Engine New Here, Need Quick Information.

Discussion in 'SN95 V6 Mustang Tech' started by mdavidson101, Sep 3, 2012.


  1. mdavidson101

    mdavidson101 New Member

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    Just picked up a 1997 3.8, 5 speed car. It's got a bad head gasket or cracked head along with a bent rod or two. What I need to know is what parts are interchangeable between the 3.8? I know I need a crank along with rods and probably pistons, and heads. What other 3.8s can I swap from? Or is the 4.2 crank, rods, pistons the way to go for the bottom? Then what would I need for the top end? I don't have much money to spend on new and I'm mostly looking into junkyard parts or complete motors. I'm mechanically inclined to do all the work(besides machining) and I need this done ASAP. Any help is appreciated.
  2. BlownFiveLiter

    BlownFiveLiter have car, will race....wait, it doesn't run

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    Pick up a complete engine. You'd have more invested in machine work on the bad engine than you could likely pick up a used engine for.
    95Vert383AOD likes this.
  3. mdavidson101

    mdavidson101 New Member

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    96-98 is the same correct? Or is it possible to find another year motor and swap most of my parts over onto it? I would like to use as many as my parts as possible.
  4. g96v6-250k

    g96v6-250k Member

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    i think the same years windstar, ranger, tbird 3.8 internals are all the same as the stang. heads/block may not be. i would guess later 80s-98 is all the same. best to find a 94-98
    dont quote me on this. if you want a tough crank find a tbird supercoupe engine for the crank which is the only one thats forged.
    when my 3.8 blew the headgaskets it filled # 3 piston with coolant and didnt hurt any rods ,bearings or the crank. it was spraying coolant like mad right out the tailpipe. it happen on cold start about 5 seconds after it turned over and i only let it run for a minute. after i replaced hgs a 02 sensor was silicone fouled which scared me because it was running like **** untill that was changed. if they get wet with coolant they are proably shot. maybe you can torch it really good to fix it.
  5. mdavidson101

    mdavidson101 New Member

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    I know its either the head or the gasket because you can fill it full of water and then pump the upper radiator hose and it will push water right out of the spsark plug hole. I didnt think the windstars were the same because of the front wheel drive, and arent the sane years split-port injection? I would guess that the ranger and tbird would be the same, If I used my intake/accesories.
  6. g96v6-250k

    g96v6-250k Member

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    i would tear the heads off and see if the pistons/ heads are ok. if it was not run long everything might be fine. here is a site that explains all the differences over the years. http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Item/2393/rebuilding_the_ford_38l_engine.aspx
  7. N8Dogg98

    N8Dogg98 Banned

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    +1... in fact, it could be an opportunity to upgrade to a V-8 if you're interested. Under 100K mile SOHC engines sell for $500-$1000 all day long.
  8. mdavidson101

    mdavidson101 New Member

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    Thats not an option, I bought the car for my ol lady, I don't want her in a v8 yet.

    Reading through that I'm still not sure about one thing, If I happen to find a 2000 rwd motor, can I take my intake of my existing motor and be able to use it? instead of having to use the split port intake?
  9. g96v6-250k

    g96v6-250k Member

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    i would think they did it the cheapest way possibly which would be same bolt hole location. either way changing manifold shouldnt be a big hassle. go to the junk yard and check the rangers, tbird ,explorers. i have a 91 tbird 3.8 wtih what appears to be the same lower and upper intake as my 96 mustang. if you want i can verify the bolt pattern is exactly the same.
  10. mdavidson101

    mdavidson101 New Member

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    Not necessary. I picked up a complete motor from a 97 mustang. Got a good deal on it. Now I'm in the ballpark to put it in.

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