04 V6 Restoration: Stick w/6 or v8 swap? Thoughts?

Aug 13, 2018
3
0
1
30
Virginia
#1
Hey fellow SN95 guys! I am new to the forum but not new to mustangs! Im having a little trouble deciding what to do so I thought I would introduce myself here and ask for some opinions and maybe get some advice from anyone who has done it before.

I have a 2004 Competition Orange v6 Mustang. She was my first vehicle bought brand new when I was 16 and was my first real love affair with a car. Her biggest claim to fame is the great color and the Mach 1000 audio system and while she isn't the rarest or fastest car the fact she was my first, that I learned to drive a manual with it, and the hours I spent making small mods with my dad make her worth her weight in gold to me.

Unfortunately for the car life just got too busy to keep up with her. Thankfully I still have it but it has sat in the weather for years and currently needs a fuel pump to even get going. My wife and I just had our first baby and the one thing I always wanted to do with my dad and now with my son was to do a total restoration an older mustang (like from barn find to show room) and I hope to do so one day but money and experience wise the work I need to do on this car will be much less but enough to get me some great experience so I am going to get it in shape first and hopefully give it to my son.

Ok enough with the sappy stuff, that's just the background of why I want to work on this car. I really want the car to be a good combination of show/drag car with the racing being extremely minimal maybe only a time or two a year. I am a planner so I want to have a set path for the car but trying to plan that out I am really unsure of what to do drivetrain wise. I am not sure since I am leaning towards making it a show/"collector" car for my son to keep the v6 and just milk it for what I can (stroked, supercharger/turbo?) or do a v8 swap with perhaps a DOHC 4.6 from a Mach 1 (just because I loved that car) or perhaps a crate engine with some of the newer coyote stuff (or really any crate motor since there are so many options). But enough of that let me know what you think! What would you do if it were your car? How would you stack the pros and cons to each path? Have you done something similar yourself? Should I definitely swap for the classic muscle car v8 or do I need to realize my complex from high school of it being "only a v6" is silly and keep it closer to how it was from the factory. Let me know! All opinions will be valuable!
 
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wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
4,650
289
154
Houston Texas
#2
How many miles? What else do you think is wrong with the car? What is the condition of the interior? What is the condition of the exterior?

What is your budget?

IMO if you are looking for a project and you want the V8 GT then why not find a GT with a bad motor? It's sooooooo much easier to go this route than convert a V6.

There are plenty of good project cars on Craigslist. In fact the 2000 GT i'm that is my daily driver came to me that way.

Success often breeds success. Starting with a real GT motor swap is still a sizable project but a do'able project. Once done, then make up your mind what "bigger" projects are in your future.

Note, I'm my 3rd motor repair Craigslist project.
 
Aug 13, 2018
6
1
13
30
Wisconsin
#3
20180813_124317.jpg
here is my 04 Mach 1 4v swapped into 2002 GT body. The car is sick, and it's setup and tuned for drag. Mickey Thompson drag rims on it. So yes it is possible, I just picked this up a week ago.
 
Aug 13, 2018
3
0
1
30
Virginia
#4
How many miles? What else do you think is wrong with the car? What is the condition of the interior? What is the condition of the exterior?

What is your budget?

IMO if you are looking for a project and you want the V8 GT then why not find a GT with a bad motor? It's sooooooo much easier to go this route than convert a V6.

There are plenty of good project cars on Craigslist. In fact the 2000 GT i'm that is my daily driver came to me that way.

Success often breeds success. Starting with a real GT motor swap is still a sizable project but a do'able project. Once done, then make up your mind what "bigger" projects are in your future.

Note, I'm my 3rd motor repair Craigslist project.
wmburns: It has about 75,000 original miles. I think motor wise the car is still solid it fires right up when you put a little ether to it but it just isn't getting any fuel from the pump (gas could also be a little bad). It probably needs a full brake job and there are some cosmetic things I would like to do to the interior (get some orang stitching custom done, return a few items to stock..its honestly in great shape on the inside) and exterior (replacing front and rear bumpers, side scoops with GT versions and maybe adding some fast back style louvres and really would like to finish the project by re doing the paint as it has some scrapes and fading). Budget is not a huge concern in a general aspect as when I decide what I want to do I will do it over however long it takes if I can but a huge con to a full swap especially with a modern or crate engine is cost because the more money I have tied up in this the more time it will be before I can purchase a vintage model. I also agree about finding a GT with a bad motor and if this wasn't my first car I would do that but this particular car means a lot and I want to be able to pass it down. If I kept the v6 I thought about at least doing a stroker so I could really dig in to the guts of the car.

Troubleman: slick ride! I am sure you will enjoy it and I be it is a blast to go down the strip!
 

wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
4,650
289
154
Houston Texas
#5
My thought was to do BOTH. Fix the current V6 car AND do a GT project.

After all if you are unable to tackle a fuel pump repair what chance do you have to successfully complete a motor swap? Further I think that each car is more valuable when completed with a motor that matches it's original VIN.

One of the lessons I have learned from my several Craigslist projects is when looking for a "project" don't focus excessively on price. Factor in the condition of the car as a whole. It's worth paying more to get a better car that's basically sound.

But if you follow the logic this gives you the most options. Keep one, sell the other. Keep both. Or sell both. But one of the other "lessons learned" from my Craigslist projects is that it's hard to re-sell a project and get what it is truly worth. I find that for me the best value I get from the project is for me (or a family member) to drive the doors off of it.

Good luck.
 
Aug 13, 2018
3
0
1
30
Virginia
#6
My thought was to do BOTH. Fix the current V6 car AND do a GT project.

After all if you are unable to tackle a fuel pump repair what chance do you have to successfully complete a motor swap? Further I think that each car is more valuable when completed with a motor that matches it's original VIN.

One of the lessons I have learned from my several Craigslist projects is when looking for a "project" don't focus excessively on price. Factor in the condition of the car as a whole. It's worth paying more to get a better car that's basically sound.

But if you follow the logic this gives you the most options. Keep one, sell the other. Keep both. Or sell both. But one of the other "lessons learned" from my Craigslist projects is that it's hard to re-sell a project and get what it is truly worth. I find that for me the best value I get from the project is for me (or a family member) to drive the doors off of it.

Good luck.
I got what you're saying now. That's honestly something I never even thought of. I was just in the mindset of it having to be one or the other but with the work the car needs it wouldn't be bad to just get it looking great again. As far as the fuel pump goes I have that covered I just haven't got around to doing it I was just mentioning it as part of the condition as it is one thing I know for sure it has to have. Since you've mentioned it I have even thought of picking up a decent 03-04 mach 1 in that scenario I could probably get both cars (assuming no major mods to the mach 1) for the cost of pushing big power out of that v6.

I would gladly listen to other opinions but I think I have decided to just restore the v6. I may possibly do a stroker kit (which would give me some pretty valuable experience) or just leave it as is and do some engine bay dress up. The more I have thought about it the cost verses the value of the car may be a better ROI that way. Plus if I ever give it to my son I honestly would feel better about him being in a v6 at first then a v8. Hopefully this will lead to a vintage restoration project sooner which is a bigger dream. Thanks bro.