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Thread: Engine swap possibilities

  1. #1
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    Engine swap possibilities

    I was thinking way down the line, when ive actually got the kind of money needed for this, that i would do an engine swap to my 94 SC if i still have it. The V6 SC isnt exactly the most reliable engine, or the most powerful. (Arguing this is for another day ) So i figured that a 5.0 would be the most reliable, easily modified engine to install. The aftermarket is bigger with the 5.0 than with the 4.6 SOHC, and the 4.6 DOHC from a mark or cobra or 5.4 SOHC lightning would not really be cost effective. I also am not a huge fan of overhead cam engines unless they are from a 4 banger....But i still like them. So i was curious as to what would be the easiest way to go about a 5.0 swap into a 94 t-bird SC. Would a 5.0 from an earlier bird be better than a 5.0 from a 94-95 mustang? would the M5R2 mate to a 5.0? what would be needed as far as electrical (harness, computer, sensors, etc), what kind or engine mounts would be needed? now keep in mind that i would eventually upgrade the 5.0 much later on, im just really concerned about the fit and functionality of the swap. I like things to be powerful, and as close to stock as possible. When all is said and done, id like it to look as if a 94 thunderbird came from the factory with a 5.0. I know you all will have your opinions about this, and i ask that you keep in mind that it will be months maybe a year or two down the road before this happens. But i would rather be as educated as possible about doing this before i go and start buying things.

  2. #2
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    guess thats a sign i shouldnt do it lol........

  3. #3
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    I think if I was going to give up on my V6 I would drop a 460cu in into the engine bay. There are enough people here that can give you everything you need to know to install one and it wouldnt take much to make big power with little effort on a big block.

    Ken

  4. #4
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    wouldnt a 302 be easier and cheaper to come by if it were from say a mustang or older bird? also, wouldnt it be easier to change everything over with the electrical side of things? that is my real concern with doing this; is making everything work reliably and properly.

  5. #5
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    The easiest way would be to get a 91-93 5.0 bird or cougar so you can grab all the wiring, computer, and mounts and everything from it. Also, the motor mount style changed in 93, so you would have to either get mounts from a 93 5.0, or swap in an engine cradle from an 89-92 car.

  6. #6
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    Send a PM to Pro Street Rich. According to him the big block swap is a piece of cake. There a lot of bragging rights when you have a big block Thunderbird. Just another path to look at

    Ken

  7. #7
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    ill have to do that, thanks. as for the t-bird 5.0, what about 94-95 mustangs 5.0? i want to put it into a 94 t-bird, wouldnt that make more sense engine wise? im not too familiar with all the sensors and wiring from the mustangs, but didnt everything change with the t-birds from 93 to 94? Different EEC's, different engines, etc......

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoccoRock05 View Post
    ill have to do that, thanks. as for the t-bird 5.0, what about 94-95 mustangs 5.0? i want to put it into a 94 t-bird, wouldnt that make more sense engine wise? im not too familiar with all the sensors and wiring from the mustangs, but didnt everything change with the t-birds from 93 to 94? Different EEC's, different engines, etc......
    Most of the stuff on the 94/95 mustang is the same as 91-93 T-bird with 5.0. Biggest differince is that the mustang used an electric cooling fan and the t-bird had a belt driven fan. Since the mustang used an electric fan it also had a bigger alternator (3G) and the water pump is differint because a fan doesn't bolt onto it. The 91-93 t-bird had an AOD the 94-95 mustang had the 4RW70 or whatever electronic transmission.

    I had the 5.0 motor conversion done on my 93 SC using the motor, radiator, ignition system, wiring, EEC and a bunch of other stuff from a 91 T-bird 5.0 by Dave Dalke. Other than having to rework the 91 5.0 motor mounts to work with a 93 SC Kmember, it was pretty much a plug and play deal.

    Stock for stock the 5.0 will be a much slower car and it won't be any more reliable than the 3.8 SC motor you already have. If you are going to put a power adder on the 5.0 with the expectation of making more than 450 rwhp, you will also need to upgrade to an aftermarket block. The stock 351 block will handle more power, but the 302 won't. The 351 is a little taller but will still fit under the hood.

    Only reason I did it was to get all the accesories and wiring in place for the 5.0 based race motor I was having built and installing later. As it turned out, I didn't end up using any of the stock 5.0 t-bird stuff except for a couple accesory brackets.

    If doing over, I'd just go straight to installing the race motor.

    David
    91 SC AOD 4.2..2.3 Whipple........10.92 @ 126.70
    93 SC AOD 347 Turbo.................10.04 @ 138.99
    My Garage

  9. #9
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    Is the 93 kmember different than that on a 94 sc? i plan to keep the M5R2, but will it mate to a 351 or 5.0 properly? I dont intend on keeping it a stock 5.0, but i dont think i would be able to afford a race crate motor. Why do you say that it wouldnt be more reliable? Ive read time and again how SC's are always blowing head gaskets, not to mention the 2 times ive personally experienced this. I havent really heard too many bad things about the 302. That, with the cheap aftermarket, i would imagine that it would be so much easier to get a 302 to 350+rwhp on motor alone, and still be streetable. If i do go through with it and settle on a 302, there are top end kits that make pretty good power. I dont know, its just my opinion, but i think a 302 is absolutely more solid than the 3.8 SC engine

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't worry too much about the electrical side. If you can swap to the early style 90-93 eec and harness, you'll be ok. The only thing on the cluster that would need attention would be the oil and temp gauges, both which use a 1 wire hook up, and go directly to the cluster. So its a breeze to make the gauges work. The clusters themselves are interchangeable throughout the years, so if you swap the harness's correctly, you'll be ok.

