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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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how to uspercharge a NA 3.8

I see the superchargers on ebay all the time, but, what all would I need to supercharge my NA. The charger and intercooler I know, but would I need to upgrade my tranny too? I dont want a supercharger killing it
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 02:40 PM
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It would be much easier to go buy a supercoupe.
The engine isn't made for boost and there's likely some fabrication involved.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 03:19 PM
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How to supercharge a 3.8l

Step 1: Sell N/A 3.8 T-bird.
Step 2: Decide on 5-speed or Auto
Step 3: Buy Supercoupe
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 04:40 PM
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The 3.8 L (aside from the supercoupe) are renown for engine weakness for so many reasons such as a block that resembles swiss cheese (massive coolant passages), weak internals, weaker rear end and transmission, and so on and so forth. My suggestion would be to just try and aim to make a hot NA 3.8 L. 200 hp is definnetly possible with some time and money but beyond that, I would recommend you either just buy the supercoupe or swap in a 5.0 L like me! Though let me tell you, the swap is much more intensive and will involve MUCH more time and money (and a new transmission, rear end, engine computer, yada, yada, etc. etc. . . . as the list goes on)
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 04:46 PM
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couldnt he just go for one of those 4.3Ls that super six makes and slap one of their vortech v-2 superchargers on it

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 11:17 AM
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Just about anything it possible when it comes to building up your ride. However the two basic premises of time and money probably play the biggest part. It might help if this guy laid out what he wants out of his car. One thing I know is that when it comes to engine building, the 3.8 L and other Ford V6 variations have the potential to be more expensive to build up and attain a specific goal of HP or TQ as compared to the V8 simply because it is a more unique market and not as vast as the V8 aftermarket in terms of options and parts avaliability. For the price of the 4.3 L Super Six and a V2 supercharger (not to mention the associated tranny & drivetrain upgrades required), you'd be better off to just swap in a V8 for the same amount or less and be rewarded with the same if not better results. This doesn't include the fact that you can obtain even more power in the future. As the saying goes, "There's no replacement, for cubic displacement."
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordofSin
Just about anything it possible when it comes to building up your ride. However the two basic premises of time and money probably play the biggest part. It might help if this guy laid out what he wants out of his car. One thing I know is that when it comes to engine building, the 3.8 L and other Ford V6 variations have the potential to be more expensive to build up and attain a specific goal of HP or TQ as compared to the V8 simply because it is a more unique market and not as vast as the V8 aftermarket in terms of options and parts avaliability. For the price of the 4.3 L Super Six and a V2 supercharger (not to mention the associated tranny & drivetrain upgrades required), you'd be better off to just swap in a V8 for the same amount or less and be rewarded with the same if not better results. This doesn't include the fact that you can obtain even more power in the future. As the saying goes, "There's no replacement, for cubic displacement."
Damn well said (and I mean this respectfully) from a young man of 19 years. Some people never accept what you just wrote.

AED Supercharged Mustang GT
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 04:05 PM
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Thankya & Speak of the Devil

Now this is the cat calling the dog hairy. I may sound like an old timer with years of experience but alas I'm just a knowitall 19 year old male as well. Here's stickin' it to those who say wisdom comes to only those with experience.
Though that is true as well.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 04:23 PM
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From what I've read here, it wouldnt be as much trouble supercharging a 3.8 n/a from a 96/97 Model because the engine is stronger. It would still be alot of work and money though but is more likely possible when doing it to a 96/97 model.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 10:27 PM
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Are you talking about a Vortech or taking an SC blower and bolting it on. Big difference.

If your heart is set on SCing your 3.8 forget the "Supercharger from SC Thunderbird" ebay adds. Forgotten? Good. There is just way too much headache unless you have a donor car you are able to swap parts from. (Ask "Melon" on here about this one) The M90 isnt just a bolt on. There is even a parts list floating around for what you would need to do the SC M90 install....do a search for it.

You probably want to think about adding a Vortech. You can use the 96-98 3.8 mustang kit. Im not sure how much fabrication needs to be done to get it to work but it can be coaxed into the bay of the Tbird. Talk to Rancherlee on here or again do a search. Should be enough info on it to get you started.

Just like in any other build you will need to upgrade stuff....your transmission is only part of your worries. Injectors, MAF, transmission, torque converter, fuel pump, pumpkin and who knows how many other things will be swapped out to make it work THE RIGHT WAY. Dont think you can get away with skimping in any area....if you go into this with that kind of attitude you'll be walking home sooner than later.

