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Old 12-03-2009, 06:27 PM
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96 t-bird engine swap question

i got a 96 thunderbird with a 3.8L engine that is about on its last leg..the car looks great so im thinking about a engine swap. heres my question. can i use a 302 sbf and the tranny out of a 87 f150and fit it in my bird. the engine i have my eye on is a low milage good running engine . its in a wrecked f150 truck and i have heard it run and still runs but truck is trashed. i can get it for free if i pull it and haul the truck away. so can it be used or would it be out of my reach..

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:21 PM
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Might have some computer issues.

I would rather rebuild the 6 or find a mildly wrecked 97 with a 4.6.
Install the engine harnesses and computer.

I had a 94 3.8 I bought new----liked it so much I bought a 97 4.6.
COMPLETELY wore both of these cars out
2 motors in the 94 with the 3.8----(women kept overheating them)
And literally drove the wheel (s) COMPLETELY off the car once.

Sold them both in the same week the first part of this year.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan59EC
Might have some computer issues...
Might??? "Will" is a better word. The other question is emissions testing. If you have testing where you live, this swap will not be legal. Since trucks have a less stringent emissions standard than cars, you usually cannot legally swap a truck engine into a car, even if it is from the same or newer model year. The 4.6 is probably a much better choice.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:56 AM
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The 4.6 was the standard V8 engine for the years '94 - '97. I had both the '94, which, car wise, wasn't the best, but the engine was great. The '97 - one of the best cars I ever owned - and is still running locally and looking as good as the day I parted with it in 2001.

Any of those would be a bolt in from a 'bird donor car. The 5.0/302 would be a chore with computer, transmission mounts & shifters, fuel lines, exhaust, front springs, radiator inlets and outlets just to name nominal aches and pains to do a neat job. Then of course, performance of a truck 5.0 is not as good as a nice 4.6. A great addition would be a 4.6 out of a police Crown Vic and these are coming on the market fairly cheaply now

Dave W
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:58 AM
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A police 4.6L is identical to a t-bird/cougar (I know, I've had both ) 01+ vics have updated heads & intake that differ.

For as much $$$ it would take for the swap you can buy a v8 bird/cougar.
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