend who came with me was tailing me for a bit of the journey but overtook me after the smell of coolant was too overwhelming for him. Needless to say, I knew that I wanted to swap out the 2.5L for a 3.0L, and the second owner/seller also threw in a 3L engine and spare transmission as a part of the sale!

    -Above left is an "E1" harness - the "E0" harnesses were poop and insulation tended to fail, leading to shorts, sensor issues, and all sorts of malarkey. No stranger to wiring danger, I wanted to tackle the conversion myself from E1 -> E0.
    -Middle is some of the wiring mess that existed on the E0 harness that was in the motor. There's a glaringly obvious photo below that shows the worst of what can happen to these poor harnesses over time...
    -Right is the PCV system - milky due probably to age, tuckered out headgaskets, and copious amounts of coolant that infringed on areas it had no business being in!

    This is a good representation of old and shwonky versus new and less prone to electrical fires... Positive battery lead to engine fuse box... Great!

    We called this fella (curious) George as he waltzed right in to see what we were up to and kindly distracted all of us for an hour or so the day I believe we pulled the engine out of the car!

    1) BAT struts, nice!
    b) old and tired lump, ready to be retired
    3) rear bank, with signs of an unhappy headgasket between rear/leftmost cylinder and the outside of the gasket
    iv) closeup of that cylinder and it's amount of "nope"
    E) this was my mistake - I was overzealous taking off the main power feeds into the fusebox, so this was a rash pinout after consulting a mate's spares harness

    More to digest, from right to left this time (making sure you're paying attention):
    Wiring spaghetti, wrapped and accounted for. Sans knock sensor, because I'm ignorant and the engine doesn't neeeeeeeed it (it'll always see 93 octane)
    E1 PCM connector, notice the extra pins on the bottom left row, those get rearranged, sort of
    E0 PCM connector
    Wiring spaghetti, this was tearing apart the E1 harness to inspect the pins and ensure that nothing was totally botched. I noticed a few pins that appeared to have had a bad time, so I tidied those up and found out what's actually required to convert a harness...

    Perks, and downside of having friends owning the same cars you buy... Nice MSDS headers!
    3L innards, pre- cam swap. Clean, suggested low mileage!

    Maybe I shouldn't promote tools but this Milwaukee die grinder really cleaned up shop! I bought an aluminium burr from McMaster Carr and cleaned up both heads over 4 evenings, working maybe 4 hours each evening? Finished the ports off with a sandpaper drum on a Dremel. Much more involved than the port matching I did on the KL when I went from oval-port heads to "square port" to match the Millennia intake manifold that's on there. The swarf could have been dealt with better. Note the edge of what used to be a box which probably would have helped keep things contained... Nothing a shopvac couldn't sort out though! The keen-eyed among you may notice the doubled up/relocated injector holes. Ford kindly never made a split port 3L cylinder head, so a simple mix-and-match wasn't possible. There are threads explaining the difference, but the TL;DR is that the "easiest" way to complete the swap is to go this route, which allows use of stock fuel rails, lower intake, upper intake, throttle body, and PCV system. The only other option is to hybridise things, but that is its own can of worms, and this birdy wasn't keen to go for those this time around.

    This was the biggest "err mmm hmm" moment of the entire build. I didn't catch this tearing the 3L down, and kinda kicked myself for it. I think that this was due to poor quality coolant being in the system previously. I took a leaf out of the Sloppy Mechanics book and liberally applied some copper gasket maker to the headgasket and am proceeding to send it. I cleaned up the face of the block as best as I could, and I'm anticipating this will withstand the test of time.

    Double check things when they seem "prepped" This was double o-ringed - not a great setup for an engine that self destructs at the mention of low oil pressure!!!

    This was various stages of reassembly. I'll be honest, I mostly cleaned things, as I preferred to let the two guys go ham who knew what the hell they were doing. 3L engine was prepped to go back in just two weeks after the 2.5 was torn out. Not bad I wouldn't say! My body hated me for a few days, I was genuinely sore all over for two days after the engine went in, and I couldn't fathom the thought of the wiring not working. Thankfully though, I keyed on and the engine fired right up! We fought a loosey goosey serpentine belt as we'd swapped to an Escape alternator. This swap greatly simplifies things with regards to servicing the alternator should it need removing. Think FSDE alternator location, on the KLDE engine... It's not a simple job to access, and so I say thank you Mazda for your alternator placement on the KLDE! LOL For those unfamiliar with the Mazda placement, it's above where the A/C compressor sits on the Duratec V6, but there's far more room in the bay for the alt to be removed... It's absolutely nuts seeing the difference between V6es from Mazda versus Ford.

    Last photo for this post is a shot of the car cleaned up. I neglected to reinstall the jack point cover like a numpty. Forgive this hideous monstrosity.

