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tyhackman15

Because one NC just isn't enough... 2nd 2.5 build

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When you're bored and a cheap NC with a blown 2.0 shows up in Dallas, you rent a trailer and get your ass up there.  My red 07 with a 2.5L was getting lonely in the driveway, and all these shiny new cams that are supposed to transform the engine are too tempting, so why not do another.  

2008 NC, grand touring, appearance package, 6 speed, LSD, white with the caramel whatever interior and a brand new top... $2100, yes please.   Grabbed a 2.5L from a 2010 Fusion locally with 95k miles for $450.  That's where the cheap ends.  This is my first project to this degree, have done about everything else on a car, but never a motor swap.  My garage isn't made for this, it's an old house with a "2 car", but we made it work.  Step one, take pictures of everything.  Everything.  Then start disassembling.  On an NC the consensus is to drop the whole subframe, and leave the engine/trans together.

This part went easier than I even expected.  If I did it again, it would take an evening to get to this point.  The one thing to be careful of is the steering shaft.  It doesn't have any in/out play to remove it from the coupling with everything attached, and it doesn't always pop free as you lower the subframe.  So be careful and don't bend it.    

 

 

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Once that is done, strip both the motors and take a note to change your damn oil.  The old 170k 2.0L was disgusting (and I found a cracked coolant tank, pour one out for another NC lost to something so simple).

Swap over the 2.0 oil pan, pickup tube, and all accessories.  Replace every gasket you touch with OEM mazda, it's cheap enough.  New exedy stage 1 clutch, no need to go crazy. Photo of the cams are the new esslinger racing stage 2 sticks.  Very excited for these.  Timing this motor is insane, zero reference pins or anything, and diamond washers hold everything in place.  Torque the cams with new bolts and washers, then assemble and attempt to get 76ftlbs + 90 degrees on the crank without bending the tiny little pin holding the whole shebang in time.  Not fun, but doable. 

 

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You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  About $5k in parts later (most of which are performance bits you'd want on your 2.0 anyway, so this swap is actually dirt cheap if you have a bolt on 2.0 that died) and you're ready to assemble.  Sexy 1.8" primary header covered up by a nice TDR blanket, Moroso metal coolant tank so it doesn't die again, CSF radiator because the OEM one is about as thick as your pinkie. Bolt it all up on the subframe, and slider her back under the car.  Engine hoist to lower it all and check clearances every .0002 seconds and you're done lol.

Then comes the praying.  ECUtek tune from Xerolimit and it's first fire time.  I pulled the fuel pump fuse and let her turn over to hopefully circulate some fluids.  Then boom, first click of the starter and it's alive.  I don't hear any pistons and valves getting friendly, so we might have done this right.  As the idle settles, the cams were worth every penny and headache.  Properly rowdy.  

Back it out of the garage and burp the coolant system, while you realize that every NC should have the appearance package ?

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So now I'm slowly breaking in the clutch.  About 120 miles down, around that to go.  Doing some logging for the tuner, but even at part throttle the car feels amazing.  It even sounds better with these cams.  I can't wait to really wring it out and enjoy the extra ~25whp up top vs a stock 2.5.  I think this swap is going to continue to gain traction, and I can't wait to see the 2.5L keep getting more and more parts.  Should be making around 190-200whp, depending on who you ask.  Can't beat a nice, reliable NA powerplant that is cheap as chips to replace.  I'll be sure to post videos and more photos once I can properly drive this thing.  As well as track impressions vs my stock internals 2.5.  

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Here's the list of everything I purchased, that was specifically related to the swap.  If you remove the performance parts that a normal enthusiast NC would already have, you're looking at about $1700 plus a tune (or $1500 if you keep the ford timing cover).  Personally, you can't beat that for the performance gained. 

Part Number Part $4,394.58
YF09-11-303 Pilot Bearing - Mazda $4.00
LF01-11-406 Crankshaft Bolt - Mazda (x2) you only need one, but insurance. $6.00
L3H5-11-407 Crankshaft Diamond Washers (x3) - Mazda $16.00
L568-12-428 Camshaft Bolt (x2) - Mazda $7.00
L3K9-12-429 Camshaft Diamond Washers (x2) - Mazda $15.00
LFE2-14-240A Oil Pickup Tube - Mazda $32.00
L309-14-248 Oil Pickup Tube O-Ring - Mazda $3.00
0000-77-508E-20 FL-22 Coolant (2 Gallons) $36.00
L3AW-10-500 Mazda 2.5L Front Timing Cover - not needed, but makes life much easier vs grinding the ford's $196.00
L327-13-460B Exhaust Gasket $21.00
LFE2-13-135 Intake Plenum Gasket $26.00
LFE2-15-169 Water Outlet Gasket for a 2.0L (back of head) $4.15
AJA4-15-205 Radiator Cap (OEM) $15.00
PE07-10-450 Dipstick (plus total shipping for order 38270) $80.85
LF01-11-511 Flywheel Bolts - OEM $28.00
  Feeler Gauge $9.00
  Shaeffer Gear Oil $21.00
  Pennzoil Platinum 5w-20 (5qt.) $21.00
  WIX 51348 $8.50
  ATE Brake Fluid $20.00
  Gray RTV - x2 $13.00
  Permatex Assembly Lube $7.00
  Serpentine Belt - 5060910 $25.50
  Front Timing Seal Timken 223750 $8.50
  CSF Radiator - Goodwin $329.00
  Moroso Coolant Tank $213.00
  Ford Ranger PCV Fitting $40.00
  Massive Balance Shaft Delete Kit $45.00
  Timing Kit $25.00
  Rear Main Seal $36.08
  1.8" GWR Header $549.00
  O2 Extenders - 1 short and 2 long $85.00
  Esslinger Stage 2 Cams $546.00
  Xero Limit Tune and ECUtek Cable $749.00
  Clutch - Exedy Stage 1 $319.00
  Exedy Slave Cylinder $11.00
  Mazda Comp Motor Mounts - buy Megan next time.  These are a rip off.  $199.00
  Stainless Clutch Line $20.00
  Rear Exhaust Gasket $7.00
  Valve Cover Gasket (2.5L) $13.00
  Thermostat $22.00
  Coolant Hoses $81.00
  A/C Dryer $22.00
  Spark Plugs - 2.5L $25.00
  Tensioner $40.00
  Idler Pulley $30.00
  Water Pump - 2.5L $30.00
  AMS OEM Flywheel $125.00
  WIX Paper Air Filter $12.00
  New Starter - Lifetime Warranty $135.00
  XT-M5-QS Trans Fluid $42.00
LF02-14-342 Oil Filter Housing Gasket $10.00
LF01-20-305 EGR Gasket $11.00
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