Chances are you'll be walking home sooner or later anyway but thats why we do it. Makes for a good story.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 11:02 PM
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just look at super six, they sell their power paks, and with the stage 3 and a valve recal, new fluid pistons for the 1-2, 3-4 and a rebuild, u can squeeze out around 260-280 at teh crank depending on how many little things you do like deleting a/c or new underdrive pulleys, crap like that. a 260 hp N/A v6 is nothingto be ashamed of, even tho its not a 400 hp beast, its a N/A v6. it speaks for itself, plus its just different, and you wont be creating gobs of tq thatll eat up ur drivetrain. with about 800-1000 in the trans and the stage 2 whichll add 75 or the stage 3 whichll add up to 100 hp, ur lookin at a total cost of about 2500 unless you want a smooth drive, find a cheap tq converter with a higher stall. its all up to u
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 08:07 AM
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94-98 mustang V6 kit works great. you can find them used for under 1500$ all the time. Add a set of 30# injectors, GT 80mm MAF, and a tune and you will have around 210rwhp/230rwtq (stock you have 125rwhp/190rwtq with no other work) and would be in the high 14's in the 1/4. And the 96+ 3.8L's are FAR from weak, I've been beating on mine from 20,000 miles now with 9psi boost, ported heads, cam, intakes, and STOCK shortblock and it isn't showing any signs of "blowing up" yet. (just spun the 100k mark the other day)

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:46 PM
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yea dude, my car has 120,000 on it and runs like it just came off the lot. my dad bought the car in 96 and gave it to me when he bought his mustang. whenever he takes it for a ride hes so impressed on how it still handles and drives perfectly after almost 10 years. those hypertuectic pistons and powder rods can take a beating, this one guy in car craft got 650 hp out of a chevy v8 (forget what CI) on hypertectics and powder rods. he had a forged crank, but he also had 650 hp. im buyin a kit this summer. was it pita to get in?
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-09-2005, 09:27 PM
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the best way you superchager a 3.8 na is have a buddie steal it and use the insurance money to buy a sc

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:00 PM
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Survey Says:

Quote:
Step 1: Sell N/A 3.8 T-bird.
Step 2: Decide on 5-speed or Auto
Step 3: Buy Supercoupe
Quote:
the best way you superchager a 3.8 na is have a buddie steal it and use the insurance money to buy a sc
i tormented myself for 3 years how to do it and have it run more than 3k mi. its not that it cant be done, its that it cant be reliable, its a great idea, for a trailer queen.....

Buy a v8 and call it a day, i beat mine to death driving in Columbus everyday, and its reliable as any car i ever had!!!!

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 11:13 AM
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just get forged pistons and rods for the 3.8. then you dont have to worry one bit about reliabilty and they dont cost alot either
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancherlee
94-98 mustang V6 kit works great. you can find them used for under 1500$ all the time. Add a set of 30# injectors, GT 80mm MAF, and a tune and you will have around 210rwhp/230rwtq (stock you have 125rwhp/190rwtq with no other work) and would be in the high 14's in the 1/4. And the 96+ 3.8L's are FAR from weak, I've been beating on mine from 20,000 miles now with 9psi boost, ported heads, cam, intakes, and STOCK shortblock and it isn't showing any signs of "blowing up" yet. (just spun the 100k mark the other day)
What about if I do the splitport swap? What kit would I need to use?

"Won't work, can't be done"
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 12:08 PM
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Hmmm.....

Firstly, forged pistons and rods will do little if you are rebuilding a standard 3.8 L and would be a waste of money in my opinion. At least if you want a quality engine that will perform. The block is cast like a piece of swiss cheese with coolant transfer ports that are too big in my opinion and lead to frequent headgasket failure. Aside from that, the crank itself is not up to the task of 6 lbs of boost or more anyway for long. If you do opt for forged internals, they obviously come with a price tag since it is a relatively unique item. 5.0 forged internals would likely end up being cheaper depending on what you get since there is such a larger market for them. Another factor is that if you want to utilize those internals, you'd be best off with an SC block since they were built much stronger than the 3.8 L NA blocks. I do know that the 96+ 3.8 L did improve in strength but not sure as to what degree. A better alternative would be the newer 4.2 L blocks which seem to have much more strength. I read an article somewhere on either this or the sccoa.com site with pictures and great detail into the evolution of the 3.8 L and 4.2 L blocks.
As for the split port setup, I stayed away from it due to complication and, once again, money. You need many parts from newer 3.8 L that would likely cost and compatibility is still an issue. However, I never researched it in depth so maybe it might be your best option. I still say go with a 5.0 V8 but if you're still looking for more info:

http://www.3.8mustang.com/forum/show...24#post1400724

Also check out www.v6power.net . I think that may have been where I found the article on the evolution of the 3.8 L and the 4.2 L. In any case, it'll help you a lot in deciding what you want to do. Good luck
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordofSin
Firstly, forged pistons and rods will do little if you are rebuilding a standard 3.8 L and would be a waste of money in my opinion. At least if you want a quality engine that will perform. The block is cast like a piece of swiss cheese with coolant transfer ports that are too big in my opinion and lead to frequent headgasket failure (The block is actually pretty dang strong and the coolant ports have nothing to do with headgasket failures, Its the lack of clamping force of headbolts AND crappy headgaskets all of which are fixed on 96+) . Aside from that, the crank itself is not up to the task of 6 lbs of boost or more anyway for longI must be in trouble then along with HUNDREDS of other 3.8L's with 11+ psi boost and NO ONE has broke a N/A crank) . If you do opt for forged internals, they obviously come with a price tag since it is a relatively unique item. 5.0 forged internals would likely end up being cheaper depending on what you get since there is such a larger market for them QUALITY 5.0L rods and pistons cost just as much, Eagle makes off the shelf rods for 3.8l engines s. Another factor is that if you want to utilize those internals, you'd be best off with an SC block since they were built much stronger than the 3.8 L NA blocks (The blocks themselfs aren't that much stronger, 4.2L and 99+ 3.8's should be better) . I do know that the 96+ 3.8 L did improve in strength but not sure as to what degree. A better alternative would be the newer 4.2 L blocks which seem to have much more strength. I read an article somewhere on either this or the sccoa.com site with pictures and great detail into the evolution of the 3.8 L and 4.2 L blocks.
As for the split port setup, I stayed away from it due to complication and, once again, money. You need many parts from newer 3.8 L that would likely cost and compatibility is still an issue (not much of an issue, several documents around about the swap, just need a custom fuel rail and extend a few wires) . However, I never researched it in depth so maybe it might be your best option. I still say go with a 5.0 V8 but if you're still looking for more info:

http://www.3.8mustang.com/forum/show...24#post1400724

Also check out www.v6power.net . I think that may have been where I found the article on the evolution of the 3.8 L and the 4.2 L. In any case, it'll help you a lot in deciding what you want to do. Good luck

Trust me, I have LOTS of time and effort into the Essex V6's (hence being the Moderator of the 3.8L forum), with a good headgasket set (99+ MLS ones) its a pretty strong little engine. Its More cost effective to a point to build the 3.8L up than spend the $$$$$ on a 5.0L swap. I CURRENTLY have less than 3500$ into my 3.8L and it would be hard to find a nice, low mileage 5.0L and go through all the trouble of swapping the wiring harness, engine cradles, AC lines, ECT..... Rear pumpkin and transmission are a mute point in this also since both would need upgrading to handle the added power of a boosted 3.8L OR a stout 5.0L

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-255rwhp 273rwtq-
-Vortech V1 S-trim [email protected], aftercooled-
-Built 4R70W W/3200rpm PI
1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC
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Last edited by rancherlee; 05-13-2005 at 09:07 PM.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 09:10 PM
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yea, the 96-up block is also not built like swiss cheese. and the parts are as economical as any ford engine. ready to install forged piston and rods, rings, lox, etc... 600$. cheap in my opinion. just because its a v6 doesnt mean it has no power, is expensive, and wont work.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 10:31 AM
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Times are a Changin'

Well I guess I've been put in my place. I just pass along what I've learned in the past. I guess parts for the 3.8 have become more avaliable since 2 years ago when I researched a 3.8 L buildup myself. If there is one moto to live by in the automotive world that no one can contest and that led to my swapping a V8 (Mileage be damned ); There's no replacement for cubic displacement!
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 12:25 PM
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id do it too, but my 4r wont let me do it easily, if i had an AOD id get a 5.0 but i just rebuilt my 4r, so itd be a waste not to use it
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 10:24 AM
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Hmmm...

What could be just as easy is to find an old AOD (in great supply I'm sure) and just put all your 4R components in it. Though it seems like a lotta work just to eliminate electronic transmission controls. I don't know what else is preventing you from using a 5.0 with the tranny since I'm not that familiar with it. I just received my new tranny that is an AOD with 4R gear sets that provide much better acceleration and more favourable gear ratios for lower highway RPMS.
I know the obligation you feel to use your tranny. My AOD was rebuilt about 25,000 km ago for about $1,500 CDN which was a rip off. I'm gonna end up hoofin' it in favour of this transmission I just received that is built for way more horsepower and comes with all the goodies you could need and it cost $300 less even after I had it shipped from Indiana. Well good luck with whatever route you choose. What about the 4.6 L? May not be as cheap but I'm sure they can be found. Or you could get creative and put in a 5.4 L triton . The sky's the limit and the wallet is gravity.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 11:32 AM
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4.6L has a diff bolt pattern lol. so all i can use is a 5.0 from an explorer and use all the computer crap which im not familiar at all with doing so id have to pay to get it done, otherwise it wouldnt work with the trans cuz explorers used 4r's too when they had 5.0's. my trans has all the goodies too. valve recal, new fluid pistons, 6th pressure plate, and a complete rebuild kit. good up to 500 hp and it shifts real nice. itd just be easier and much more practical to beef up the 3.8. something that i always forget too is that when my dad owned the car (he bought it off the showroom in 96) he took it to the dealer for his free oil change and they put antifreeze in the oil pan. so it seized the block and the rotating assembly. so i got a 60k mile rotating assembly and block on my 120k mile car which is also nice. yea lol ive always wanted to put a 5.4 in my car. the torque would be outrageous
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoLXBird
Step 1: Sell N/A 3.8 T-bird.
Step 2: Decide on 5-speed or Auto
Step 3: Buy Supercoupe
Step 4: Collect Underpants

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