    Wiring conversion to be explained in the next post, as well as examining the cooling fan woes I'm fighting now.
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    Last edited by 31N007; 08-12-2021, 04:04 PM. Reason: Photos attached, rather than linked/embedded

  • #2
    Hopefully this shows up right. This is what I did to prepare the E1 harness to be used in place of the E0 harness. Now, one point I'd like to make is that Bnn is actually referred to as C3000 or something like that in the Ford diagrams. I made it easy on myself this go around and picked a nice simple letter... I also did that with the connectors, they're in the 100-number range in the Ford manual, but I went with how Mazda did is and called them X-01, X-02, etc. Way easier, and much nicer to work with!

    Despite spending copious amounts of time confirming that the pins were all in the right spots, it really is around five (5) steps... I'm genuinely baffled at its simplicity, but nonetheless, some folks aren't messed up like I am and don't enjoy wiring spaghetti!

    Contour Harness Pinout.jpg


    • #3
      Looks like much better condition than a parts car! Good luck with it. Wiring went somewhat bad on my E1, so hopefully you have better luck with your harness. Mine was repaired and hopefully will be good for another 20 years.
      99 Black SVT -3L Hybrid, Spec flywheel, MSDS, CAI, 17" Konig Tantrums, Optimized TB & Y, Baer BBK, Bassani cat-back w/ magnaflow res, Koni's w/ H&R

      '06 Volvo V50 T5 AWD MTX- Stock


      • #4
        Last edited by 31N007; 09-02-2021, 06:26 PM. Reason: Duplicate post lel


        • #5
          Autocrossed it this weekend, and it was an absolute riot!

          Bought the Team Dynamic wheels off of a mate and threw some RT660s on. The car as it sits isn't as nimble as the Pro5, but that's likely due to weight, suspension, wheelbase, and the overall goal for the car during engineering. The midrange torque was very much enjoyable, and I really can't wait to see how the Probe GT transmission might liven up the Pro5 as a result. That's got a 4.388 final versus the 4.105 that's currently in the broken box.

          Also made room for it in the garage in anticipation of the weather changing


          Here's a video from the weekend. Took last in class, but was 0.7## off from my friend in his rather well prepped Contour. I'll attribute being remotely in the same ballpark to the fact his Hoosiers were worn out and tire temps weren't super well maintained. He used some water from a competitor and found grip to be exceedingly improved for his last two runs!


          • #6
            Oh yeah, confirmed it's build number 0086 for 1998! Mate called because I am terribly lazy. I've been driving this to work this week in an effort to figure out what sort of MPGs it gets when it's not driven in haste. Last tank was 20.8 and that included the autocross, which I know doesn't help on the MPG-front!


            • #7
              Cool to see you are driving the car like it was meant to be! Good luck at your events.
              *CLICK HERE ---> 1995 SE 3L WITH MATCHING TRAILER <--- CLICK HERE*
              30 Contour / Mystiques and counting......


              • #8
                Cheers for that. It's been a blast so far. Returning 20.6 MPG over two tanks now, that I've kept track of. This is predominantly highway driving, and compared to my MK7 GTI (daily) it's a bit low - 30.3 MPG in that thing. But it's a really rewarding car to drive, and it's also really hard not to wring it out when it's warm. The exhaust note is very nice - it's a bit of a modified Bosal system. MSDS headers, BAT optimised midpipe/cat, Bosal cat-back and there's an added Magnaflow resonator behind the gas tank. It's a bit droney at low RPM mid-high load, but above 3k it gets pleasantly shouty :)

                I'll be autocrossing it again on the 19th, so stay tuned for an update there. I might try and take a run at a different angle, or stick the camera on the rear bumper just so the exhaust note can be captured more accurately.


                • #9
                  Ran the car again today, this time with the pillar gauges hooked up. HOT oil pressure dropped between 0 and 25 on Autometer gauge, taken from the spot where the dummy light normally goes, and the oil temps got up to between 120 and 250F. No issues at these values. Let the car run for a minute or so after the runs and the car seemed happy.

                  I need to acquire a water sprayer, as the tires did NOT take too kindly to the temps that I was running them at. I also want to diagnose a pull under accel to one side, and a pull under braking to the opposite side. Might "retire" the car from racing for the rest of the season, dependent on what I choose to get into regarding fixing things is concerned.

                  The list of things to buy/replace, required:

                  rear endlinks
                  front 4-bolt LCAs

                  And to buy/replace, desired:

                  front non-sunroof dome light map lights (I have no bloody idea what bulbs they are (i searched and found the lighting FAQ here, but it seems the bulbs that are called out are not correct.

                  No different angle this time; I think that the window view worked well this event.



                  • #10
                    Needs more real oil cooler. Needs more camber. Needs more mufflers.
                    '98 SVT E0 BLK/MNB#1663 Forged Ovalport 3L Supercharged


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Beans View Post
                      Needs more real oil cooler. Needs more camber. Needs more mufflers.
                      I'll do that

                      When yours is finished tuning


                      • #12
                        '98 SVT E0 BLK/MNB#1663 Forged Ovalport 3L Supercharged