95 Mustang Engine Swap Questions - Cali Specific

Lochem El

New Member
Feb 6, 2017
Hi all, I recently bought a 95 GT 5.0 as my first project car. I have been toying with the idea of doing an engine swap for a 351w that I would rebuild from the ground up. However, I know that doing this swap in a GT would require replacing the fuel lines, the wire harness, the transmission, and getting the engine lower in the bay. Alternatively, I was thinking of keeping the stock 302, boring it to 331, and rebuilding it with performance parts.

My application for the car when I am done will be primarily daily commuter over a windy mountain highway, but I also want to be able to track it and possibly enter some amateur races. The end product which I am looking for is a balanced car that can handle turns, and accelerate quickly; I'm not as interested in top speed because I would probably never touch it. The biggest thing is, I need this car to stay CA smog legal but still get as much performance as possible.

Here are my questions, for a first time build would dropping in a 351w be biting off too much? Would the HP difference really be worth it? What complications would I be looking at with a swap because this car will need to be CA smog legal? Keeping everything CA smog legal, what kind of HP could I realistically hope for out of both engines?

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15 Year Member
Aug 26, 2004
West Los Angeles, CA
You may be able to swap a 351 in and stay CA smog legal, since the 95 Cobra R had a 351 in it. You'd have to research up the smog equipment on the 95 Cobra R and include it, of course. Other than that, Coast High Performance has a 347 short block that they claim is CA smog compliant, though you have to use their camshaft.

If you're just looking for power, it may be easier and cheaper to put in a smog-legal supercharger kit.