Background: When I was 16 I inherited my parents' 1995 3.8L V6 Mustang. I realize it's probably not the most desirable 'Stang ever produced (and btw why does everyone hate the SN95 cars so much?), but it's a 5-speed and to a 16-year-old kid it was one hell of a nice car. Actually, in some ways it still is. See, I never got rid of it. In fact I've never owned any other car even though I'll be 30 this January; it's still my daily driver. I've decided that rather than finally break down and buy a new car, I'm going to restore this one. Through the years I've repaired or replaced many of the original Ford parts. The entire stereo system (cables too) was upgraded when I was in college, the entire suspension was replaced recently with a nice Eibach kit complete with lowering springs and sway bars, and I've done countless other things as well such as 17x8" Bullitt wheels, window tint, rear wheel spacers, a Steeda tri-ax shifter, drilled and slotted rotors, Flowmaster H-pipe dual exhaust, a tuner, and some minor engine bolt-ons to keep me happy for now. About 6 weeks ago I got paint, bodywork, headlights, and tail lights to make it look decent again. More recently I swapped in a MM steering shaft and polyurethane steering bushings to improve turn-in response. Just last week I finished up refurbishing an 8.8 rear axle from a '94 GT that already has the 3.73 gearing I want. Of course I added all new bushings, stainless hoses, new hard lines, a Steeda differential cover, and J&M tubular control arms, upper and lower... Stuff to do later: I'd like to build an engine and eventually do a full swap. This is where those more experienced than I can offer their advice. I know it doesn't make the most sense financially and if I weren't so attached to this particular car I'd buy an old GT for cheap and start from there. But since that's not an option, I figure I can start a build in my garage and take it to a shop for the install once it's ready. My goals are: 1) I'd like to start with the basic 302 that Ford offered in 94/95. 2) I'd like it to produce roughly 400bhp since the new ones are so potent in stock trim. 3) Naturally aspirated is a must. 4) It needs to stay street-legal and be smooth/reliable enough to drive regularly. So far I'm thinking a 302 stroked to 331 and fitted with one of those full top-end kits that includes twisted wedge heads, intake manifolds, camshaft, and timing set should fit the bill. I'll round it off with some nice long-tube headers and a shorty H-pipe that will mate into the Flowmaster system I already have. I'll probably end up buying a rebuilt T5 transmission just to be safe, and of course to get the correct V8 bell-housing. I realize this is a big project, and one I'm going to be learning as I go; I'm actually a molecular immunology nerd by trade. However I'm quite mechanical for a geek (I do most of my own car and motorcycle maintenance, anyway) and I can always run things by my grandfather or best friend (both fully trained mechanics) when I get in over my head. Thoughts?