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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question 3.8 out 5.0 in

My 3.8 is finally ready to leave the car .I am getting tired of refilling my rad.My white 94 Cougar XR7 wants another engine.A buddy has a 5.0 litre with about 200,000 clicks on it,I think he said it was 89 ???,fuel injection.Will it fit?is it worth it to me to drop it in or fix the 3.8?I have been driving the car for almost 3 years and have been on CCOA BBS with a few problems and every time I received the correct advice and followed it,and by the way thanks.So,do I swap or fix....I'm getting a headache...lol.

thanks again Doug
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-17-2002, 11:49 PM
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If you can afford it, you want to do it, and have the access, I say go ahead. If your current engine is giving you a bad time, yank it out and go for the newer one.

Second - if it's a 5.0 and came from a T-Bird, then it wouldn't be 89. Would be 91-93. V8's were available 89/90.

By all means - leap from the V6 and go V8 if that's what you want. If I had the opportunity to do so, I would. the 3.8 N/A is a dog unless you've got some money or determination *points to RancherLee*

-Andy "Melon"

1994 Thunderbird SC 3.8L Supercharged
1999 Crown Victoria P71 4.6
2000 Explorer 5.0
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 06:08 PM
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Go for the 5.0 but with that many miles rebuild and add some go fast parts. There are so many parts available for that engine.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2002, 04:27 PM
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You might want to go with the v8 that is correct for that year. Not sure what state you live in, but if it is a 94 merc, then you would want at least a 94 engine for smog purposes. Not sure bout the mercs, but the 4.6 liter was offered for 94, not the 5.0. Would hate to see you do all that mod work to get turned down at the smog station.

You most definetly will need a rebuild on that motor. Honestly, don't sink the cash into the xr7, it just is not worth the work, trouble, and $$$. If you want a 5.0 v8, get an 86-93 Fox mustang for under 3grand and keep the xr7 for transportation. It makes a lot more sense, and would be a lot simpler to fix /rebuild the 3.8.

Just my .02. Would hate to see you get into a project and wind up with a basket case and give up.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2002, 07:39 PM
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well.. jeremy, it all depends on what you are looking to get out a car. personally, i think mustangs are alright, but i cant see myself driving one, and i dont like any other car as much as my 90 3.8.. sure it slow, but it looks great (well.. it will when im done). it also handles very well in my opinion. i out maneuvered my friend's zx2.. and many other small cars for that matter. it big, i like big. i like big and fast and original. the tbird can have all of that. everyone these tdays has a honda civic, an accord, integra, or mustang just to name a few... only three people i know of in the detroit area have (or are trying to) mod their mn12's. i would be more proud of a 13 second mn12 than a 10 second mustang. but hey, it all depends what you are looking for. right now the route i think im going to take my bird through is 99+ GT 4.6, t-46, 3.55 trakloks in mark 8 rear end, dennis driveshaft... i dont know of anyone to date that has a 4.6 in a 89 - 93 bird (correct me if there are any) let alone a 4.6 5spd. im also going for a rather original look. 89 sc front end, 96 xenon sides, 94 sc rear, gen 2 SHO spoiler, and cervinis mach 1 hood... all painted twilight blue (going factory color cause of $$$). all i can say is i love my tbird, i will always own at least one and hopefully own this one for a long time (first car syndrome).. ive driven many cars, i liked a few of them, but i just wouldnt feel right not in a bird. -greg
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 10:40 AM
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glowing escape - Right on! The right car to mod is whatever you want. I jointly own a 2001 Mustang with my woman, and it is by no means a replacement for my 95 Thunderbird 3.8. Mustangs ride like crap, have way too much road noise, not enough room inside, and worse yet, everybody has one. The only Mustang I really like driving is my hot rodded 65, and that's only because 300 rwhp is a lot of fun in light car; but comfortable highway crusier, it aint.

whitemerc - It can be done, fitting the engine between the fenders is the easy part though. You need the electronics (computer, wiring harness), and drivetrain to match that 5.0. You will most definitley need a rebuild on that engine, but it's not hard to do and cheaper to rebuild than your 3.8. Also, someone else may be able to verify this, but I believe you may need a different hood on a 94 to fit a 5.0 HO if the engine is from a mustang. I may be wrong on that one though.

As far as emissions laws go, it varies greatly from state to state. I'm in NJ, but I used to be a PA state inspector. For both PA and NJ The engine should be the same year or newer than the chassis you are installing it into. Now that being said, they rarely check, plus the 5.0 was an option in that car the previous year, so it wouldn't even raise any suspicion. It will however, have to pass the emissions test for a 94 Cougar. You should be ok as long as you retain all the emissions equipment on the engine and catalytic converters. All bets are off if you live in CA, though.

Goodluck with your swap.

Edit: I forgot to add that by far, the easiest thing to do is to rebuild the 3.8 or drop in a rebuilt 3.8 or 4.2 crate engine. As many have said before, it all depends on what you want from your Cougar. (a tribute to all the V6 racers out there).

1995 LX Electric Red 3.8, K&N intake, Reinhart Chip.

1965 Mustang HP289

I'm selling many 1960's Mustang and Ford parts. Have a rebuildable 289, an FMX trans, complete 67 coupe body with glass - send me PM.

Last edited by cmd146; 10-24-2002 at 10:47 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 01:23 PM
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Good luck with your project. I completely agree with what you want to do. I also love my 94 bird for the ride quality, comfort, and quiet. I would love nothing more than to have a street thunderbird, and might even pursue it had I started with a v8 bird.

However, since I already own a 5.0 Fox mustang, I have been bitten by that bug HARD. For me, since I own a just got married and own a house ( and expect to be bugged about little ones soon) My ultimate goal is to go fast-cheap. That is why I suggest the mustang, for the very reasons you don't want one, is very common, very cheap, very rough riding and loud-which I love (if not for transportation reasons). Since I am already starting off at a 14 second quarter, 13's is a couple of bolt ons away.

In a perfect world, I would love to have a rodded tbird, let me know how yours goes, good luck.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 02:07 PM
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That is a good point Jeremy. I didn't mean to come off like I was knocking Mustangs. I've owned 4 of them over the last decade. I can't argue that a Mustang is the sensible staring point for performance. The powertrain is more powerful and durable than the V8 t-birds to start with, the car is lighter, and has a tremendous aftermarket following. No matter what you do to a 5.0 T-bird, a 5.0 Mustang with the same mods will take you.

I'm in the same boat even though my Mustang is older, I too would love a hod rodded T-bird, but it's just way too easy to work on my 65 mustang. How many modern cars can gain 100 more Hp by adding a set of aftermarket heads, intake and carb in 3 hours time for under $900?

1995 LX Electric Red 3.8, K&N intake, Reinhart Chip.

1965 Mustang HP289

I'm selling many 1960's Mustang and Ford parts. Have a rebuildable 289, an FMX trans, complete 67 coupe body with glass - send me PM.
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