4.2 to 3.8 swap - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-17-2009, 04:57 AM   #1
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4.2 to 3.8 swap

I was hoping you guys could help me with a little reverse engineering. I have a 97 F150 with a bad 4.2.as you guys know, 4.2's can't be had at the junkyards cheap, but 3.8's can be had for $200-$300 with pretty low miles. my goal is to put a 3.8 in my F150, not worried about the loss of power or any of that. which year Mustang would be the best for me to get the motor out of, and besides motor and intake what else do I need out of the donor vehicle? I have found a 2000 with 80k and a 2001 with about the same for about the same price.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

Not only would you have a loss of power and loss of fuel economy, You would probably be looking at a larger out of pocket expense for the swap to a 3.8. Because you will need plenty more parts to make the 3.8 swap over instead of a direct bolt in replacement.

You would need wiring harnesses, PCM, and I'm not even sure if the transmission would bolt up.

Trust me it would be cheaper to stick with the 4.2L.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

I strongly disagree. the 4.2 is just a stroked 3.8 and is a direct bolt in. many of the 3.8 mustang guys swapped out for the 4.2 as a direct bolt in with the same tranny and computer and wiring harness.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

O.K. after doing my research I was speaking from an un-educated point. I apologize and was unaware of the similarities. I'm sure someone else with the knowledge will chime in.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

do you know what part of the year the 01 engine was made. Ford released 2 different 3.8's for 2001. One was externally balanced and the other was obvisously internal. If it's a late 01 then it's internal, i would opt for that one for your F-150. As you already stated you will lose some power, but you'll really be losing torque. I would expect to see somewhere around a 30-40tq lost.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

a guy actually told me he done this. not sure how it worked out but if it was me i think i would just find a 4.6 somewhere.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

4.6 won't work with my trans or computer. 3.8 will. I can get a low mile 3.8 for $350 in my area but a 4.2 will be $900+.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

you plan on doing the engine swap yourself?
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

yup. trying to do it on a tight budget. got the 97 F150 with a mint body for $500, just trying to keep it cheap for a truck to drive back and forth to work to keep miles off my Lincoln LS.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:15 PM   #10
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

just bought my motor. a 2004 3.8 42,000 miles, 6 month warranty for $350. I will let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:33 AM   #11
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

well old motor came out without a hitch. hardest part was trans to engine bolts. only missed one thing, a bolt that holds the tranny lines to the engine block! got it up a few inches and realized it, got it out before any harm was done. tomorrow, maybe the next day, I will start swapping parts over to the 3.8.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaleenFiend View Post
O.K. after doing my research I was speaking from an un-educated point. I apologize and was unaware of the similarities. I'm sure someone else with the knowledge will chime in.
U do that alot
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:57 PM   #13
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Re: 4.2 to 3.8 swap

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Originally Posted by 97Stallion View Post
do you know what part of the year the 01 engine was made. Ford released 2 different 3.8's for 2001. One was externally balanced and the other was obvisously internal. If it's a late 01 then it's internal, i would opt for that one for your F-150. As you already stated you will lose some power, but you'll really be losing torque. I would expect to see somewhere around a 30-40tq lost.
I got a question for this one my harmonic balancer has no raised area (weight) does that mean its internaly balanced? Its a 2000
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