    From the eec itself, the harness goes directly up and out, less 1 ground wire, and meets up to the 2 connectors. The other wiring in the engine bay comes through on the drivers side for the fuse panel, lighting, all the other major stuff. To me, the wiring is a breeze to understand, and if you have a donor car, life just got much easier.

  11. #11
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    If you are going to do a factory 5.0 swap you wont be happy.

    Before doing the swap though think about what you really want to accomplish. For the 300rwhp range I think its silly to swap to a 5.0. 400rwhp plus it makes more sence...But 400rwhp isnt going to come cheap.

    If your hellbent on a 5.0. Using a basically stock tbird or stang motor is a good starting point. WIth a stock shortblock an emmisions legal cam, mild heads/intake and associated garbage you can reach 300rwhp relatively easy.

    BTW a DOHC swap (cant use your tranny though) with mild bolt ons will also net you 300 or so rwhp give or take.
    Doing a JD. Current most HP/TQ per lb of boost, turbo or Supercharged FActory 3.8 SC v6 ford block based. Yahh Buddy
    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/garage_v...vehicle&id=110
    Quote Originally Posted by ricardoa1 View Post
    I love the filter. Its pimp. paper element and 10Mircron filtration, 12" long cause size matters.

  12. #12
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    I was out in the garage this evening replacing the oil supply line for the turbo and rewiring for a differnt style mrk8 cooling fan. As you can see there's not much left over from the original 5.0 swap.

    David
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    91 SC AOD 4.2..2.3 Whipple........10.92 @ 126.70
    93 SC AOD 347 Turbo.................10.04 @ 138.99
    My Garage

  13. #13
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    i know a dohc swap would give me good hp right off the bat. but i dont think id be up to that. plus, if i were going to put that kind of engine into my bird, id like to go 03-04 cobra route.......but thats way beyond any budget or skill of mine. top end kits for the 5.0 are somewhat on the cheap side. plus im really thinking longevity here. 5.0's can make really good power reliably and it would be a sturdy base for me in the long run. i can always add to it over time and not really ever break the bank doing it. so id really prefer a 302 and eventually (over a few years) modify it to get the power goals id want out of it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoccoRock05 View Post
    i know a dohc swap would give me good hp right off the bat. but i dont think id be up to that. plus, if i were going to put that kind of engine into my bird, id like to go 03-04 cobra route.......but thats way beyond any budget or skill of mine. top end kits for the 5.0 are somewhat on the cheap side. plus im really thinking longevity here. 5.0's can make really good power reliably and it would be a sturdy base for me in the long run. i can always add to it over time and not really ever break the bank doing it. so id really prefer a 302 and eventually (over a few years) modify it to get the power goals id want out of it.
    Go for it...even if it's not as fast, the exhaust will sound a lot better.

    David
    91 SC AOD 4.2..2.3 Whipple........10.92 @ 126.70
    93 SC AOD 347 Turbo.................10.04 @ 138.99
    My Garage

  15. #15
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    I did a 5.0 swap on a 5spd SC and it was fine. I did also add an aluminum flywheel, dual exhaust, and electric fan while I was doing it so it had a few advantages but in that form it ran about as well as a stock SC. I think if you did that and added a KB blower kit the car would be a lot of fun without being overly complicated and would be dead nuts reliable.

    As for the swap itself, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off I'd definitely start with a 93 5.0LX. You can buy a complete car for not much more than the cost of a 5.0 out of a GT and, contrary to popular belief, the motors are identical internally.

    If you are confident splicing wiring and hooking stuff up, then you can do anything from making your own wiring harness to using a Mustang EEC, but to make the wiring install as simple as possible and as factory as possible in both appearance and function, you will definitely want to use the Tbird EEC and wiring.

    There are some other seemingly minor issues that are actually very important. You will need T-bird motor mount brackets. You can buy motor mounts new, but you can NOT buy the motor mount brackets anymore so if you want the motor to "drop in" and sit correctly without making your own solid motor mounts, you need the T-bird donor car. Same goes for the AC. If you want AC you NEED the lines from the T-bird. Mustang stuff is different.

    Basically, if you have to ask, then probably a 351W or 460BB engine swap is not for you. If you want a car that look, runs, and drives like a real SC and not like some hotrod that you put together in your garage, then you need to go with a Tbird 5.0 swap and build from there. In David's case his end product is so different from just an SC that nothing from the Tbird swap benefited him. He has a totally different exhaust, no AC, a totally different computer and wiring system, different fuel system, different cooling system, different engine block, etc. Not even the motor mounts would fit on his engine block (Dart block).

    You can do anything you want, but the 5.0 swap is going to be by far the easiest and give you the most room to work under the hood. If you are doing it to save money though, forget that. If you are doing it to have more potential power, then yes, it will get you there. I've seen plenty of 5.0 based motors make 450rwhp reliably on the stock block which is enough power to run 11's all day long so unless your goals exceed that, a production 5.0 will do just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
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