Twin Turbocharging the 3.8

Discussion in '1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by Grand Poobah, May 30, 2010.

  1. Well, I'd take the engine out, strip it down. Mill the piston heads down and therefore lowering the compression ratios. I might install some new efi, but my real concern would be the intake (I'm using a Steeda cold air intake atm) and the intercoolers that'd be necessary.

    Any thoughts?
  2. i thought milling the heads down would lower the combustion cylinder ccs and thus raise the static compression ratio. If you got dished pistons that would increase the cylinder volume and lower the static compression ratio. There are a lot of great companies that can help you with parts and point in the right direction.,, and are all good stuff man
    If you go with turbos, the cold air intake wouldnt be a problem cuz you wont need it. Yes intercooler are HIGHLY recommended. But thats up to you.
  3. Interesting, but I thought an intake would be necessary, regardless?

    e.g. my friend chipped his 335i's twin turbocharged 3.0 six cylinder engine, and he installed a much larger air intake so the thing produces around 410 hp.

    Btw, I'm not trying to make a dragster, just a sportier car, so I'd be going for around 420 hp.
  4. well good luck hitting your goal. I would suggest forged bottom end! there are a few great companies that can help you along the way., and
  5. Hope you like changing head gaskets. You are going to be doing a lot of it running that much cylinder pressure.
  6. um not if you do it right. Ive been boosted for almost 3yrs now. Im running mls head gaskets and stock style head bolts with no issues at all. Currently im pushing 20lbs of boost.
  7. The fact of the matter is, that the 3.8L head/block design is hit and miss. You may be having luck with that set up, but the next guy can't keep gaskets in his engine with half the cylinder pressure.

    The problem with these engines is minimal gasket surface area and uneven clamping on an already thin and prone to warpage cylinder head deck from the puny 11mm head bolts. Top that with the fact that Ford tends to load the accessories on the ends of these heads, making them even more unstable under load and it’s no wonder that over half the 3.8L's produced have had the head gaskets replaced at one time or another.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, but it’s far from "bulletproof"
  8. points well taken. As to loading the fronts of the heads with all the accessories, i have a cure for that. I took off my ac stuff and got rid of the power steering. Well i guess that me and my father just have good luck then, my dad has 2 v6 mustangs, one turbo(80mm at 17psi) and one w a 125 shot on a stock motor.
    Alot of motors are far from bulletproof, and we just make them work some how. Arp has headstuds that help with the clamping, and a good set of mls gaskets help too. If you have a good block and good heads i see no reason to boost the car.
    The op never listed the year of his car. Yes the hgs/heads we junk in the mid 90s, on the 99+ hg issues were almost none existent.
    No trying to be a douche just putting out both sides of the story thats all.
  9. Hey guys, I think I might skip the turbocharging, and just install some headers on the car in place of the stock exhaust manifolds.

    This sound like a reasonable idea to anyone?
  10. Kind of a waste of time and money if you ask me. Gains on a stock or near stock engine will be neglibable at best. You'd be better off working on the exhaust after than manifolds if you're looking to impove the flow and sound IMO. :shrug:
  11. Interesting. The previous owner I bought this off of had installed a Steeda Cold Air Intake, a chip, dual exhaust, and several suspension goodies.

    Given all these basic upgrades, I thought Headers might be the next logical step and give around 50 extra hp or so.
  12. headers will pretty much be a waste, esp shorties. Longtubes will b a lil better, and really do well with hci, nitrous or a s/c. Headers wont give you 50hp.
    If you are staying na, go with a set of gears. Wont net you any hp but gets u goin quicker. If you want to spend some more money, ported heads and a cam will help net some more hp.
  13. cam and ports sound good. I probably won't touch the engine for a few more years at this rate. What exactly would I have to do for "ported heads," and installing a new cam?
  14. No offence, but unless you're really trying to be different, you'll be further ahead doing a blower, or a V8 swap for any kind of significant power gain. Sure, heads and cams will get you another 20-30hp, but you're still way, way shy of what you could be making with a power adder, or more cubes. And you'll spend nearly as much money getting it there as you would doing a V8 swap from the get go.

    I know I'm going to get flamed by the V6 die hards, but the truth hurts sometimes. :shrug:
  15. No offense taken. It's just if I keep the V6, I won't have to put in a new clutch, engine, headers, exhaust, etc as I would with a V8.

    I'm not looking to make tons of hp at this point, I just would like some more hp for a little more reasonable price. The M90 kits were superchargers strapped on this same 3.8L V6 back in the early 90's.

    I was considering picking one up off of Craigslist only I had a couple of reservations:
    1) Wouldn't I have to shave the piston heads down to lower compression ratios?
    2) The 3.8L Supercharged back '93 was using Central Injection, the '99 V6 uses Sequential Injection
    3) Would this kit fit in the car without me having to get rid of stuff like ABS etc?
  16. if you have a 99 mustang it would be a step back goin to the m90. You would have to go to the single port heads, now if you did that and ported the heads, and added a cam that could work. There are a few other things you would have to worry about as well. Mainly the fuel system, the 99+ was a returnless style, so you would have to go to a return style to fit the rail.
    shaving the heads will up your static compression ratio. if you planned on running boost on the stock motor it will be fine as long as you keep the boost moderate. Ive pushed 93octane at 20psi with a static comp ratio of 8.8:1. If you go crazy on boost with the 9.5:1 ratio you will need more octane.