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Old 05-13-2008, 11:13 AM   #1
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1999 – 2004 3.8 / 4.2 V6 questions

I have been looking at the 3.8 V6 with interest. My thoughts are that I would like to add performance upgrades to the stock engine with the thought of building a 4.2 V6 from the ground up. The use of the engine is for my Mustang that is used as an extra vehicle not driven daily, but with the intended buildup as an engine for occasional road racing.

I have some engine build-up questions for everyone.

- Connecting Rods – I have read that the 3.8 V6 rod and main bearings are Cleveland size - 2.311 and 2.75. Rods are 5.95", same as a 351. Is it possible that 351 rods can be used in the 3.8 / 4.2 V6?
- Camshaft – The transmission is a 5-speed and 3.73 gears. Suggestions here?
- Intake Manifold – Ford WindStar upper intake. Extrude honed upper and lower. Anyone have any thoughts?
- Valves – From what I have been reading, the V6 heads appear to use the same valves as a 302 or 351 Windsor. What valve size recommendations does everyone have? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
- Throttle Body – At what power level is an upgrade needed here?
- Exhaust – At what power level does aftermarket headers make sense over the factory headers?
- Pistons – Who makes forged pistons for the 3.8 or 4.2 that does not charge an arm and a leg? I found pistons for the Buick Grand National 3.8 and I know that Ford pretty much copied the Buick V6 and wonder if these Buick pistons might be usable.
- Rocker Arms – What is the factory ratio? I am finding conflicting information. Some say it is 1.73, some say it is other ratios. Will rocker arms from other Ford or manufacturers engines work?

Thanks for everyones help.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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Re: 1999 – 2004 3.8 / 4.2 V6 questions

windstar upper wont fit with the stock hood from what ive seen, and they are plastic arnt they?

I would think around 300-350 a throttle body would start to be useful (99+ stock size vs aftermarket)

Exhaust starts to be an issue around 300hp as well

eagle makes pistons i know not sure on the best out there

the buick GN is a 60 degree 3.8L not a 90 degree so not sure what would and wouldnt work~ but i dont think it would

check with supersixmotorsports.com for some v6 info on what they can do and recommend for given builds~
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:45 PM   #3
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Re: 1999 – 2004 3.8 / 4.2 V6 questions

im using ross racing forged pistons scat h-beam rods in my 3.8 the guy i bought from sells a whole 3.8 or 4.2 kit with bearings rods and pistons i believe it comes balanced i still got mine bored honed and balanced, also he has total seal gapless rings.

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