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89 white lightning motor rebuild


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hello all,this is my first post as i have just bought a near immaculate 89 white lightning,[ i am a long time ford boy from years back, now liking fwd four pot thrills] only thing with it... no motor, the previous owner sent it off [to sydney] i think he said to be rebuilt, he never saw it again...scammed ? anyway so now i'm looking for a replacement, with luck i think i have a 3sge 'big cam' replacement from melbourne, so now i am doing research on the rebuild,

can any of your good selves point me toward a rebuilder in adelaide?

but i will consider interstate [ with caution...],

looking to do a performance rebuild but without being too obvious, want strong balanced internals

new rods and forged pistons kit good bearings rings etc,

line bore and balance,oversize? to be decided

head work open up and flow etc, change cams? etc, all usual stuff for a strong rebuild

advice from your experiences would be appreciated, as this is my first four pot rebuild , [have years of ford v8 time] so new ground to me

i have been looking at the sc12/sc14 superchargers [i see that there is virtually no rebuild/recond. available for these

i'm not looking at turbo at this time, i like the stealthy look of the little blowers [less obvious to the boys in blue] thoughts??

i am wanting a stock look but with a 'sleeper' surprise when needed


fuel and electronics? any advice here would be great, thinking of using the stock fuel set up., any advice here?

and suspension, the car has new struts already but as i do like to hit the corners at speed at times advice /experience here also is appreciated

i know you guys probably get these requests from near every newbie, i have been looking through the posts here and elsewhere and have a good idea of what i want, your experiences here to put me on a right path to a quick car is what i hope for., many thanks for any help- Geoff p.s if interested see my gallery for the little gem i scored for $300

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldnt waste my time on a first gen 3SGE, just go straight to a red top beams and just give it new rings, crank seals and valve stem seals. With an exhaust and ECU you will push very good power! Stock they had 147kw (ish... not 100% sure) at the fly which is alot more than the original ;)

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a red top BEAMS motor would be cool, but also would be expensive and a pain in the *****, and a charged 3SGE will be pretty slow.

IMO get a 3SGTE from a ST185, yes they are turbo but if you keep the factory heat shields etc it won't look too out of place.

Any route you take will be a lot of money though, and considering you can get a GT4 celica for a couple of grand maybe its worth parting the one you have and getting something thats already FI from factory.

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Or get a 3rd gen 3sge much easier to wire in and readily available as was in the mr2. They go cheap and have i think 132kw, just lighten the flywheel and get a better exhaust manifold and you will be flying

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IMO the 2nd gen is a better choice, its cheaper, similar power output stock and has been put in many, many 162s. There are also several plug-n-play aftermarket ECU's available for it.

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