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Thread: Ford Probe (mazda mx6) aftermarket options

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    Ford Probe SE 1996 (basically a MX6)

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    4

    Ford Probe (mazda mx6) aftermarket options

    Okay so before you roast me for asking these question, I have done quite a bit of research on the model car. The ford probe is basically a sister car to the mazda mx6, both the v6 and i4 models. Like most japanese cars, they usually keep the best parts for themselves. My question is about eventually going forced induction on this car.

    I am looking at a 96 probe SE. 118k miles female driven for its entire life (not trying to be sexist). Car was taken care of by its previous owners. I really like the look of the car and was always a fan of the odd ball tuner cars most people don't even know about at your car meets.

    I'm asking my question here because probetalk is a dead forum. I can't even make an account with them cause they never sent out a confirmation email so I can create a thread. Besides, the probe and mazda mx6 are essentially the same thing.

    What I do know is that the probe came with the fs-de engine inside from mazda. Based on what I have read, the engine and transmission internals between the second gen probes and the mazdaspeed protege are identical ( only major difference being the turbo and lsd). The main drawbacks to making any kind of power on these cars is the oil delivery system and the weak transmission.

    My questions:

    I am getting the feeling that parts compatibility between the probes and the msp protege and the probe is closer to 95% identical versus 100%. Can anyone shine light on this 5% difference if they know what it is? I have tried doing research on probe talk and mazda247, but all the pages I have looked at are unorganized, get off topic, never reach a final consensus that everyone agrees on, and are usually outdated (most recent one found was last updated in 2012) From an engineers perspective, 6 years is an eternity, especially with how fast technology is changing nowadays. I want to know if it would be more economical to build up the relatively low mile engine the car comes with, or just buy a new msp protege engine and tranny so I don't run into parts compatibility issues in the future. the msp protege lsd trans is inexpensive, so will that bolt up to the probe's engine? Can I get straight cut gears from PAR in the probes tranny? Will the aftermarket lsd's fit the probe tranny? What about axles and shift linkage?.

    What can be done to these cars to improve the oil delivery system? The block is a closed deck which is boost friendly. I checked bore, rod length, and stroke between the probe's fs-de and the msp's fs-det: they are the same, so protege forged internals should fit. I believe that the msp protege came with a forged crank (correct me if i'm wrong). Is it the same for our car?

    I was just gonna go with a mega-squirt ecu so that should answer anyone's concerns about wiring and tuning.

    Now most of you are probably thinking "you can get a much faster car for less money if you start with a different platform". This is true. However, EVERYONE has a boosted civic. Anyone can buy an sti, evo, or an eclipse gsx and make over 400 hp with simple mods. I'd be willing to drop over 10k into a probe build, whatever it takes to get the econobox up to good performance levels.
    Getting a clean probe for close to 1k is not something that can be done with a more modern performance car. I could end up spending close to 20k on the entire build, for example, and end up with performance levels comparable to that of a brz with bolt-ons for less money.

    Thanks for the help in advance!

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    Ford Probe 2.0

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Durango, Co
    Posts
    3
    I have a 95 probe, and I too use this site for engine info, to me PT is dying and most of the guys left are GT cars. I have pulled the engine and machined, overbored (.02 I believe) and rebuilt with MSP parts,K1 rods and Wiseco pistons, fidanza flywheel, UDP, even header until I boost, and will also be going Megasquirt.
    The probe engines are 99% the same to the MSP/protege other than distributorless ignition, forged crank (I believe the non MSP 2.0 proteges are still forged crank), intake plenum (keep the probe intake, apparently flow much better), and the cam profiles and the lifters are hydraulic (HLA) on the probe, solid (SLA) on proteges. Also your 96 I believe should be OBDII which means you should have a crank angle sensor and spot on your oil pump housing or front engine cover.
    If you want a new cam setup you’ll either have to go regrind and or you can get FSZE cams and if you can I would change to SLAs, my mother had a probe from 97 until last month(I got her engine and tranny for spares ), and between hers and mine I hate HLAs. And I believe you can get better cam profiles with SLAs, although shimming them is a pain and can be expensive if all the parts are new.
    I believe the transmissions are all the same other than the LSD. The LSD and PAR gears should bolt right in, have not done it to confirm 100% but I believe even the probe GTs even had the same tranny. Another transmission reinforcement is the back plate, search protege ferdi plate. With the Ferdi plate you will need to have your transmission case machined.
    As for the oil, look up Doc B Oil system, he takes a new oil pump apart and gets the impeller coated to tighten up the tolerances and removes the stock pressure regulator and you need to install an external regulator. Also a deep oil pan will help.
    There are a few protégé guys’ builds that I have lurked over the years, I’ve read each of the longer builds about 5 times, I have more time than money haha
    There are a few companies still building and selling protégé parts, and even a company that builds probe suspension and frame parts. If you want a list PM me.
    I love the probe too and the “oddball” of it, there were only about a dozen in ABQ where I grew up, and a first gen probe and mx6 in Durango where I live now. I bought the car 8 years ago and have been SLOWLY modding. If I didn’t need the back doors/space on the MP5 I’d keep the Probe, just had a baby in Jan. So now I plan to get a MP5 to swap my engine in solely because the engine will swap over and I have too much time and sweat to sell it. Almost every single bolt on the probe I have touched, bumper to bumper. The only thing I have not touched is the gas tank.
    I get the same conversations from people, but the probe is an absolute blast to drive and I can’t help but smile when I drive it up the mountain passes.

  3. #3
    Registered Member

    Ford Probe SE 1996 (basically a MX6)

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the detailed info. A couple more questions i have:

    Are you still running a distributor? I am debating whether it is more economic to buy a remanufactured fs9 head from the 2000-03 protege/626 or if I should just buy the cams and SLAs. A lot of the old information I've read is that the fs9 makes 20 - 30hp more than the fs2 head on the probe. I that just from the cams? I found this and the price isn't too terrible.
    http://www.alliedmotorparts.com/00-0...-head-967.html
    What would I need to do to convert to distributor less ignition, or is even worth it to swap the entire head? The car has 115k grandma miles.

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    Ford Probe 2.0

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Durango, Co
    Posts
    3
    I am running a dist. for now until my MS is in.. in the long run i think it would be better to get the fs9 head, since you said you plan to run MS, which would also take care of running dist-less. I believe the cams have a lot to do with the higher hp.

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